Belfast Telegraph

If even Bucks Fizz can't keep the Brexit debate popping what chance have we of making our mind up?

Brexit. Don't let your indecision take you from behind. Trust your inner vision. Don't let others change your mind. The immortal, inspirational message from the lyrics of the song Making Your Mind Up by Eurovison winners Bucks Fizz. Who better, then, to headline the Leave campaign's answer to Glastonbury - an eve-of-poll concert in Birmingham also starring an Elvis impersonator plus Nigel Farage, Liam Fox and Kate Hoey?

And to think demand for Adele and Bruce tickets was wild ...

Before you lay siege to Ticketmaster, however, a clarification - it won't be the full Bucks Fizz onstage later this month, but three people described as former members of the skirt-ripping act.

The Bucks Fizz name is now, apparently, owned by the fourth former member. So this is Bucks Fizz - without even the Bucks Fizz. The original pop band are, sadly, now about as fractured as, well, the Tories.

And this is the third attempt at a line-up for Festival Farage. Twice it's had to be rehashed as other acts have pulled out.

I know there's a bit of a difference between organising a gig and orchestrating seismic constitutional change.

But as a pointer to how seamlessly the nation might operate were we to follow Nige and Boris into Outer Isolation, it is a bit unsettling.

If the best the Leave lot can coax into performing is three former members of a pop combo whose hits also included Run For Your Life, it doesn't exactly encourage a whole lot of confidence in their powers of persuasion if they were up against, say, Vlad Putin.

The Brexiters, on the other hand, feel supremely confident that once "out", the UK would be very much the in-crowd.

The EU would still be happy to do business with us, America would be our mate, the economy would soar, political waste and corruption would be forever forgotten and peace and love and positivity would be as idyllically omnipresent as in the lyrics of a Eurovision ballad.


You have only to look at the pummelling the pound currently takes every time a poll suggests even a marginal increase in the "out" vote to note the financial markets are not exactly on song here.

If you're going on holiday anytime soon, you can thank Boris and Nigel for the fact that you are now going to be paying through the nose for your Pina Colada due to an already weakened pound.

But there are bigger things at stake. Especially here in Northern Ireland.

The EU, whatever its many, many failings, has been especially good to Northern Ireland. And the impact on Northern Ireland should we Brexit will be more severe here than elsewhere in the UK.

Don't kid yourself that when Boris and Nigel and even Michael Gove (whom I otherwise admire) talk about how the UK might fare post-potential Brexit that they are actually talking about the whole UK.

They are talking about London and the South East, which is the centre of their universe.

Much has been made about possible restrictions on the border between here and the Republic. But wouldn't security also have to be tightened, too, between here and Britain?

We would become the outer edge of the outer edge of Europe.

I am baffled as to why the DUP think this will work for us. Especially for the rural, agricultural community, which has generally (I know there are some iniquities) been boosted by EU funding. And for our workplaces (hospitals especially) enhanced by incoming workers.

I don't think our Secretary of State in her current Leave cheerleading role is doing us any favours, either. The EU isn't perfect. Far from it. But it does have real advantages for us. What does Brexit offer other than uncertainty and destabilisation?

That meme currently doing the rounds on social media sums it up.

You're on a night out with a mate, in a club, when suddenly he says: "It's rubbish in here, let's go someplace else." You leave. Then you realise that he has no idea where to go and the place that you have left now won't let you back in again. No place else is open to you. So you end up standing in the kebab shop arguing about whose fault it all is.

Brexit. To quote that other big Bucks Fizz hit - a Land of Make Believe.

A game of two halves for football fans?

I know this might be a bit too much hands-across-the-border, happy-clappy to some, but with many football fans here genuinely keen to see both Northern Ireland and the Republic fare well in the Euros, why hasn't someone come up with one of those half-and-half footie shirts?

Half NI, half ROI. The sort of thing you get at, say, an Ireland/Italy rugby match.

Or is the very suggestion just too Alliance Party for football?

Popping pimples doesn't quite hit the spot

Of all the things I find difficult to comprehend about the internet (and there are many), the most baffling - and stomach-churning - has to be the current trend for what's best described as Pimple Porn.

People are videoed - yuk! - squeezing spots. Even writing those words turns me.

Why would you ever want to look at something so disgusting? What is wrong with people?

Belfast Telegraph


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