Respecting the outcome of a referendum is starting to sound a lot like respecting the sanctity of marriage – more of a guideline than an actual rule. It sounds very impressive at the time, but is a lot less sincere when you are found, a month later, in bed with your sister-in-law, the local priest and a lubricated ferret.
Instead, ‘respecting the public vote’ seems to be a coded message for ‘the electorate are a bunch of f$ckwits, but I’m too afraid to say it’. A more accurate statement would be ‘I love democracy, as long as it does what I want it to’.
Those who were most vocal about accepting a democratic outcome in 2016, seem to be the most vociferous proponents of a second, third or even fourth ballot. Just as many elections as it takes to secure the appropriate outcome and not one vote more.
A friend of Chuka Umunna explained: ‘The key to listening to voters, is to do so with gritted teeth and an insincere smile. Yes, we can all be guilty of duplicity and of patronizing the electorate – but it’s all done with the greatest of respect’.