Saturday, 2 July 2016

The 'March for Europe' reminds us why we voted to Leave


We voted to leave the EU on the 23 June because we wanted to live in a democracy. It really is as basic and simple as that - the EU was, and doubtless remains, utterly undemocratic. When Sukarno became leader of newly independent Indonesia after the withdrawal of the Dutch he created the concept of guided democracy where the trappings of democracy existed (elections, MPs and so forth) but the system was controlled - guided - by appointed experts.

Today some few thousand people marched through London demanding that the result of the 23 June referendum be ignored or overturned. The march included the usual bunch of ageing pop stars, alternative comedians and TV personalities accompanied by the go to demagogues of the radical left like Owen Jones. And while the official line was studious in avoiding any suggestion that the referendum should be set aside or its result ignored, this was the subtext - as one of the march's headline speakers, David Lammy MP made clear a day or two ago:

"The referendum was was an advisory, non-binding referendum. The Leave campaign's platform has already unravelled and some people wish they hadn't voted to Leave.

"Parliament now needs to decide whether we should go forward with Brexit, and there should be a vote in Parliament next week.

"Let us not destroy our economy on the basis of lies and the hubris of Boris Johnson."

You see, voters were too stupid to understand the nuanced, subtle argument that wise advocates of the EU were putting forward - just as Sukarno felt that freshly independent Indonesians needed guidance, David Lammy thinks we should just pat the electorate on the head and then say something like, "very good children, very good. Now the grown ups will show you what you should have done."

This arrogance, this assumption that people like David Lammy are better able to judge what's good for voters than those voters themselves, lies behind the leave vote. What we see is an undemocratic system, distant and incomprehensible, that rains decisions - some good, some stupid and many simply nannying and finger-wagging - onto the great unwashed horde of voters. The EU is the acme of this system - an entire government that looks as if it might be democratic but, in reality, has all the accountability and transparency of Kafka's castle:

One of the operating principles of authorities is that the possibility of error is simply not taken into account. This principle is justified by the excellence of the entire organization and is also necessary if matters are to be discharged with the utmost rapidity.

This was what those people were marching to support - an opaque, arrogant, unapproachable bureaucratic morass sold to us with flags, stars, bland statements of brotherhood and the judicious spreading of cash to favoured organisations. It's very likely that the government will ignore this march of the anti-democrats but while it's there it acts as a reminder why we voted to leave. We voted to get more democracy into the world of ordinary people. We voted against the guidance of the elite and in favour of a more free and more open system of government. We voted for democracy and I intend doing my damnedest to make sure we get that democracy.



Anonymous said...

I wish you well on your endeavour.
But history suggests that the mob can easily override our democracy - remember how the mob brought about the demise of the Community Charge, possibly the smartest approach to local authority financing devised to date, yet it fell under the violent volume of a noisy minority. And that was with a sitting government apparently committed to it, Brexit does not even enjoy that status.

Anonymous said...

My concern is that Brexit will not actually happen in any positive way. I doubt that the HOC will vote against it - only the ridiculous Lammy (and Farron) are naive enough to wish to be seen to overturn the will of the people but I can imagine a reluctant government stalling on triggering Article 50. If the EU was forced to drive the UK out then we'd be in the worst negotiating position possible.

I intend to write to my MP to express my concerns.


Anonymous said...

And beware the time-bomb on Article 50 - from next April, any application to leave the EU will require a qualified majority of the other member-states to support it.
One can hardly imgine half the parasite states agreeing to a major donor-state being allowed to leave and stop paying for them. That's what the 'delayers' are aiming for - so let's get on with it, the clock's ticking.