Friday, March 22, 2019

Marching for a #PeoplesVote Saturday 23rd March 2016

Britain is in the biggest and most dangerous political mess that I can recall in my 72 years of life.
The Cabinet is divided, Parliament is divided and the country is divided.

Why? Because the Tory Party is divided.
Why was the Tory Party divided?
Because they Tory party stands for two things: Profit and "Patriotism".

Profit says stay in the EU.
"Patriotism" (for which read Chauvinism, Nationalism or Little Englandism) says get the hell out of the EU.

So the Tory party is essentially divided. Ideologically split.
The split goes deep and way back. It did for John Major  - remember his "Bastards" remark.

So David Cameron had the bright idea that he could solve the Tory division by putting it to the people in a referendum.

Thanks, Dave. The Tory party remains split, and now you've passed the division on to the nation.

Before the 2016 referendum the EU was not that much of an issue for Brits as a whole. During the referendum campaign interest in the EU naturally rose, and sentiment against the EU grew, due at least in part to the 82% bias in favour of Brexit in newsprint articles. 

To a large degree, Brexit is a monster created by the media. 
It is noteworthy that Gove and Johnson are both journalists. 

Fig 1: Response to question "Would you vote again for Brexit?" 
       Red = Leave, Blue = Remain

The above figure shows that the public maintained their modest support for Brexit for one year, but over the last 18 months there is a steady and significant growth in the Remain vote, such that if a Final Say referendum were held, the country would vote to Remain by a greater margin than they voted Leave in 2016.

Of course, any individual poll has a wide margin of uncertainty, but the aggregate and trend  represented in Fig 1 is very significant. Remain would almost certainly win a second referendum, and by a wider margin than Leave had in 2016.

Which is why the media cannot bring itself to give the final say any fair coverage.

Parliament is at a loss. It is obvious that the reasonable way out of this dilemma is to put the question again to the people in a second referendum, with the choice being between May's Treaty and Remain. This need not be a painful and protracted experience. We have heard enough debate about Brexit. All we need is a couple of sheets of A4 with a thousand words describing the perceived advantages of each side, and the pain could be over in a couple of weeks. 

The thought that a final say referendum would be "undemocratic"  is total nonsense. How could a referendum be undemocratic?

The argument that it might be indecisive is theoretical, and runs against the evidence of the above figure.
The argument that it would be divisive is without merit. We are already divided, thanks to Cameron. Only the people have the power to choose to end the division now.

The only alternative would be to revoke Article 50, which is hugely favoured by the people with its petition standing at 3.35 million as I write. But this action would require endorsement by the people, otherwise it really would annoy Leavers if it was simply imposed by Parliament. 

That is why we are marching for a #PeoplesVote tomorrow.

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