“I don’t want to pay for stuff! But I want stuff!” There’s a certain type of voter who comes into their own during referendums. First of all, indignation is the order of the day. They are pissed off with everyone, which given the state of things, is understandable. But scratch a little deeper, and you encounter the reality. Take the Fiscal Compact Treaty. They will give out yards about there being “no information”, despite the guides in newspapers and websites and leaflets put out by the Referendum Commission. Say that to them, of course, and you get “I haven’t time to read all that!” Yet he still has opinions, based on some five minutes of some big mouth giving it loads on “Joe Duffy”. God forbid anyone should challenge his half-informed half-baked opinions, because he regards that as a breach of his human rights. When you correct him that No, Russia is NOT in the EU, he accuses you of being patronising because he has a RIGHT to believe that Russia is in the EU, and you are a member of the elite for disputing his right to believe that. It’s the same with taxes and government services. He bitches about not being able to afford to pay €2 a week for his Household Charge, but spends €10 a week on the lotto. He whines about how much tax he pays (always overstating the percentage because he doesn’t actually know how much he pays) and gripes about how everything from Doctor’s visits to the television licence should be free, paid magically by someone else.
But here’s the thing: it is not solely his fault. All his adult life he has had politicians tell him that all the things he says are right and correct. Of course he should get the fruit of the labours of others! Isn’t he entitled? After all, if everyone is telling him that his clothes are so fine, sure why would he believe that he was actually bollock naked?