Truth, trust and equity in politics are precious assets. A lack of these things is most often the reason given by people who are disenfranchised with politics, politicians, and the media. People say to me, “politicians are all the same”. It’s not true but I understand their reaction. Wouldn’t it be nice to know that you could trust the people making decisions about your children’s lives and livelihoods? I’d vote for that.
In Scotland, the SNP have been truthful and fair-minded in explaining that Brexit has failed and that there is a need for independence to escape from the socio-economic, political, legal and environmental carnage of Brexit. In England there is no such honesty from the vast majority of the political parties.
The Conservatives are desperately trying to rejoin the EU through a suite of clandestine ‘pay-as-you-go’ Brexit arrangements such as the Horizon deal. In doing so, Sunak is reneging on key promises made to Leave voters and hoping they don’t notice at the next election. Labour, on the other hand, are pretending that there ‘is’ a Brexit that can be made to work somewhere on the horizon, but doing so in order to win the election by recovering racist red wall voters. The Lib Dems and the Green Party offer a mealy-mouthed view that Brexit could be reviewed ‘sometime in the future’, whenever that is.
Labour councillors in my area mutter about 2032 as a possible date for a review of Brexit. The problem with all these views is that, by the time a Brexit inquiry is finally undertaken, some of us will be at the undertakers. Secondly, most of the damage done by Brexit will be complete, much of it irreversible. Finally, by 2032, it is quite probable that nobody will remember what Brexit was or recognise its relevance at that time. These are quite simply false promises designed by politicians on all sides who wish to kick the subject into the long grass.
Sisters are doing it for themselves
In my opinion, only Gina Miller and her True and Fair party are trying to reform politics for the good of the people rather than for themselves. Miller was clear at her launch event, when she said that rejoining was both possible, desirable and feasible within a three-year time window, from her own consultations with EU leaders.
I’d imagine that some of you will not know who Miller is. She gained a reputation for upholding truth when she took the Westminster government to court to demonstrate that Britain had always had sovereignty as a member of the EU which she won. Of course, the government ignored the ruling. You may more likely know Miller from the tabloid gutter press who vilified her for winning the case. The result of this was various vile threats of beheading and gang rape. All this for upholding the truth, fairness and the rule of law, which must have made some people feel truly threatened.
My Labour chums tell me that Miller’s party will spoil their chances of them winning an election. They also tell me that Labour are on for a landslide victory. Both of these things cannot be true, as Miller is standing a mere handful of candidates. Having promised many times to look at our voting system and then done nothing about it, I sense that the Labour execs are no more interested in reforming democracy than the Tories, just in gaining complete control. Keir Starmer would do well to be the better man and stand aside in the areas that the True and Fair party are operating in.
Another argument I hear is; “what can one person and a few candidates achieve?” My answer begins with Caroline Lucas and ends with Nigel Farage, a man who has never been elected to the UK parliament and who leveraged Brexit without ever belonging to the establishment. Similarly to Nicola Sturgeon, the True and Fair party stand as a disruptor to sleaze, corruption, cronyism and hateful practices in politics.
Miller’s position on Brexit is unequivocally clear, compelling, and concise. The Brexit experiment has failed. We both ‘can’ and ‘must’ rejoin the EU. She confirmed that this can be done within three years and that there must be no half measures and mealy-mouthed compromises*.
An extract from the True and Fair website says;
“In terms of joining the single market and customs union option, we are not supporters as this would mean the UK doffing our cap and accepting existing and future rules and regulation without any vote or voice.
The only viable option is to re-establish our membership of the EU and return to the top table once again. After seven years of failure, now we need to pull the rip cord, and start the process of re-establishing our membership of the EU, as the benefits far outweigh the costs.”
The True and Fair party are not standing candidates in Scotland, but campaign for greater devolution of powers to rectify the problems of the ‘Westmonster’ system. They are therefore not an obstacle in the way of Scottish independence or in terms of seeking greater powers for devolved governments. Given that Rishi Sunak’s government are indulging in ‘pay-as-you-go’ rejoin as a desperate move to win an election, it would seem ever more urgent for Scotland to progress independence lest Sunak try to steal the SNP’s clothes in a disruptive move to secure power in Westminster.
*This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Bylines Scotland or the Bylines Network. The Lib Dems and the Greens (in Scotland and in England and Wales) have a clear policy on the UK’s relationship with the EU. The Lib Dems have a four-stage plan that starts with building a stronger relationship and finishes with seeking to rejoin the single market. The Green Party of England and Wales’s position is for the UK to re-join the EU as soon as is politically favourable. The Scottish Greens’ position is to campaign to rejoin the EU as an independent nation as soon as possible.