Sunday, 10 July 2016

The Real Reason's We Need an October Election

We need a General Election in October, not because of the change in Prime Minister but because of the change in the UK.

In Britain we do not elect the Prime Minister, we elect individual Members of Parliament to represent us and the leader of the party with the most MPs simply becomes Prime Minister by default. There have been plenty of times when the Prime Minister has been in place without an electoral mandate, most recently Gordon Brown and before that John Major from 1990 until the election of 1992.

So, in normal times, a simple change of Prime Minister does not really warrant an election unless there is some constitutional change leading to the people of Britain actually directly electing the Prime Minister.

However these are not normal times.

The country is now split, not by left and right, but by in and out. This split crosses traditional party divides.

The manifestos, visions and ideals that were presented to the electorate in 2015 are now null and void. Now we face a future outside the European Union and this impacts on the lives of all of us.

The British people now need to be able to choose what that future should be. The political parties need to set out how they will negotiate the exit from the EU and what their vision of life outside the EU will be like.

The new Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition must go to the country and explain what they will do to secure the future of the UK, explain how life outside the UK impacts on education, health, social care, employment etc. and what they will do to secure the future of those most in need of help from society. These leaders must go to the people with their vision of a United Kingdom which thrives, their vision of how they will bring British society together.

They must also present their plans for ensuring that leaving the EU doesn’t mean leaving Europe. It is one thing leaving the bureaucracy of the EU system but Britain did not vote to leave wider European cooperation across defence, security, scientific research etc.

The British people must now be given the chance to choose which vision they believe is best for this new future.

On a secondary level we need a General Election so that the electorate can reaffirm or reject their current representative in Parliament. MPs are paid to represent the wishes of the people in their constituency, yet the referendum saw many instances of the MP’s views being completely at odds with the majority of their constituents.

It is only fair that those who wish to continue receiving public money to represent the people of their constituency should ask those people for their support in the post referendum world.

Those are the real reasons we need an October election and it is the duty of those who want to represent us to take their visions of this new Britain to the people and ask us to choose the path to that future. 

Sunday, 3 July 2016

The Immigration Issue

The result of the UK referendum on whether or not to stay within the European Union resulted in a narrow majority to leave.

However since the vote there are many who have protested, called for a second referendum and slated the result with such a passion it makes you wonder if they had shown the same commitment to the EU during the campaign whether the result would have been different!

The important thing now is to move forward and truly understand why people voted to leave in order to ensure that the deal eventually reached by politicians is one that tackles the concerns of those voted, whether or not it be for leave or remain.

Immigration is of course the hottest issue but there is a failure, particularly on the Remain side, about why. A poll has shown that 77% of those who voted leave are happy for existing EU migrants to stay, so if it is not the actual people who have moved to the UK what is the reason that immigration has resulted in a leave vote?

It is the perception of the impact of immigration that is the real issue and one which the Remain campaign dismally failed to counter.

Many people believe that those coming from the EU jump to the front of the queue for housing, benefit payments, hospital services etc. There is also a belief that migrant workers take British jobs and that, in doing so, they push down wages for the rest of us.
Most of these beliefs are over exaggerated (of course there area few migrants who abuse the system but equally some British people do to) much of the over exaggeration is fostered by those in Government seeking to deflect the blame from themselves for many of the economic problems they have caused, unfortunately most were also on the Remain side hence their reticence in being truthful!

So the challenge is to dispel and nullify these perceptions whilst retaining the free movement agreement as part of the UK’s new deal with the EU.

This has to start at the top – both in the UK Parliament and with other EU leaders, who have continuously failed to understand the mood of many citizens of the EU and whose failure to do so has led to the increase in Right Wing organisations across the continent.

But equally all of us have a responsibility to challenge those perceptions, not by branding people as racists but by demanding that those we have elected to represent us, both in the UK Parliament and EU Parliament, tackle these issues immediately and deal with the UK’s exit from the EU swiftly, in a manner allows all the citizens of the UK to benefit from a trade deal that allows people to travel freely across the EU.
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