Brexit Bulletin: ‘Apathy in the UK’

Into the Valley of Death rode the six hundred

‘Cause I want to be anarchy, No dogs body.’1


And, so the much-vaunted tory rebellion fizzles out like a cheap firework on a wet bonfire night. Unlike the glorious 600 who charged the Russian guns they seem unable to muster 48 prepared to charge number 10. Even more unlike the 600, the 48 could hold in their hands the ammunition to change history.

Now, you may well ask how, so much power can be represented by so few people? It is due to the British interpretation of Democracy; one man one vote which has become one man, one possible vote of value, or, as its better known ‘first past the post’.

it sounds more like something you would find introduced by a third-world despot

Put simply, the person with the most votes wins, whilst all the others are ‘thrown into the bin’ even if in-total there is more of them.

Its minority rule, though it sounds more like something you would find introduced by a third-world despot;once elected they become your Member of Parliament (‘MP’).

And, what does your MP do? The following is taken from the website of one MP:


‘It is my job to work in our national Parliament on behalf of ALL the people as a representative of the [•] Constituency. MPs are entrusted with the responsibility to exercise their judgement in the best interests of their constituents, and in the wider national interest.  My role in the House of Commons is to scrutinise legislation, attend debates and committee meetings, and generally protect, advocate and promote the interests of the residents, organisations and businesses of the [•] constituency at the national level.’


Whist, what usually happens is that once elected they do what the leader tells them until there is another election, then they hot-foot back to their constituency to drum-up (beg for) votes.

But, how does that effect the 48? Well, there are hardly ever any independent MPs, instead they align themselves, become members of, a political party – we have two, Conservative and Labour, just to prove that we aren’t a dictatorship.

But I thought there were other parties? Of course, but their votes are dispersed around the country, meaning that even the Lib-Dems, usually the ‘third-party’, win only a few seats due to the system of one man one possible vote of value.

Now, once elected for one of the two-parties you are represented by your ‘leader’, and discipline, i.e. staying within the rules (policies) of the leader, is meted out by the whips.

Any MP wanting to act or vote against the party-line (the leaders’ rules) faces having ‘the whip’ taken away from them, although it is doubtful whether comics down the back of their trousers is required!

this is where the 48 would be, leading a rebellion, Anarchy for the Tories

And this is where the 48 would be, leading a rebellion, Anarchy for the Tories; the result is binary.

Should the rebellion lead to the leader being replaced they have made their names, lose and they will be in the political wilderness, perhaps facing the ultimate ignominy of getting a job.

Now, at this point let us be charitable and assume that the 48 are keeping their powder dry and waiting for the PMs capitulation to the EU to be voted down by Parliament.

This again is binary, win and the capitulation is ratified, loose, and the fun begins. The PM would be severely wounded, but mortally? If this was followed by a vote of no-confidence, then it would likely lead to an election. If so, would the Tories then sack her, knowing that maybe their only chance of victory?

Can the PM win the vote to get the capitulation through the House?

Well, in theory we know she leads a minority government, which was kept in-power by a ‘Confidence and Supply Agreement’ between the Conservatives and the Democratic Unionist Party (‘DUP’).

Or, perhaps more accurately, the Conservatives in their desperation to govern bunged the DUP and Northern Ireland £1bn to vote with them; sounding more like a third-world despot again!

Now our leader does have opposition, which is lead by the largest losing party, in this case the Labour party.

They all operate in the same way, whips, losing the whip, etc., so power is concentrated into two hands, the PM and the Leader of the Opposition.

Mr Corbyn, the Leader of the Opposition, is playing a long-game, refusing to be drawn on Brexit and clearly stating a policy; all he calls for is an election, and that’s only because he thinks he can win.

a supposedly democratic elected leader of a minority government has negotiated a deal that many people don’t like or want

This, therefore is the problem we all face, a supposedly democratic elected leader of a minority government has negotiated a deal that many people don’t like or want. Any opposition in her own party is ‘whipped’ down, and it isn’t clear what the Leader of the Opposition proposes to do about Brexit.

Now, you may well wonder what the point of this article is?

The point is this; there is a large, and increasing number, of the population and MPs who believe that the country needs a second referendum.

They range from those who want another go because they didn’t win last time, to those who realise that some of the leave campaign rhetoric was mis-leading, through to those who disagree with the PMs capitulation.

Indeed, over 1m people have joined the Independent’s ‘Final Say’ campaign (1), 700,000 of which marched through London some months ago.

The only way that one person can be changed is by rebellion

I will admit to not marching, but I have signed the petition; because I believe the population should have the right to decide, based on fair honest, and not misleading information, and with the benefit of seeing what leaving might entail and cost.

The campaign has a point, it has a voice, ours; but it doesn’t have a leader. Leave won because it had a focal point, a voice, Nigel Farage, who was then joined by high-profile politicians during the referendum campaign.

This article is, in effect an open letter, a plea if you wish, to politicians and public figures; stand-up for the campaign you support, speak-up, let your voice be heard, give the population a voice

If the Final Say campaign is not heard, it will be because the Leader has decreed that it won’t be, simply dismissing the idea with a wave of her all-powerful hand.

The system, which for investors amongst you could be described as ‘top-down’, has concentrated all power into the hands of one person. The only way that one person can be changed is by rebellion, by people having the back-bone to stand up to her, leading the charge, for;


When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wonder’d.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred!


P.S. In past weeks this column has poked fun at some Brexiters, e.g. Andrew Bridgen, but to those, including Mr Bridgen, who have shown the courage of their convictions and sent their no-confidence letters, Sirs, I salute you!




A touch of culture for those that like to spot the lyrics that week; our title is courtesy of Alfred, Lord Tennyson and his Charge of the Light Brigade. In truth our lyric shouldn’t cause too many problems – Johnny and the boys told us ‘It’s coming sometime’, but it’s been a while.

Suck in that tummy when you hear that Anarchy in the UK1 was released 42 years ago on the 26th November; number 46 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time – enjoy! 

Do you pogo Mrs May?




Philip Gilbert 2Philip Gilbert is a city-based corporate financier, and former investment banker.

Philip is a great believer in meritocracy, and in the belief that if you want something enough you can make it happen. These beliefs were formed in his formative years, of the late 1970s and 80s



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