In our history we've had a Short Parliament, a Long Parliament and a Rump Parliament. I suspect future historians will dub this one the Pathetic Parliament. They have:
- set up a referendum not in the interests of the nation but to help one political party try to solve a domestic problem;
- failed to provide for a supermajority and other safeguards , such as would be normal in any civic organisation which wished to change its constitution:
- allowed an advisory referendum with a small majority of those who voted to be translated into "the will of the people";
- granted the government the right to implement this result despite the majority of them believing that this will be damaging to their constituents and the country as a whole:
- amazingly, voted for this before seeing the customary White Paper setting out the Government's plans
Best of all is Ken Clarke's excellent speech in the Commons on the first day of the debate
Most Members, I trust, are familiar with Burke’s address to the electors of Bristol. I have always firmly believed that every MP should vote on an issue of this importance according to their view of the best national interest. I never quote Burke, but I shall paraphrase him. He said to his constituents, “If I no longer give you the benefit of my judgment and simply follow your orders, I am not serving you; I am betraying you.” I personally shall be voting with my conscience content, and when we see what unfolds hereafter as we leave the European Union, I hope that the consciences of other Members of Parliament will remain equally content.
It is invigorating to read the whole speech, available at:
Instead our MPs cravenly succumbed to the loudness of the shouting of the Brexiteers and voted for something which they believe will harm both our country and the people they were elected to serve. Shame on them.