The worst aspect of the EU Referendum is that the simple IN/OUT choice means unlikely bedfellows and indirectly supporting some truly awful people.
A “Leaver” may not enjoy being grouped with Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Nigel Farage and Kate Hoey. A “Remainer” may not enjoy being grouped with David Cameron, George Osborne, Martin McGuinness, Jeremy Corbyn.
So what about former British Prime Ministers showing up in Derry today …Magee University no less…..to talk to young people about the importance of staying inside the European Union?
Of course many in the (invited?) audience would not have been born when John Major (Tory) succeeded Margaret Thatcher in 1990 and I dont suppose many in the audience would remember Tony’s triumphant walk into Downing Street in 1997.
But just for the record, Major was not only Edwina Currie’s lover, he was Prime Minister of the “United Kingdom” when the Loughinisland murders took place in 1994.
By the way, speaking to a mostly nationalist audience, Major said the future of the “United Kingdom” is on the ballot paper, he sounded like the black sheriff in “Blazing Saddles” who threatened to shoot himself as the lynch mob advanced on him. Stand back folks, I think John Major means it.
And Blair? Well….Good Friday Agreement and the “hand of history” and all that….but ….Iraq? Who will be speaking next at Magee University? Radovan Karadzic is unavoidably detained at the moment.
We have some pretty smart young people in the North. I know this because I have met a lot of them. Yet their achilles heel is that they are incapable of recognising when they are being patronised and manipulated.
Dazzled by President Obama in the Waterfront Hall two years ago. He referenced Nobel Prize Peace laureates, John Hume and David Trimble. But somehow he omitted Mairead Corrigan. She was outside Belfast City Hall, protesting about American policy in the Middle East. Just how many young people know that Mairead Corrigan (and Betty Williams) won the Nobel Prize. But Mairead Corrigan is the wrong kinda Nobel Peace Prize winner. She is not part of the official narrative presented to young people.
So it is a pity that so many young people were used today…little more than “extras” in a phoney production. Anyone for a “selfie” for Facebook?
Who is the next discredited politician to dazzle young people?
Oops he was here last week.
If young people here are seriously intent on changing things, they need better role models and they need to stop allowing themselves to be used.