THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
It's no longer about Brexit
On the road again — on honeymoon

In which I urge you to overcome your sense of futility and vote this Thursday

I thought taking part in the Leave march to Parliament Square might have been my last political act. As I wrote afterwards, it actually gave me hope again. 

The old political tribes in Britain are in trouble and deserve to be. They have long taken their members, supporters and voters for granted; becoming steadily more divorced from the everyday lives of most Brits. They were smugly secure that most of us would keep voting for one or the other of their parties regardless. So they could safely ignore us while they grew their power and enriched themselves by steadily growing the public payroll and the National Debt. They turned their backs on us and forgot we were here. 

I never deluded myself about the nature of democracy. Grandiosity about “government of the people, by the people and for the people” made me smile. I take Tony Benn’s more practical view as stated in the last of his famous "five questions"

“The House will forgive me for quoting five democratic questions that I have developed during my life. If one meets a powerful person--Rupert Murdoch, perhaps, or Joe Stalin or Hitler--one can ask five questions: what power do you have; where did you get it; in whose interests do you exercise it; to whom are you accountable; and, how can we get rid of you? Anyone who cannot answer the last of those questions does not live in a democratic system.”

Simply, if (and to the precise extent) that a majority of us can succeed in getting rid of any given set of people in power, we have a democracy. The political obsessives and/or moral degenerates who are attracted to the idea of running for office are very unlike the rest of us so the practical point of any democratic system is to keep them honest-ish by forcing them at intervals to appeal to us normals, on pain of peremptory dismissal.

Brexit has broken this model because it transcends the old left/right divide. It’s an issue that speaks to us normals at a very deep level. It goes to our sense of who we are as a set of British nations. These are near-mystical matters that the grasping, narcissistic rogues in office can’t grok. 

If they loved the peoples of Britain, they wouldn’t be feeding on us like so many plump fleas. If they gave the merest damn about our nations or their history or if they had the slightest respect for who we are, they wouldn't ever have wanted to lord it over us. Just as the feudal lords of medieval Europe dealt more comfortably with their counterparts across the Channel than with the serfs they saw as little more than cattle, so our political masters feel more at home with their parasitical brethren in the EU apparatus than with us. That hugger-muggery has not gone unremarked and has intensified our sense of being ignored at best (and despised at worst) by those elected to serve us. 

In the end, Brexit’s historical importance will have nothing to do with our membership of the EU. That dubious institution will pass in time, with or without us. We would find our way forward in or out of it. The true value of the attempt to leave has been the way it has exposed the terrible weakness of our native institutions. Whether they atrophied because of our EU membership or have just withered from long neglect scarcely matters now. They are rotten, need to be fixed and the people tasked with their maintenance and repair have been shown to be utterly useless.

It's a challenge, but our economy is stronger and our demographics are better than any European rival. Despite Brexit, our legal system and the strength of our financial institutions continues to attract foreign direct investment on a scale our neighbours can only dream of. Once this farce moves on to its next act, the peoples of Britain — armed with their new-found understanding of what fools our masters are — now expect our institutions to undergo as thoroughgoing a refurbishment as the one planned for the physical fabric of the Palace of Westminster.

There is much to be done and new people must be inspired to do it. And new political parties will be needed as all faith in the Conservatives has been destroyed and Labour is a disunited rabble of cowards or fanatics.

Our first chance to put the fear of the fierce God Demos back into the black hearts of our politicians is on Thursday. For us Brits at least, the usually entirely pointless elections to the EU’s ludicrous fig leaf of a pretendy Parliament have an important use this time. This, even though our MEPs are not expected to serve a full term and will certainly be ignored even more than usual until we finally leave the EU. Since the elections are literally about nothing else, we can use them to signal to our wretched government and opposition that our democracy is not to be swatted aside when they don't like what we say.

I have joined and donated to the Brexit Party and will attend its London rally at Olympia tonight. Whether you voted Leave or Remain (and there were respectable arguments each way that no longer need rehearsing) I would urge you to vote for us this week. If you think the vote to Leave was a mistake and you don't give a damn about democracy, then your choice is easy. You must vote LibDem. Otherwise, please vote for The Brexit Party. Not for Brexit but for British democracy itself. Let’s not give the dastard Tories or the fence-sitting Corbynites any room for manoeuvre when they interpret the outcome in planning their General Election campaigns. On Thursday please add your voice to a full-throated roar of righteous popular rage that will make the villains tremble. 


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Not would be very disappointing!

James Higham

We may be witnessing a paradigm shift before our very eyes.

We also might not.


She was a friend at university. I worked on her election campaign to be Student Union President there. Sadly, these days, she’s a political litmus test for me. If I find myself agreeing with her about anything, I stop and check my thinking. It’s a shame. She is quite a character and very personable but political power is not good for people.

james higham

The right people won ... but not according to Soubry.


I voted in favour of democracy.

We have been betrayed by our political class.

I have some sympathy for the commenter above who worried about voting for a person... But in the EU elections you don't vote for a person, you vote for the party they represent and don't necessarily get the person you voted for!

David Bishop

Amen indeed!

And as Dr Evil put it, the Tories finally lost me for good on 29 March, despite a lifetime of my voting for them.

I hope you won't mind if I link to a piece at Moraymint's site and vice versa. Like you and so many others, he's done with the Tories, to the extent that he's put himself up as a Brexit Party candidate for UK parliamentary elections.

We are far from alone.


Your loyalty does you credit and I respect your decision but dividing the Brexit/democracy vote is not ideal. Let’s hope the outcome sends a clear message to the likes of Owen Jones who is outside the Olympia halls right now trying to discredit the people who have swept the Brexit Party into its present position in the polls and capture amateurs on film (he hopes) misspeaking so his lying Marxist rag can mock them. Our democracy is at stake and we all need to do what we can. Good luck to you.


I voted for UKIP with my postal . The Party that got us the REF along with Nigel Farage . Why would I vote for an ex Tory ( Ann Widdicombe ) in my area .
UKIP has been fighting for Britain for 25 years and will continue to fight unlike the Party she comes from ..


You bet, Tom. I've chipped in a few bob to The Brexit Party and they shall have my vote on Thursday. In my immediate circle of friends and acquaintances, I know of only two who voted to Remain; one of those has changed her mind and all except the single Remainer are itching to vote Brexit Party on Thursday.

It seems the UK results will be announced after polls finally close in all EU countries on Sunday evening. Enjoying the luxury of not having to go to work Monday, I shall stand ready to open a bottle of something to celebrate or commiserate as appropriate. Nothing European on this occasion of course; perhaps a good English methode champenoise, in pursuit of conviviality.

Sam Vara

Amen. Despite not being a natural "joiner", I have also sent off my £25 and become a supporter of the Brexit Party. This may well be our last chance. If we are lucky, a Brexit landslide will convince cowardly politicians that delaying the process any longer will cost them their seats. Only once the main parties have been dealt an enormous shock will we be able to build anything better for this country. The clearest mandate that has ever been known in these islands - biggest voting bloc, simplest most direct question, answer arrived at despite massive campaigning by the BBC, Obama, and the government itself - and still the bastards chose to ignore it.

Dr Evil

I, my family and all my friends are voting. For The Brexit Party. The Tories lost me on 29th March at 23.01 when the UK did not leave the EU. It could easily have left on the No Deal/WTO rules scenario. But that was blocked. So to hell with them.

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