surinenglish

Hobson's choice

Quite where UK politics is going is anybody's guess at the moment. The last two years' worth of YouGov opinion polls (68 in a row) put Remain well ahead (currently with an 8% majority over Leave). Meanwhile the two people desperate to be prime minister completely ignore this change in the preference of the people and vow to leave.

One has indicated that he will suspend parliament if it votes against a no-deal Brexit. But only 28% of the UK want a no-deal Brexit, so suspension of parliament to push that through is tantamount to rejection of democracy. Surely that is not what the UK has been or should be about. Democracy is a precious freedom many have given their lives for.

These two candidates become more hard-line day by day. By doing so, they believe, they will get the support of the 124,000 Conservative members who are voting. Hobson's choice.

And why should 124,000 conservatives decide on the next prime minister? Put that number in context. It is less than the membership of the Scottish National Party, less than a quarter of the membership of the Labour Party, eight times smaller than the membership of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and 0.2% of the population of the UK. What a farce.

More than three years since the referendum, and the mood of the country has changed. Most of us saw the considerable, though failed, efforts made in trying to create a deal that, whilst it would make the country poorer, would still keep it afloat. Most Leave voters did not vote for a decrease in growth. Most want peace in Ireland without destructive trade wars across the border, most want a really good relationship with Europe, no travel restrictions, people keeping their jobs, and the ability to have health, phone and minimal customs barriers with Europe.

The polls say nearly 20% of Leave voters no longer support leaving; balance that against 10% of Remainers no longer support remaining. That change, alone, puts Remain in the majority. But most of all, those who did not vote last time (including the new 18 to21-year-old voters), prefer Remain by majority of more than 2:1.

What a joy it would be, if at a stroke, we could cancel all the Brexit palaver that has filled the news for so long. If we do leave, of course, Brexit will continue to fill our screens and papers for years to come. Leaving is only the beginning.

Why is no one listening to the polls? Are they afraid of democracy? Indeed, are we being bullied out and talked out of the EU. Is the BBC afraid of losing its licence fee if it tells the truth about the polls? Are the Conservatives afraid of Nigel? Fear and bullying should never, ever win in any society. Where are the Christian values of truth, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self-control and, above all, love for neighbour? I want to fight for them.

Roll on a second referendum - with maybe some riots on the streets, but better that than being bullied by anyone into making the poor poorer. After all, you can guarantee, as always, that they will be the first to suffer.