As a subject, Perpetual Political Idiocy is becoming as annoying as that of Payment Protection Insurance. Unfortunately whilst we can, to a certain extent, ignore the latter the former is becoming more and more of a problem.
On 27th June following the result of the referendum, David Cameron, speaking in the House of Commons, said:
…. But it is right that when we consider questions of this magnitude, we don’t just leave it to politicians but rather listen directly to the people. And that is why Members from across this House voted for a referendum by a margin of almost 6 to 1…..
If the people have the right to decide ‘questions of magnitude’ then should they not also have the right to decide questions of lesser magnitude – after all, as with the referendum, do not said questions of lesser magnitude also affect their lives and that of their country? The question of magnitude is neither here nor there, is it, where their lives and the future of their country is concerned?
Only yesterday we had an ‘opinion piece‘ by William Hague in the Telegraph in which he wrote: …….It seems unlikely that Theresa May has any legal need to ask parliament to approve the invoking of Article 50, which is a matter of royal prerogative to be exercised by ministers. Yet she does have a political need to do so, so that parliament will have made a decision to ratify the referendum outcome, and to forestall debates, plots, motions and laws proposed and promoted by others……. No – and leaving to one side the ‘legalities’ – Theresa May does not have a political need to consult Parliament to ratify the referendum outcome – did not Parliament cede its right to decide this issue by granting a referendum?
Addressing to his party faithful, as Leader, in 2001, he ended said address with these words:
……..;if you believe in Britain as a country that will work with its neighbours but never submit to being governed by anyone else; if you believe in an independent Britain.Then come with me, and I will give you back your country.
This from a man who, a decade later, so obviously did not believe in an independent Britain, did not believe that it should be governed by anyone else. I will give you back your country? Since when was this country the possession of a politician? (As an aside, was Hague’s statement the origin of Farage’s meme of We want our country back – but I digress)
John Maynard Keynes is reported to have said to a critic: When events change, I change my mind. What do you do? When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir? When my information changes, I alter my conclusions. What do you do, sir? When someone persuades me that I am wrong, I change my mind. What do you do? But then Keynes was not faced with the choice of abandoning his principles against the lure (and perks) of a political office just below the one once coveted – but yet again, possibly, I digress?
Yes, a case can be made for a second referendum on Brexit, but only one that asks whether the terms finally negotiated are acceptable; after all, having voted to leave does not logic also dictate that said terms are for those who decided toleave? To argue that a negative vote to that question means the vote to leave should then be reversed would be an insult to democracy – but, again, the entire process following the vote to leave has been an insult to democracy — has it not?
When two MPs make a public statement about the right of the British people to set their own tax burden – but cannot – following which they are publicly confronted with a rebuttal and then chose to ignore said rebuttal, presumably because said rebuttal is not by one of their constituents, what price democracy?
It is impossible to have democracy where some questions are decided by decree when those doing the decreeing are those that exercise democratic dictatorship; ie, they are deciding when the people they rule can have their voice heard and thus decide the future of not only their own lives but that of their country. Did we not, as a nation, oppose communism for that very reason; did we not fight two world wars for that very reason?
Brexit is Brexit we have been informed by our present Prime Minister (who, let us not forget. sided with her predecessor to remain part of the European Union) and Brexit ‘may’ or ‘may’ not happen. Coupled with a dictatorial political class, we also have a media who will write anything supportive of said political class in order to ‘earn a crust’, while at the same time ignoring reality and fact.
So, two questions, people:
- What price the result of any referendum granted from ‘on high’; which, in turn, prompts:
- Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
The answer to which must, logic dictates, be the introduction of direct democracy.