As this Brexit crisis has degenerated into a nightmare, with Remainer MPs making their no-holds-barred attempt to block Brexit while the prime minister tries to force through her dreadful and dishonest snatch-Remain-out-of-the-jaws-of-Brexit deal, I have been very moved by the messages readers have been steadily sending me demonstrating that amongst the public, Britain’s indomitable spirit has not been quashed.
Far from it. As this thing has staggered from lies to incompetence to manipulation to intimidation to vacillation to constitutional chicanery and a total contempt for the people, all because of their democratically expressed desire to govern themselves once again by leaving the EU, I have watched public anger and outrage rise to unprecedented levels.
Far from being cowed by the apocalyptic predictions of chaos and worse from leaving with no deal, the resolve of many people to do just that has merely been stiffened. Their rational clear-headedness, courage and profound and principled dislike of being bullied and of seeing the rules of the democratic game being torn up show that, although the country is divided and a dismaying number of people so clearly disdain the core elements of Britain’s historic culture as an island nation which invented political liberty, there are still many others whose hearts remain fashioned from British oak.
Accordingly, I reproduce below a few of the longer comments I have received in order to give comfort and courage to those now grieving for what their country appears to have become. Take heart: there are still millions like you.
Thank you so much for your voice of reason. There is now only a very small number of people with the ability and opportunity to express in the wider media what so many of us feel. You are certainly one of them. The disconnect between those in government and those that voted them into government is starting to cause absolute fury from where I am standing — among the dog walkers, people on the checkout, meter readers, the man replacing my tyre etc. We have all started to talk to each other in a way that I have never experienced before. We have no other option. We make a slight comment to test the water and if that is positive it all comes pouring out. The anger is widespread and it is deep.
As far as I am concerned, a very clever game has been unfolding such that what those in the media now refer to as Brexit (i.e. the Withdrawal Agreement) is actually the Remain of the voting paper and what they refer to as No Deal is actually what 17.4 million of us actively and knowingly voted for as Leave. That the two main groups are now divided by a common language makes it almost impossible to follow the Brexit debate since those doing the talking (the elites, for want of a better word) and the listening (those considered too plebeian to have a valid say) are communicating at cross purposes, often unknowingly. I can only assume that this duplicitous situation is the result of careful planning. It would certainly be useful in a binary rerun of the referendum; with option 1 being Mrs May’s Brexit deal and Option 2 being Remain in the EU. Since both options are of course Remain.
I am a law-abiding, tax-paying, indigenous 57-year old, married with two children. I have never ever been as cross as I am at the moment about what is being said and done by my traitorous government and about my inability to do anything about it. I close my ears when I hear that I didn’t know what I voted for or when that wretched bus enters the discussion. I knew exactly what I was voting for – sovereignty, and all that comes with it. I voted Leave despite the economic hit I was assured would come our way. For the never-ending discussions to continue to focus on the economy is just one enormous filibuster and for people to plan with glee about how a growing number of MPs will be punished at the next election is also a nonsense. Reinstating sovereignty in the country that I love is so much bigger than that.
None of us who voted to come out of the EU voted for a deal. We simply voted OUT! with no strings attached. Now we are being sold down the river by Theresa May and her misguided “sheep,” to say nothing of John Bercow and Corbyn’s mob.
If we end up being bullied by Europe to stay half in, half out, due to incompetent, bungling politicians, the next time I visit a ballot box it will be to write a rude expletive across my ballot paper. I will have no confidence in any politicians. (I barely have any now.)
I am as steadfast in this mess as I was when I voted out two years ago .
If the government betrays the voters in this regard, it will finish the notion of democracy in the UK as a whole . For the first time in my life I may consider a train to London, to march ( hopefully) with thousands of like minded patriots who have been stabbed in the back by this, the ultimate betrayal of the UK . I cringe when I think of what this country endured during WW2 and of what these modern elitists and the deranged leftists have done. I feel like Czechoslovakia in 1939 , sold off to appease Hitler. It seems history has taught us nothing . I am rather old these days Melanie , it is not me I worry for, but my nieces and nephews who will grow up without the remotest perception of their own place and identity in the world.
You have identified the frustrations many of us feel in the People v Parliament situation. Given the evidence you present and the reams of other evidence listed in Briefings For Brexit and our own experiences, why are MPs blocking our best bargaining chip?
I also find it amazing when they blame Corbyn but he is not the one creating the fear stories. It is as you say, MPs who are too thick to understand or too closed-minded to even look. Corbyn is doing what he should in opposition. His aim is to win an election not to support an extremely bad deal or a govt that only knows how to do austerity.
The Sunday Times published something akin to a piece of Nazi anti-Jewish propaganda on the 10th March. It was a scientific report that Leavers are dim compared to Remainers. This is another subliminal message to make Leavers feel that they are on the wrong side and to reinforce Remainers to stay with their view. This was on page 3, not buried in some hard to find corner of the paper. It marks for me possibly the lowest point in Project Fear by diminishment of Leave voters.
[This reader then wrote to a TV politics show as follows]:
Accepted by almost everyone – Mrs May’s Deal is BRINO [Brexit In Name Only] and puts us in a worse position than staying in.
MPs are arrogant. They take it as accepted that we the electorate did not know what we voted for. This is absolutely untrue. I would throw that argument back to those extremist Remainers. We voted for taking back control of our borders, our law making and our finances. No claims given on either side swayed us. What swayed us was what we saw in the decades in the run up to the referendum.
I would also point to the Scotland referendum. The silent majority didn’t come out with their aggressive campaigning, they just quietly went and voted and that vote was accepted.
Shame on Teresa May for trying to remain by producing such a poor deal that she has brought us to such division. Shame on MPs for standing on a mandate to be elected that promised to take us out of the EU. Shame on the EU for its intransigence, inequality, secretiveness and costly self-promotion.
No-deal is now all we can do to circumvent those deceitful institutions.
It appears that the Brexit issue has all come down to one parliamentary vote as to whether the UK can leave the EU with ‘no deal’. It appears that everything that has happened between the referendum nearly three years ago and yesterday has been pure obfuscation.
This is a very sad time for the UK and for its parliament (which has effectively voted to neuter itself as most power now resides in Europe). As Sir Mervyn King pointed out (4 December 2018): ‘There have been three episodes in modern history when the British political class let down the rest of the country …in all three cases, the conventional wisdom of the day was wrong’.
So parliament has made a terrible mistake. As you have pointed out, parliament is negating the wishes of the people with who knows what eventual consequences.