Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.

Bruges Group Blog

Spearheading the intellectual battle against the EU. And for new thinking in international affairs.

Pliss, vot iss it, zis voting?


When William of Normandy fell down on disembarking at Pevensey, getting his hands full of sand and mud, he showed them to his army and said it was a sign that he would seize the country. As he strode up the beach towards his horse and Hastings, we can be confident that the liberty and prosperity of the English middle class was not uppermost in his mind.

Nor was it in Harold's, since there was no bourgeoisie. Below the king, earls and thanes were peasants, serfs and slaves. The idea that the latter could control the Sovereign and through him rule our nation by popular assemblies and votes! I would not have dared mention it to either man. Yet on Saturday His Majesty will swear to serve the people, as his much-lamented mother did before him.

British-style democracy is a freak, and a young one at that - we haven't yet got to the centenary of women having the same right to vote as men

Its ability to 'throw out the rascals' is feared and hated by the powerful. In the European Union its representative assembly is neutered:

'The European Parliament may approve or reject a legislative proposal, or propose amendments to it. The Council is not legally obliged to take account of Parliament's opinion but in line with the case-law of the Court of Justice, it must not take a decision without having received it.'

There, the people's will peters out into the desert, like the Okavango River. So all they can do instead is riot, as in France and the Netherlands recently.

Here, our Remainer establishment does what it can to subvert Brexit and looks on the commoners as stupid and ignorant. If the latter are so - and I say not - it may have something to do with the increasingly daft schooling they have received, plus the torrent of printed and broadcast propaganda to which they are subjected, the censorship of dissent, the influential opinions of the snobbish commentariat and the insulting mockery of comedians who should really be wearing their masters' livery.

Yet against all that, the majority still Voted The Wrong Way: it seems that they did not believe the cobbler when he insisted that their shoes did not pinch.

That is the point. It is not to do with education or supposed intelligence - or property ownership (even in the twentieth century a requirement for women's suffrage, before 1928); it is about personal experience. As Colonel Rainborowe said at Putney in 1647, to the annoyance of the Grandees:

'The poorest hee that is in England hath a life to live as the greatest hee; and therefore truly, Sir, I thinke itt's cleare, that every man that is to live under a Governement ought first by his owne consent to putt himself under that Governement; and I do think that the poorest man in England is not at all bound in a strict sense to that Government that he hath not had a voice to put Himself under.'

There are still many ways in which our system is not properly representative - that is another can of worms, or several - but the effect of our vote is not simply nullified, bureaucratically stifled as in the EU.

We have to keep regularly reasserting our right. So I shall be voting tomorrow in the local elections.

Even though mostly I don't know who the heck these people are. 

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Contact us

Director : Robert Oulds
Tel: 020 7287 4414
Chairman: Barry Legg
The Bruges Group
246 Linen Hall, 162-168 Regent Street
London W1B 5TB
United Kingdom
Founder President :
The Rt Hon. the Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven LG, OM, FRS 
Vice-President : The Rt Hon. the Lord Lamont of Lerwick,
Chairman: Barry Legg
Director : Robert Oulds MA, FRSA
Washington D.C. Representative : John O'Sullivan CBE
Founder Chairman : Lord Harris of High Cross
Head of Media: Jack Soames