Democracy 101

Jim Walshe, Going Postal
The British Parliament and Big Ben
MauriceLicence CC BY 2.0

I’ve been thinking.

The Referendum result was a one-off, a gaggle of disparate groups that came together as a citizen army to win what the Remainers thought was an unwinnable fight.  And we won!

The direction of travel ever since has not been our way.  The citizen army did what all such do at the end of a campaign, and returned to their lives and day jobs, trusting that our politicians would deliver what we had asked for.

The Remainers did not go home.  They regrouped, and invented new words – Soft Brexit, Hard Brexit, Extreme Cliff-edge Brexit.  They have spent the past two years fudging the issue, trying to create the climate of opinion that will provide a fig-leaf to their intent to block Brexit.

So where are we today?

It is possible that the Tories will defenestrate Theresa May and we will get a Leaver into No 10.  Possible, yes, likely, no.

The chances appear to be that TM will deliver the UK bound hand and foot over to the EU so that we wind up committed to all the worst aspects of EU membership and agreeing to forgo the benefits of leaving.

The House of Commons has a built-in Remain majority, hence the current fun & games.  Don’t even mention the Lords.

The Leave side need to get back in the saddle.  It is possible that a new Leader of Leave will emerge.  It may be that Leavers will coalesce around UKIP under Gerard Batten, that For Britain and Democrats & Veterans will merge into one great Leave army.  Possible, yes, likely, no.

It doesn’t matter.  The pressing need is that we change the House of Commons so that after the next election it has a Leave majority.  Having a Leader to rally around and fight the airwaves war would be good, but we can still have an effect without this.

Look at your local constituencies and divide them up into Leaver and Remainer MPs.  Also divide them up into safe seats and marginal seats.

Ignore the safe seats.  Leavers in safe seats don’t need our help, and Remainers in safe seats are a big project.  We are neither Momentum nor Militant Tendency.

The marginal seats are where we can make a difference.  If your MP is a Leaver defending a marginal seat, grab your friends and go along as a group to offer your help.  If your outlook is Tory and the MP is Labour, move along.  I’m not suggesting that anyone should deny their political views, and there will be enough marginal MPs of both sides to find someone local to support.

If your marginal MP is a Remainer, and the credible challenger is a Leaver (you’ll need to do some research here to make sure they are really a Leaver, not just saying what they think will get them elected) then take your group, volunteer for the challenger, and help to ensure a Remainer departs the green benches.

Political parties are desperate for boots on the ground, and a dozen committed leafleteers will be welcomed with open arms.  There’s no need to join the local party – just say that you’d like to be a supporter and offer to help.

In an ideal world, there would be some central coordination of the Leave movement.  This is not an ideal world.  You are going to have to do it yourself.  Do your research.  Talk to your friends and see who is willing to spend a few hours delivering leaflets.

A benefit of this approach is that the political parties will do all the hard work.  They will run their voter databases, they will produce the lists of people to canvass and streets to leaflet, they will supply all you need.  You just have to turn up.

The next General Election may be in 2022 or as early as later this year.  Please turn up.

© Jim Walshe 2018

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