Challenges are unanswered

I'm genuinely grateful to Keith Cardigan for trying to answer the recent challenges to our MP. Such discussions might change minds either way while mere assertion often leads to abuse, digging in, bullying and even violence, all of which seem to be increasing.

Saturday, 10th November 2018, 08:00 am

Keith’s general charge is correct. I have attacked our MP, usually when she seems to have backed her position with distorted facts. Of course her integrity is only in question if such distortion was deliberately misleading – and I have occasionally supported her.

Keith’s first three particular points actually arose from Thomas Stewart’s three challenges, not my later ones. However, I’ll answer briefly as well as I can. Yes, 17million voted Leave (for many reasons, not all EU related, and largely unaddressed) but 30million didn’t. Hardly what Keith calls the ‘wishes of the people’. Yes, the unity of the UK is ‘not up for discussion’ – among the English Tories, but it is now, increasingly, in Scotland, Northern Ireland and even Wales. The third challenge was on the Tory record of hindering both an elected second chamber and a fairer voting system. I’ll happily discuss in more detail if readers wish.

Of my five challenges, Keith only addressed one, the European Court of Justice. I’d suggested that we needed the ECJ, with its record of checking power abuse by multi-national business and by national governments. Keith wrote instead about deporting ‘child killers, murderers and rapists’. I don’t recall these cases from the ECJ but, if he gives details, I’ll investigate. Perhaps they came from the European Court of Human Rights which has nothing to do with the EU.

My remaining challenges to our MP – on, for instance, climate and the environment; on rights and standards for workers, women, animals and food; on organising our inter-connected world; and even on who pays – all remain unanswered, so far.

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Peter Watts

Berwick-upon-Tweed