RE

So, Sir Keir Starmer sees “no case” for the UK re-joining the European Union (EU). Disappointing but, in a way, I’m not that surprised that the leader of the UK Labour Party should say such a thing in the North of England. The audience wishes to hear that Starmer is looking ahead, and not behind.

What was interesting in my mind was the emphasis on – no way back. However, the point is moot. It’s true, there is no way back to the way things were prior to 2016.

Going back in time is reserved for science fiction. I’ve been watching re-runs of the 1980s/90s US TV series Quantum Leap[1]. It’s incredibly enjoyable. Time travel within one’s own lifetime is a fascinating theme for fiction but it’s not happening anytime soon in the real world. Starmer is not Dr Sam Beckett on a mission. Starmer doing involuntarily leaps through spacetime is way beyond my imagination.

Saying there’s no case for re-joining isn’t earth shattering. Those two letters “re” are a millstone. There in the words: return, recreate, revive, restore, revitalise, and even remain. Always the subject is about the past. I know we are a country that loves to revel in the past but let’s dump “re[2]” when talking about future possibilities. The last thing we need is to maintain a sense of repetition. There are times to put the past behind us and create a new vision.

If Starmer becomes UK Prime Minister (PM), and that could be sooner than many think, then the timescale for evaluation of the UK’s relationship with the EU may not be too far off.

Starmer claims he wants to “make Brexit work” if he becomes PM. Now, that’s where his utterances get unwise. Above, I’ve warned about lashing public policy to the past. It’s better that Brexit is consigned to a list of historic mistakes. And besides, why say such a thing when the public’s attention is elsewhere?

When people are asked: How well or badly do you think the Government are doing at handling Britain’s exit from the EU? the answer wallows in negatve numbers. It seems strange that Labour seeks the same hopeless position as the Conservatives.

There’s a desperate need for new vision.


[1] https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096684/

[2] re- Word-forming element meaning “back, back from, back to the original place;” also “again, anew, once more,” also conveying the notion of “undoing” or “backward,” etc., c. 1200, from Old French re- and directly from Latin re- an inseparable prefix meaning “again; back; anew, against.

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