A Man Resigns

Dr Philip Lee, the Justice Minister in Britain’s Conservative government, resigned yesterday over the government’s handling of the Brexit issue. Dr Lee said:

“Dr Lee added: ‘Sometimes when a majority of people want something that is against the good of society, government and parliament have a responsibility to protect us.

‘This was the case for the death penalty, where for decades politicians went against the majority view and refused to restore it.
‘Now I believe it has got to be the case for the Brexit process”.’ (See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5834013/Blow-justice-minister-QUITS-Brexit.html).

It is a brave man who stands up and says that the people are not always right, that government’s should not blindly follow “the will of the people” (my words and not those of Dr Lee) and that politicians should, sometimes protect people from the consequences of their ill judged decisions. I believe that Dr Lee is right and I applaud him for having the courage to resign on a matter of principle.

The issue of whether the UK should leave the European Union is too complicated to be put to the UK electorate, yet this is what was done. The debate surrounding the referendum saw a great deal of what where (quite frankly) lies, for example the claim by leading supporters of the Leave campaign that exiting the EU would mean far more investment in the NHS, and in the sound and fury of this ”tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing” the truth and common sense was lost.

Dr Lee has been criticised for his decision to resign on the grounds that 53 percent of his constituents voted to leave the EU. Yet if a person does, in all conscience believe that his constituents are wrong, is he not correct to go with his own inner conscience rather than with “the will of the majority”? I believe that he is, for the man of conscience can not live with himself if he allow the views of the majority to trump what he, in his heart knows to be right.

“I laud the mass
For to do otherwise is considered crass.
One can not have the brass
Neck to deny
The truth that justice in the majority does lie.

Who am I
To raise
My voice in praise
Of the view
That the few
Sometimes best construe
What is just and true?”
(“My Old Clock I Wind And Other Poems” by K Morris).

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11 thoughts on “A Man Resigns

  1. Jack Eason

    There is nothing complicated about it Kevin. Fundamently what we were asked to vote on was whether or not we wished to continue to be a vassal state of what amounts to a German lead fourth reich. The answer was a resounding No!!

    Reply
    1. drewdog2060drewdog2060 Post author

      We are no longer fighting the Second World War and I think that the reference to a “Fourth Reich” is unfortunate given the horrors of the Third Reich (the mass extermination of Jews, the invasion of countries etc). This is not what today’s Germany is about.

      Polution doesn’t stop at borders and “frictionless trade” is better served by being a member of the EU than leaving the Community.

      TThe UK was instrumental in the establishment of the Single Europen Market (SEM) which promotes the free movement of goods, capital and labour which has, I believe made us all better off.

      There are problems with the EU but the answer is not to leave it but to remain and work from within for reform.

      Best, Kevin

      Reply
      1. Jack Eason

        The days of free movement ended when the idealistic Common Market became the EU. The UK is being bled dry financially by the rich gnomes in Brussels. Even you must agree the current situation we find ourselves in either has to be renegotiated or brought to an end. Being held to ransom is not why we became part of the Common Market…

      2. drewdog2060drewdog2060 Post author

        I agree that there must be reform, however the often exaggerated stories in the British press as regards the EU haven’t helped to foster an understanding of it’s workings.

        I believe that leaving will leave the UK worse off financially and in terms of our ability to fight crime, deal with environmental issues etc.

        I feel profoundly British and I love my country, however that is not incompatible with wishing to remain part of a EU which the UK has done a good deal to shape by for example (as I mentioned previously) advocating for the SEM.

        Best

      3. Jack Eason

        I tell you what Kevin, if you and remainers get your way, I’ll shut up. But as the majority voted to leave, it is incumbent on the government to accede to our wishes. They are doing everything to muddy the waters in the hope that we all cry enough – let’s forget it! Don’t blame us blame them for giving us the choice in the first place. 😉

      4. drewdog2060drewdog2060 Post author

        I have never been a fan of putting single issues to a people’s vote. As Philip Lee says, had we done so with capital punishment the public would probably have voted for it. On the whole I believe that there is far more moderation and common sense amongst the moderate politicians of Labour, the Conservatives etc than exists amongst the people. Anyway I can see that we won’t agree on this one.

        All the best, Kevin

  2. tidalscribe

    I heartily agree with you. Australia has referendums all the time and in some ways that seems good to get everyone’s opinion, but we also vote MPs in to represent us and that is their job. With all its faults, The EU is still the best club to belong to, with what I believe to be the most civilised countries in the world – okay, there may be some member countries not up to scratch, but who’s to say they won’t be lifted up. A club which celebrates culture, cares about education and the environment … and we’re going to leave it and demonstrate to the World that countries cooperating is just a dream!

    Reply
    1. drewdog2060drewdog2060 Post author

      Many thanks for your comment. Yes we are in agreement on this. I relish the diversity of London where one can meet Poles, Czechs and other peoples who comprise the EU, all living and working, harmoniously together. One of the arguments which many of those in favour of Brexit promulgated was that we should control our borders as there are to many people, from the EU coming in to the UK. What they forget is that many people from the UK also go to live, work (and love) in other countries. I feel very British, however this does not make me wish to pull up the drawbridge.

      Reply
      1. drewdog2060drewdog2060 Post author

        I meant to add, one of the oddest experiences I ever had was that of listening to an Englishman supporting Brexit as his heavily pregnant Polish girlfriend sat nex to him on the train. As a member of the EU it is, currently very easy for Polish people to come to live and work here. Once we leave that will no longer be the case although, of course some Poles will still move here.

  3. Jack Eason

    Reblogged this on Have We Had Help? and commented:
    As you will read I may not agree with Kevin’s sentiments. But by god I’ll defend his right to his opinion. As a nation our eyes are beginning to glaze over when it comes to all things Brexit. I for one will be glad when the whole debacle is over…

    Reply

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