Saturday 16 March 2019

I posted this argument in favour of referendums back in July 2011

I am not a theoretical democrat. I do not blame Lord Grey for not giving the working class the vote. That would be like blaming Henry III for not introducing the NHS. But I have come round to being a strong believer in referendums (never forsooth referenda please). I made this philosophical journey independently, by the way, of Daniel Hannan who takes the same view. But my views are bolstered by this, which I came across thanks to libertarian writer and novelist Dr. Sean Gabb.
“…progressives should be very wary about referendums. They are rarely instruments for change – and almost never on the actual questions posed. If we had proceeded by referendum, most of the social advances of the past 100 years would have been stopped in their tracks.” (Julian Priestly, “Regressive referendum a rallying point for reactionary xenophobes”, Tribune, 22nd April 2011, p.19.)

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