Are EU kidding me (Part 5): So now what?

Posted: 10th July 2016 by Get No Happy in Uncategorized

So, it looks like there’s nothing we can do about the vote. So is it possible to salvage anything from this cluster-fuck? Well yes, but only if those that voted Leave stick by their delusions, or should I say “clear and logical reasons they voted to leave the EU”. What do I mean? Well, if we take much of the reasons people voted to leave at face value, they could lead to real and positive changes for the way that the UK is governed. See below

Date: 28th June

So, it is becoming clear that we just had a very strange referendum.

Firstly, it was a vote that the people didn’t use to carefully deliberate on their future, so much as use as an once-in-a-life-time opportunity to stick a spanner in the desires of politicians, business men, people with letters after their name, and, for one or two, the life-plans of the nice Estonian couple down the road. Some of whom, it appears, are now quite surprised the decision affected the world.

Secondly, it was a vote in which those running the winning campaign, having realized the enormity of what they’ve done, just want to hid under their duvets and hope it all goes away.

In fact the only person from the higher echelons of power really happy about this is someone so rabidly anti-EU, one can only assume that as a young child his Father explained that it was the reason Mummy now lives with Uncle Steve.

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Aren’t referenda fun?

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OK, I said positive.

So, let’s say I accept the vote was a genuine protest by the people about the alienation they feel from the political elite and the global economy, and the perceived lack of accountability law makers have to the electorate. If for now we ignore the ‘dirty protest’ aspect of the outcome, or indeed that normally protesters set themselves on fire rather than their children’s future, I can get behind it.

In fact it is quite positive.

Because if this is the case, it follows that the Brexit government that will follow Cameron’s resignation will have to do the following. Or at least that, at the next election, the following will be
vote-winners:

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1) The suspension and roll-back of privatization.

Never have public services been so unaccountable. From hospitals to Olympic security, private firms have walked away with barely a slap on the wrist. There is minimal public oversight, no officials to fire or vote out, and companies are often foreign-owned. Now, many say the private sector is more efficient. I disagree, but that’s for another time. Nevertheless, the Brexit vote was clearly not about fiscal efficiency but ‘control’. Thus, if you voted for Brexit to “take back control”, you must be in favour of bringing essential service back under the Government’s, and thus the electorate’s, control. Because if you don’t want a bunch of EU bureaucrat (that is, elected MEPs and representatives from national government, just saying 😛 ) apparently controlling everything, how could you tolerate your kid’s school being run by a billionaire based in the Cayman Islands?

It is likely that the most free-market ideologues of the Tory party will soon be running the government. The opposite of what a lot of people seemed to have voted ‘Leave’ for. If this truly was the people’s stand against an elite who play with their livelihoods and savings like pieces on a chess board, against globalisation, against unaccountable power, then you have to stand against the signing away of control over the infrastructure and services we depend on.

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2) Increase MPs pay, and prevent second jobs.

This is a personal one for me, and may seem odd, but bear with me. The tragic murder of MP Jo Cox forced many to consider how we demonise politicians. Governing is a difficult job and they deserve both respect and to be paid appropriately for such a job. BUT, from a transparency POV, it’s appalling that MPs can also be part-time board members or consultants to large private institutions. Not that I think MPs are corrupt, but they should not have two master; Caesar’s wife must be beyond suspicion and all that. So, greater pay, but no secondary sources of income. If there is a mandate for accountability, this would be a great, simple and easy way to start.

Again, if you’re truly concerned about elites sticking together, then ensuring that sitting MPs cannot be accused of helping themselves or of vested interests is an important step. Might not seem much, but it is doing the small things right that breeds trust in the bigger things.

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3) The big one, change the voting system of the UK immediately.

Immediately.

If this was a referendum about control we don’t need another a la AV.

It’s no wonder people feel alienated from our political system and unable to enact positive change. The only votes that matter belong to a few thousand people in a couple of villages famous for not making up their minds until the last minute. Equally, no wonder people feel alienated when 1.1 million votes and 2.4million got the Greens 1 MP and Lib Dems 8 MPs respectively, but 1.4million netted the SNP 56 and 11 million votes 330 for the Tories! As the Green MP Caroline Lucas said, if this was a referendum about taking back control, there is no alternative but to change the voting system. Now I would prefer PR, but STV would be a happy medium as people like the fact they are selecting *their* candidate rather than having the party executives’ favourite thrust upon them.

As with the other two, if we the people voted against the powers-that-be and against the “unelected and unaccountable” powers of the EU, then allowing our own political class to maintain their positions of absolute security and indifference is impossible. Make them fight for every community’s vote come 2020 and beyond.

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I imagine that of the above suggestions, two at least would be very much supported by the majority of people on both sides of this referendum. At the end of the day, if we (well, you) really believed and followed the cry for more “control of our own destiny”, and for the higher echelons to be more accountable, then you can’t *not* support the above.

If we go by the most optimistic interpretation of the referendum vote, then there is an appetite for more open democracy. Let’s not lose this inertia. We’re probably not going to make ourselves richer, more important or sadly more accepting, but we can at least make Britain fairer.

Is that positive enough?

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Date: 10th July (‘today’)

In sum, if you voted leave for non-racist reasons you should support the above. However, shockingly, this isn’t happening.

Just to give an example, here is the response I received from one of the few Leave voters willing to admit to said decision about voting reform, quote in full “It’s not up to me, and no party is behind changing the system”. ARE YOU KIDDING ME, no party was except UKIP was behind leaving the EU, but you were happy having a say on that.

While this was of course but one guy, I think it just adds my assumption people were, to misquote Jurassic Park, wielding their vote like a kid who’s found his Father’s gun. They made a big show about sticking fingers up to the ‘elites’, to an ‘unaccountable EU’, but have failed to draw the same conclusions about our Government, you know, the one that ACTUALLY makes our laws. Leave voters were just kittens following a dot of light without questioning the motives of the person hold the laser pen.