Friday, 25 November 2016
Referendum reenactment society
I just listened to Alastair Campbell on BBC Any Questions. Yes yes I know, I need to go out and make some friends. Between Blair, Major and the old gang we really are seeing a last ditch remain attempt. As bad as its proponents are the shrillness tells me that they really have lost the game. Everything in between now and Article 50 is just noise. Between a hated old elite and a Labour party that doesn't even know what the single market is, the remainers have lost it completely.
There I days when I look at the shambles of the leave crew and the weakness of their narrative and think we are not leaving - but this swansong of the remainers puts me at ease. It is an alliance of the deceivers. The people who now believe in having second referendums are the very people most averse to the idea of first referendums. Because they would, by their own admission, lose them. These are the people who had to ram through the Maastricht and Lisbon Treaties, doing everything they could to avoid any kind of consultation.
The message now is that we are so hopelessly dependent on the EU for wealth and prosperity that we cannot leave. Effectively what the old gang are saying is that their legacy is irreversible - as indeed it was intended to be. Except of course all these treaties are, at the end of the day, just pieces of paper and articles of faith. Nothing in law or politics is irreversible. It is only a question of whether we are willing to pay the price. Turns out for all their shrieking that we are.
In this, virtually nobody thinks a second referendum is a good idea. There's no space for one. A referendum after Article 50 is triggered is simply presents a choice of hard Brexit or whatever is negotiated. A referendum before Article 50 is triggered is just a vote that says "we heard what you said, we don't like the result, so fuck off plebs, we're going again!". As bankrupt as that is, this government is not going to propose it so why it is even up for debate beats the hell out of me.
Effectively what we are seeing is the old gang still in denial. The democracy dodging dinosaurs are still in disbelief that the majority of people would quite happily bin their collective legacy. I don't deny that these are influential people but they have missed their window to act. Should we stay in the EU as a result of their string pulling it would be yet one more sign that the system is impervious to democracy and we would teach that to a new generation. There's no escaping it. The will to leave the EU will last for as long as there is an EU. It is now a generational saga.
For all the exchange of sophisticated arguments among the political class, of which you and I are a part, the man in the Almondsbury Social Club knows only one thing. He voted to leave and expects that to be honoured. Should we stay in the EU he will tell his children that voting doesn't matter. That has consequences and ultimately that would be the true legacy of the old gang.
The bottom line is that Britain voted, for whatever reason, to leave the EU. The old gang can offer up whatever reasoning they like but I promise you that it wasn't because of something written on the side of a bus. The raw sentiment was a rejection of a political class that thinks their grand designs should not be subject to the approval of voters. The Referendum Reenactment Society of Campbell, Blair and Major can only ever demonstrate why Brexit was necessary. The more they say the more relaxed I am that we are leaving the European Union.