Sunday, July 03, 2016

Letter to my MP about the referendum

Dear Mr Cartlidge,

It's ten days since the catastrophe and I'm still filled with a mixture of anger and disbelief, like someone who's come home to find a bunch of moronic teenagers have had a party in my house and totally wrecked it. But if that were the case, it could be fixed. I'm not sure that the post-referendum mess will be.

None of this was necessary. Mr Cameron wanted to appease the anti-EU section of your party, so he said we could have a referendum. It was a party political decision and not in the public interest. He must have thought that he'd get a Remain win to settle the matter, once and for all. Having lost the gamble, he's washed his hands of the whole affair and left the ambitious leaders-in-waiting to fight amongst themselves, while those of us who aren't Conservatives can only look on in despair.

I signed the No.10 petition calling on the result to be set aside. The referendum was won by a slim margin with a mixture of fraud, bare-faced lies, and an appeal to the most prejudiced sections of society. Leave campaigners, mainly Messrs Johnson, Gove and Farage, based their campaign on claims that were untrue, and that have been shown to be untrue. The first two were mainly motivated by personal ambition while Farage is simply the most ignorant, racist egomaniac to disgrace the UK in the European Parliament, where he rarely attended debates or committees except to insult other members. The rubbish press, mainly the Daily Mail (which lauded Hitler in the 1930s), the Express and the Sun, repeated these lies and elaborated on them with more inflammatory nonsense. I asked a friend who planned to vote Leave why she would do so and she repeated verbatim the £350 million a week to the EU and massive Greek influx claims, among others. She was one of many ill-informed voters who determined the outcome.

Considering the low turnout in the European elections and the fact that hardly anyone could name their MEP, no one should have been surprised at the general level of ignorance about the EU. The issue was and is complex, yet there was little attempt, even on the Remain side, to inform. Sloganising back and forth was as far as it got. Our membership should never have been decided by a referendum that had no more validity than the throw of a dice. Mr Cameron gambled away our future, but mainly the future of our young people. At 71, it won't affect me much but it will affect them.

I have no confidence in any of our senior politic leaders at this time, of any party. In fact, I think that party politics and the first past the post system are anachronisms. It's time to overhaul the system, though I can't see any of those who've gained power attempting to do so; they're all too busy putting their own interests before national interests. And when I say "national", I mean British interests, before the kingdom is divided.

Since the referendum result is meant to provide guidance to the legislature, there appear to be grounds to reject it. The result wasn't decided by fair means. I urge you to support any attempt to challenge a move to invoke Article 50 and to expose the fraudulent claims of the Leave campaign.

If you haven't already done so, I urge you to watch what Professor Michael Dougan of Liverpool University (an expert in EU law) has to say about the referendum, which was won through "dishonesty on an industrial scale". You might also like to familiarise yourself with an EU document, The Code of Good Practice on Referendums (a PDF), if you haven't read it.

To paraphrase Princess Leia's message to Obi-Wan Kenobi, you and your fellow MPs are our only hope. Please demonstrate that Parliament is capable of taking decisive action to avoid a disastrous and irreversible decision. The European Union is far from perfect, but it can be improved. For so many reasons, we're better off in than out.

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Nelson

Note: Mr Cartlidge was on the Remain side.


brian said...

A lot of us have been waiting for years for a chance to leave the EU, no matter what anyone on any side said about leaving or remaining would have changed our minds. Having read the Lisbon treaty more than once, I still find it hard to understand anyone who voted for remain.

M Nelson said...

A lot of you might have found someone to put your case reasonably, but no one did.