Bananas bandied about in Brexit battle

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I trust no politician will ever again have the temerity to accuse the British Press of exaggeration.

I say this with increasing wonder each day, as I read the latest wild generalisation and counter-claim made by both sides in the EU in-out referendum campaign.

These ludicrous ravings make any deviation by the British press from the straight and narrow seem tame by comparison. It seems reminiscent of that well-known song: “I can do anything better than you. No you can’t. Yes I can, yes I can.”

The whole debate seems to have got completely out of hand.

On the one hand, you have the Prime Minister warning of the threat of the outbreak of war if the UK leaves the EU. While on the other, you have Boris Johnson saying that under EU rules, bananas can be sold only in bunches of two or three. If that is the case, then hundreds of greengrocers and supermarkets are breaking the law on a daily basis.

Aside from all the hyperbole, there lies the awkward fact that if Brexit win the vote on June 23, then the Prime Minister will have to negotiate the terms of departure with Brussels. That would be virtually impossible for a man so committed to staying in. That is why I suspect there may have to be, if these circumstances arise, a change in the occupant of 10, Downing Street. No wonder Boris Johnson’s eyes are glinting. But my money would be on Michael Gove to replace David Cameron, were that to happen.

I see that Labour front-bencher Andy Burnham has decided that Westminster is not really relevant, so he is making a bid to become the first Mayor of Greater Manchester.

I do wonder whether he would have reached this view had he won the Labour leadership election last year. After all, he was the favourite at one point. I doubt it. After all he would have become Leader of the Opposition, with a real chance of becoming Prime Minister. But his campaign was so feeble, that the “no-hoper”, left-winger Jeremy Corbyn, took the crown.

Burnham will have to put up a better show if he is to become the Panjandrum of Manchester. He is plainly a man who wants to be at the top of the tree. His form so far won’t get him past the lower branches unless he speedily pulls his socks up.