Being a foreigner to the “mother country,” I cannot honestly say that I studiously followed and agonized about the Brexit referendum. My current fascination is purely academic.
But I am bemused by the condescension of many within the Remain camp who frame the vote outcome in terms of a sociopolitical schism between urban Cosmopolitans and the less well-educated and Nativist know-nothings. Well; not in so many words.
In that context, I become doubly bemused when the cosmopolitan effetes, including a former minister for higher education, demand a do-over referendum, after thrashing the shires to uncover a few dyslexic rubes who checked the wrong box, or who didn’t realize that after a messy divorce, there is quite normally a temporary dislocation cost.
There is even a parliamentary petition, signed, to date, by 3.5 million presumably actual Remain voters who claim a moral political right for a do-over because the plebiscite did not garner a sufficient quorum (turnout) and super-majority.
We the undersigned call upon HM Government to implement a rule that if the remain or leave vote is less than 60% based a turnout less than 75% there should be another referendum.
Being resident of a nation in which one province sought a divorce in 1995 on the basis of a fifty percent plus one vote, I concur that such a set of conditions would be prudent. Bare majorities over significant political changes can easily become formulas for civic conflagration within that jurisdiction.
However, such a post-hoc rule might have rational and ethical credibility if it was signed prior to the vote outcome. Free civic polities can only remain free civic polities if all factions respect the rules of the “game.” As it is, the petitioners remind me of little children screeching, “Do-overs! Do-overs!” or the Grim Reaper in Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey.
(Irony is that the petition was created by an adherent of the Leave camp in May 2016, prior to the vote, but also for less than principled reasons, fearing that his preferred option would not rule the day.)
But before ridiculing these well-educated cosmopolitans for failing Civics 101, it should first be noted that this petition may not represent the feelings of U.K. citizens and residents. I signed the petition from this Brampton, Ontario flat on behalf of Bea(trice) McTavish of Port of Ness, Outer Hebrides (postal code – HS2 0TG), and on behalf Tom, Dick, and Harry, their 2,947 children, and in-house midwife. Well actually . . . only Bea McTavish; just to see if it was possible.
The more absurd petition is the one over at change.org, signed by 172K cosmopolitan Londoners, or so we presume, to Declare London independent from the UK and apply to join the EU. A mere quarter century after another beleaguered European city, isolated deep within a distinct and adversarial jurisdiction, was freed of its predicament and wall; these ninnies advocate that a land-locked city within a larger geographical landmass pursue similar geographical isolation. How would that work? Will they erect a Great Wall and commission Donald Trump to build it to keep the rubes out and effetes in? If there is a diplomatic tiff between London and England, and the latter closes access in order to put diplomatic pressure, will the EU organize a great airlift to London?
No doubt that these well-educated cosmopolitans are reasoning with their feelings. Nevertheless, I had previously believed that the stupefaction of the highly educated was only an American phenomenon.