For the sake of my friends and family in the US who might be wondering WTF is going on over here (I mean, what are we voting on, and why, and what’s at stake?), I thought I’d post a primer on WTF is happening, and how we got here.
In case you haven’t been paying attention over the past two years:
David Cameron wanted to prove he had a bigger dick than Boris Johnson (he doesn’t) so he called a Referendum, in which the people of Great Britain were asked if they wanted to stay in the EU or leave. The Referendum leaned toward the Leave side by 2%. Then David, who had promised—
if the Referendum results were Leave—
that he would immediately trigger Article 50, which is the codicil that would initiate our withdrawal from the European Union. Instead of doing that, however, he picked up his dolls and dishes and went home, leaving the country leaderless and showing just how stalwart, honest, and exemplary our politicians are.
Lost his vote; ran away.
Cleaning up the mess.
Has the bigger dick.
Also, it proved he had the smaller dick.
This was how we ended up with Theresa May as Prime Minister. As usual, it came down to a woman to clean up a mess made by a man. Terri had been a Remainer during the vote, but when the top job came into her orbit she swapped sides and decided she would lead the UK out of the EU and into the Promised Land, because it was the “Will of the People” and nothing must stand in the way of the Will of the People and the Democratic process.
Just a random, rabid Brexiteer because I wanted you
people in the US to see what a poncy, smug
politician should look like.
ASIDE: I am really trying to be unbiased here, and I am doing my best to refrain from saying which side I think is right or wrong, or if leaving the EU is a good or a bad thing, BUT, I think it is a bit of an exaggeration to represent a 2% win as an overwhelming mandate from the people, especially when a large number of those people came out after the election and said they voted Leave just because they hated David Cameron. No sour grapes, just saying’. END of ASIDE
Anyway, the first thing Terri did was say she was going to negotiate a deal with the EU, and then it would be implemented without a vote in Parliament, because what could be more undemocratic than allowing the people’s elected representatives to weigh in on something as important as the direction the country would be heading in for the foreseeable future? That would be a terrible betrayal of the people. Well, the people, and Parliament, didn’t see it that way, so today they are voting on The Deal that Terri and her minions spent nearly two years hammering out with the EU.
A bit of why everyone’s knickers are in a twist over this:
Terri came back with The Deal, as mentioned, after nearly two years of negotiations, the details of which she held close to her vest while the negotiations were going on. That’s as it should be, but when The Deal was presented to Parliament, not all of the details were made available, because what could be more undemocratic than allowing the elected representatives of the people to be fully aware of what they were voting on? The people, and Parliament, didn’t see it that way. Terri did, however, and it took a Contempt of Parliament ruling to force her to reveal the full details of The Deal.
Now, when you have a country split essentially down the middle over an issue as important as this, when you work out a deal on how you are going to implement it, you are bound to piss off at least half of the population. Terri, however, managed—after nearly two years of negotiations—to return with a deal that pissed off everyone. The people who wanted to remain hated it, and the people who wanted to leave hated it. And the fine print, that she tried unsuccessfully to hide from Parliament, essentially gave the EU the power to hold the UK in the EU for as long as it wanted, and the UK had no say over it. This was the dreaded “backstop” which, both the EU and T. May assured everyone, was simply a last-resort option that no one was expected to invoke, except it was in the contract and, if it was there, that meant someone was planning on using it.
(When all this came to light, I began to wonder if this wasn’t Terri’s plan all along. She was, recall, a Remainer at first, so perhaps this was her way of keeping the UK in the EU, while pretending to take it out. You never know; this could be true.)
And so, the vote that the Prime Minister didn’t want Parliament to have, and which is happening today, is certain to end in a defeat for her. She’s not happy about this, because it is a dreadful blow to Democracy that she isn’t allowed to implement something that no one wants without a pesky, undemocratic vote getting in the way.
Furthermore, this may result in a vote of No Confidence in her and her government, which could mean a new Prime Minister, and perhaps a General Election. It also might cause a Second Referendum, to ask the people what they want to do now, and the Government is adamantly opposed to that because it would be a hideous blow to democracy to ask the people what they want, especially when the government is pretty certain the people don’t want what the government wants, and that would be a lethal blow to the Democratic process of dragging the people in a direction the government knows the people do not want to go in.
So this is the clusterfuck we find ourselves in at the moment. But do you know what? I’d still take Brexit over Trump any day.