People's Vote

I've not reflected on the Brexit process for some time - partly due to having my mind occupied with other, less fraught occurrences, but also partly because by the time I've absorbed one catastrophe another has come along to one-up the former.

I'm not one of the bored-by-brexiters that the media likes to hold up as an individual who, while they may have voted strongly one way or another back in 2016, is now so bored of the whole process that they 'Just want to get it done'. And, in fact, I think this designation is actually quite insulting. I don't necessarily think that anyone is actually bored by the biggest, most potentially ruinous political process that has taken place during my lifetime; what I think people are bored by is the prevarication, repetition and sloganeering employed by those in power, when what everyone really actually needs is a straight answer to their questions.

It literally sets my teeth on edge every time

I think that the problem now is that the only ones who *are* actually capable of speaking straightforwardly are those who come down firmly and unabashedly on one side or the other: the fervent remain advocates will quite happily say "Yes, Brexit is a disaster" when asked. Ardant brexiteers will state whatever mumbo-jumbo is doing the rounds that week, but they will do it with conviction, and that's what counts. 

Politicians who have more care for their pay-packets than the actual responsibilities of their position will ramble and obfuscate, and do anything to avoid looking as though they are siding with an opinion. Cue a merry-go-round of stock responses that are now boring the electorate to tears with their ineffective predictability.

Since momentum began to swell behind a People's Vote, Ms May has repeatedly claimed that there will be no second referendum. I think this is a clever piece of verbal gymnastics from her: since we know that the more stridently she denies that something will take place, the more likely that the thing will happen becomes. However, she is using the words "second referendum" meaning that should she lose the vote in the House of Commons in December, she can quite happily initiate a People's Vote, all the while claiming that it is *not*, in fact, a second referendum, but it is a consultation on the deal that has been negotiated in Brussels (which is exactly what those pushing for this outcome are saying anyway, but hey ho.)

I love the quote on the right - a shame it came from DD... 

Those who suggest that this would be a betrayal of democracy, I suggest, have a fundamental misunderstanding not only of what democracy actually *is*, its history and workings, but are also willingly blind to the many inaccuracies and seeming illegalities of the original campaign.

Surely it is more democratic to have a check that the 'will of the people' (another phrase I despise) remains that same now that a deal has been negotiated? That the 'people', of whom I assume I am one, want the government to continue this reckless slow-motion crash, knowing now what the outcome might be, or whether, having seen the offer available, think "You know what, let's leave things as they are..." Those who argue that this is an undemocratic usurpation of the referendum are ignoring the fact that many of the promises made during the campaign have been proved false, or have been rendered unachievable by this deal.

It seems that the Second Referendum idea was only palatable when it seemed that Remain would win the campaign...

People who claim that 'this isn't how democracy works', and that we can't just keep voting because we don't like what we got the first time around, again, are fundamentally blinding themselves to how it works in this country: we do keep voting if we don't like what we've got - that's what a frickin' General Election is all about, and, despite the fixed-term parliament act, it's just fine and dandy for those in power to call one whenever they think that they can get away with it. Every few years we have an election based on promises and premises: then, if after a few years we decide that those that are in power haven't fulfilled their brief, we elect someone else to have a go. That's what should happen here - as I said at the end of the previous paragraph: the promises made by the campaigns to Leave have been disproved. Maybe something else needs a shot?

Finally, while the conduct of several members of various Leave campaigns are under investigation for potentially illegal conduct, many from the official campaign are distancing themselves from the scandal and attempting to emphasise that these were distinct from the government-backed movement. But how many voters would have made the distinction at the time between a government mandated advertisement, or one that was funded by a group with the same name but the 'dot' in a different place? If illegalities were committed during the campaign which may have influenced the outcome, then the outcome should be rendered moot and we should have another ask with *actual* facts on the table.

People's Vote March
Image Source:

All of this is to say that I support a People's Vote. Actually, I support someone who might have the courage to stand up and admit that this whole thing has become an expensive and time-consuming shit-show that is distracting the government from doing their actual jobs of looking after a country that has fallen into crisis. It needs to be stopped, and soon.


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