Monday 18 May 2020
Tories haven't changed their spots.
Whilst the overwhelming majority of media attention is being given to the coronavirus pandemic and the attempts of leading ministers to pretend that the government is making a good job of controlling it, others are, in the background, quietly implementing their tired and failed neocon policies.
One is to squeeze the life out of and transfer any blame to local government. In an article in yesterday's Observer Andy Burnham, directly elected Mayor of Greater Manchester, reveals that, although the Westminster government promised to bear the cost of measures to take the homeless off the streets during the crisis, they have now reneged on the promise. Apparently it applied only to those who were already homeless, and not those who become homeless during the crisis.
So those local councils who jumped with alacrity to fulfil this humanitarian task are pushed even further into debt.
In the same article Burnham points out that in the same week that researchers have confirmed the link between poverty and susceptibility to the virus the government quietly removed what is called deprivation weighting from the way it calculates central government grants to local government. The result, he claims, is that Knowsley, a deprived area of Greater Manchester, suffers a 39% cut and relatively affluent South Gloucestershire, presumably with lots of Tory voters, is blessed with a 30% increase.
It is hard to believe that this is a country with a Christian heritage where every parliamentary day begins with prayers. Presumably they still do so at Eton. If so it hasn't had much lasting effect.
Almost ignored now by the media are the post-Brexit negotiations for our future relations with the European Union. We were promised a “best in class” Free Trade Agreement and a “fantastic new partnership.
However, those who follow these things and in particular Professor Chris Grey in his detailed Brexit Blog, believe we are heading for the most damaging of all outcomes - leaving with no deal at all.
According to Grey the Brexiteers are beginning to believe their own lies. They will most surely contrive to blame their non-attainment not on their own self-deception but on the alleged stubbornness of the European Union.
And the sycophantic press will swallow it.
There can nave have been a more depressing, indeed humiliating, period in the history of British politics.