At a pedestrian crossing in Bucharest a woman overheard us speaking English and said to us: ‘You are English, why are you in Romania?’
When we looked bemused at her question, she added: ‘The English, they hate the Romanians. I know. My sister lives in England.’ It turned out she had visited her sister here and that confirmed her view.
We were ashamed at her view of the UK, a country where the worst of latent xenophobia that lay beneath the surface of our political culture has been set loose and celebrated by the Brexit so-called ‘debate’.
In 1967 the Commons voted to legalise abortion despite it being obvious that the ‘will of the people’ would have been to keep the law as it was (as that parliament also did to decriminalise homosexuality, and to abolish capital punishment).
They did so because sufficient members of the Commons had the moral courage to do what was right rather than do what they perceived as popular. This is what having a representative democracy is all about.
We elect representatives to take decisions that are right for the country, not to take the cowards way out of putting it to a referendum.
What would this country do to have a Commons with similar backbone today?
The current situation with Brexit very much reminds me of what happened with Nazi Germany. The British people were in favour of appeasement as carried out by Neville Chamberlain. However, appeasement was a policy that would lead to the Nazi takeover of mainland Europe.
The Leave politicians and public advocates seem very much like the pre-war pro-appeasement British politicians.
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