Brexit, echoes of PeterLoo & referenda

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MPs are now so disconnected from the public that the current situation echoes events just prior to PeterLoo* in 1819. I saw the film PeterLoo last Friday and the political & economic similarities are hard to miss. Parliament and the Prince Regent (the King was mentally ill and incapable at that time) sent cavalry into a crowded Manchester square.  Sixteen people were killed and seven hundred were seriously injured. The discontent of the people? Pah, send in the cavalry!

Two months is a long time in politics, memories fade with age and increasing confusion of age – see the wonderful front page of my copy of this month’s Private Eye below… 

Today, the Tory, Lib Dem & Labour parties are arguing amongst themselves and the 2016 referendum result has been twisted into polibollical claptrap.

MPs may not have sent in the cavalry but being ignored is worse!

Every facet of our so-called parliamentary democracy is at stake here; our self obsessed MPs will destroy it if they manage to remove No Deal as an option.

MPs should not be the issue here. That view is ignored by the, once upon a time impartial BBC and is bypassed by all those with a voice.

The voice of ‘We the people’ is being ignored by our deaf MPs, BBC journalists and the government.

Referenda & their purpose

The responsibility for the Brexit decision was passed from the government, by the government, via the 2016 referendum, to ‘We the people‘.

We the people’ then made that decision, not you.

The executive (i.e. the elected government, not you MPs)  promised to implement it.

I know that’s annoying for you, but you are, or should be, largely irrelevant to the process of Brexit.

But, that is exactly what the consequences of that referendum should have been.

Sadly, the 2016 EU referendum result was not legally binding on the government. David Cameron implied that it was binding and I’m sure most of us thought it was, back in 2016; most probably still do.

Interestingly, well OK not interesting at all really, the previous, and entirely stupid, referendum held in 2011 was binding.

Remember that one?

No, nor do most people, because it was an irrelevance to all but a few Lib Dems. They actually wanted a referendum on the introduction of PR(Proportional Representation). They had to accept the nonsensical compromise of AV (Alternative Vote) because that is what powerless politicians have to do.

My advice to parliament ( Yes, I know … 🙁 )

Dear MPs, take two months unpaid leave and give the government, what’s left of it anyway, some peace to sort out this incompetent and pathetic mess.

You might then begin to earn back some of the respect that the office of Member of Parliament once had.

Who let her out again?

The government could then use that two months of peace to sort Brexit, avoid our lights being turned off next year, cancel the ill conceived HS2 and use the money saved to nationalise the railways, the National Electricity grid and reclaim our water supply.

But it won’t. Grr.

THE END

* The Peterloo Massacre took place at St Peter’s Field, Manchester, England, on 16 August 1819, when cavalry charged into a crowd of 60,000–80,000 who had gathered to demand the reform of parliamentary representation.

Growers of corn and wheat were being allowed to charge extortionate amounts for bread while imports of cheaper corn were banned by the protectionist landowners, many of whom were MPs. The people were quite rightly angry and, were we more like the French, would have made revolution, chopped off the heads of the Prince Regent and many of those landowners.