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Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall; A UK General Election is the Best ‘People’s Vote’ of All

by John Brian Shannon

Why would some UK politicians attempt to delay Brexit by pushing for a so-called ‘People’s Vote’ when holding a General Election is the best ‘People’s Vote’ of all?

There must be a reason.

And the reason some UK Members of Parliament are running scared of voters is because they know they might possibly delay Brexit by contriving the conditions necessary to hold a 2nd EU referendum, but they also know they’d probably lose their seat in the House of Commons should a UK General Election be held anytime soon.

Which doesn’t strike me as democratic.

Some of these MP’s are very shouty about the benefits of democracy and freedom of choice. I hate to point out the obvious here, but if you’re calling for a 2nd referendum (that you wrongly imagine you can win) and are simultaneously trying to prevent a General Election, you’re not a democrat.

In short, if you’re using your elected position to inflict your personal agenda on Britons it means you’re a pirate, not a democrat.

A UK General Election is the best 'People's Vote' of all?

A so-called ‘People’s Vote’ via a UK General Election is the best ‘People’s Vote’ of all. Image courtesy of The Sun.


What do ‘The People’ Think?

Some 60% of Britons want the government to get on with it!

And that percentage includes former Remainers who respect the fact that the democratic Will of the People is more important than their personal bias.

Now, that’s a subgroup of people who believe in democracy and they deserve plenty of respect from Brexiteers.


Are We There Yet?

I’ll remind you that it took the UK working with its allies 2042-days to defeat the biggest war machine ever created in World War II. Meanwhile, it’s taken 1,209-days (as of today) to get almost nowhere on the Brexit file. Pathetic! But the UK shares the blame with the EU as both seem to have a problem delivering on the democratic Will of the People.

Such democracies can only be seen as something less than pure democracies because they aren’t as responsive as they should be in delivering on the Will of The People.

Most Britons believe MP's had plenty of time to discuss Brexit

Most Britons believe MP’s had plenty of time to discuss Brexit. Image courtesy of USA Today.


The ‘Will of Parliament’ is Nothing Compared to The ‘Will of The People’

If UK politicians derive their political legitimacy from voters (and they do) then those politicians have agreed to be bound by the wishes of the people who elect them.

Democracy can’t work any other way because by any reasonable definition, any other way isn’t democratic.

So, why are these politicians using the power granted them by their constituents to pursue their own agenda, instead of doing the job done they’ve been hired to do?

And what more do they think can be accomplished that wasn’t accomplished in the 1209-days (40.3 months) since the 2016 EU referendum?

Yes, it is the remit of the government to decide ‘how’ and ‘when’ things happen, but it is not the remit of the government to decide ‘what’ happens — that’s decided by UK voters on election day.

To put it bluntly; ‘Policy and Procedure’ are decided by government while ‘Direction’ and ‘Empowerment’ are decided by voters.

For some inexplicable reason, these lines have been blurred in the UK to the detriment of democracy writ large.

As to how Britons view Parliament’s handling of Brexit, the same poll referenced above found British MP’s lacking; “The poll found 89 per cent of people said “all of Parliament” were to blame over the lack of progress in Brexit.”

Take note Parliamentarians! That’s a memo from YOUR EMPLOYERS — the UK people.

The Brexit Team: Swiss Watch or Contraption?

by John Brian Shannon

One of the most credible economic stewards to serve Britain in a long time is the inscrutable Philip Hammond who has done nothing but improve the UK economy since the day he was sworn in to the post. Which was merely an extension of him having been born for the job, it seems.

It’s not only that; Mr. Hammond’s word carries a lot of weight in foreign capitals, and in the EU his word is his bond. Soft-spoken, adroit and adept, Hammond is one of the darlings of financial capitals everywhere and it’s a great thing to see him in his element.

So began Prime Minister Theresa May’s summer vacation, where she and her husband (also named Philip) went off to Switzerland to take the mountain air and hold long and meaningful conversations at full stride up the Matterhorn.

Leaving the country in the capable hands of Philip Hammond must be a comforting thought for Theresa May as she and hubby blow past the tourists struggling to get to the top for a selfie. My advice: Just get out of their way or you’ll get run over. Seriously.


The Exchequer comments on post-Brexit Immigration

However wonderful it is having a powerful Exchequer, there is the temptation for them to overstep their bounds and cross over into the areas of responsibility reserved for the Prime Minister.

And just as predictably as that; Before Theresa May had gotten her first alpine air, Hammond told reporters, “there should be no immediate changes to immigration or trading rules when Britain leaves the EU in March 2019.” (Sky News)

It’s forgivable, and probably wise for Conservatives to be seen voicing the concerns of voters on both sides of Brexit. However, Exchequers should stick to their primary interest (the economy!) and let others, whose direct responsibility it is, to hold forth on immigration issues.


With Theresa away, the Remainers will play

While Theresa May gets some mountain air, the Remainers in the Prime Minister’s cabinet are clearing the air by presenting their side of Brexit — and that’s fine. But let’s make certain that fair play rules are enforced; Which means that cabinet officers publicly comment only on their primary area of responsibility. Only the Prime Minister has the authority to publicly comment on all matters, otherwise it looks like a circus.

Every misstep is celebrated in foreign capitals. People in the EU who may be opposed to Brexit are incredibly strengthened by each implied criticism directed towards the Prime Minister by members of her cabinet.

The entire period of Brexit is a highly unique time, a time where all Britons must pull together and come to the realization that many in the EU are fighting for a ‘Win-Lose’ outcome, an outcome where Britain loses vis-à-vis the European Union.

Meanwhile, the best of the Brexiters are fighting for a ‘Win-Win’ outcome where both Britain and the EU win. And those are the people I’m putting my money on.


Clear Lines + Clear Thinking = Positive Results

There’s nothing wrong with MP’s on both sides of Brexit informing the public about how they would proceed on any matter — as a sort of trial balloon to gauge public mood. That can be useful moving forward by keeping those who voted Remain interested and engaged with Brexit, and there is every opportunity that Remainers may come up with excellent ideas related to soft Brexit implementation within their field of expertise.

But greater care must be taken to avoid strengthening the hand of anti-Brexit forces in the EU, now that Britain has finally! asserted her rights.

Government ministers must draw the distinction between legitimate discussions about how Remainers (read: Soft Brexiters) or vocal Brexiters (read: Hard Brexiters) would handle any Brexit issue — and how the wrong sort of discussions or even the wrong tone of discussions could work against Britain in foreign capitals. The wrong public discourse works against both versions of Brexit.

Let’s not be naive. Each misstep by anyone in the UK government is celebrated at the EU Parliament and certain EU capitals. Whatever is going on behind the scenes within the UK government, a unified face must be presented to the world in order to obtain the best Brexit result.


Controlling the Narrative: Job #1 for Every Prime Minister

UK government ministers, and possibly even the Prime Minister herself may not yet realize the extent to which the world now sees the United Kingdom as a completely different entity. The UK no longer exists as only one of 28 EU members, and what the UK will eventually become, is unfolding every day like an onion being unpeeled.

Is the UK destined to become a nation of cross-talkers, mixed messages and unreliable partners? Or is Britain starting with a clean sheet to become all that she can and should become in the 21st-century?

Only the Prime Minister knows, as she’s the one holding the pen. Let’s see what script she writes.