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Brexit: political parties fragment.

CoNet Administrator
As it rains on the Labour Party's parade, their Brexit battle bus shows the direction Labour wants Europe to take. It's going left. That is just one of the problems facing an increasingly disunited Labour as it follows the Conservatives into near meltdown over the issue.

The fragmentation of the UK's main political parties took a back seat for a couple of days this week as not only politicians but those across the spectrum of society came to terms with the first murder of a sitting MP for more than 35 years. Jo (as she styled herself) Cox, the Labour member for Batley and Spen was preparing for a constituency meeting when a man shot and stabbed her several times. Witnesses say he was shouting "Britain First." It is not known whether he was simply using those words or whether he was using the name of an extremist group which has adopted that term.

Indeed, if there has been one uniting force in the whole Brexit campaign, it has been the shock that such a thing can happen in England. We simply do not have assassinations and we no longer have acts of political domestic terrorism on on our streets. A man has been arrested. Although details are available on the internet, so far the police have released very little information. We do not consider it our place to republish speculation from possibly ill-informed sources.

Both Leave and Remain camps suspended, until Sunday, campaigning in the wake of the murder.

It was therefore interesting that we captured the above photograph of the Labour Party's "In" battle bus in Ashford in Kent this afternoon, as rain eased after an enormous downpour. The bus raises many issues - not the least of which is that it appears to be an official Labour campaign, supporting the "remain" campaign. It is also noticeable that it was turning left - the direction that some Labour members are pushing as the primary reason for staying in the EU. Indeed, the party line, which is unsupported by anything other than rhetoric as demonstrated by the failure of speakers to do more than repeat their buzzwords when questioned on TV, is that to leave the EU would undermine workers' rights.

On the other hand, George Osbourne made threat (it can only be read as a threat, not as a statement, especially as he has waited until now to say it) that if the UK electorate vote to leave the EU, there will have to be an emergency budget and a 3% income tax rise will be imposed for everyone. Conservatives across the country demanded he withdraw the statement and behave in an appropriate manner, which was certainly not what he expected.

But at least the Conservative Party is not using party funds for a bus to promote the leaders' plans. Labour members might ask who had the authority to spend party money on the bus. And the Electoral Commission might like to ask if the cost of that bus is included in the permitted Leave budget.


In the meantime, PleaseBeInformed.com sends its condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Helen Joanne ("Jo") Cox. She was truly a shining light in the mediocrity of British politics, prepared to speak fearlessly in Parliament and out for the things that matter to her and her constituents. Whether one agrees with her specific politics or not, she was the type of politician that Britain needs and in the past two or three decades seemed to have lost, a no-nonsense, plain speaking person with strong yet carefully thought out views. She will be much missed across the full range of UK politics.