Readers of my blog will already know what I think about the British referendum.
This isn’t going to be a long post. It’s about deceit, and a special type of deceit my late father used to call “false pretences”.
There are people who say that, however small the victory, the British voters had their “democratic” contest – I think I’d rather characterise it as some grand “tug of war” – and that is it. Those who protested from the start that the referendum was expressly legislated as not binding are simply not playing “fair”, or so the argument goes.
Yet all I am going to do here is juxtapose two videos. In the first we see that many of those who now complain actually did try to put a reasonable safeguard into the process (that is to say a “supermajority” or a threshold). In most countries you cannot bring about a huge constitutional change on a slim majority. Their amendment was rejected, but these same people were assured then that this was no big deal: the referendum was not binding. That one could argue, was an assurance crucial to the passing of the bill in the first place. Some of the MPs probably would not have voted for the referendum if they had not got this assurance.
So without further ado, the two videos. Firstly, there is THIS from BEFORE the referendum:
Our Country Gone in Sixty Seconds – David Lidington’s infamous confirmation that the EU referendum was ADVISORY only, thereby dismissing the acceptance of Amendment 16 – the need for a supermajority which would have prevented the many being dictated by the few. pic.twitter.com/4PkqBUUiA3
— Brexitshambles #FBPE (@brexit_sham) March 9, 2018
and then there is THIS now that Article 50 has been served:
A flavour of what’s going on in the Lords atm pic.twitter.com/tFy6BazjwK
— Esther Webber (@estwebber) March 14, 2018
See the problem? My late father would have undoubtedly have said that the referendum bill passed on false pretences.
Both of the above videoes are embedded from Twitter. You can find them here https://twitter.com/brexit_sham/status/972239717281554432?s=19 and here https://twitter.com/estwebber/status/973967483823706113