Object lesson for the politician — do not forget to remember those who voted you in, they will always matter
Arrogant British politicians and their fellow-travelers finally get a smack in the mouth from their electorate.
Yesterday was General Election day in the United Kingdom, our third major election in 5 years (US/RoW think presidential elections!) when normally you would expect one every 5 years or so. The reason, BREXIT — that is, Britain leaving the European Union. What happened was remarkable for a number of reasons.
After 20 years of politicians from both major parties denying the people an opportunity to vote on their membership of the EU once it became clear what the EU was all about — not just a body for economic and civic cooperation in the spirit of post WWII reconciliation but whose institutions were to govern its constituent nations— the British finally in 2016 got a vote on 23rd June on a simple Yes/No option of remaining in the EU.
Now what occurred there, rather like the Scots’ Independence Referendum of 2014 was that the ruling politicians of the day committed a massive error of judgment. In British politics (and maybe elsewhere in the world, please comment!) the government never has a referendum unless it is absolutely certain that it is going to win.
In the case of the Scots’ referendum (I have an interest there, see my name!), panic struck the politicians when they realised us dum Scots might actually vote to become an independent nation (amen, hallelujah) and all three major party leaders slithered up the one motorway between Scotland and England (built to bribe the Scots we were cared about), just managing to avert constitutional disaster by a whisper.
Similarly, the same primeminister of the day, decided to give people a vote on leaving the EU but having learnt his lesson regarding the Scots’ indyref, actively campaigned against leaving the EU, sending literature to every household in the UK telling the people how great the EU was and what a “catastrophic disaster” it would be for the country if we voted to leave.
That cost them a cool £8 million (about $12 million).
Virtually every major politician in the UK recorded a “once in a lifetime” video blog, emphasising how it was that “we the people” were choosing and they would humbly obey…just watch this great piece of collating..
What happened on voting day was not “part of the script” as the saying goes! The ungrateful British voted to leave by a clear majority (52:48) and the following days these same politicians were spluttering about “respecting the referendum result”. It seemed there was still a thread of honour left in them that they actually had to do what the people wanted them to do even though it was extremely clear they did not want to do it — that horrible word, demo(n)cracy.
What was a real problem for the politicians was that in the regions that voted strongly to leave the EU, the party the politicians belonged to that represented them had argued strongly to remain in the EU.
Basically, working class people generally represented by our socialist Labour Party voted to leave but the strongly internationalist, pro-EU parliamentary Labour Party and its activists on the grassroots campaigned passionately for remain.
You see the dilemma — am I worthy of that title “The Right Honorable MP for…” (for non-British readers, that is the official title of our representative, bit like Senator X)?
However, Jason’s Bourne’s favourite newspaper and standard-bearer of our liberal left, the Guardian, published an article a couple of days after the referendum explaining why and how we could legitimately “disregard” the result. This was the first salvo that the losing politicians were not going to be those honorable men and women they said they were (bit like the losing Democrats in the US were never going to rest until Trump is impeached, dead and buried and his ashes scattered to the four winds of heaven). The Guardian within six months of the result were running articles calling leavers “intellectual pygmies” (i.e. extremely stupid, retarded and ignorant), this perfectly describes the narrative that the bourgeois left was to develop.
The case was made forcefully, strongly, morally, “an issue of conscience” for politicians, i.e. they did not have to honour the wishes of their constituents; and the Guardian, our national government sponsored broadcaster the BBC, all were campaigning for a “second vote”, a “second referendum” now that the British people knew “what they would be getting by leaving the EU.”
The first vote was simplistic (how could such a basic issue that would affect our country for generations be decided on a ‘Yes/No’ vote?); now you know, let us have a second referendum or better still, a general election…
Two of our ex-Primeministers who had explicitly denied the option of holding a referendum when they were in power were miraculously converted to a “second referendum” and it seemed there was this unstoppable momentum that would ensure a “second vote”. Our politics turned toxic, open subordination and disloyalty to the party leader, briefing of journalists of confidential meetings etc and in an attempt to shut the disloyal up an early general election in 2017 was held which backfired for the incumbent PM resulting in an extreme (or, “principled”) and small Northern Irish party able to hold the government to ransom (eventually causing it to fall), and it looked like the “leave” mandate was weakening.
There was great joy and rejoicing in the halls of the Remainers!
We can now legitimately overturn the will of the people!
The politicians who did not wish to honour the people that voted them in were bold enough to completely paralyse the government of the country and to reject two negotiated deals with the EU, which, to be honest, were pretty weak on the “leaving” the EU part anyway. Public figures were now being openly abusive to one another, leave-voters were characterised as xenophobic, multi-national industrial leaders were threatening again to leave Britain if we left the EU, scientific research was going to be castrated at our universities, music and culture would collapse without EU subsidies, the City of London would move to Paris, the UK would be back in the stone-age…all because of those intellectual pygmies that had lied to the British public and deceived them into voting “leave”.
“…multi-national industrial leaders were threatening again to leave Britain if we left the EU, scientific research was going to be castrated at our universities, music and culture would collapse without EU subsidies, the City of London would move to Paris, the UK would be back in the stone-age…all because of those intellectual pygmies that had lied to the British public and deceived them into voting “leave”…”
So one Primeminister fell and another one took over — guess what, the wet-dream of the Remainers was granted and he called a general election because no-deal would pass the British parliament which was stuffed full of politicians that no longer felt obligated, because of their troubled consciences, to represent those people they were elected to represent. However, these politicians refused to vote for the general election insisting first that the “leave without a deal” option be first ruled out by the present primeminister so that even if they, the Remainers, lost the election, they could hopefully delay the exit forever and forever, amen. They even passed a law, the “Benn Act” in which the primeminister was required to send a letter to the EU apologising for wanting to leave and please give us some more time so we can figure out how not to…well, not quite that, but close.
Thus, the election was called and it seemed the Remainers had it in the bag.
One of our three main parties (but really a has-been party of the 19th century) that is known as “protest vote”, explicitly stated they would ignore the referendum result and “cancel Brexit”; they are known for their clarity on issues and then ignoring their radical commitments when they have an opportunity for power.
In 2012 they had positioned themselves left of the socialist Labour Party on all sorts of issues and then jumped into coalition with the Conservatives when Labour lost the election…do not vote for a party that does that, we may be unprincipled but we expect our politicians to at least fake it that they have some principles. Predictably, they were decimated in the following election and the Conservative primeminister laughed all the way to government, “freed from the constraints of coalition”.
Our second main party, the main opposition party, the socialists stuffed with politicians whose constituents did not agree with them, did a masterful equivocation — the leader, a Christian socialist featured on the “Christians of the Left” website (note to Americans — it is possible to be a christian on the left without being demon-possessed), torn between his loyalty to justice and democracy that he had defended his entire political life and the Marxists that had supported him personally and got him into leadership within the party— the idea being as someone working-class in a leave area you could still, in good conscience support your MP who was never going to vote leave because, he, the leader, personally — a lifelong “leaver” — would still ensure your voice was heard. If you understood that, amidst my punctuation, you will understand why he would never pull that off.
The third main party (the incumbent government party aided by a splinter group) were the only parties committed to a “leave” in some form. They had not won any popularity contests recently and were led by a philandering toff from Eton (“Eton” is where the most privileged send their children to be educated — think Ivy League if you are in the US; “Toff” is a term to use when you are jealous and envious of someone who has the Porsche you want) who was known for being “economical with the truth”.
Most remarkably, the British public, now fully-informed, took the third option — they still want to leave the EU and delivered the largest majority for a Conservative primeminister since 1979 when the “legendary” Mrs Thatcher (our first female primeminister) was elected.
It is hard to express the power of democracy that was demonstrated —
Those conscience ridden MPs that could not bear to represent the wishes of their constituents are now without their fat (sure, justified) salaries as MPs, replaced by representatives of parties that had never been voted in before in working class areas. The same pattern was repeated again and again throughout the country.
What was remarkable also was the following facts:
Not a single MP who defected to the “Remain” party from either of the main parties was re-elected.
None of the high-profile leaders of the Remain campaign that were ejected from the ruling party for failing to support the leader were re-elected if they stood for re-election as independents or in opposition to the official candidate for the party, despite high-profile support from ex-primeministers personally for those candidates.
It seems the uneducated “public” understood far more than they were given credit for.
Object lesson for the politician — do not forget to remember those who voted you in, they will always matter.
This shows the power of your vote and should be an antidote to celebrity led voter cynicism that allows tiny minority views to gain so much influence because they can get the people committed to their cause, to go out and vote, ending up with a “balance of power” or an inordinate, surreptitious influence because other unprincipled politicians will court them for their 1% of the vote.
Postscript — for those with a conscience that does not permit them to vote for hypocrites
I heard some moving testimonies from people interviewed on the radio during the election campaign — black Mums campaigning against knife-crime (a big problem in London atm); relatives of young people killed in gang wars…real life stories that the media loves to troll out at election time and confront prospective candidates with. What struck me as most sad though, was down to a man or woman, when they were asked how they would vote, they said (in as many words) “politicians are a bunch of opportunistic liars and they do not really care, I am not voting at all”.
“politicians are a bunch of opportunistic liars and they do not really care, I am not voting at all”
Now I can sympathise and even empathise (bonus exercise: find out the difference between the meaning of these words; if you cannot be bothered, empathy is much stronger and implies you have personal experience of doing the same) but think this is a tragically mistaken position that serves those very same politicians very well, thank you — for the reason I gave above at the end of the main article — they just service their self-interested donors who are disciplined enough to always come out and vote for them.
“Easy for you to say”, you might retort; well let me empathise with you a little bit with my struggles in this current election.
Now, myself, personally when I was asked about how I intended to vote and for who — surprised the person who asked me. I was a strong “leaver” first time round and this caused a lot of personal problems because I am married to a non-European and the first referendum campaign had caused all sorts of nasty racists to stick their oars in; “immigration” was a big topic and anyone who voted leave was labelled a “xenophobic racist” — and of course, no one wants to be called a racist, particularly when you were on those anti-racism marches with those throwing bits of the urinals that you had just finished pissing in at the police before the person accusing you was even born — There was quite a lot of shouting by and at me, emotion and tears within the family as Nigel Farage was going to deport my wife when he got in power…if you want to have some entertainment, google that man and read his books, he is one of President Trump’s friends so that should tell every American and many more liberals all round the world, all they need to know; he needs impeaching if we had such a thing!
In all seriousness though, to give a bit of context to that last statement, one source of resentment in some of the most “leave” voting regions of the UK was of the enormous influx of Eastern Europeans into those areas and those areas being completely unable to limit it because of “free movement” within the EU —come on, if I was an Eastern European, I too would take the opportunity to go to the UK in the first boat-load, there were whole towns in Eastern Europe that emptied shortly after they joined the EU; forty years of communism had ensured they had absolutely nothing to gain by staying (you can google those).
So, it is easy to see why racists could easily ride on people’s resentment that English was no longer spoken in some of the schools in these towns and British parents (including non-White commonwealth citizens from our old Empire days, rule Britannia, Britannia rules the waves…) were withdrawing their children .
Back to my point, when the person wanted to discuss how I was going to vote, I stated that I had written to each of the prospective candidates asking where they stand on abortion, euthanasia LGBTQ+…etc and had examined the party manifestos where each party stood on those moral issues which are far more important to me than even BREXIT. Two of the four options replied stating their case clearly and simply (they were only prospective MPs and so obfuscation was not yet added to their political skillset) and I was able to reply to them, in a civil and polite way why I would not be voting for them and informing them how they could get my vote in the future.
The trouble was, the two remaining options had party-platforms that I did not particularly agree with either — I was going to vote with my conscience regarding these moral issues, regardless of where the parties stood on leave or remain in the EU.
Yet, I also realised that if I chose not to vote, I would be voting by default for the person that did get in,..
Which, in the area I live in and because of their explicit manifesto commitments supplemented by personal communication I had with them on more than one occasion in the last year, would be, metaphorically, supporting the sucking of babies out of women the first chance they got in the name of social justice and equality.
It was a tough decision but I had to use my vote for a candidate that was the least worse of the bunch and had no chance of getting in rather than being “tactical” in the use of my vote. Yet, what I gained was a clear conscience before my family and my God. I encourage you to do the same and not let your politicians get off the hook so easily.
Post-postscript for Christians (+any other religion with a moral position) tormented by the lasciviousness and immorality of their political parties and politicians:
“But I do not believe politicians are our saviours, they are counterfeit messiahs, salvation is in Dawkins/Jesus/Buddha/Mohammed/Krishna alone… ‘come out from among them’ says the Lord and do not be yoked with wickedness”
Me neither and I agree we should “come out”, every other Tom, Dick, Harry and Harriett is now well out of their gender-fluid closet! I have no illusions about Mr Boris, Mr Donald or anyone else for that matter.
But, we should be very glad we live in a democracy and not in a place where the representatives of the State can shoot, kill, maim, rob and rape us without ever to answer, in this life at least, for what they do.
I am all for agnostic campaigns to just get people to value their vote, only 2 out of 3 people turned out to vote in this election, despite it being billed “as the most important in recent history”.
However, and speaking now as a christian, my obligation is to pray for whoever gets into power, they are the leader of my nation and ignoble or not, God will, by his common grace, enable and bless our leaders as we pray before His throne. We are to honour the choice of our fellow citizens and to trust in His Providence, He chose the best He could get from among us, it might not be much and we might not like them but since when are we, the broken pots to tell the master Potter how to run his business?