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Friday, 3 November 2017

Britain's Brexit: Try seeing the wood, not the trees!

To be honest, most British people probably don't follow the Brexit debate day in and day out; as many uber-pundits do. And if they did, then they'd probably end up seeing pretty minor details as being major; and fairly insignificant happenings as being momentous. Yes, they'd cease to see the wood for the trees.

In one article on the “vote of the final deal”, for example, it was very difficult to understand what exactly it was all about. Yet the journalist who wrote it and the politicians involved were all trying their very best to make every single letter of the issue seem monumental. (Their careers depend on doing so.) Now of course it could be that most Brits are political philistines who don't like the trees simply because they're ain't titillated by the political “small detail”; as serious politicians are. (Or at least the politicians directly involved in this stuff.)

Of course it can also be said that it takes just as much intelligence – sometimes more intelligence – to see the wood rather than the trees. (This accusation is also often aimed at analytic philosophers.) That's primarily because many of those involved with the small political detail are often simply pedantic opportunists intent on furthering their own political causes and/or careers.

Despite all that, the bottom line is very simple:

On the 23rd of June, 2016, the United Kingdom held a referendum on whether or not to remain in the European Union. The “leave” vote turned out to be higher than the “remain” vote.

As the north Norfolk DJ, Alan Partridge, once put it: “It really is that simple.”

True, it wasn't a 99% to 1% vote on behalf of Brexit. And many Remainers do believe that it's the worst thing that's happened since the Bubonic Plague or the Second World War. However, the vote was taken and the British people decided to leave the EU.

Yet many Remainers are essentially attempting to veto the vote by questioning it in all sorts of arcane and convoluted ways. They talk about voters (i.e., Brexiteers) being “lied to”. What they mean by that is they really think that all (or perhaps just most) Brexiteers are, well, dumb (or, as they put it, “low-information voters”). Either that, or they claim that Brexiteers are “racists”... or “provincials” (i.e., peasants) ... or “Nazis”... or “haters”...

Indeed there have been all sorts of confabulations and ultra-complex arguments as why the vote must/should be retaken. Though what if the same kinds of thing were also said after a re-vote which went in the Remain direction? Ad infinitum... Of course in this instance Remainers wouldn't talk about “low-information voters” and the “the tiny voting margin”. Instead they'd talk about high-information voters and state that the largeness/smallness of the voting margin is irrelevant. Yes, many would even mouth the cliché, “The people have spoken.” Such is the self-deceit of many Remainers.

Just like all those outraged, angry and pious leftwingers and Democrats after the election of Donald Trump, Remainers simply didn't like the result of the vote. Thus they suddenly became deeply unhappy with democracy. That's the true source of their ornate and convoluted case against the Brexit referendum.

Not that anyone should believe that our democracy is perfect. And not that the referendum itself was perfect. We all know that neither is or was perfect. However, we simply shouldn't trust those who very suddenly discovered the flaws of democracy on the 24th of June, 2016. 

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