Questions need answering

I appreciate the occasions when our MP allows her column in the local press to touch on serious political matters.

Monday, 24th October 2016, 8:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 6:14 pm

October 13 was one such occasion. We do indeed need a clearer picture of the new Prime Minister so suddenly thrust upon us. I welcome some of Mrs May’s claimed change of direction.

Admittedly, her thought that we should ‘all have an equal stake’ has been heard before, eg Mrs Thatcher, also on entering No 10 and, more recently, Osborne’s ‘All in it together’. Perhaps this PM will be able to deliver.

Certainly, the emphasis on increasing productivity and creating an industrial strategy is overdue but sounds promising. So too does the recognition of the need for a greater role for government.

Unmentioned was the opposition from some Tories to the new laws and funds necessary to implement those changes.

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Also unmentioned were some other major discontents thrown up in the Referendum debate.

The need for major change in how we govern ourselves? How to tackle differences with Scotland and Northern Ireland etc?

How long will it take for the ‘left-behind areas’ like ours (and impoverished local government) to catch up?

How to clean up big business influence, some distorting media and, above all, some misleading and even disgusting party politics?

The list goes on but that’s for another time, perhaps.

Meanwhile, I’ll take the opportunity to address one particular issue which both our MP and our PM did raise.

They claim that they must implement ‘the will of the British people’.

That is, again, misleading, intentionally or otherwise.

First, some important sections of the ‘people’ were refused a vote. Second, of the rest, 37% Left, 35% Remained and 28% Abstained, ie well over 60% did not support Leave – slightly more than did not support the Hungarian Prime Minister’s recent anti-immigrant Referendum proposal.

Hardly ‘the will of the people’.

Third, when Parliament was asked to vote for a Referendum, it was specifically told (Parl. Brief 07212, 3/6/15) that no threshold was necessary as the Referendum was only to advise Parliament – so Parliament must now decide whether to accept or reject that advice from a flawed process.

Only then can the next steps be considered – like dealing with Mrs May’s ‘equal stake for all’ and the other major discontents thrown up – many of them nothing to do with the EU.

Peter Watts,

Berwick-upon-Tweed