When Democracy Is the Song We Sing (But Only When We’re Winning)
Lies, deceit, and misinformation—why we can’t honestly say the 2016 referendum was a reflection of people’s choice.
We hear a lot of discussion about “Democracy” but the definition can be as polarised as the referendum result itself.
To a section of leave voters, democracy is a one time statement of intent, in this case to leave the European Union, to a section of Remain voters, it’s fair play, honesty and the ability to change one’s mind.
But as the forebears of Democracy, British democracy is filled with foibles and quirks, from many hundreds of years and thousands of sitting members of Parliament.
So, given the referendum result, why do leave voters feel they have a case for another referendum or a revocation?
The answer to this is like politics itself, a mix of events and statements, that cause many a lay person to phase out and pray it all goes away.
The first stage is to establish if there is any common ground; and the simple answer is yes, both leave and remain are in agreement that way back in 2016, there was a small majority for leave.
So given that both sides agree on the result, why do remain voters believe that they have a right to fight the result?
Well, if one thing is certain, it’s that the British love fair play, and will happily and graciously accept defeat if it’s “right.” But there is growing indignation at the “lies,” that previcated the initial result, and the continued statements of leading politicians including the PM that “we must uphold the referendum result” - because to this goes against the DNA of the typical British citizen.
For example, we have the famous bus that paraded around making wild claims about the cost of the EU and how that money if not spent would be instantly available for the NHS.
The NHS £350 million bus—seen by voters as indicative of the instant savings possible.
Okay, so that’s one point; but are there any others?
Well actually yes! Many politicians, public figures and eminent society members threw in their ideas of how wonderful and easy “Brexit” would be, or even the process to which we would choose the path in the event that we had a leave result:
“We could have two referendums, as it happens it might make more sense to have a second referendum after the negotiations are completed”—Jacob Rees-Mogg
Or we could have a look at ‘vote leave’ who on March 29th gave up their legal appeal after being fined for electoral offences.
Maybe we could look at all the false promises about how easy it will be, and how everyone will be fighting over themselves to give us trade deals!
But haven’t Remain lied too? Well in truth everything remain put forward as the worst case are yet to fully come into fruition, as we as yet are still a member of the European Union, and though there has been much of the foretelling start to happen, the UK economic situation remains quite strong, in spite of the leave vote, as many companies attempt to ride out the situation in the hope that the worst case doesn’t happen, though sadly we are already paying a very large cost for the indecision and political uncertainty.
So was the leave vote a true reflection of the will of the people? Yes, it was, was the leave vote a reflection of truth and understanding? No, in a large majority of cases it wasn’t.
Are the remain voters anti-democratic by wishing to keep fighting? Or actually they true patriots, to whom truth and justice are the cornerstones of their identities? Only time will tell. But for now we are into Brexit day plus two and still no further to admissions of guilt, apology or reconciliation than we were at Brexit day -1000.