This afternoon's BBC program had two very interesting discussions that illustrate the bias of reporters. The first concerns the role Russia played in the attempted assassination of Skripal in Salisbury. Today's topic was Boris Johnson's comparison of Russia with Nazi Germany in 1936. While everybody that was asked was polite about the question, without exception all of them thought that the Foreign Secretary's comment was badly thought out and rather childish.
Compare this to the response of the BBC on various programs that effectively tried to condemn Jeremy Corbyn because he did not give his unconditional support to the Prime Minister's condemnation of the Russian state. Many people thought that Britain would have been better served by a Prime Minister that had waited for more information and proof before embarking on a tit-for-tat war with Russia. Contrary to parliamentary belief, refusal of one side or the other to just deny or ignore an accusation IS NOT LEGAL PROOF in a court of law. Also, apparently, it wasn't just Yulia but also her father that had Russian nationality (dual in the case of the father) This would give Russia the legal right to demand to see the toxin for themselves, unlike Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn's implied inferences in their questions to their guests.
But the second subject is far closer to my heart. It referred to a letter signed, according to the reporter, by 6 countries to Vince Cable supporting him in his endeavour to get another referendum for the people. (Liberals giving a boost to a colleague). These countries were Slovenia, Denmark, Belgium, Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Estonia, Finland and Netherlands . (Funny, I counted 8). The reporter had a laugh with his colleague, effectively writing off the idea as being silly. His colleague pointed out that it would not be able to frame the question requiring a Yes or No type answer. And I fully agree.
But here's the rub. I have started an on-line petition to get the final Brexit vote returned to the people. At this time there is in fact a possible legal case to be made, but my contention is that as things stand, no government, no parliament would ever be able to satisfactorily resolve this question by simple discussion. It has split the nation so deeply, and the repercussions are so grave, that only another electoral decision can resolve it. Another (in my language) vote. The question would be, in what direction should Britain proceed:
Accept the deal negotiated and proceed to an orderly exit from the EU
Reject the terms, accepting the consequences of a hard and disorderly Brexit.
Reject both options and vote to stay in the EU
Some people would say that's not a referendum but they would be wrong. At this point dear reader I would like to make a sincere apology to all of you that have followed my blog, for misleading you. I too fell into the trap of taking everybody's definition for 'referendum' as a given. But you see when I looked it up in the Oxford, the Cambridge, Wikipedia, Merriam's, and Macmillan dictionary more or less I got :
" an occasion when everyone in a country can vote to make a decision about one particular subject"
Nowhere does it say that there should only be two choices. Only two dictionaries, Collins and Dictionary. com implied it should be a "Yes or No" type question.
Why is this important? Because the European Union Act 2011, an Act, which some scholars called at the time an ‘unprecedented constitutional experiment’, is known for the fact that it establishes a very unusual ‘referendum lock’ before an amendment of the EU Treaties can be ratified by the UK. It introduces a rule that all serious amendments of the EU treaties will have to be approved both by an Act of Parliament and by the electorate in a referendum. Dominic Grieve, former Attorney General is currently investigating this.
By implication then the first referendum was simply, "leave or stay", and now a new one is needed, "for OK but what do we do with the EU treaties?" You see whether you choose to negotiate a new treaty with the EU or decide as a nation to chuck the rule book out the window, it is definitely a CHANGE.
Meanwhile, since you are here, perhaps you would consider signing the petition for yourself. What I am proposing is a vote. To be held in Early November latest, with a three-way question.
Accept whatever deal is being proposed and leave in an orderly manner
Reject the deal and simply leave, opting for the NO DEAL option
Accepting that any Brexit is too detrimental, therefore choosing cancelling Brexit
You could have a first past the post 'one-off', or be more democratic and hold a second round of voting in the event of no clear winner.
Consider what could happen. If the vote shows a 50% majority for anybody then the question is settled. Likely it would not, and then, just like the elections in many countries, it goes to a second round, with only the top two options going forward. If the two options don't include staying in the EU then the choice will simply be between hard and soft Brexit (or whatever is your preferred nomenclature for the options.)
Most likely, the result will include staying in the EU and one other. If the other is a hard Brexit, then those who voted 'soft' will be obliged to decide in the second round, either 'stay' in the EU or accept crashing out (a 'hard' Brexit). If on the other hand it is the hard Brexiteers that lose out on the first round they will either have to accept an orderly 'soft' Brexit or 'stay' in the EU.
In this way nobody can say this is undemocratic or that they don't have a chance at a Brexit of their choice. All those who still insist the people have already spoken are doing nothing but risking the entire future of the United Kingdom, from Ireland to Scotland and Gibraltar, from Tory to Labour. To delegate this decision to the politicians is silly, as can be seen from the state of Brexit negotiations where they can't even agree on the simplest of Transition deals.
The man in the photo is Lord Kerr. He wrote the Article 50, never once thinking it was his own team that would invoke it.
Lord Kerr, a former UK ambassador to the E.U, said Brexiters in May’s cabinet were suggesting Brexit was irreversible and thereby misleading the public. This former diplomat says the UK could opt to reverse Brexit up to the moment it leaves, even if a date for the country’s departure from European Union were added to the withdrawal bill, as Theresa May plans.
Ask yourselves, do you really trust a politician to take what is almost certainly the most important decision of your and YOUR CHILDRENS' lives, for you?
Tell your friends. Tell your family. Tell your fellow students. This offer is only on until March 29th, 2019. (Actually, if a transition period is negotiated it could be longer but I wouldn't risk it). Before Mar 29th 2019, even the EU can't stop a reversal. After that who knows) Vote the way you think and then its in the lap of the gods! Do yourself a favour,
Sign Petition : https://t.co/Wo8DgvjjYN