Think we've experienced the worst of Boris Johnson and Cummings? We haven't seen anything yet

The Independent Opinions 2 months ago

Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings' plan to provoke the EU into appearing uncompromising seems to be working and seems to be entering its next vile stage: the stirring up, perhaps by proxies, of anti-EU, anti-Irish, and in particular, anti-German sentiment.

They may think this will serve the Conservatives well by ensuring the EU kicks us out and by bringing them victory at the next election on a surge of nationalist anger, but it will be at the cost of destroying the nation's previously good international standing, our economy and our civil peace. 

We risk huge damage at home and abroad, going from being a laughing stock to being despised and hated, risking losing security partners and our international credit standing. Looking to help from America also seems a forlorn hope. Johnson, who was chosen by 92,000 Conservative Party activists, is leader of a minority government whose hard Brexit line was rejected at the 2017 election and is propped up by a party that does not represent opinion in Northern Ireland, but still seems determined to defy the will of parliament and lead us to ruin. 

Adrian Cosker 
Hitchin

“Get Brexit done” seems to have become the mantra for the government. We’ve heard it from just about every minister during and since the Conservative Party conference. Normally, the phrase is followed by the list of promises to address the concerns of every person in the United Kingdom and preceded by, “Every person I meet tells me that they just want us to ...”.

Why is the opposition not saying that most people don’t care how Brexit becomes over, just so long as it is? Any of us who are still paying attention know that if the UK exits the EU at any date with any or no deal, it will still be years before there is certainty about the future relationship.

It is obvious that Brexit will be over if the UK stays in the EU. That can happen quickly if Article 50 is revoked. It can be done unilaterally and it is an action that is in full control of the UK. If the government doesn't do it, then it is entirely their fault if the UK exits without a deal. Parliament represents all of "the people", not just voters. Our representatives must act for what they judge best for the nation. A failure to do so is a failure of their primary duty as MPs.

Yes, "the people" want Brexit done. That does not mean that we want to exit the EU.

Paul Hearn
Juignac, France

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This is everyone's fault

So Boris Cummings is cunningly planning an election broadcast by Her Majesty next week, and meanwhile setting up the “no-deal/delayed Brexit is everyone’s fault but mine” election blame campaign.  

With no confirmatory vote offered to assess the “will of the people”, and the opposition parties squabbling with who gets to play leader if there were a government of national unity, I kind of think it’s everyone’s fault: Leavers for voting leave; Remainers for not uniting against no deal; the Boris Cummings Party for risking the overnight undoing of 40 years’ integration with the European economy; the European Union for so easily allowing Leave voters to strip everyone (else) in the UK of their EU citizenship (I don’t consent, but that doesn’t seem to matter); and me for voting in the referendum and not spoiling my ballot paper.  A plague on all our houses!

Ian Henderson
Norwich

Kurds and Trump

Washington’s creation of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces was in a sense too successful in that the Kurds ended up occupying much of northeast Syria. (Turkish jets strike Syria as Erdogan announces start of military operation against Kurdish fighters)

No thought was given to reconciling Kurdish rule over extensive Arab populated areas. Such an anomalous situation provides a breeding ground for a resurgent Isis. More significantly, Washington must have known that Turkey would never tolerate a bordering Kurdish state. Syria’s Kurds would have been better off aligning themselves with Assad.

Yugo Kovach
Dorset  ​

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Ardern for the Peace prize

The Nobel Peace prize has always been a source of controversy in the past. Who does not remember Aung San Suu Kyi, when she denied the colossal magnitude of human rights abuses towards the Rohingya Muslim community in Myanmar; or the Dalai Lama's ineptitude and silence towards atrocities in Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Burma and elsewhere; or even the late Yasser Arafat, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin at a time when peace in the holy land remains more elusive than ever.

For that, Jacinda Ardern genuinely deserves this accolade this year. When Muslims fell victims of religious persecution and violence in Christchurch, she was truly an enduring source of hope, empathy, strength, courage and inspiration. She wore Hijab, read the Quran and visited mosques and mobilised entire communities to come together, transcend boundaries of hatred and despair to build bridges of hope. No one can extinguish the fires of wars and divisions in our world but at least her deeds and words made a difference to countless lives during dark times and will inspire others for decades to come. 

Dr Munjed Farid Al Qutob​
London NW2


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