A star has fallen.
It’s a sad day for many in the UK today (including me) and I remaIN shocked, saddened and confused, as to how exactly we let this happen. I am not qualified (or patient) enough to post any kind of smart analysis about how the vote went the wrong way, but I believe I do understand why the vote went the wrong way.
The whole EU referendum was a battle between the head and the heart.
Sir John Major summed the whole process up perfectly when he said, “it’s a battle between economics and emotion“.
I’ve spoken about the battle between the head and the heart before in my Lovemarks post, because all advertising and marketing communications are predicated upon the idea that we make decisions with our hearts, and we then justify them with our heads.
This type of thinking works perfectly well in advertising. But unfortunately it doesn’t work in politics.
Let’s take Sunderland as just one example. A solid city of great (mostly working-class) people, but they bought into the idea of taking back control of the country, based upon a strong sense of national pride and a desire to protect local manufacturing jobs from immigrants. At a time when local services and budgets are also being cut, it’s easy to blame Europe. In Sunderland’s case, 75% of their population voted (134,324) with 64.3% of them voting in favour of leaving Europe. It was an emotional decision.
Sadly, Sunderland relies very heavily upon Nissan and other manufactures for it’s jobs and economic prosperity, which means that a vote “for independence” will probably result in hundreds of people losing their jobs. The people of Sunderland believed that they were doing the right thing. Maybe the next line of Nissan cars won’t even be manufactured in England now? Sunderland they made an emotional decision ~ NOT an intelligent (or economic) one.
Within an hour of the announcement, the pound was down to it’s lowest since 1985 and the markets were taking a huge hit and falling dramatically.
Even Greek holiday resorts are refusing that change money because they don’t have an “official” exchange rate. Greece!
The campaign to leave spent a lot of time talking passionately about independence and the £350m per week cost of membership, but the news that £200bn had been wiped off UK stocks in 1 hour and 40 minutes, led the FT’s chief political correspondent Jim Pickard to comment that this is equivalent to 24 years of UK contributions to the EU. [Full EU results here].
And so it goes on.
This will of course play out for a very long time, and the country will eventually get back on it’s feet, but today is certainly a sad day for intelligent thinking and emotional reasoning.
“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect”. Mark Twain