SEEING Big Ben used to give me a tremendous jolt of patriotism.
That mighty tower with its clock-face and booming bell was an embodiment of Britishness.
One of the biggest British votes in history is being abandoned by MPs
Hearing its chimes made me tingle with pride.
This was Parliament Square in London, capital of a settled kingdom dutifully governed in the name of a sovereign people.
Other countries had goose- stepping military parades or flag-waving national days.
We British had soggy sandwiches, the Queen with her corgis, and good old Big Ben. But no longer.
In recent months Big Ben has stood silent. Officially, it has been muted for repairs but you could not be blamed for wondering if there was a different reason.
Has this most resonant symbol of parliamentary democracy been gagged — had its clacker nicked — while our appalling, promise-shredding, treasonous politicians plot to overturn the 2016 referendum’s whacking vote to leave the European Union?
Almost three years ago the voters gave MPs a clear instruction: Get us out of the EU. Unbelievably, the MPs are refusing to obey.
Whatever tricksy waffle they spout, be in no doubt about this. The parliamentary class is telling voters to get stuffed.
The last 36 hours have seen British politics sink to a new, squalid, guttering low.
In clear daylight the express will of the people is being violated.
Democratic honesty is being casually abandoned by a knot of pro-Brussels obsessives who think they can do whatever they like. And they suppose we won’t notice!
Cabinet ministers yesterday tarted their Remainer consciences like dollybirds flashing their bits on Blackpool beach.
Led by Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd, they threatened to resign if Theresa May did not do their bidding and delay our departure date from Europe.
Oooh, look at us, their blatant behaviour said. Look at our importance and our Europhile goodness. All this while they accused pro-Brexit MPs of being “extremists”.
Is it really extremist to respect the biggest vote in British history?
In any normal circumstances, a Prime Minister would have turned to Rudd and her fellow drama queens Greg Clark and David Gauke and said: “OK, resign. If you won’t support the Government, you can kiss goodbye to your six-figure salary, your free limos and all the other perks.”
But Mrs May, pitiably weak, tolerated their rebellion and trotted off to the Commons to accept Brexit may be delayed.
It wasn’t just Rudd, non- entity Gauke and Clark, a former SDP supporter who has resented the Leave vote from day one.
A trio of lower-ranking ministerial numpties put their names to a newspaper article saying they would quit unless Mrs May obeyed their pro-EU agenda.
These connivers included an insufferably moist specimen called Richard Harrington, who is barely a familiar name in his Watford constituency let alone in national politics.
EPA Amber Rudd is leading a group of Cabinet ministers who are prompting the PM to delay Brexit
Even a premier as puny as Mrs May should have had the backbone to tell Harrington to fetch his coat. But no. He was allowed to keep his job.May is as weak as a woodwormed deckchair. Under Europhile pressure — rrrrrrrrip — she collapses.
Things are just as bad in the Labour party, where Jeremy Corbyn has casually scrapped his 2017 manifesto promise to respect the result of the EU referendum.
Now he says he wants a second referendum. You thought the one thing loonytunes Corbyn had going for him was that he said what he believed?Think again. The guy is as untrustworthy as Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson.
A manifesto should matter. It should be a solemn undertaking to the voters about what politicians will do.
But Corbyn, supposed beardie prophet of ethics, now snootily thinks we voted the wrong way in the referendum and must capitulate to the European empire, ditching the national independence 17.4million voters demanded.
Why the hell are these people in politics if they think so little of the voters (many of them Labour supporters) who opted for Leave?How dare they call themselves democrats?
Theirs is the behaviour of a tyrannous clique whose “delay” to our departure helps only their fellow technocrats in the European Commission.
And that’s what it’s all about. They feel a greater kinship with their fellow elitists on the Continent than they do with working-class British voters.
The likes of Greg Clark and Amber Rudd and their slippery pal Philip Hammond looked smug yesterday when Mrs May announced the possibility of a delay to Brexit.
For them, it’s a game, a ploy, a bid to show that they — and not the unwashed electorate — run the show.
Can they not see the dangers? Respect for Westminster, already whacked by the expenses scandal, will take another terrible hit. People will look at the wriggling and the grand- standing and the lies and procrastinating blether of the last day and a half and will conclude that our Parliament is now a place that scorns its electors.
Some of you may have greater faith.
Some of you may say: “Brexit will prevail in the end”, albeit in diluted form.
But even if that is true, what are we to think in future of the House of Commons?
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Things have reached the stage, I am truly sorry to say, that I now find I hate the very sight of Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster.
It is no longer, for me, the proud cockpit of our national life.
It has become a nest of aggressive, desperate elitists prepared to do anything to save their greasy grasp on public opinion.
They lie. Deceive. Betray. Dissemble. They can delay Brexit if they want but there will be no rebuilding the country’s trust. Not for years.
Theresa May blasts Jeremy Corbyn for ‘breaking promise’ and vowing to back second referendum