Mike Hill MP: Hartlepool truly deserves to be the real barometer for change

Parliament has returned after recess. It is only three months to Christmas and six months to Brexit.

Thursday, 6th September 2018, 11:25 am

Once upon a time we were listening to utter rubbish and believing it about Europe, like the myth that they wanted to regulate over bendy bananas.

Today our very own Morrisons very cleverly has launched a publicity campaign about ‘Wonky Veg’ in order to flog perfectly good but visually and tactilely imperfect goods; has there been a hue and cry about Morrisons similar to the one over bendy bananas and European regulations? Clearly not.

The above analogy is obviously ridiculous, I admit, but it’s equally about as ridiculous as the attitude of the Government to Brexit negotiations and their daft attempt to convince everyone that they are busy hoovering up new trade deals in Africa, which by and large already exist, while effectively watching the equivalent of Rome burn on our home shores.

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Truth is that the EU Referrendum ended up with a vote to leave.

It was a vote which saw more people voting for whatever reason for the first time in a long time; some say it was the tabloid newspapers peddling fears over immigration, others appealing to legitimate audiences in so called ‘forgotten communities’ like Hartlepool.

Truth is, the country voted to leave the EU full stop. Even the farmers and land owners who have benefitted over the years from vast subsidiaries voted for it, so we have to crack on and finish the job. Or do we?

As your MP I naturally remain faithful to the will of the people. Our town voted ‘leave’ big time in the referendum, the highest in the North East in fact, so who am I to argue otherwise or that my constituents were wrong?

Even with folk arguing in the background ‘you don’t need to cut your nose off to spite your face’, I know that Hartlepool people know their onions and that they will tell me if they feel they’ve been conned, had the proverbial taken out of them and want a rethink over Europe and not the other way round.

The demise of WONGA just shows you that even those who sap the life out of the hard-up and vulnerable are struggling.

Our high street has taken a massive hit with the closure of famous stores and even Poundland looks wobbly.

We are being smashed against the rocks even before Brexit and with food due to go up by 5% on average it will test us dearly.

With the Government’s persistence on hitting public services hard with its austerity agenda we really are in a bad way all round.

To top it all, this week will see the publication of the Boundary Commission review set up by the Tories as a handy PR stunt to reduce the number of MPs by 50, thus lifting the financial burden on the taxpayer.

Sorry folks, after all Tory sacrificial lambs have been given jobs in the Lords or quango alternatives, the reality is it’s an exercise in taking out so many Labour seats that the Tory majority will stand forever. This is just a cynical attack on our democracy.

Hartlepool’s voice rightly stands above all others in the North East. We truly are and deserve to be the real litmus test and barometer for change. If public opinion changes on EU membership then we will feel it here first from a North East perspective I’m sure.