Deal or no deal?
Second referendum / people’s vote or no more votes?
Theresa May or a new Prime Minister?
General election or no general election?
Continue negotiating or end negotiations?
The options in British politics for 2019 go on, and on, and on.
And whether I speak to a staunch remainer or leaver the main thing they have in common is they are uncertain, and frustrated with all this uncertainty.
When you push, people know what they want. It’s usually not the outcome they are so frustrated with but the uncertainty. We are hard-wired to want to know the answer.
I voted remain, and have obviously been attacked from all directions on why Labour isn’t backing a people’s vote. Yes, this is a Tory Brexit through and through. But Labour respects the referendum result and wants the chance to negotiate a better deal. One that protects the economy, rights, jobs, and the environment.
When I am at my most optimistic, I hope that Labour’s position has shown strength to want to unite this country, and not continue to divide it. Labour understands that many do want to be part of a more compassionate, equal, democratic country that acts with integrity and not in reactivity.
Conversely, when I’m feeling more pessimistic, I worry that Brexit has allowed the legitimising and catalysing of xenophobic and racist opinions.
Both are true.
I’ve been told that a second referendum would be a gift to the far right. And I’ve been told to campaign for a People’s Vote because Brexit of any kind will result in a legitimising of racism and the far right.
So I guess one thing is certain when it comes to Brexit: Tommy Robinson, UKIP, and the far right are a growing threat to our democracy. One that worries both Leavers and Remainers.
One of the reasons the current MP has been so easy to hold to account, is that he is happy to make throwaway comments that sound as if they belong to the far right.
We mustn’t forget the Tories belong to the most far right political group in Brussels. Richard Graham has personally refused to condemn the far-right Hungarian government for its antisemitic and anti-democratic policies. Just this year Richard Graham MP has said: ‘Gloucester immigrants don’t know how to recycle’, ‘its foreigners that use food banks’, and most recently he insinuated that EU citizens are criminals.
His tactic is to divide, divide, divide, and rule.
My approach for Gloucester as both a candidate and hopefully as an MP is to unite, unite, unite, and empower.
My biggest hope for 2019 is that in Gloucester and across the country more people come together to stand up against the xenophobia and racism that undermine our compassion, and to stand up for equality, fairness, and unity. I will continue to work for a politics of the many not the few.