Have voters in England and Wales decided that they want the far right to run the country?
The Shift to the Right
The Plight of the Poor
The Vote to Leave the EU
The Divided Nation
The Warning Signs
The Policies of the Far Right
We Need to a Spiritual Revolution
The Shift to the Right
Great Britain seems to be moving towards sharing a similar political ideology as Donald Trump, the National Front of France, Freedom party of Austria, Law and Justice party of Poland, Golden Dawn of Greece and Alternative for Germany.
No wonder these far right parties were delighted with the UK vote to quit Europe.
17 million citizens put their X in the Leave box of the ballot paper on Thursday, June 23, 2016. on whether to remain or leave the European Union. That is an impressive number of people. That is a mandate for change.
Who can blame all these people for sticking two fingers up at the EU, the government and the opposition? They don’t care that the leaders of the Leave campaign are pillars of the Establishment – an overgrown Eton schoolboy, a product of the elite from Oxford University and a snobby businessman wearing starched shirt collars.
The unemployed, the poor, the unhealthy, the isolated have got sick to death of living in a country where the powerful do so little for their communities, either in cities, towns or villages. Millions of others feel a disconnection from those who have power. The gap between the rich and the poor has become the greatest since the 1880s. They have joined up with those in ths country who believe in the superiority of Great Britain.
Why on earth would a country call itself Great Britain? The combination of notions of superiority for some and disconnection for others amounted to millions of votes. I supect that a minority looked at the pros and cons of membership of the EU and made an informed choice to vote to leave.
The Plight of the Poor
There is still plenty of love, hospitality and friendship on council estates. The poor may have little but they have each other. People chat over the fence. Kids play out on the streets regardless of silly council rules. Neighbours drop in and out of each other’s homes. All sorts of people hang out with each other from all sorts of places, near and from far away. There are plenty of helping hands and plenty of humour. The middle classes are missing out on a lot.
But there is the other side as well.
Imagine. You are struggling to survive on a grotty amount of money. You worry about your kids out on the streets – drugs, alcohol, gangs and sexual violence. Your kids are still at home while in their late teens, 20s and more because they can’t afford to rent or buy. You have been totally priced out of the housing market.
Night after night, the poor watch the rich and shameless on television – lavish homes, yachts, jewellery, luxury lifestyles and expensive nights out. You have to make decisions whether you buy junk food or spend money on heating.
You are in the Pound Shop or the Job Centre with recently arrived citizens from every corner of the world. They are in the same plight. But you think “Yeah, but we lived here first.”
Resentment grows towards the EU and the people in power and very occasionally into racist reactions. What the hell do we expect? Do you think council house estates are full of saints?
It was amazing that only 52% voted to Leave the EU.
Do we want poor people to put up with their plight? Do we think they should put up with the harassment from the authorities, the police, social services and the schools? Yes, the local authorities do their best in difficult circumstances but the imposition of austerity, shortage of staff and shortage of skills makes life hell for social services, as well as the people the families they serve.
Governments and experts harass the local authority. They demand competition and demand achievement of targets and goals in hospitals, schools and councils. There is the sickness in our educational system that sets children, teachers and schools up against each other. Schools have robbed children of play while the educators behave like school bullies.
Millions picked up the pencil and made a X on the LEAVE box and probably uttered under their breath “Screw you” to the EU, the Government, the Labour Party, the billionaires and the business barons. We hear on the newa:
“Oh, the business market has now become unsteady.”
“Oh the FTSE market has dropped several points.”
“Oh, the value of the shares has made a dramatic slump.”
Cursed with bills and debts, the people living in hardship week in and week out, could not care a shit about the unsteady business market. They want to be listened to. They want change, real change. They want their lives back.
I voted to remain in the EU.
I want change, too. Revolutionary change.
The Vote to Leave the EU.
The English voted by a majority of 53.4% to 46.6% to walk out of the European Union with its 28 member states while voters in Wales 52.5% to 47.5% to leave.
Scotland and Northern Ireland voted very decisively to remain in the European Union with the respective vote of 62% to 38% and 55.8% to remain and 44.2%. Since both countries are tied to the United Kingdom, they have no choice currently but also to leave the EU owing to the majority will of the English and the Welsh. That’s democracy for you.
For more than four decades, people, especially the young, enjoyed the freedom of movement in the 28 countries to live, study and work in any country in the EU. Young people worldwide envied such a privilege. The Thursday vote has put an end to that. They really feel let down by their elders. And they have been let down.
It is not surprising that three out of four young people. aged 18-24, voted to remain in the EU while 56% of those aged 25-49 voted to remain, a poll reported.
Then the older voters take a different view with only 44% of the 50-64 year-old voting to remain and down to 39% to stay in the EU for the over 65s.
Most of the elderly voted to rob the young of their chance to live and work in 27 other countries. Lots of people of all ages are very happy to live overseas rather than in Britain. On average the young will have to live with the Exit vote for 50 years while senior citizens will have only around 10 years.
The leader of UKRAP (oops UKIP – United Kingdom Independence Party) proudly proclaimed: “We have got our country back.” Monty Python could not have said it better. Filmed behind some bizarre expensive gate in the Wank (oops Bank) of England, the Governor made his pronouncements about contingency plans and market and economic volatility after the Leave vote. Incidentally, the Governor, a Canadian, got the job because our government could not find anybody in Britain to do the job. The Governor used to work for Goldman Sachs, the hated investment bankers.
He then told the country, including the poor sitting on the couch at home watching the box, he was “prepared to inject an additional £250bn to ensure that financial institutions do not run short of cash.” Is this another Monty Python sketch? What about ensuring the desperately poor living in bedsits, tiny flats and council homes do not run short of cash?
The Divided Nation
We live in the Divided Nation.
Cities and small towns/rural life
Government and governed
Powerful and powerless
Prosperous and poor
Scotland/Northern Ireland and England/Wales
Splits right through the middle of the major political parties
UK from the EU
Young and old
We may feel sorry for ourselves that we live in a divided nation. Why? The divisions have now become clear. Before Thursday, we lived in a fudge or political opinions with endless political arguments around hair splitting details. BBC television has a weekly news programme called “Any Questions.” It starts around 22.30 and lasts for an hour – a programme for old people, like myself. I try to watch it. I rarely last more than 10 -20 minutes.
The divisions are clear. We know what we have to address. We have to find the personal social and political will to heal the divisions.
The rest of the EU want to get one division (namely divorce from the UK) finalised as quickly as possible. The rest of the EU has concern about the growing power of the far right. We need to recognise that concern. Our far right will want to go as slowly as possible to maximise the time for similar parties to put pressure on elected governments to bring about the collapse of the EU.
The EU is a worthwhile project but it needs a new vision. EU has to take its share of responsibility for the growth of the far right. There is no point in saying that those who voted Leave made a mistake when they blame the EU. Everybody has to take responsibility.
Fear and blame acts in insidious ways on the emotional and political psyche. When people feel they are not listened to, feel ignored and rejected, there is a slow build-up of resentment.
The Warning Signs
Big and small, the warning signs have been obvious –
cuts in public services
daily medication for anti-depressants.
diet of junk food, alcohol,
disconnection from the people of our so-called ‘public servants’
fading away of community life
low hourly rates
overstretched health services
views on immigrants
More than 70% of our 650 Members of Parliament are millionaires. If you are not the voice of the people you serve, especially those enduring hardships, then you are not fit for political office.
Consciously or not, millions of UK citizens have moved the political spectrum towards the far right. No wonder many people in the UK felt sad, despair and distress at the direction the country has taken. Thoughtful friends told me they cried when they woke up on Friday morning to see that the United Kingdom had turned its back on a mutually beneficial relationship with the rest of Europe. Some people felt to be a stranger in their own land.
Millions of people, whether they voted remain or leave, will have to start organising change. Nearly four million people voted for UKIP in the general election but they have only one single Member of Parliament. More than one million voted for the Green Party and they also only have one Member of Parliament. All these voters need their voices heard in Parliament.
Britain has little interest in a genuine democracy where number of votes relate to the proportion of MPs. The voting system supported the crisis.
Party politics has become light on facts, light on listening and light on compassion. Britain is light on democracy. Certain owners of daily newspapers ause their power to peddle negativity on a daily basis about migrants to Britain. Newspapers, such as the Daily Mail and the Daily Express, have replaced news with front page stories, often on a daily basis, which generate resentment in the mind of readers towards immigrants, refugees and asyuylum seekers. Our feeble minded politicians never condemn the behaviour of such newspapers.
In the UK, 48% voted to remain in the EU. 52% voted to leave. 28% did not vote. That means only about one in four voted to Leave the EU. This is called Democracy.
Voters have had enough of the imposition of European and British austerity, low, stagnant wages, exploitation of workers by ruthless businesses, corporate tax avoidance, tax havens for the rich and sending the young, poor and powerless to wage war on people as poor as themselves.
We need to listen to the grievances of the working class communities, address them and then direct resources of conflict resolution, skills and resources to show we have listened. We need to talk with those carrying notions of superiority to see if other ways can be found to see the nation state. We need to look at ourselves and our many blind spots – including the (oops written above).
Those who experience daily hardship will not wait for years. They want action now. They feel disenfranchised and they are disenfranchised. A X on the ballot box will not resolve the issues.
If we do not listen and act, then the far right will bring in more control and more divisions. The far right in the UK and elsewhere share largely a similar fundamentalist agenda. Their agenda will not support the deep rooted needs of millions. The far right lacks compassion and wisdom.
The Policies of the Far Right
The far right wants:
a dramatic cut back in the number of refugees and asylum seekers
abolish green levies on fuel
bring back capital punishment.
businesses to give nationals the first priority in employment.
cut overseas aid
deport those who commit crimes
end access to any free benefits and health care for new residents
increase the size of the army and expenditure on weapons.
only permit entry of new residents who have specific skills
rejection of big government, whether the EU, Westminster or Washington DC.
remove funding from public bodies promoting multiculturalism
scrap the climate change act
The UK rejection of European law will enable the rule of British law and the creation of new laws. European law will no longer have the capacity to stop the creation of discriminatory law, harsh laws or unjust laws. The future does not bode well for residents of the United Kingdom. Our prisons will grow even more.
The next British Prime Minister will support the politics of the right and the far right. The far right uses fear and blame to win over voters until the majority become convinced of their argument. Control follows on from widespread negative political emotions, otherwise chaos ensues. Those political figures, who encourage fear and blame. may have little knowledge and understanding to address the deep needs of millions.
We need a Spiritual Revolution
We need a debate throughout the country. The entire country needs to be involved. We could start by closing down the building for Houses of Parliament and House of Lord and make it into a museum. We could create regional parliaments with elected members including 16 year- olds and older with a range of ages, education, ethnic backgrounds, culture and work experience taking office in these Parliaments. We could introduce a true democracy through proportional representation of all classes of people with a variety of views.
We need to meet. We need to talk. We need a spiritual revolution, inner and outer.
After the obscene horror of World War 2, people in Germany met together in small and large groups in cities, towns and village to start again. Germany started rebuilding. We might be out of the EU but we can still learn a lot from the rest of Europe and worldwide and we have much to offer, too.
We have to start rebuilding trust. We have to listen to each other. We have to bring communities together. We have to get our lives back together.