Yesterday in the Daily Boris-graph, the ‘news’ paper managed to give Mr Johnson a headline on the front page and several inches of print along with his own column which the paper published on page 20 and clearly pays large sums for. The front page which appears to reprint a few words of what he wrote in the column includes the comment that the public would be “utterly infuriated” if the nation was put through the “misery and expense” of another referendum. It seems as though Boris is resonating with some of the House of Lord Tories who included Patrick Cormack an ex MP who last week stated “the referendum of June 2016 divided this country more bitterly than anything else in living memory? What is the point of exacerbating that division by having another referendum for which there is clearly no groundswell of public opinion?” and another of Boris’s colleagues and ex MP, Terence Higgins stated “My Lords, referendums are often described as democratic, but they are not what we usually mean by democratic in this country, where we have a system of representative parliamentary democracy. The effect of having a referendum is to undermine that system because it changes Members of Parliament from being representatives to delegates.”
What is crystal clear is that the referendum in 2016 which David Cameron and his team promised as part of their manifesto in the 2015 General Election was very badly handled and a carried deep mistakes on many levels and it even broke several electoral laws. It has taken 29months and 3 and half weeks since then for us to get where we are today. Yet outside of these comments the Government and people like Boris refuse to acknowledge that the referendum was a mistake and refuse to apologise for the way it was organised and the way the outcome has been handled. If these men would like to avoid a second referendum then they need to find an alternative mechanism that is capable of capturing the views of the nation so that the people who did not vote and those that did can be better understood regarding what our possible ways forward are and so that their decisions on 23rd June and current views can be consolidated in a way that will not appear to ignore that result or the last two and a half years. Many of the problems we now face is down to the lack of integrity in the Vote Leave and Vote Remain campaigns and the lack of preparation by the Government which included many people on both sides of that debate to come up with a more meaningful set of information than if we vote to leave on 23rd June 2016, that our departure will begin on 24th June 2016.
Clearly there are many millions amongst the 17.4 million who voted to leave who would do so again today and every day of the rest of their lives. Their anger at being ignored which clearly has already happened because our future path is far from certain is understandable. However any new referendum needs to go much further than should there be change our relationship with the EU or should it be retained as it was on 22nd June 2016. This demands that the next vote or the next opinion gathering does not pretend that the 2016 referendum did not take place. This will also be necessary for millions who voted to remain and millions who did not vote who will feel that revisiting the same decision would be a mistake. What is vital is that we get a chance to respond to options that as of today, are not even clarified by the Government which has been holding numerous votes and debates in the last 29 months.