Power to the people

Have your say

In today’s Star, November 11, 2016, you have published two letters, “Good Question” offering a supportive, and “Parliamentary Democracy” a non-supportive response to my November 8 letter “Leaving the EU”.

In response to the name and address supplied correspondent, he/she makes a very sweeping statement in opining that myself, the Supreme Court, and this Government misunderstand the democratic process of the UK.

Instead of quoting a letter from a Dr Lowry to The Guardian, and a letter from Mark Harper MP to the House of Lords select committee on the constitution published on September 30, 2010, he/she would better serve democracy by waiting for the Supreme Court judges to hear and decide the Government appeal presented by a top-class legal team.

With respect, I believe that the judiciary and learned counsel understand the pros and cons of the report on referendums in the United Kingdom far better than he/she and I do. To state that the position seems pretty clear, and that parliament should vote on the terms of Brexit, is an arrogant kick in the teeth for the 17.4 million leave voters.

I strongly disagree with the latter part of the statement that “We live in a parliamentary democracy where the ‘people’ are represented by the MPs they vote for – and those MPs are responsible for making decisions on the people’s behalf.

They are elected to represent the best interest of their constituents – if a majority vote for Brexit, they should honour the democratic vote and work towards achieving that aim as soon as possible – instead of imposing their own personal Remain wish, by seeking to place every obstacle in the way of the Government and the majority electorate, to delay starting the withdrawal process – in the hope that people will become disillusioned and more likely to vote to remain if a second referendum is thrust upon them.

He/she states that leaders and parties have to follow the established democratic process.

What has happened to the established democratic principle that a majority vote wins?

Parliament voted 6 to 1 to allow the people to vote in a referendum. Admittedly, David Cameron did not envisage defeat when offering the referendum. The people voted by a 1.4 million majority to leave – confounding politicians of all parties, (apart from UKIP), bankers and commercial leaders who all wished to remain shackled to the 27 other States of the EU.

Yes, Parliament is the foundation of our democracy, a democracy where its members should work to honour the Brexit majority wishes of the constituents who elected them.

Theresa May is to be congratulated on the stance she is taking to get us out of the EU. Although she was a remain supporter, she has accepted the decision of the referendum and is now working on achieving that aim. She is doing what is right for the country and not her own self-serving ends.

By all means let Parliament have the last word, but that word should represent the wish of 17.4 million people who voted for Brexit – and not that of MPs who disregard their electorate and vote for their personal preference – this is not democracy.

A sobering thought is that a non-political figure has just been made President elect of the USA.

Like him or loathe him, he managed to win over the people and defeat the establishment vote.

If the Supreme Court appeal ruling goes against the Government, Theresa May could decide to call an early election to enable her to expedite Brexit.

With the current Labour Party in total unelectable disarray and the Liberal Democrats reduced to eight MPs, the swell of public opinion in the UK could well match that of the American people, resulting in a Tory victory with a large working majority in Parliament. If this happened she would not have to put up with Clegg, Miliband, Corbyn and Sturgeon, placing Article 50 obstacles in her way.

I have voted for the Labour Party for the past 60 years. I feel very strongly about our leaving the EU. Largely thanks to Nigel Farage, UKIP and the Daily Express campaign many voters have defied their party line on this matter, examined their conscience, and voted accordingly. Power to the people!

Cyril Olsen

Busk Meadow, Sheffield S5