I thought long and hard before writing this piece as political posts are not something I have written about before. After seeing the shenanigans in Parliament over the past few months I came to the conclusion that I must. And I must be totally honest even if it attracts negative comments.
Straight out of the gate I must state, for transparency, I voted to Leave the EU. It was not an easy decision, but on balance I still stand with it, although life would have been simpler if the vote had gone the other way. The breakdown of national sovereignty with un-elected bureaucrats and the vast amounts it costs the UK to remain in the EU are still the biggest reasons to leave in my eyes.
If the EU was about trade only, as it was when we joined in the early 1970’s, then things would be different. But it isn’t. It is about ideology far removed from that. This is what proved to be, ultimately, the crux of the voter’s preference.
So since 2016 when the referendum vote was held and Leave won by 52% to 48% Parliament were given a mandate to enact Leave (even though officially the referendum was only “advisory”) and then the destruction of British politics began.
Our then Prime Minister, David Cameron, resigned over the issue as he backed Remain and another Remainer, Theresa May, took over. So you can begin to see the issue already? May was a mediocre Home Secretary and a reluctant Remainer who wanted to hide in the shadows.
When Article 50 ( the motion to leave the EU ) was enacted with a leave date of 29 March 2019 it was done so with an overwhelming majority in the House of Commons ( a majority of 384 votes ) at which point the leaving process began. Over the next 2 years, the Government had the mandate to leave the EU with no deal or negotiate with them on the leaving terms. It was that simple. However, Parliament is a Remainer leaning institution and it fundamentally did not agree with the people it is meant to serve therefore it sought to undermine the “will of the people”.
The last two years have proven, without a doubt, that the vast majority of MP’s are not fit for purpose. We have seen a further General Election in 2017 where the two main parties stood on honouring the referendum and then seen most of those same MP’s declare that the public was wrong in their vote. Parliament has consistently voted down leaving in its various forms and with an incompetent Government has abetted a breakdown in public trust in our democracy and Parliament as a whole.
Whatever side of the 2016 referendum you saw the exposure of the shortcomings of our legislative body has been laid bare. We, as a nation, need to look at both the mechanism of how we elect our representatives and the representatives themselves in greater detail.
So is this a seismic shift in how the UK elects its political representatives or just a blip and apathy amongst the electorate returns?
One silver lining amongst the gloom is that engagement with politics has never been higher. I believe this will be the case going forward due to the realisation of how much sway politics has on our everyday lives.
Smaller parties, less indebted to outside interests, will gain traction against the outdated 2 party system we have at present. Independent candidates will bring fresh ideas and challenge thinking within Parliament.
In amongst the chaos, lies, scheming, empty promises and misleading sound bites the rehabilitation of Parliament might be upon us.
originally posted in Medium – March 2019