Finally, finally - some sense in this Brexit fiasco, and from all people, Jeremy Corbyn. For three years I have blown hot and cold about whether or not Jeremy Corbyn could or should ever be Prime Minister. I don't know him you see, but just when I was going off him on a permanent basis - he comes up with a real triumph of a speech.
For three years I have stated that only another referendum could solve the problem of Brexit. I don't really believe a "no deal" exit would have been as catastrophic economically as the 'remainers' claimed - but I don't doubt for a second that it would have been the end of the United Kingdom as we know it. Make no mistake, Scotland WILL leave the UK if there is any kind of British Exit. Even a negotiated one. As for Northern Ireland, any border down the middle will bring about a whole new meaning to the term, Irish problem. Only a REMAIN vote will keep the UK together.
Let's not kid ourselves. Jeremy Corbyn is a walking advertisement for LEAVE. He was, is and always will be. BUT, BUT ... he has proven himself smart enough to change his mind when faced with overwhelming odds, and his speech was priceless. I am talking about the part where he describes 'NO DEAL' Brexit as an attempt by the elite ... for the elite. It takes the wind completely out of the sails of the Brexiteers that have tried to classify themselves as being 'populist' - representatives of the 17.4 million. If this warning about the Tories does not warn those working poor that voted for Leave -about the dangers they face, nothing will. I could never understand why this 'almost' hatred for immigrants from the manufacturing heartlands.
This week saw the launch of a 'Stoke -on- Trent' morning show from the BBC, and finally I understand that as well. Yes indeed, and once again, in my mind, it is the Tories that cause the problem. There are two people I consider iconic as far as drumming up support for Brexit, Tim Martin of Wetherspoons and
Mike Ashley of Sports Direct.
First Tim Martin. Watching him on TV, I like him but he calls himself a barrister, and in an interview with Owen Jones he could not give any reasoned dislike for the EU. He is not worried about damaging his business ... not surprising really. Any business that deals with prostitution, firearms, booze or drugs is almost recession proof. But listening to him blaming and going on about the Euro showed me he doesn't really know what he is talking about. The same problem exactly that millions of people that want a NO DEAL face.
Then there is Tim Ashley. In the news constantly about his overuse of zero hour contracts and taking advantage of cheap labour, it wasn't till I saw the BBC's program on Stoke-on Trent that I now realize that it was he and his ilk that are responsible for the almost religious hatred of migrants in the Midlands. A name and face to a problem I knew existed, namely blaming immigration for poor public regulation and enforcement.
People, understand this. It was not the migrants that heard Sports Direct was hiring that brought them over. It was employers like Ashley trying to damage the unions by going out of their way to find cheap labour from poor countries in order to exploit them, and it was Tories and Tory policies that allowed and even encouraged such unscrupulous behaviour in the name of FREE MARKETS. But if the fact that immigration from Europe has now dropped by almost 60% since 2016 isn't enough to convince these populist Brexiteers, then maybe the growth of racism in everyday life will - convince people once and for all ... THEY ARE NOT, WERE NEVER AND WILL NEVER BE THE PROBLEM.
So now we come to today. Corbyn is right, we MUST have a referendum, a move he has been fighting for 3 years, while the Lib-Dems have always been pro-Remain and, until recently, were the main promoter of a second referendum. Let's not kid ourselves. Jo Swinson is one smart cookie. When Labour parked their tanks on her lawn with the pro-referendum vote, she needed a new USP (unique selling point) and now she has it. She is targeting the 48%, the Scots, Irish and now the Welsh. She doesn't mind a second referendum.
As for Corbyn, maybe he will get a chance to negotiate with the EU. Maybe he will get his chance to negotiate a better deal, one with full customs union and regulatory alignment. Maybe he will get his blue passport, but he will effectively destroy his own credibility if he tries to sell it to the people. Think about ...
"Ladies and Gentlemen, now you can have the benefits of the single market and no voice in how its run. Don't worry about EU democracy, because now you won't even have to vote." Good luck selling that, because if your buying that as Brexit, an alternative third-class deal with all the trappings of being in the EU but none of the benefits, then perhaps I can interest you in this second hand bridge I am selling!
The Lib-Dem position today may be a little difficult to justify to the press in interviews, but its sheer genius as a marketing ploy!