Monday, 23 September 2019

You want to stand by a dodgy decision? Really?

The BBC in its vox pops continues to find respondents who voted Remain "but now just want to get out", many who voted Leave and who opine that making a clean break with the EU is the only democratic course. Admittedly, they send their young reporters out to areas of West Midlands which recorded the highest percentage of Leave votes, but my personal experience and that of my friends is that the Leave vote is softening. We would like to see the BBC surveying one of those constituencies which voted Leave in 2016 but whose citizens were among the most keen to sign the "Revoke Article 50" petition.

Let us clear this anti-democratic issue for a start. The 2016 was mandatory only because one of the worst prime ministers in UK history said it was. The legislation and the official House of Commons advice stated the traditional legal position, that referendums in this country are only advisory. This country has operated as a representative democracy for nearly one thousand years, on and off. For Johnson and the ERG to claim that a referendum, bedevilled by fake news and voters taking a pop at the government just because it is the government, is more democratic than the deliberations of MPs is too reminiscent of Hitler and Goebbels. By the way, those MPs who voted in favour of the Iraq invasion were quite ready to admit that they were wrong, and that they had been swayed by false evidence. If MPs are big enough to do this, then why not ordinary members of the public, given a further referendum.

The referendum campaign resembled one of those murder trials in certain areas of the States, where the DA fabricates evidence to convict a poor black, who is represented by an advocate who is drunk or incompetent or both. On finding out that their verdict was flawed, do the jurors feel that their decision should stand, even though it was wrong, and the convict should be executed? Fortunately, the States' judicial systems do allow for appeals.

And if intransigent Leavers insist that there should be just one referendum and we must abide by it, I would point out that we had one 1975 which, free of fake news, returned a two-thirds vote in favour of Remaining.

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