There are no good options left when it comes to Brexit
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Time and time again we were told that “Brexit means Brexit” and that those who voted for it knew exactly what that meant. And time and time again we have heard those same people voicing their frustrations that “we just don’t leave”, presumably they mean with no deal because the plucky UK can sail off into utopia.
And yet now we have Labour MPs prepared to vote with Theresa May, supposedly on behalf of those same people, because they fear the no-deal Brexit that they voted for. The really sad thing is that we either face a no-deal Brexit or Labour MPs, in effect, securing a Tory government. It was going to be so, so simple, was it? Only if you are simple-minded.
Never mind a vote of “no confidence” in Theresa May and the Tories, how about a national vote of no confidence in the whole parliament and its members?
I feel I owe David Davis an apology. When he said that getting a deal with the EU would be the easiest ever, I thought he had to be either stupid or ignorant. Now it appears that it was me who was wrong and I realise that his idea is of a deal was indeed very simple, and why he never appeared to be taking the process seriously. His preferred outcome was to insult our European partners, blame them for not negotiating and just walk away. Simples.
I was having a senior moment on Saturday night listening to Kris Kristofferson singing “Me and Bobby McGee”. I wondered if, in the middle of the Brexit negotiations, it was the favourite song of Theresa May with lyrics such as “freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose” and “nothing ain’t worth nothing but it’s free”?
Good riddance to Nikki Haley
Nikky Haley’s tenure as US ambassador to the United Nations is a huge disappointment. As the daughter of devout Sikhs (a highly progressive world religion) she was an apologist for President Trump and eagerly embraced his disastrous policies. Under her leadership the United States withdrew from the Paris climate accord, the UN Human Rights Council, the Iran nuclear deal, UNRWA – the UN agency that provides humanitarian aid to Palestinians – and Unesco, the UN educational and cultural agency.
Haley was also involved with overseeing a $110bn arms deal with Saudi Arabia and she concurred with Trump’s disastrous decision to move Israel’s capital to Jerusalem.
She gained the trust of the president by lathering him with flattery, making the absurd claim “the United States is now respected” when nothing could be further from the truth.
How quickly she has forgotten the derisive laughter at the UN when Trump boasted about all his accomplishments. Under Trump and Haley’s “leadership” we have weakened the Nato alliance, alienated relationships with our northern and southern neighbours, the European Union and insulted Africa countries with vulgar expletives.
High heels for children should not be promoted
The hijab is not part of my culture although, as a feminist, I instinctively bridle against what I perceive to be a lack of freedom solely for women. That includes, in my non-Muslim – indeed, non-religious – view, the freedom to take part in sport, the freedom to feel the wind in your hair and the freedom to absorb vitamin D from sunlight. However, I do understand that some Muslim women don’t necessarily agree with me and the choice, of course, is theirs.
Iffat Mirza wrote that: “Now unless we decide to ban all makeup that is marketed towards young girls and high-heeled shoes in children’s sizes, I don’t see why the hijab should come under such a vicious attack”.
I really don’t like makeup being marketed at young children but there is little point in banning it. If parents are happy for their children to wear makeup they can provide it. I do feel, however, that high heels in children’s sizes should be banned. High heels are physically damaging (as, of course, is a lack of vitamin D), particularly to the young body. To my mind, high heels are akin to footbinding: something promoted by men, adopted seemingly willingly by women and resulting in harm only to women. They should most certainly not be made in children’s sizes.
I wouldn’t like to say where that leaves Mirza’s argument. But if someone genuinely wishes to wear the hijab, they are clear as to why and truly do not see it as a construct born of male oppression, why not? They have my support.
The Independent has launched its #FinalSay campaign to demand that voters are given a voice on the final Brexit deal.
Sign our petition here