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COLUMN: Senior Moment – ‘It’s time to start working together’

By OPINION | Dr Hilary Bungay, leader in health services research Anglia Ruskin University

John Docker
John Docker

The wartime spirit evoked by recent events is one which I had hoped might linger in the years to come, but, regrettably, I suspect those flying piglets will remain firmly grounded in the foreseeable future.

Politicians and media scribes have long been playing the blame game, searching frantically for scapegoats and eagerly pouncing on anyone and everyone - however remotely connected, with these tragic events.

There’s no doubt about it, David Cameron made a huge mistake calling for an in/out referendum, as did Theresa May in calling for a General Election earlier this year

As I write, doubtless Jeremy Corbyn and his merry men will be working up the May blame-game spin, attributing it all to that Nasty Tory party and busily ring-fencing Labour controlled councils from any criticism.

I wouldn’t mind betting there’ll be a lot of collar-tugging going on behind the scenes.

Theresa May, on the other hand (to her detriment), tends to attempt to find the facts before flashing the fiction (perhaps that’s why she ums and ers so much) and doubtless will find herself on the back foot again.

Why on earth anyone would ever want to be Prime Minister is beyond me.

But wouldn’t it be great if – just for once, instead of all the back-biting and point-scoring, opposition MPs (plus Tory dissidents and the influential luvvie brigade, come to that) would ring the PM and ask if there is anything they can do to help?

How refreshing would that be – and how productive?

As for the future, how on earth can we ever hope to get the best Brexit deal unless we get true cross-party co-operation and all start working together instead of sabotaging the process of withdrawal at every possible opportunity?

Personally, I do not understand the words “hard Brexit” and “soft Brexit”. We need to achieve the “best Brexit” – both for Great Britain and Europe.

It is in no-one’s best interest to deliberately damage our relationship with Europe – or vice versa.

Surely no-one on either side of the water seriously believes that UK negotiators will go belligerently barging into Brussels waving a big stick and the Union Jack, demanding agreement on every proposal we make, or that we will be met with bayonets and tin helmets and refusal on every single concession we ask for.

But there is a vociferous minority who would have us believe this is just what Theresa May wants.

These are the same people who believe anyone who voted out is stupid and should be ignored (and ridiculed).

They also insisted on cards on the table before even beginning the talks – knowing full well this would put the mockers on the negotiations before they even started.

There’s no doubt about it, David Cameron made a huge mistake calling for an in/out referendum, as did Theresa May in calling for a General Election earlier this year.

It’s all very tiresome (especially in this unaccustomedly hot weather), so no more leadership battles or elections this year – please.

But remember the quote attributed to Jack Straw – “The only people who never make mistakes are those who have never taken a decision.”

How very true.

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