Fri 17 September 2021

BeLeave Whistleblower and Digital activist Shahmir Sanni argues that by revealing the post colonial corruption of Westminster, Brexit also opens the door to real radical change.

Britain is broken. Division and polarization have driven politicians and the public into a frenzy of hate-filled rhetoric, misappropriation of facts and a gross negligence of civil discourse. Many blame Brexit for this, some blame the Tories and some blame Labour. It is easy to blame one thing or one person or one party.

But Britain has been broken for a very, very long time.

It was broken when Tony Blair lied his way into Iraq, it was broken when Margaret Thatcher threw the North into a bitter winter that has lasted decades. It was broken when Winston Churchill left millions of Bangladeshis to die from starvation. It was broken when it left India and Pakistan to clean up burning trains of women and children. It was broken when it left African children to survive on nothing but the corpses of their slave parents.

My ventures in Westminster have taught me many things, most of them bad.

Signs of Hope

Yet, still, we are a proud nation. We are a nation that does not teach its children its treacherous and bloody past, yet on the other hand has accommodated the people it once oppressed. We are a nation that has erected statues of slave owners, of rapists, of mass murderers, yet we are also on a path to recognizing the lives and work of the slaves, the victims, and the murdered.

Some of us are growing. Some of us are learning.

I think the British people, in many strange ways, are trying to reflect and grow. But there are many still that are driven by politicians who do not seek the truth, who do not seek righteousness or honesty. They do not seek what is in the interest of their own constituents, let alone the public.

Bursting the Westminster Bubble

My ventures in Westminster have taught me many things, most of them bad. I have seen how campaign managers will do anything to win. I have seen young, ambitious men and women used by older, more experienced politicos to further the party agenda. I have seen how lies are brushed aside, the truth hidden and the facts always twisted to fit what is appropriate for the moment. I have heard stories of young gay men fondled by much older men. I have heard the word ‘bitch’ thrown at women more times than I can count.

I have walked the halls of Downing Street and seen the elite dine and wine with each other, regardless of political affiliation, only to further their own personal goals and ambitions. Westminster is a bubble of men and women that only want success and fame. Think tanks and political parties ONLY care about who gets on Question Time, and how many media hits, retweets and likes they get on TV and social media. And more recently, Brexit has encapsulated that.

I think the British people, in many strange ways, are trying to reflect and grow.

A Revolutionary Moment

The good thing about Brexit is that now people know drastic changes do happen. And that drastic changes can revamp the way we see politics. So why aren’t we revamping for good? Why are we not revamping the way that we govern this nation? Right now we govern it on outdated laws, outdated men and women decide our future. But herein lies the opportunity.

In the advent of cheating during the 2016 referendum, and more recently Labour’s switch to supporting a second referendum…we have an opportunity to hold these dishonourable, disingenuous people to account. We have an opportunity to change the way this country is governed, and to make solid advancements in our justice system.

The law needs change. We need to start with fixing how we choose our politicians, and by holding them to account. Damian Collins’ Fake News Inquiry is a solid step forward. The Electoral Commissions report is another step forward. And the ICO’s recommendations post the Cambridge Analytica scandal is another.

The good thing about Brexit is that now people know drastic changes do happen

The best and only way to do protect another referendum from being taken over by criminals, liars and cheats is to be transparent with who is funding what and where. If we can observe where the money is coming from, and where it is going, we can hold our politicians to account. If we know which businessman is funding which report by a pressure group, we can hold that group to account.

Transparency is key to accountability. And it is the biggest leap we as a nation can take to ensuring Britain is no longer run by the Westminster elite.

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