The Big Brexit Myth

I'm totally fed up of being told that opposing Brexit is anti-democratic.

I don't support Brexit. I voted against it. I'd vote against it again. I thought the referendum itself was a bad idea and, if I'd had a vote in Parliament, I'd have voted against that too.

But that's the point. I don't have a vote in Parliament. The people who do have been elected to represent us. It's their job to determine what our best interests are, then do their best to try to achieve them. Surely the fact that they are struggling to achieve any sort of Brexit should be interpreted as a message rather than a personal slap in the face by all those people who voted leave in 2016.

Also, the claim that trying to stop Brexit is anti-democratic entirely misses the point of what democracy is. Democracy isn't some sort of honour code. It's a system of Government. I cast my vote; the votes are counted; the person with the most votes gets to go and sit as my representative.

It commits me to nothing. I do not have to support my representative. I don't have to agree with my representative. I don't even have to agree with said representative even if I voted for them. The result of a vote, even a democratic one, doesn't oblige me to change my mind about anything. Nor, and this is perhaps more to the point, does it stop me from changing my mind should I decide to do so. I'm not obliged to support whoever won that vote. I can change my mind at any time, and I can campaign for whatever I like.

When Sadiq Khan won the London Mayoral election it didn't oblige the other candidates and all of their supporters to down tools and get behind him. Quite the contrary. The system works precisely because they don't.

Here is a secret that I'll only share with you, dear reader. It's even possible that I might have changed my mind about Brexit if just one single person had presented me with a vision of a united, prosperous post-brexit Britain that was anything less than pure fantasy. Do let me know if you've come across one.


Allan Tweddle

Lib Dem Candidate, Bexley and Bromley LA Constituency

Outsourcing: The Bees Knees or the Devil's Work?

At the London Assembly Economy committee this week the topic for discussion was outsourcing and procurement. Not so long ago outsourcing was the default position for local authorities and central Government alike. It seemed like things only stayed in-house if there were no private providers prepared to take them on. Many of our councils turned into little more than contract managers. Private sector good, public sector bad was the oft heard refrain.

With the collapse of Carillion and constant press speculation that the behemoths of private procurement are all teetering on the edge, outsourcing no longer looks like quite such a rosy option. Perhaps the idea that private sector magicians could continue to provide double-digit savings on a yearly basis while still delivering top quality services was, in retrospect, a touch fanciful.

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