Take Me To Your Leader Writer

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...has written more leaders (newspaper editorials) than anyone alive or dead, an honour still to be recognised by the Guiness Book of Records or the Nobel judges. I have produced them for the Daily Mirror, Daily Mail, Sunday Mirror, Today, the Sunday People, the Evening Post (Hemel Hempstead), the Caithness Courier and the Student (Edinburgh). My creed is: Have opinions, Will travel.

Thursday 11 May 2017

Someone heard an opinion that was voiced, On the radio

When the lists are produced of the great innovations of the past 50 years, the radio phone-in should be high up on it. Nothing better exposes the worst and best of the British people. Included in this should be vox pops, which are even more random but are just as illustrative. Last night's World Tonight, which canvassed the views of people in Wrexham, perfectly illustrated the thoughtful, intelligent side of the electorate as well as its mindless idiocy. One woman's opinion that Labour didn't need and shouldn't go into minute detail about its policies was a brilliantly basic critique which came shortly before the leak of the party's manifesto. Gerald Kaufman's wonderful description of the 1983 manifesto as "The longest suicide note in history" was as important for the word "long" as it was for "suicide". The leaked manifesto falls into the same trap. But in case listeners became complacent about the quality of the electorate, this woman was balanced by a bloke whose views didn't extend beyond "Get Out, and Get Out NOW". Of Europe, naturally, though he probably also meant immigrants. This morning's Today was equally illustrative when Nick Robinson got the views of a sort of focus group over an Indian takeaway in Leeds. While there were some who were concerned about what leaving the EU would mean and its consequences, there was the usual "Get Out, and Get Out NOW" (hitherto to be known as GOaGON) guy who wanted to rid ourselves of those ghastly meddling foreigners so we could worship the Queen once again (I paraphrase, but only slightly). What is most disturbing about the GOaGEN bunch is that they can't ever listen to the growing number of business leaders, farmers, scientists, academics, the Irish government and so on - none with a political axe to grind - who warn of the enormous dangers Brexit will bring. Their utter lack of understanding of the incredibly complex inter-weaving of this country with the European Union and the difficulties and consequences of trying to break those tens of thousands of links is as upsetting as it is tragic. Far from acknowledging that, come what may, Theresa May is going to drive the UK out of the union into whatever uncertain, impoverished future lies ahead, they complain that she has wasted eight months and is dragging her feet. If it wasn't for the radio exposing us to real people who think like that, we might believe such absurd views were the exclusive property of the MailSunExpressTelegraph. Sooner or later they will discover that ignorance isn't bliss. It is disastrous. Footnote: There is only one thing to say about the sacking of the head of the FBI: Lock him up! And I don't mean James Comey.

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