Am I the only one who sees a problem with this idea of stopping Brexit? I mean, apart from the fact that it’s not at all certain Article 50 can be revoked. Or what price the other 27 member states would exact for allowing the UK to remain. Or whether that price would not then make it politically impossible to revoke Article 50.
Quite apart from that wee mine-field, there’s the small matter of democracy. Now, I know that many of the signatories to this letter are British nationalists. So it’s safe to assume that democratic principles, as these are generally understood, won’t loom large in their thinking. But did not these same ‘One Nation’ British nationalists – explicitly or implicitly – insist that Scotland must accept that the EU referendum was a UK-wide vote and that the people of Scotland must meekly accept that they had been overruled?
These same people seem now to be saying that it’s the people of England and Wales whose democratic will should be discounted. They appear to be suggesting that the UK-wide vote no longer counts. One might even frame their proposal as the Scotland and Northern Ireland minority overruling the England and Wales majority.
Let me be clear. I do not want Brexit. For my own reasons, I voted Remain. And would certainly do so again now that I see how the UK Government is making a turd latte of the process. But how can I demand that Scotland’s democratic will in this matter should be honoured without also accepting that the democratic will of England and Wales should be afforded the same respect?
What concerns me at least as much as the whole Brexit fiasco is the casual disregard for democracy that has seeped out of its dank pit on the far right of British (nationalist) politics to become a commonplace of political discourse.
Democracy is being turned on its head. A perfectly acceptable principle that the minority should be afforded due consideration has metamorphosed into a shrill insistence that it be afforded equal, or even superior status, to to the majority.
This upsetting of democratic norms may be seen as part of an insidious and increasingly prevalent anti-democratic agenda which seeks to undermine all our democratic institutions and processes. From the MP expenses scandal – which latterly became as much a campaign against parliament as against corruption – to the way in in which established power is treating the Scottish Parliament and Government, there is a powerful sense of democracy itself being under attack.
What this call to stop Brexit tells us is that it is not only the people of Scotland who should be concerned about an assault on democracy from a malign clique exploiting the rise of extreme British nationalism. We should all stand ready to defend democracy against the depredations of those who would reduce it to nothing more than a means by which people may be manipulated like puppets.Views: 3936
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