The 15th January 2019 was a historic day for the United Kingdom. Following four days of relentless debate, Theresa May’s Brexit deal was rejected by a parliamentary majority of 230; the greatest in the country’s history. Having watched the majority of the tedious quarrelling, one speech, in particular, jumped out at me. That of the MP for Tottenham, David Lammy’s.
During the Windrush generation scandal, I must concede that I had great awe and admiration for the way Mr. Lammy stood by the British Caribbean population who were being threatened with deportation. That is why I was all the more disappointed in his vicious attack on Brexit. He, like many other staunch Remainers, seem to have forgotten what the role of an MP; to represent the people. There is now a reoccurring pattern of self-righteousness amongst the Remain camp; a belief that they own the moral high ground before entering any debate. This was highlighted by the pretentious manner in which Mr. Lammy addressed his malcontent for Northern working-class folk. In his eyes, they were too ignorant to make up their own minds and should thus be rendered obsolete from political debate.
“Lies”, he suggests, were what tricked us into voting out of his perfect union. For a man who claims to stand up to racism, Mr. Lammy relishes any opportunity to spout out Russia-phobic conspiracy theories without a shred of evidence. Obviously, one would be foolish to describe the Leave campaign as immaculate. However, one must equally remember the rise in unemployment, the great recession, the punishment budget, the tax hikes, and the French relinquishing of the ‘Le Touquet’ agreement all promised by the Remain camp if we left the EU. This, to go along with the trivialization of an EU army as a mere fantasy. In the words of The Office’s David Brent: “some of the claims may be false”.
Mr. Lammy also seems to be forgetting that he was part of a government who continually fed the public a pack of lies on the Iraq war. The British people were not deceived by Blair’s project fear, just as they were not deceived by Remain’s project fear. Despite stern opposition from the public, the MP for Tottenham repeatedly voted for a war which saw the death of almost a million people. This, along with his decision to launch a coup against Jeremy Corbyn in spite of this being against the wishes of his party’s members. It does appear then that Mr. Lammy has a proven track record of ignoring the wishes of those he is supposed to represent.
At the heart of his fear-mongering speech, was the NHS. More specifically, the dangers of a post-Brexit US trade deal damaging our healthcare system. At this point, I could have wept at the sheer audacity of the man who was part of a government which oversaw mass privatization of the NHS during its tenure. Furthermore, it would seem that the CETA and TTIP agreements must have slipped out of the mind of the former minister of state for culture. Deals agreed upon by the EU, the US, and Canada, unsurprisingly, behind closed doors and concealed from the public eye. In fitting with the EU’s neo-liberal agenda of increased market competitiveness, the deal gave US or Canadian private firms the right to claim monumental compensation if a member state government introduced policy initiatives that would potentially reduce those investors’ profits. This, along with a clause which ensures that the Investment-State Dispute Settlement remains in place to protect investors’ profits for twenty years after a member state leaves the agreement – long enough to do substantial damage to our nationalized health service. Ironically, it was Brexit which helped to derail the TTIP negotiations.
Alongside his Tory, austerity-enforcing partner in crime, Anna Soubry, David Lammy has frequently championed a second vote on our EU membership. On paper, this may seem like a nice idea. However, if one were to promise a second referendum, the EU would pounce on the opportunity to table an abysmal deal in order to make Britain remain. Lest we forget that we have already had three votes on the matter: the 2015 election in which the Conservatives promised the referendum and won a majority, the 2016 EU referendum and finally the 2017 election where we witnessed both Labour and the Conservatives promise to respect the referendum result and both saw their respective vote percentage increase to their highest in decades.
The Brexit referendum itself had a turnout of 72.2% (higher than any of the last five general elections) with Leave receiving the highest vote count in the country’s history. It can thus be argued that Brexit has a stronger mandate than any political party in the country’s history.
Believe it or not, support for Brexit is equally the key catalyst to election victory for Labour. Much emphasis has been placed upon the fact that only 35% of Labour supporters voted to leave. However, these statistics are based upon the 2015 election result, which recognized a fluctuation of traditional Labour voters to the Conservatives or UKIP as they were the only parties that promised the referendum in their respective manifestos. Even if this were not true, our voting system means that 61% of Labour’s constituencies voted to leave. Furthermore, 78% of the 45 seats Labour must gain to win the next general election voted leave whilst 72% of Labour’s 25 most vulnerable constituencies (majorities under 2000) also voted out. Putting all this into perspective, Mr. Lammy really ought to stop undermining his party’s leadership in his persistent attempt to flog his dead horse that is a second referendum. With knife crime and homelessness in Tottenham going through the roof, it is high time that Mr. Lammy concentrated his energy into keeping his constituents safe rather than continuing to push his globalist agenda forward.