Its not the politicians and Bureaucrats of Brussels I fear but the ones in London!

Fox

In some ways the picture above says it all. In London there is an elite, a ruling class, which manipulates the whole Country for its own advantage.

I know this in two ways but let me deal with Brexit as the first one. Let’s judge people not by what they say but by what they do:

Leading advocates for Brexit have done the following things:

  • Lord Lawson has applied for a French Residency Permit
  • Jacob Rees Mogg has set up a finance fund based in Eire
  • James Dyson has moved his manufacturing base outside the UK and says that leaving the EU will enable us to reduce those pesky health and safety laws
  • Sir Jim Ratcliffe (the Country’s richest man) is moving to Monaco.

Why do they do this? Well Neil Luckham writing in an online magazine called Quora sums up their position in a nutshell,

“A significant subset of the wealthy are best suited to making themselves more wealthy in a deregulated business environment, especially if it also has strong property laws and no social legal system (so only the wealthy can afford the lawyers).

Such an environment allows them to exploit who they want, move their money to secretive low-tax regimes, and protect their business with a wall of legal barriers, including, if necessary, a private army (sorry, “security team”).

The rich can make money out of change. It doesn’t bother them whether or not society as a whole or even the UK as a whole suffers by this because they are only looking after their own bit of society – themselves and their families. They want us to have a hard Brexit because it will enable them to take advantage of a lack of regulations to exploit the rest of us, move their money and their tax liability where they want and ensure that working and living conditions are reduced for the rest of us.

These are the people that control our Country both in Parliament and in the economy. If they don’t live abroad they are a denizen of the dark places of Westminster, Whitehall and the City of London.

Meanwhile Parliament has no answer to them the chief apologist for Brexit is Boy Corbyn. He talks about a jobs boost Brexit. There is no such thing. Already we have moved from being the fastest growing economy in the EU to being the second worst growing economy in Europe. Our balance of payments is suffering as our manufacturing has gone past the immediate boost of the devaluation of the £ into a stasis caused by indecision.

Overseas investment as well as UK investment in manufacturing and services has plummeted. The international giants such as car makers are delaying investment decisions and laying off staff. There have already been lay offs and early pensions at both JLR and Vauxhall in Ellesmere Port where the loss of well paid jobs will have a ripple effect into the wider economy.

The argument from parts of Labour is that they don’t want to be in ‘the single market’ but ‘a single market’. So, let’s leave the certainty of trading to end up with a minimum of three years negotiations which will bring us back to a worse position than we are in now but will cause havoc in the meantime. Of course, that is not the argument from all the Labour Party because their policy seems to vary on whether there is a r in the month or not|!

You want more money for the NHS; schools, universities and roads etc, etc? I do as well but we will not get that inside the shrinking economy which May and Corbyn will deliver for us. Corbyn believes that the EU is a capitalist conspiracy to defeat the workers. Let him see what will happen in this Country when we have lost the protection of employment; safety and environment laws which will be stripped ruthlessly away. This was summed up perfectly by Cllr Kay Davies who until last Thursday was a Labour councillor in Liverpool but now sits as an Independent. She said, “May is a toxic, dysfunctional leader and so is Corbyn”.

With honourable exceptions Parliament has failed the Country. The role of Parliament is to introduce laws which are based on facts and reality and then introduced through the prism of political belief as voted on by the electorate. What we have seen is advanced demagoguery. We have seen the London elite more determined than ever to hang on to their own power and positions to feather their own nests.

The Parliamentary debate on BREXIT has not been about the future of the UK but who holds the top positions inside Her Majesty’s Government and in Her Majesty’s Opposition. The rest of the Country has been a prisoner as the warring factions conduct their own ‘Battle of the Roses’.

If I turn to a wider point than Brexit I must tell you that in my opinion, “it was ever thus”. During all my 51 years in politics I have seen a remorseless movement of power; influence; employment and security down to London and the South East. I don’t, of course, believe that the vast majority of people who live in the South East are part of this. They suffer as much as people in the North from the overheating of the South East economy and the concentration power of power in Westminster, Whitehall and the City.

Our Country did not become the richest Country in the World because London dictated it. It became the heart of an Empire on which the ‘Sun never sets’ because of the actions of the ship owners of Liverpool; the wool merchants of Bradford; the cotton merchants of Manchester; the ship builders of Glasgow; the linen makers of Ulster and the coal miners of Wales. This is not a defence of Empire because we did some terrible things to create that Empire but it is a defence of decentralised decision making.

It is that power of the regions which is stifled by the fact that we live in the most centralised decision-making process of any Country in Western Europe. Public sector decisions such as on transport; housing and other major areas of infrastructure are made in London; private sector investment decisions are made in City based board rooms or even further afield. There are now few major ‘Boardrooms’ in the North of England. Boardrooms where decisions were made in the best interests of the company but also in the best interests of the communities in which the company worked.

We are complicit in this imbalance. We send MPs to London to play the Parliamentary game. We don’t work together enough to use our own power and own money for our best advantage and not the Southern Elite.

Now is the time for the ‘regions’ to revolt and create a rebalanced United Kingdom of the three Nations and the 9 regions of England!! In the next few weeks I will be setting out an outline a new UK in which the power of Westminster and Whitehall is broken. Working together within and between regions there is much that can be done if we break down our clannishness and rivalries and work and fight together. Too often we have fought each other for the scraps of Westminster and capitalism. It does not need to be that way. Together we are far, far more than the sum of our parts.

Watch this space and then join me and be revolting!!! Let’s stop asking for permission and just ask for forgiveness.

 

About richardkemp

Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Liverpool. Deputy Chair and Lib Dem Spokesperson on the LGA Community Wellbeing Board. Married to the lovely Cllr Erica Kemp CBE with three children and four grandchildren.
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