Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Lord Butler is not a very nice man

According to PoliticsHome [is that still going?—Ed], Lord Butler has advised that, in the event of a Brexit vote, Parliament could use its Remain majority to force another referendum.
Former Cabinet Secretary Lord Butler has suggested the House of Commons could use its pro-EU majority to trigger a second referendum if there is a vote for Brexit next week.
Ah, the famous EU-style tactics of "ask them again till they give the right answer" from Lord Butler here.
The crossbench peer warned that any push for a re-run or attempt to stop withdrawal would trigger a “major political crisis”, but said it was “paradoxical” to prevent Parliament acting as it sees fit.

"The referendum is merely advisory, and Parliament and the Government do maintain their sovereignty in law,” he told The House magazine.
Yes, Lord Butler—we know that the referendum is advisory. But Parliament has taken the decision to ask the people what their opinion is on this issue.

If the people vote for Brexit, and Parliament ignores the result, it would be acting explicitly and purposely against the will of the people on a subject that it expressly asked them to decide on.

It would be the final confirmation that this is not a democracy that we live in: it would be a very dangerous and explicit admission of what, currently, we only suspect to be true.
“One argument of the Brexiteers is that they want to restore powers and sovereignty to our Parliament – but all three main UK parties officially favour Remain. So it seems paradoxical to give powers back to Parliament to do something it does not want to. There might be pressure on parties to hold a second referendum.”
My dear Lord Butler, Brexiteers want to restore powers and sovereignty to our Parliament, so that we, the people—not Brussels technocrats—call the shots. We want to repatriate powers so that Parliament has no choice but to listen to us—because it is our power, not yours.

So what if all three parties officially favour Remain? If the people that the parties' MPs represent do not want to remain in the EU, it is not Parliament's place to dictate to the people who elect it. That is the main fucking point about democracy.

I know that you—having smoothly made the transition from civil servant to Lord—have not had to answer to the electorate for anything at all, and that's just fine and dandy for you. However, in this country, we do like our leaders to at least retain the fig leaf of accountability—to, at the very least, pretend that this is a democracy.

I know that you probably don't like the electors very much. In which case, I suggest that you go and work for the EU—that would be right up your street.

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