Brexit Blues

It’s finally done, and we’re out – but I fear for our country

So that’s it! Britain has left the EU.

After the interminable debates in the media and the chambers of the Houses of Parliament; after the almost permanent protests on the pavement outside; after the endless posts on social media, the deed has been done and we’re out of the EU at last.

Well not quite. There’s still the little matter of a trade deal to be negotiated. Boris Johnson has promised that it will be complete before the end of the year. But Boris is notoriously imprecise when it comes to such matters. It might be the end of the year. It might be the end of the decade for all we know.

But, symbolically at least, we have passed a milestone and we are no longer in the EU.

Our MEPs are coming home. It’s the end of the gravy train for them. No more bottomless expense accounts. No more free lunches. No more European jollies in the City on the Marsh.

I can’t say that I’m all that excited. Although I voted to leave – for good, old fashioned socialist reasons (the EU is a rich man’s club) – I have no reason to celebrate the form that Brexit is now likely to take.

Already there are speculators placing bets on the collapse of British Industry. The privately-educated Toffs who run the country have their money tucked away in off-shore accounts. It’s fairly clear that their view of Brexit is that Britain should now become the money-laundering capital of the world, with the added benefit of a captive population of desperate labour ripe for exploitation.

I fear for my country, I really do.

Foodbanks are on the rise. Homelessness is on the rise. Inequality is on the rise. There are beggars in every town.

In the North the shops are boarded up and industry has long-since fled. There’s nothing left to do for the youth but to smoke skunk and inhale laughing gas.

Meanwhile London is in the midst of a property boom. Multi-billion pound complexes are springing up like lego-brick fortresses along the banks of the Thames, while the poor are being culled.

There’s an army of low-paid workers commuting in at dawn every day to do the menial tasks that keep the city alive.

The sky is full of cranes. Supercars squeal through the fashionable streets, with nowhere to race but from one traffic light to the next, with no other purpose than to show-off to the neighbours.

Saudi billionaires are digging beneath the foundations of suburban avenues in order to accommodate their home cinemas and indoor swimming pools.

Russian oligarchs are buying up football clubs and newspapers.

Our trade union rights are up for sale, our labour laws and consumer protections subject to future trade deals.

In place of the welfare state we will have lottery funding. In place of education we will have reality TV.

But at least we will have our country back.

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From The Whitstable Gazette 09/01/20

The editor welcomes letters on any topical subject, but reserves the right to edit them. Letters must include your name and address even when emailed and a daytime telephone number.

Send letters to: The Editor, Room B119 Canterbury College, New Dover Road, Canterbury CT1 3AJ

Phone: 01227 475985

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email: kentishgazette@thekmgroup.co.uk

So you don’t like Jeremy Corbyn

So you don’t like Jeremy Corbyn.

How do you know you don’t like him? Have you met him? Have you spoken to him? Did he come round to your house and kick your dog?

No. You saw him on the telly. He was bit scruffy and he didn’t know how to do his tie up properly. He didn’t bow his head enough at the cenotaph. He didn’t sing the national anthem. What else do you know about him? He’s an anti-Semite and a terrorist sympathiser is he? Google it. Where can you find an actual anti-Semitic or pro-terrorist statement? You can’t, because there are none.

You like his policies. You want railways and other utilities back in public hands. You don’t see why foreign-based state-owned rail companies should be taking profits from our subsidised rail system. You want to see our Health Service properly funded. You don’t want to see it sold off in a trade deal with the Americans. You don’t want to see our nurses using food banks. You think that corporations that use our infrastructure should be properly taxed. You are against tax havens and tax cuts for the rich. You are fed up with foreign wars.

But you don’t like Jeremy Corbyn.

Shall I tell you a secret? We don’t live in a democracy. You think it’s one person, one vote and that the will of the majority should prevail? It’s not. You get your vote, your thirty seconds of choice, between the man with the red rosette and the man with the blue rosette, but it’s the will of the most well-off that prevails. Power resides in the hands of those who have the most wealth, and governments do their bidding, not yours. So the choices you get are the choices between one set of wealthy people’s priorities and another, between one brand of free-market capitalism and another: between the blue Tories and the red Tories, Tory-heavy and Tory-lite. Your choices don’t come into it.

But you don’t like Jeremy Corbyn.

We’ve had relentless negativity about him since he first appeared on the scene. Why would that be? Maybe it’s because he’s offering you a real choice. For the first time in a generation, those are your priorities being set out before you, as a set of policies, not those of the wealthy elite. The same policies brought to you by the 1945 Labour government, and by governments across the Scandinavian world. Not extremist policies: Social Democratic policies. Policies that are known to work. So, unable to attack the policies, they attack the man.

It’s been non-stop, day-in and day-out, since he first won the Labour leadership, from every branch of the establishment. From the BBC, from the Guardian, from the government, from members of the Labour Party, those whose career trajectory has been knocked off track. From the Daily Mail and the Sun. Is it any wonder you don’t like him really? If the BBC told you that cornflakes were bad for you, and repeated this message every day for five years, chances are you wouldn’t like cornflakes either.

A friend of mine asked me why the Labour Party didn’t pick a more charismatic leader, a more handsome leader, someone who looked good on the telly?

That’s because we were fed up with Tory-lite. We were fed up with only getting the choice between one form of free-market capitalism and another. We were fed up with being told that if you didn’t pick the policies that suited the wealthy elite, you wouldn’t get into power. But what’s the point of power without principles? Tony Blair got us into power. He was handsome, charismatic and he looked good on telly, but look where he took us: into an illegal war in Iraq that has caused devastation across the Middle East, and terrorism across the world.

He also, coincidentally started the process of privatising the NHS. In other words, Tony Blair was a Tory, not a socialist.

Meanwhile Boris Johnson is refusing to talk to Andrew Neil, refusing to meet the public except in carefully stage-managed photo-ops, refusing to take unvetted questions from the likes of you and I. He’s being sold to us like a commodity, like a soap powder brand or a type of washing up liquid. Get Brexit done. Get Brexit done. Hands that do dishes. It’s an advertising slogan not a political platform. How many of you know what his actual policies are?

So this is my appeal to you. So you don’t like Jeremy Corbyn. Fair enough. But let’s look past the individuals and instead look at the policies. Take a look at the Labour Manifesto, then take a look at the Tory Manifesto. Weigh them up and consider them. How many of these policies are for you and your family, and how many are for the wealthy elites?

Meanwhile, to get a sense of what the Tories real priorities are, try these few sample facts out for size (follow links for verification).

Since being in power the Tories have:-

  • increased the wealth of the richest 1,000 people in the UK by 183%
  • increased homelessness by 165%
  • increased foodbank use by 3,800%
  • increased the national debt by 80%
  • increased outsourcing to private companies in the NHS by £15 billion (since 2015)

And you say you don’t like Jeremy Corbyn? Maybe it’s time think again.

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