(Parliament's failure to deliver Brexit) is not the real democratic scandal. The discussion that should be dominating the public debate is whether true self-government within nation states can remain possible in an age of globalisation. In a world where international players dominate economic and geopolitical reality, can the idea of an elected government accountable to its own populations survive?There you have it. It is a political division between Globalists and Internationalists, between those who believe in the supremacy of supranational organisations such as the EU, IMF and UN and those who believe in the supremacy of the nation State. Can we determine our own future or must our potential, our wealth, the rewards for our children all be decided in the boardrooms of the global corporates and the corrupt plenums of unelected technocratic supranationalists?
The Remain lobby says, in so many words, that it cannot. Indeed, this is their principle argument: the world is too big for parochial little guys who want to make their own way with their own leaders making decisions on their behalf. At least, that is what they say when they deign to argue at all. Mostly they just smear their Leave opponents as bigoted know-nothings. But the terms of that abuse all add up to this one significant point: Britain cannot go it alone in the way for which it has been renowned, with only its unique institutions and the judgement of its own population to guide it. The world is a different place now: you have to belong to a much bigger conglomerate whose authority must take precedence over your piddling little outfit if you are to have any chance of competing for business, making your mark, having your voice heard, etc, etc.
This may or may not be true. (Most of the factual evidence suggests that it is not.) Either way, it is the argument that must be called out. It must be seen for what it is with all its deeply unattractive implications. This is what the case for Remain really amounts to: the democratic nation state is the past. The corporatist global bloc is the future.
What is considered to be extraordinary but actually isn't is the extent to which we - the ordinary folk, the little people - are alive to the key issues when the patrician elite at the centre of power are blind and deaf to them. We, after all, are the first to be affected; we are neither dumb cattle nor ill-educated political fodder. We are intensely sensitive to the things that matter. As Daley writes
It is that inexorable logic that is sensed by so many of the dissident “populist” forces in Europe and even beyond the EU. For there is a critical loss of confidence in government in much of the democratic West: a sense that what was once one’s own country is being run by some world-dominating club to serve its own interests, and that this global hegemony regards ordinary people with contempt (“They don’t care what we think”.)We have fought long and hard for democracy, for the secret ballot and universal suffrage, for the freedom to form and associate in political parties. That is why Farage's simple message - It's Democracy - resonates so strongly through every part of the electorate.
And Daley is quite right - until our parties align as either Globalist or Internationalist, we will not have a settled demos.