I feel I must respond to the letter by my old acquaintance Ian Christie calling for a re-run of the referendum.
My understanding of democracy is government for the people by the people, and this is embodied in the principle of one man on vote.
The referendum rules were set by the Govenment as a straight in/out vote with the highest polling campaign the winner. I have heard comments by young people that they didn’t vote because they didn’t understand what it was about. This from a generation which has unparalleled access to information via the internet is a poor excuse.
As for the honesty of the claims made by the Leave campaigners, some of which were wide of the mark . The problem with the campaign waged by both sides was it was very short on facts and very long on scare-mongering. Honesty never has been a strong point of politicians of all parties, and precious little if any was evident in this instance.
At no point did the Remain camp tell the electorate what reforms the PM obtained from his round of meetings with EU leaders.
The reason is of course that he had in fact not been assured of any tangible reforms, and the small concessions he had achieved may have been overturned by The European Parliament.
In fact one could argue that had the vote been to remain, the leave campaign would have been equally justified in calling for a re-run on the grounds that David Cameron, when announcing his intention to call the referendum, stated it would be on the decision to “stay in or leave a reformed EU.”
As no reforms were guaranteed this was in fact the PM’s “Munich moment”, with his piece of paper as worthless as that of Neville Chamberlain’s in 1939.
Sadly, such is the arrogance of today’s political class, no strategy was devised to facilitate an exit. Sorry, Ian, but all those years playing Sunday League should have taught you that at the end of the match the result stands, no matter how much you claim the winning goal was offside or you were denied that vital penalty.
John Vincent, via email