Throughout the course of history, class and status have been predominant factors in deciding many things – how well you are educated; how well you live; do you live in poverty, comfort or downright salubrium; what kind of job do you have or career prospects.
In the United States, for instance, this is a country without a monarchy or even what the British would call, landed gentry. It does have an oligarchy based on wealth and its associated prestige. Most of this wealth has been accumulated through entrepreneurship, hard work, some guile and probably some illegal graft. Much of the difference between the haves and the have nots in the US has been brought very much into the open in the dreadful Presidential election campaign of 2016. Mr.Trump has embraced the working class vote, the disadvantaged whilst also jeopardising his candidacy by alienating Hispanics, African Americans, Mexicans and Muslims. At the same time he has also poured scorn on the cosy Washington elite of the Clintons and their associates. It does remains to be seen what the result of the serious divisions in the American way of life will bring to the World by way of a new President come Wednesday, 9th November 2016.
In 1789, the French aristocracy learnt a very hard lesson in social behaviour as, one by one, they took their places on the guillotine. In 1917, the Russian Czars learnt the same lesson as the entire Russian Royal family was wiped out by the Bolsheviks.
In Victorian Britain and right up until the Second World War, the class structure of the elite reigned supreme over the ordinary Briton. We had a live and thriving ‘Upstairs Downstairs’ culture in this country as well as an enormous poverty gap between the rich and famous and the rest. The advent of a true Labour Party rather than the excuse for that that we have now, took this divided way of life to task and slowly but surely a somewhat more equal society began to emerge.
The lesson of history is that you cannot keep the ordinary people of a nation in servitude whilst the elite gets richer at their expense ad infinitum.
Unfortunately, the elite and the educated and those that think themselves more deserving or more entitled than the rest, don’t give up either easily or totally. They may go quiet for some time, but they never go away entirely.
That is where we in the United Kingdom five months after the EU Referendum 2016, now find ourselves.
Back in a totally divided country. Divided by class, by education, by interpretation of the law and by an insatiable need to put down the protest of the common man.
Any sane person would think that the referendum had been fought. Issues raised and debated, debunked and proven false or correct. Any sane person would think that having gone to the polls, the result would stand without further debate or scrutiny. Any sane person would accept that in a nationwide referendum that you would only be allowed one vote. That is how elections or debate or referenda, few though the later have been, are conducted in this country. You make the case, you debate the argument, you vote, you lament the loss if your side loses, but you accept the democratic decision of the majority.
Apparently not in the EU Referendum 2016.
I said previously that the elite, the thinkers, the educated, the intellectuals, the experts, the entitled, don’t go away completely and for good. With the result of this Referendum five months ago, the elite have been outraged at getting a bloody nose from the proletariat, from the uneducated, from the so called racists, xenophobes and bigots, from the elderly, from the misinformed and from those, apparently too dumb to understand the issues.
Some of this outrage has shown itself in demands for a second referendum because those that voted to Leave are not considered to have the right to deny the Remain people their permanent place in the EU sun. Some have seen fit to take the usurping of their rights to a High Court where the very embodiment of elitist privilege sat in judgment over the arguments on behalf of the average British citizen. Average is not a description that the elite recognise as being anything to do with them. Politicians who voted 6:1 in favour of having a referendum now want another vote in the House because they disagree with the outcome or the format of our leaving position. Politicians of both Houses promise to frustrate the will of the people. This includes the unelected Peers in the Upper House. The elite media run and re-run the referendum and stoke the fires of discontent and division in the country. Every Remain expert gets to have their voices heard on the Newsnights, the Daily Politics, and the Question Times of the various television and radio stations. New caveats and sub clauses for our departure are introduced. Labour says it will honour the result of the referendum whilst its leader says that is with the proviso that we stay in the single market despite that fact that that position runs counter to one of the basic propositions of the referendum result – control of our borders which single market membership prevents.
The point of a national referendum is that it gives all eligible voters a single chance, with a simple X in a box, to vote on an issue. A referendum does not add supplementary caveats after the event; it does not open itself to dispute in the courts afterwards when the wording and format of the ballot paper have already been agreed by the elected Parliament of this land; it does not open itself to some people having more votes than others- namely, MPs who have had their vote on polling day; it does not open itself to further interpretation or dispute of the result. The result, is the result, is the result.
In this case, the result was a decision by a majority of the eligible voters of the United Kingdom to Leave the EU.
Britain has always been a nation of adventurers, pioneers, philanthropists, entrepreneurs, scientists, explorers, engineers, and inventors. The World would not have the Theory of Evolution but for Charles Darwin, railways but for Stevenson and his Rocket, bridges but for Brunel and Telford, trade with the East but for the East India Company, trade and frontiership in Canada but for The Hudson Bay Company, explorers such as Raleigh,Scott, and Fiennes, and a free Europe had Churchill not faced down despotism in 1939. All of these were risk takers who embraced the future.
Leave voters seem to embrace this and look forward to our great country returning to those strong roots of our past. Remain voters seem afraid of the unknown, of a future outside of the EU as if this small island that has given so much to the World cannot possibly survive without the suffocating paternalism of a failing parental master in Brussels.
We are better than that. We are worth more than that.
For the safety, security and sanity of our precious country, it is essential that the arguments cease and that the divisions be healed, the result accepted and that the people of the entire United Kingdom – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland embrace the fantastic opportunities that we voted for on June 23rd 2016.