Could it all be a cunning Establishment plot? We know they didn’t want Brexit, but they’ve got it. So, how to get out of it?
Well, there are those 1,000 lawyers telling us that pulling out of treaties is the responsibility of Parliament, not ‘the people’, and that referenda can only be ‘advisory’; so we could legally disregard this one. That’s certainly true, in strict constitutional law; we’re a parliamentary not a plebiscitary democracy. A majority of MPs are in favour of Britain’s membership of the EU, so they could, if they dared, vote to disregard the ‘advice’ of the referendum and block the withdrawal. Now that we have all had a glimpse of what Brexit really means to us, and have seen through the sugar-coated lies peddled to us by Brexit, you might get a majority the other way if you decided to re-run the vote. But, with the people in as discontented and fractious mood as they are now – nothing to do with Europe, but that was what they chose to vent their anger on – to go against the ‘popular will’, as originally expressed, might, as they say, ‘start a riot’. It certainly wouldn’t do anything to repair the schism in the Conservative party. So, it’s too risky, even for our lords and masters.
So, what to do? Everybody thought that a Brexit win would result in a Brexit-led government: Boris as PM, Michael Gove as Chancellor, Farage haunting the corridors. That was why some of us voted the other way. But then Boris and Gove stabbed each other, dropping them both out of the race for Tory leader, and Farage withdrew to ‘get his life back’, leaving very few other viable candidates for a Brexit PM. Andrea Leadsom was the best the Brexiteers could come up with, to stand against Theresa May; but then she dropped out as she – or her minders – realized how toxic her brand of Toryism would feel. Which left May standing alone: a Remainer, but promising to respect the ‘people’s will’ over Europe, and unopposed, now, which means that her candidacy won’t need to be tested in the blimpish Tory shires. (So we won’t have a Corbyn situation, with members and MPs at odds.) Whether this will satisfy the Tory backwoodspeople is yet to be seen. But then Tories are far more obsequious when it comes to ‘party discipline’. I can’t see them mounting a ‘Momentum’ to get Andrea back.
In the circumstances, it’s hard to see how it could have gone any better for the Establishment; or worse for Labour, as I hinted in my previous post. Theresa, who will be in charge of the negotiations with the EU, obviously doesn’t have her heart in ‘independence’, and could well succeed in watering it down. She might also appeal to a wide swathe of voters as a relative ‘moderate’, and a ‘safe pair of hands’, by contrast both with her three former rivals for leader of her party, and with the bickering Labourites on the other side. I wouldn’t be surprised if in some way the Establishment and its secret agencies were found to have engineered this whole thing. They’re clever chaps, these Public school-educated nobs. And they’ve got plenty of form.