Our country is at breaking point and we have a small window to put things right
Rather than dialling down this mood and working to bring people together, Boris Johnson has added fuel to the fire with his bombast and bluster. Our reckless leader is wrecking our country
Tens of thousands of people will be descending on London from all corners of the country to demand a vote on the Brexit deal. I salute them, and back their calls to ensure that the people must have their say on whatever Boris Johnson has come up with.
Brexhate, the increase in hate crimes, intolerance and fear caused by the referendum result in 2016, has been a black hole that has sucked the life out of our country for far too long. It has created a terrible discourse in our political life, and given free rein to far-right haters to sow their simplistic message of division.
Rather than dialling down this mood and working to bring people together, Johnson has added fuel to the fire with his bombast and bluster. Our reckless leader is wrecking our country.
Johnson and the Leave campaigners running No 10 have never been shy about misleading the public. The “£350m a week to the NHS” was their battle-cry, but this figure was really their battle-lie. The British public’s anger over that infamous claim on the side of that bus, or lies about Turkey’s ascension to the EU, are still real and raw.
Johnson and the extreme right don’t want the people to have their say because they’re scared of what the result might be now their lies and half-truths have caught up with them and people can see what Brexit will really mean.
Now they are using the Leave campaign playbook backed by the machinery of government to get a hard and vicious Brexit and block a Final Say. They are running scared because the people know what a disaster Brexit will be for jobs, our economy, our communities and our place in the world. People didn’t vote to be poorer, and they didn’t vote for years of wrangling over our final divorce with Brussels, which is what leaving will really mean. Any deal is just the beginning of Brexit hell, not the end of it.
Johnson is the anti-Churchill and wants to destroy Churchill’s dream of the United Countries of Europe. Brits don’t quit, and he would not have wanted us to turn our backs on our continental neighbours. Churchill was fighting the extreme right wing back in the 1930s and we are now fighting them once again. Churchill wanted Britain to be great, as do I; Donald Trump, Boris Trump and Nigel Trump want us to be Little England again.
Their dream of Little England is about closing ourselves off, pulling up the draw bridge and turning our backs on the world. They don’t care if Brexit ends the union, and our country and continent splinters apart. Theirs is a simplistic 1930s view of politics, and we know what happened then. Division, disaster, and death on an industrial scale.
In the 21st century, this backwards world view is folly. We need to come together, and learn to live and work together in some shape or form. People instinctively know this, and that’s why so many are marching with hope, not hate, to demand a People’s Vote and the chance to turn the page on this terrible chapter in British politics.
Our country is at breaking point. In these tough times, despite some trying for compromise, our MPs can’t reach an agreement. That’s why whatever happens in parliament on Saturday – and I hope MPs vote down Johnson’s half-baked, terrible Brexit plan – the Great British public must have their say on what happens next. People are marching on Saturday to say we want our future back.