Protempore … Issue 113


Posted by in August's Magazine

The 23rd of June 2016 will go down as one of the most significant dates in the UK’s history – the day when a majority of those who voted in the EU Referendum voted to leave the European Union. As Nigel Farage would have it, “…a victory for ordinary people, for good people, for decent people.” I don’t think so. Ordinary, good, decent people are not narrow-minded, self-serving liars who would do and say anything to satisfy a lifelong loathing of Europe or to settle a schoolboy popularity contest. So forget all the rhetoric and let’s get real about this.

Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, and the rest of their Colonel Blimp cronies thundered around the country telling anyone who would listen that amongst other things, a vote to leave would lead to the end of EU migration to the UK; that £350 million which we send to the EU every week would instead be given to the NHS; and that we would be guaranteed access to the single market within the EU which guarantees hundreds of thousands of jobs in the UK.

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The day after the referendum – that’s right, the day after the referendum – Nigel Farage appeared triumphantly on television stations, looked directly into his interviewers’ eyes and said that the pledge to shovel the £350 million per week into the NHS was, and I quote, “a mistake”.

The same evening, Daniel Hannan MP told Newsnight “taking back control of immigration didn’t necessarily mean cutting it.” And when asked if the UK would retain unfettered access to the single market following Brexit, Wolfgang Schauble, Germany’s finance minister stated: “That won’t work. In is in. Out is out.” Pretty clear then.

What Nigel Farage and the rest of the snake oil salesmen and women have actually done to ordinary, good and decent people is to shaft them. It’s the very people who were duped by the lies that the Leave campaign peddled who will suffer the most from the fallout of the vote to leave. The UK economy is already teetering on the brink of another recession and we all know what that means – more cuts to public services, a decline in manufacturing and productivity and increased unemployment.

Still, this won’t hurt the likes of Nigel, Boris, Michael and the rest – something which they knew all along but conveniently left out of their campaign material.

The US election: Well, who would have guessed it?

On the 16th of June 2016, when Donald Trump announced that he would be running to become the Republican candidate for the 2016 presidential election, most of the world laughed. It wasn’t so surprising that the megalomaniac with Weetabix on his head would actually put himself up for election; he’s deluded, of that there is no doubt. But it was his belief that he could actually go on to become the next President of the United States which was so hilarious. And yet here we are with less than four months to go until the election and until recently, there was a distinct possibility that Trump could win. It sounds implausible but then again, maybe it’s because many Americans were won over by his compassionate, reasoned, statesmanlike campaign. Let’s take a look.

Trump kicked off his campaign by declaring that “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” His solution? If he becomes President, he’ll make the Mexicans build and pay for a wall all along the border. He has questioned the validity of Barack Obama’s birth certificate. And he also called for “a total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the US.

Despite the man being a complete arsehole, it looked likely that his campaign would take the election down to the wire. That was until Khizr Khan, a Muslim and the father of a soldier killed in Iraq, made a seven-minute speech in Philadelphia where he asked if Trump had ever been to the Arlington National Cemetery where silent rows of headstones mark the final resting place for more than 400,000 service members, veterans and their families stretching back to the civil war. Mr Khan said:

“Go look at the graves of brave patriots who died defending the United States of America. You will see all faiths, genders and ethnicities. You have sacrificed nothing and no one.”

Since that speech, Trump’s campaign has nosedived.

An ordinary, good, decent man may just have done the world a massive favour.

Protempore

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