So Corbyn & co have rightly stitched up the remainers within the labour party. They’ve watered it down to a vague commitment to a people’s vote, which may or may not include a remain option, but even that will only happen if there’s a general election, or maybe not. And it won’t be in the party’s election manifesto even if there is an election.
And of course the gang of four pro-brexit MP’s will be free to prop up Theresa May and keep their boss from power without any blow back from the party leadership. As I’ve said before, supporting labour with Corbyn in charge means supporting leave and leave at any cost, as he’s arguably a more committed leaver than many in the Tory party.
And as a result if you support Corbyn let’s be clear, you don’t really support social justice in any way shape or form. Brexit is turning upside down the lives of millions of people in the UK. The 3-blokes-in-a-pub were recently talking to EU citizens about what they’ve been through. In effect Corbyn believes its okay to turn millions of people into 2nd class citizens, on an issue which they were never allowed to vote on. Explain to me, how that’s any different from the Tories at their worst? And the EU has pointed out that what goes around comes around, anything the UK applies against EU citizens will be reciprocated by the EU.
Furthermore, if brexit goes ahead it makes everything labour committed to at conference impossible to deliver. To implement his policies, Corbyn will need money. But brexit is going to raise living costs, lower tax revenue and drive up borrowing costs. In short, there won’t be much wriggle room for him to put up taxes or borrow to fund anything. He’ll be spending most if not all of his premiership just putting out fires.
Hell he may as well have promised to give everyone houses made of gold bricks and keep the rich in a cage outside Downing Street, which he’ll occasionally poke with a stick. Its about as likely to happen as anything else in labour’s manifesto, so long as they ignore the brexit elephant. Labour under Corbyn isn’t a political party, its the cult of the one true Corbyn. And they will deliver dilly squat.
It is for these reasons I thought I’d debunk a few of the main arguments against having a 2nd vote:
“A people’s vote won’t be democratic”
The definition of the word democracy is “a system of government by the people for the people, typically through voting….”. The word breaks down into dêmos (which means “people“) and krátos (which means “force” or “power“). So a “people’s vote” won’t be a “people’s vote” WTF !?! I know all these posh boys who went to boarding schools speak Latin, but you really need to brush up on your language skills.
“We need to respect the original decision”
Okay so labour under Corbyn believes that the brexit vote was a sacred act, which cannot ever be voted on again, now and until the end of days. While the decision the electorate made just over a year ago to put the Tories in charge was a mistake and the public should be made to have another go, under threat of a general strike. And presumably they should keep voting until Corbyn wins!
Electorates change their minds. Especially when they learn that they’ve been conned, or that one side or another has been found guilty of electoral fraud. If you believe we should “respect the original decision” then you don’t believe in democracy. By that same logic MP’s should be voted into power once and for life, regardless of what crimes they commit or how crap they are at the job or how many lies they told to get elected.
“Twenty million/62% of consistences — insert massively over inflated figure — voted for leave….”
Brexit was only supported by 37% of the electorate, or only about a quarter of the current adult population (when we include those excluded from the poll). So it is stretching things to suggest it had actual majority support. And there’s polling evidence to suggest attitudes have changed.
Given the gravity of its potential impact it really does require some sort of 2nd vote in some form or another, preferably with a rule requiring support from 50% of the electorate or a two thirds majority in every region of the UK. Otherwise odds are, once Corbyn and May have both succeeded in screwing things up, there will be another referendum anyway, this one aimed at getting back into the EU (which btw will come with accepting the euro, proportional representation a proper constitution, etc.).
Furthermore, surely if you are that confident that leave is the “will of the people” surely you’d WANT a 2nd vote to kill off the issue for a generation. I mean if those numbers are correct, you’re going to win anyway, let the baby have his bottle.
“Remain lied too”
Given that Cameron Sir Pigalot and Osborne the slimy one were leading the remain vote, that’s probably true. I mean part of the reason he had to go is that he’d told so many porkies since getting elected it was getting hard to keep up. Recall Cameron’s problems remembering which football team he’s supposed to be a supporter of.
However, two wrongs do not make a right. This is not some sort of game we’re playing. If remain lied, that still makes the vote invalid and means the referendum should be re-run. In most other countries it would be. Indeed, it is this moral hazard aspect of the brexit vote that worries me. Letting the leave campaign get away with electoral fraud is opening a massive can of worms. It means that if you can bully and lie your way towards something, with the support of just a quarter of the people, then anything’s possible. Just read UKIP’s manifesto and imagine what sort of a bus they could drive through the country with this precedence on the books.
“In Greece/Ireland/—insert random EU country you know nothing about — they make you vote over and over until the EU wins”
By which they are referring to the fact that in some cases there’s been more than one referendum in these countries on the same issue. Ya, because we’re grown ups who realise that people make mistakes and need to be given the opportunity to think again. And also it has to be pointed out that in these referendums the no camp represented the status quo (we were voting on changing how the EU worked, not on leaving it and some didn’t want it to change, hence they voted to keep things the same, the opposite of the leave vote position).
Furthermore, there were specific problems with these past referendums, which is why they really had to be re-run. For example, in the lead up to the Nice Treaty vote in Ireland one politician even said he hadn’t bothered to read the treaty and you’d be mad to try. While Sinn Fein claimed that the minimum wage would fall to about 2 euro and Irish would be conscripted into the new European army.
So prior to the 2nd vote the government got “clarification” from the EU on various issues (i.e. that Sinn Fein are a bunch of lying ba$tards), they actually bothered to read it this time and even got some minor changes to the text approved. If anything, this makes the case for a 2nd referendum in the UK along similar lines.
The unspoken truth
Of course the real reason for not supporting a 2nd vote, which no leaver will ever admit to, is that they know they got lucky last time and fear that won’t happen again. A combination of Cameron being in charge (encouraging a protest leave vote), leave’s milk and honey lies, election fraud, a refugee crisis in Europe, Russian trolls and the mass surveillance and manipulation of millions via facebook, all served to tip the balance. I recall a pollster suggesting that there was only a one in four chance of leave winning the last time, so the odds of that happening again aren’t great.
And ultimately, the chaos of brexit won’t effect brexiters, with their gold plated pension and in many cases an EU passport and an offshore bank account. Instead, it presents them with an opportunity. While you’ll find nobody in labour who’ll admit it, they secretly hope brexit will go ahead and be a disaster as this increases the odds of Corbyn winning a future election. So in other words, they are happy to help the Tories burn the house down, in the hope they’ll be able to have a go at burning down the garage later. Its sadopopulism at its very worst.