Veteran Southport journalist Martin Hovden writes: As Southport begins its five-week general election campaign, we’re set for angry, heated debate, claim and counter claim, bruised egos and regret.

Yes, it is the most important election our country has faced in recent times and Brexit has proved to be ruthlessly divisive. But whatever happens between now and the result, please remember we’re all human, so let’s show tolerance and understanding of the other person’s point of view.

I say this because I’ve noticed when stories I write about the Southport campaign appear on our local news websites or on my Facebook page, some (not all) of the public comments they attract are quite vicious, snide and nasty.

Believe me I’m a huge supporter of passion and strong beliefs, but the day will come when Brexit is no longer such a sensitive talking point – and we’ll all need to live and work together as a community. Politics aside, united we stand – divided we fall.

I’ve reported on elections on Merseyside for more than 40 years and this is definitely the most controversial. But the one thing I can say in all sincerity is, that apart from a very few exceptions, politicians are decent, caring people who genuinely want to build a better life for us – they just have different ways of achieving that aim.

Attack someone’s views, but don’t attack the person.

Meanwhile, if you’re in need of some light relief in these stormy Brexit days, I can thoroughly recommend a special radio edition of Little Britain – called Little Brexit – which reunites David Walliams and Matt Lucas (plus narrator Tom Baker). It features all our favourite characters including Vicky Pollard, the only gay in the village Dafyd and the “computer says no” lady.

It very cleverly lampoons some of the extreme claims made by both sides of the Brexit debate. It’s very funny and well worth a listen. It was broadcast on Thursday night (October 31) on BBC Radio 4. You can catch it on the BBC Sounds app.

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