Brexit and the Mirror-Picture of the Fact



Magna est veritas et prævalet—“Nice is the reality and its prevails”—is among the few Latin phrases that I keep in mind. Sadly, I don’t assume that it’s altogether true, neither is it true even in its typically misquoted kind, Magna est veritas et prævalebit, “Nice is the reality and it’ll prevail”—memorably translated by Billy Bunter, an indolent and grasping hero of schoolboy tales of my youth, as “Nice is the reality and it’ll prevail a bit.”

Alas, not even on this considerably weakened kind is it true. I believe a extra correct depiction of the sociological relationship with fact can be “Nice is the mirror-image of the reality and it’ll typically prevail.”

A high quality occasion of this unedifying reality is the widespread response to the non permanent suspension of Parliament by the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. It has been very broadly depicted, each on this planet’s press and in Britain itself, as all however a coup d’état, the political manoeuvre of an incipient dictator, as a minimum an authoritarian measure. Actually it’s the very reverse of these items: it’s designed to stop a coup. The mirror-image of fact has very largely prevailed.

The elemental details are these. The British Parliament agreed to carry a referendum of the inhabitants on the query of Britain’s continued membership of the European Union. Though the referendum had no drive from the purely constitutional viewpoint, it was clearly not supposed as a glorified opinion ballot and it was implicit that the successful facet—that which obtained 50 per cent of the votes forged plus one—would determine the problem.

No robust objections have been raised prematurely to this silly method of continuing by these in favour of Britain remaining within the Union as a result of they felt they’d win with ease. Regardless of—or maybe due to—the robust help of each David Cameron, then Prime Minister, and Barack Obama, then President of america, for the marketing campaign for Britain to stay within the Union, these in favour of leaving gained 52 per cent of the votes.

The British Parliament, nearly all of whose members have been in favour of remaining, then handed a decision in obedience to the referendum end result that Britain ought to go away. It will have been too brazen a defiance of the favored opinion that they themselves had, canvassed, fairly with out necessity, for them to have finished in any other case.

However having finished this, they then opposed each the cope with the Union negotiated by Mrs. Could, and the withdrawal of Britain with none settlement as to the phrases of that settlement. The European Union had plausibly reiterated that it will not renegotiate the phrases of the settlement: certainly, I had no purpose why it ought to achieve this, given Mrs. Could’s craven give up on all fronts.

Thus Parliament wished neither the one deal then potential, nor no deal in any respect. The inexorable conclusion is that it was making an attempt to stop any form of withdrawal by any means, even in Mrs. Could’s extraordinarily attenuated kind. In different phrases, it set itself up in opposition to the desire of the individuals as expressed within the referendum. And that is so no matter the knowledge or folly of Britain withdrawing from the Union.

In different phrases, Parliament was expressing its authority over widespread opinion, presumably on the bottom that it knew greatest what was good for the very individuals on whose opinion on the query it had simply sought. If anybody could possibly be accused of mounting a coup, albeit a slow-moving and oblique one, and of political authoritarianism, it was Parliament itself.

Allow us to suppose that the vote had gone the opposite method—that 52 per cent of those that voted had finished so to stay. Does anybody suppose for a second that the disillusioned leavers wouldn’t have accepted the vote and as an alternative manoeuvred to thwart the desire of the bulk? A couple of lovers may maybe nonetheless have argued for eventual withdrawal at a while sooner or later, however will surely not have obstructed or threatened the continuance of the federal government because the remainers have finished. Who, one may ask, are the democrats spherical right here?

Those that now reveal in opposition to Mr. Johnson’s manoeuvre achieve this as a result of they declare to need Parliament to have its say. However Parliament has had its say for 3 years, with out resolving the problem, and furthermore with a transparent dedication to thwart any implementation of the decision it had handed as a result of it by no means had any intention of finishing up the individuals’s needs as expressed within the referendum.

To carry a referendum, or plebiscite, after which ignore the result’s now a European custom, however to name it a democratic process is unquestionably to twist the phrase past any potential which means. Each the French and the Dutch publics voted in opposition to the proposed European Structure by a wider margin than that by which the British voted to go away the Union, however bought it anyway in a revised kind, as a binding treaty reasonably than as a structure. The political class thus triumphed over the inhabitants, banking on the elemental apathy of the latter. However this a harmful recreation.

The protesters in opposition to Mr. Johnson’s manoeuvre usually are not making an attempt to defend parliamentary democracy, about which they don’t give a fig: what they’re protesting in opposition to is that the votes of these individuals whom they contemplate ignorant, uneducated, prejudiced, xenophobic, and so forth, have an opportunity of being taken critically, certainly as critically as their very own. That is an outrage to their dignity.

Nevertheless it needs to be remembered that the educated usually are not ipso facto invariably wiser than the uneducated, nor are they essentially the stoutest of defenders of freedom, a reality evident on many American campuses, the place opinion is free solely so long as it coincides with the present doxa. Certainly, the educated are among the many best foes of freedom at present, or maybe, to be honest, I ought to put it the opposite method spherical: among the many best foes of freedom at present, are most of the educated. They’re the anointed whose imaginative and prescient should prevail, and mirror-image fact serves that finish.

One phrase of warning: time is brief, however ample sufficient for additional betrayal.

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