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View from here - Our Parliamentary Candidate's perspective

October 23, 2019 6:25 PM
By Ellen Nicholson

22nd October 2019

South West Wiltshire Prospective Parliamentary Candidate - Ellen NicholsonVitriol has been much in evidence across Westminster and beyond over these past weeks, the deliberately inflammatory language in and out of Parliament with little concern to the consequences, last Saturday's failure of the Brexit deal to be approved by the House of Commons to the Prime Minister's juvenile display sending multiple letters to the European Union and the recent words written by the local MP describing Parliament as a "miserable, disingenuous, conniving parliament once again ratted on its duty to represent the long suffering public it purports to serve".

The SW Wilts MP highlighted MPs requiring protection on 'Super Saturday', decrying the people who campaigned for remain as aggressive, yet made no mention of the same occurring to Labour MP Diane Abbott from supporters of the leave campaign, less still of the threats that women MPs have experienced due to inflammatory language, and it isn't just limited to MPs, it's rife across the Country.{1}

Hate crime has risen dramatically since the referendum, {1} and campaigners can all testify to the level of antagonism and threat that has been evidenced with doorstep conversations.

This singularity of opinion, lacking rationality and the unwillingness to listen to others that has caused many of the current problems, - the 'I'm right, so you can't be' approach rather than recognising that there is richness of debate where diversity of views is allowed to flourish.

It is frankly astounding that an elected Member of Parliament, fully cognoscente of the concept of representative democracy, would describe the institution in these terms. Whilst MPs primary responsibility is to act in the national interest, whilst also acting in the interests of their constituents, Parliament also has a collectively responsibility to ensure due process and scrutiny is given to bills and amendments, it cannot and should not gamely wave through any deal for which no economic impact assessment has yet been seen which might cause economic damage to the Country, according to the Governments own analysis.

For over 3 years the United Kingdom has repeatedly heard the phrase the 'will of the people' the 17.4 million, from the poorly formulated advisory referendum formulated with little thought of consequences and 'promised' to implemented despite the fact leave would mean different things to different people and where the group Vote Leave broke the law, to three Conservative prime ministers, two minority governments and a general election, in truth it's starting to sound like a Christmas tune, though it certainly doesn't feel as if it's something to celebrate.

The referendum was always to close to call, 17.4 million people may have voted to leave the European Union in 2016 but often unmentioned is the fact that they are a proportion of the approximately 65 million United Kingdom population. The then government instead of taking time to reflect what 'leave' actually meant for the UK has been blighted by lacklustre prime ministers, the one who ran away, the one who was deposed by colleagues when they didn't deliver quite the right deal, to the current mendacious version. Prior to the referendum, Boris Johnson, seemed unsure which side he favoured. As mayor of London, he had privately dismissed the idea of quitting Europe, in the run-up to the referendum, he drafted an unpublished newspaper column warning that Brexit would cause an economic shock, and perhaps even trigger the breakup of the United Kingdom. But, caring passionately and exclusively about his prime ministerial prospects, Johnson came out swinging in favour of Brexit. {1}

The United Kingdom's reputation abroad has been trashed, no longer are we seen as a moderate and clear sighted nation, In September 2019 The Washington Post wrote that in their opinion Britain was in a lose-lose situation, they highlighted the promises 3 years on were now exposed as lies and rather than saving British taxpayers money, the withdrawal agreement lays down that Britain must pay a hefty exit fee of almost $50 billion to Europe. The British economy, previously one of the best performers in the Group of Seven leading industrial countries, has slumped toward the bottom of the league table. Peace in Ireland is at stake, and the Scotsare again talking about independence.{2}

The current MP states that the solution isn't another referendum rather they prefer a general election, however the last general election in 2017 provided a hung parliament, it's debatable whether another one would look any different, whilst the polls indicate increased seats for the Conservative party, polls in the past few years have been notoriously inaccurate.

This impasse started with the people of the United Kingdom and it's past time it went back to the UK population to decide, but this time it needs to be clearly defined what people are voting for, no lies, accurate economic analysis's, and a wider electorate ensuring that none of the those who have been disenfranchised in the past three years, our European colleagues, friends and family who have been denied their democratic right to vote are enabled to have their say too. In reality there is no deal better than the one that the United Kingdom already has with the European Union.

In the meantime the general public have learnt a lot about how Politics in the UK works or rather doesn't work, some of the archaic traditions and processes, the dreadful shrill shouting and disrespect evidenced in the House of Commons has been astounding, such behaviours would ensure many people were dismissed from their place of work if they behaved in such a manner.

Perhaps some of the local MPs words were written in frustration as the realisation that the process of 'taking the back the control from the European Union that was never lost, would be so difficult, but as John Maynard Keynes once said " When the facts change I change my mind, what do you do sir?

  1. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/09/04/brexit-lies-new-birth-british-democracy/
  2. https://fullfact.org/crime/hate-crime-england-and-wales/