Post referendum, we’re stuck in the Land of Brexit Blues. Now more than ever we need moderate Conservatives to gain a heart, Labour to gain a brain and the Lib-Dems to gain some Courage, if we are to get out of the tornado that bought us here.
As 2016 comes to a close, I’m sure we can all agree, we’re in need of some respite and mind-numbing quantities of fattening food and alcohol, before the horrible day comes when we finally start the process of leaving the European Union; a bit like prison inmates being given whatever dish they like, before sitting in an electric chair. As I write this, and I can hear the whispered murmurs of Daily Express readers,“Remoaner, talking the country down!!”. Well whatever way you spin it, the economic and social development prospects of this country look about as appetizing as cat sick. Let’s look at the facts:
Drop in value of the pound wiped 1.5 trillion – yes trillion – pounds off of house hold income in the UK. Households in Turkey and Columbia fared better than we did.
Investment of up to £65 Billion has been abandoned by local and foreign companies
A significant rise in race hate crime, up by 41% since the referendum.
So off to the land of Brexit Blues we go, the good news is we managed to kill one wicked character on arrival; Mr Farage is now politically irrelevant, and after bemoaning foreign politicians taking part in the Brexit referendum, has taken it upon himself to make speeches for Donald Trump and be his diplomatic adviser. A note for the Americans, you’re welcome too him!
Now we take the first steps on the yellow brick road towards the Emerald city of the new Tory cabinet, whereupon we meet the mystic wizard, or in this case Boris Johnson our foreign secretary; who states he has a great plan for getting out of this Brexit situation, we’re just not allowed to know yet, and we should just trust him and his merry band of idiots for leading us on this path in the first place. In the story of the Wizard of Oz, the wizard turns out to be a fraud, just a simple old man. Well in this case Boris Johnson has definitely been not only a fraud, but a colossal buffoon who has endangered this country, simply to become the leader of the losing side in Brexit, and become Prime Minister. Boris has always been a life-long supporter of the EU, who saw a political chance, gambling with the future of our country, and is now busy insulting his way through every country he visits.
Back to our story, and our destiny as a county, first we need to topple the Wicked Witch of the West (Theresa May) who plots to steal our various worker’s rights.
Sadly there is no bucket of water to melt this witch in real life, we’ve already lost our privacy freedom with the Snoopers Charter, and post Article 50, be fully ready to lose further freedoms and human rights. Not only does Theresa May believe in watching our every move, cataloging internet browser history, but she has always wanted to deport foreigners to countries where they could be killed and tortured; Priti Patel (Secretary of State for International Development) wants to bring back hanging, and other forms of capital punishment; Liz Truss (Justice secretary) wants to restrict legal aid; Christ Grayling (Transport Secretary) wants a ban on giving prisoners books ( which has since been deemed unlawful by the High Court), Cut legal aid (by up to 30% in some cases, which led to the first ever barristers’ strike), Introduce a flat-fee court charge and back the choice of bed and breakfast owners to refuse gay couple patron. The rest of the party are dangerously worse.
With the far right holding the reins of the Tory party, the Conservatives continuously fearful of the UKIP threat and their compatriots on the Tory back-benchers, it’s time for moderates and the left to stop fighting each other, and sail us out of this Brexit mess.
Labour under Corbyn – the Tinman – need to start acting sensibly, they need to gain a brain. I’m extremely fond of Jeremy Corbyn, his unequivocal political philosophy is the most refreshing touch to politics I’ve seen for decades. The issue is that flat-out honesty is a very difficult position to take when you’re trying to win a general election. If you actually look at his policies they are very popular among-st the general public:
- Increased funding for the NHS
- Higher education grants
- Re-nationalization of the public services
- Building social housing
- Rent caps
- Increased tax on the wealthy, as well as challenging tax evasion.
- Protection of human rights
- Environmental business funding
Only 13% of the population believe austerity is a good idea, supporting the cuts; 22% believe that cuts should continue at a slower rate, and 45% believe directly in the policies of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour, even if they don’t support the party.
So why is Labour so low in the polls?
An Independent investigation found that 75% of media sources in the UK are deliberately biased against Jeremy Corbyn. They rarely focus on anything of substance, more about how many gaffs they can find in a simply out-and-out, vehement, character assassination campaign. His passion for helping vulnerable people can also be a barrier to votes, with the general public having a fairly right wing approach to welfare, immigration and criminal punishment. Again a symptom of the rampant and deliberately dishonest right wing media; how many stories in the Daily Mail start with “ Benefit claimant with 8 kids has mansion” or some other crap.
But this isn’t why I think Corbyn’s Labour need to gain a brain; I simply want Corbyn’s team to recognize the need for a smarter dialogue with the media, and the general public. The team devoted to spin in his office consistently get this wrong; who can forget when Corbyn sat down on a train, because he couldn’t find a seat, not that he was lying, but the media then developed multiple stories discrediting, and in very few cases supporting, his integrity and honesty, and everyone missed the point he was making about re-nationalizing transport.
When talking about foreign dictators like Castro, despite the good work Castro did redistributing wealth, providing healthcare and education, he did brutally murder his opponents. Corbyn called murder his flaws as a dictator. Now if he HAS to have an opinion that he can’t help but tell the media, given the tendency of the media to conflate Corbyn as a communist, couldn’t he have led with “Castro was a dictator who is guilty of murdering his opponents” rather than open himself up to media scrutiny?
Now over Brexit, the only time they try to hide their true feelings – which are pro-European – to behave tactically ambivalent, they fundamentally get their strategy wrong. For one thing opinion has actually changed in this country over the Brexit referendum. 7% of the Leave vote regret their voting choice, and that number is getting bigger every day, as well as the number of young people now eligible to vote, if we were to run the referendum again – maybe with an honest campaign from LeaveEU this time – we would see at least 56% of the country voting to remain.
I’m not saying Labour need to come out and say we should hold another referendum, unfortunately that would be electoral suicide, but to comprehensively say “we need to stay in the Single Market” would be a good start. Something Corbyn and Mcdonnell haven’t been able to do.
Now the Scarecrow who needs a heart; the moderate, pro-European Conservatives. As much as I dislike the direction of the Conservative party, I have found it interesting learning about the few Tories who have genuine political philosophies, rather than simply a centuries old movement to benefit only rich people.
After the Tories have systematically ripped up the manufacturing industry over the last few decades, they created the country’s wealth by being a center for world trade, and apart from the disastrous connections with a toxic American banking sector, this was fundamentally a major source of wealth coming into our country. The ironic thing is that our unique position in the European Union was the foundation to our economy, if any country couldn’t afford to give up trade treaties, it’s actually us. This is in stark contrast to the Brexiters who make up 76% of the Tory base, and a 3rd of Conservative MPs. They, like their cousins in UKIP, hate the regulations on trade which protect worker’s rights and the environment and the freedom-of-movement for European citizens. The irony is we would be better prepared for Brexit if the Tories hadn’t destroyed our manufacturing base, and now it’s the same Tories who want us to leave the main source of our countries GDP.
The ideology of right-wing, hard-Brexit campaigners, is we will continue as a country, but we’ll force those at the bottom to work longer hours, with fewer rights, on low pay; for the benefit of corporations which will only stay in the country if they are offered extreme tax breaks. My appeal to the Tories, who don’t want to see the moral fabric of society burnt at the altar of destructive neo-liberalism, is too loudly call out the absolute lunacy of their back benches, and be an ever present thorn in the side of Theresa May. I know this is going on behind closed doors in Cabinet meetings, but bringing the flawed logic and lack of a Brexit plan to the public, would greatly increase the chances we have to save the country.
Last but not least, we have Tim ‘nice but dim’ Farron. The lion who needs courage. Now, many of the Lib-Dems I know will cry “he’s the only one firmly Pro-EU!”, but it’s not brave for the Lib-Dems to take this stance. They know full well that having public support of 9% in the polls, there is no risk in coming out as fully pro-European, making that their flagship policy. And I can’t necessarily blame them; this is a “smart” move unlike Labour. But for every other policy the Lib-Dems are incredibly silent, they know having any other views in media spotlight might hold them back, or distract from their main aim. The only issue I find is that Tim is focusing all his attacks on Labour, attempting to entice disillusioned Labour supporters to the Lib-Dem ranks. I find this very strange, considering Corbyn’s Labour share far more ‘Liberal’ values then the kind of Labour moderates who support ID cards, the Snoopers Charter, and the centralization of power.
The real issue is our voting system, which divides anyone left of the Tories, leaving the Tories a majority of MPs despite only having 25% of the population voting for them. Now I understand Labour’s faults in behaving tribally, but with 27% public approval, the time is right for the Lib-Dems to start forging a progressive alliance. Tim Farron once stated directly to me, that Corbyn was too toxic to form a coalition, yet hadn’t any ammunition as to why, other then I guess Farron’s weak servitude towards a biased right-wing press. If his excuse is Corbyn’s ambivalence towards the Single Market, what better policy would it be, in bringing the parties together, if remaining in the Single Market (and proportional representation) were the foundation to any agreements? Labour moderates would love it, and so would Corbyn’s base, which on the whole favor EU market access and a better voting system. Tim Farron would have to be brave enough to extend the hand of solidarity to Labour, and promote his party’s Liberal values proudly from the rooftops to show the parties distinction from Labour and everyone else, instead of burying them, hidden, in case of media scrutiny.
It’s time to wrestle back control of this country from the minority of right-wing nutters that are hell-bent in dragging our country back to the Victorian age, economically and socially. But it will take far more cooperation to get us back to the Britain we used to be proud of. Or…. we fight each other, risking staying in the land of Brexit Blues forever.