So after the excitement of a general election we are left in the situation of the morning after the night before of facing the fact we have a tory majority government who are now hell bent on unleashing their version of what the UK should look like. The nightmare begins. I just hope those who voted tory can feel justified in doing so in 5 years’ time.
The first act of the new government is to repeal the Human Rights Act. This is an act that has been demonised in the UK press as a “get out of jail card” for unwanted criminals to continue being a nuisance to the UK justice system. However what is overlooked by many is that the HRA actually protects citizens from the worst excesses of the executive (government) and gives a framework of agreed standards that everyone should be treated as. This is actually a good thing as it prevents the more rabid elements of government which seem to exist these days much more often, from over reaching their powers. My fear is that all too often those in government become drunk on their own ego and power and somehow think they are invincible when they were elected to act for the good of their voters
This is particularly evident in reigning back redundancy payments for those who are made redundant. In the 1980s when whole swathes of industry were shut down under Margaret Thatcher, house prices were much cheaper (you could buy a decent 3-4 bedroom house for £30,000-£45,000), those who lost their jobs and very often had held those jobs for several years were entitled by law to receive redundancy payments of £30,000-£60,000 depending on the length of service. The idea of that level of redundancy payments was to allow you the ability to support yourself until you found another job elsewhere, which is perfectly reasonable. Many people at that time used that money to pay off outstanding mortgages which again, is a perfectly reasonable thing to do. This was reported in the press as something astonishing and should be banned. Redundancy payments are now a small fraction of what they were, which means that anyone with an outstanding mortgage is unable to secure their own home and if the worst comes to the worst, they are forced to live on the streets. This is seen more recently in the introduction of the hugely unpopular Bedroom Tax where sick and disabled people are forced to pay extra if they have bedrooms that are not occupied by family members. Often these spare rooms are used by carers or equipment needed to keep these people independent and mobile, rather than in hospitals and institutions.
This is the real politics of envy. The small-mindedness of those who have, that will not allow a shred of decency to those who have fallen on hard times, that they have to pay for the misfortune they find themselves in. That somehow they deserve to be in the position they find themselves in.
The reality is that the tory government is emulating UKIP who, far from gaining seats in the general election, found their votes were dismally low, certainly not enough to return the same number of MPs they started with (2) now they only have 1. Surely the message is clear. While there is a rump of dissatisfied, uneducated bigots they are outnumbered by those people who clearly see the danger of the point of view UKIP propose and would clearly lead to another holocaust as happened in Germany. What is worrying is there are plenty of people who are happy to back such views
It will be interesting to see how Cameron thinks he will uncouple the UK from HRA and the European Convention of Human Rights without triggering an exit from the UK or Brexit as it’s popularly known. By returning the UK to an island rather than part of the European Continent, Cameron again demonstrates his poor judgement and the complete breakup of the UK, which will come sooner than anyone wishes.