A limited role for representative democracy, involving only a tiny proportion of the population, was considered by Burke and others to be useful as a way of filtering and taming the views of the masses. In the United States around this time, the belief that only some of the public were worthy of being able to vote and that even this select group needed their views to be mediated and limited was made explicit with the new constitution, which gave plenty of power to the president, the judiciary, and the Senate, and not just the “people’s house,” the House of Representatives.

Representative democracy, as initially established, was never intended to let the general public have political influence over the running of their lives or their country. It was meant to protect the interests of the ruling class. Ironically, in the UK today, it is self-declared radicals who are taking to the streets to champion Burke and Churchill, while the Conservative government, led by Boris Johnson, seeks to enact the view of the majority of the population.

The British Left are dressing themselves up in the language of democracy, but it is hollow rhetoric—their real intention is simply to keep the UK in the EU by any means necessary.