About this Section
With tens of millions of words printed and more spoken, why pick out a few quotes as important? This section picks up telling statements which comment on why the Third Referendum has so far been the Choice That Cannot Speak Its Name, though no serious commentator denies it is possible – even as a second referendum, a folly we pick up in the T1 comment on how the commentariat believes it is yet to come.
But there is more than ignorance in the key themes pointed up in this section. Inside the Westminster bubble, not understanding the fundamental right to challenge any vote is widespread but is not universal- David Davis, Minister for Exiting the European Union, said in 2013 “a democracy which cannot change its mind is not a democracy”. A quote which is essential reading.
But the bubble largely fails on the governmental duty to secure the future of the nation, epitomised by the quote from the Archbishop of Canterbury in a debate in the Lords on March 7th 2017, denying the right to vote on the Deal being cooked up under the Article 50 process. He said “neither is the complexity of a further referendum a good way of dealing with the process …. It is not democratic, it is unwise. Even if circumstances change… even if the change drastically – a dangerous and overcomplicated process is the result of a referendum”. This was never argued about the decision to leave, only now about the chance to vote on what may be damaging consequences. More on this hypocrisy on this website as the damage of Brexit unfolds.
At the core of the claim that the referendum was democratic is the claim by Leavers that the issues were fully discussed, the debate was rational. It certainly secured a majority so was legitimate but the comment by actor Danny Dyer on ITV’s Good Evening Britain on 29th June, has to be remembered.. What people inside the Bubble say is important. But ordinary people must be listened to as well. The father of Love Island candidate Dani Dyer said “Who knows about Brexit? No one’s got a clue what Brexit is,… you watch Question Time – its comedy. No one knows what it is – its like this mad riddle, so no one knows what it is”. Clever people ignore Love Island contestants at their peril. The Love Island candidates talked earlier in the month about what they did not know, and calling Brexit a “Mad Riddle” is fair. Brexit is a Riddle which millions of words have not clarified. But what follows is very relevant.
Tory drivers of policy Peter Hitchens Laura Perrin interview
“The referendum was held to save the tory party not the nation.”
May 18th 2018 referring to the Feb 4th 2016 blog by Peter Hitchens which had criticised the referendum before it happen, Hitchens gave the response (PH favours the EEA option)
“everything I said was obvious at the time, as it is obvious now. It required no great prophetic powers to see that a referendum, if it voted yes, would lead to an almost permanent constitutional crisis. The whole ghastly thing was held to save the Tory Party, not the country”
Emphasis added Ed.
Hitchens is a Conservative who writes for the right wing press, notably the Daily Mail
Boris Johnson 15 04 18 Marr show BBC 1
“They voted with a substantial majority to leave the EU. We’re now trying to deliver on that mandate from the people”.
Trade Unionists Against the EU
A statement from TUAEU (conference 2017? printed 15 04 18)
“There must be no delay in the timetable for our departure from the EU.
“The General Election and the resulting hung parliament cannot be an excuse for delaying our departure from the EU, leaving the single market and ending the freedom of movement, all of which are the declared policies of both the Tory and Labour parties. Those who wanted to overturn the referendum result or have a second referendum were treated with scorn by the electorate.
“The posturing by the Tories ‘no deal better than a bad deal’, a meaningless concept, specially (sic) when Theresa May talked about the dire consequences of a no deal, has to end. Similarly with Labour’s vacuous ‘not walking away without a deal’….
“the task of both parties, indeed the task of the new parliament, is to deliver a clean and clear BRexit with the best deal possible with the EU in line with the timetable set by the triggering of Article 50. This is not as difficult as some would led (sic) us to believe. Those who continually speak of ‘difficult and complex’ negotiations are attempting to prepare the public for backsliding on the referendum vote….
“Last June the older generation rescued the nation from the European Union. This June, they gave the nation to the younger generation to shape ….” Emphasis added.
“Those who try to block the referendum decision will be pushed aside, as will those who want to use it to create a bargain basement Britain”.
Keir Starmer and Referendum Counting
Independent 7th July 2018
“Speaking at a private meeting of the Labour Business Group… asked what would happen if the final deal is voted down, Sir Keir said: “It is parliament that should decide what happens next… this might involve a general election or a “People’s Vote”. He added “we’re not calling for it. We respect the result of the first Referendum. But we’re not ruling out a second referendum.”