Betrayal, and beyond

I don’t get this idea that “we should not betray the majority who voted Leave”. Or the idea that ”we should just leave the Leave side to sort out the mess they have created”. We are all in this together, including the youngsters who overwhelmingly voted to Remain and will be still suffering the consequences when many of the elderly Leave voters have died.

A lot of betrayals have occurred. We were all betrayed by the Government, which held a referendum that hardly anyone wanted, in the pursuit of a struggle between right-wing factions and an openly racist minority party.

The Leave voters were betrayed by Cameron, who promised the Government would act immediately on a Leave vote, and then didn’t.

The Leave voters were betrayed by their own side, who made promises they never intended to keep, and that would be impossible to carry out anyway. That had no plan. And made the campaign overwhelmingly about immigration, with a unmissable racist theme.

And the Remain experts, the ones Leave said to ignore, were proved right.

Whatever is done now, there are unpleasant things going to happen. If we leave the EU, the UK will break up and England (outside London anyway) will suffer more economically than it does now – and as a result there will be disaffected Leave voters. If we don’t, we still have a massive problem with an emboldened extreme right and disaffected Leave voters.

But undoubtedly leaving the EU will be worst. Don’t forget that, when we negotiate with the EU, they have experienced negotiators – the ones that we have for the last forty years paid to negotiate on our behalf as part of the world’s strongest trading bloc – and we shall be represented on the political side by the same ignorant, incompetent and corrupt politicians who visited this disaster on us.

The referendum was not binding on the Government. It is time for Parliament to assert its sovereignty, behave like adults for once, debate the referendum and the reasons for the results, and then (hopefully) reject the result once and for all. There are very good reasons to do so.

Then the Government should begin without further ado to try to undo the damage it has done to whatever extent that is possible. To reestablish full cooperation with our European partners. To investigate the economic circumstances that led to protest votes against the political system. To create a voting system that allows people peacefully and fully to reflect their concerns through Parliament. To end the economically illiterate and disastrous policy of austerity.