What’s my problem with politics now?
Just look at the power struggles in the Conservative party… Was this referendum all about their little leadership contest? Apparently David Cameron, Boris Johnson, George Osborne and Michael Gove were best friends during their days at Oxford and it seems now their ‘friendly’ rivalries have spilled over to become the epicentre of a pivotal point in the UK’s history. The unfolding (melo-)drama really is like something out of a Shakespeare play. Haven’t we established already how out of touch these guys are with the needs of ordinary people?
Who has any idea where we’re going from here? When will Article 50 be triggered? Will it be triggered? Or, a question I believe not yet settled: should it be triggered?
The referendum may have answered the question of whether the majority (however narrow) of the British public want it to be – and I wouldn’t argue with the outcome – but that is not the same question.
Is it really so preposterous, if we take all the point scoring and nitpicking out of this, to suggest a ‘leave’ vote doesn’t automatically settle the issue once and for all?
Besides, how do we think the leave campaign would have reacted if it came out 52-48 in favour of Remain? I can imagine Nigel Farage standing up in the European parliament and saying he still “wasn’t giving up the fight to one day take Britain out of the EU” regardless of the result…
It’s kind of like the Scottish referendum issue that’s once again raising its head – there would have been another chance for us to come out of the EU if it was the best decision, in the country’s best interests… What we’re seeing now isn’t in the country’s best interests at all. What we’ve seen in the past week, with the deception, game playing and name calling at the top tables, has been enough to see at least some of those who voted leave now express regret that they did so.
Where’s the common sense in modern day politics? Is democracy really that cut and dry? Is it really that inflexible, to the point where, once a decision has been made on one single day out of 365 in a year, it is then set in stone regardless of anyone’s opinion – indeed, regardless of the facts on the table – following on from that?
This is the path on which dictatorships are born… In this case, while it may sound silly, we are being dictated to by democratic rules. By politicians who continue to say what they think we want to hear. Remain campaigners now saying we need to commit fully to leaving – because their loyalty lies with the majority, albeit in this case a narrow one.
You might disagree. How then do you justify shutting down the opinions of the 48% who did not agree with you? Oh, I agree we would have had a similar situation if ‘Remain’ had won… But the difference being, that everyone would have expected ‘euro-skeptics’ to continue to voice their opinions going forward anyway, and we would have had to listen. Their dissenting voices are what would have kept the EU and our own government accountable. It would have been essential that they didn’t just ‘shut up’ once the issue had been settled (because we would’ve known, unless Remain had won by a landslide, that it wouldn’t have been truly settled).
For some reason, though, the 48% who voted remain are now being told they have to ‘shut up and accept’ the outcome. Well, I really don’t think you should; I don’t think any of us should have to ‘shut up’ and accept any result we’re not happy with.
Apparently we should just ‘accept that we lost’ if we dare to suggest Brexit might – just maybe – be a bad idea (as if because 52% said so, it suddenly becomes a good one). The thing is, I don’t think ‘accepting we lost’ is our problem. Surely the ‘remain’ camp knows damn well that it lost. My problem (as I can only speak for myself) is with what looks like coming after that.
If this is what democracy means – that when you lose the vote, you therefore lose your voice – then it has indeed failed us.
Besides, it’s already been acknowledged – it was acknowledged within hours of the result – that some voted under false pretences, thinking certain things would happen that have since not happened. Many of us suspect that’s only the start of it.
Yet still, we are seemingly bound by this vote as if it is law? Only because these politicians care more about their careers (by pandering to each other and the 52%) than what’s in the best interests of the country? That is unacceptable!!
So what are the rest of us going to do about it? Shall we let ourselves leave the EU without a fight, and see our future go up in smoke? Or shall we stand up and be counted? Are we prepared to admit, no matter which way we vote in any situation, that we might have been wrong?
Or let our pride take us out of the EU and into possible oblivion… That is what I believe we’ll get for stubbornly ‘following the rules’ of democracy and listening to those who say it’s impossible to change our minds on this. It isn’t impossible – yet. Our fate with the EU is not set in stone until Article 50 is initiated; at which point it really will be full throttle, no turning back, for better or… no, for worse I’m sure.
The people still have a chance, a window of opportunity before it snaps shut, to stand up and fight this. For 48% of us, our voice isn’t being heard, nor will it be heard as long as we’re trapped under that 50% threshold. That’s probably the sad truth. We’re no longer the government’s chosen audience.
We need to try and change that. Otherwise, the farcical situation we’re seeing now regarding the Conservative and Labour leadership might only mark the beginning of the much bigger farce that ‘Brexit’ will be known as.
P.S. On politicians: these guys (naming no one in particular – just assume I mean the majority) may soon realise that treating people as if they’re stupid no longer works in politics. In their world it often seems to revert back to primitive name calling and accusations designed to discredit the opposing side. Hint: humans have a natural inclination to rebel if given the slightest reason. Most of them don’t have the balls to do it openly, but a voting booth, rather like the Internet, gives them the opportunity to do so without having to deal with the immediate consequences. This referendum may have been one such example, with a ‘leave’ vote representing a prime opportunity to ‘stick it to the man’.
Fair enough, most of us think for ourselves anyway but for those who were torn on which way to vote in this case, the government’s attitude may just have been the tipping point, and in coming across as (dare I say) rather arrogant in their campaign, they in turn partly ensured their (our) own defeat.