I wrote immediately before this referendum that, whatever the result, the best thing about it was it had finally emboldened large swathes of the Left and the establishment to go public about something we had always suspected – their contempt for democracy and their loathing of the working class.
However, even having written that only four days ago, I am still shocked and appalled by just how brazen these people have been in expressing that sentiment since it became clear the people had decisively voted to leave the European Union. Never mind the armies of cyber-crybullies having mental breakdowns publicly on Twitter and Facebook and calling everyone who voted Leave stupid, ignorant, racist, and xenophobic – that’s what people who live on social media do when they’re upset, sadly.
But in truly shocking scenes, we have this weekend seen Labour MP David Lammy publicly call for the referendum result to be ignored by Parliament on the basis it was “advisory” and “non-binding”; later softening his stance to the need for a second referendum because “the consequences of Brexit are too grave” – by which he means, wrong answer, try again!
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron, finally dropping the pretence of being either liberal or democratic, announced his party would campaign on a platform of stopping Brexit in the 2020 general election. SNP leader and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has also said she will ask MSPs in Holyrood to derail the process. Arguably most shocking of all, though in a sense least surprising, United Nations special representative of the Secretary-General for international migration Peter Sutherland, himself an Irishman, tweeted “somehow this result must be overturned.”
The younger generation in UK has been sacrificed all because of distortion of facts & consequences. Somehow this result must be overturned.
— Peter Sutherland (@PDSutherlandUN) June 25, 2016
For many people, this referendum was literally the first time they have ever felt powerful, the first time they ever felt they could actually change anything. Politicians have spent decades trying to figure out why engagement in politics was so low, particularly amongst the poorest in society. But, like most people who are the cause of their own problems, they couldn’t see the answer was staring at them in the face – that no matter how often they voted, no matter who they voted for, nothing ever changed. Because they wouldn’t let it.
In this referendum, working class people voted in overwhelming numbers, decisively swinging the result even in areas which were expected to vote Remain. With only two options on the ballot paper, they finally saw an opportunity to register their views in a way in which they could not possibly be interpreted, invalidated, or ignored. Yet that is exactly what the Left and large swathes of the establishment are now clamouring to do. They just. Don’t. Get it.
The arguments are all the same. People are too stupid to know what they were voting for. There were lies told on the winning and/or losing side which invalidates the result. We only went to the proles for advice, haha, we still know better. This is too important an issue to put in the hands of idiot people. They didn’t mean to vote Leave, really, they were just angry at the Tories and globalisation. The Left are entirely right in saying this referendum has exposed a crisis in our democracy, but not in the way they think. It has exposed a political elite and left wing establishment which only pretends to believe in democracy when it goes their way.
I hope the voters have been taking notes through all this. I certainly have.