Democracy is hanging by a thread in the UK, by Brendan O’Neill.
At the start of this year, if someone had told you that in eight months’ time there would be open calls for the thwarting of the people’s will, and marches demanding the crushing of public opinion, you’d probably have scoffed. ‘This isn’t some anti-democratic backwater, it’s Britain!’, you’d have said.
Yet now, these things are happening, all the time. Angry Brexit-bashers, those politicos and experts and activists furious at the masses for having the temerity to reject the EU, have helped make anti-democracy fashionable again, for the first time in decades. It’s a fashion we cannot let stand.
This is the political class lined up against the demos. And much of the liberal media is joining it. … And then there’s my favourite headline of the whole Brexit era, and possibly of all time: it was in the Guardian and said, ‘Why elections are bad for democracy’. These people taking leave of their senses.
And the worst of it is this: they’re dolling up their loathing for the demos as democratic. The reason we want parliament to decide is because we love parliamentary democracy, they say. (Making you wonder why they’re so pro-EU, given its dilution of parliamentary democracy.) The reason we want a second referendum is to give people another say, another go, more democracy, they chirp. …
Do not buy this. For a second. It’s the greatest political swindle. They’re using the language of democracy to the highly undemocratic end of smashing what the democratic majority has demanded. …
As I say, democracy is hanging by a thread. The right of people to shape their nation is being explicitly called into question. The very capacity of people to understand political affairs and make a rational choice is being talked down as a fantasy. This is the most serious crisis of democracy I can remember.
hat-tip Stephen Neil