steepholm (steepholm) wrote,

Third Time's a Charm

People have missed a trick by not calling for a "third referendum." After all, that's what it would be - after the one in 1975 and the one in 2016.

It's not only a more accurate description, but it reminds us that, if another referendum now would be an affront to democracy, why so was the one three years ago. Why couldn't we respect the will of the people, as expressed - by an emphatic 67:33 margin - in June 1975?

It's true that many now of age were not in a position to vote at that time, and that many who could are now dead - but the same is true of the 2016 vote.

It's true too that the organisation we voted to stay in in 1975 was different from what the EU has since become, so one might argue that the vote has lost its legitimacy to that extent. But again, the Brexit described in 2016 was very different from the Brexit now on offer.

At any rate, let's please not call it a "People's Vote" - as if there were any other kind. The redundancy of the phrase is annoying, but I also associate the "People's X" meme with the maudlin nonsense that flared up around the death of Diana. It was then that someone (was it Tony Blair?) came up with the truly oxymoronic phrase, "the People's Princess." Ever since, it's had a sickly flavour, a bit like (but even worse than) "the Great British X."

A bas with them both!
Tags: current affairs, language
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