We have long hoped that Readers of Confluence would write letters to the Editor whenever they wished to express approval or criticism or to raise questions. We have received a very interesting letter from a member of the Remain camp who feels strongly that the Leave camp’s victory in the recent Referendum was based on lies. Meanwhile the number of people who have asked for another referendum has soared into millions.
We would urge readers to take up their pens and write for or against the views expressed in this letter and this would make for a most interesting online debate. Once begun, we might well be required to host other interesting debates in the future.
Did the BoZos (Blonde Bombshells) get the BREXIT Referendum right?
After a momentous week following the verdict to “Leave” the EU by the electorate in the Cameronian Referendum, it seems necessary to remind everyone, the euphoric and the depressed of some relevant facts and raise some serious questions. It is widely stated that “The People have spoken and we must all respect their wishes”. It is unblushingly claimed that this is the meaning of “Democracy” invented by the Athenians in the time of Pericles. I beg to differ.
In British Jurisprudence, in a murder/rape trial, for instance, the Jury is instructed to give their verdict to convict or acquit the accused based solely on the facts/evidence presented in court on the “balance of probability”. Suppose the Jury acquits a person charged with rape; suppose further that it is later established forensically that two of the witnesses for the Defence perjured themselves and their evidence is proved to be false. Does not the Court of Appeal set aside the Jury’s honest, but erroneous, verdict as “unsafe” and call a fresh trial? It is now amply clear that the “Leave” campaigners lied through their teeth on at least two points: they did not tell the electorate the true costs and benefits of staying in the EU. When Mr Cameron and many other experts did, they dismissed it as lies produced by a “self-interested elite” and pretended without any evidence or argument that they were more expert than the experts!
Secondly, and more seriously, they did not spell out the fact that one cannot enjoy the benefits of free access to the 27 other members of the EU in business without necessarily accepting free movement of Labour. They did not spell out to the farmers, research scientists, financial services industry, universities and the people of Cornwall, Hull, Wales and many other English counties that getting out of the EU would lose them vast development funds, and all the benefits of flourishing two-way businesses at the price of two million EU citizens working hard and paying taxes like every native-born Brit living here. These workers were contributing to the GDP and prosperity of the UK. If they did get benefits, where was the proof that the benefits were disproportionately large, when they were paying British taxes just like everyone else?
The Leave Campaigners compounded their lies by suggesting that “out of EU” meant the birth of a wonderful Promised Land of great prosperity, total control of the economy with no more foreigners blighting the “Britishness” of Blighty. The bureaucracy of Brussels is very similar to that of Whitehall and even of County Councils. Is it better to take orders from “faceless bureaucrats” of Whitehall rather than those at Brussels? Why object to Scottish/Welsh/Northern Irish Independence when they object on exactly similar grounds to taking “orders” from Westminster? Why make the voters think that EU rules are made “undemocratically” when all the member states including Britain have vetoes and all the individual Parliaments propose the European Commissioner appointments?
The voters, perhaps understandably angry with years of “austerity” and serious cuts to the welfare state and a huge increase in wealth inequalities, took out their pent-up rage on the EU. Thus forty years of increasing prosperity and national well-being was sacrificed for the golden, but fleeting chance to “give Cameron and his gang a kicking”.
Everyone is quietly forgetting that Poles, Czechs, and Commonwealth citizens all contributed with their blood and lives for Britain in two horrendous world wars and have enriched the country enormously in Scientific and Technological innovation, Nobel prizes, Sport, Business, Health care(NHS) and Culture(literature, art, music) since at least 1900. The “Leave EU” vote is interpreted by a racist/fascist minority who have been emboldened to crawl out of the woodwork in the current climate of suspicion and blame to tell their fellow citizens and visitors alike of non-English origin to “Leave these shores” and “Go back to where you came from”! The BoZos of this world have done nothing to slap down this disgusting behaviour. Lying to the Parliament is a serious offence: is not lying to the electorate on an industrial scale sufficient ground for permanent disbarment from standing for elected office?
Why should the fundamental tenet of the British Constitution that the Parliament is supreme [when duly elected by the people on an explicit manifesto] and no Referendum can be anything more than a strong but non-binding message from the electorate be ignored by the entire political class? If tomorrow the “anti-monarchists” call for a Referendum would not all sensible people say that to make this country a Republic, a two-thirds majority in both the Referendum and a ratifying vote in Parliament would be the minimum requirement? A 4% majority vote by an electorate which was seriously misled in a completely unnecessary and unconstitutional referendum does not make for a “safe” verdict of the People, by the People and for the People in any Democracy based on Lincoln’s ideals which all truly civilised countries claim to follow [not the Periclean/Athenian one of disenfranchised slaves and womenfolk].