We should have left the EU today.
The largest and most peaceful democratic vote in British history has resulted in… well what, three years later?
This Hotel California Brexit (You can check out anytime but you can never leave) has now dragged on for so long it has allowed the anti democratic forces of superstate authoritarianism to rise again. They were pushed back briefly but the delay and obstruction has allowed them to slink out of the shadows.
As I’ve warned here before, if you thwart democracy, what is left? Democracy is not a natural state of affairs; history is replete with how humans used to settle their conflicts and none of it was pretty.
But self serving politicians, an incompetent Prime Minister and anti democrats everywhere have conspired to ignore the vote. “The electorate were misled. They didn’t know what they voted for. It was only advisory. It was close. The Russians swayed people’s minds. The electorate are thick. It was a protest vote. Leavers weren’t given a choice of HOW to leave. We should have another referendum now we know more.”
There’s a strain in - mainly left of centre thought - that increasingly cannot accept democratic losses. They are morally virtuous, their enemies are evil and so any ballot box loss is therefore illegitimate. We saw it in the reaction to Brexit, Trump and any ‘populist’ (aka popular, non establishment) win or surge.
But accepting you lost is a defining and necessary characteristic of a democracy. I hate losing but I accept you cannot have a peaceful country without it. Richard Nixon, when faced with evidence that JFK cheated in 1960, chose not contest the result as he knew it would tear society apart. That is Nixon story everyone who writes the narratives these days forgets. But it is the most instructive.
If democracy is denied then the result is violent chaos. To all those MPs who are actively trying to ignore a specific instruction from the country and to those outside who daily try to undermine the 2016 referendum, I say this: be careful what you wish for - human history shows that the line between a peaceful society and bloody war is a narrow one. Do not rush to cross it.
(And I recognise that in our current climate where only one opinion is allowed - in work, on social media - outing myself again as a Leaver is a risky prospect. But I no longer care. I care more about democracy than I do about remaining silent. Today is bad day for Britain.)