Just in

Sometimes I wish people would just listen to themselves

It is not yet 1.00am as I begin typing.

I have already been at my computer for an hour with Radio Five Live’s Steven Nolan Show in the background discussing – yes, you’ve guessed it – Brexit and specifically the notion of holding a Second Referendum as a way of resolving the current chaos, as apparently is now being considered even by members of Mrs May’s cabinet.

By a ready reckoning I have now listened to four listeners in six phoning in basically in support of the proposition, on the basis either that in 2016 those who voted Leave didn’t know what they were voting for, or that – now we know what the deal options are likely to be – it is obvious that we’re all going to be homeless and penniless within six months, or both.

To me, the issues are neither of the above but the principle of democracy itself.

If one accepts for present purposes that those who have lost a vote – if nevertheless they are convinced that their case remains correct and/or has subsequently been proved to be so (as opposed to anyone else’s who voted the other way) – are entitled to have a re-run, then some of them ought to begin considering the implications.

For example, presumably those who hold to such a view would also be happy to accept that – say there was a General Election and Jeremy Corbyn thereby became Prime Minister – that anyone who didn’t vote for the Labour Party in that Election should automatically be entitled to a re-run because … supposedly … everyone with half a brain would be only too well aware that Corbyn in Number 10 for five years would result in a national disaster on the scale of the Black Death and a nuclear war combined.

Or that, to give another scenario, if there was indeed there was to be a second EU Referendum and the result was to Remain – since thereafter all those who had voted Leave (and therefore lost) would know or suspect in their waters that staying in the EU would be the totally wrong decision for the UK’s future – they should automatically be entitled to a Third Referendum.

The truth is the uncomfortable one that accompanies democracy in any from and which in 2016 David Cameron foolishly either forgot to consider and/or, if he did, got it 100% wrong.

If you conduct a popular vote on anything you have to be prepared not to get the answer you were intending or hoping for.

Government by plebiscite is a recipe for disaster. This is a fundamental truth that our supposed elders and betters in the political establishment would do well to heed as they plot themselves ever closer to the abyss.

About Simon Campion-Brown

A former lecturer in politics at Keele University, Simon now lives in Oxfordshire. Married with two children, in 2007 he decided to monitor the Westminster village via newspaper and television and has never looked back. More Posts