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Editorial It's No Change UK, OK

TODAY’S Change UK European elections launch could only have been scripted by a modern master of political parody.

Jonathan Swift would have either have loved it or sheathed his quill forever after realising that satire could never again match the absurdity of real life.

Applauded loudly by ex-Labour and ex-Tory MPs, a gaggle of comeback politicians, lawyers and media personalities gushed their enthusiasm for standing as Change UK (ChUK) candidates on May 23 in order to … keep things exactly as they are!

They want to keep Britain permanently enmeshed in the treaties, rules and institutions of the European Union. If this means cancelling the result of the first referendum by holding a second, so be it. They would then campaign passionately against any change in Britain's relationship with the EU.

Would the ChUK MPs vote against the Tory government in order to force a general election and break the present parliamentary and political deadlock?

Of course not, former Tory Heidi Allen MP told the media launch in Bristol. She explained that this would not change anything. What she meant was that it might not keep Britain fully in the EU although it would certainly eject most if not all of the ChUK cuckoos from the Commons.

Refusing to fight by-elections in their new colours, these 11 renegades from Labour and the Tories have rather more enthusiasm for changing parties than they have for constituents being allowed to change their MPs.

Perhaps the ChUK agenda for change is to be found elsewhere.

Do they agree on putting an end to a decade of austerity policies? Apparently not, especially as most of them have been willing advocates of cutting and belt-tightening for the rest of us.

Surely it's now safe for them to echo the popular call for the return of the railways and public utilities to public ownership? Sorry, it's a case of “no change please, we’re neoliberals and Blairites.”{

How about changing the appetite of successive governments and the British Establishment for nuclear weapons, foreign wars, Nato and our supine military-intelligence relationship with the United States?

Perish the thought! The ChUKers are staunch upholders of the status quo.

Might some of their newly unveiled candidates promise a morsel of change on any significant, strategic issue?

Of course not.

Celebrity journalist Rachel Johnson can only benefit from any comparison with her brother Boris. But she is so fanatically pro-EU as to believe that Brexit would mean “rubbing out my children’s prospects and chances of living and travelling and working in Europe.”

Why they should be banned from Britain, Norway and Switzerland as well as the rest of Europe is not yet clear.

Jessica Simor QC led the legal challenge to annul the referendum result, rejected with barely concealed contempt by Court of Appeal judges on March 4.

Then there’s former BBC Washington correspondent Gavin Esler. His ardour for all things American even extended to fawning over the coffin of former warmongering president and Hollywood witch-hunter Ronald Reagan, while his outbursts in defence of Tony Blair have been toe-curlingly embarrassing.   

There is already a strong case for Britain’s voters boycotting the EU elections. Participating in them lends a spurious legitimacy to an exercise that would not be happening but for the parliamentary sabotage of Brexit.

Not having to vote for NoChange UK, Ukip racists and fascists, feuding Tory deadbeats, Liberal anti-Democrats or the likes of Labour’s Lord Adonis – who doesn’t want the votes of Leave supporters anyway – would be a bonus. 


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