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The Downside To Democracy?

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on July 4, 2016 in News & Opinion |

The last two weeks have been an absolute mudslide of news about major changes, or potential changes, to the political and social world. You just need to take a glance at the presidential campaign in the USA to see how far things can go, with threats, lies, counter-lies, facts and fictions dominating the news headlines. Everyone, it seems, has the chance to have their say, and no one is holding back. In the UK it has been much the same, although the results are already in and a democratic decision appears to have been made. A massive turn-out at the polls, and a result which has caused problems for half the population in that their democratic right to vote has been exercised, and it didn’t come out the way they envisioned. In the US people are still trying to sort out who will be allowed to vote and who, amongst the millions of citizens, will be forced out by one law or another.

The UK, though, has made its choice and decided to recommend that Article 50 be enacted, and the entire region be removed from membership of the European Union. Now the mudslide is turning into a mud fight, and it is getting dirty and, sadly, vicious. Those who led the fight to leave the Union are now leaving behind all responsibility for the aftermath to others, and those others are still unnamed. Democracy has taken its toll, and the reckoning will be very expensive indeed, in both financial terms.

Brexit Tea

Photo Source: FrankieleonCreative Commons

What has emerged is a slaughter reminiscent of the Somme, an anniversary which also fell during the last fortnight, where thousands went over the top, and very few have survived. Going over the top in this case, though, was not against a clear-cut and obvious enemy, but against neighbors, friends, business partners and members of otherwise close-knit families and communities. Unlike what happened following the military battle of the Somme, the leaders are backing down, resigning as quickly as they can, backing away from the promises they made, the facts they claimed and the reality they have created.

The United Kingdom, if it can still be called that, is not what it was, and it is unlikely that it can be rebuilt. The limited trust many had in their politicians and the mouthpieces of political parties is gone for the time being. Not a single person has been able to say what will happen next, not a single party has a plan for the coming years. And yet the referendum on staying or leaving the European Union is not a closed subject, the result is only a recommendation for parliament. The remaining politicians still have the chance to discuss, to evaluate, and to come to some form of consensus; whether the United Kingdom leaves the European Union or not is still not decided. What it will cost, financially, is still not certain.

Perhaps, now that the dust is settling and the instigators have shown their true colors, those remaining will take the facts and weigh them up in a civilized and orderly fashion, and present a case and a plan for the future. It is only a Perhaps, and can only be a Perhaps, because we have already seen what a few individuals can do, how much havoc they can cause through propaganda and distorted national pride. It remains for those who are prepared to work towards the future to clean up the mess created by those who should be relegated to the darkest corners of the past.

  • Viktoria Michaelis.

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