Politically Correct by Neal Brookes

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Voting system change
needed to beat austerity

As we head in to the festive season where we are encouraged to offer goodwill to all men, I am minded to review the decisions recently made by our elected Government in relation to benefit cuts.

There is something obscene in my view when multi millionaires lecture people on how to make ends meet and then promptly cut up to £30 a week from the claimants benefit.

These same representatives are the ones who awarded themselves a pay rise in excess of 10 per cent last year, in spite of the fact that the vast majority of their constituents have had no pay rise for several years and many have had their income cut. These are tough decisions necessary for the national economy they bleat while claiming further thousands of pounds in legitimate expenses.

Austerity is a choice made by the haves at the expense of the have nots in our society and it is time for it to end. We can get people back to work if we are truly committed to it and allow people to earn a living rather than rely on benefits. Building houses across Blackpool and the north of England will address the desperate shortage of accommodation while employing hundreds or possibly thousands of people and directly benefitting their families.

What is to stop this? A callous Government who have no intention of assisting the less well off in our society in spite of Theresa May’s platitudes offered at her recent coronation.

The electorate will eventually judge this Government but I fear it may again be a case of a Government being elected by a minority of the electorate and then shouting that they are the elected representatives of the whole country. This can only ever be the case if we adopt an electoral system where every vote counts equally. The current review of constituency boundaries may well claim to be attempting to achieve this but whenever we have a first past the post electoral system, it can never be. We need to engage everyone’s opinion equally in this country and proportional representation would do that. Perhaps then our representatives would try and govern for the benefit of ALL in our society and not simply the haves.

Great service to democracy

Had I had the benefit of hindsight in advance of the referendum in June, I would no doubt be sunning myself from the deck of a recently purchased yacht.

The fact that I am writing this article on a dark December night in Blackpool suggests my predicted outcome of the vote was somewhat wide of the mark!

That said I am left to wonder how history will judge Gina Miller the business woman who has had the bravery to take on our Government in the courts?

Despite the baying mob shouting for her head and making disgraceful threats against her gender and her citizenship, I suspect that I and many other our society applaud her efforts.

I applaud her not because I believe we should reverse our decision in June but because she is standing up for the right of Parliament to set the terms of our exit and our negotiating position.

Regardless of the hysteria surrounding the brexit decision and what it meant, the simple truth is that we simply voted to leave the European Union without any real idea of the terms of such an exit.

Those terms are far to important to be left in the hands of two or three Government ministers to decide behind closed doors.

Issues such as access to the single market, future travel arrangements, workers rights and the rights of our citizens living abroad as well as the EU nationals holding our NHS together are issues for Parliament.

Hopefully history will take the view that Gina Miller did our democracy a great service by insisting that Parliament had its say.

Festive thanks to workers

As we sit down to our Christmas dinners this year we should all say thanks to the thousands of workers, many in low paid jobs who ensure our communities are kept safe and well.

From the carers and nurses to the council workers, police staff and officers, we all owe a debt of gratitude.

Alongside these people there will also be hundreds of volunteers helping to ensure that those less fortunate can also enjoy a Christmas meal or sleep in a warm bed.

At this time of year I always try and donate to those causes seeking to achieve that aim.

I know it may not seem much but a few pound donated can make a real difference locally to the lives of those less fortunate than ourselves.

Thank you to all concerned for caring and for helping those less fortune in our society to feel a part of it, if only for a short time.