A social worker guides a filmmaker through Stainforth, where 69% of the turnout wanted out of the EU
Almost two weeks after the majority of the UK’s citizens voted to leave the European Union in a referendum, most column inches and news reports have focussed on how those who voted to remain have been coming to terms with the surprise result. With polls predicting that the Remain side would easily carry it in the final days leading up to the vote, the days since have been marked by huge demonstrations, backtracking by Leave campaigners, the race for Downing St, and Lindsay Lohan.
While the debate rumbles on – and reports of hate crimes on British streets increased by 57% – not much has been heard from the voters in the North of England, whose strong and historic turnout helped the Leave side clinch a victory in the early hours of the morning on Friday, June 24th.
Four days after the vote, an independent filmmaker named Sheena Sumaria made the journey to Stainforth, a satellite village of Doncaster in Yorkshire, where 69% of the turnout voted for the Brexit. A former mining town, the site of the divisive strikes in the mid-80s against the unforgiving economic policies of Margaret Thatcher, Sumaria was guided around Stainforth by a local social worker, Sheena Moore.
Driving around the village, Moore outlines her reasons for voting no, with random passersby also interviewed, explaining their own reasons and what they hope a new Britain will look like. Their stories reveal a culture that feels entirely ignored and forgotten by the wealthier south, a way of life that has been brought to its knees by decades of British politics and EU legislation.
“We see the south has been privileged. When you go to London you can see and feel the wealth. You certainly can’t see or feel the wealth here,” the social worker explains.
Viewed more than 81,000 times since it débuted last week, the video has drawn criticism and praise for its honest portrayal of why the people in depressed communities like these voted in their millions to opt out of the European Union.
You can watch Why we voted leave: voices from northern England in full below.