The EU referendum has provided plenty of heat, no light and lots of hilarious shite.
Things have taken a turn to the yoof this week, as the various campaigns courted the youth vote. They really shouldn’t have bothered.
First in the ring was “Britain Stronger In Europe”, who produced a video, presumably intended to appeal to that section of society who can’t figure out where the ‘g’ is on their Smartphone keypad. The 30 second clip, accompanied by a banging little number, shows fresh-faced types doing things like shoppin, ravin and sharin before they finally get to the #votin.
There is no political content whatsoever, unless you count the unexplained statement, “Life’s better in the EU…but it’s at risk” The precise threat posed by Brexit to ravin may seem unclear but it wasn’t long before we had some clarity….
Leave.EU today announced that they would host a pop concert, aimed at encouraging young people to vote. “Brexit Live Presents BPOP Live” certainly has its finger on the pulse when it comes to what excites younger voters, with popular acts including Sister Sledge and the Rose Royce vocalist, Gwen Dickey. Somehow topping the bill was the boyband 5ive, who we should point out no longer consist of 5 members and are also no longer a boyband.
With tickets starting at a mere £23, the prospect of getting shouted at by Nigel Farage AND getting to hear what was probably one of the biggest singles of late 1999, performed by at least some of the people who were about at the time, seems almost irresistible.
Sadly, 5ive and Alesha Dixon, who was also allegedly scheduled to appear, have now pulled out of the gig, with both claiming they had no idea they’d signed up to attend a political rally. East 17 are apparently staying though, at least for another day, with their manager saying they “did not comment on views regarding politics”, an odd position now they’re playing at a Brexit rally. Whether they will be able to attract huge throngs of young folk to the cause remains to be seen, especially since their Dublin concert last year was attended by 30 people.
The Remain ad paints an interesting picture of the people they’re supposed to be appealing to, who lead lives which revolve around buying stuff, jumping out of planes, drinking in wine bars and generally being the kind of phone advert dickheads who’re likely to be swayed by some flashing images and an vacuous hashtag. It might have been possible for the people responsible for this to continue to believe young people weren’t engaged in politics, unless you look at the #doin they’re currently getting all over social media.
And true to form, the Brexit Brigade are just being yer da because that’s who they are. “Will we get some of those popular music stars? 5 Club Steps? Heaven 17? That one off Britains Got Talent?” This rally clearly wasn’t even the work of people who were around in the 90s (Hi!)…we know 5ive aren’t still a thing, we’re not entirely sure they ever were, although our research suggests their biggest single Keep on Movin‘ contained no ‘g’. Presumably to placate this key group of swing voters who everyone’s now desperately appealing to.
Any attempt to pretend either campaign has cultural relevance is beyond cringeworthy and only reinforces how removed the referendum debate has been from the reality of most people’s lives. Nothing symbolises the way the choices are being presented to voters better than these awful efforts to appeal to young people; the choice between slick PR nonsense or next level incompetence, Dave or Boris, one kind of Tory or another.
The sense of desperation is clear, on all sides, and so it should be – no-one seems to paying the least bit of notice to their awful pish. What should have been a massive and complex debate about many competing visions of our future is now being sold as little more than an Etonian popularity contest, as two factions within the British ruling class batttle it out over how best to fuck us over. If people of any age actually manage to get out and vote on June 23rd, it will be no thanks to these awful campaigns, who’ve done their best to stop us carin.
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