Following the Brecon by-election defeat, Boris Johnson and the Conservatives have two messages for their voters: if you vote LibDems, a failing Brexit and domestic priorities not being delivered are on you.

First published in August 2019.

A Tory source told the Guardian yesterday that, after their defeat in the Brecon by-election on Thursday, the Conservatives want to send two messages to Conservative voters.

Their first message to their voters is that voting Liberal Democrats is akin “ignoring a democratic vote to leave the EU”.

Basically, after blaming the Remainers, the journalists, experts, business, MPs and most recently the EU for the possibility that Brexit might fail, the Conservatives are now ready to blame their own voters too.

Intrinsically, there is nothing undemocratic about voters changing their minds and voting differently from one election to another, or from a referendum to another. Intrinsically, one election or referendum result is not sacrosanct, and it is not undemocratic to have another election or referendum with a different result.

How could it be undemocratic to ask voters their opinion again, in a fair, transparent and honest vote?

It happens all the time in every democratic country in the world. It happens in the UK every five years when we have a General Election – sometimes earlier with snap elections or by-elections.

Members of Parliament do change their minds all the time in the House of Commons as they debate between them, get more information, get more details and more knowledge about the issues on which they have to vote. They even sometimes convince one another to vote differently with good arguments during those debates.

Also, have you noticed how Conservative politicians too do happen to change their minds when a candidate they favour gets eliminated in their party’s leadership race?

In last month Conservative Leadership contest, for instance, the controversial MP Ben Bradley started by supporting Esther McVey before endorsing Boris Johnson. Former Brexit Secretary David Davis first supported Dominic Raab, then endorsed Boris Johnson. Margot James MP first supported Matt Hancock, then endorsed Rory Stewart and finally Jeremy Hunt. Stephen Metcalfe MP, was luckier than her, as he first supported James Cleverly, then endorsed Dominic Raab, then Michael Gove and finally Boris Johnson.

And have you also noticed that nobody in the Conservatives – not one person – told these MPs that it was undemocratic for them to change their minds, for them to change their votes. Nobody even told them that their first choices were sacrosanct, impossible to change, and that they had lost and just had to get over it.

So, if Tory MPs can so easily change their minds multiple times on such a basic issue as the choice of their next leader, then surely voters should be able to have another referendum on such a complex issue as Brexit.

The Guardian

The second message the Tories want to send to their voters is that Premier Minister Boris Johnson, his Government and the Conservatives have “a whole bunch of domestic priorities, things that voters really care about.”This is great! Boris Johnson’s legendary ‘can-do spirit’! – But if Conservative voters don’t vote for the Tories, then “those domestic priorities don’t get delivered.”

There you go. You have been warned.

The blame will fall on you, Conservative voters, if nothing gets done for your schools, your NHS, your hospitals, your farms, your everyday life. Do not even dare to blame Boris Johnson, the Government or the Tories... it has nothing to do with us. We, Tories, will blame YOU!

Interesting mindset.

The Guardian

Conservative voters who are starting to change their minds on Brexit should not pay attention to these claims and threats, and instead ask themselves why it is that Brexiters keep denying the British public a final say on Brexit – or a People’s Vote. Despite a consistent We would win a second referendum with a bigger margin than in 2016 narrative they like to repeat, they are actually scared they might well lose another referendum. They know people are changing their minds over Brexit every day in Britain.

The Conservatives are also scared because they know they own Brexit and they will own its failing for a generation too.🔷

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[This is an original piece, first published by the author in on 3 August 2019 . | The author writes in a personal capacity.]

(Cover: Dreamstime/Feodora Chiosea.)