Prime Minister’s actions appalling, says Ellie Chowns

From Hereford Times 4 September 2019

“We live in extraordinary political times. This is a crisis on a scale not seen for decades. And the most extraordinary thing of all? This is an entirely manufactured crisis, homegrown in Britain, created by the actions of a handful of people – Boris Johnson chief among them.

Last week Johnson took the unprecedented step of announcing the suspension of Parliament – a move that rightly outraged the majority of MPs and citizens. No wonder so many thousands took to the streets across the country, including here in Herefordshire, to defend our Parliamentary democracy and stop the coup. It was indeed a coup, albeit without ‘tanks on the lawns’ – it was a brazen, autocratic attempt to seize power from elected representatives, by a prime minister with a wafer thin majority.

It was indefensible and appalling – and those are the words of a Conservative MP!

Johnson has been gambling recklessly all along. He gambled that he could pretend the blockage was the EU, when the truth is that his problem is the division within his own party. He gambled that he could side with the Brexiteer hardliners and force moderates to give up. He gambled with the country’s future by threatening ‘no deal’ – a strategy of catastrophic self harm. Johnson’s gambles have backfired spectacularly.

All other parties have been absolutely united in opposing Johnson’s attempt to silence debate – and a significant number of brave Conservatives have put principle before party, and country before personal interest.This week, Johnson not only lost his party’s majority in the House; he lost his very first vote as PM, and all shreds of credibility as a leader.

There is another way forward. As a country, we have been deeply damaged by this Brexit mess. It’s high time we started looking for common ground and rebuilding our broken politics. That’s a task that goes way beyond Brexit – but first we do indeed need to resolve Brexit.

I believe we are better off in the EU, but I recognise that a narrow majority wanted to leave, more than three years ago now. So what we need now is a compromise agreement – the best possible withdrawal deal – which should then be put to the people for the final say.

I would of course campaign, as I have always done, to remain.

Because Brexit was never our core problem. Membership of the EU costs less than one per cent of government spending. Brexit has left us no time to think about the other 99% of government business – vitally important things like the NHS, schools, social care, and tackling the climate crisis.

Brexit would make things worse in all those areas. We are quite literally fiddling while the planet burns.

Fundamentally the Brexit mess has shown just how broken our political system is. Our democracy is creaking at the seams, in desperate need of fixing.

Here are three positive ideas for starters: change the electoral system so that all votes count equally, abolish the unelected House of Lords, and clean up politics by removing the influence of dirty money. A fairer, cleaner, more grown-up politics would encourage our leaders to act in the long-term interest of the country as a whole, and seek common ground rather than taking extreme positions.

It would enable us to re-set our relationship with the European Union, and finally turn our attention to other things that really matter – starting with the climate emergency.”

One comment

  1. Bravo Ellie, the ‘Green Party’ has it’s best opportunity yet we must make the most of it.

    I wonder if we talk about the importance of jobs enough. For the majority of people in this country what they need most is secure well paid jobs. The ‘fear’ of the EU and foreign workers coming into the country is about the fear of losing their jobs and a fair income to keep their families well fed and a roof over their head. Jobs and Housing. Most of us know and appreciate this .
    The Labour and Conservative parties encourage a conflict between Business and workers when we should all be working alongside each other. It would be good for the Greens to make more of this because we will only make it through current difficulties if we support the best of our workforce and the businesses who have a fairer approach to those they employ and support their local communities . You may already be doing this, if so I apologise – it is not obvious from Press reports – too many distractions. However in fighting an election I would love to be able to say we have some more innovative ideas about a fairer society for everyone. If they already exist perhaps you can point me in the right direction as we are relatively new to the Green Party. Best of luck in the Election when it comes.

    Beverley Kinnaird
    Ledbury

    Happy to have some election boards again on our long frontage on the Dymock Road.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.