We need a by-election in South Lakeland, and fast

Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Dr. Jon Stanley


Just when you're starting to finally wind down from 5 years of worrying about breaking up the country, when the SNP seem almost vanquished following two bruising referenda, Tim Farron pops up.

I like Tim, I met him during the 2015 General Election before I briefly stood against him. He is very personable and deep down probably thinks he is doing right but his belief in selective democracy is dangerous and has to go. He has to go, or stand in a by-election to refresh consent for voting against a referendum I heard him with my own ears say he was in favour of only last year.

Selective Democracy as a movement is real and we have to accept that. It runs right through the EU psyche and has found a nidus in Scotland to germinate within: the SNP.

There cannot be a vote for a second EU referendum without reopening the one up here, one we've fought so hard to move on from. Instead we have the Lib Dems, the real enemy of the British people chomping at the bit to crack open Dracula's tomb in a pique of curiosity.

Go on Tim, go on lad. Crack that coffin open. He wasn't such a bad guy was he? Surely he didn't suck the life of people for years only to be stopped by massive overwhelming popular opposition?

Let me tell you (Tim uses that line all the time, he'd like that) that as a legal alien being an Englishman in Edinburgh is a beautiful experience but it has recently had a few ugly moments. The grudge, the grievance, the resentment that grows from continuously demanding rerunning referendums is a form of electoral waterboarding. It is a deliberate harassment of those who wrongly voted the wrong way and it has divided Scotland now for two years.

It took Ruth Davidson Tank Commander (it's a Scottish thing) to break its momentum and we are finally, finally, starting to move on to challenging the SNP on its failings.

It is now Euronationalism that is working to reopen the old wounds and just today we learn Christine Jardine, championed by Tim Farron, champing at the bit to "debate" whether Scotland should choose between the UK and EU. The threat is not subtle: stay in the EU or we'll work with anyone to break up the UK out of spite. 

That's what the Lib Dems now fight for. Project Spite and for two million people in Scotland that promises more misery, to be held hostage by a minority against our will again. It's also dishonest. People are not stupid. Since 2014 the Lib Dem vote share has tumbled. Backing the EU and being lukewarm on a fair weather UK is not a winner. 

I just want to get on with my life. We all do really but there cannot be peace at any price. When I walked away from Westmorland and Lonsdale I did so accepting the fight between Tories and Lib Dems was local and both candidates backed a referendum.

This time it's personal. The torment of seeing my island home broken up was horrendous. The threat of a social audit for all public sector workers to know their allegiance was threatened. In East Lothian the SNP told us if we voted No to independence we are bad parents. I've had to listen to Anglophobia on the media for six months and yes when Sturgeon tells you Scotland is being dragged out of the EU against its will following a referendum she is attacking English people. Not MPs. Not ministers. People like me who now speak with the accent of the occupier. 

Tim now wants to double down on grudge and to threaten the United Kingdom by threatening to pull out the pin of a grenade in a crowded elevator. We are not prepared to put with this anymore. No more electoral waterboarding. Never again. Tim has to resign and refresh consent to vote against the result of a referendum he voted for. There aren't Remainers and Leavers now, just Leavers and Deniers.

I will back the Conservative candidate in that by-election and I'm happy to step up myself if needed. I just cannot have peace where I live as long as MPs indulge in reopening referenda when the results are found inconvenient. 

No second referendum. Not in Scotland. Not in England. We have made our bed and sometimes yes you do have to make a decision and move on. Democracy doesn't need a label and the glass is neither half empty nor full. You either believe in it or you don't. 

Bring it on. 

Dr. Jon Stanley is Health Research Fellow at the Bow Group, a Junior Doctor and a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons