Saturday 29 December 2018

"All The Wrong People Are Cheering"

So said Dora Gaitskell in 1962 as the Labour Party Conference applauded her husband's Leader's Speech, in which he denounced potential entry into the European Communities as, "the end of a thousand years of history."

Much the same thing was written all over the face of Boris Johnson as the EU referendum result came in from Sunderland, and on the faces of Johnson, Michael Gove, and all the rest of that crowd for the rest of the night. All the "wrong" places had voted Leave, and as a result Leave had won.

Having earned their Brexit Brownie points, Remain would have suited them, and they undoubtedly voted for it. Leave on the votes of the "right" areas would have suited them less, but they could have lived with it.

They got neither. Instead, they got what those of us who were living in the "wrong" areas knew all along was going to happen: Leave as a rejection of 39 years of failure under all three parties, beginning with the Callaghan Government's turn to monetarism in 1977, the year of my birth.

Had we not voted in that way, then Remain would have won. We looked up our wealth and power at the point of accession in 1973, then we looked at our wealth and power in 2016, and the question answered itself. Had it not done so, then there would have been no Brexit. Therefore, Brexit needs to suit us.

The anti-EU Right is now such a busted flush that it is reduced to crowing when a very longstanding MP who was briefly an undistinguished Minister a long time ago is knighted as a way of confirming that he will retire at the next General Election. Yes, at something as routine as that.

And if he has already been knighted, then might it be that there will be no peerage for a man who did once sit in the Cabinet? Do the people who think that they won Brexit now matter as little as that?

Another hung Parliament is coming, however, and our people need to hold the balance of power in it. It has become a local commonplace that I am on 30-30-30 with Labour and the Conservatives here at North West Durham, so that any one of us could be the First Past the Post.

I will stand for this seat, if I can raise the £10,000 necessary to mount a serious campaign. Please email Very many thanks.

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