It is no surprise that Nigel Farage has decided not to oppose Tories in their seats. He says it is the only way to block a second referendum.
The reason the Brexit Party doesn’t want a second referendum is not because it would go against the will of the people, expressed in 2016, it’s because it knows that polls now often show a majority of voters want to stay in the EU, so bad are the deal and the no-deal options.
And didn’t Farage recently say that Boris Johnson’s deal was worse than remaining in the EU? So why help him now? Are they conspiring to eventually achieve a no-deal Brexit?
It emphasises the breathtaking dishonesty of the Brexiteers – who, if they believed in their support, would welcome a second referendum.
And the irony is that most Remainers, like me, would (albeit aghast at the damage it would do), accept Brexit if a second referendum confirmed it.
Uncertainty is certain
The theme of ending uncertainty is a major aspect of this general election relating principally to Brexit. It’s a shrewd device because it plays into a deep unease we all harbour about uncertainty in general. Nobody likes uncertainty, yet it is all around us most of the time. It’s related to having control (another theme being deployed by the Brexiteers). And yet we are not much in control of anything in life.
People who try to have it are described by some as control freaks. The political attraction of ending uncertainty and having control is obvious as a slogan but its power comes from the psychological primitive need we all crave for certainty and control. As a psychotherapist much of my work is immersed in the human capacity to bear uncomfortable truths and feelings which clients seek to escape from or deny.
It takes considerable insight to recognise and come to terms with uncertainty and accept we cannot control everything in life. It’s also not a great campaign slogan to encourage voters to accept the inevitability of uncertainty even though if the UK leaves the EU in January or before, there will be considerable uncertainty in the transition period, and for many years after as trade negotiations are revealed as very tricky.
Voltaire, the French enlightenment writer and philosopher said: “Uncertainty is an uncomfortable position but certainty is an absurd one.” It won’t catch on as a campaign theme but it’s worth bearing in mind.
It’s not reassuring for Emily Thornberry to say she “believed” Jeremy Corbyn would be ready to order the use of Trident if the UK was under threat of attack.
What’s required is certainty. Otherwise, no one will take seriously Britain’s nuclear deterrent that the SNP wants removed from HM Naval Base Clyde, commonly known as Faslane. It is therefore down to Corbyn to clarify his position if Labour’s defence policy is not to be viewed, like our submarines, as being all at sea.
Scottish Greens are no big deal
There is much excitement about the Greens’ decision not to contest three marginal seats in Scotland in the general election, namely North East Fife, Perth and North Perthshire and Angus. It is worth noting that the Greens stood in none of these constituencies in 2017, so they do not have votes to lend to the SNP.
We know very well that the Green Party at Holyrood is above all a separatist party. Its support for the SNP – a party whose project has been predicated on wealth from fossil fuels, a party which has taken over Prestwick airport (rather than closing it) and which supports a third runway at Heathrow – keeps Nicola Sturgeon in power.
The questions are: for which party did Green supporters vote in 2017? How many rank and file Green members and supporters are separatists? How many Green supporters will simply not vote? In truth, the Greens attracted 13,000 votes across the whole of Scotland in the last Scottish election. Their six seats at Holyrood are out of all proportion to the size of their support. Their position in this general election is scarcely a big deal.
Poll to poll – who do we believe?
Is the mainstream media using polls to influence opinion rather than reflect it? Or are the polls themselves a form of propaganda, used to persuade us to vote a certain way?
The analysis undertaken by the national press of the election polls is bewildering. Yesterday the right-wing media without exception claimed that the polls revealed that Corbyn was shedding votes across the nation but particularly in the North and London, whereas The Observer reported on Sunday that nationally the Tories had decreased their lead to 41 per cent and Labour had gone up three points to 29 per cent.
Today, after Nigel Farage announced the Brexit Party were not going to put up candidates in the 317 seats won by the Tories, we were told by one newspaper that was good news for the Conservatives because the Brexit Party would not split the Leave vote. But Sky News reported that a YouGov representative said it wouldn’t make any difference because the Tories were ahead by 4 per cent in Labour heartlands anyway.
Isn’t it time opinion polls are banned during elections so that the owners of national newspapers in particular aren’t able to use them to influence the public to vote how they want them to?
Politicians, watch this now
Having just returned from seeing the Ken Loach film Sorry We Missed You, I feel this should be compulsory viewing for all politicians, especially those who went to Eton. Is this an example of what will happen to workers’ rights under the current proposals for Brexit? And is the current situation at Asda a warning about further American involvement in our most treasured institutions.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies