Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Brexit wasn't my choice but we have to live with it

I can only think of a couple of good reasons for leaving the EU but I can think of many for staying in. But it's happened, so much of the talk in the media has been on whether we can overturn it, so let's focus on reasons I think the vote isn't an accurate reflection of public opinion:

1) At least some of the people who voted for it did so because they believed one or more of the following:

  • That we would 'take back control' from unelected bureaucrats (MEPs are elected, unlike Theresa May who has chosen a bunch of Brexiters to oversee proceedings) but in fact, we will be left desperately trying to sell ourselves to other countries - and this has already started with the PM's desperate early meeting with Trump shows
  • That we would remain in the single market but on our own terms and would save on our EU membership cost whilst making more money than before (playing hardball with the EU is not paying off and we look like being out of the single market and unable to trade freely with EU nations)
  • That we would give £350m per week to the NHS (not sure where they got that idea)
2) At least some of the people who voted to leave will be dead by the time we actually do and be replaced in the electorate by young people who would more likely have voted to remain

3) 16-18 year olds (whilst old enough to marry and have children) were denied a vote on their future. They would most likely have voted to remain.

However, I don't think the vote should be overturned. Whilst I think this is the worst episode in post-war British political history (created by the worst Prime Minister in post-war British political history), lies in the media and from politicians is nothing new. Virtually every government is elected on promises they either had no intention of carrying out, or fail miserably to do so. It's all words and Brexit is no different.

What is different is that, for the first time in a very long time, the forgotten millions from Berwick to Bexhill and Solway to Sennen have had their voices heard. Yes, maybe many of them did so because they were misinformed about what it would mean. In some cases because they're a bit racist. But a lot of those who voted to leave the EU did so because they have been forgotten by successive (Conservative, Labour, Coalition and Conservative again) governments, left to fend for themselves in areas with decreasing opportunities and devoid of meaningful or worthwhile investment and support.  Meanwhile the capitalist classes reap the benefits new infrastructure projects, lower corporation taxes, tax cuts for the highest earners and our senior politicians going to the EU to argue on behalf of special treatment for their industries. As the invisible majority saw it, the establishment wanted them to vote remain, so they told them to shove it.

Leaving the EU will fall hardest on the areas which voted strongly for Brexit but if those in power and those with influence were to even try to ignore their vote, it would only further their belief that the political classes hold absolutely no value in them whatsoever. Millions of people would be even more separate from political decisions made in this country. They would be less likely to vote in elections than they are now and as a result, would be less likely to get a government who might actually do something to help them, and so the situation would snowball.

The difference between the affluent and the rest is already too wide and it is widening quickly and overturning Brexit would only make that worse. Instead, let's listen to what the public voted for and most importantly, make sure they are part of what happens next.

Friday, 27 January 2017

Words fail

My ramblings on here are becoming increasingly rare. Part of that is because I'm more busy than I used to be (I didn't think it was possible to cram much more in but I was wrong) but it's also partly because I just don't know what to say.

We have politicians who no longer seem to care that we know they're liars, or care that we know what they say bears no relation to what they think or what they plan to do. We have a hard brexit where we're apparently playing hard-ball with Europe when they hold all the cards: our government and a lot of the people who are in their circles seem to think that our financial sector is crucial to the single market when actually, it will just move to Frankfurt or somewhere else on the continent. We have a situation where parliament voted to renew trident for eye-watering sums of money at a time when that could be spent on areas we really need it - only to find out now that the government hid details of an enormous fault which saw a test missile heading off to the wrong CONTINENT. We have a National Health Service completely on its knees which pretty much everyone in the country - including all medical experts - feels is vital and a government who seem intent on letting it fall apart so the heroic private health vultures can step in and make massive profits from our misfortune. The US has a lying, misogynistic, sexist, racist, needy, narcissistic moron for president and our PM is cosying up to him, pimping out our NHS and whatever else she feels the UK could sell to preserve our 'special relationship' that most of the UK public would rather turn their backs on. We have a government who want to turn the UK into a tax haven - a sort of off-shore Luxembourg - in order to keep their paymasters happy once their profits take a dive post-brexit. We have homelessness rising rapidly, GPs, teachers and prison wardens quitting their jobs.

The 1980s were a dark, depressing time for anyone other than the wealthy and well-connected but this is so much worse.

But hey, we've got Facebook and Netflix these days so we're all better off. Right?

Thursday, 5 January 2017

I want to criticise Teresa May more...

But what if people think I'm only doing it because she's a woman? There will definitely be men out there (possibly some women too) who are more critical of the Prime Minister because she's a woman. For me, this is not an issue, in fact I'm delighted that we have a female Prime Minister. Of course, I can't possibly support a Tory PM because they want a very different UK to the one I want but it's worse than that: Teresa May is proving to be completely incompetent.

David Cameron was a useless Prime Minister too: he failed on his own terms (he said he would sort out our economy and it's now in a worse state than 2010), he brought us Brexit and he's probably caused the perfect conditions for a second Scottish independence referendum which this time will result in the break-up of the UK. But at least he managed to sort things out for himself by leaving at the right time. Teresa May has come into office with Brexit to deal with, the largest national debt we've ever had (and by some margin), a divided party and no idea about how to deal with any of it.

It's a shambles. She's very lucky that all of the mainstream media is focusing on Jeremy Corbyn.