Europe and immigration are two issues that have plagued right-leaning folks of Britain for years. If only we could get rid of both, we would be “great” again. Although it looks like the anti-everyone-who-isn’t-us brigade have got their way in truth the referendum result has done little to smooth things over. If anything the cracks in our society are actually getting bigger and more dangerous.
The country is in turmoil and what we need more than anything is strong leadership. Instead, what we have is a lame duck Prime Minister working out his notice, and an opposition tearing itself apart behind a leader who should never have been there in the first place. Add to this escalating racism, economic uncertainty and the prospect of an extremely right-wing Prime Minister, and you have all the ingredients for a damned good sit com. Except this is no joke, it is all too real.
With the Conservatives happily laying into each other, now would be a good time for the opposition to lead the charge against the Tory loonies. But, thanks to electoral gerrymandering, the left is as polarised as the right. And thanks to the fickle nature of British politics, the centre ground previously held by the LibDems has been all but wiped out and made irrelevant nationally.
Poor Jeremy Corbyn. He seems like a nice, genuine guy, but he has no place leading the Labour Party, Let’s be honest, he wasn’t elected for who he was, but for who he wasn’t, and because the membership wanted someone from the left. He faces rebellion from within the Parliamentary party but support on the ground. We will all watch how this unfolds with great interest.
And as for the Tories, internal wrangling over Europe is nothing new, but this time it’s different. This time they need a leader who can rebuild the bridges felled during the referendum campaign. Whoever wins the contest must also be able to connect with the public on both sides of the vote, and that certainly isn’t Gove!
Whoever is leading our political parties this autumn has some very difficult decisions to make. After all, the result of the referendum is not binding and in the end it is parliament that has the last say.
So what can we expect?
Looking back over the referendum debates it seems to me that a lot of people are going to be very disappointed by what comes next. Expectations are that once the dust has settled and divorce proceedings begin the migrant “crisis” will be resolved. There are a couple of problems with this view of things, the first being that there is no crisis! The Out campaign happily blamed all of the country’s ills on immigrants, blaming them for everything from the NHS’ financial troubles to shortages of housing and jobs.
Now, let’s get one thing straight, the problems within the NHS do not stem from rampant immigration, but from draconian cuts and lunatic policies implemented by our own government. If anything it is migrant workers who have kept our health and social care services afloat.
And if you want to point a finger at anyone for the lack of affordable or social housing, rather than wagging your digits at Poles and Romanians, shake it very firmly at David Cameron and George Osborne who have over seen the decimation of our social housing stock and failed to do anything constructive to ease the housing problems. It is government policy and budget cuts that have caused most of our current problems, not immigrants.
Each day brings new opinions and fresh ideas on the way forward, but in all honesty, nobody has any idea what comes next. Let Labour and the Tories have their summer of fun, in-fighting and back stabbing but come the autumn the people of this green and pleasant land will be demanding some clear decisions and strong leadership to get us out of the mess we have been landed in.