STEPHEN HEPBURN: Horrified by surge of racism since Brexit
The indecent haste with which the Tory and Ukip-dominated campaign to get Britain out of Europe admitted it was a mistake to claim Â£350m a week would be saved for the NHS broke all decency records.
As soon as the result was announced, Brexit voters were understandably disappointed when many of the same leaders suddenly confessed migration mightn’t be curbed after all.
And the lack of a plan for what comes next is a gaping hole in Britain’s future when politicians who made wild promises are now revealing themselves clueless about how to move forward.
All the economic and political implications of leaving the European Union will obviously not be experienced for weeks, months and years to come.
I, as many of you know, wanted Britain to remain in Europe so was naturally saddened we’re leaving but the people have spoken and I accept the result - pledging here and now to you that I’ll do everything possible to make this work. It’s called democracy.
That said, the tone and rhetoric of the dishonest Leave campaign was appalling. I don’t just mean the £350m NHS betrayal however dishonest it was and is.
One of the many qualities I love about Tyneside, North East England and Britain is our fundamental decency and open mindedness. We treat others as we’d like to be treated ourselves. Geordies are famous the world over for our friendliness.
So I know you’re horrified too, whether you voted Leave or Remain, at the surge of racism released by the disgraceful scaremongering and demonising of migrants we heard from irresponsible politicians.
Abusing people irrationally because of where they’re from isn’t the British way and deserves to be condemned unconditionally.
I want the Britain of caring Jo Cox, a wife and mother as well as my lovely colleague who was brutally killed during the campaign, rather than the Britain of preachers of hate.
We’re living in an era of unprecedented turmoil with the Tories resembling something out of Game of Thrones as rivals slug it out to replace toppled David Cameron as Prime Minister.
My party isn’t immune to the unrest sweeping the country and my position is very straightforward: I support Jeremy Corbyn and will continue to do so.
We should be exposing, confronting and holding to account the Tory Government of the bedroom tax, NHS privatisation and grotesque inequality instead of gazing at our own navels.
We live in a fabulous area of a wonderful region in a great country but we must never stop striving to make life better and fairer so everybody shares in success.
It’s why we need a Labour Government to replace reactionary Tories. And the only fighting I’ll be doing is fighting for a Labour victory.