The UK – EU referendum: An analogy

landscape-644323_1920I don’t normally stray into politics, however there is an excellent article by Alicia Ngomo on FinExtra, who relates some of what she has been hearing regarding the EU referendum.

I have been hearing something similar and agree it is concerning.

It appears decisions being made based on impressions, not facts, with real experts not being listened too and armchair experts given equal airtime. No wonder people are confused.

This is an important decision and important we all listen. Expert opinions matter and we need to fully understand the potential consequence of such a decision. I feel this not the case at the moment.

The story below explains why…

    One morning you are on an airplane. Onboard is an experienced crew. They are all highly trained, have been doing this for years and it is relatively routine.

    Then mid flight some passengers decide they don’t like how the plane is being flown. They are frustrated about being told what to do; when to put away their bags, fasten their seat belts, even when they can go to the toilet….. the route being flown is just too slow.

    They feel there a better way, less rules, less regulations, quicker and at a lower altitude. It should be warmer and everyone agrees they like being warmer.

    The pilots quickly advise there is a reason for the rules and there is bad weather using the alternative route. At a lower altitude their is also the danger of mountains.

    However there is disagreement and a large number of passengers, led by a couple that have had experience flying kites, demand a vote. “We could even open the windows and doors if we fly lower” they explain… cheers erupt.

    So a vote is held. It is a binding decision.

    Strangely some of the passengers don’t seem to be bothered by this. “It’s okay” they say, “the drinks trolley came before, it will come again and I will have another glass of wine, who cares…”

    The rest of the passengers, together with the entire cabin crew, go white with fear. “This is crazy” they explain, “I have flown for years, it is not a good idea”.

    The vote goes through and a majority, 45%, vote for the change. So the autopilot is set, the plane turns, sets a new route and descends into the cloud.

    The storm is quite unlike anything any the passengers have felt before. This is the reason storms are normally best avoided, they now realise… together with the importance of wearing your seatbelt.

    By now, the passengers are now all screaming “change direction”, but it is now too late to return to the old route.

    Despite the heroic efforts of the crew, the plane is now too low….. it is unfortunately not what anyone really wanted that morning.

The moral of the story: Sometimes it is worth listening to trained experts, facts, and fully understand consequences of a decision. Yes there may be niggling annoyances, but it is often less risky to stay the course and make smaller changes more gradually.

9/10 experts say we should remain in the EU.

[Disclosure: For me, the consequences of leaving outweigh any benefits and we should definitely stay in].

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