Brendan O'Neill: Counting deaths of Leave voters 'reveals prejudice of Remain voters'

Brendan O'Neill: Counting deaths of Leave voters 'reveals prejudice of Remain voters'

Friday, January 18, 2019

Guardian journalist Polly Toynbee caused a stir with an article on how the country would theoretically turn Remain on Saturday 19 January, in which she references the fact that some people who voted Leave may have died since the vote.

‘The true “will of the people” looks considerably more questionable if it turns out to be the will of dead people’, she wrote.

Toynbee also explained how an opinion shift would be measured - by taking the current voting-age population and using the same voter turnout as seen in the EU referendum. 

Spiked editor Brendan O’Neill joined Julia Hartley-Brewer on the talkRADIO breakfast show, and said the article shows “prejudice” by Remain voters.

 

'Sick and morbid'

The error message posted when Deatherendum's creator removed the website

He also condemned a now-deleted website, Deatherendum - which predicted the outcome of a second vote based on deaths of Leave voters - as “sick” and incredibly morbid”.

“It’s really horrible when you think about it,” he said.

“It really fits with a pattern among Remoaners where there’s this real sense of ageism.

“They’ve been moaning about old people for a long time, that old people have stolen the young people’s future, that old people are stupid and selfish and racist and bigoted and so on.”

Hartley-Brewer pointed out that many older people also voted Remain, while some youngsters voted Leave.

“Absolutely right, that’s such and important point. Everybody always forgets that around 30% of 18-24 year olds voted Leave,” said O’Neill.

YouGov data shows that 71% of that age group voted Remain, while 29% voted Leave.

Some 40% of 50-64-year-olds voted Remain, while 36% of over-65s opted to stay in the EU.

 

'Prejudice'

“It’s like these people don’t matter at all. There’s a real sense of demographic determinism, this idea that young people won’t possibly change their mind, that they’re automatically going to be Remain voters.”

“I think Polly Toynbee’s piece and the Deatherendum website, and a lot of the ageism we’ve seen in the last two and a half years, really reveals there’s a lot of prejudice in the Remainer camp,” he continued.

“They have spoken for the past two-and-a-half years about how Brexiteers have turned Britain into a bigoted place, but I feel a lot of bigotry coming from the true Remoaners who see old people as stupid, working class voters as being low information [and] a bit too dim and too racist to be trusted with big political decisions.

“I think we’ll see their own prejudice sneaking out, and a view of who really is pushing bigoted opinions.”

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