The Democracy Delusion

Chris Price
6 min readOct 20, 2019

In the 2016 Referendum I voted to Remain and I was very angry with those who voted Leave, believing them to be ill informed and knee jerk. I was not at all surprised with the vote but was depressingly resigned to how it would go. Owen Jones had predicted a Leave vote and it was clear to me that the pendulum had already swung that way so I was in very sombre mood when I made my mark on the ballot paper. I felt that my vote counted for nothing.

It’s that feeling of powerlessness that is at the heart of what I am writing here and, ironically, that feeling was the driving force that gave us the 52:48 result. While there was certainly a racist, nationalist element to the Referendum (indeed it was the rise of nationalism and its threat to the Tory vote that inspired Cameron to call the Referendum), the unifying strand running through the Leave campaign was that of giving the finger to the establishment (whatever that might mean).

The visible failure of the neoliberal experiment that began in the 1970’s inspired a progressive movement on the left and a rise in nationalism on the right, in which both groups attacked those who controlled the money and worked in concord to control world politics. It wasn’t a conspiracy, it was simply the logical conclusion of a capitalist system where power and wealth (two sides of the same coin) formed coalitions of self interest in which human existence was monetised and then gravity took over (wealth likes wealth).

The left demanded justice while the right exploited that injustice. While David Cameron might not have seen it in such simplistic terms, what he effectively did was sell out those with a social conscience and hand their political capital to the neo-nazis. This is the theatre in which a pseudo civil war has been fought in Britain over the last 3–4 years.

Over time I’ve softened my position on Brexit. I no longer subscribe to the Remainer campaign (indeed I wasn’t entirely convinced before the Referendum) but neither am I an advocate for Brexit. I could be accused of sitting on the fence but when you have alligators on one side and vipers on the other I feel I can justify my position. I feel there is arrogance and belligerence on both sides but my biggest issue is with the claim that democracy hinges on honouring the result of the Referendum regardless.

Chris Price

Singer, musician, writer, artist and thinker struggling to make sense of our dangerously dysfunctional society but infatuated with Morecambe Bay & it’s sunsets