Roar writer Isabella Sheeky claims that the People’s Vote March felt like an uninspired push against the inevitable, exemplifying how the Remain campaign failed to inspire people.
On Saturday one of the largest protests in British history, with a crowd size estimated over one million, marched its way from Hyde Park down to Parliament Square. Men, women and children gathered with calls for a second referendum, combining witty signs and British politeness, in order to express their outrage against Johnson’s Government and his handling of Brexit. Perhaps it was exactly that British politeness that had gotten in the way of the remain campaign inspiring Brits to vote for it?
The remain campaign seemingly failed to capture the powerful emotions that the leave campaign generated. In spite of the solid arguments and public support since the referendum in 2016, it feels like the Remainers are never quite the dominant force in the debate.
The passive, sometimes even arrogant attitude of Remainers, sprinkled in with the complacency of the Remain politicians in 2016, was a dominating factor to their shocking loss in the Brexit referendum. They didn’t manage to push back against the pro-Brexit propaganda that propelled the leave campaign to victory, thereby leaving the Remainers who were sure ‘common sense’ would prevail, dumbfounded.
The People’s Vote March seemed to encapsulate that underlying political climate, and showcase how out of touch the remain campaign was in 2016, compared to the tactics of Brexiteers. Despite the large crowd-size and the many signs, the march seemed to lack the urgency and raw emotion that would be expected given the likelihood of Brexit entering its final fase before implementation.
The protest was a largely white, middle-class demographic, resembling a crowd protesting a new plan for Waitrose to be replaced by an Aldi, more than a crowd rebelling against a political decision that might forever impair the fragile British economy.
A little over half of the UK voted in the referendum and officials polls detailed that over-65s were twice as likely to have voted to leave than under-25s. This idea of youth against elders should be enough to create a protest with meaning and passion. The People’s Vote March seemed to lack these qualities. The anger and passion that should have been surging through the crowd at the refusal of a second referendum was not there. Instead, the dominating demographic was middle-aged men and women who occasionally chanted “people’s vote.”
This could have been the last chance to showcase the anger Remainers are feeling over Brexit, and the fact that it seems to be happening in the very near future. Instead, it felt like a last, uninspired push against the inevitable. The ‘Get Ready for Brexit’ campaign is the largest ever government public information campaign and it brings with it a finality about the fate of the county. Johnson’s government will do its absolute best to allow Brexit to happen. And at the march on Saturday, it was almost as if this inevitability was blanketing the crowd. Or was it just another case of the Remain Campaign failing to overthrow the leave campaign’s pro-Brexit propaganda?