An argument against the motion for the People’s Vote
First published on 11th September 2018, before being delivered to the St Ives Constituency Labour Party debate on the matter.
by Tris StockIntroductory note: This is a draft of the speech I hope to make to my CLP at our general meeting tonight. I realise it reads quite cumbersomely, but it is written with my particular vernacular in mind.
Tonight, we are faced with a decision on whether or not to adopt a motion in support of the People’s Vote.
It is my contention that we should reject this motion, and while I have a great many examples that back such an outcome, time prohibits my exploring each of them. So I’ll raise two points here, that I hope will establish the case for rejecting the motion. First, a point of principle, and the other a point in practice.
The point of principle is quite simple to express. The Labour Party – as it reminds us on the rear of our membership cards – is a democratic socialist party. The democratic aspect of that label, was not lost on Jeremy Corbyn, when, in response to questions regarding Labour policy on the referendum, he has consistently stated “We are a democratic party, that respects the result of the referendum.” If we are to adopt a policy that doesn’t respect that, do we not fail at being democratic? We either respect democracy, or we do not.
If that were not serious enough a consideration, though, the point in practice is even more damning, because it confronts, what I believe to be, the disenfranchisement of 33.5 million voters, a further disenfranchisement of an unknown number of voters (because – like me – they favour none of the proposed People’s Vote options), and – most importantly – an act of deliberate fraud on the electorate.
The People’s Vote is presented as a vote on the deal, but it is nothing of the sort. If it were, the only proposition available to us to vote on, would be “Do you accept the government’s – as yet, unforged – deal? Yes or No? The decision to leave the EU has already been made, so an honest vote on the deal would be just that. A vote singularly on the deal. The People’s Vote is not that.
However, despite the claim it is a vote on the deal, the introduction of an option to dismiss an already enacted Bill that has yet to be delivered, or – in other words – to remain as a member of the EU, is an unambiguous admission that the People’s Vote is not a vote on the deal at all, and is an outright act of voter disenfranchisement, the likes of which this country has never witnessed in its entire history. With this so much as an option, it exposes the People’s Vote for the fraud it was designed to be.
But it gets worse! By pitting a singular Remain option against two Leave options, which – while the latter do actually approach the deal – it is designed to split the Leave vote in two, giving the singular Remain option a fraudulent advantage that – should this sham ever come to pass – will be without doubt the grossest affront to democracy I will have ever witnessed, not just in this country, but anywhere in the world where they so much as claim to respect democracy.
So, then, both in principle and in practice, the People’s Vote is a prima facie fraud against democracy, and supporting it is an admission of accessory to a fraud. I make no apologies for making such a bold statement, because it represents the truth of the matter, and no amount of emotional hand-wringing is ever going to change that.
What is more, this argument doesn’t even require the proposer to have voted Leave in the referendum. The true democrat – and I know many people that have told me as much – will respect the referendum, even if they voted Remain before – and will vote with one of the fraudulently proposed Leave options. Meanwhile, the fraud will seemingly happily push this demonstrably dishonest set of options on the nation, and will – equally seemingly happily – disenfranchise all the referendum votes. And more, those that accept none of the People’s Vote’s options.
This whole discussion is about good decisions, bad decisions, and fraudulent actions, and whether or not you feel leaving the EU is a good or a bad decision, the People’s Vote is most assuredly a fraudulent action. And this is why any self-respecting democrat will reject this motion out of hand, as an irresponsible abuse, of the machinery of democracy.