This was written in reply to a letter from the South Holland and the Deppings Leave Co-ordinator, Craig Jackson, in the Spalding Voice entitled: ‘Remoaners’ looking to undermine (Democracy)’, https://www.spaldingvoice.co.uk/letters-remoaners-looking-to-undermine/
I am sharing it to a wider audience as I hope that it crystallizes why the peoples vote is the only viable option in bringing about unity to our great nation and for that matter my Conservative party.
The Brexiteer cry of ‘they are trying to undermine our democracy’ as echoed by Craig Jackson in the letters section of this week’s the Voice, has become somewhat a tired if no completely broken record.
The one thing that I have learned in my 40 years as a Conservative, about democracy, is that it is not, a constant. But rather it is a moving and evolving feast.
To say that the Remain camp are trying to somehow subvert democracy, completely misses the point, it is at best naive or possibly a complicit statement intended to mislead.
Let us start with an example: So you vote to jump off of a cliff and are told at the time that there will be a safety net and everything will be fine. Some people will decide to jump, others will chose not to (get where we are going with this?).
However as the great day draws close when we are all to be taken over the cliff edge, it transpires that actually there is no net and there is a high possibility that you will plunge to your death.
Do you say, ‘It is the people’s will, I am their leader, so I must follow them (to quote what Paul Eddington’s character the Minister, ironically said to Sir Humphrey in ‘Yes Minister’).
Or do you say, let’s hold on a moment, pause and rethink this. What we really need is the consent of the people on the now known final position (deal).
As a fellow Conservative and MP Dr Phillip Lee said in his resignation speech, ‘In my medical experience, if a course of treatment is not working, then I review it. I also have a duty to get my patient’s informed consent for that action’.
This could not be any clearer, if a requirement for informed consent from a patient is needed then so there should be ‘informed’ consent from the electorate on any final deal, with an option to keep the status quo.
The ‘dead parrot’ accusation again levied by Craig is that this is in some way a ‘London centric remainers’ or Metropolitan Liberal Elite plot, well this has also long been discredited.
So desperate are some elements of society to go on the attack, I was told on social media that I had no right to comment on UK affairs and should stick those of my own country – some confusion of where ‘South Holland’ and the Deepings is with the more indignant ‘patriot’ methinks.
There are people from all walks of life, backgrounds, locations and political persuasion, who support a Peoples Vote on the final deal.
As if to emphasise this, I like a lot of Conservatives was in Birmingham last week and attended the Conservative Conference fringe meeting of Conservatives for a Peoples Vote.
The room was packed, so were the corridors and even MPs were being left outside. The press and TV heavily covered the event as did social media. The message was strong and coming from inside our Conservative Party.
Brexit is the most critical thing we have all faced as a country since World War II, its ramifications will affect the UK for decades to come and it demands ‘Informed Consent’.
It is worth again noting that 189 Conservative MP’s backed remain compared to 139 who backed Leave and a growing number of these are now backing a peoples vote.
We can talk endlessly about the Leave (Loathers) and Remain (Remoaners) and the evils of the self interest group the ERG that our local MP John Hayes is a member of.
We can even quote specific cases of where redundancies have been made in the financial sector or as announced only this week, Mercedes change of mind in bringing production jobs to the UK due to Brexit.
I have personally spoken with a Rev Canon, who has responsibility for looking after spiritual needs of the rural community in Lincolnshire, he confided in me his growing concern of the increasing list of farmers in various degrees of distress over the effects of Brexit that they are already experiencing. As we saw in the Spalding Guardian this week, some are now speaking out.
At the end of the day though, we can still salvage this. And pull the country back together again, to heal the rifts that are splitting families and communities.
It is not about overthrowing democracy as Craig might spin it, it is about enacting democracy as we as citizens have the right to do and should do.
But doing so with the full facts of what is actually on offer and then giving, or not, our Informed Consent by way of a ‘Peoples Vote’.