The real Brexit coup: how parliament betrayed the people

Today and every day henceforth until 31 October, British democracy stares idly into a
daunting abyss. Not the ‘No Deal’ abyss that Swinson and Soubry sing of from the green benches,
but one that could shatter the integrity of British democracy for a generation.

After years of dragging their heels throughout the Brexit process, condescending working class
people and performing unfathomable mental gymnastics to reconcile a ‘belief in democracy’ with a
fundamentally undemocratic position, the Remain establishment has finally come clean about its
motives. The Liberal Democrats now want to revoke Article 50, the Labour position is to hold a
second referendum and campaign to Remain, and 21 Conservative MPs sacrificed their lifelong
political home in order to crush the Government’s chances of ever reaching a viable Brexit deal.
It wouldn’t take a mystic to predict back in 2016 that the Europhile Tory bigwigs and Blairite
throwbacks with their deep roots in parliament would stop at nothing to overturn the largest
political mandate in British history, simply because it didn’t suit them.

More devastating, however, is that the historically Eurosceptic core of the Labour Party has been just as outspoken in its defiance of the demographic it was founded to represent. The Labour Party I joined and canvassed for in two
general elections now seems perfectly content with ignoring a vote that mobilised millions of
working class people, many of whom had never voted for anything before in their lives, patting them
on the head whilst calmly stating ‘we know better’. This culture of condescension is the reality of the
Parliamentary Labour Party.

The Labour Party has abandoned its historic voter base in favour of the new, metropolitan left. A
group most vividly represented in the toxic Europhilia of the People’s Vote marches in London. An
embarrassing boiling pot of Bourgeois outrage, these marches mainly consist of people who’ve
never set foot north of Watford (which explains their remarkably bigoted attitude towards northern
Leave voters). They conflate notions of Europeanism, progressivism and tolerance with the European
political project, but the reality is that support for the EU should have no purchase on progressives,
democrats, and certainly not anyone on the left. Riddled with nepotism, with a tendency for
authoritarian overreaching of its legislated powers, and consistently pro-austerity in its economic
policies, the only logical conclusion is that the ‘leftist’ Europhiles simply misunderstand the character
of their beloved European Union. But of course, it’s the brutish northerners who didn’t know what
they were voting for… The more reasonable Remainers hide behind a fear of the impact of Brexit-
induced economic uncertainty on the most vulnerable in society. Ironically, however, it is these very
people that are increasing the likelihood of the allegedly disastrous No-Deal with their
obstructionism, rather than helping to achieve a deal that works for the country.

As an activist during the 2016 referendum, it was incredibly refreshing to see the return of passion
to our politics. I witnessed people on both sides of the argument voting for something with
enthusiasm – an emotion notably absent for years. Many Brexiteers went to the polls believing that
for the first time that they could have an impact on British politics. Brexit should have been a
watershed moment: a realignment between parliament and the people that injected vitality into our
democracy. But instead, if the Remain establishment gets its way it will be the final nail in the coffin
for our democratic system, rendering parliament a technocratic talking-shop for the foreseeable
future.

 

Image: John Allan via Creative Commons

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