The People’s March

There are a number of big marches taking place in the UK today, demanding that the public get a final say on any deal made to leave the EU.

Despite what many people think, these marches are not demanding a stop to Brexit.

Surely, there cannot be anyone who is unaware of the original referendum and the result, as well as the resulting chaos and discord that followed it, but just in case there is…

The British public was asked in 2016 to vote on whether they wished to leave the EU or to remain. The results were as follows:

Of those who voted, 17,410,742 (51.9%) voted leave, and 16,141,241 (48.1%) voted remain.

The turnout was 72.2% of a total registered electorate of 46,500,001.

This means that 37.45% of the electorate voted to leave and 34.72 to remain.

So to say that the result was an overwhelming one (as has been frequently claimed) is clearly untrue. Not much over one third of the electorate declared their preference for leaving, and just over a third to remain.

One thing that is obvious in hindsight, and really should have been blindingly obvious at the time, is that if you offer a referendum on an incredibly significant and life-changing choice such as that, you should also state there should be a very clear majority for change (such as over 50% of the total electorate, or a margin of over (say) 15%)

And parliament has been utterly unable to come up with a workable, realistic plan to manage this exit.

It is true you are on shaky ground demanding a re-run, even if you think there is convincing evidence (as in this case) that everyone was lied to. And this is not about a re-run.

The initial problem, which has been the great stumbling block all along, is that nobody knew what they were voting for.

Politicians canvassing for ‘leave’ promised everything from completely halting all immigration to channelling massive sums of money to the NHS, all of which they knew was completely undeliverable, and naturally many people believed them.

So, what are the people taking part in the march demanding?

The official march website states its objective is that any Brexit is put to the people so that we can have the final say.

What it does not demand, is a stop to Brexit. Yet that is a theme I see everywhere in social media at the moment; we’re marching to stop Brexit – repeal article 50.

How about the petition?

Well, that states ‘revoke article 50 and remain in the EU’. Which is probably why so many people seem to think that’s what the march organisers are demanding, and consequently what is being repeated all over social media.

Now, although that might be something I’d like to see happen, you cannot get away from the fact that the result of the referendum was ‘leave’, and you cannot simply set that aside because you disagree with it. If it is something that is going to happen, it has to be because the majority of the public decide it is the right move.

Emotions are running very high and many people seem unable to even allow the other side to put their case without shouting them down. The name calling is ludicrous and disgraceful. And to have national newspapers with headlines calling MPs ‘traitors’ for voting against their (i.e. the newspaper’s owner’s) views is nothing short of repellent. And the unpleasantness is certainly not confined to just one side.

There is also far too much political posturing and point scoring. Not just from politicians, but from the public. Looking at social media, for example, there are many people who see this whole thing as Labour against Tory. I’m not going to attempt to dissect that, except to point out that the leadership from both parties has been derisory.

To be fair, there have been a few voices asking how it will be possible to bring both sides together when the dust has settled, but they have been largely drowned out by the clamour of those demanding their ‘rights’ and deriding their opponents on the one hand as treacherous cowards who want to see Britain ‘taken over’ by the EU, in a somehow similar manner to a country occupied by an invading army, or on the other as fascist bigots who want to expel everyone not white and Christian from the country.

There is only one way I can see out of this impasse, without the very real danger of violence and long-lasting bitter divisions. After all, once this is over, one way or another, we have to find a way to coexist with each other.

Parliament needs to either pass the deal the government has got, or alternately vote to leave with no deal, and then put that back to the people in a referendum that asks Do you accept the terms of this deal / no deal to exit the EU or do you wish to remain?

And the result of that referendum needs to be both final and legally binding. I can only speak for myself, but if the vote is still to leave, then it should be accepted since this time the electorate actually know what they are voting for. This is also, as I see it, the only way to respect people on both sides of the divide. And respect is something that seems to be in incredibly short supply at the moment.

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‘Hello again!’ *waves frantically*

Stuff gets in the way of life, as usual.

I just seem to have had no meaningful time available for the last ten days or so, which means I’ve missed putting up a couple of posts, as well as not being able to go off and read and comment on other folk’s posts. So today I’ll catch up with as many as I can, and post a few updates on my own projects. This has prompted me, however, to make a decision to change slightly how I use my time blogging.

Instead of nipping back frequently to check for replies to my post, or to my comments on other folks posts, I’m going to attempt to go on just once each day and deal with everything. I never have been very good at self-discipline, and I know that the way I use my time on the computer leads to my getting far less actual writing done than I should.

Prevarication, you could say.

So…firstly, I have received some lovely reviews for ‘Making Friends with the Crocodile‘, which rather makes it all worth while! I hadn’t realised how important the reviews would feel, but they do more than the actual sales figures to make me feel good about the book.

So a heartfelt ‘Thank you’ to those who have written those reviews!

Next, some of you will probably have noticed that I now have a link on my sidebar to a site where I sell photographs.

Panorama 1b

Bob Ramsak, a gifted photographer and reporter who blogs at ‘Piran Cafe‘ – http://www.pirancafe.com/ recommended this site, and I have begun to upload a few photographs there over the last few days. Hopefully, I will get a whole load more up in the future, especially ones that I have put up previously in this blog, but there are some forty or fifty up at the moment to start with.

I do not know how their particular algorithms work, but it seems likely that the more ‘views’ a picture gets, the more likely it is to feature on the front page of searches. I noticed that when I browsed the site, the pictures that came up first when I did a search, were the ones that had had a large number of views. Of course, I also realise that it is possible that the reason that they have more views, is that they come up first in the searches.

But if any of you have a few moments to spare, I’d be hugely grateful if you went and had a look, and then clicked on a few photos. The address is https://www.picfair.com/mickcanning

Finally, I also have a site where you can find a lot of my paintings. This is also on the sidebar, and is https://www.artgallery.co.uk/artist/mick_canning

taklamakan

But that’s probably more than enough self-promotion for today!

I had contemplated blogging on the EU referendum taking place tomorrow, but there is so much vitriol sloshing around at the moment that I’ve decided to keep out of it, at least on this blog.

And so I’ll leave it there, and come back with a brand new sparkling and shiny post in a few days time.

Unless more stuff gets in the way, of course.

Hello, again!

Well, that was particularly annoying.

My computer suddenly took sick and had to be sent away to the Poorly Computer Hospital, where it underwent a major transplant.

IMGP2288

It seemed to be particularly bad timing, considering that I needed to set up the Print On Demand detail for my book, and that I don’t have immediate access to an alternate machine, other than a notebook. Unfortunately, though, the notebook:

a) is very slow,

b) doesn’t have any of my files on it and

c) has a screen too small for me to read without getting a major headache within 5 minutes.

Because of that, I got cross about it and fretted. But after a couple of days I realised that instead of fretting, since I had found out that fretting didn’t seem to help much, I could just have a bit of free time.

And so I read and went for walks and did all sorts of other things, but today I was able to go and collect it from the Poorly Computer Hospital and bring it home again.

The surgery had also involved having several important programs removed, but when I came to reinstall them I discovered that Microsoft had decided to no longer support the Office 2010 program I had bought from them, and so I ended up having to purchase a new version.

Thanks, Microsoft.

On the plus side, though, it had also removed Windows 10, and reinstalled Windows 7. And this is A Good Thing, since it appears that Windows 10 is good for very little other than causing computers to run at a temperature almost high enough to melt rock and to switch themselves off at random times, preferably when that will cause the maximum amount of inconvenience to the user.

Anyway, I’m definitely overdue another post, as it’s a week since my last one. So, what have I missed in all that time, that I might have been blogging about?

The main news in UK seems to be the upcoming referendum on membership of the EU. The Leave Camp have warned that remaining inside the EU will mean that the UK will be plunged into disaster the very next day, with at least 5 million flesh-eating zombies poised to swarm through the Channel Tunnel and invade the country, whilst the Remain Camp warn that a vote to leave will lead to every single family being evicted from their suddenly value-less houses and every business going bust since there will no longer be any market for them to sell their goods to.

Hmm.

What else?

England trounced Sri Lanka in the first test! *dances little jig* That’s important, anyway!

I don’t think anything else has happened.

So, what do I need to do?

Well, firstly apologise to everyone I’ve not had a chance to reply to yet. I’ll do so very shortly!

Secondly, sort out that Print On demand book. I’m on it!

And thirdly, think of a blog post.

Heaven only knows what I can write about this week.