I will be frank. I am a convinced European Federalist, a position I have held since 1975, when the first referendum was held, and Britain voted decidedly in favour of the European Union. My view has always been, at least since then, that we should be part of the United States of Europe, with a president of the USE, and our own monarchy (I am a republican) redundant, and merely a kind of tourist attraction. I also believe in the full surrender of parliamentary democracy to the European Parliament. And — here’s the kicker — I would prefer England, Scotland, Wales, and Cornwall to each be constituencies electing representatives to the USE Parliament, further making the British Parliament a redundant tier of government.
But I know that such a concept is probably not popular. Ultimately, I would like a one world government. And yes, this would be, literally a utopia, and ‘one man’s utopia is another man’s dystopia’. I recognise that like some of my other ideas, such as the universal ‘citizen’s allowance’ instead of the current benefit system, may be regarded as fanciful eccentricities. But someone has to think about them. And sometimes, they become fashionable, against all the odds. For example, the privatisation of the railways was considered to be a laughable, right wing fantasy when people like Lady Jane Birdwood and Sir Keith Josephs suggested it. Then, of a sudden, it happened! Most of the privatisation was inconceivable when first suggested. European Federalism was not thought to be so out of the way when organisations like, ‘The Young European Federalists’ were founded.
But to business. I never wanted a first referendum, let alone the second one — yes, we’ve already had the second referendum. We vote for a government to negotiate such minefields as this. Referenda are illusionary, they give the public the illusion that they have a say in the running of the country. They are irrelevant to our constitution. And a wise government, (though I’m being a little hypocritical saying this) does not hold one, unless it is certain it can win it. The Labour Party being in disarray was one of the reasons why the referendum was lost — and lets be sure about this, it was lost, the Government never intended for it to go in favour of a ‘Brexit’. But be that as it may; I was more dismayed that we did not get a decisive result, one way or the other. Instead, we got a fudge. I will now, doubtless appear cynical, but I am pretty certain that if there had been a decisive vote in favour of leaving the EU, the Government would have hemmed and hawed a bit and then said: “It’s OK, we’ve renotiated the terms, thank you for your suggestion, but we’re staying with the EU.” And there would have been nothing to stop them doing so. But a fudged result of 50% + or – 3 % (which is, statistically, within the noise level for any communication system, which is what any national vote actually is) is rather more problematic. Here’s the thing: whenever our ancient puffing and wheezing Parliament votes on any bill, it doesn’t have a ballot, still less have people pressing buttons. The speaker calls for a division, those in favour shout ‘Aye!’ and those against shout ‘Naye!’ and the speaker says: “The ayes have it!” whereupon, the opposition shout ‘NAY’ as loud as they can, and the speaker says: “The nayes have it!” and so the ‘Ayes’ shout again, and the speaker says: “Clear the lobby!” and the members of parliament traips through your actual corridors of power and officers count them as they go, and — yes it happens — some of them try to go through the lobby twice. It really is as silly as it sounds. But with this chaotic system rattling in their ears and in their bones, the cabinet, seeing the fudged result of 52/48, which under any other circumstances, would have been considered unresolved, they are now, completely at sea. No wonder they muttered meaningless platitudes like: “Brexit means Brexit”.
The result is fudged, and the government’s actions are fudged, too. The likeliest outcome, one that is getting likelier all the time, is that we won’t actually leave the EU, but we won’t exactly stay either. In other words, neither side of the ‘debate’ will be satisfied. It will be resolved in hot air filled rooms, in continental corridors of power. We will all be told that the solution will suit everyone, but it will in fact suit no one. And the whole thing will be judged by posterity to be a monumental waste of time and money and very very bad for our economy and international reputation.
Thank you very much David. When you joined the party wrecking Bullingdon Club, you learned your lesson well!