Brexit: James O'Brien caller on why poorer people voted "against their interests"

15 January 2020, 16:27 | Updated: 15 January 2020, 16:48

This caller explains to James O'Brien in an illuminating conversation why poorer members of society like him have been persuaded "to vote against their interests" in Brexit.

"People are living longer in Richmond-upon-Thames than they would in Tower Hamlets and that's just based on the quality of air," said the caller Sean, who told James he is currently in poverty.

Sean continued the reason him and other poorer people live shorter lives is due to sugar intake and lower quality meat as "we can't afford to buy organic meat that's good for the gut. We're absorbing all these unhealthy bacterias."

James said anyone who suggests otherwise would be pitched in the media as being "interfering do-gooders or virtue signalling.

"It's almost as if there's a massive amount of effort and money being spent on persuading poor people to stay unhealthy and have shorter lives and the money's all being spent by very wealthy people who absolutely do not mysteriously fund think tanks and right-wing outfits, who are massively overrepresented in the news.

"That'd be awful if that were the case. Imagine if those people got jobs in government."

Sean said the reason poorer people voted "against their interests" in the EU referendum was due to a "cognitive dissonance" between ideas and the reality. His example was chlorinated chicken which is a cleansing method practised in US chicken farms and is currently banned by EU health legislation.

Sean said by voting for Brexit could mean "this is more unhealthy meat coming into societies. We're voting against our interests."

James asked, "How do you end up persuading people who already have the dirty end of the stick to vote for more dirt?"

"Unfortunately people are not going to realise until it impacts them," Sean said, "and that's the sad part."

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