A People’s Vote: Fake Words

I am highly suspicious when words are misused by politicians and those lobbying for something. The latest example is the us of the phrase of “a people” vote”. These fake words are used by many politicians seeking a second referendum on the UK’s previous referendum about the European Union. It is as though the previous referendum was not a vote by people. The use of the phrase “a people’s vote” is dishonest. Every person using that phrase seek to pretend that the previous referendum was not a vote by people at all while maintaining at the same time that the people’s vote will not be a second referendum at all; the history of the European Union is littered with examples of the EU putting pressure on nations when the first vote went unfavourably for the EU to have a second vote.  The phrase seeks to suggest that a second referendum will not be held at all, but a more democratic “people’s vote” will be held and this fake phrase sets a host of false impressions.

A second referendum will be a profoundly undemocratic exercise because the decision of the referendum that has been held has not been implemented. Failure to implement that decision will be a profound loss of democracy in the United Kingdom.

We have already had one referendum, one general election, several court cases and a number of votes in parliament all of which held that the UK should leave the United Kingdom. The sophistry of those who claim that the government’s proposed deal means that we will be leaving the EU is appalling and there is more sophistry by those looking for reasons to reverse the decision that a majority of people in the United Kingdom voted for and which the government at that time promised to implement whatever the result.

Those wanting to reverse the democratic decision of the referendum give a number of reasons including

  • The people  were all not clever enough to understand for what they were voting;
  • The people were told lies in the campaign;
  • No one voted to become poorer;
  • The country has changed its mind since the referendum;
  • The “deal” negotiated by the Prime Minister is very bad and the alternative of “no deal” will be a calamity.

I think that I have set out the position accurately. All of these reasons require the ability to read the collective minds of the populace or predicting the future.

These arguments all apply to any decision of any democratically elected body; democracy is not perfect but it is least imperfect system of government.

What then should happen?

The result of the referendum must be implemented. I have reached the conclusion that the Prime Minister and her teams of advisors and civil servants are not honest enough to negotiate a better basis for the UK’s future relationship with the European Union. They have been acting without integrity.  We should them and simply leave without a “deal”. The government has a democratic mandate to leave without deal; if it cannot sugar the pill then we have to take the medicine without sugar.

The United Kingdom is a courageous and enterprising nation. Its government is behaving as though the people it governs are cowards and foolish.

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