And indeed, they were very successful. A MORI poll conducted after the event, reckoned that 47% had believed the figure of £350m weekly, that would be transferred to the NHS – even though that figure had been reduced by referendum day. I seem to recall Boris accepting that the figure should probably be £192m, but no one saw fit to change the bus, proving your point Ray Rampton. I guess it was only ancients like me, with sod all else to do of a morning, that had the time to see beyond the image of the bloody great bus on telly every day, and 634,751 more people voted to leave rather than remain.
So, consider only the 1,700,000 employees and other servants of the National Health Service. All things being equal (and me being charitable), 816k might have voted remain, and 884k leave (48/52% - yes I know , “circular reference”). However, things were definitely not equal - this was the NHS! How many of these remains were influenced to change to leave by that bus, due to the catastrophic state of their own situation – perhaps as many as half (400k??). Then there were the family and friends of these employees, perhaps even more enraged by the state of the NHS and of the welfare of their partners etc. (perhaps another conservative 100k). And how many were swayed who had been, or were connected with, the 3.5m who waited a minimum of 4 hours in A&E last year (another very conservative 100k?). Then there are those who had been less than satisfied as inpatients, plus THEIR family and friends, and finally the balance of the 33m voters who turned up, not directly affected by the NHS, but nonetheless appalled by these dire tales of the NHS (true and apocryphal) in the press. The number influenced has got to total more than 100k. I would therefore suggest that there is ample suspicion that the Brexit majority was only obtained directly on the back of that lie, con, or linguistic trickery. At the very least, the outcome should have been declared “unsafe”.
“Remoaners” are always vilified as treating leavers as “imbeciles”, and yes there are plenty of these (but on both sides – it’s called democracy). However, these would be entirely rational individuals who chose to believe a pledge being made to them by two of the most influential persons in the land – the Mayor of London and the Home Secretary no less, with many others. A pledge that proved to be false within an hour of the result.
In a separate poll in the aftermath, it was found that as many as 4% of those who voted leave (680,000) regretted having done so, in the light of the admission that it had been “a mistake to promise that £350million a week would be spent on the NHS if the UK backed a Brexit vote”, (plus of course all these who usefully entered a “protest” vote).
So where were the Electoral Commission? Turn out to be a load of bean-counters of the very worst kind. Now put your expenses in the wrong line of a spreadsheet, and 17 police forces leap into action, and 24 MPs face prosecution and their seats being declared invalid. But a real “con” ?? – heads buried deep in the sand (or firmly pushed into the sand). And my god, this is the most important electoral decision – ever.
And where were those who believed in remain – not a cheep about that foul. Led by Teresa May, now as head honcho of looking after the interests of the electorate, clearly identified an opportunity for self-aggrandisement, and switched sides instantly, taking up a position as extreme brexiteer. Well she’s certainly made her name now. But never mind, the two conmen-in-chief are now both back in the front line.
On the anniversary of the vote, it still makes me seethe to hear her incessantly trot out “the will of the people”, when this is so obviously highly suspect.