The enemies of democracy are circling

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.”

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.

2 Comments

  1. Ali Harriman says:

    What the hell eh! Lets revert back a couple of centuries to the days when only male landowners had the vote.

  2. Philip Kenyon says:

    Er, well maybe, the irony of this article being that it exhibits exactly the traits of dogmatic generalisation which it identifies in others! In reality there has been heated debate on all sides, some of which has crossed the line of decency, but most of which has been robust exchanges of views (ie freedom of speech) which in of themselves have actually been good for democracy and finally put to rest the lie that people don’t care, don’t vote etc. Far from having contempt for my fellow citizens, I find it inspiring to see people from all walks of life getting stuck into political debate, whether I agree with them or not.

    As for the political fall out: something coming out very strongly is the culmination of what which has been brewing below the surface for years now, namely a breaking down of the traditional left/right divisions in favour of other differences – liberalism vs conservatism, free markets vs protectionism, young vs old, to name but a few. In the recent referendum this created a PR trap for libertarians, many of whom voted ‘Out’ for free market reasons, only to find themselves sharing a platform with reactionaries and protectionists who dominated the headlines through a relentless – and pretty distasteful – emphasis on the negative aspects of immigration.

    The long-term economic fall out remains to be seen (no pun intended!), but the early signs are not good: stock markets down, sterling down, Moodys UK credit rating down. Perhaps it wasn’t just ‘scare-mongering’ after all, but we’ll see. If economic conditions do indeed deteriorate, those who will suffer most are the very people whom Leave claim they wanted to help, ie the disaffected and those not benefitting from the free market system. This is absolutely an issue, and needs to be addressed, but damaging the economy does not seem a very sensible way of doing it.

    No suprise then that I voted Remain, and strongly so. As a libertarian the issue was simple – I believe in free markets and free movement, so I did not want to exit an organisation that offers both. Furthermore I believe the promotion of classical liberal values within Europe still has some way to go, and the UK is (or was) an important player in promoting them there. Our absence will only enhance the reactionary agenda of both the far right and far left, encircling or otherwise.

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