Brexit – They Didn’t Mean It

As I mentioned yesterday, there’s now a petition to re-run the EU  Referendum because a lot of people voted as a protest against the government, never believing it would happen. Claims have been making the rounds for a long time that Johnson is actually a supporter of the EU, but used this as an excuse to become Prime Minister.

Well, that’s not going to happen.

The Brexit leaders are now denying that they even said there would be millions for the NHS even though it was on their campaign bus. It is clear they have no idea what to do next. UKIP’s Nigel Farage claims the financial meltdown has nothing to do with the vote. Yes, and I’m the Queen of Sheba. This is pretty terrible stuff from a former metal trader. He should know how stocks and shares work.

Here’s an article from Emily Tierney in yesterday’s i paper titled “What have we done? If I could take my vote back, I would”:

On Thursday, I, too, participated in an act of national insanity and voted to leave the EU. I wanted to give the establishment a kicking. I was disappointed a the result of the general election last year and wanted somethings changed. After working for 5 years in graduate-level jobs, I’m still living in a pretty grim flat share, with more than £20,000 of student debt.

There was no way I was going to let the leaders of all the political parties, Tony Blair, big business or President Obama bully me into a vote. The claims from Britain Stronger in Europe were downright ridiculous. If you’re reading this, David Cameron, I’m still waiting for that official statement from ISIS that they’ve welcomed a Brexit. Plus, let’s not pretend the EU is perfect. The far right is on the rise, there’s mass unemployment, the euro has been a total disaster for countries such as Greece, and the European Commission is unelected.

In campaigners on social media were dismissive and obnoxious. Think before you next post a status telling everyone else how to vote, because they might not actually respect your opinion and could be inspired to do the exact opposite.

After voting, I called my 90-year-old grandfather, a Second World War veteran. I’d expected he was going to vote Lave, but he told me he had voted In. We had to make decisions together. Counts started to trickle in. That evening, I headed to a friend’s house to watch the result. We’d all voted Leave as a protest.

As the first results came inform Sunderland, we all cheered. We were winning, we were right. People had had enough. Then as more results came in, the reality started to bite. Northern Ireland, Gibraltar, Scotland and London had decided they wanted to remain. This wasn’t funny any more.

At about 4am, the BBC declared a win for Leave. Panic set in. The slightly more sensible Vote Leave campaigners disappeared from our screens, awaiting Cameron’s official speech. For about 3 hours we were left with reruns of Farage making the moronic victory speech. I started to feel sick.

The pound went into freefall. The FTSE dropped, Cameron resigned, and he’s set to be replaced by a far more right-wing alternative. Donald Trump arrived in the UK to declare this a “great victory”. what have we done? If I could take my vote back now, I would. I’m ashamed of myself, and I want my country back.”[my emphasis]

The petition for a rerun has gained support, the results of the referendum are not legally binding, Nicola Sturgeon has threatened to challenge its legality, and the leaders of the Out campaign are being shown up to be completely unprepared and unfit to deal with the crisis. Oh, and the Labour party is in what may prove to be a fatal meltdown with mass resignations and a leader who has failed to show much leadership, and is now refusing to resign.

This is from award winning columnist Ian Birrell, a former Tory adviser:

Already some of the careerists and charlatans who led the battle for Brexit are confessing they conned voters, accepting it will not end free movement or send an extra £350m a week to the health service.

They celebrated with champagne as shares fell, the pound plummeted and firms fretted. And yes, these are the people who say they seek to renew public faith in democracy. They talk about new politics while practicing the most disreputable dark arts of their tarnished trade. Perhaps we should not be surprised when a supposed insurgency against “the establishment” is led by a flip-flopping Old Etonian who cares only about grabbing the keys to Downing Street. Yet they corrode further the fragile bonds that bind Britain. …The modern faultline, cleaving Britain and so many other Western democracies almost perfect in two, is between optimists that embrace globalisation and pessimists resistant to change. …

Survey the political landscape and you see a pair of fractious parties that often look as outmoded as the telegram in this disruptive age. I loathe UKIP but they exploited this failure. The two major parties have always been unwieldy coalitions, but are they really sustainable inner rapidly changing world? Half a century ago one in four citizens identified strongly with one of them; now it is only one in 10. No wonder: voting patterns last week revealed divides between young and old, skilled and unskilled, London and the North. Where are the English politicians providing voices for these new groupings?

Some argue for proportional representation to blow apart the old parties and rebuild more representative politics. they are probably right, yet recent political paralysis in places such as Belgium, Ireland and Spain makes me wonder about this solution. But as one party leader is deposed and another faces a challenge, those seeking succession would do well to reflect on the continuing corrosion being caused to ur precious democracy. Meanwhile, members might ask what is the point of their party today?

We need another referendum, but we also need to take a deep breath and do some serious thinking about what form of government  we want and how best to achieve that. Britain has a lot of people who are pissed off with the current system, and who are largely ignored by London. Perhaps a mass of independents is the answer.

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