I MAKE a point of being the first person to cast a vote on any election day at my polling station. So I am normally waiting outside before the doors open at 7am.
Usually, there are few other people about at that time apart from commuting traffic.
However on one polling day it was different.
The morning of June 23, 2016, started with heavy drizzle here in leafy Berkshire. It was as if the weather wanted to be rain but could not quite be bothered to go all the way.
When I arrived at the polling station, there were, as usual, few people about. It was five or ten minutes before the doors opened. However, by 7am there was an impressive crowd, all wanting to cast their votes.
The motivation was clear. The voters had been told that the EU referendum was one where instead of politicians deciding the issue, this choice was to be given to the people. They were told this was their first and last chance to make a difference on this issue. And people were so enthused about being given the right to make this choice that they were willing to do so in large numbers and certainly as soon as the polls opened in my area.
Earlier this month there were local elections. Once again there were only a few people waiting for the polling station doors to open at 7am.
We go to the polls again later this month. I somehow get the feeling that there will be crowds, even though the vote this time decides nothing. But this is because it is now clear that the 2016 referendum was not actually the first and last chance to decide that people were promised by our politicians. It seems likely we will have numerous chances to decide until we vote the ‘correct’ way.
It has already been suggested elsewhere that these elections constitute the ‘people’s vote’ that so many Remainers are demanding. The Liberal Democrats more or less make this argument in their official campaigning.
Of course, if the bulk of the electorate vote for parties that are officially pro-Brexit, and also make the Brexit Party the winners, Remainers will come up with an excuse, which will be faithfully reported by all the mainstream broadcasters. ‘This was not the “proper” people’s vote,’ they will say, ‘only another referendum will do.’ You read this here first. The irony will be that pro-EU parties would be in effect be denouncing a European election as unrepresentative of the national mood.
The worst part of this scenario is the likelihood that the Remainers’ arguments will be accepted uncritically by our mainstream news broadcasters. This would be absurd. The requirement for balanced news broadcasting has been thus far distorted on this issue to a ridiculous degree by a bland acceptance of denial of the objective reality of who won on June 23, 2016. Time will tell if this persists, but I am not optimistic.
Perhaps Remain-supporting parties will win the elections. Opinion polls have been wrong in the past. But this seems unlikely. If Leave wins again, as it probably will, broadcasters should accept the national mood and stop treating what is in reality a fringe political movement as the mainstream in the name of a kind of balance. At the very least, they should not respect anyone who demands that Remain is an option in any future referendum. Keep these lunatics off the telly.
The Remain campaign should not function like a party consigned to opposition in an election. They lost the referendum in 2016 and that should be an end to the matter, as everybody was promised. They pretend that a new plebiscite should be as guaranteed as the next General Election and protest because this is not happening.
Remainers refuse to accept reality in a manner similar, if not identical, to the way anti-Semites deny the Holocaust. After these elections, if the vote goes against Remain parties, broadcasters should start to treat Referendum Result-deniers in the same way as their more disgusting counterparts. Not to do so is an insult to 17.4million voters who cast an honest vote in a free and fair election with the reasonable prospect that if their side won, their wishes would be carried out without let or hindrance from the losing side.