Anyone wondering why UK politics is in such a catastrophic mess could do worse than consider two quotes in yesterday’s newspapers.
Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard says “now is the time for Parliament to assert its will over Brexit”. Typically, he doesn’t have the courage to say “... and the will of the electorate”, which is what he really means.
Meanwhile, SNP Brexit secretary Mike Russell says: “I find it insulting to be told by anybody... that now is not the time and you do not have permission to do something”.
Or to put it another way, Mr Russell thinks he should be allowed to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants, and he doesn’t need permission from anyone. And that includes you, dear voter.
The plain and obvious truth is that our political system has produced a sort of democratic dictatorship in which politicians have little interest in or understanding of the people whom they represent, and between elections they pay little or no heed to the wishes of the electorate. What is also plain and obvious is that Brexit is rapidly becoming a sideshow in a much more important power struggle.
Regardless of your views on Brexit, you surely cannot deny that the overturning of the anti-EU referendum result by a totally pro-EU parliament is a matter of the gravest concern, and is a clear indicator of the way our delicate democracy is likely to operate in the future. What will be the next matter on which our politicians decide our views need not be considered?
Graham M McLeod