Weary of the Brexit debate, WILLIE GILES offers a final test: The Excalibur Moment
AVALON LIES SOMEWHERE TO THE WEST: it is a dream, an aspiration, an ideal. Some sort of nirvana which we know cannot be attained, but which nonetheless represents the best that we might achieve and which accordingly gives some flesh to the morals and ethics we use in everyday life.
It weaves a fabric of nationhood and also hints at the gallantry that is a prerequisite of this privileged position.
From this deeply ingrained but artificial group-memory of life under King Arthur and his magical Merlin, people have extracted elements that pervert the whole poetry of the heroic dream.
Some say we can recreate our days of Empire and be a positive and ruling voice in the modern world; others that we can be an insular country providing a happy and thriving home for our existing population.
Still more say we can achieve more by being a part of a whole that transcends individuality: that being a part of Europe has helped to keep the peace for two generations. While the rest moan that Europe has too many rules that frustrate business and social development.
What is clear is that two years ago, people voted narrowly – on inaccurate and sometimes dishonest information – to leave Europe and start a new era of global relationships with the promise of more money for all and an end to bureaucracy.
What is now abundantly clear is that this rosy objective is not going to be achieved.
Theresa May now seeks to deliver an impossible Brexit in the very little time left to her. This has become the reason for her existence at the expense both her honesty and the long-ago-lost respect of friend and foe alike.
She is now little more than a senseless flag waved by the warring wings of her party who cling to the slippery tailcoats of power.
Jeremy Corbyn, meanwhile, seeks to deliver a different but equally impossible Brexit with his support crumbling each time he shies away once again from putting his trust in the people.
Do you remember your days building boats and sandcastles on the golden sands of your favourite beach, in my case along the Northumberland coast? Each time they were built, the tide would come and wash them away to present a fresh patch of sand for the following day.
King Canute found that he couldn’t order the tides to obey his will; that change was a part of the pattern of life.
It is the same with Brexit: the tide has turned and opinions have changed. It is time to raise that mystical old sword Excalibur and ask the people of these islands what they think of the almighty mess our leaders have made following the nation’s so-called Big Decision.
How? By asking them to vote again on the changed circumstances as they are now presented:
Oh come on, Mr Giles. How many more times do the Brits have to vote? Nothing has changed from last time. The European Union is STILL a hopeless mess dedicated to keeping its bureaucrats and favoured nations rich and powerful, while impoverishing others. Britain’s politicians are STILL a hopeless bunch of idiots who mostly should be in jail for incompetence at everything except fiddling their exes and lying.
Your idea just perpetuates the old Euro cry — “They voted the wrong way! Makes them vote again! Until they get it right!”
The next months should see Britain Leave — either with a “bad” deal which keeps us tied to the worst of the EU’s rulebook, or with “no deal” which involves a year or two of chaos until things are sorted out by real people.
These will appear at the next election when the old Tories and old Labour and their accidental leaders will be swept aside. The UK can get back to being a sensible country, while watching from the sidelines as the old EU disintegrates
Obviously I read your comments and I’m searching for any logic that you have displayed but all I see is the annihilation of existing political figures and institutions, a significant event change that will then be followed by a new generation of politicians, who will miracurously become competent in a new and diminished environment.
Come on Roger, to coin your phrase, a change in policy does not produce a new and vibrant political class. We need instead a new and vibrant political system that will seek a plan that searches for and defines a new era of peace, cooperation and compassion and has the courage to move away from self-interest and protectionism. I look forward to talking with you about how this might be achieved but whilst our current crop of politicians are abysmal, objectives that depart from self-interest would surely be a good starting point for a new crop of thoughtful politicians?
Willie. Thanks for the reply. A bit of debate is always a good thing. I see you no longer mention your demand for another Leave or Remain referendum. You now say we need “a new and vibrant political system.” Well, that rather rules out the European Union. But you are advocating a revolution. I am not. I like the system we have — but not the current crop of MPs. I merely said a rapid General Election is needed — and anticipated that both main parties would drop those twerps May and Corbyn. Surely there are no voters left daft enough to vote for either. Perhaps a new party of your “thoughtful” politicians will step forward. In the referendum the People took decision-making out of the hands of Parliament. The choice between Leave and Remain is no longer anything to do with MPs. They were simply told by the People to organise the Leaving. You might be on better grounds if you proposed a second referendum which asks the voters if they approve the terms of leaving, not the fact of leaving. Rejection would mean leaving without a deal.
Setting aside my supposed impeccably non-aligned editorship of this site, might I suggest to both Willie and Roger, the opposing factions in this fascinating debate, that the solution both short- and long-term is neither a repeat of the In-Out referendum nor simply a General Election on the grounds that the nation has lost confidence in “its current crop of politicians”.
To change the two-and(occasionally)-a-half party system we need some form of proportional representation which would give voters what they have proved through the referendum result that they demand: a say in their own affairs?
Willie and Editor. A simple system of proprotional representation is not a bad idea and is one Parliamentary change I would support** —- so long as it is not the Party List sort of PR where you don’t know the individuals you are voting for. Remember, in 2015 UKIP polled four million votes, 12% of the total, for only ONE MP. We don’t have PR because both main parties are scared of it.
But all this is too late for the Leave or Remain argument. The sooner we get out of the EU and start repairing the damage, the better — the cure includes putting and May and Corbyn in a two-man leaky dinghy and sending them off to Europe.
**Plus abolition of the unelected Lords, of course.