A Government for the People

Tuesday 09th April 2019 14:11 EDT

As I write, it is the anniversary of the end of the American Civil War, and an important lesson for Brexit from possibly the greatest political speech in history:

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

So what are the lessons for Brexit? Parliament unusually lacks authority and legitimacy on Brexit for both remainers and exiters, for Conservatives and Labour supporters. So, what solution?

In a divorce the arbiter is a court and both sides abide by the result. That isn't relevant here. There is only one left - the people again. But on what? The same thing Parliament is voting on, after all, they are, why shouldn't the people. All the options on the type of Brexit. And sadly, it may be 21% vote for one option and 19-20% on each the four others and you have something which 80% did not agree with. That would still be more legitimate than Parliament. And the most possible legitimate option - the least worst option.

comments powered by Disqus

to the free, weekly Asian Voice email newsletter