A very silly ‘Brexit’: land of confusion or hand of doom?

Author: Juliet Lodge


© 2017 Steve Eason@Flickr
© 2017 Steve Eason@Flickr

When MEPs and foreign diplomats, years ago, surveying the EU landscape, reflected on the history of the European ‘community’, and noted that ‘no one loves the EU’, few would have expected to see publics taking to the street protesting their ‘love’ and allegiance to the EU.

At the start of this century, the European Convention on Europe, pencilling out a more integrated common future before the Lisbon treaty surfaced, remarked on a communication deficit between the governed and governments:

                ‘In order to control the system, citizens must first be able to understand it’.

 A phrase to strike fear into the heart of more than one national politician.

A phrase that worries the pants off certain elements of the British political class left quirming at the prospect of their privileged position being scrutinised and rendered accountable.

Tawdry tyrannical taunts pushing simplistic lies through a populist prism of deceitful personality politics have discredited democracy, respect for political authority, eroded the legitimacy of parliament and revealed the ‘Mother of Parliaments’ to be a deck of cards.

One puff from leaders, one swish of the Whips made cowards of the majority of MPs. The people’s` representatives showed themselves to be shamefully ill-informed, ignorant and largely unwilling to honour their duty to put the country’s interest above that of their squalid leaders’ personal dogmas.

The shame runs deep. The perversion of democracy makes scoundrels of all who do not challenge and oppose it.

Brexit is not just about wrecking the British economy, consigning the regions outside the southeast corner to perpetual relative impoverishment and so ensuring the ‘plebs’ know their place in Tory nirvana.

It is not even just about facilitating Toryisation of Britain and the dismantling of the welfare state in the name of confused, archaic Tory dogma.  It is about a power grab. Why else would the PM oppose through the courts parliament performing its rightful, constitutional duty?

Labour appears to understand and condone this cunning erosion of democracy. Other parliaments across the EU can have their say on any Brexit deal. The British at best are constrained, at worst can’t. Why?

This is something that should worry EU member governments, the Commission and MEPs profoundly.

The Commission is the ‘guardian of the treaty’ and what it stands for, including the fundamental rights citizens have.  In the past, it has warned some former Central and East European members over breaching their democratic credentials, indicating investigation and potential suspension of benefits.

For the EU to ignore what is happening inside one of its members would not be a mark of respect for the principle of non-interference in the domestic affairs of a member state. It would be the hand of doom.

To ignore the erosion of democracy, and the suppression of UK EU citizens’ voices and despair over the idea of leaving the EU, would be to deny those British citizens the opportunities given their counterparts in the past when faced with negative outcomes in referendums, such as on Maastricht.

The EU must not fail in its obligations to all EU citizens facing an oppressive, intimidating bully. The British are part of the European community of citizens. Facing problems, we should work together, as we have over the past 40 years, to resolve them cooperatively.

A spiteful, arrogant toddler should be dealt with as such. Our EU brothers and sisters should not be expected to appease the Brexit bullies’ tantrum. Anything else would send out the wrong message to all across the EU and elsewhere in the world: in short, go ahead, wreck, slash and burn for the transient selfish vanity of a couple of deeply mean and silly personalities, and damn the rest.

Democracy or tyranny? Fairness and justice or arbitrary dogma dictating illegitimate decisions on the basis of the whims of spoilt bratism?

Is the majority of British MPs too complacent, lazy or silly to recognise that parliamentary cowardice over Brexit has irretrievably damaged democracy? Too cravenly imprudent and in hock to their leaders to challenge their gross irresponsibility and negligence towards those who fund them? Their first obligation is to prevent harm. They have failed, not just minimally but deeply and, if they can’t find their moral compass, irreparably. As Michael Heseltine put it, MPs need to remember they are not performing fleas.

Those who can’t grasp the EU’s founding commitment to the ideal of working for the betterment of the common good, fail not just their constituents but the whole community of EU citizens. They have trashed their duty towards humanity in pursuing narcissistic nihilism.

Ultimately, they will fail. European integration constructs an ever closer union by so intermeshing socio-economic and political life that disintegration becomes materially impossible.

The lesson Brits need to learn is that European integration has created generations whose identity is embedded in a deep-felt, but rarely articulated, sense of Europeanism. That is more durable than the ephemeral silliness that is the hallmark of today’s British political class.

Inane Brexit deal or no-deal scenarios are presented as a choice between ice cream with sprinkles or sauce or no ice cream at all. Plain silly.

 


Juliet Lodge

About the Author

Juliet Lodge

Juliet Lodge is Professor Emerita, University of Leeds. 

Professor Lodge was elected European Woman of Europe in 1992, for her voluntary work across all sectors and ages in building understanding of Europe.

Juliet Lodge at CEPS

 

View all articles
Juliet Lodge

About the Author

Juliet Lodge

Juliet Lodge is Professor Emerita, University of Leeds. 

Professor Lodge was elected European Woman of Europe in 1992, for her voluntary work across all sectors and ages in building understanding of Europe.

Juliet Lodge at CEPS

 

View all articles
Close

Subscribe to email updates from New Europeans

Join our newsletter to receive the latest news and events from New Europeans.

* indicates required

Or be a part of it!

Join today Donate Volunteer Online Shop