Resetting the debate

Probably the most important thing we need to discuss is how we “reset the debate”, which we will certainly have to do following 8th June.

Thus far we haven’t managed to do this.

I pulled together the People’s Challenge to the Government, not to oppose Brexit, but because of the risk to the democratic process, to our parliamentary sovereignty, posed by an autocratic government propped up by a populist mantra of “the people have spoken”.

That risk has not diminished: by the time we get to 9th June that risk will have increased.

Whatever happens on the 8th, the two largest parties will be working to take the UK out of the EU based on the populist mantra of the “people have spoken”.

The only difference between them is “No Deal is better than a Bad Deal” and “Any Deal is better than No Deal”. Neither party is promising to make its decision based on what is in the best interests of the UK and its people, neither party is promising to allow parliament to make a decision based on all the available options.

The resetting of the debate is not just about what sort of Europe (EU) we want to be part of, it is about what sort of country (UK) we want to be citizens of. Do we want to be citizens of a country that penalises the elderly, ignores the young, the disadvantaged, the minorities… or do we want to be citizens of a country that is open, inclusive, principled and caring?

Those of us who went to court, backed by thousands of supporters, clipped the wings of an autocratic, dictatorial government.

We have not yet empowered our parliamentarians with the sense that they can challenge the populist dictatorship embodied by the current government.

That is an issue that we not only need to address, we must address it if we are to change the current political “norm” in the UK.

We must let our parliamentarians know that we support what is best for the UK, regardless of party or political dogma.

Our elected MPs have the tools to preserve parliamentary democracy, to stop lasting damage to the UK and what it stands for, provided we can convince them to use those tools.

The Three Knights opinion was commissioned and paid for by ordinary people, represented by the People’s Challenge. It is clear, concise and authoritative. It was considered and written by the finest legal authorities on the subject.

But even that is not its most important feature. What is most important about The Three Knights opinion is that it shows how our representative parliamentary democracy can stop a dictatorial populist autocracy.

It is the People’s Challenge reply to “No Deal is better than a Bad Deal” and “Any Deal is better than No Deal”.

In all things the UK deserves better than the less worse of two options – the UK deserves the best of all possible options. That is what our government should be striving for and what our parliament should be giving us.

That choice of what is in the best interests of the UK should always be made, following informed, reasoned public and parliamentary debate on all the options, by a free vote in Parliament.

To paraphrase Edmund Burke – All that is required is for good people to stand up for what is right and support our parliamentarians.

Grahame Pigney – The People’s Challenge – 6th June 2017

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