Pig Swill and a Dogs Breakfast

Economics, European Commission; trade agreements; environmental impact; employment rights; democracy

The conversations going around coffee shops in London are centered around the Brexit negotiations carried out by the UK government which is giving so many ordinary people and businesses scope for worry. Apart from Theresa May’s blanket dismissal of any foreign nationals entering the UK (which isn’t going to happen any time soon, the UK depends on clever foreigners who have had a good education to come and work) there is no clear plan as to what vision of a UK outside the EU will look like, except that the Tory party seem to think there is a free-for-all and we would be prepared to lower our standards of living in order to allow “free trade” at any cost. No so matey.

Enter that clever man, Mervyn King ex-Governor of the Bank of England. The man who pleaded that he could not forsee the train wreck that careered out of control in 2008 who opined that there seems to be a lack of Plan A, let alone Plan B within government circles. This I would agree with. Without wishing to diminish Mervyn King’s achievements he has hit one particular nail on the head.

The quality of persons heading our negotiations give the image of rabbits being stuck in headlights not knowing which way to turn. Every other day one minister will pop up and say something only to be contradicted by another minister. At present there have been pronouncements on how far foreign fishing boats will be able to fish from the UK coastline. Having left the London Agreement which effectively allows the UK to regain control of fishing within 12 miles of the UK coastline, Michael Gove said that maybe some countries will be able to continue fishing up to 6 miles of the coastline. The very countries who have decimated our fishing industry and was very much a point put forward during the Referendum. It makes sense, if British fishermen can fish up to 12 miles of the UK coastline and sell whatever they catch whether its in the UK or abroad that’s a good deal. Muddying the waters is just stupid and I wonder whether “a gossiping drunk” as he was described by Boris Johnson is the right calibre of person to be leading these negotiations. Likewise with farming subsidies. At present farming in the UK has become in pretty dire straits with many farmers finding it far too expensive to continue farming and selling up in recent years. Others have had a diversify into other areas. My impression is that farming subsidies allow farmers to barely break even and it would be disastrous to drop this altogether. We all rely on cheap food, affordable food which needs to be subsidised by the government to support and ensure we have homegrown food that isn’t dependent on fair weather and good friends abroad whose standards may be questionable.

Which neatly brings me onto the story of chlorinated chicken, a practice used in the USA, banned everywhere else in the EU and President Donald Trump’s insistence that we should accept these onto our supermarket shelves as they are cheaper to produce, even with shipment costs. One only needs to look at the people in the USA and how fat and unhealthy they are, how the use of pollutants in their water has rendered them ill and ask ourselves, do we really want to go down this path? I say no we don’t. I voted for Brexit and voted for a better life, one where young people can walk into well paid jobs at whatever level they are in their lives, earn the kind of money that would enable them to buy their own homes. I voted for a Brexit where the old, sick, disabled and vulnerable in society would have the help and support they needed. I voted for a Brexit where we would all feel safe in the knowledge that we had the best standards in many areas of life, from safe toys for children, to good, strong employment practices that ensured fair play between workers and bosses. I voted for a Brexit where old people could go out for a daily constitutional walk without fear of being mugged or attacked. I voted for a Brexit where ordinary people could have a guaranteed roof over their heads in the form of social housing, free education and health care as and when they need it. I did not vote for a Brexit where people who have such a high opinion of themselves would allow the rest of us to live in sewage, stoop to the lowest levels and then abandon us without a care.

The last sentence is where I fear the tories are taking the UK. The same way that the survivors of Grenfell Tower have been maltreated, abandoned, forgotten, washed hands off is how we will all be treated in years to come. This tory government could not care less about anyone who isn’t rich and will leave this country a dogs breakfast.

In future years their record should stand and be repeated ad infinitum. The tory party should never be allowed to govern this country again.

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