The End of British Parliamentary Democracy?

It’s a moot point whether David Cameron should ever have called a Referendum on Europe, but if more voices are not heard now, then Parliament may loose its purpose altogether. With enormous anguish about a very small majority in the Referendum, 52-48% of us, that changed after the result, it has now taken a passionate private citizen to even bring this through the courts. Bravo, and apologies from Britain for all the foul online hate you have had to suffer! But Constitutional law demands that actually Article Fifty can only be triggered by a vote in Parliament, which is being debated tomorrow and on Wednesday.

Well, those who have fought for Brexit crow that it already happened with the Referendum last June. Actually, if Donald Trump can so cut through Democratic processes, nothing is certain in Politics, much what the Brexiteers want of their own power, and nothing is absolutely true either. Except perhaps momentum. The report on Channel Four news after the Supreme Court decision, put the likelihood of any real opposition to Brexit now though as absolutely negligible. Why?  Because Labour is in such pathetic disarray and was never particularly European anyway. Because the Liberals were destroyed by being too keen to exercise power and then Nick Clegg’s attempt to fight an election simply on being the middle-ground, restraining, supposedly reasonable force was a shameful disaster. Because the truly moral voices of visionary Conservatism, like Ken Clarke, stand against a supposed tide of history and individual ambition.

So MPs from all parties, consumed with fear of ‘popular opinion’, and no doubt swept up by the heady Executive power being shown by Donald Trump, will ignore the problem of a Referendum, the fact that it was no sweeping victory at all, and all the confusions of a future they can neither see nor understand. But it is precisely why there should be a huge grasp at the chance of true debate now, or true and creative opposition, despite David Davis’ plan to sweep this through with a quick, short Act, 137 words long. True opposition will not happen, because we live in a populist, increasingly demagogic age, that has forgotten the most fundamental principle of true Parliamentary Democracy, over push button, Plebecite politics, expressed by that great Tory Edmund Burke, during the French Revolution, in his speech to the electors of Bristol.  There he not only foresaw the coming Terror but defined the fact that though an MP owes their power and responsibility to their electors, they also owe the electors the authority and freedom of their own conscience. The truth is there was never any true debate about Europe, or the World, because the pro Europe Campaign was so lame.  Perhaps no excuse, but if we are really talking about British Sovereignty, Parliamentary Democracy, surely now is the time that Parliament itself must stand up, each individual MP must stand up, and have a true debate. It will not happen.




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