The Thoroughly Ridiculous EU Referendum Analogy

United Kingdom Airlines Flight 2306 is flying towards the English Channel on route to Brussels. On board are twenty people representing all types of British life.

During the flight, the pilot reports that the aircraft is currently descending and the plane starts to rock around violently. Although the pilot is confident that he can sort the problem, the passengers start to panic as time wears on with some deciding that the plane is doomed to crash.

They set about trying to sort out their solution.

Some decide that it would be better to jump than crash in the plane, but others point out that the fall will certainly kill them. But then one of the passengers, who just happened to be reading the tabloids that morning, announces that he had read that today is National Trampoline, Bouncy Castle and Piles of Pillows Day in the UK. In fact, according to his newspaper, 350 million Trampolines, Bouncy Castles and Pillow Piles are supposedly lining every field between London and Dover.

Many of the group decide it is worth chancing it, but one scientist (let’s call him Steven) points out that, even if these trampolines, bouncy castles and pillow piles are where they are supposed to be (because of a public holiday that he doesn’t believe actually exists), that still doesn’t guarantee that the fall won’t kill them.

So the passengers ask the pilot if they can use his radio. Meanwhile the scientist and a collection of assorted others, who aren’t that convinced by the trampoline idea, want to search the plane for either a solution to the planes problem or for parachutes. Unfortunately, the passengers are scared and panicking so the scientist is overruled.

Whilst on the radio, one passenger manages to get in touch with his friend (Donald) who works for a rival plane company as a plane engineer and doesn’t like the idea of British planes flying to Europe for some reason that he struggles to articulate but definitely isn’t racist. He declares that the plane is doomed and that the passengers’ best chance is to jump. He also says that he once heard a story about a guy jumping out of a plane and his parachute failing, but he still managed to survive because he landed in a pile of hay…

He goes on to mock the scientist for being disabled and suggests that the passengers build a wall between themselves and the one passenger of Mexican descent who happens to be on the flight.

The passengers think the wall idea is a little ridiculous and most outrightly reject the idea of ignoring the scientist based on his disability. But, because Donald is an expert, the pro-pillow-jumping passengers get ready to leap out confident that, even if they are wrong, they will still survive the fall.

A passenger, who likes to think of himself as uber-moral even if he does rub everyone else’s nose in it (let’s call him Bob Geldof), points out that the plane engineer’s reasons for not liking Europe didn’t quite makes sense and starts to question whether his intentions are purely honourable and in the passengers’ best interest. He is immediately shot down by another passenger (let’s call him Nick… no not Nick, something beginning with ‘N’… Nigel?… No, Norman, that’s it, Norman) who attacks him for being so outrageous as to suggest such a dreadful thing – because, as we all know, there is no such thing as racism in times of crisis or general debates…

But then, another passenger (let’s call him Maurice Micklewhite – he may have changed his name by this point though) starts to question whether it a good idea and wants to ask some more outsiders opinions. So the passengers get back on the radios and ask their friends and families. In so doing, they repeat the idea that there is National Trampoline, Bouncy Castle and Piles of Pillows Day in the UK and quote the plane engineer’s assertion that the plane is doomed. Fearful for the safety of their families, the relatives and friends agree that it is the best chance, despite the fact that one of them is driving between London and Dover and hasn’t (so far) seen a single bouncy castle, pillow pile or trampoline along the route.

Now the passengers are in a dilemma. They have been told it’s safe to jump but they still want to be democratic. They vote on what decision is best and, unsurprisingly, vote to jump out of the plane. They all jump out except one person – the pilot. Ten seconds after the passengers leave the plane, the pilot regains control of aircraft and lands safely in Brussels an hour later…

When he lands…

No wait. Actually, let’s make him a her… And let’s call her Nicola just to make sure that people don’t get the wrong idea and think I’m trying to say that all people with names beginning with ‘N’ are racist (a silly move considering my name begins with ‘N’ as well but there are some idiots out there who will try to argue that, I have no doubt). And also there’s a serious lack of women in this story so far – sorry about that.

So, Nicola it is.


Maybe Nicola discovers the cause of the malfunction – turbulence: potentially dangerous but not something that can’t be overcome. Maybe she also discovers that there are twenty-one parachutes on the plane along with life preservers, life rafts and those handy little whistles that you get for drawing attention to yourself. Maybe she also discovers that there is no such thing as a National Trampoline, Bouncy Castle and Piles of Pillows Day in the UK although there was one conveniently placed trampoline just outside Royal Tunbridge Wells that, whilst it caught one of the passengers when he landed, also managed to fling him in to a tree causing several broken bones and the nick-name ‘Tigger’ for the rest of his life.

But then, maybe it doesn’t matter what argument or evidence is found either way. Maybe (supposing the passengers find the parachutes) they still think it is a bad idea to use the them any way because the plane expert told them of one time when a parachute failed so now all the passengers are worried that their’s might fail too…

Ridiculous analogy, right?

The passengers panic and jump out of the plane.

Had they waited a few minutes, the pilot might have righted the plane and taken them all to safety. Even if that had worked, the scientist and his friends might have found those twenty-one parachutes and saved them all. Even if they hadn’t found the parachutes, there was still just as much chance that they would survive bailing out a little later than they did.

Once they bailed out there was no turning back.

And yet that was the first solution they leapt to…

There have been a lot of analogies flying around because of the EU and most of them are just as pointlessly, ridiculous as the one I’ve written here (although admittedly I had great fun doing it). The only difference is that at least my analogy comes fairly close to representing how people react in moments of crisis and panic – and we are definitely in a crisis one way or another.

So why don’t we quit with the statements like ‘it’s like hurtling on a train’ or ‘it’s like going into a bar and…’ and just deal with the facts?

And if you’re response is…

‘No, Nick, we need to deal with analogies otherwise people won’t understand our logic…’

Then maybe you need to ask yourself this:

‘What facts are you trying to manipulate by dealing in analogies?’

Because I just wrote an analogy – and I can tell you this for nothing, there was a fair amount of manipulation of facts in there!

Incidentally, if you want to hear more of Nick’s Ridiculous Real World Analogies, please leave your comments below to let me know to keep writing them – I had great fun doing it, but I imagine I’m going to piss a lot of people off…

Almost make’s it worth it :p



One thought on “The Thoroughly Ridiculous EU Referendum Analogy”

  1. I’m nearly happy that I was never asked if I want to be a member of the EC. Meaning that there never was a vote if or if not. I’m German by the way (to make matters worse, living with my French girlfriend in Belgium and my cat could be from Luxembourg). So asking me if I want to be member of the EC or not is kind of pointless anyway. And parachutes are for managers and politicians, at least the golden ones.

    Liked by 1 person

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