“Our Parliament is reflecting the rest of us: emotion is getting the better of reason. When Henry VIII divorced from Rome, it set up hundreds of years of division between Catholics and Protestants. I hope Leavers and Remainers will find the path back to tolerance and good sense more quickly.”
A response to The Cooper-Letwin Bill (extended edition)
How tolerant and rational do you expect someone to be, who voted Remain in 2016, should they lose their job, their home, their business etc, because of BREXIT?
Do you expect them to take their misfortune on the chin rather than look for someone to blame, instead?
BREXIT has hurt people since 2016, is hurting people today and there is no BREXIT deal that will not involve further pain and misery in the years to come, much of it to be heaped on the poorest in our society.
Let me give you one example, hidden in plain sight, of the anguish already being experienced by those too often ignored by the politically engaged, except when wanting to score a debating point.
The benefits freeze, initiated by the Conservatives in April 2015, remains in place, today.
Labour, despite Jeremy Corbyn’s claims to be the champion of the poor, the sick and the needy, went into 2017’s General Election saying a Corbyn led Labour Government would not be able to afford to end the benefits freeze, if ever.
What does that mean in pounds, shillings, and pence?
That, for example, the core, basic weekly rate of Income Support for a lone parent, aged 25 and over, was £73.10 in April 2015, is £73.10 today and will be for the foreseeable future, regardless of which of the two main parties is in power.
In 2017, food prices alone rose by a weighted average of 4% over the calendar year, partly due to BREXIT.
The core, basic weekly rate of Income Support for a lone parent, aged 25 and over, was £73.10 on 1st January 2017 and remained £73.10 on 31st December 2017.
You “hope Leavers and Remainers will find the path back to tolerance and good sense”, because there are only two groups in contention?
Which is, admittedly, one up on the idea that only the views and votes of those who voted Leave in 2016 matter in 2019.
But even the (Un)English (Un)Civil War(s) had three main groups.
The benefits freeze, today, hits those who voted Remain in 2016, those who voted Leave in 2016, those who did not vote in 2016 and those ineligible to vote in 2016.
How tolerant and rational do you expect someone to be, who voted Leave in 2016, believing all the lies about a brighter, better future on BREXIT, when they lose their jobs, their homes, their businesses?
Bearing in mind that some already have?
Leave got over the line in 2016 partly by peddling simple messages.
For example, the EU is responsible for much of the failings of our society and economy.
There is a bitter irony that when redundancies are announced today, say in the car industry, that Leave campaigners, in an effort to deflect attention from BREXIT, ask voters to consider all the factors behind such job losses.
Alas for Leave supporters, it is a lot easier for folk to put car plant closures solely down to BREXIT rather than a range of reasons of which BREXIT is one (and may be not even the over riding one).
It is a single sentence of explanation as opposed to a paragraph or two of factors explained and weighted.
This is not over by a long chalk and there is more than one cleavage that has opened up since September 2015.
Jeremy Corbyn is a champion of the middle class as much as he is anything else. He pledged his Labour Government on its first day in office to find £10 billion plus to enact universal ‘free’ university tuition for mostly white, mostly middle and upper class youth.
For the few not the many of 18 to 21 year olds.
Interestingly, Change UK wants to see the benefits freeze ended and a new method of annually upgrading benefits formulated rather than a reversion to one based on CPI or RPI.
And the party wants to address the issue of student tuition fees without the application of Labour’s bludgeon of a policy that, if put in place, would actually reduce participation in higher education amongst those drawn from low income backgrounds.
We need to find a new path and not one that takes us back to how things were on the day before the referendum in 2016.
We might, perhaps, start with asking how the declining will of a minority of voters in 2019, who voted Leave in 2016, trumps the happiness of all of the people in 2019?