Ed Lines – October 18, 2019

Ed Lines – October 18, 2019

I’M TRYING to conceive something logical and sensible to offer you regarding the Brussels tightrope Boris Johnson is wobbling about on. 

It is 10.20am on Thursday morning, and with every faint proclamation of hope, there comes a doom-laden prophesy of failure.

Everyone wants their cake, everyone wants to eat it, and no one likes the cake that’s on the table.

Write something logical and sensible? I might as well give my laptop to Gypsy Petulengro and ask her to knock out 1,000 words on Brexit – either her or The Brexit Party’s very own Batley & Spen fortune teller Jill Hughes, more on whom shortly.

The EU and Prime Minister’s team are right now hovering over an ‘improved’ Theresa May-type deal which Parliament roundly rejected three times.  Northern Ireland’s DUP sound highly unlikely to support it. Things don’t bode well.

Time: 10.30am. Labour have apparently threatened to throw out any MP who votes for whatever the PM brings back, while simultaneously whispering that it could support it, but only if the Government tied it into a ‘confirmatory referendum’ – essentially taking us right back to the beginning after three-and-a-half tiresome, society-splitting years. What planet are these people on? 

Where do I think we really are? Where we’ve been all along, at the mercy of a Remain Parliament determined we never leave the EU. Boris could be carried home in glory from Brussels upon the shoulders of Michel Barnier, Juncker the Drunkard, Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel, and still the subversive clan of John Bercow and company would contrive an excuse for sabotage. 

We will know more about exactly how MPs plan to derail Boris and bring down the Government after Saturday’s extraordinary sitting of Parliament. 

I expect all kinds of conspiracies will be unveiled, from voting No Confidence in the Prime Minister and trying to install a farcically titled ‘unity’ government under the poisonous John Bercow, to jackbooting through legislation over make a second referendum.

Is any of it likely or possible? Is any of it constitutionally proper or legal? Who knows – I just cling on to the faint hope that the PM has some cunning plan up his sleeve.

Time: 11.05am – Prime Minister Johnson announces that he has agreed a “great new deal that takes back control”. What’s that? The EU agrees?

Now the fun begins…


IF BORIS does indeed manage to extract us from the EU under whatever guise by October 31, it should render The Brexit Party dead in the water. The same fate as befell UKIP will likely be theirs.

Once Nigel Farage and friends got the referendum over the line, UKIP ceased to have meaning. By throwing his teddy out of the UKIP cot and starting his breakaway Brexit Party, Farage was indulging his own ego, mostly. 

Like them I’m a no deal man (I prefer the term ‘clean break’) but I suspect like a lot of people, we just want something reasonably equitable to end this drama. Then let us have a general election and get on with clearing out people like Ken Clarke, Yvette Cooper and Anna Soubry.

On our doorsteps, Labour have re-selected Paula and Tracy while Dewsbury Tory Mark Eastwood is being a very busy bee. I’ve no idea what the Batley & Spen Tories are doing – they’re a mess – but The Brexit Party have finally shown their face here. 

Enter Batley & Spen prospective Parliamentary candidate Jill Hughes, who I must say is a ‘colourful’ individual, busy banging her ‘Yorkshire lass’ drum when actually she’s every bit as metropolitan as Farage and his city chums. It’s a long time since she was growing up in Cottingley, near Bradford.

Why am I so down on TBP, when they invited me to apply to be a candidate? Not only was I not good enough for them, but neither were two excellent applicants in Dewsbury East councillor Aleks Lukic and Batley West council candidate Paul Halloran, who were similarly snubbed by Farage’s Westminster-bubble snobs.

Sour grapes, you say? Not on my part because I couldn’t have stood anyway – not without a divorce – but dismissing committed local candidates like Lukic and Halloran shows how out of touch they are.

I smiled at Jill Hughes’s post on the Batley and Spen Politics Facebook page inviting people to visit her social media group, ‘Freedom and Kung-Foo Fighters’. Say what?

Digging deeper, she worked in a London investment bank before heading to Surrey to become a lifestyle coach and co -write a book on spiritual self-help. 

She’s keen on ‘Panspermia’ (which sounds like a nasty kitchen habit, but is apparently the theory of life being seeded from outer space). 

She’s fascinated by the paranormal and believes in reincarnation after her old horse Red came back as a palomino called Hooray Henry. She also calls herself a ‘Passion Test Facilitator’ (nope, me neither) and ‘Soul Re-alignment Specialist’. 

Well, we all could do with a bit of soul re-aligning from time to time I suppose. Ahem.

My chuckles turned to guffaws when I saw her late evening message to Paul Halloran – and I quote: “Hi Paul Jill Hughes. Here PPC. For Barley and Spend …”

Barley and Spend? Lordy, lordy. She seems to come alive on social media late in the evening which, somehow, doesn’t surprise me.

Good luck love. What with the absent Tories and the bonkers Brexit hopeful, Tracy Brabin must be laughing her socks off.

TIME: 11.59am. Hmmm. Mixed reactions so far to Boris’s rabbit-out-of-the-hat trick. I think, or rather I hope, he’s playing an absolute blinder – good luck old chap.


SON landed safe and sound in Adelaide and will be making his debut for the Reynella cricket club tomorrow – on the same day that England play Australia in the rugby union World Cup quarter finals. 

It reminds me of turning up at my rugby league club in Perth in 1991 where England were being humiliated at the WACA and I had to live down the briefly designated nickname Tuffers – after our hapless fielder Phil Tufnell.

I’m not sure which will go harder on him, an England win or defeat. 

Either way laddie, laugh along with them in defeat, resist laughing at them in victory. 

Apparently his welcome was fabulous and he hasn’t stopped grinning from ear to ear. 

To see the state of Mother however, you’d think he was sending despatches back from the Western Front in 1916, not a sun-kissed oceanside city in 2019.

Anyway Son, if you get at all homesick or fed up of the ribbing, remember the great Sir Geoffrey Boycott’s philosophy: straight bat, one ball at a time. Or in your case, one week, then one month, then another.

Because after all those ‘leaving’ parties you had last week, you’ll look a right divvy if you’re home before the clocks have gone back...


I’VE given Kirklees Council leader Shabir Pandor his fair share of stick since getting the big job. I retract none of it. 

But this week I reached out to him in the case of a local mum and child who I referenced a few weeks ago being endangered by both Kirklees police and social services plus Cafcass, the politically correct radical wing of the Family Court system.

Coun Pandor’s reaction – like MP Tracy Brabin’s – was swift and determined, although both of them might be surprised by finding exactly what they are up against.

I thank them both for their interventions. Credit where credit is due.


DON’T go rubbing your eyes if you see two different editions of The Press on some local newsstands in coming weeks. 

After the Reporter Group’s sinking parent group closed the Morley Observer and Advertiser, we were inundated by requests to include Morley news in The Press. 

That wouldn’t have been fair to either their or our readers, so on Wednesday October 30 we’re launching the Morley & District Press. 

At a time when newspapers are closing quicker than pubs in the rush to put everything online, I have a new slogan: “Print – it’s the ‘new’ digital!”

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