We have a certain Sunday tradition in my house; wake up late, have breakfast and watch the morning’s episode of BBC1’s The Andrew Marr Show on catch-up.
As a result, I was unfortunate enough not to miss Nigel Farage or Chuka Umunna’s recent appearances on the programme.
In their respective interviews, the Brexit Party leader dismissed the need for any policies while the Change UK (Independent Group, TIG, God knows…) spokesman stated the party’s consistent plan for the future was “to stay in the EU.”
So in two five-minute interviews, British politics was summed up. Leave or Remain?
Farage may continuously state his commitment to democracy, but to me it seems the actions and words of him and his hard-Brexit henchmen on the Tory right and the ultra-Remainers of Change UK and the Lib Dems are a declaration of war on British democracy.
It seems like every Remain or Leave party is demanding a “new kind of politics”.
The reality is that the politics they want is, erm, Brexit, and single-issue politics is nothing “new.”
Just ask the people of Northern Ireland where I am from.
Prime Minister Theresa May’s now notorious friends in Westminster, the DUP, are our majority party. Along with their long-time opponents Sinn Fein, they hold every Northern Ireland Westminster seat bar one.
Why is this the case?
Northern Irish politics is, at its heart, dictated by one single issue – whether Northern Ireland is rightfully British or Irish.
At every election, liberal unionists will vote for the right-wing DUP, and conservative nationalists for the left-wing Sinn Fein, taking nothing into consideration other than their view on this question.
This single-issue politics has, in the space of 10 years, caused our parliament, Stormont, to collapse.
The DUP and Sinn Fein cannot agree in talks to restore devolution which hasn’t been in operation now for two years. Northern Ireland went down single-issue road and our democracy failed.
As I became increasingly interested in politics, I found British mainland politics to be the place to discuss serious, diverse social and economic issues I cared about – but now you can’t turn on your TV without unleashing a Pandora’s box of Brexit jargon.
At this point, I think bookies are taking bets on which Tory Remainer /Brexiteer will threaten to leave the party this week.
As the European Elections loom, your letterbox is sure to have been bombarded with leaflets asking you to “make Brexit happen” courtesy of UKIP, who have no MPs to vote on making Brexit happen. Or you’ll have seen the slogan “B******ks to Brexit” courtesy of the Lib Dems.
This, of course, is not at all childish, but, in the words of Vince Cable, the use of an 18th century word with a long and distinguished history.
Going back to the recent episodes of Marr, Jeremy Corbyn, when asked if saying “vote Labour, get Brexit” would be true, responded that a fair assessment would be to say “vote Labour, challenge austerity and guarantee living standards for the future”.
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With that, it became clear. Labour’s perceived indecisiveness on Brexit isn’t what should matter to the Brexit-obsessed media or population.
What should matter is how it seems Labour is the only party refusing to define itself by Brexit and moving past single-issue politics, instead offering solutions to issues like the Universal Credit scandal, cuts to education, and low wages – problems that have continued unaddressed as the Brexit discourse has trundled along.
Voting Tory will enable them to continue.
Voting for the Brexit Party or any of the Remain non-alliance will not change things for people in Britain.
It seems like there’s only one party offering the solutions to issues that were perhaps the reasons people voted for Brexit in the first place.