Labour should never have swallowed the Brexit pill

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and his wife Victoria arrive to cast their vote

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and his wife Victoria arrive to cast their vote - Credit: PA

Politicians are badly letting down the electorate, and more than ever we need a coherent opposition.

UK politics has failed us badly and the people know it. But opposition politicians have swallowed the Brexit pill and say we are in a long game.

Labour’s loss in Hartlepool shows that our political landscape needs restorative action fast. People are increasingly questioning Keir Starmer’s lack of vision as he doggedly follows an agenda rather than shaping it. The full-page advert from over 15 ‘Rejoin’ campaign groups in this weeks illustrates the leadership vacuum in opposition thinking.

The pandemic and Brexit have opened a mass of uncertainties as we face increasing social, economic and environmental pressures. Challenges that far and away transcend the complacent stance of a government out of touch with reality. It hasn’t even delivered ‘control of our borders, despite being a top concern in the referendum.

Casting adrift in an interconnected world of power blocks is a monumental error when instead we could ignite ambition for reform with our European partners. We have been stripped of our European citizenship on the feeblest of margins by a government unable to think sanely about the future as our economy slumps and hundreds of UK companies relocate to Europe. The ‘amazing possibilities’ touted by Johnson are turning into the realisation that we face rough times for years ahead.

Yet the government is planning to waste £120 million on a Brexit festival. It may blow another £190 million on a flag-waving new royal yacht and plans for upgrading the UK’s Trident nuclear fleet, estimated to cost £200 billion, when terrorists kill at will on our streets, continue.   

More than ever we need a coherent opposition alliance that offers an inspiring agenda focused on campaigning for a ‘green new deal’ and a complete overhaul of our failing politics. Brexit sensitivities can be side-stepped, when there is so much to go for.  Britain’s first past the post system denies fair electoral representation. The Electoral Reform Society describes it as “disenfranchisement on an industrial scale.”  

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An unrepresentative upper House, a corrupt and devalued Honours system, tax havens and speculator-driven financial markets have all failed Britain. 

Phil Green

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