Before I kick off on making a suggestion that simply should never have to be made, I think it’s important to recognise that as a Country, the UK has now entered extraordinary times.
Extraordinary times require extraordinary solutions, changes, modifications and sometimes even directions too, in order to begin a process of repair, development or evolution which will get things to where they really should go.
Parliament has reached an impasse. One that shows no sign of going anywhere anytime soon. And the consequences for everyone have the potential to be very far reaching in practical terms, as well as the significant damage that the malign influences which are now at work at Westminster are going to do to democracy in this Country too.
We have no option but to look outside normal rules, behaviour, procedures and much more, if we are to resolve this considerable mess, made up of a list of problems of which I will only focus on those that are key, whilst acknowledging that there are more.
The congestion holding up any way forward is not the result of just a disagreement between two ideas. It is a rich mixture of many colliding ideas and questionable principles. What we really would be correct in calling in political terms, a perfect storm.
The decision to Leave which was taken by the British People was simple until the moment when it was taken. That was the very moment when the people in power took over control of the journey, but refused to see Leaving in anything other than in terms of what it would look like to Remain.
Today we are faced with a strange but nonetheless genuine reality that the Electorate is for Leave, whilst the people or rather the Politicians Elected to represent us are themselves in the majority for Remain.
It is this combination of anomalies at the base of everything now happening which is the root cause of the congestion which we face. And because we have a Parliament made up of MPs who cannot distinguish their own ideologies from the Will of the People, no matter what solution which they come up with under this Parliamentary make-up, or concoct for ‘leaving’, it will to some lesser or greater degree almost certainly be a form of Remain.
It doesn’t matter what MPs call it, or what this Parliament now does to try and legitimise whatever they do. If they do anything other than allow the UK to exit without a deal, on WTO Terms on Friday 29th March 2019, they will collectively be betraying the Will of the People, compromising Democracy, but above all bringing into question the very purpose of their roles and the reasoning behind what they were elected for too.
The solutions ‘on the table’ right now and likely to be tabled very soon, won’t solve the fundamental problems we are experiencing and are themselves poised to create many more problems than in these circumstances they could ever come to solve.
A second referendum is flawed in principle before it could begin.
It is in effect a plan to overturn the legitimacy of a democratic plebiscite at National level before the original decision has even been implemented.
It brings into question the value of all Elections and as such questions whether even past General Election results are valid.
If we cannot have faith in those, how can any government look the result from the ballot box in the eye and know that they have legitimacy from a ‘win’?
Whilst there are groups throwing considerable amounts of money at this idea, they have not said what the questions on the Ballot Paper would be.
Nobody actually knows what ‘Remain’ would look like, whether it would be based on the pre-June 2016 model, whether it would result in increased integration with the EU, or what democratic influence the People would then be allowed to have upon it. For instance, would we be surrendering further opportunities to Leave?
The question of what Leave already looks like is continually being glossed over to mislead too.
Our Referendum choice in June 2016 was simply to Leave the EU.
Yet the influence of Remainers has blurred this into many different shades and forms, whilst doing everything to paint the choice we actually made as optional because it is something to be feared.
This is itself an act of betrayal on the part of those who should know better, because the whole pretence of having to have a deal to Leave is a phoney premise.
Building or developing a working relationship with the EU can only be constructive for the UK if we are looking forward in negotiations rather than backwards towards Europe. Legitimacy would only ever exist when negotiated from the point where Brexit really would be Brexit (Not as interpreted by Theresa May), Out is Out and Leave means Leave.
But the only questions that this Parliament would agree to because of the inherent biases which exist would be May’s Deal or Remain.
Nobody should be under any illusion that May’s deal may not be presented and sold as Remain, but the two options are fundamentally the same.
If we were to reach the point where this Parliament would agree to the only legitimate choice in a referendum – that of two questions – as any more questions presented would just result in more of the same – the delivery of a second vote for Leave or indeed whatever form of Remain, would still be under the influence of the very same Politicians we have right now who have now shown that they cannot act impartially in these circumstances.
A Referendum is therefore a practical, democratic and reasoned impossibility. And if you think the impasse is bad now, wait and see what these very same Politicians would do if a 2nd Vote came back even more overwhelming for Leave and not even near the same.
Calling an early General Election
The problem with calling an early General Election, is the result could actually be seen to legitimise the impasse.
This could guarantee that we are destined to have years of instability, but this time with unscrupulous politicians able to blame the People for the problem, and again put democracy as we know it completely in the frame.
With the Party system currently holding a monopoly over Parliamentary Elections and our default setting culturally to vote for the same tribe as we usually do (Conservative, Labour, Lib Dem etc), we would end up pretty much electing the same crew as we’ve got behaving like overlords already.
Same-old, same-old, with perhaps a few tweaks here and there, maybe a new prime minister in No.10. But as far as the same logic and reasoning underpinning decision making, things will look well and truly the same.
We also risk ushering in a Marxist government, which would make the chaos surrounding the Brexit process now look comparatively very tame.
The kind of Brexit that a Labour Government under Corbyn would usher in would destroy all semblance of forward thinking, enterprise and opportunity, replacing it with regression, idealist-based detachment and the destruction of any kind of recognisable order that would leave all of us quickly wondering what the hell it is that we have become.
The Conservative Party removes Mrs May, or the PM steps aside (pretty much the same thing)
What would at any other time look like the most simple and most effective solution in a situation which resembles this is the one where the decision looks to have already been made.
If Theresa May were to step aside or be removed as Conservative Party Leader, there would be an opportunity for the Conservative Party to step in and effectively replace the current Administration with one that could change the way that Brexit is being handled and therefore the way that decisions are being made.
Unfortunately, the reasons why this obvious solution has not already been used, is that the Conservative Party is itself demographically representative of all politicians with a majority being focused on what works best for them, rather than for the people they represent – even though they will swear to you that the two things look exactly the same.
They would have to work together selflessly, and in effect crown a new Leader quickly, without going to the Membership, recognising that the priority is the Country, not who gets what job in Government once the decision has been made.
To kick off such a process of change anyway, would require a sufficient number of the Cabinet to act and accept that this pathway is the only way in which a new direction over Brexit can be created and then defined.
None of them will do this. As pretty much without exception, they all covet May’s ‘top job’ and don’t want to be seen as the hand that wields the knife, as they believe that they will then never then be the one to wear the crown.
In reality, only one person can be our Prime Minister at any one time and it is only convention that says that when a new PM comes from within a sitting Government, it must be someone who has served at Ministerial Level before.
Let’s face it. This Parliament is already defying many conventions, so if our Politicians were minded, this would probably be the right time to recognise that this is what thinking outside the box and grabbing opportunities are really there for.
The other options
The other plans afoot which are of a more sinister nature, such as giving a minority the decision making power over a much larger Parliament, would be the first tangible steps towards creating a dictatorship.
It is a process that might involve a number of politicians. But make no mistake this is what the seeding of a dictatorship looks like. It simply has a different name.
The wider malaise
With the Political Party System broken and skewed to keep out free thinking and therefore the generation and development of the big beasts and political titans that the country now needs, whatever steps we take with this dysfunctional model still at work and able to influence, the names of the politicians may be different, but the end results are destined to be the same.
We are now in a trap of self-interests own making, and unless we do something very different – even if just in the short term, chaos and the problems which we will soon recognise as its bedfellows will be all that the UK is set to know.
Breaking the impasse
For reasons unknown and unidentifiable to many, the current Parliament and the procedure it is working with are not going to deliver Brexit in a collectively acceptable form.
I and many others believe this to be a great injustice and a slight to democracy.
But the reasons we are here today have developed over many years and have become manifest in many different forms.
We therefore need a solution which might not be what everyone wants, but is outside of the influence of self-interest or Establishment control. One that can be recognised as fair to all sides, but above all to the People, who if they must be asked for any further input in the Brexit process, should have the guarantee that their decision will not again be questioned. They must be assured that what they have at that point instructed or sanctioned will be delivered – with whatever changes and requirements necessary, by the people who have been entrusted to take control of it.
Neither a second referendum nor a General Election on standard Electoral Terms will deliver Brexit.
Nor will either bring the Country back together.
And bringing the Country together again must be as much a priority as resolving the Brexit question itself, in real tangible terms, collectively and once and for all.
A Binary choice through a 2-‘party’ General Election, where the candidates are not Political Parties or Individuals, but only identifiable as Representatives of Leave or Remain
The way that this could be achieved would be for Parliament to dissolve itself and for a General Election to be called where the normal Terms of the Representation of the People Act are suspended in respect of being open to all qualifying candidates and the only candidates allowed in each and every Parliamentary Constituency would be one representing Leave and one representing Remain.
All Party influence would be withheld, with all sitting MPs being entered as the de facto Candidate for their background choice of Leave or Remain. Their position qualified by their voting history and public activities, rather than being given a choice to go a different way.
To ensure parity between the two choices on the ballot paper, they would not be entered as a representative by name.
The process of defining their ‘party’ could if necessary be concluded by some form of independent judicial review, but would be transparent and fully published so that no reasoning for choices could be hidden from public view.
Of course this raises the question of who would be the candidate to oppose the ‘sitting MP’ if they should choose to fight the election.
How do you select an appropriate candidate to represent Leave or Remain?
Again, there are many suitable people who qualify to fill this void, whether Party Members or not. People who already have a track record of being out there and active in either direction – whether politicians or not, and capable of bringing something good to the table as a public representative and legislator if they should have the opportunity to be so called.
What we would have to ensure we did not do would be to allow anything other than impartial influence on the selection of any candidate. This would rule out any input from the existing Political Parties or any entity or organisation closely affiliated to them or any political cause.
The best thing for the Country would be for the Political Parties to be banned from being involved in Government for the term of this transition Government, and not allowed to exert any kind of influence on policy or procedure until the pathway to normal observance of the Representation of the People Act has been returned and on its way to being fully restored.
In the period before the Binary Choice Election itself, Government would through necessity to ensure impartiality be excluded from any form of involvement in the campaign.
An interim Government would need to be in place simply and only to ensure that Government is working up and only until the day after the Binary Choice Election when a Government of majority, tasked only with Leave (no deal) or Remain (the same) is in place and the necessary positions all appointed.
The Campaign itself could be conducted over a relatively short period once the decision has been made, as the otherwise necessary time windows for multiple candidacies would be kept out of the equation and keeping localised campaigning aligned with national campaigning would mean that localised manifestos would not be required – the importance of getting this whole mess sorted out overriding what the normal election of an MP should be about and used for.
A way forward that would work because it answers the questions for all involved
Yes, this may sound like being far from a workable solution and it is crude in its current and quickly written form.
But in the reality of our Brexit present, doing something which requires stepping outside of our comfort zones and thinking outside of the ‘tried and tested box’ either way is coming, and its result is not that far.
The choice in the coming days will now be whether we respect the principle of democracy and take the necessary steps to address the immediacy of the real problem in a format such as this, or whether a few MPs are allowed to create a de facto dictatorship where nobody can ultimately win and what are already the extremes in our society will be taken much further and way too far.
If our MPs are now so very sure of the integrity of the positions they have and are now taking on Brexit, going back to the people and being elected solely on the basis of what they truly believe and support is not something they should in any way fear.
This might be the only way that we can now find to more things forward legitimately and settle once and for all the question of what really is Leave and what is Remain, without being stuck in an indefinite time loop which is going to destroy everything that we hold dear as a Nation, is destined to erase our identity and everything that we have for centuries stood for, and is likely to guarantee chaos and a whole lot more.
image thanks to unknown