Our government says that saving the country (as 6 million people have asked them to) would cause
“Potentially irreparable damage to public trust”.
Is that hypocrisy I smell?
It’s just that, well. Two years ago David Cameron chose the preservation of his party’s popularity over what’s actually good for the country. And then Jeremy Corbyn ignored what the word “opposition” meant and got right on board with babysitting Farage’s brain child. And then, because of some big red bus sized lies, the public got on board with this too.
It’s likely that even more than 6 million of us have recognised over the past two years that actually, democracy is supposed to be based on a government which is trying to make the country better, not worse… What’s happening right now is clearly burying Britain in a world of isolation and division, aka a world of worse. I’d guess that means public trust is pretty low at the moment, wouldn’t you Theresa?
And yet, in all likelihood, today’s debate on the petition to revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU will demonstrate yet again that the government wants to pretend that public opinion still hasn’t changed. And whilst I love the BBC, on top of this, it seems like they’re a little more sympathetic than usual to government opinion, too.
I say that because of the treatment of first female Foreign Secretary, the first woman to lead Labour and the longest serving female MP in the Commons on last month’s Question Time. Those are all the same person, by the way – so not only is Margaret Beckett an actual inspiration (love her), but she’s going to know what she’s talking about. So when she was booed by the majority of the audience for daring to say the words;
“Whatever the House of Commons decides, it has to come back for confirmation to the People”
I was shocked. Not because she was booed, but because of the sheer number of people who looked like they’d been sucking on a lemon. Now I know the BBC have been called out for not mocking the left enough in the past (mostly by those in the Daily Mail whose personalities seem to suggest they’ve always got a lemon handy to bite on), but it seems like this right-wing bias has been increasing in the recent past. Fiona Bruce’s smug misquoting of polling statistics in front of Diane Abbott, for example, shows that perhaps the BBC isn’t as impartial as the public would like to think it is.
I think the reason this bothers me so much is that I’m pretty sure there’s plenty of people out there who would like to have a real say in something which will massively affect us for the rest of our lives. As someone who has recently gained the right to vote, I feel I may be a little biased in this. But, I’m sorry to say, the previous “voice” given to the people was manipulated anyway – the “winning” campaign overspent and outright lied. Who’s really winning, though, when people are genuinely preparing for a political change in a similar way to how they would for an apocalypse?
Of course there are still people, like most of that Question Time audience, who believe that those of us calling for a People’s Vote are betraying the country. That’s the main cry of the one or two who protest to the side of the anti Brexit marches in London, now reaching over a million people at a time. This is one of the most stereotypical answers to that argument, but for me it’s always going to be a solid one. Previous Brexit Secretary David Davis himself said;
“If a democracy cannot change its mind, it ceases to be a democracy”
Obviously, the public needn’t have a say in every political decision that the government makes. It’s not our job to look after the country, after all. But when the government is clearly failing to do that, it’s only fair to let us have a say in changing that.