Mr. Perrin’s blog: “A Word in Your Ear”.
AS the dust settles post GE 2019 one thing is indisputably clear, Politicians should be careful what they wish for. Ever since the 2016 Referendum most MPs, across the political spectrum, have persistently called for a “second referendum/peoples vote/confirmation vote/whatever, claiming it was the only democratic way to settle the “Brexit” issue. In the early hours of Friday 13 December 2019 the people gave the Politicians what they had been “banging” on about for the past 3 and a half years, a second referendum/peoples vote/confirmation vote/whatever and it was not the result they wanted. On the contrary it was an overwhelming confirmation of the 2016 result and most people desperately wanted to “get Brexit done”. Like it or not the 2019 General Election was “The Brexit General Election a fact made demonstrably clear by the result in Thurrock.
However, risking being considered churlish and the fact “Brexit” was the dominant issue, I am inclined to rain on Jackie’s parade and suggest that the result in Thurrock should not be viewed as a measure of her personal popularity nor as an unqualified endorsement of her record as the MP for Thurrock. This is the lady who supported the “bedroom” tax, enthusiastically supported the “vindictive” fitness to work assessment of the disabled, the mentally ill and other vulnerable people, and believed that people who owned their own homes should not consider it an inheritance to pass on too a family member, but, as an asset to be sold to pay for their care in old age.
It is indisputable to attribute the massive swing to the Conservatives nationally and locally, to anything other than disgruntled voters, mainly Labour Party members/supporters, though it is also possible that members/supporters of other Parties, even Lib-Dems, who, in the 2016 referendum in answer to a simple question remain or leave the EU, were among those who voted 52% to leave to 48% to remain. In the 2019 General Election those disgruntled “leave” voters decided to vote Conservative in order to “get Brexit done.”
MPs will have to learn some hard lessons and swallow bitter pills if they seriously want to regain the trust and respect of the people.
MPs must accept that they are elected to serve the people, promote and protect the peoples interests, not the other way round, i.e., people are not the servants of MPs nor are they obliged to promote and protect Party or MPs personal interests. MPs see their first priority as being the protection of their highly paid jobs and the guarantee of a high end pension. The higher up the ladder MPs are the more diligent they are in putting Party and personal interests above the interests of the people and the Country.
MPs must accept the fact that people do not like being lied too. MPs can dress up their lies with names such as “termilogically inexactitudes”, “positive spin”, “economical with the truth” or any other fancy name they can conjure up. A rose by any other name is still a rose. Honesty matters.
MPs should never ignore the democratic will of the majority, especially when they have asked people to decide an issue and declared they will abide by the decision. They will incur the peoples wrath and pay dearly for doing so. Democracy must not only seem to be done, it must be seen to be done.
MPs should be cognisant of the effect the imposition of draconian measures, such as wage restrictions, impact more harshly on some than others. The mantra “we are all in this together” sounds a bit hollow to the low paid, people on fixed incomes such as the unemployed, pensioners, the disabled, mentally or physically, ex-military suffering with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The imposition of a restriction to pay increases to 1% for public sector workers is more painful and requires greater sacrifice by those previously mentioned than it does on highly paid MPs who with the addition of “expenses” a 1% restriction would be just a drop in the ocean. MPs should recognise they are just as much a part of the public sector as the lowly paid typist working in a Government department and that they are paid from the public purse I.e.the taxpayer.