Boris Johnson wants to ‘reunite the country’ as he inflicts Brexit on us all – but what could it entail?
Boris Johnson says that he wishes to reunite the country. I for one have a number of conditions before I would even consider the possibility. Here is a selection:
– Legislation in 2020 to make it a criminal offence for a politician to lie.
– Publicly commit to reducing the gap between the UK’s position in the league table of nation states by per capita income and the size of our GDP from 23/5 to less than 10/5 in the course of the next three years.
– That also means ensuring an equal distribution of resources between the south and north (defined as anything north of Watford Gap) in terms of revenue and capital spending per head of population, including a rebalancing figure of at least 30%.
– Protect the NHS from any further privatisation, and rule out any access whatsoever, whether via a UK/USA trade deal or any other mechanism, for USA pharmaceutical or medical supplies or services companies – to the NHS market.
– Politicians to open to public scrutiny their tax returns for the past five years.
– Full respect for all ethnic and religious minorities, including removal from whatever position they hold within political parties or government of any member or official who contravenes that. This means that you will eradicate prejudice within your party and government towards anyone of a different faith, ethnic or national origin or gender choice. That would help to reassure me that you are not a racist.
– Respect the outcome of the 2019 election result in Scotland and allow the people of that country to determine their own future in terms of both their membership of the EU and their status as a nation.
– Reform of the electoral system so that people understand that their vote will not be wasted because the proportions of votes cast will be reflected in the number of seats gained.
We can easily see the effect of the general election result on the losers. It takes a lot longer for the consequences for the winner to play out.
Maybe the size of the Conservative majority will allow the government to abandon its hardliners and steer for the greater chance of prosperity in a closer alignment with the EU. I don’t doubt this is possible with a prime minister whose changes of direction are so many as to make him almost the classic caricature of a liberal.
But if the UK still goes hard Brexit and the government’s own analysis of the resulting economic downturn and loss comes to pass, I believe that the Tories will need a People’s Vote as much as anyone, because if they lead too far from the front they can’t avoid the blame for the problems they will have caused.
And if Brexit goes wrong and the government cops the flak, then we may well find that the One Nation Tory Party becomes the Divided Four Nations Tories and then history would probably call the Tory manifesto – Get Brexit Done – the shortest suicide note in history.
The Tories’ resounding victory may prove a Pyrrhic one should the rush to exit the EU lead to us becoming mired in years of trade negotiations with our former and prospective partners, exposing all the untruths spoken about Northern Ireland’s custom arrangements, pushing us back into recession and driving both Scotland and Northern Ireland out of the Union.
In now representing constituencies in the North and Midlands with some of the worst levels of poverty, skills, health and academic attainment, Johnson and his Brexiteers will have no place to hide, whatever their majorities, when the disastrous course they have embarked this country upon comes to roost, as it surely will.
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