Thursday night’s Question Time began with a discussion on the EU referendum: the pros, and cons, of staying within the system berated by many, but most noticeably by UKIP.
I was confused; and judging by the look of consternation etched across the faces of the audience, I was not alone. Indeed, one onlooker called for the debate to be laid out in ‘Layman’s Terms’, receiving applaud.
This plead for a simplification of the various arguments isn’t a patronising slight reflecting an ignorant electorate, but rather a reflection on the clouded rhetoric used by politicians concerning the EU.
Repeatedly, we are bombarded with empty language.
Britain needs to be great again, it is stronger out of the EU.
Britain are stronger in the EU, it would be catastrophic for us to leave.
Yet, what those who voice such sentiments fail to include, are the reasons behind such assertions; perhaps, behind the convoluted mess of spin there are valid arguments, but this isn’t clear enough for the voting public.
I’m sure politicians, financial experts, correspondents and the like are well versed in the arguments surrounding the referendum, but one would be hard-pressed to find someone without experience in the political sphere who could coherently lay out such issues.
The general election, for many, was also problematic: just what were the differences between the parties? Labour, left-wing, came across as uncannily similar to the Conservatives, right-wing, in their rhetoric. How is one expected to separate the two, let alone come to a judgement? Further proof of the opaque political language which serves to confuse, rather than clarify.
Returning to the point, the referendum on whether Britain is to leave a union that constitutes 28 states is expected to be held at the end of June this year. So, we are four months away from making a decision that will impact the history of the U.K. for generations and still no closer to understanding the contrasting arguments.
Politicians, on both sides of the argument, need to set out their arguments in simple, understandable terms before the electorate makes a decision that will be to the detriment of the U.K.