When the UK PM called a general election recently, I spotted this line on Facebook:
Please god let the “great” British public stay in bed and let the rest of us make a sensible decision.
…which, you know, is a bit demeaning to a lot of people who might not happen to share the same point of view as you do.
The individual in question voted Labour in the last election (they lost) and voted to remain in the EU in the recent referendum (that side also lost). Since then, that person’s timeline has been a cascade of anti-Conservative (they won) and anti-Brexit (also a winner) stories and articles.
And that’s fine. Each to their own.
Really, my only problem comes when “Remainers” protest about the steps that the Government have taken towards the UK leaving the EU. Yes, the referendum was a close run thing, and there are probably lessons that we could learn from that when running future referendums, but it still finished 52-48. That means that a majority of people voted to leave the EU, and thus, the Government should be taking steps to do so. That’s what referendums are for. That’s how they work.
Look, I’m sorry for you that there weren’t enough people sharing your point of view to swing the vote in the way that you wanted. Democracy can be a real bummer when more people vote the other way.
But then imagine, if you will, that the Remain vote had won 52-48 (or whatever). If more people had voted to keep the UK in the EU. Imagine then that the UK Government had ignored that majority and gone ahead with Brexit anyway.
Pandemonium! And rightly so!
Having asked the question and got the answer, how could the powers that be drive their fat political steam roller over the wishes of the British people?
And yet that’s exactly what you’re demanding must happen, simply because the result didn’t go your way. Simply because “the ‘great’ British public” chose to wake up that day and spoke their mind.
No. It’s entirely reasonable that the Government do what the majority of the public demand. Whether you like the decision or the Government or not.
But I find this idea that your side holds some sort of intellectual or moral high ground over the other simply because the viewpoints don’t agree is rather pompous and actually counterproductive. Some people argue that it’s one factor as to why Trump won the US election.
But to be honest, for me, it’s less about the collective effect of these sorts of protest (which has been negligible anyway) and more about me finding out a bit more about people I know on Facebook. And that’s no bad thing either.