‘We must respect the result of the referendum’ - if I had a quid for every time I’ve heard that sentence since last June, I wouldn’t be taking the bus everywhere.
(Actually I wouldn’t, but that’s for another piece.)
I do not respect the result of the referendum.
I think people were conned into voting the wrong way by a bunch of dodgy chancers who were jockeying for a shot at the top job; by idiots who have only the most slender grasp of economics, European history and even their own political self-interest; and by aggressive, racist bigots.
I am absolutely sure that if Gove, Johnson and that other one who wears a bookie’s overcoat, had said, at the end of every pro-leave speech, ‘Oh, and by the way, it’ll cost you fifty quid more to go on holiday,’ we would have seen a 70-30 vote the other way. At least!
And now, we’re stuck with this shambles, we’re the object of contempt over most of the civilised world and the person to blame has done a runner.
Referendums are not democratic.
In normal elections we can, and often do, make catastrophic mistakes. We allow incompetent ciphers, faceless puppets and deluded megalomaniacs to run our lives. But we can revise our thoughts and throw them out later on. Apparently, with referendums this is impossible. We’ve got to put up with it. Forever.
Now the rabid dogs in certain sections of the press are baying for instant votes on all sorts of single issues. The most worrying is Capital Punishment. And who can guarantee that in the fairly near future, with a particularly dim and/or weak nonentity in charge, anxious to appease a handful of nutters on the extreme wing of his/her party, someone will not cave in ? And then, who can doubt what the result would be ?
Parliamentary democracy has many shortcomings, but it is infinitely better than mob rule.
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