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Letter: MPs Are Our Representatives Not Our Delegates

Published on: 22 Mar, 2017
Updated on: 22 Mar, 2017

Rosemary Morgan

I would like to thank Zöe Franklin and the Liberal Democrats, for standing up for the 57% of Guildford voting residents (44,155) who voted to Remain in the EU last June, and for the 6,000+ EU citizens residing in our area who were denied the vote [See: Lib Dem Candidate Criticises Guildford MP’s Vote on Article 50].

Since last June, I have been writing regularly to Anne Milton MP with my concerns, which I believe are felt by a large number of voters in this constituency. Concerns not only about the rights of EU citizens living here, but also our own rights, as UK citizens, to be able to freely travel, work and settle in any EU country; rights we have enjoyed for over 44 years, most of my adult life.

Although I have always received perfectly polite replies to my letters, I have not once felt that my concerns were being fed through to those taking important decisions “at the top” or reflected in the way MPs have been “whipped” to vote, supposedly because of “the will of the people”.

As Colin Taylor has commented on The Dragon, the ballot paper did not say anything about leaving the Free Trade Area or the Single Market; indeed many Leave campaigners specifically said that we could remain inside the Single Market.

The way that the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill was passed through the Commons last Monday, with the support of many previously Remain supporting MPs (on both sides of the house, to be fair) was not only scandalous, but was a sad reflection of the state of Parliamentary democracy in this country.

In my opinion, MPs should respect the long-held democratic model in this country, that MP’s are representatives and not delegates, a model first espoused by Edmund Burke (1729-1797), who said to the electors of Bristol in 1774:

“Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.”

As for comment left by Mike Davis: “We voted to leave because we have got fed up with the EU telling us what we can and cannot do,” I would like to say, “You ain’t seen nothing yet.”

Just wait until we see what this right-wing Tory government has in store for us once we tear up all the European legislation which has been protecting our workers’ and human rights.

Thank goodness we have the Liberal Democrats.

 

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test 4 Responses to Letter: MPs Are Our Representatives Not Our Delegates

  1. John Perkins Reply

    March 22, 2017 at 11:37 am

    Perhaps those previously Remain-supporting MPs were representing their Leave-supporting constituents.

    • Leonie Anderson Reply

      March 22, 2017 at 4:24 pm

      Quite possibly; that does not explain Anne Milton’s vote, though.

  2. David Pillinger Reply

    March 26, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    Unfortunately democracy leads to weird outcomes when populism is allowed to to get in the way. Duterte, Trump, Chávez, Mussolini, Brexit. Scottish independence would have been another example, but it was narrowly beaten on that particular day. Phew!

    The successful nations are the ones that allow their elected representatives to consider intelligently what is good for the people, not ones that rely on popular sentiment of the day. This leaves the door open to the guy with the loudest mouth to win the day.

    Congratulations, Ms Morgan, for speaking out.

  3. John Perkins Reply

    March 27, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    It seems Mr. Pillinger sees populism as an obstruction to democracy and advocates what could be described as elitism instead. Yet an essential feature of any true democracy would surely be that policy would be generally popular. Who else can decide what is “good” for people other than themselves? An elected dictatorship is still a dictatorship and ‘Mother knows best’ is not a practical dictum for a free society.

    One problem with allowing representatives, elected or not, to decide what is right or good is that they are not always right or good, or even intelligent, themselves – sometimes they are merely those with the most persuasive mouths.

    Donald Trump quite possibly won because US voters had had enough of their political elites doing what they did with no regard to the people affected other than to expect their loyalty at election time. Both the Scottish and EU referendums were conducted on an equal basis with no side allowed to shout louder than the other. (And the Scottish result at 55-45 was actually quite wide.)

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