It’s Parliament vs. the people, claims Brendan O’Neill

By Hobhouse

Brendan O’Neill, editor of Spiked, wrote in a piece named “Parliament vs. the people,” that parliament “defied the people. They pitted themselves, arrogantly, against the public; against the very source of their political legitimacy.” He was writing of course about Brexit and specifically about the indicative votes, held on 28 March.
O’Neill correctly clarifies that 184 MPs (still a defeat) voted to indicate their support for revoking Article 50, a process that would stop any exit from the EU, if it meant halting a “hard Brexit,” or what O’Neill terms “a real Brexit”. He claims that this move MPs are flirting with would “block the will of the electorate” and undermine “the largest democratic act in history.”

Predictably , O’Neil does not preface and balance his assertion, that MPs who would vote to revoke Article 50 are blocking the will of the electorate, with a comment factually stating that Vote Leave broke electoral law. This is no small emission, if, as O’Neill asserts, the 2016 referendum was the “largest democratic act in history.” If it was the largest, then the fraud of those who implored voters to leave the EU surely must be equivocally large and as worthy of note. The referendum, however, was not legally binding and only stood as an advisory vote. Meaning, it cannot be legally contested, and therefore, cannot be overturned, due to the vote holding no actual power to implore parliament to enact its directive. From this perspective, completing Brexit – given it was won fraudulently – would be a heinous crime against our nation’s democratic laws, institutions and voting rights.

O’Neil finishes the piece with a dramatic close, writing: “The choice is becoming increasingly clear: we leave the EU without a deal or we give up on democracy in the UK”. My mind says otherwise. In fact, if we leave the EU, based upon a cheat, that would set a dangerous precedent for future elections and would undermine democracy, not strengthen it. And, if MPs — our elected representatives, tasked with contending with what is and is not in the nation’s interest — decide that what O’Neil calls a “proper Brexit” is evidently not in the nation’s interest, then they should categorically strike Brexit down, or look for confirmation from the electorate in the form of a second referendum. We live in a country that is governed via parliamentary democracy and not by those who would seek to buy our elections and speak with absolute clarity about the “will of the people” – with no wriggle-room for scepticism or disagreement.

Brendan O’Neill’s article: https://www.spiked-online.com/2019/03/28/indicative-votes-parliament-vs-the-people/

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