Vote to save our country on Thursday

by Nick Kent | 21.05.2019

Labour and the Tories have failed in their responsibility to defend our democracy from the extremists of the Brexit Party. Vote on Thursday to save our country from such cowardice.

The withdrawal of the whip from Michael Heseltine is a vivid example of the failure of UK political leaders. It should not be necessary for a man who has served his party and his country for over 50 years to rebel. The fault is not Michael Heseltine’s, it is his party’s.

But if you look across the Commons you won’t see much difference in Labour. Margaret Hodge has found herself under attack for having suggested that people should consider voting tactically in the European Parliament elections.

These two distinguished parliamentarians are filling a gap left by their respective leaders, who have failed in their responsibility to defend our democracy from the threat of anti-EU extremists.

Both Labour and the Tories are running minimalist campaigns. May has managed just one, stilted appeal to Conservatives to stay loyal. Yet her party is a great ship that, while it has taken hits fore and aft in recent years, is not sunk yet. It could have run a campaign through social media and billboard advertising and ensured that every household got one leaflet through the free delivery. But instead the Tory campaign has been more noticeable by its absence.

Meanwhile Jeremy Corbyn has been playing off pro-European and pro-Brexit voters against one another in a shabby attempt to be friends with both. His major intervention in this campaign has been to sow doubt and confusion about Labour’s policy on Brexit. It’s no wonder voters are confused about where Labour stands – that’s Corbyn’s intention.

A cynic would conclude that Labour and the Tories want the Brexit Party to win the most votes in this election because then they can use that as an excuse to force through Brexit despite the country no longer wanting it.

They pick on loyal members of their parties who voted Remain but they haven’t the courage to stand up to Nigel Farage. May and Corbyn should have used these elections to highlight the dangers to our democracy of political extremism. All over Europe we see extremist political forces on the march, threatening the cohesion of our communities and undermining our values.

This campaign was an opportunity for Labour and the Tories to reject the nihilism of the Brexit Party. It has no manifesto because it does not want to create, only to destroy. It represents the politics of hate and division. It is the ultimate manifestation of Project Fear. The big parties could have used their campaigning clout and their media heft to hold Farage and his acolytes to account, to challenge their all too often bigoted views and to scrutinise their funding. Instead they have left their own goal exposed, taken their keeper off the pitch and are turning a blind eye while the rules are broken.

Whether like Heseltine and Hodge you walk the hallowed halls of Parliament, or you rise at five am to empty the nation’s bins or you woke in a cold sweat this morning knowing your first exam is in ten days’ time, you can make a difference. It is two minutes in a polling station for a lifetime of benefit. Don’t just vote to stop Brexit on Thursday but vote to save our country.

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Edited by Luke Lythgoe

4 Responses to “Vote to save our country on Thursday”

  • While the line on the May + Corbyn collective failure to act in the national interest by challenging the lies and malfeasance of the Brexit “movement” makes some sense, it is vital to make the point that there will still be Remainers who will vote for one of the two big “mainstream parties” for whatever reasons, however much sympathy there is for people who just can’t bring themselves to do so. One reason might be a desire to support an MEP who has faithfully argued the case against Faragism/Brexit from the start. Inevitably there will be some dishonest people, rather like Mrs May who will claim that a vote like mine – for Labour, is somehow validating Brexit. This has really stuck in my craw in the past and got me within an inch of giving my vote to the Green party instead – but when they count the votes and claim this or that for Brexit v Remain – an unknown number of Remainers will stick with Labour, and with such a high membership the sense of loyalty is a bigger issue for the overall vote than for the Tories – we know where their 100 000 stand. There will be a substantial number of remainers who detest Farage and all his wily tricks, and are none to happy with the Labour leadership either, who will support Labour candidates. We are just as keen on a People’s vote on the real Brexit rather than the Lala land fantasy version sold to us in 2016 as every other reader of this website. We have decent Labour MPs (and maybe a few Tories) who will die in a ditch rather than support the Brexit project. Real democracy is a messy business. Please just don’t count us out!

  • It baffles me why the EU allows the Brexit Party and UKIP to field MEP’s. This is an obvious contradiction of purpose. Does the EU have a self-harming problem as well as Britain?

  • Andrew,
    I think that people understand that to vote for Labour is not necessarily a vote for Brexit. In fact, the Brexit party has sucked all the hard Brexiteers into one clear group, so will give us a clear idea of the size of support for the extreme view. I expect maybe 4-5 million people believe in Brexit at any cost, hence they are not bothered about the lack of a manifesto (that’s fanaticism for you), but that is it, certainly not the 17.4 million who voted Leave in the Referendum. For all of their noise it will not constitute a mandate for their view to dictate our relationship with Europe.
    Hopefully the EU elections will be a wake up call to Corbyn and Gardiner and co. because without the support of Remain voters Labour is unlikely to win any future General election

  • Whilst noting that the Conservatives have decided to kick Lord Heseltine out of the party after 50 years service. It will be interesting to see what disciplinary action is taken against Tory MPs expressing support, explicitly or otherwise, for the Brexit Party.