Britain leaves the European Union

Blackleaf

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Oct 9, 2004
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We really don’t regret voting for Brexit

Voters made a wise and reasoned choice in the EU referendum, and we’re sticking by it.

Brendan O'Neill

BRENDAN O'NEILL

CHIEF POLITICAL WRITER

21st October 2021
Spiked

We really don’t regret voting for Brexit


Ever since that magical day in June 2016, when 17.4million of us voted to leave the EU, the hunt has been on for signs of ‘Regrexit’. They’ll change their minds, Remainer agitators insisted. The ‘low-information’ throng that voted for the worst thing ever will eventually come to its senses, however depleted those senses might be, Remoaner commentators predicted. Every poll that uncovered the faintest signal of doubt among Leave voters, however thin the poll was, however leading its questions, was waved around as a justification for binning the whole thing and holding a second referendum. And yet the truth is, we really haven’t changed our minds. The vast majority of Brexiteers still love Brexit. We’d vote for it again if we could.

The myth of Regrexit has just taken another pounding, this time from the latest British Social Attitudes survey. As the Guardian sums it up, through gritted teeth no doubt, ‘Nine in 10 of Leave and Remain voters [say] they would vote the same way again’. There has been no big swing either way. Ninety-two per cent of Remain voters say they’d cast their ballot in the exact same way if the referendum were to be restaged. Just six per cent say they’d switch to Leave. And 85 per cent of Leave voters say they would line up once again behind Brexit – a rise from 82 per cent in the 2019 survey. Ten per cent of Leavers say they’d defect to Remain. (I want a word with those people…) ‘In short, it is still the case that relatively few of those who voted in the EU referendum have changed their minds’, says the BSA survey.The survey found that Britain is still ‘heavily divided on the issue of Brexit’. A significant section of the population – 46 per cent – say they identify ‘very strongly’ as either a Remainer or a Leaver. That’s pretty remarkable: nearly half of us now feel a strong bond with political identities that have only really existed for five years. Bad news for those who naively hoped the words Leaver and Remainer would disappear from daily chatter once we officially left the EU and instead everyone would sit down and sing ‘Kumbaya’. But good news for those of us who find it quite stirring that political life has been so radically shaken up by the 2016 referendum, and who think ‘Leaver’ and ‘Remainer’ are far better descriptors for today’s clash of values and principles than the exhausted terminology of the 20th century is: left, right, Labour, Tory, etczzz.

Whether you are a Leaver or a Remainer influences how you view the entirety of political life, the BSA survey suggests. So Leave voters are more likely to trust the government than Remain voters are. Between 2016 and 2019, BSA surveys found that Leave voters were more likely than Remain voters to ‘almost never’ trust the government to put the national interest before party interests. However, the proportion of Leave voters who feel this way has fallen pretty dramatically – from 40 per cent in 2019 to 19 per cent in 2020. Clearly the election of Boris Johnson’s government, under the banner of ‘Get Brexit Done’, has altered many people’s view of officialdom’s trustworthiness – in today’s case, whether it can be trusted to enact a democratic vote. Leavers and Remainers seem to be drifting further apart on the fundamental question of whether politics even works – many of the former now think it does, much of the latter is unconvinced.I always thought it was a spectacular folly to try to tame the ‘polarisation’ of the Brexit era. Even some Leavers exhibited an instinct for ‘consensus-building’ and ‘bringing the nation together’, as if such platitudes could magic away the deep political, geographical, class and age-based fissures exposed – not made – by the EU referendum. Too many viewed the Brexit war as an offshoot of the culture war. Sure, some people exploited the Brexit phenomenon to wage a cultural crusade – think of the five years’ worth of bile sections of the Remainer elites heaped upon the apparently thick, racist electorate. But at root, Leaver vs Remainer is a battle over whether we value democracy more than so-called expertise, and whether we truly trust ordinary people to determine the fate of the nation. Leavers say yes; some Remainers say no. Such a deep national split cannot be wished away. On the contrary, it should be celebrated – it clarifies the political tensions of the 21st century, and lays the ground for the important fights ahead.

Let’s end by noting just how remarkable it is that Leave voters remain loyal to leaving. We have been bombarded, day in, day out, for more than five years, with hyped-up horror stories about Brexit. It’s a disaster, it’s like fascism, it will cause shortages and downturn, you will suffer. We’ve been told to feel shame over how we voted. It’s been relentless. And yet the vast majority of Leave voters have held firm, stood by their principles, and stayed committed to transforming the country in order to make it more democratically accountable to its citizens. Such resolve in the face of hysteria and threats from the elites is to be commended. The wisdom of the crowd is a brilliant and powerful thing.

We really don’t regret voting for Brexit - spiked (spiked-online.com)
 
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Blackleaf

Hall of Fame Member
Oct 9, 2004
46,662
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Let’s get the hell out of the ECHR

The court’s blocking of the first flight to Rwanda is a grave assault on British democracy.

Let’s get the hell out of the ECHR


Brendan O'Neill

BRENDAN O'NEILL
CHIEF POLITICAL WRITER​

15th June 2022

Spiked

This is about democracy now. Nothing else. Forget the rights and wrongs of the Rwanda policy – we can discuss those another time. Forget the question of whether this policy will work, whether it will deter those reckless boat crossings in the English Channel – we can come back to that. For now, only one issue matters: who governs this country? Is it me and you and the people we elect into power? Or is it judges in Strasbourg none of us can name, far less cast a ballot for? The deeply disturbing events of last night – where a foreign court helped to block Britain’s democratically elected government from enacting a policy decision – suggest it’s the latter. And that should rattle everyone who believes in the hard-won idea that it’s the people who should rule.

Let’s be clear: the European Court of Human Rights’ late-night stalling of the first flight to Rwanda is a grave and intolerable assault on British democracy. The executive and legal authorities here in the UK had decreed that the flight taking illegal migrants to Rwanda should go ahead. The government that was voted into power by 14million people wanted it to take off. The High Court, one of the most senior courts in the land, said the government had every right to deport migrants in this fashion. And yet at the last minute, courtesy of the ceaseless activism of lawyers who oppose the Rwanda policy, the ECHR decreed that one of the seven people due to be on the flight should not be deported, and as a result the six others were able to make last-minute applications to stay in the UK. And so were the wishes of a democratically elected government thwarted by judges in a distant land.

The question this immediately raises is what is the point of democracy? What is the point of us going into the voting booth every four years to decide who should run the country if the ECHR can just strike down decisions taken by our elected representatives? The ECHR ruling is not just a swipe at Priti Patel, which is how much of the liberal media are witlessly and gleefully depicting it. It’s a swipe at democracy itself, at the right of ordinary Brits to install in power the people they think will do the best job of running the country. This ruling is an insult to you, whether you agree or disagree with the Rwanda policy, because it confirms that there is a higher authority than the people’s judgement. It demotes the demos; it makes a mockery of our democratic rights that our ancestors fought so hard to secure.

Entirely unsurprisingly, the woke set is loudly cheering the ECHR’s actions. These people are a menace to democracy. So intense is their hatred for the Tories, and so deep is their distrust of the people of Britain, that they now place more faith in the unaccountable machinations of faraway courts than they do in our own democratic process. We’ve seen this time and again – the more that liberals and leftists have lost faith in the plebs, in the ‘gammon’, the more they have cosied up to oligarchical and legal structures, from the EU to the ECHR, that they hope will keep our passions and beliefs in check. They know that their ideologies are unpopular among vast swathes of the population, and that we are unlikely to put them into power anytime soon. And so they turn to unaccountable power to do their dirty work for them, to tear down democratically made policies they don’t like. It is an incredibly cynical and classist form of political activism. These elites have no idea how much anger their slippery efforts to stifle democracy are causing across the country.

According to the Guardian, the middle-class angst about the Rwanda policy speaks to the emergence of a new opposition, an ‘alternative opposition’. And what does this opposition consist of? ‘Monarchy, celebrity and clergy’, the Guardian says. Seriously. Apparently, the coming together of everyone from Prince Charles to the entire leadership of the Church of England to ‘famous names’ on Twitter suggests that a new moral revolt is growing. I’m sorry, but this is not ‘opposition’ – at least not any normal, democratic form of opposition. It is elitism. When the heir to the throne, unaccountable bishops and the Remainer elites who tried to overthrow the largest democratic vote in the history of this country come together to try to block a government policy, they are not engaging in politics as we know it. Rather, they are asserting their arrogant, aristocratic conviction that their moral feelings should take precedence over the votes of 14million people. That sections of the left are aligning with these archaic, princely plots against the elected government is shameful. They are sacrificing democracy at the altar of their anti-Tory hysteria.

There’s one good thing about the ECHR’s actions – they have reminded us that the battle for democracy is not won yet. We left the EU, and now we must leave the ECHR. We must leave every institution and international treaty which in any way hampers our ability as a sovereign nation to determine policy as we see fit. Let’s scrap the Human Rights Act, get out of the European court, and decide for ourselves, democratically, how to make Britain into a truly free, fair and democratic nation.

Brendan O’Neill is spiked’s chief political writer and host of the spiked podcast, The Brendan O’Neill Show. Subscribe to the podcast here. And find Brendan on Instagram: @burntoakboy



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Serryah

Senate Member
Dec 3, 2008
6,504
1,162
113
New Brunswick

Let’s get the hell out of the ECHR

The court’s blocking of the first flight to Rwanda is a grave assault on British democracy.

Let’s get the hell out of the ECHR


Brendan O'Neill'Neill

BRENDAN O'NEILL


CHIEF POLITICAL WRITER

15th June 2022
Spiked

This is about democracy now. Nothing else. Forget the rights and wrongs of the Rwanda policy – we can discuss those another time. Forget the question of whether this policy will work, whether it will deter those reckless boat crossings in the English Channel – we can come back to that. For now, only one issue matters: who governs this country? Is it me and you and the people we elect into power? Or is it judges in Strasbourg none of us can name, far less cast a ballot for? The deeply disturbing events of last night – where a foreign court helped to block Britain’s democratically elected government from enacting a policy decision – suggest it’s the latter. And that should rattle everyone who believes in the hard-won idea that it’s the people who should rule.

Let’s be clear: the European Court of Human Rights’ late-night stalling of the first flight to Rwanda is a grave and intolerable assault on British democracy. The executive and legal authorities here in the UK had decreed that the flight taking illegal migrants to Rwanda should go ahead. The government that was voted into power by 14million people wanted it to take off. The High Court, one of the most senior courts in the land, said the government had every right to deport migrants in this fashion. And yet at the last minute, courtesy of the ceaseless activism of lawyers who oppose the Rwanda policy, the ECHR decreed that one of the seven people due to be on the flight should not be deported, and as a result the six others were able to make last-minute applications to stay in the UK. And so were the wishes of a democratically elected government thwarted by judges in a distant land.

The question this immediately raises is what is the point of democracy? What is the point of us going into the voting booth every four years to decide who should run the country if the ECHR can just strike down decisions taken by our elected representatives? The ECHR ruling is not just a swipe at Priti Patel, which is how much of the liberal media are witlessly and gleefully depicting it. It’s a swipe at democracy itself, at the right of ordinary Brits to install in power the people they think will do the best job of running the country. This ruling is an insult to you, whether you agree or disagree with the Rwanda policy, because it confirms that there is a higher authority than the people’s judgement. It demotes the demos; it makes a mockery of our democratic rights that our ancestors fought so hard to secure.

Entirely unsurprisingly, the woke set is loudly cheering the ECHR’s actions. These people are a menace to democracy. So intense is their hatred for the Tories, and so deep is their distrust of the people of Britain, that they now place more faith in the unaccountable machinations of faraway courts than they do in our own democratic process. We’ve seen this time and again – the more that liberals and leftists have lost faith in the plebs, in the ‘gammon’, the more they have cosied up to oligarchical and legal structures, from the EU to the ECHR, that they hope will keep our passions and beliefs in check. They know that their ideologies are unpopular among vast swathes of the population, and that we are unlikely to put them into power anytime soon. And so they turn to unaccountable power to do their dirty work for them, to tear down democratically made policies they don’t like. It is an incredibly cynical and classist form of political activism. These elites have no idea how much anger their slippery efforts to stifle democracy are causing across the country.

According to the Guardian, the middle-class angst about the Rwanda policy speaks to the emergence of a new opposition, an ‘alternative opposition’. And what does this opposition consist of? ‘Monarchy, celebrity and clergy’, the Guardian says. Seriously. Apparently, the coming together of everyone from Prince Charles to the entire leadership of the Church of England to ‘famous names’ on Twitter suggests that a new moral revolt is growing. I’m sorry, but this is not ‘opposition’ – at least not any normal, democratic form of opposition. It is elitism. When the heir to the throne, unaccountable bishops and the Remainer elites who tried to overthrow the largest democratic vote in the history of this country come together to try to block a government policy, they are not engaging in politics as we know it. Rather, they are asserting their arrogant, aristocratic conviction that their moral feelings should take precedence over the votes of 14million people. That sections of the left are aligning with these archaic, princely plots against the elected government is shameful. They are sacrificing democracy at the altar of their anti-Tory hysteria.

There’s one good thing about the ECHR’s actions – they have reminded us that the battle for democracy is not won yet. We left the EU, and now we must leave the ECHR. We must leave every institution and international treaty which in any way hampers our ability as a sovereign nation to determine policy as we see fit. Let’s scrap the Human Rights Act, get out of the European court, and decide for ourselves, democratically, how to make Britain into a truly free, fair and democratic nation.

Brendan O’Neill is spiked’s chief political writer and host of the spiked podcast, The Brendan O’Neill Show. Subscribe to the podcast here. And find Brendan on Instagram: @burntoakboy



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You, of all people, don't get to freak out on what is and isn't demoracy if you support Putin and Trump.
 
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Serryah

Senate Member
Dec 3, 2008
6,504
1,162
113
New Brunswick