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People’s Vote or a General Election

January 16, 2019

Only 15 days into the new year (as at the date of writing) and already 2019 looks to be shaping up to be quite the roller coaster.  It was never going to be an easy year, the Year of Brexit, but the government’s defeat yesterday in the largest loss suffered by UK government in over 100 years has thrown even more confusion over the whole situation.

I’m exhausted.  Ever since the electorate who turned up to the polls vote by 52/48 to leave the European Union, there has been constant argument about what deal to make, whether a ‘No Deal’ is feasible, whether the vote should be allowed to stand when it was such a narrow margin and more people didn’t vote than took part, and now whether to 2019 largest uk defeat brexithave a ‘People’s Vote’, a general election (or, maybe, both) or just to push on through with a No Deal and basically cross our fingers and hope for the best.

In my opinion the vote on whether to leave the EU was fundamentally flawed when both sides of the argument accepted it would be a ‘yes/no’ vote.  On the ‘Yes’ side there was no information as to what any likely deal might be and the electorate were comprehensively lied to by the Brexit campaign*.  On the ‘No’ side, we were led by Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn who was already widely known to be a Eurosceptic, wanting to leave the EU for very different reasons to the ‘no’ campaign as the EU is very much a capitalist organisation and JC wants a more socialist cooperative EU, and as a result the campaign was not seen as enlivened or engaging**.

So now what?  There is still poverty increasing exponentially, death on the streets as a result of violence or apathy including right opposite our seat of government, increase in use of food banks, disabled people being forced into situations where their health is severely compromised by the dire welfare/social security system and suicide seems the only option – there is so much happening in this country that we forget because Brexit takes up all our time, media and patience.

We need a People’s Vote and this time it needs to be an informed one and the campaigns led by people who believe in the result for which they are campaigning.  May was a Remainer leading Brexit, Corbyn was a Leaver leading Bremain.  It was never going to work.  I like Jeremy Corbyn and a large amount of what he stands for, but on this we disagree.

If we do have a people’s vote it must be truly informed.  We cannot have a ‘Yes/No’ vote.  We need to have options, and we need to know exactly what the deal is that we would be voting for if we voted out.  We cannot have a vote without it being informed, as we are consenting to an action being taken by our government which will have long-term repercussions beyond our and our children’s lives.

We don’t need a General Election, not yet.  The country is not ready for that, and it won’t solve the problem as it will be an election based on the EU issue.  The country and we the people deserve and need so much more than that.  We are living in a situation where membership of the EU is the topic that would override all other considerations.  Our people deserve more than being an afterthought to a trade deal.

peoples vote

I will be watching with interest and more than a little trepidation.  The next few days and weeks will be a rough ride.  But then again, I think this country has got used to life being a rough ride now.  We need a people’s vote.  Then, after this has all settled down a bit, THEN we need a general election.  But we don’t need Theresa May, whatever.

So, politics, bring it on. Again!

 

* https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2016/06/how-brexit-campaign-lied-us-and-got-away-it
* https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/jun/23/brexit-demonstrators-london-we-were-lied-to
** https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jul/05/how-remain-failed-inside-story-doomed-campaign
** https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewcave/2016/06/27/how-europe-was-lost-five-ways-the-remain-campaign-failed-in-britains-european-union-referendum/#26058b5b19db

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