Democracy or Tyranny?
It’s only been about than two and a half years since the people’s vote, not only have we not officially left yet, our own parliament is still split over the reality of what we told them in 2016.
The question for MPs is not what to do, we already told them to “leave the European Union”, what they are split over is whether to do it. That this is even a question now shows the precarious state of our constitution and democracy brought about by those unwilling to accept the democratic result. I would expect this in some dodgy dictatorial state, or perhaps one of the communist regimes, not in the home of Magna Carta.
This is simply the continuation of the Remain campaign. Un-democratic MPs sitting as an EU fifth column in the Commons, and un-democratic Remain supporters on the street and in the media, collude to hold up and water down what could have been a productive 30 months of preparing for a prosperous clean Brexit. The sneering dismissiveness towards Brexit voters occasionally breaks out into stubborn tyranny from the likes of Soubry or Rudd as they insist that one more vote would do it.
What are we to make of these home grown tyrants who are willing to overturn the very democracy which gave them their positions? Surely they cannot expect us to take seriously their calls for a second people’s vote, when they stubbornly refuse to enact the first. Apparently this next one will be a ‘final vote’, but only because they didn’t like the result of the last one which we were also assured was final. It’s a gamble they are willing to take with our constitution, crisis or no, because they don’t believe in Britain anyway, having fully supported the inexorable transfer of powers to the EU without our say so. They have nothing to lose and everything to gain by their ‘double or nothing’ vote again tactics. But what can they offer to the pot which Brexiteers have not already won? Nothing.
There is no reason to entertain their histrionics any longer, but endure them we will and resist them we must.
Online I continue to meet the same arguments rehearsed ad nauseam before the referendum and for the intervening period. Apparently there is still going to be a cataclysm in March 2019. You know, the one that failed to happen in June 2016 after the result, and failed to happen again in March 2017 when article 50 was invoked, that cataclysm. In addition apparently Brexiteers are still not paying attention to the facts and didn’t know what we were voting for. But were facts not presented by the Remain campaign during the referendum? And were Remainers granted a special ability to ‘know what they were voting for’ (Even though the EU now and the EC back in 1975 are quite quite different beasts)? Clearly no one voting in 1975 knew what they were voting for, and the crystal ball offered no further clarity in 2016 while the likes of Clegg denied such things as an EU army as a ‘dangerous fantasy’ when that’s precisely what is following. Not knowing the future cannot be a serious objection when it is the natural state of humanity (and when politicians don’t know, or lie about it when they do *cough* Ted Heath *cough*).
My experience since the referendum has taught me that people voted for different reasons and with different motivations. My Remain friends by-and-large pushed their economic arguments and predictions, while my Brexit friends pushed their sovereignty and home rule arguments and wishes. No amount of facts or predictions in the economic realm will persuade if the foundation of your vote is based in sovereignty. Likewise no amount of home rule arguments will answer if your foundation was economic predictions that are based on EU membership. It’s apples and pears. Brexiteers are from Mars and Remainers are from Venus.
Differences of opinion are facts of life, but what’s really galling is the superiority through which Brexiteers are criticised as being too uneducated and uninformed to have this most important say in their future. Meanwhile the serf-like abandonment of self-determination so many Remainers seem to exhibit as they call for the future to be determined by selected experts and taken out of the hands of the ordinary person is incomprehensible. But who is this expert and how can we agree on who they are? Don’t Remainers see that choosing the expert is in essence the same problem as deciding what to do? Which is – who gets to choose?
Given the fundamental difference, between people’s world views, how should one decide a matter of such import and division? Civil war? No. The alternative to violence, is decided by the exercise of democracy – in this case the 2016 people’s vote. There would be a winning side, and a losing side (obviously). The Brexit side won.
The tragedy is that many Remainers could not accept they had lost. It is this which is causing any chaos in the intervening period. If only those Remainers had been as for democracy after the result as they suddenly are now they want a re-run. The opposition of the un-democrats has provided the fuel for the delays and prevaricating and bad dealing we have seen. Many have spent the time since the referendum continuing to campaign for Remain. Did they not understand? The vote was final! I think they did understand, but the self-important moral superiority of some justifies the division they have created and perpetuated. Not because it has majority acceptance – but because they firmly believe they are right, and the winners were wrong. They become the tyrants of C. S. Lewis description oppressing others “…for the good of [their] victims, …without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
In this they miss the whole point of why we use democracy instead of war. We don’t actually know who was ‘right’ in the long view, but we do know who won. And if a democratic victory can be overthrown by a tyrant (even a well meaning one) what other avenue is left for making decisions?
Dan Liddicott, Libertarian Party Midlands Region Coordinator and Home Affairs Spokesman