Sunday, December 23, 2018

After the long Brexit eve, a brighter post-Brexit dawn for citizen empowerment?

The eve of Brexit extends now to two years, but how long yet? Since the referendum we have  been in a state of flummox. The bewildering closeness of the pro-Brexit vote in 2016 is now no more decisive, as a perplexed House of Commons tries to decide on the merits of Mrs May's EU leaving deal. Admittedly such a complex thing as a divorce after 40 years between a largish nation and a larger conglomeration of 27 more is bound to be protracted, and any deal bringing a 'satisfactory' outcome for both sides will get brinkmanship added to the bewilderment. So not much hope for a smooth and speedy deal.

Meanwhile urgent matters outside the all-absorbing black hole that is Brexit are neglected. The Universal Credit rollout continues to falter, and volunteer food banks (e.g.The Trussell Trust) get busier relieving the poverty arising from government failure to think the UC project through. Deaths of street beggars have increased with the average age of death of people in their early forties. These are shocking facts. As Bishop David Walker stated on BBC Radio 4 today  (appx. 3 minutes in): The reason so many are increasingly on the streets is they are 'simply there because they are poor'. They are falling through the holes in the welfare safety net, and clearly UC is not helping. The long eve of Brexit is being characterised to ordinary people by such as a parliament fossilising into a prolonged talking shop on only one subject and steadily rising deaths of beggars on our streets - a symptom of a failing welfare system. If such things happen in a relatively benign economic scenario imagine the challenges when a downturn comes. If over 600 MPs and their staff cannot sort out such fundamentally vital human problems is not our democratic system under question? A government with a large majority can choose what it will do, our government has no majority so why can't MP's combine cross-party on non-Brexit essentials?  

The shelving by government of new drone regulations in early 2018 has brought us this last week to the closure of Gatwick airport apparently through one nuisance drone. This bizarre aggravation just adds another notch to the failure tally of a government refusing to, or incapable of, focus on anything outside Brexit. UK people are being extraordinarily patient.

David Walker: The reason so many are increasingly on the streets is they 
are 'simply there because they are poor' 

The Conservative government is running scared of Labour waiting in the wings to take over and tries to frighten everyone of the possibility. Mrs May, having declared her, albeit deferred, resignation as party leader is now a self-wounded warrior leaving no obvious candidate to lead into the next election whatever Brexit deal triumph she may be able to surprise us with.

It seems Labour is aligning with issues the public feel need sorting:
  • affordable housing to bring a lost generation of renters into home ownership 
  • re-nationalisation of railways and water to stop the gravy train of top management and shareholder rip-offs at the expense of consumers
  • the scrapping of universal credit to set in place a fairer system 
Let's hope what they are planning are long-term solutions. Look no further than this blog for:
Will there be a brighter post-Brexit dawn? If Conservatives can't get the vision and leadership for citizen empowerment maybe Labour will. Something must be done. 

The Free Lunch - Fairness with Freedom  UK £3 (post free). 

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