I am deeply unhappy about the result of the referendum, and I am honestly furious about those who voted as a protest, or without thinking about the possible consequences.
BUT we need to be careful of extrapolating from polls and using the information to socially profile the people around us. I’m a little ashamed to admit I have already found myself looking at the people around me and wondering how they voted and we have to be SO careful we don’t slip into “that person belongs to Group X, so they probably voted differently to me”.
Polls give us a useful indicator of how people voted, but they are only a small sample – the actual vote is a secret ballot and although it is probable it reflects the same as the polls, it may not.
Even assuming it does accurately represent the overall shape of things, it is still unfair to make assumptions about individuals, or making sweeping statements about large groups of people based on that.
The media are highlighting a number of areas like this – age, social class, education and more – and while this may help us understand what has happened, it can also be dangerous and divisive. At its worst, it’s no better than the racism shown by some during the campaign.
So please – don’t assume. If you don’t know, give people the benefit of the doubt.