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You can’t play politics with people’s lives

By Frank McKenna

By Frank McKenna

“I’ll tell you what happens with impossible promises. You start with far-fetched resolutions. They are then pickled into a rigid dogma, a code, and you go through years sticking to that, outdated, misplaced, irrelevant to the real needs and you end up in the grotesque chaos of a Prime Minister, a Prime Minister, hiring taxis to scuttle around Westminster handing out begging letters to the more lunatic fringes of the party of which she ‘leads’. Let me tell you this, you cannot play politics with people’s jobs, with people’s futures.”

This is a slightly amended version of a speech Labour leader Neil Kinnock made to his party conference in 1985. He was, of course, referring to the controversial goings-on at Liverpool City Council, ruled at the time by Militant.

His words can be adapted today and aimed at the government, and indeed the official opposition, for their reckless and blinkered approach to Brexit.

‘Impossible promises’ – £200m per day extra for the NHS. A blatant lie.

‘Far- fetched resolutions’. The idea that you can stop paying your membership fees for a club, abandon all the rules adopted by said club, and yet still receive all the benefits from that club. Another untruth.

‘Rigid dogma, a code, outdated and misplaced’ – please step forward Jacob Rees Mogg, Iain Duncan Smith, Liam Fox, John Redwood, Boris Johnson, and David Davis. Have you ever seen a government represented by such a Neanderthal bunch?

‘Chaos’. The government, on a daily basis. Unable to agree a line, let alone a strategy, for the complex array of issues that need to be addressed in less than twelve months now, if a withdrawal from the European Union is to happen in an orderly fashion.

‘You cannot play politics with people’s jobs, with people’s futures’. We are already seeing real evidence, not ‘experts’ advice or project fear spinning, genuine evidence, that jobs have been lost- and the future for those who will not benefit from free movement, and the opportunities we take for granted in 2018, will be all the poorer for it. This whole fiasco has been driven by the internal politics of the Conservative Party, and that continues to be the case.

There will be more bad news to come if ‘secret’ reports about food, energy and medical shortages predicted by Whitehall Mandarins come to pass, as reported in the Brexit cheerleader publication The Sunday Times last week.

That old Brummie sage, and avid Brexiter Digby Jones, told an audience recently that we will see a Brexit benefit in 100- years’ time. I don’t know about you, but I’m not prepared to wait that long.

There is now enough accurate, practical information in the public domain for people to make a much more informed decision to the one that they made in the referendum in 2016.

A responsible Prime Minister, and a principled leader of the opposition, should be accepting that, whatever your opinion of the EU, a peoples vote must happen before we take any further leaps of faith on the back of the obsessive hatred of Europe held by a handful of Tory backwoodsman.

Failure to do so will see a political fallout in the UK that we are only used to witnessing in other European nations that Rees Mogg and Co would describe as ‘uncivilised’.

And, if you think it is unreasonable of Remainers to demand a second ballot, let me remind you of the pre-Referendum words of John Redwood. “Cameron faces a more difficult prospect if Remain wins. Many of his MPs will be bitterly disappointed by the result…MANY WILL BE WAITING FOR A SECOND REFERENDUM…There will still be plenty of unhappy people.”

Meanwhile, his partner in crime, the former UKIP leader, and Donald Trumps’ mate Nigel Farage warned that he would “fight for a second referendum if the Remain campaign won by a narrow margin.”

Most MPs, Labour, Tory, and others, know that Brexit is a disaster. They should show some courage and admit that a second ballot isn’t an option – it’s essential.


Next week the World Cup kicks off. Once considered to be the beautiful games greatest tournament, am I on my own in seeing it as about as interesting as now as a friendly game between Marine and Accrington Stanley?

International football was barely hanging onto credibility due to bizarre rules that allow players to represent a country if their aunties, mothers, brothers, sisters mate once resided there.

Add to that the obscene corruption within the governing body that is FIFA, and for me it is difficult to even trust the integrity of the results from the games that will be played.

Part of that corruption has led to Russia hosting the 2018 competition. That it won the honour through bribery and coercion is bad enough. But when you then consider this nations’ record on human rights, its involvement in gassing innocent civilians in Syria, and its fragrant tokenism towards its presidential ‘election’, then you do have to wonder why there hasn’t been greater concern expressed from world leaders about this World Cup being used as a marketing exercise for Putin.

He is not the first dictator to use football as a platform for self-promotion. Adolf Hitler in 1936, and the Argentinian Junta in 1978 have done so. Whilst FIFA continues to operate in the way it does, you wouldn’t bet on Putin being the last either. Oh, step forward the next host country – Qatar. You couldn’t make it up!

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