While we undergo ‘Brexit paralysis’ – a barely functioning government; business planning at a standstill; and political discussion stuck on ‘leave or remain’– we still suffer fundamental problems which have nothing to do with Brexit. Problems which will not be fixed by any Brexit outcome – hard, soft or otherwise.
We will still have: an education service with unaccountable, profit-seeking academies; emergency services cut to the bone with increased response times and a demoralised workforce; unacceptable cuts to legal aid resulting in justice becoming inaccessible to those most in need; train services with rising ticket prices matched by falling reliability; loss of rural bus services increasing the risk of loneliness; an NHS in crisis with excessive waiting times and missed treatment targets; developers building the wrong type of housing, built purely for profit, over the needs of the community where they build; sub-standard rented accommodation with unscrupulous landlords; vindictive sanctions for those on benefits and demeaning re-assessments of those with long-term conditions; zero hours contracts while bosses pocket millions; the ‘working poor’ and those on Universal Credit forced to use food banks to feed their families; and further strain on essential local services from government cuts to council funding.
Although, tragically, Brexit has created a wave of xenophobia and some shocking treatment of people perceived as immigrants – many of them vital to our public services – I believe the vast majority of us, both leavers and remainers, have a sense of fair play.
There is an alternative. A fairer, more equal society, where people are put before profit and the most vulnerable are treated fairly.
I am sure there will many people who, while they may have never voted Labour before, can see the damage caused by this Government. With local elections in May and the possibility of a General Election at any time, you now have the chance to vote for change.