As the new government heads towards the Brexit deadline, we have a new chapter of woes, dire predictions and utter negativity toward the future prospects of this country. What has brought us to this level of bleak outlook that a determined core of folk are obsessed with trying to spread - and, we should be shamed to admit, are succeeding in perpetuating the very orchestrated Project Fear - which version is it now ? - I'll go for Mk IV ?
A good part of this negativity can be laid at the doorstep of abundant information - factual or gossipy. In this media age, the one thing that the world has successfully created is doubt. There is no substance to maybe 95% of media output but it creates, nevertheless, a notion, a doubt that it just might be right. And the gullible swallow it all, hook, line and sinker. And that is where this country now finds itself. Bedevilled by scare tactics, half-truths and likely a good few whole truths that are laid open to being trashed by a group of - what shall BB call them ? - so let's call them zealots for want of a collective name.
Now democracy has at its heart the concept that all folk should be able to express agreement, dissent, disinterest, argument and consent (and possibly a few others as well). However, democracy does make some sweeping assumptions that all folk are of common understanding and acceptance of what the democratic position entails. Regrettably, the human species is more venal. As in many instances, we stimulate groupings, vested interest parties and lobby groups that are prepared to bend the interpretations of democracy to suit their own agendas. These range across the spectrum of social behaviours and reflect the ever shifting norms of what is considered acceptable and that which folk reckon they can get away with. Those shifting sands are indicative of lost respect, lost discipline and a lost sense of community and collective ambition. We have become extremely 'me, me, me' oriented and this shows itself clearly in the Project Fear campaign being engaged in by those who would wish for no change in Britain's EU ordained future - '...change is bad, let's just accept what is and carry on because I'm all right, Jack !' Not a pretty sight we might agree.
For Brexit, such behaviours carry with it the continuing national division, no longer party political but in Leave or Remain stances. Whatever the outcome now, these divisions have been cemented into the polar extremes of the two ideological positions. If we choose Leave (as is legally mandated) then those who would Remain will continue to pour scorn and disruption upon the very building blocks of New Britain; if we were to choose Remain then we would be breaking the central tenet of our democratic and parliamentary principles and would nurture a discontent within the nation of a scale probably not previously seen in our long history. So what should it be ? Should Brexit be forced through at all costs - for that is the legal position and the democratic one - or should we aquiesce to the pressure groups who would have us stay within the EU ?
BB has long favoured Brexit, preferably with a deal but if all else fails then as an absolute and clear cut withdrawal. If we fail in this then we effectively position Britain as a non-democratic state - for the will of the majority of the people, sanctioned by parliament, ratified by all political entities will have been abandoned. BB has also been in favour of fairly radical political and parliamentary reform so that we develop a new position where the arithmetic of current political activity is not favoured by the loudest and most vocal but by the true majority. If Britain fails in its Brexit obligations and succumbs to the loudest and most vocal opponents, then we cease to uphold democracy. The real tragedy in that is that by continuing within the federal objectives of the EU we would lose our democracy anyway - a real double-whammy. Our vote would be neglibible and subject to 27 other veto's. We've seen it all before.
So what's to be done ? Our democracy isn't perfect - not by a long stretch - but it is the foundation of a set of principles upon which we can improve, bit by bit, to make it more representative of our national values - changeable as those are. Brexit is not an isolated event, it is part of a wider desire and need to make changes to the Westminster, Whitehall and nation states functioning systems so that it does improve the lot of an ever widening public demand. The system we currently have has gone through all manner of changes in the last 200 years and is ready now for the next phase of updating. Brexit is merely the expression of that need and it is important above all else to bring it about. If we don't, BB shudders to think what the EU super-state will drive toward.