Friday, 4 November 2016

Will these people listen to themselves?

Guido Fawkes lists reactions from leaders of the various Leave EU factions to the High Court ruling that the UK parliament must have a vote before the prime minister tells the EU president that she wants to take the country out of the European Union. Words such as "betrayal", "attempt to block or delay", "out of touch with the people" and "activist judges" leap out at one. It is all very reminiscent of David Blunkett's attacks (like this one) on the judiciary when he was Labour's Home Secretary.

Her Majesty's Press have gone even further. The Guardian reproduces the front page of today's Daily Mail branding high court judges "enemies of the people".

It seems to me that the justices have done no more than affirm that while referendums may advise, parliament is sovereign and that government is bound by the will of our elected parliament. I am sure that the majority of people corresponding with me who voted "leave", stating that they wanted their country back, respect British institutions, including our parliament and our independent judiciary. My "leaver" friends are not well served by the people who drove the referendum who, it seems, do not trust the MPs who gave them the referendum in the first place nor the judges who reasserted that the UK is still a representative democracy.

One is reassured by the fact that, while David Blunkett voiced his neo-fascist feelings while holding one of the great offices of state, today's would-be dictators are only on the fringes of power. On the other hand, there are rather too many of them.

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