It’s going to be messy. Scottish Independence, David Cameron, Corbyn, Immigration and post-fact politics.

You wait ages for a blog post, and two come along in ten minutes, eh? I type when I’m nervous.

So here are first thoughts, on what will prove to be a messy few months.

  •  Immigration is truly a problem, but this was not the solution.

Immigration has become a problem, and in truth, a good deal of it is because of foreigners coming over here and taking our jobs. I know that sounds unpopular, but the issue with immigration is just that in many places. Immigration has become a way of businesses and institutions getting cheap workers without having to train anyone. This has created an underclass in traditional working class areas of whites and first and second generation immigrants, often with inadequate education and training. That problem can only be solved by an improvement in our education, and by encouraging or forcing businesses and the public sector to train people more. Until the processes of educating and training our young people change, immigration will be the level it is now, unless we start going all dramatic, and tank the economy in order to reduce it.

  • David Cameron acted rashly in resigning.

I’ve always felt safer with Cameron as PM than I have with any other Tory. Mainly because he’s a PR man – he’s got no strong politics, and is always ready to change policy if the population creates enough of a fuss. Some call it weak, but it also means that with a narrow majority, politicians are actually held to account for individual policies. Wierdly enough, I’ve felt that the country has been more democratic in the last few years than it has been for years. Not that I feel that has been in the interests of the poorest, but it has been more democratic.

But that weakness has resulted in him being weak with his own backbenchers – which is why we had a referendum in the first place. He was so cocksure that he would win, but he’s been proved badly wrong.

In resigning as quickly as he has, he had increased the amount of uncertainty, and that will only be worse for the economy. He should have given himself, and the country, a week at least to think of it. Politicians resigning quickly is the new thing – Gordon Brown, Ed Milliband, Nick Clegg. It’s not worked out well for any of their parties, and for the country as a result. When Harold Wilson lost to Ted Heath, he didn’t resign – and vice versa. They both went on to win the subsequent election. Cameron has broken his party and is walking away – he’s quickly becoming the Chamberlain of the 21st Century.

As to his replacement, I suspect it won’t be Boris – I’m not sure he would even want it this time round. He can’t deliver on his promises and probably doesn’t want to be in the room when that happens. My money’s on Theresa May.

  •  Jeremy Corbyn is toast

Either that or the labour party is. And it may be anyhow. He was so completely unengaged with the issues that affected the north, that someone else needs to be a fresh voice with a clue as to what the problem is, and hopefully what the solution is. When there is the level of anger that there is against immigration, just saying that immigration is good isn’t going to wash. He should have been saying “we didn’t build enough houses, we didn’t train enough young people, we didn’t fund the NHS enough, and this is not the solution to those problems”. Instead he said how good the EU was, when he didn’t believe it. He’s not a good liar, which is commendable, but he never made much of an effort to find an idea he could believe in , which is not.

  •  Where Scotland?

 Scotland will have another independence referendum, and I suspect the chances are about the same as last time. It will happen soon enough, so that it won’t actually leave the EU, but remain in the EU before the rest of the UK go.

So will it be a Yes or No? It depends on the deal that the UK gets, and the deal that Scotland would get if it stayed. My feeling is that the EU will have to punish the UK for leaving, otherwise it will be committing suicide. Anything other than a punitive trade agreement would mean a number of EU member states leaving. Now if Sturgeon is as smart as I think she is (although I don’t share her politics) she might be able to translate that into a very good deal within the EU for Scotland. In which case, if there is a concrete deal to think about with the EU, it might mean that Scotland could swallow using the Euro, and have fewer fears about the collapse of oil revenues. Without that, I suspect the referendum will be largely as it was last time.

  • Post-Fact Politics

 Marco Rubio, in one of the Republican leadership debates said at one point, “these are the facts, people” To which members of the crowd shouted “we don’t want facts”. I shuddered, and thanked the Lord that we don’t live in such a democracy.

Oops. Gove said “we’ve had enough of experts” and apparently he was right. The truth bounced off the rhetoric of the Brexit camp, who were simply producing lies, concerning Turkey, the amount we will save from leaving the EU, jobs, trade.  They weren’t just grey areas, they were deliberate untruths. And people believed them, not because they weighed them up, but because they felt so disenfranchised by politics that they clung on to the silver buller/big reset button that was offered.

Perhaps in the months to come, I’ll be proved wrong and we’re on the path to the sunlit uplands of independent prosperity. But likely the economy will suffer, and either we will realise that truth matters – or, as perhaps I fear, we will simply leap to the next fictional silver bullet, from the next charismatic liar that comes on the scene.

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About frpip

Priest, Dad, A long way away. You can call me Father Father Father.
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4 Responses to It’s going to be messy. Scottish Independence, David Cameron, Corbyn, Immigration and post-fact politics.

  1. For a long time, UK governments of all hues have imported expertise, rather than home-grow it. The darker side of this is that it often robs developing nations of the skills that they should keep, to aid their own people and progress.

    • frpip says:

      Couldn’t agree more. I feel sick that we drain developing countries of talent, and don’t train our own, creating an underclass in our society of people who feel rejected and undervalued, and worthless. Suicide is an epidemic in our working class young, because they find no future offered to them by a business and social set up which only values what they can use, not what they can develop.

      • Phillip hewer says:

        I have to agree, I have worked in the engineering trade all my working life, I would say that my particular field (Lifts and escalators) has not had a vast amount of skilled workers enter it from either inside or outside of the EU. What I have noticed since I started my own apprenticeship nearly 30 years ago is the number of apprenticeship places had dwindled to virtually nothing by the late 90’s leaving the industry with a huge skills shortage and an aging workforce.

        It’s only in the last couple of years that the amount of apprenticeships available have started to increase, sadly the modern apprenticeships are not what they used to be, but at least it’s an avenue that is open to the current school leavers to learn a trade that could probably keep them gainfully employed for their entire working life with a level of pay substantially above the minimum wage.

        The sad thing about it his that the apprenticeships are incredibly hard to fill, no-one seems interested in anything outside of university these days, and those who do come into the industry often seem to have little interest in learning. It really is a shame on a lot of levels. There seems to be a need for every school leaver to go to university now and vocations that do not require a degree are looked down upon even though a degree nowadays by no means a guarantee of a job yet alone a high paying one, factor in the cost of attending university, the rising costs of housing and a higher rate of unemployment for young people does not bode well for the future, we need far more investment and resources available to them if we as a nation are to continue to prosper.

  2. Andy Jukes says:

    I have been a teacher in state schools for most if my working life, a governor at a state secondary for most of my retired life. It has long been my feeling that our education system is seriously failing our young people. It is a system that rewards compliance and favours a very narrow view of intelligence. It fails to take any notice of developments in our understanding of how the brain actually learns. It is obsessed with examinations and grades. Our schools are now an elaborate filtering mechanism and have precious little to do with education. This is not to say that there are not wonderful teachers out there doing a great job – there are and I have been fortunate to work alongside many. But they are doing so despite the system, not because of it. If a child is lucky they will meet a good teacher, be inspired and thrive. But it will be a matter of luck and that doesn’t seem good enough to me. Every child should expect to thrive in school. Every child should have the right to a good education. Which means that schools should be set up to, first and foremost, enable every child to discover their potential. Every child should feel that they are good at something. And that they are valued. That they have something to offer. Then, school should be about developing that potential. To create a society full of young people who feel that they all have a valuable contribution to make and respect that this will take many forms, but all are of value. Then we have a chance of building a healthy engaged society rather than the broken, deeply divided mess of winners and losers that the referendum has so painfully presented to us.

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