This is the week and Thursday, in particular, is the day/time I have been waiting for my entire adult life. I never really believed the people of the UK would be permitted to have their say directly in a referendum on EU membership, and cynically I concluded too that should that ever be granted the forces behind the curtain would only grant such a plebiscite should the prevailing opinion and likely vote favour the status quo.
I was wrong on the first count, but correct on the second. The powers that be never thought the polls would be this close in the final week.
I know I am not alone, there is a band of beaten and wounded brothers and sisters up and down the country who have proclaimed the esteemed and liberating logic of breaking free from the confines of the EU wishing to restore the principle of self-governance of our nation. There has been lost friendships, relationships, and jobs. There’s been hundreds of thousands of blog posts and millions of words. We were told we’re ‘pub bores’ and ‘little Englanders’ yet it seems about half of the country is now with us.
I talk in terms of solidarity, struggle and this being a fight because I believe it has been. We have, somehow, arrived at a point in history when our national arraignments have for four decades betrayed the three centuries which came before, with scant regard for the blood and treasure which was expended time and again to first obtain and then keep secure those most precious gifts were had received as free-born people. Our Parliamentary system which for so long represented, so very well, the causes and concerns of the nation, that had adapted so well when needed to the prevailing winds suddenly erred drastically and perhaps fatally in the wrong direction.
Suddenly, one of the lynchpins of our supposedly glorious, uncodified constitution didn’t matter a hill of beans. Since 1689 the UK Bill of Rights had provided that:
- laws should not be dispensed with or suspended without the consent of Parliament;
- no taxes should be levied without the authority of Parliament;
- the right to petition the monarch should be without fear of retribution;
- no standing may be maintained during peacetime without the consent of Parliament
- subjects who are Protestants may bear may permitted by law;
- the election of members of Parliament should be free;
- the freedom of speech for debates or proceedings in Parliament should not to be impeached or questioned court or place out of Parliament;
- excessive bail should not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted;
- jurors should be duly impannelled and returned and jurors in high treason trials should be freeholders;
As soon as we joined the then Common Market, successive Governments took the 1975 Referendum which voted not to come out as consent to sign the UK up to the Greater European Project. Little by little the major political parties gave away more and more of our Sovereignty, until Parliament was good and hollowed out.
Along the way the leadership of main parties have always endorsed the UK participation of the European Project, with some occasional bluster on particular policies (such as the Euro) when in opposition or when the pols looked particularly bad.
Since 1975, there has been no General Election whereby the people have had a proper say in how our relationship in the EU should change, or to register our disapproval. Our system permits a Government to be formed with less than 40% of a vote, with less than 50% turn out. It seemed along the way impossible to marry registering dissatisfaction to the EU and wishing to vote for party of choice. On matters EU, some distinctions were all drawn, but ultimately they all stood for the same ultimate view point, we were a part of the European Project. To vote for an independent or to vote for a fringe party that wished to leave was to disenfranchise yourself from the General Election and its real purpose to select representatives to Parliament. Only when we finally got a party for out finally challenging the conventional strongholds (in UKIP) were we permitted the referendum.
The big three parties closed shop and dictated that a consensus exists around which they would argue around the fringes. There are subjects that must not be discussed in the usual channels, and certainly not in the mainstream press.
- What the true aims of the European Project and of ever deeper integration of all member’s means
- No discussion on free movement of people, and immigration
- No discussion allowed on how most of our laws are decided upon in a foreign land. No discussion of the twisted formality of how these are then delivered and rubber stamped through ‘due process’. The faux legitimisation of foreign rule so as not to scare the proles
- No discussion allowed that tax setting rules are set abroad for many tariffs and Levy’s British Taxpayers must pay. No discussion that the Chancellor must submit his Budget to Brussels before he can read it to Parliament
- No discussion on freemen bearing arms, or the removal of capital punishment as a means of both determent and punishment
- Plenty of discussion in Parliament about how Parliament is (allegedly) free, yet very little discussion that acknowledges it’s limited role as a council chamber of Greater Europe (As Ken Clarke described it) or of Parliaments role in the Post Democratic order (as, if you prefer Peter Mandelson refers to it)
- A willing move away from trial by Jury to judgment by experts. A move away from Ministerial Accountability to powers granted to Quango’s, Fake Charities and commissars.
Contrast the unmentionable list against our Bill of Rights, and what are we left with? We have usurped ourselves, and we did so willingly. We let our Representatives tell us they were actually our Leaders and our Betters.
So, when I speak in terms of struggle and fight it is because it is. I have no doubt that the forces which have moved us to this position today, will move us further and further away from rule at home, to rule from Brussels. Rule away from people’s democratic ability to elect and remove people, in a way that shapes and moves political discourse, to a bloated bureaucracy which decides for itself what it wants to do and then does it; with perhaps just the finest veneer to allude that it is in some way accountable to the people (when it clearly is not).
The tabbooisation of all topics which bring the EU project into question has led to the disenfranchisement of half a continent. I say this because the same must be true across the EU and as we can see from current polls (if they are to be trusted) it’s an approximate split down the middle.
I am tired of fighting a battle in the pub and in internet forums. This country, and it’s people are weary of having our desires ignored. Membership of the EU puts us in a straightjacket and stifles expression and debate. It’s intractability, forces member & regional governments into absolute actions and positions that must absolutely be upheld because of our membership; irrespective of what people actually want. It doesn’t take much for dissent to turn to anger. We’re ignored for years on end then expected to march ourselves down to prop up the legacy system which is failing us. When Anger turns to Hate after years of being ignored, when good people are frustrated and without a system which recognises their expressions they have an answer for that too.
They sneer, they jibe and they deride.
They besmirch, they point and they sneer some more.
They vilify your heartfelt concerns and positions,
They claim to come from Love and stand in the Light,
They claim you are evil and hate.
Then they say to everyone else,
“you don’t want to be like them, do you?”
A vote for Remain on Thursday is a Vote for Government, not of the people. It is more rule by experts, more rule by bureaucrats, more rule by diktat. The sneering classes will have their win, and claim for themselves an endorsement that will not be overturned in our lifetimes.
The thing is, it is much tougher to say what a vote for Leave is for. It’s much easier, clearer to define what it is against. However, the Leave message is the message of hope it is the vote which trusts the British People to take decisions for themselves. It is a vote to set our own destiny, it is a vote for democracy. It is a willingness to say we want to run our own affairs safe in the knowledge that with real democratic controls we have a system & instruments whereby we can throw the rogue elements out of office (or, in to a court of law) when they do wrong.
The definition question is also challenging because, as I said above, a vote to Leave is going to be seismic. In this case, we absolutely cannot re-invest all controls to a Parliamentary system which failed us since 1973. Indeed, the very fact the country may very well vote to Leave is by default the electorate censuring Parliament and our whole present constitutional arrangement. It will be impossible to vote Leave by Referendum on June 23rd, and declare the Sovereignty of Parliament to be Supreme on the 24th. Sovereignty is not denied Parliament by this referenda, it lost it in 1973, it gave it away to a foreign power. Parliament may very well have been a shining beacon of hope for liberal democracy in the past, but you’re kidding yourself if you have any pretence to such a notion now.
On Thursday, a vote for Leave will be a slap on the wrist for Parliament, it is on notice. We’re shopping for something better. It failed us, it does not represent us. Have you any doubt that if the vote on the 23rd were taken by Parliament only what the result would be?
We shall go to the ballot box and even though it is not on the paper, by placing our “X” next to Leave we will undeniably and irreversibly be declaring the people to be sovereign in this great land of ours. The people will speak and the EU, Parliament, the WTO, IMF, President Obama and the whole entire World will know the absolute will of the United Kingdom, because that’s exactly how it’s supposed to work.
We have got to get every last Leave voter out to the Polls. 49.9999% is not good enough. Nobody on the Leave side is going to take any solace or consolation in a narrow loss. It is not something to be built upon, there is no silver lining. We will go back to being ignored, under represented and the European Project will go into overdrive. They will claim consent where none was granted. They will finish the project and we really will be an offshore outpost of the greater European Superstate.
From June 24th a vote for Leave is the start of a new conversation, and new beginning. We will have to build a whole new system from the ground up, and everybody is going to get a say. A vote to Leave is to join with your brothers and sisters her in the UK off all races and beliefs and express that we feel we deserve better, and in this one and only opportunity we have, we’re going to demand it.
Images sourced via my twitter feed, due credit for sharing to: @