Britain voted to leave the European Union 100 days ago, but what has happened since? The country is still in the EU of course, although the new Prime Minister is working to ensure “Brexit means Brexit”. She’ll have a sense this morning of who voted for Britain’s departure thanks to a report by the Centre for Social Justice and Legatum Institute. They found that the middle and upper classes were the only groups to vote overwhelmingly to stay, while everyone else tended to back leave. “In short, the people with little or nothing to lose – as they saw it – backed Leave. The ones who had gained most from EU membership and globalisation backed Remain,” the report concluded.
This vote, according to former David Cameron aide Lord O’Shaugnessy and Iain Duncan Smith’s former adviser Baroness Stroud, was a “a heart-felt cry from millions of people who feel Westminster no longer knows, or even cares, how it feels to walk in their shoes.” They urged Mrs May to offer a “better, new and inclusive vision for society”, which will no doubt be keen to convey in her first conference speech as Prime Minister next week.
Mrs May will also be under pressure to give her party an idea of what life will be like in Britain once she leads it out of the EU. The Archbishop of York has weighed in ahead of this by making a passionate intervention on the issue of immigration at the Henley Literature Festival. Dr John Sentamu said that European nations should stop “shunting” migrants towards Britain and that the country needed to stop being labelled a “soft touch”. He may well be pleased then to see international trade secretary Liam Fox signalling yesterday that the Government would prioritise border controls over membership of the Single Market in a “hard Brexit”.
If there’s any sign of a compromise on immigration, Ukip stands ready in the wings waiting to pounce. Diane James, its new leader, has written in today’s paper about where her party fits into the post referendum landscape. Theresa May is enacting Ukip’s flagship policy of Brexit, but she writes that her worry is “she won’t deliver”. “To voters who look at the Tories now and, seeing them disguised in Ukip purple, are tempted to give them another chance, I would say simply this: You can’t beat the real McCoy,” she goes on to say. Mrs May will hope that the Brexit she delivers will deny them that chance to thrive.
Hillary Clinton probably won the first debate hands down. She managed to make Donald Trump be on the defensive from the word go through to the concluding remarks. She used innuendo, smear, accusations and a steady diet of calling him a liar, cheat and some old favorites such as ‘bait and switch’ and ‘fact check’ this, that and the other. And where were we to go to fact check these presumed lies? Well, to Hillary’s web site where she had real fact checkers who were unbiasedly giving out the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. There was no way these fact checkers were from her campaign staff or that they might also need fact checking as they labeled everything Donald likely said, including the, ‘a’, ‘and’, ‘the’ and ‘good evening’ as being false. What was wrong with good evening, well it was not necessarily good and it…
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Earlier this year there was a murder that shocked Britain. Just before Easter, a 40-year old shopkeeper in Glasgow, Asad Shah, was repeatedly stabbed in his shop; he died in the road outside. The news immediately went out that this was a religiously-motivated attack. But the type of religiously motivated attack it was came as a surprise to most of Britain.
There is so much attention paid to the idea of “Islamophobia” in the country that many people — including some Muslim groups — immediately assumed that the killing of Asad Shah was an “Islamophobic” murder. It turned out, however, that the man who had been detained by police — and this week sentenced to a minimum of 27 years in prison for the murder — was also a Muslim.
Mr Shah was an Ahmadiyya Muslim — that is, a member of the peaceable Islamic sect which is dismissed as “heretical” by many Muslims. Mr Shah’s murderer, on the other hand, was a Sunni Muslim, Tanveer Ahmed, who had travelled up from Bradford to kill Mr Shah because he believed Mr Shah had “disrespected the Prophet Mohammed.” At this point the comfortable narratives of modern Britain began to fray.