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EU Referendum - Racists and Xenophobes

(60 Posts)
Asprilla11 Mon 27-Jun-16 08:14:16

Right I am getting a bit sick of remain voters who are insisting that Leave Voters condone racism and xenophobia and have not spoke out against it.

The reality is on my thread and on many other threads I and other leave voters have not only not condoned racism, we have condemned it.

UKIP has been around for years, Far Right groups have been around for much much longer, they exist in every EU country.

The Referendum did not invent these groups, it didn't give them an idea for a message, they had that hatred long before we even entered the EU.

Whilst the Referendum gave some of them a voice and brought them out from under their stones, they were still there to be challenged for their views for many years prior to this month!

If you judge a group of voters by your Facebook News Feed and a few tabloid newspapers then you show similar ignorance to what the racists do. Myself and millions of other people are not on Facebook or Twitter, Social Media is not the general public's gospel opinion.

Tackling racism and xenophobia is the responsibility of Society, which means leave voters, remain voters and non voters.

Champagneformyrealfriends Mon 27-Jun-16 08:30:29

If you judge a group of voters by your Facebook News Feed and a few tabloid newspapers then you show similar ignorance to what the racists do. Myself and millions of other people are not on Facebook or Twitter, Social Media is not the general public's gospel opinion.

I think a lot of people on mn need a FB clear out considering how many of them have news feeds full of racist comments from leave voters.

Brexit Mon 27-Jun-16 08:53:59

The referendum merely exposed a division that was already there.

The metropolitan elite have been shafted by those they presumed to stand for.

smallfox1980 Mon 27-Jun-16 09:04:56

Those they presume to stand for have shafted themselves, the areas that voted out are the ones that receive the most funding from Europe.

When areas such as Hartlepool (97% White British) and Sunderland (96% white British) vote to leave and a majority of people there say immigration is the largest factor. Then there is an issue.

WeekendAway Mon 27-Jun-16 09:15:35

Excellent point. All these people claiming they are seeing nasty racist shit on Facebook need to ask themselves what kind of people they keep company with, even if it's only Facebook company.

I voted Leave, haven't mentioned it once on Facebook, haven't commented on the referendum at all, nor commented / liked anyone else's opinions on it. I keep my politics off Facebook because I don't think it's polite or necessary harangue my friends and batter them with my ranty opinions on a daily basis, or to call them stupid for not agreeing with me. They are perfectly intelligent people capable of making up their own minds and I trust them to think long and hard about whatever political decisions they make, and respect them for that even if I don't agree with them.

But rather irritatingly, I have been battered with their opinions on why we should remain and with their opinions on how thick, narrow minded and racist all Leave voters must clearly be. I like these people, many of them are my very good friends, they are intelligent decent people who admittedly take their politics and ram it down other people's throats a bit too much for my liking, but they are still good people.

Before the referendum it was indyref, the doctors' strikes, teachers endlessly whining about Gove, before that the GE, (always the Labour voters haranguing their poor captive audience, never the Tory voters) it just goes on and bloody on. They do absolutely nothing to change my opinions on anything incidentally.

I also think that many people will often insist that any comment or opinion that expresses any concern or dissatisfaction with any aspect of immigration, even uncontrolled EU immigration of almost exclusively white Christian people, is racist. I find that laughably over-simplistic and very offensive.

I have seen some horrible racist memes and comment (mostly c&p'd from Facebook or the DM comments section onto MN as an example of what's out there rather than seeing it on social media itself) but I think plenty of these apparently 'racist' FB comments or memes that posters say they've seen probably aren't actually racist at all. It's funny how so many otherwise intelligent people don't seem to be able to grasp the difference between the two. It has become the accepted norm among educated left wingers to shout racist at anyone who has any issues or concerns over immigration whatsoever. It's the conversation that just can't be had.

Asprilla11 Mon 27-Jun-16 09:36:08


Sadly I think there are now many Remain voters who now feel they have found the 'evidence' to prove their accusations, despite it being from questionable sources.

They won't further consider their position because deep down they know they could be wrong.

GingerIvy Mon 27-Jun-16 09:43:01

I think the general disdain and accusations of "uneducated racists" towards anyone that voted Leave only illustrates why there was such a huge Leave vote.

I didn't vote for Leave, but I can see quite easily why many people did. They feel the government has let them down, they didn't trust the government side, and as they've been struggling for years without any view to improvement, they feel that a change couldn't be much worse. They had literally nothing to lose, with the hope that it could be better in the long run. And they have every right to feel that way and vote that way.

This is laid firmly at the doorstep of the Conservative party and Osborne/Cameron would who made casualties of large portions of our country with their austerity budgets and cuts to important services. They then were shocked that those same people didn't want to choose their side in a referendum. Very short sighted of them.

Cleo1303 Mon 27-Jun-16 09:43:25

I couldn't agree with you more, Asprilla. Not everyone is on FB or Twitter and most of the population frankly couldn't care less about what is on social media.

I am not in any way condoning racism but I can understand why some people feel the way do. So far I haven't seen a post from anyone else saying they were canvassing or leafleting for either side (although obviously I haven't read every single thread on this subject). I was doing both and there is a lot of anger out there about immigrants which all political parties have chosen to ignore.

Please do not attack me. I am just going to tell you what I have heard.

In coastal towns and places like Lincolnshire where there is a very high number of Eastern European agricultural workers the anger is directed towards them, but in London where I was canvassing no-one - not one single person - said anything against EU immigrants. The anger is directed towards Muslims and the African people in the Calais jungle and France for not dealing with that. It's directed at Angela Merkel for saying everyone in the world was welcome to come to Europe and the chaos that has caused. It's directed at Cameron and May for not deporting illegal immigrants and foreign criminals, particularly at May who keeps saying her hands are tied by the EU/ECHR but wanted to Remain. It's the fear that other EU countries will give passports to the violent men from the Middle East and Africa who will then be able to move to the UK.

It's anger that if illegal immigrants arrive here they aren't locked up until they can be deported, but instead are put up in hostels with three meals a day and pocket money.

It's about Muslims jumping the housing queues because they have large families "while our soldiers sleep on the street".

It's about Turkey becoming part of the EU and all the Muslims who could move here. David Cameron was asked about that three times on one of the TV debates and wouldn't give a straight answer. It's about other pro-EU politicians saying there is a veto on Turkey's membership, but not one of them said that the UK would guarantee to use it. People picked up on that.

Immigrants - of all colours -who have lived here for 30 or 40 years and see themselves as British are very unhappy about the numbers of Muslim immigrants who don't want to assimilate or integrate and want to live separately and want their own Sharia Law. Black immigrants said that racism was far worse since Blair invited so many people in and they don't want to be "lumped together with them. We are not like them."

It's about being "the only white person" at the doctor's surgery.

It's about their children not getting into their chosen schools while they can see that immigrant children are getting places.

It's about immigrant families coming straight in and getting benefits while spouses of English people who have worked abroad have to guarantee a certain level of income before those spouses are allowed to come to the UK, even if the couple have a child.

I've heard all of this in the last six weeks or so. People were sending a very clear message to the ruling class that they want far less immigration. They see getting out of the EU as the first step towards achieving that. That is why they were voting to leave.

Personally I voted to leave because I don't want to be part of an EU superstate and it's clear many people in other European countries don't want that either. The reason the USSR and the Eastern Bloc finally collapsed was because people didn't want to be controlled and governed by the Soviet Union and those they put in power.

I think the EU will be gone within five years, maybe less, and then we can concentrate on trade rather than the political mess Juncker, Merkel, Tusk and the rest of them have brought us to today.

ApocalypseSlough Mon 27-Jun-16 09:45:25

So are you all happy with the result and ensuing situation then?

Asprilla11 Mon 27-Jun-16 09:50:29


Great post, thank you. Many towns and cities outside of the South East and London simply have had enough of the Tories and austerity. But it's also about Elitism from the Government, Big Business, Finance and the obsession with London. The EU commissioners are just as bad and possibly even corrupt.

Many voters had simply had enough.

Asprilla11 Mon 27-Jun-16 09:55:53


I don't doubt many people had valid immigration concerns and even if it was their only reason for voting, they did so for non racist reasons.

Unfortunately they did not want to speak about their reasons because if they didn't word it correctly they could be called racist, so they voted in silence.

Even more unfortunately some of the ones who did vote to leave because of immigration did so for racist reasons and weren't afraid to shout about it.

Joysmum Mon 27-Jun-16 09:55:54

My reasons for leaving were purely based on looking outwards. People voting leave did so for just as many differing reasons as those voting Remain did for their main motivation. I won't defend the motivations of others, I vote and speak only for myself.

I've just written this on another thread:

My reasons for leave was that I think the away is inward looking and has grown all it is going to.

I believe the emerging world markets offer better oportunities and that the EU is standing in our way of maximizing these.

Lastly, I think the EU is on the cusp of failing in its current guise. Look at the nationalism that had built in our own home nations over the past 20 years. The way we had kept together as the UK was devolution. The way the EU has tried together has been the opposite, faster and closer integration. The idea being that nations become so emerged in the EU that that can't leave!

If we didn't leave now it's only get worse and then be worse when it all did finally explode. I'd rather have left now when it was not so enmeshed and to allow us to develop our worldwide links and gain greater stability to ride out that storm when it comes.

throckenholt Mon 27-Jun-16 09:57:08

Tackling racism and xenophobia is the responsibility of Society, which means leave voters, remain voters and non voters.

Very true. The referendum didn't invent these people, but it has given them oxygen, and a false belief that their ideas are legitimate and mainstream. sad

smallfox1980 Mon 27-Jun-16 10:08:04

Take a look at Cleo's post people, and then consider this.

All through the campaign people on the remain side argued that government policy not immigration was the cause of most of the woes of society, people wouldn't listen and came out with things like Cleo has above.

Also Cleo conflating the Eastern Bloc of dictators with the democratic EU is a load of nonsense.

You do realise that we will still have to abide by internatonal agreements like Basel and Paris agreements? You realise that we will still have to follow EU regulations on standards if we want to export there?

Freedom of movement is likely to remain, I think there will be lip service to control but its not going anywhere.

What leavers have done is sign away the protections the EU has for working people really, those are the regulations they will be able to change.

Well done all.

Joysmum Mon 27-Jun-16 10:13:10

The referendum didn't invent these people, but it has given them oxygen, and a false belief that their ideas are legitimate and mainstream

Actually I think the opposite is true.

This vote is now leading to the debate about what comes next and that means getting down to the nitty gritty of why people voted the way they did. Leave voters didn't all have the same motivation.

This is where we get to see that many of those who voted Leave (myself included) did so for economic reasons and not xenophobic ones. A year ago it would have cut me to the core to be considered xenophobic but now it's become common place and I'm relishing the opportunities this vote has given to stand up and be counted for my own reasons and distance myself from those whose motives were xenophobic. There are xenophobes of course, but not as many as the aspect of scare mongering Remain campaign would have you believe.

Scotland had the SNP to look after its nationalistic interests without being deemed racist, England didn't have this. Unfortunately this has led to the likes of UKIP being more popular than it actually merited. It was the only party backing Brixit, but not for the motivations of many.

smallfox1980 Mon 27-Jun-16 10:24:07

Can we stop with the "leave voters didn't all have the same motivation" tripe.

When they interviewed people at the polls, when the media went this weekend the main points were: Immigration and to kick the establishment.

You can try and dress it up as much as you like but very few of the nuanced points that you are trying to make were the reasons.

Immigration was the main one, its the reason we had this referendum, its the reason UKIP got such a lot of the vote at the last election.

Cleo1303 Mon 27-Jun-16 10:24:20

smallfox I'm afraid I think the EU is becoming less democratic every day.

How was it democratic for Angela Merkel to say the whole world was welcome to come to Europe, and then start announcing the quotas of refugees for member countries? That is dictatorship, not democracy.

BTW, can I just make it clear again that what I wrote above was what had been said to me while canvassing and leafleting.

Asprilla11 Mon 27-Jun-16 10:29:20


Have 17 million people been polled or interviwed by the media? Have even just 100,000?

No they haven't so you can't assume all of them voted for immigration.

smallfox1980 Mon 27-Jun-16 10:31:31

"How was it democratic for Angela Merkel to say the whole world was welcome to come to Europe, and then start announcing the quotas of refugees for member countries? That is dictatorship, not democracy. "

But she didn't say the whole world was welcome to come to Europe, she said Syrian refugees were welcome to come to Germany.

The crisis with the refugees does need to be dealt with by the whole of Europe. A good point well made was that the countries that have rejected the quotas Polands, Romania and Hungary have basically done so because racism in their country towards muslims, as these countries are net beneficiaries of EU funding the "fines" would simply be reductions in grants from the EU. You can't benefit from being in the EU then expect not to bear some of the costs of the responsibilities of being in it. Why should net contributors Italy deal with all of the pressures due to its location when the net beneficiaries get to refuse?

Oh btw the UK has an "opt out" on justice matters so avoids this anyway.

Asprilla11 Mon 27-Jun-16 10:33:45

Sorry Cleo1303 my last comment was to smallfox1980 not you.

JamieVardysParty Mon 27-Jun-16 10:35:22

Interesting that a PP said that certain areas of the country who receive EU handouts have shafted themselves.

Numerous articles have sprung up over the weekend examining this divide. One offered a compelling argument that handouts do not produce gratitude.

It is patronising and elitist to assume you can throw money at troubled communities and they should be expected to put up and shut up. It reduces independence and forces people to be reliant on others. People have pride and some in the Leave campaign picked up on this. Hence why, however wrong, the "take back control" slogan struck a chord with masses.

Lots of these areas have had their industries decimated and people (particularly men) who were once able to take pride in being a steelworker, or miner, or fisherman etc are now left with nothing.

But it's ok because some posh bloke in Europe says he can be given some money and must be grateful for it.

Reasoned arguments about economics etc are often lost or overlooked by personal perception - the focus should be on tackling this perception and exploring why people are feeling like this.

Itinerary Mon 27-Jun-16 10:41:19

Hear hear OP!


Cleo1303 Mon 27-Jun-16 10:43:00

No probs, Asprilla

Asprilla11 Mon 27-Jun-16 10:43:52

I'd also like to point out that out of the 16 million+ plus people who voted to Remain, statistically some of them will be racist.

However immigration may not have directly affected their lives so they voted for other reasons, which were best served by voting Remain.

Itinerary Mon 27-Jun-16 10:44:37

But it's ok because some posh bloke in Europe says he can be given some money and must be grateful for it.

Exactly. And that money will just be British taxpayers' money that's taken a detour via the EU anyway.

The best thing to do now is to support any politician who will allocate this country's funds in the best ways, to include people in all regions and from all walks of life.

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