HomeBrexitMatthew Parris says the people are not to be trusted and MPs should ignore them


Matthew Parris says the people are not to be trusted and MPs should ignore them — 7 Comments

  1. The thing is he’s not 100% wrong. You can’t have the public involved in every small decision of government, it would be chaos. To govern is to choose and sometimes you have to choose things that if given a choice the public might not agree with. However these are usually administrative things. Things that can easily be changed by a change of government, tax rates, laws even.

    Brexit however is not an administrative thing. Its a fundamental change in the direction the country wants to take going forward. And that is why a referendum is a reasonable answer to deciding such issues – everyone is affected by the outcome, not just for the next 5 years of a Parliament, but potentially in perpetuity. So its only fair that instead of the 650 MPs getting to decide, in effect we all become MPs for a day and get to vote of a matter of such importance.

    This is why what Parliament is doing over Brexit is so wrong – they as MPs delegated their power (which of course derives from the voters anyway) back to all 45m of the electorate. And all our votes (on the matter of Brexit) were equal. My vote was the same as David Cameron’s. What the MPs are now doing is saying that their votes now count for more than the rest of the 45m.

    Which is totally wrong, and a denial of democracy.

  2. Remainer MPs even think some MPs’ votes should count more than others. Rees-Mogg’s vote shouldn’t count at all.

    If they had their way they’d let Junker and his EU buddies vote.

  3. I’ve been aware for some time that this is the core, founding, principle of the EU; as I always say, in the same way Communism was for the USSR and individual liberty for the US. And, as both you and Jim point out, it’s not inherently a bad thing.

    I think the project was entered into with good intentions, to prevent the rise of populist dictatorships (which, despite the panic about the likes of Trump, were a much more real threat when it was thought up in the 1920s than they are today) by erecting a cool-headed administrative dictatorship instead and taking dangerous decisions out of the hands of the people.

    The trouble is, you can’t just have a little bit of that kind of thing. Once you stop trusting the people, even when you agree with their decisions, any semblance of democracy (and I’m not a big fan of calling our system of electoral representation “democracy” in the first place, but it does at least contain some) simply flies out the window. You give them a “Parliament” with no real power in order to make them feel part of the process. You stage Council meetings to make it appear that there is debate. You ignore explicit decisions because they’re “wrong”. You set up a phoney Government department and negotiate behind its back without the Minister’s knowledge. You tell people to vote again until they give the right answer, while telling them that it’s all about giving them a say.

    As I say, I’ve been aware for a while that this is how Europhiles think. But it’s still a shock to be confronted with the cold, hard, reality of it. And the apparent lack of concern displayed by about half of the population.

  4. What we’re seeing is the consequence of years of infiltration into the Conservative ranks of squishy LibDem centrists. That’s what was always going to rip the party apart. Brexit has just brought it to a head.

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  6. As I have watched this slow motion train crash unfold something has occured to me. That is that any remainer MPs that continued to campaign on the remain side after the result of the referendum was announced are by definition unfit for office. We are a democracy. When the referendum was announced the government gave a committment to abide by the result. This isn’t complicated, remainer MPs are a disgrace and are without excuse.

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