Sunday, June 12, 2016

Should we be having the referendum? The people say yes.

For all that there is frustration - in my opinion fully justified frustration - with both campaigns, I do detect signs that many people are starting to engage with the referendum campaign, hence the rush to register, and I am not picking up any significant number of people outside London or the elite saying it should never have been called.

There is an element of Britain's ruling class, with Professor Richard Dawkins being the latest example, who don't trust the British people to get it right.

However nervous I am about the possibility that Britain might make the wrong decision, I don't share the patronising view that the people are too thick to be trusted with it: the fact is that elites get decisions wrong too. Everyone is mortal: everyone makes mistakes.

I know that if I vote Remain, and that side wins, and the concerns being raised by the Leave side that significantly more power will flow to Brussels if we stay in are proved right, I will be very angry with myself.

But I also know that if I vote Leave, and that side wins, and the economic warnings from the remain side turn out to be anywhere near correct, I will be furious with myself in that eventuality too.

And whether or not you think the decision should have been given to the people, it has, and telling them they are not clever enough to be trusted with it can only backfire.

Thanks to John Rentoul of the Independent for this COMRES survey result on what the voters think about whether they should have been given the choice. The answer is very clear - the overwhelming majority of the people who responded to the survey think the referendum should have been called.

4 comments:

Jim said...

I would have commented on this, hey you know for a fact I would have, but well, Richard just put it so much better than I could have, and well.

THIS

Chris Whiteside said...

Thought for a minute you meant Richard Dawkins, which completely threw me. Then I realised: I presume you mean Richard North?

Jim said...

Yes, I did mean Richard North, I should have said Dr North rather than "Richard" on that occasion I think, for that reason.

Chris Whiteside said...

No Problem.