Longer online version

What referendum debate?

IN RESPONSE to your pieces on post-truth and Brexit (Post-truth ethical pressures and Concerned about Brexit? We aim to help, both December 2016 Freelance.)

The trouble with Brexit was not the ethics of reporting but that there was no argument. The media entirely failed to conduct a debate especially about the effects on real people (rather than institutions, economic indicators etc). Really it comes down to who is going to win and who is going to lose. I barely heard anyone whisper that the right answer was "remain and reform" for the good of Europe.

Another point is that most of the people doing the talking are in Britain and almost all of those in London. From abroad, Britain looks a remarkably insular place. Even the intelligentsia have no sense of the international.

I'm afraid that even the NUJ doesn't have much sense of political geography. It thinks that offering me training sessions in St Pancras is a perk of membership. Toulouse would be convenient but further than that a hassle. Ironically, the people who really needed a voice in the Brexit debate were deprived of a say: expats like me living in EU states (and EU expats in Britain).

I just scraped inside the 15-year rule (to be able to vote in the referendum) but I am soon to become disenfranchised. From here, the whole debate looked as if it were about immigration in Sunderland as miscomprehended by people living within the M25. To compound the problem of the non-debate (a problem which is continuing) we have the further problem that we cannot even discuss the problem because where else do you have such a discussion but the media and why would the media (ie us) want to discuss its own failure?.