Wednesday, 25 September 2019
When the Brexit vote came in we had a bit of a gloat. Not a massive, in-your-face, dance-on-your-grave affair just a jubilant punching of the air and a relatively quiet, satisfied sigh of relief. Despite all the might of the establishment – every part of the establishment – we held our nerve and won through. Our celebrations were cautionary because we knew that it wasn’t going to be game over – the biased ref wasn’t going to blow the whistle for full time, he was just going to add injury time to insult and give the opposition time to wear us down.
But now, after three and half years of extra time we are still at one-nil despite penalty after penalty being awarded against us. They have challenged the legality of the Leave campaign and continue to insist it was rigged when all the evidence for rigging points to their side. They have impugned our intelligence, our motives and our very right to even cast a vote, but we are still clinging on to that full-time result, all those months ago. When David Cameron said this would be our decision and that Parliament would enact it he wasn’t lying, he just didn’t expect to have to honour that promise.
And then came yesterday, the day the law took sovereign power for itself. Of all the people who should worry about yesterday’s blatant flouting of any respect for democracy, Jeremy Corbyn stands head and shoulders above the crowd and he ought to be thoroughly ashamed of himself. ‘Parliamentary sovereignty’ was supposed to be the people’s weapon against the might of the throne, the might of the establishment. But parliament only borrows its weight from the people and the question of whose interests are protected should never arise.
The rule of law held that nobody was above or beyond justice and no matter how many times we saw that this wasn’t true, that justice was for sale, we held a last bit of hope that when it came to the crunch, the law would protect us, every one, as equally as if we were a lord or a prince… or a former public servant who lied and took us to war or ruin. Well, let that lie now be exposed to the world. You can argue until you are blue that the supreme court judges were basing their decision purely on the law and nothing else, but it won’t wash, any more than OJ Simpson’s glove or Alastair Campbells weapons of mass destruction.
Labour was founded on the principles of social justice, to fight for the rights of those who could not afford the expensive, legal kind. It is pledged to be on the side of that common law wish for equality and recognition. It is supposed to be the champion of the downtrodden masses but now they call their expressed wish 'populism' – they spit the word as if it offends their very being – the will of the masses. But look where labour is now; it is on the side of a fanatical, jingoistic nationalism whose entire purpose is to ride roughshod over democracy.
The EU isn’t democratic, no matter what its apologists pretend. It would eradicate the franchise in a heartbeat if it could. In place of national pride they instil a sense of belonging to some dream project for peace and prosperity when really it is about power; the kind of power the supreme court has just grabbed for itself and given to speaker Bercow to wield as he sees fit. Those who cheerlead for the EU, for the judges, for the deposing of a genuinely popular Prime Minister are stoking the fervour of be-flagged, starry-eyed devotees of a despotic regime, where Big Brother provides everything, including your vote.
"Old people stole our future"*
Look at the mobs. Look at the noisy, bellicose, arrogant, sneering throngs, chanting and beseeching and wallowing as if in the throes of a divine intervention. These people are beyond reason and beyond truth, just as the supreme court is above and beyond the common law. They call Brexiters self-harming fanatics, but with few exceptions what I see are ordinary people, who normally take little interest in politics, now aghast at the way in which their assumptions of freedom and rights have been violently taken from them. Who are the real extremists here?
(*Credit to @MarcherLord1 on Twitter)