by John Ward
Force the responsibility for a clear Brexit decision back where it belongs: onto a reconfigured Parliament.
Since 2016, we have had a Parliament based on lies: about how David Cameron departed, about why Theresa May called the last Election, about honouring a Referendum, about a Withdrawal Agreement dictated by the Unelected State, and of late (laughably) about what Brexit meant in the first place. Our legislative Executive – having failed to discern any EU willingness to reform itself – bottled out of its own Party splits and handed the decision to The People. In a controversial post tonight, The Slog argues that it’s time we got a new Parliament. It’s time we handed the responsibility back to the MPs we pay to take such decisions….and the consequences that flow therefrom.
During the period from January 2012 to May 1st 2019, a staggering 76 pollswere conducted in the UK asking The People one simple question: ‘If there was a referendum on British membership of the European Union, how would you vote?’
Over that period of time, there has never been an overall majority in the UK to remain in the European Union.
Remain was briefly around 47% earlier this year, but as of May 1st, Remain was on 44%, and Leave was on 40%.
At the outset of January 2013, there was a massive majority to Leave, by 52% to 31%. In fact, Leave voters were in the majority throughout 2012.
However, January 2013 was the one and only time that either side ever had a score over 50%.
Since surveys began, Remain has never been the majority sentiment
Had the referendum been held at any time during Jan 2012 to Jan 2013, Leave would’ve won easily
For five years now, the UK has been split on the issue
These findings make a nonsense of two myths: that Britain feels itself “a natural part of the EU, and the Leave nutjobs just got lucky”; and a second vote would produce a different result because “people now understand more clearly the realities of Brexit”.
Just to put some flesh on that: for almost all of the 2012-2014 period, Leave was well ahead. For a brief period in 2015, Remain had a good lead. But today, the country is still, to all intents and purposes, split.
The difference now versus the 2012-15 period is that during 2016, a huge number of people went from don’t know to making a decision. Tracking that against the scores for either side in 2016, Leave picked up almost all of those floaters and those floaters have remained at the same low level.
That gives us a fourth observation of great value:
The two sides are not persuadable: their decision is that they can’t decide
Effectively – in my opinion, very effectively – these data only confirm that the Remain self-perception as “the real majority of reasonable people being held to ransom by Leave extremists” is total codswallop. Further, it drops a field-level nuclear bomb on Labour policy in favour of a second vote.
Any vote on this subject could, from 2012-19, have produced a huge win for Leave, a clear victory for Remain, a close result (most of the time) or even a dead heat. This is true of all forms of elective democracy. Normally, the electorate accepts an election snapshot as The Result, and life goes on.
It hasn’t gone on since June 2016 because Remainians behaved like pram infants and suddenly decided all the rules had been wrong after the event…..rather like the Clinton Democrats a year later.
What I propose now is to replace after the event with in advance.
Hold that thought.
I arrive at one conclusion, and suggest that everyone in Britain now needs to take it on board: plebiscitery democracy has done all it can. As I have been writing since last February, what Britain needs now – and there is plenty of time to do it – is have a General Election from which a different House of Commons emerges.
By all means hold the euros, and watch The Brexit Party give the Establishment a severe mauling. But that will only produce nuisance value in the Strasbourg rubber-stamp factory. It won’t make a ha’porth of difference to the United Kingdom. For what the United Kingdom needs is a different mindset in Parliament.
A different Commons would emerge from a General Election for three reasons.
First, Farage is back in town.
Second, The People (be they Leave or Remain) no longer trust politicians to deliver…and when I say “deliver”, bear in mind we’re talking about the biggest promise made by registered Parliamentary vote on both sides of the House in British history. Voters this time have had enough: they’re looking for genuine change….not a dozen cynics calling themselves CHUK.
But it’s the third reason that will be controversial. For I believe we should declare that the new House of commons thus created is freed in advancefrom any Brexit commitments made to the electorate by any Party present in the currently configured Chamber.
Think of it as an amnesty. Because believe me, an amnesty is what we need. All those running in every constituency in Britain can now stop trimming and spinning – and instead, speak their minds under a Party (or independent) banner. All bets are off. The past is the past: dump it and move on.
This is 1945 time. We’d be voting about where we want Britain to go: do we want more neolib/neocon ideology from the Conservatives and radical socialist/multicultural/feminist ideology from the Labour Party? Do we want to reject Big Bloc remote faceless Globalist government in favour of doing our own thing? Or do we want a more just and honest society, minus only the ideology?
The first item on the agenda for that new Commons would be this: are we going to make a clean, Sovereign break with the European Union, or are we going to stay in as full members and renounce Article 50?
Yes, they’re stark choices – but that’s what we need. Are we leaving on WTO with no fudge, or are we staying to reform the madhouse from the inside with our old rights restored?
Whatever the outcome of that vote – no ifs, no buts, by one Speaker’s vote if necessary – that’s what we do. No whingeing, no grumbling: we all man up, accept it and get back to having A Life again.
Then we will know what the buggers we elect really want. And we will only have ourselves to blame for whatever they decide. But thereafter, the debate is over and done with: from then on, Parliament can do the job it needs to do: putting corporatocracy back in its box, and passing reforms to restore proper democracy, free speech and the Rule of Law…..while casting the Alt State and its lobbyists to the four winds.
MPs and Administrations will be free to drive in open-top buses through Dealey Plaza, taking care to slow down as they pass the Grassy Knoll.
Then, and only then, will we see what they’re made of.