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Projects Fear & Ignorance

Social media and the press are awash with Brexiteers calling anyone who wishes to stay in the EU a scaremonger and labelling the In campaign 'Project Fear'. This terminology is meant to be insulting. However, it should be differently interpreted for it is entirely reasonable and sensible to be frightened about the consequences of a Brexit. 

An ugly divorce that would cost the UK its friendship with its European neighbours and result in a protracted period of political and economic uncertainty is definitely something to be feared in an already unstable world. The financial cost of Brexit would be astronomical. Neither the making of laws nor the making of trade deals can be done without vast expense and an immense amount of time. 

Until a few weeks ago, when I joined Twitter, I don't think I'd ever believed that many people take the output of the tabloid press as fact. Twitter has opened my eyes to a world in which the uneducated cling to their ignorance, strongly encouraged to do so by a manipulative tabloid press and far too many power-hungry politicians, two of the worst offenders being Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage. 

Today Farage has been instructing his followers to return the Government's pro-EU leaflet to Downing Street. Surely, everyone who is due to vote in the EU referendum should be reading all available information from every source on both sides. For that is the only possible way of making an informed decision. 

At the moment, it appears that there are approximately equal numbers of people on each side of the EU equation. But it is not an equal equation. The vast majority of academics, scientists, economists and businesses favour staying in the EU. Intelligence, it seems, resides almost exclusively on the side of  #StrongerIn. 

If the UK is not to be driven out of the EU by ignorance in the coming referendum, it is essential that everyone is fully informed. Which means that everyone needs full access to all information, and that means presenting this information in a format that is accessible to the less educated. The nation's media, especially the tabloid press, has an absolute duty to refrain from idiotic sensational headlines and propaganda, and to educate their readers. Ignorance is not bliss, and it is cruel and unfair to encourage it.

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