There’s been lots on social media about being a sore loser over the last few days. Usually it’s a sort of ‘you lost, now let’s get on with it’ sort of thing. Quite often though it gets personal: taunts of ‘bad loser’ and it becomes insulting.
There’s certainly such a thing as been a good loser after all most of us encourage our kids to be a good loser for the times when that skill is needed. But we also encourage our kids to be good winners too and not lord it over others when we come out on top. It’s not seen to be very polite or very British is it?
What I haven’t seen after the referendum result has been much ‘good winning’. It may just be that the good winners are less vocal and if that is the case we all need those good winners to speak up to balance things out.
A good winner would not be looking to force through a major change to this country on the basis of a slender and unstable majority. A good winner would be embarrassed by the scale of the lies told by the Leave campaign (you know those claims that were denied almost as soon as the ballot closed) and worried about the validity of a result that could be associated with those lies. By the way I am aware that both sides could have cleaned up their campaigning, but I think the Leave claims were particularly blatant. Also, I think a good winner would be dismayed at the prospect of our country splitting up as a result of referendum and I think they’d be wanting to slam on the brakes. A good winner would be dismayed and ashamed by the upsurge of racist incidents since the vote and would wholeheartedly condemn them , without feeling the need to make defensive comments about not all Leave supporters being racist.
I am not expecting a sainted, entirely self-sacrificing winner of course. It is right that they should expect to make some political mileage out of the victory. But, I don’t see a good winner as someone who is willing to push forward quickly in the current circumstances. Maybe they should be pushing for a second referendum or a General Election, maybe negotiate with the EU (although I think that door may not be very open). Come on good winners, where are you? Are you going to make yourselves heard?