Canaan Kennedy: What are your thoughts about “Brexit”?
Virginia Constable Maxwell: First of all Brexit need never have happened, it was the result of a weak prime minister Cameron was towing to his Eurosceptic right wing MPs - to appease them he promised a referendum in the manifesto.
The campaign, when it eventually unfolded ignored the majority of the really important issues – the Conservatives promised economic prosperity if the Remainders won and dire economic disaster if Brexit Leavers succeeded. They felt if they hammered home one message the electorate would be more likely to respond as indeed they had with the previous Scottish Referendum.
The Eurosceptic Leavers hammered home two messages—immigration which they suggested would sink the country and result in lower wages for working people – and the effect on our national health service and schools and housing – (of course all these issues are a result of lack of provision by our government) and they continued to drum in issues abouts sovereignty – can’t be ruled by people from the EU who we don’t vote in – the fact that with our present electoral system over 60% of our country DIDN'T VOTE for Cameron appears to have escaped their notice!
The Leavers also continued to suggest that the views of experts weren’t worth noting – this of course dates back to the expert views which led us to the Iraq war and hence demonised anyone providing expert views. Thank you Mr. Blair!!!!
Issues of real import - human rights, workers rights, the effect on our agricultural policies, CLIMATE Change, environmental issues – many of which will be of little concern to a right wing government, were never even addressed during the campaign.
We did a lot of canvassing in Bognor Regis – a working class town on the south coast, very Brexit, and everyone quoted immigration. The irony here is that Bognor is majority old, and disabled. Polish immigrants, largely as result of free movement, work and pay taxes thereby subsidizing the old and disabled!!!
And of course the issues revealed a greater class divide than already acknowledged – the North West, largely Labour voters - ignored Labour MP’s and voted against Remain – indicating that a large majority of Labour voters no longer value their MP’s. Many ignored the issue altogether and voted simply to indicate their fury at the elites who had ignored their needs – housing, employment, health, education - for decades.
We went to bed the night of the Referendum convinced that Remain would win and by 3 am realised we had lost. The next three days were worthy of a David Hare play (do you know who I mean – your grandmother will – Stuff Happens being the most recent ) Our ex-mayor, highly intelligent, ambitious leader of the Brexits but ultimately a dilettante found himself in position of possible leader and realised what a mess he was inheriting - divided party and massively complicated issues regarding negotiating our exit – with no one having made any plans for Brexit – Remind you of Iraq??...destroy but don’t consider a plan to rebuild. He simply removed himself from the scene.
Then a week or two of various inconsequential characters putting themselves forward and then withdrawing and now we are left with Mrs. May ... we are not Conservatives but given the awfulness of the other contenders and the total collapse of the Blairite Labour Party – Mrs. May looks relatively rational – and with Merkel, Nicola Sturgeon, possibly Hillary Clinton and Teresa May – who would have thought several years ago we would be looking at some of the most powerful countries in the world being run by women
- Virginia Constable Maxwell
Canaan Kennedy asks Virginia Constable Maxwell about her thoughts on Brexit