Friday, 30 August 2019

Proroguing Democracy

I debated about whether to abandon writing my blog for this week, or even for good; the news is just so discouraging, it feels as though I am screaming into a vacuum, and the net result of that is a metaphorical sore throat.

I am of course outraged that our unelected Prime Minister has chosen to bypass any kind of democratic discussion of his Brexit proposals, and then has the nerve to suggest that it has nothing to do with Brexit. His latest outburst (as of 6pm this evening) is to claim that all those trying to prevent the No-Deal Brexit are making it more likely as it gives the European negotiators hope that sense will prevail at the eleventh hour and BJ will cave which he won't. Okay, I've paraphrased the last bit, but that's the general gist.

And what can I do about it?

We've written (well, Rod has, cc'ed me) to our MP in the past, who has replied very politely but firmly stating it was the will of the people and all that, and of course she has concerns but she was sure that Mrs May would address them. That worked out well (not). But the exchange of emails suggests to me that any further contact would be pointless. Maybe I should do it anyway. Then at least the vacuum I'm metaphorically screaming into would have someone else in it.

I could resort to Twitter. Hugh Grant put it most eloquently in this tweet  (those who don't like sweary tweets should probably not follow the link) but has received some appalling comments in reply. Trolling is clearly a major opportunity for those who have excess vitriol. I personally couldn't deal with the kind of attacks that are meted out to Grant and his ilk (eg Philip Pullman) for daring to suggest that what has happened is undemocratic, unethical and, in some aspects, illegal. Fortunately very few people read this blog and most of those are from my own bubble, so I should be okay expressing such views here.

Join a demonstration? I gather there will be several around the country on Saturday, including Oxford (details of them here) but unfortunately I have a prior commitment, going to the graduation of my niece who has just completed her PGCE. I don't know how effective marches will be - the media plays up or down the numbers of demonstrations, depending on their agendas, and the relevant parties/cabals believe what they choose to believe irrespective of the facts.

Ultimately, I feel powerless. And the irony is that many people voted Leave in the referendum because they felt powerless. I can write about it here, I can use poetry as an outlet, but I don't have any real influence over what will happen. I voted in the referendum, and I voted in the general election, and none of it made any difference. It's no wonder that people stop bothering with the democratic process when clearly that's not where the power lies.

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