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Wednesday, October 05, 2016

A real dog's brexit

On a day when the main news was a man who once described himself as "19 stone of prime Welsh beef" misspeaking in his speech to Tory conference, the whole of the UK must have breathed a huge sigh of relief to have normality restored with yet another UKIP leadership contest.

The Western Mail reports that as Welsh Tory leader, Andrew R.T. Davies wound up to the conclusion of his speech at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, he puffed out his chest, straightened his back and delivered the immortal line: "Mark my words, we will make breakfast.... Brexit, a success".

Looking at Andrew R.T. Davies, it is possible to imagine that he seeks to make breakfast a success every day but the best line of the day definitely belonged to First Minister, Carwyn Jones who, in responding to a question from Neil Hamilton on immigration told him: "We offer a welcome to people who come and live in our country on an annual basis. We’d even offer him a welcome, if he chose to live in Wales, as well."

I bet he's been waiting some time to be able to use that line.

The resignation of Diane James as UKIP Leader after just 18 days may have surprised many, but what was not so surprising is that already there are rumours of Nigel Farage making a comeback. The Independent quotes UKIP Chairman, Paul Oakden as saying that he has spoken to Farage and that it was "not impossible" that he could make yet another comeback, even though Nigel Farage himself has ruled it out.

Meanwhile, another article in the Independent identifies a far more serious side to the Brexit debate and the identity politics that accompanied it.

They say that a report by the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) has found a “number of areas of concern” over political discourse and hate speech, as well as violent racial and religious attacks. David Cameron and Nigel Farage are among the British politicians and institutions accused of fuelling rising xenophobia in the UK by the report, as debate continues to rage over Brexit, the refugee crisis and terrorism:

Police statistics have shown a sharp rise in Islamophobic, antisemitic and xenophobic assaults over the past year, amid growing tensions in Britain and across Europe.

As well as attacks on religious buildings, migrants from Eastern Europe have been targeted since the vote for Brexit, including a student stabbed in the neck for speaking Polish in Telford and killing of a Polish man in Harlow.

“It is no coincidence that racist violence is on the rise in the UK at the same time as we see worrying examples of intolerance and hate speech in the newspapers, online and even among politicians,” said ECRI chair Christian Ahlund.

“The Brexit referendum seems to have led to a further rise in ‘anti-foreigner’ sentiment, making it even more important that the British authorities take the steps outlined in our report as a matter of priority.”

Government figures have recorded a sharp increase in hate crime but the true scale of the problem may be far higher than recorded, with the Crime Survey for England and Wales estimating that of 106,000 hate-motivated crimes every year, only a quarter are recorded as such by police.

UKIP and the Conservatives have a lot to answer for.
What - she resigned??? !! wow ... y?

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