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Talking about brexit

(97 Posts)
varian Fri 15-Dec-17 15:44:28

I just wonder when and how it is OK to discuss brexit and when it is not.

I am a Liberal Democrat and like all of my extended family and close friends, I voted Remain. I live in a village which was split 50:50.

I do realise that not everyone cares as much about politics as we do and we do have to get along with folk, but sometimes brexit rears its ugly head.

Today I was at the funeral of a lovely old man, a fellow Liberal Democrat and ardent Remainer and at the wake I inadvertently got into a political discussion with a member of his family.

She came across as a very likeable person but she was a Tory, an enthusiastic brexiter and a big fan of Nigel Farage and Jacob Rees-Mogg. She said she was delighted about brexit but we shouldn't take it seriously. It was all good fun. I am afraid I told her I did not agree and got into a bit of an argument.

She seemed too well educated to be a Daily Mail reader, I suspect she was a Telegraph reader. She was a middle aged housewife with a husband who appeared to earn a lot of money and she had wholeheartedly bought into all this "bring back control" propaganda.

She probably dismissed me as some sort of loonie leftie. I probably should not have got into that discussion at all.

Wheniwasyourage Fri 15-Dec-17 16:43:58

It's bound to happen, varian, and after all, you are going to be as upset by her views as she could be by yours. All you can do, IMO, is to exchange opinions, and if they are quite irreconcilable, you either change the subject or go and speak to someone else. You both have an equal right to say what you think, and provided you both behave in a grown-up fashion and don't use words you might later regret, you might be able to become friends with this 'likeable person' and just avoid the contentious subject of Brexit. I have a very good friend whose views on the Scottish independence referendum were the opposite of mine, and our friendship persists, I am happy to say.

lemongrove Fri 15-Dec-17 16:49:39

No, you are right varian you probably should not have got into that discussion at all, at a funeral! With a member of the deceased man’s family!
Leave Brexit as a subject alone, there are many likeable people who voted that way and are not Lib Dem-ers either, so maybe leave politics out of it as well.You will make more friends that way.

jura2 Fri 15-Dec-17 16:52:10

Oh I saw understand varian - on our last trip to UK recently, we had to be so careful, walking on eggs with so many people. Thank goodness we met up with many excellent friends whom we know are on the same wavelength.

As many remainers- we both feel as Lib Dems- and for me, ex Labour for some time' that we belong no-where. Most of our older family are Telegraph readers rather than DM- and admirers of Rees-Mogg but work in very senior positions planning to exit the UK as and when a bad Brexit deal goes pear-shaped. Ah well, at least they will all be much closer to us, in Paris, Geneva or Frankfurt.

varian Fri 15-Dec-17 16:53:52

The 2014 Scottish referendum split our extended family down the middle. My own brother now accuses me of being a Conservative because I am a Unionist and in his mind these two positions are identical.

The EU referendum cemented the views of all our extended family and close friends. We are all, without exception, still hoping that common sense will prevail and brexit will not happen.

Has anyone ever succeeded in having an amicable discussion with leave voters and got them to think again?

There is a saying "It is much easier to fool people than it is to get them to admit that they have been fooled"

suzied Fri 15-Dec-17 16:58:15

I heard today of a young woman, born and brought up in Hammersmith, who was in a bank queue a couple of days ago. The bank had a TV rolling news with latest Brexit news on. the woman next to her said"this is such waste of money", the young woman agreed. Then an older woman, also in the queue turned round to the young woman and said aggressively "well if you don't like England, you can just go home can't you?" The young woman was mixed race, her parents and grandparents all born here. It seems discussion of Brexit should be avoided if you are not white or British.

merlotgran Fri 15-Dec-17 17:00:30

What a rude and arrogant OP.

You sound like it's your way or the highway. As for thinking she was too well educated to be a DM reader. Words fail me.

I do hope you've bought your high horse something nice for Christmas.

Tegan2 Fri 15-Dec-17 17:13:36

Varian didn't actually say she instigated the conversation, so why is it assumed that, as a remainer, it must have been her that started it?

Ilovecheese Fri 15-Dec-17 17:17:44

Yes, I suppose if the other person brings it up first, then it is o.k. to discuss it. Especially if the person that brings it up automatically thinks that you will agree with them.

varian Fri 15-Dec-17 17:20:18

I did not bring up the subject of brexit, but I told her that I knew the late departed through the LibDems. She then brought it up. What should I have done?

lemongrove Fri 15-Dec-17 17:22:47

Kept quiet.

Ilovecheese Fri 15-Dec-17 17:24:04

You should have done exactly what you did do.

Tegan2 Fri 15-Dec-17 17:25:46

You only have to watch Question Time or attend any anti brexit rally to realise that it's the brexiters who are the aggressive ones. Unfortunately, a lot of people such as myself have had to become the mice that roared since the referendum, and
believe me, a lot of us feel uncomfortable doing so.

Bridgeit Fri 15-Dec-17 17:25:51

Merlotgran, very well put. Not much hope of peace & understanding when what can only be described as 'snobbery ' abounds.
I.e. 'she seemed too well educated to read the DM !!! Surely it is good for all of us to gather our information & form our opinions from a variety of sources, being aware that every source is peddling it's own opinions,beliefs & remedies. I for one do not assume that ALL Telegraph readers have the same opinions,neither do I assume that DM readers do.

varian Fri 15-Dec-17 17:32:58

Not all readers of the DM or the Telegraph voted leave.

However they were more likely to vote leave than readers of other papers, except the Sun and Daily Express.

Newspaper readership was one of the most significant factors in influencing the vote in the EU referendum.

I can understand if you voted Remain, in spite of the fact that you read one of these papers, it might irritate you to be reminded of this, but it is still true.

Bridgeit Fri 15-Dec-17 17:36:25

Why do you assume I read DM? this is the problem with your equation, you are assuming this on the basis of your own beliefs & therefore cannot see the wood for the trees

varian Fri 15-Dec-17 17:41:29

I do not assume anything about any GNetters.

I merely report the facts that newspaper readership was one of the most important factors in influencing voters in the EU referendum.

jura2 Fri 15-Dec-17 17:55:24

varian - no high horse- just common sense- and it iw world-wide known about the statistics re readers of certain UK papers. A bit like those of FoxNews and Breitbart in the USA.

varian Fri 15-Dec-17 17:58:11

I did curtail the conversation when the lady asked me why I didn't just go and live in Germany. I have lived in the UK for almost all of my life apart from a few years in the (then) British Crown Colony of Hong Kong.

I do not speak German. But this lady, who came across as perfectly charming and reasonable, thought that if I wanted to retain my rights, and the rights of my children and grandchildren as citizens of the EU, we should all emigrate to Germany.

Is that what all you GN leavers think?

Bridgeit Fri 15-Dec-17 18:04:25

The statistics required to confidently correlate the voting choices of people based on which paper they read is simply not possible because of the variables that would have to be included , so there are no reliable statistics reports & comments are being based on assumptions .

Tegan2 Fri 15-Dec-17 18:11:04

Interesting also that Varian is still thinking about the conversation, analysing it and worrying that she acted out of order at a social event. I wonder if the person who told her to go back to Germany is questioning her comments? Brexit isn't just the elephant in the room these days, it's a mammoth (as is the task of sorting it out); it's on the news morning noon and night and filling the front pages of newspapers most days, so why should we not be allowed to discuss it and question why people voted the way they did? I'm still annoyed with myself for not questioning the policeman who made a racist comment when speaking to me post referendum; believe me, that's never going to happen again.

varian Fri 15-Dec-17 18:11:20

There have been numerous studies proving the influence of newspaper readerships on voting in the EU referendum

Bridgeit Fri 15-Dec-17 18:22:12

This is an after the event article , it is not a poll taken to prove a correlation between DM readers & how they voted in the referendum

ninny Fri 15-Dec-17 18:24:01

Varian what a bigoted snob you are.

MaizieD Fri 15-Dec-17 18:48:41

Try this, then, Bridgeit, it has data from two polls: