Politically Correct by Ken Cridland

Ken Cridland, Blackpool Against the Cuts
Ken Cridland, Blackpool Against the Cuts
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Ignoring problems led to vote to leave Europe

The establishment, the major political parties, the CBI and most of big business, the TUC, and the ‘experts’ strongly pushed a Remain vote, but a majority of people ignored them.

Research done since the referendum had given us clues as to why that happened.

Valuable information has been provided by the Lord Ashcroft Polls.

They did an exit survey of over 12,000 people. Voting for Leave were 58 per cent of Conservative voters, 37 per cent of Labour voters, 36 per cent of SNP voters, 30 per cent of Lib Dem voters, 25 per cent of Green Party voters, as well as 96 per cent of UKIP voters and lots of people who had not voted at all for some time.

Of the socio-economic groups, only group AB (higher managerial and professionals - about 22 per cent of the population) had a majority for Remain.

Groups C2, D and E (skilled, unskilled manual workers and the unemployed – accounting for nearly half of the population) voted by about two thirds for Leave.

This ensured that Leave had a majority. In the end, Remain lost because they did not convince the poorest half of the population that the EU was working for them.

My home town of Boston in Lincolnshire is the place which had the record Leave vote. It also has the record EU migrant population per head of the population.

The great majority of people there are not gullible or bigoted or racist as has been suggested of Leave voters. They are unsettled and uneasy, living with major problems of health, education and crime, that are not trivial.

The glue which holds their society together has weakened. The people there were ignored by the establishment politicians as these problems built up.

One major concern is that in 2015 Boston was the murder capital of Britain per head of the population.

The EU and its policies did not improve Boston. It remains a poor area for both its long term residents and its migrants. Brexit by itself will not solve these problems, but it could make it possible for the UK Government to do so.

Globalisation hurts people

Globalisation has been the only game in town for a while now - but no longer.

Even a former US Treasury Secretary, Lawrence Summers has recently said, “People everywhere are revolting against globalisation – and they must be listened to.”

He is right.

The wealth created by globalisation, or neo-liberalism as many prefer to call it, makes the rich richer and has not helped the poor.

Worse still, neo-liberalism strengthens giant corporates while crushing the poor and weak.

A good example is the EU/US free trade agreement called TTIP which will allow corporations to sue governments if their profits are affected.

It may well make markets freer, but at the expense of democracy.

The markets are free but people are not!

People, especially poorer people, are left feeling helpless.

Brexit now means we will not be included in that TTIP agreement.

People over the world looking for a better way are moving away from established political parties which just keep promising more of the same.

The Brexit vote was no exception.

It was a revolt against the established direction of travel.

Our new Prime Minister certainly took note of this. In her very first speech, she made a promise to deliver social justice.

However, her economic policies are neo-liberal and already her chancellor is looking at reducing the tax paid by corporations.

So she cannot deliver social justice, but has placed it firmly on the agenda.

She will surely fail.

That is when others will need to step forward with clear ideas on what must be done.

Time to deliver social justice

Blackpool Against the Cuts wants to see the following priorities included by Government to deliver on social justice and reverse the growth in inequality:

Improve workers’ rights such as those about equal rights for agency workers, collective bargaining, zero hours contracts, etc. This will help stop employers exploiting both UK and foreign workers.

The NHS and other public services should be strengthened and not privatised.

No free trade deals should be entered into which would damage democracy or the lot of ordinary people in the UK.

EU funded projects which benefit ordinary people should continue and be paid for by the money the UK sent to the EU.

Complete opposition to racism.

Asylum seekers and migrants must be treated as fellow human beings and in accordance with international agreements. At the same time, any communities affected in the UK must be involved in decision making.