Sunday, 3 July 2016

The Revd. Blair speaks out

By and large, the Private Eye spoofs of succeeding prime ministers have always been excellent. We started with Mrs Wilson's diary, then we had the Heathco cartoon. Mrs Wilson's diary came back; I don't remember anything from Callaghan, but then we had Dennis Thatcher's diary. After that it was 'The Secret Diary of John Major' based on Adrian Mole. That still makes an occasional appearance.

Then we had the diary of the Reverend Tony Blair which captured his preachy nature, with cameo appearances from Mr Prescott from the working men's club. I always thought Blair was smarmy and shallow which is why I voted 'None of the Above' in 1997.

More recently, we had the Coalition Academy and then the Cameron Free School, again very well done. The Cameron Free School will shortly close and I have suggested to Private Eye that if Mrs May becomes the next prime minister she could become the first female incumbent of St. Albion's, after all she is a vicar's daughter (and, in the nicest possible way, it shows).

Tony Blair stated in a television interview last night that we should not discount a second referendum on the EU because 'the public will can change'. More precisely, he said that we should keep our options open. Cynical individuals might unfairly suggest that this was an attempt to boost his standing ahead of the publication of the Chilcot Report later this week. It is being rumoured that Jeremy Corbyn intends to make a defamatory allegation against the Revd. Blair using the coverage of Parliamentary privilege and that is one reason he is hanging on as leader.

I know that in the past other, smaller countries have been asked to hold a second vote on EU issues after failing to get the right answer the first time round. However, this is a much more fundamental issue.

The referendum vote provided a clear majority, but not a large one. I don't think that the 48 per cent who voted 'Remain' should be expected to shut up, as some Leave campaigners appear to be arguing. Minorities have rights in democracies, particularly large ones. However, I do not think that the referendum can be re-run. Some argue that voters were misled by lies or misinformation, but there was exaggeration on both sides in an unedifying campaign.

Approval of the terms is a matter for Parliament in what is still in large part a parliamentary rather than a plebiscitary democracy.

The country has shown itself to be divided on lines of education, income, geography and age. The next prime minister needs to be a unifier and it has been argued that Theresa May is best placed to fill that role.

1 comment:

skipper said...

Farage claimed 4% would be close enough to force a rerun before the vote and a general election might reverse Brexit.