Let’s shrug off the negativity

Rye and Battle Observer letters
Rye and Battle Observer letters

From: John Sydes, Bowmans Drive, Battle

Let’s start with the question. Hastings Observer 27/10/2017 – ‘How much could Hastings be affected by Brexit?’. A leading negative question, like this one, will not likely inspire any positives and sure enough it didn’t.

Stephen Wynn-Davies, your reporter, painted a picture so gloomy I could visualise that black cloud descending on Hastings with every word.

How could we be so stupid as to vote against our best interests?

Then came the leader of Hastings Borough Council, Peter Chowney, who said: “It’s not fair to say people didn’t know what they were voting for because I think they did understand. I think they did their best.”

Then, with blatant contradiction, he outlines his view of the ‘combination of reasons’, why people were to vote for Brexit. He implies that fishermen and ‘the disadvantaged’ voted in a dream-like state.

I find this thinking utterly patronising and typical of how the old Labour party mind set reacts to events they can’t understand.

The Labour Party had, and still has, great difficulty understanding the so-called ‘working class tory’ or the ethnic minority Tory, or any other so-called disadvantaged groups voting other than for the Labour party, or against what the Labour party thinks what’s best for them.

No one can completely understand why people vote the way they do, at best, it’s an educated guess. However implying Brexit voters are in some sort of false consciousness completely undermines voter legitimacy.

We are all affected by events, experiences, friends, work, and media; of course, we are, but it is utterly wrong and discriminatory to assume, as some commentators do, that a proportion of voters put a cross in a box because they are either stupid, uneducated, or racist.

As a conservative and a Brexit supporter, my views are well-known among my conservative colleagues.

I don’t have endless disagreements about who was right to vote one way or the other, nor do I assume that anybody is stupid, ignorant, or under some spell to support the remain argument.

So let’s change the question. How much could Hastings benefit from Brexit? I would suggest a great deal, but only if we all get together, stop asking why people voted the way they did, shrug off the negativity, pull together get stuck in, and embrace the positivity of change that the people of Hastings overwhelmingly voted for.