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Déjà vu all over again

By Bridget Osborne

Déjà vu all over again 12 March 2019

So I come back and guess what, today there’s another ‘crunch’ vote on Brexit and parliament is still deadlocked. When you go to a normal country you realise quite how stressful it is living in ongoing political crisis, how unsettling the uncertainty and how hostile our political debate has become. 

Rupa Huq MP

‘This toxic environment must end’

Rupa Huq, MP for Ealing Central and Acton, called for a return to civility in her article for the Guardian on Friday: ‘No matter what happens with Brexit, this toxic environment must end’.

‘Brexit has meant that families, political parties, even the cabinet, are split. Three-quarters of Britons surveyed say the UK is divided, rising to 81% among 25- to 34-year-olds’ she writes. She has been told to go “back” to Bangladesh or risk being killed in a Brexit-induced civil war in a tweet by supporter of Teresa May’s deal. ‘Sajid Javid hasn’t helped by fostering the idea that anyone with Bangladeshi parentage could have their citizenship stripped if they step out of line’ she writes.

You shouldn’t have to be brave to be an MP, but apparently now you do, especially if you are a woman and even more so if you are a brown, black or Jewish woman. 

Jo Coburn and Gina Miller

Gina Miller, who took the Government to court to ensure that Parliament had a vote on the introduction of Article 50, has been subject to more abuse than most. Ayesha Hazarika, writing in iNews about how abuse has invaded our daily politics, recounts how a Glasgow taxi driver told her conversationally: “I want to see Gina Miller hung and swinging from a lamppost, stupid bitch.”

Her crime? Trying to make sure our Government sticks to the law. She has now engaged lawyers to interpret European law and see whether the European Union has a “legal duty” to offer an extension to Article 50 in the event of a no deal.

Writing for Harper’s Bazzar Gina says: ‘a level of misogyny, verbal violence and brutalising that goes far beyond anything male peers ever receive appears now to be on the increase’.

Gina, a highly respected wealth fund manager before she became known as a political campaigner (‘stupid’ I think not) will be our guest at our next Media Club on 19 March, when she will be interviewed by BBC politics presenter Jo Coburn in the Boston Room of George IV. We have a handful of tickets still available here

Writer and broadcaster Konnie Huq

Rupa’s sister Konnie has also raised her head above the parapet, with an article in the Independent setting out why she thinks all feminists should back a second referendum. ‘A post-Brexit economic crisis could also roll back workplace rights, including parental leave, equal treatment and rights for part-time workers, into which group so many women fall’ she argues. 

You can read Rupa’s Guardian article here and Konnie’s Independent article here