Earlier this year, then Prime Minister David Cameron said that the UK government would seek to bring 3,000 unaccompanied child refugees into the country. The then PM’s statement was a response to the Dubs Amendment, a measure put forward by Lord Alfred Dubs who himself had fled from the Nazis from his homeland of Czechoslovakia. At the time of the announcement people from across the political spectrum welcomed the news but pressed for the government to do more. However, Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill has, in a written statement, said that the government will now only facilitate the resettlement of around 400 child refugees. Anyone who claims to have a compassionate bone in their body should view this as a disgrace.
Earlier this month the housing charity Shelter analysed the number of homeless people in the England. The analysis combined the official figures from four different sources: national government statistics, the number of people in hostels, those in temporary accommodation, and the number of people on waiting lists for social housing. From these figures, it’s estimated that over 250,000 people are homeless in England alone. Labour has worked with Shelter for a number of years and it appears that the party are proposing bold solutions to this injustice.
The language around immigration in recent times has become increasingly toxic and the idea of integration has come to the fore in the last few weeks because of the publication of the Casey Report. It’s very important that we honestly talk about integration as doing so will enable us to soberly address the concerns of people up and down the country. For a long time the Left has danced around the issue of immigration but focusing on integrating new arrivals into British civil society is a way to begin breaking down the idea of the Left being out of touch.
I have done my best to ignore the Brexit fallout but the constant media circus and the response from many people across the country has been insufferable. This is not going to be a rerun of the arguments for and against leaving the EU because I, like most of the country, is glad that bloody referendum is over. However I would like to point to something that is on the rise: political idiocy. One of the themes of my articles is combating what I term ‘intellectual laziness’, but I fear that the Brexit vote had jolted into something even more annoying.
The UK has made history by becoming the first country ever to vote to leave the European Union. With a turnout of approximately 72%, the British people narrowly voted to exit the trade bloc, a decision that has far reaching consequences in a number of different areas. At around 6am London time the Leave campaign crossed the necessary threshold of 16.8 million votes to claim victory and achieved around 52% of the vote, compared with the Remain campaign’s 48%. It was a hard night for the Remain campaign as polling had suggested the UK would stay in the EU, however as results continued to flood in throughout the evening the Leave vote appeared to be stronger that originally thought.
Yesterday afternoon Jo Cox, the MP for Batley and Spen, was working in her local community near Birstall Library. She had spent the day doing constituency work and campaigning for Britain to remain a member of the European Union. However this turned out not to be a normal day for her. At around 1pm 52-year-old Tommy Mair stabbed and beat her before shooting her twice in cold blood. Although people from across the political spectrum have been united in grief by the tragedy, information is coming out that is troubling.
Politicians are inherently concerned with power, both acquiring it and maintaining it. The motivations behind this concern can be a genuine desire to improve their communities, or tax-payer funded massage of their messiah complex. Unfortunately we have been reminded of this fact by the Brexit debate, which I may soon stop calling a debate. A debate is a process by which the participants exchange ideas, however this discussion has been a Tory civil war played out in public with the rhetoric around the EU used to further people’s political ambitions. In recent days this has become intolerable for even a political junkie like me.