Whatever the outcome of the dreadful mess of the parliamentary Brexit debate, and whether or not its actual implementation brings success or disaster, two essential institutions of the United Kingdom will have been terribly damaged.
Whether we voted leave or stay in the referendum, our belief in our system of government and our trust and respect for our media has gone and it will take a long time to return.
We are sickened by the often self-serving activities of the MP’s of the two major parties, their back stabbing of their own leaders and each other, their raucous behaviour on the floor of the Commons when discussing the very future of our country which they seem to care little for, and their constant suggestions that they understand the issues more than the general public.How grossly insulting is that last one.
One glaring example of it is the regular claim that those who voted to leave the EU did not know what they were voting for.
Brexiters wanted out. Plain and simple. They wanted to once again make and implement their own laws, control our own borders, have charge of our own money. We wanted everything back as it was before we joined the EU, having been tricked into joining the Common Market.
This wasn’t a divorce, as leaving the EU has been misleadingly named. We wanted to leave the club. The last thing on God’s earth we neither wanted nor expected was a “deal”. You don’t do deals when you quit a club. You don’t have to.
Above all, the majority who voted to leave did not expect to have their will taken out of their hands and to be subjected to the whims of MP’s who have made us the laughing stock of the world and certainly of Europe.
They and us have come to regard Parliament as a rabble so much so that many leavers are now, albeit jokingly, saying that perhaps it would be best to stick with government by Brussels as this is much closer to the democracy which we once had and rightfully boasted about.
Alas, all of this ghastly confusion has had a disastrous effect on our media where the order of the day has become fake news and nowhere has it been more evident than at the BBC.
The organisation is comparatively young compared to many of our newspapers, but it gained world wide fame for its honest and accurate news output. This has gone. Take the TODAY programme of Radio 4.
We have heard time and time again a claim that such and such is about to happen, or that some parliamentarian has said so-and-so only to have the spurious claim repudiated the next day and, quite often, the same day.
No matter. It has made news. Twice. And the stuff sticks.
How often do you hear a well known and once respected journalist precede a report with “according to my sources” or “according to sources close to etc etc”or “I understand that”? These are euphemisms for “what I personally think”. It is guess work. It is fake news.
The only possibly excuse for this behaviour of the Fourth Estate has been that they have been forced to go into the business of prediction and forecast based on the confused outpourings of MP’s making it often impossible to identify the actual story
This writer, a journalist of many years experience on national and provincial newspapers and other media outputs, will never forgive the MP’s and fellow hacks for the depths to which they have sunk.