European people living in Devon are anxious about their future after irresponsible Government statements -my advice to troubled constituents
Tell Neil Parish we absolutely insist that Boris Johnson doesn’t sign a Brexit deal with Trump to let US private health companies into our NHS
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Former East Devon Conservative leader @CllrIanThomas endorses view that we have ‘a dangerous & incompetent Government’ – ‘the end of centre ground, One-Nation conservatism’ – when will other sensible local Tories follow him?
Readers will recall that when the Conservative leader of EDDC, Ian Thomas, resigned from the party in April during the local election campaign, he refused to say why except that it was because of ‘national politics’.’
Today I noticed that Ian re-tweeted this comment by Dr Sarah Wollaston, MP for Totnes (who left the Conservative Party and recently joined the Lib Dems), on the shocking No Deal leaks:
‘Only a dangerous & incompetent Govt would knowingly & deliberately inflict this chaos on its people. This isn’t ‘worst case scenario’, it’s what Johnson knows will unfold & is completely at odds with his false reassurance to the public.’
Ian commented: ‘But that is sadly exactly what we have @sarahwollaston This is neither news nor exhaustive…’
Two days ago, he retweeted this comment: ‘Am I the only one sick of hearing “We have to respect the referendum result”? Such a cowardly thing to say. It conveniently conceals the fact it was a marginal and nationally divisive result on an ill-defined question won by a campaign of misinformation and illegality.’
Ian’s response: ‘No you’re not – I’m absolutely with you. Well put!’
Well done, Ian, for calling this out, although it would have had more impact if you’d done it in April.
When will other sensible local Conservatives, who pride themselves on representing their communities, leave the nasty, hard-right Farage party that Boris Johnson now leads?
Do you, or a member of your family, rely on medicines to live safely? Sunday Times publishes Government papers which show Johnson is taking us to disaster. We must stop this – spread the word.
Do you, or a member of your family, rely on medicines to live safely? Does your job or business depend on fuel supplies working smoothly? Could you survive the recession which a No Deal will bring? Are you or a member of your family an EU citizen, or a UK citizen who lives in another EU country?
If the answer to any of these questions is YES, tell your family and friends NOW about the disaster that Boris Johnson is prepared to inflict on us all. Tell our MP Neil Parish, who is supporting this lunacy, exactly what you think about it.
‘This situation is not of our making’, Tory DCC Cabinet member says at the Council meeting. I remind him that many Tory councillors voted for Johnson – and some for the Brexit Party in the European elections. You helped to create the ‘No Deal’ threat. Now own it, I tell them.
You can watch my speech here
Which pro-European party should we vote for in the South West in the European elections? – a personal view/3
I have explained why people who supported the Independents in the local elections should vote for a pro-European party. But why vote for a party, not an Independent candidate, and which should we vote for?
We can’t vote for an Independent because the voting system is based on party lists for the whole South West region. There isn’t a good Independent candidate anyway.
I don’t think we should vote for Labour because it isn’t a clearly pro-European party, even if it isn’t a clearly pro-Brexit party either – that’s a simplification we don’t need. There are good pro-Europeans among the Labour candidates in the South West, and we will need the support of many Labour MPs to end Brexit. A Labour vote is vastly better than a Tory or Brexit Party vote, but it clearly isn’t the best option.
The pro-European options in the SW are the Liberal Democrats, the Greens and Change UK. From the point of view of ending Brexit, supporting remaining in the EU and supporting a confirmatory vote on any Brexit deal, these are all equally good options.
How to choose between them? Some advocate ‘tactical voting’. I am a fan of tactical voting when it matters. I would probably vote tactically for whichever candidate is best-placed to defeat the Brexit Party in the Peterborough by-election.
However in the European elections, two things matter. One is to get the maximum number of combined votes for the pro-European parties. For this purpose, it doesn’t matter if you vote Lib Dem, Green or CHUK, your vote will still count.
The other is to get the maximum number of pro-European MEPs elected. This is trickier to decide. In 2014, the Greens got an MEP in the SW, the Lib Dems didn’t. The Greens say this means they’re ahead. The Lib Dems made bigger advances in the local elections; they say they’re ahead. CHUK don’t have a track record.
As someone who has studied the voting system, I’d say it is quite possible that both the Greens and LDs can win seats; I don’t know about CHUK. There is a site which claims to show that it would be better to vote tactically for the LDs, but since it doesn’t explain its evidence and assumptions for recommending this, I treat it with caution.
Therefore I don’t think there is a clear tactical basis for preferring LDs or Greens. I’d say, vote for whichever party is closest to your beliefs. LDs, Greens, CHUK and many Labour supporters have marched together to stay in the EU. Let’s vote together, too, and not support any party using these elections to try to steal a march on their fellow European supporters.
Who should dissatisfied Leave voters blame for the Brexit mess? The first of three posts on the European elections – please share
This is the first of three posts about the European elections on May 23rd, written in a purely personal capacity. They will be about: (1) Who should dissatisfied Leave voters blame? (2) Why Independent supporters should vote for a pro-European party. (3) Which party should you vote for? Is there a case for tactical voting?
WHO SHOULD DISSATISFIED LEAVE VOTERS BLAME?
Over half of East Devon voters supported Leave in 2016 (although 46 per cent did not). Now that Brexit has turned into a shambles, it’s no wonder that people who voted Leave are angry. You vote for something – the Government and MPs should make it happen, yes?
Yet Brexit was never going to be simple. As someone said recently, you’re unpicking 45 years of integration. You’re unpicking the foundations of our economy – millions of British jobs depend on Europe. You’re unpicking our society – making people from other countries who live in the UK feel insecure, so that many (including doctors and nurses) have left. You’re unpicking the Northern Ireland peace process – stirring up new violence in that country.
The first people who should be blamed are Brexit leaders like Boris Johnson who said it would be easy. It was never going to be easy. They lied when they said it would be. They knew about the economy. They knew about Ireland. But they ploughed on. Theresa May has made a huge mess of it, but Leavers like Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg set up this impossible situation in the first place.
Does Nigel Farage actually have any answers, rather than simple slogans?
Nigel Farage is now posing as the answer. But he was always egging on the Tories into more and more extreme positions. He helped create this mess. Now he has set up a new ‘Brexit Party’. One of its candidates in the South West thinks it’s all right to talk about raping women MPs.
If you’re thinking of voting for Farage, just ask yourself: Has he got an answer to how we get out of the Brexit mess? We know it’s complex – has he really explained how he will do it? Unless you honestly think that there is a thought-out solution there, not just the same kind of simple slogans that got us into this mess in the first place, steer clear of the Brexit Party.
I have written to @neil_parish to represent the 7,000 of his constituents who have signed the petition to #RevokeArticle50. We are the people, too. Listen to our voices of common sense.
I am writing to represent nearly seven thousand of your constituents who have signed the petition on the Government website to revoke the Article 50 notification to exit the EU. This is the largest number who have ever signed any petition. Across Devon, over 100,000 people have supported it, and nationally the total is now 4.8 million.
I know you have taken the position that the 2016 result means that you have to support Brexit, and you have backed Theresa May’s deal. But that deal, which no one likes, has now clearly failed. Mrs May is reported to be prepared to back a No Deal Brexit, but I am sure you know that this could mean: shortages of medicines; failures of food supply chains in Devon; lambs slaughtered because they can’t be exported to Europe; a severe shock to our national economy; and violence in Northern Ireland, with Devon police sent to the province to help maintain order.
Since we have only a fortnight to prevent this self-inflicted disaster, I urge you to support a policy of ‘Revoke and Rethink’. Revoke the Article 50 notification to the EU, and give everyone time to reflect on the mess that the current Brexit proposals have caused. If in due course, a Government produces a coherent new proposal for Brexit, and can negotiate that with the EU, we can put it to the people and negotiate it with the EU.
For now, however, it is time to call a halt to this national humiliation. We, the thousands of your constituents who have signed the ‘revoke’ petition, are part of ‘the people’ too. Please listen to our voices of common sense and help ensure that our country comes safely through the impending crisis.