After the EU referendum, it became clear that democracy itself was at stake. For universal suffrage to have any real meaning, the will of the majority must be enacted. Brexit has forced us to ask where power lies – and who rules. The genie that carries those questions is well and truly out of the bottle, despite the many attempts by the establishment to put it back in.
Earlier this year, I decided to become an active, paid-up member of the Brexit Party. The need for a vehicle to defend democracy in the absence of any other organised form became more urgent as the anti-democratic activities of the establishment increased. I even applied to become a parliamentary candidate (and was successful but had to decline the opportunity for private family reasons). My activities continued – writing, speaking, canvassing and manning street stalls in various constituencies. I was one among many thousands. We were part of a democratic surge. Halls up and down the nation were packed.
The surge continued to grow. Undoubtedly, the establishment was rattled. First by the Brexit vote itself, but later by what followed in the EU elections. The old mainstream parties were electorally obliterated by a party hardly out of its infancy and with no other policy beyond the demand to uphold the referendum result. Against the Left: A Ro... Best Price: $4.79 Buy New $8.00 (as of 08:37 UTC - Details)
For the first time in generations, the demos had been stamping its authority on society. There seemed to be a party that would defend democracy and shake up the status quo. Many were excited at the prospect of ridding our parliament of the anti-democrats and replacing them with representatives who would not only enact the decision to leave the EU, but also instigate major democratic reform.
This was more than just blind hope. The Brexit Party continually told us ‘we are ready’ and that it was willing to change politics for good by breaking the Labour-Conservative duopoly. The party’s literature also made clear that Labour and the Conservatives were Remain parties – Labour openly so with its second referendum policy and the Conservatives with Boris Johnson’s Brexit-in-name-only deal.
But then, during the General Election, everything was turned upside down and promises were betrayed. The Brexit Party stood down and refused to contest 317 Conservative-held seats. Most of us have got used to betrayal from mainstream parties, but this time we thought it would be different. This was too important. This was not about honouring manifesto commitments – they have been a joke for generations. This was about democracy itself.
The only way to defend democracy within our parliamentary system is to clear out the Remainers in parliament. And let’s be clear: all those who will not enact the referendum result in full are Remainers. You are either in the EU or out of it. There is no hokey-cokey option that could satisfy the demand to leave. All of the Westminster parties are Remain parties of one degree or another. Those of us who got involved with the Brexit Party did not do so to promote other parties that are a bit ‘Brexity’ or a bit ‘democratic’. We didn’t sign up so that we could just accept the lesser evil.
Democracy and universal suffrage cannot be defended by effectively disenfranchising millions of democrats in 317 constituencies. Now those constituencies have more or less been handed to candidates who have signed up to Johnson’s anti-democratic treaty.