Who will go on to succeed Theresa May?

As we enter a new year it is a good moment to take a glance at who could lead the Tories into the next General Election. Bluntly, May is an interim Prime Minister who has recorded the fastest drop in popularity in modern times, losing a twenty-two point lead in the polls. Accepting this, there are two obvious options; stick with a big name or inject a fresh face. Of the promising up-and-comers, a few names have emerged that can be dropped in conversation to make you seem intelligent.

Firstly, there is Boris Johnson’s’ brother Jo who, until his recent comments about punishing universities that ban certain speakers, was untarnished. The MP for Orpington does not possess the magnetism of Boris and it is safe to suggest considering Boris’ ambitions and reputation his brother will not rise to the challenge and cause a Miliband esque battle. Kwasi Kwartengan, an impressive academic who has been dubbed “a black Boris”, is a BAME candidate who could draw a broader demographic. He is a Brexiteer who would find favour amongst the 1922 committee and is deemed promising enough to be handed Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. However, the change in the political climate to austerity led by Jeremy Corbyn and a weary public weakens Kwartengan because of his economic leanings.

Naturally the next election will be concerned with issues as much as personalities, with Brexit and the Trump presidency, foreign policy is primed to dominate. If so the likes of Johnny Mercer, an army veteran, would carry significant weight after a rise in nationalism following the EU referendum, especially in traditional Labour strongholds. However, Mercer’s inexperience and views on the welfare state undermine his credentials. A candidate of a similar background would suffice, also ex-serviceman so-called “mutineer” Tom Tugendhat stands out. In addition to the army background and being a centre-right moderate he also speaks Arabic, although how important this is to party members is debatable. Tugendhat’s opposition to Brexit would be an advantage to attract a generation of Remainers, but paradoxically will hurt any campaign internally.

The obvious candidates are current Cabinet members with proven track records and their names well known within Conservative circles. Their problem is they have been in Government for over seven years and carry baggage from austerity and Brexit. David Davies appeals to the base due to him leading the Brexit negotiations and having campaigned for Leave. He also already ran for the leadership in 2005 and is deemed to be a safe pair of hands. However, he also has so far made a mountain out of a mole hill with regards to the negotiations so far. Phillip Hammond is a good technocrat but is not someone that commentators really see leading the party. There are two others that are worth a punt, Amber Rudd and Ruth Davidson. Rudd appears competent and voted Remain which is a big draw for Tory MPs if not members. However, she has experience and came out of the party conference in October looking “dignified and grown up”.

Ruth Davidson leader north of the boarder has led the Scottish Conservatives into some relevance for the first time in decades. They replaced Labour as the challengers to the SNP in Scotland this summer. She has rejuvenated the party north of the border, sparking talk of a future leadership contest. Being a gay Scottish woman also has some political benefits. However, she has never been an MP and to challenge for the leadership let alone number 10 will prove a probable impossible task. And yet, a YouGov poll of party members in September put her ahead of Boris Johnson as a “better leader” and put her behind him by only four points as their preferred choice to take over from May.

Therefore, the judgement is that Boris Johnson is still in pole position. The candidate for Prime Minister must be elected as leader by the whole of the Conservative Party and his charm and Churchillian approach is lapped up in the Tory heartlands. This has enabled him to be such a threat he appears un-sackable. The other side of the man, the power-hungry Etonian prone-to-a-gaffe, will find it difficult to poll among swing voters and young voters.

Those of us who still hope for a Europhilic liberal utopia, with a welfare state that will be there when we are old, are praying that the rest of the public wake up and see this side of Johnson. Unfortunately, history tells us otherwise and the population can be easily duped by a man who portrays an image of a false but attractive past. If you, like myself, are firmly on the left, Jacob Rees-Mogg would be the dream opponent.

Death in waiting room under investigation as NHS crisis worsens

An emergency department in Dudley is under investigation after a man died in a waiting room. The Trust does not discuss individual cases but have confirmed that a man died in Russells Hall’s emergency room in November.

Elsewhere, One doctor working in A&E apologised for the overcrowding which he said had caused “3rd world conditions”.
The stories of an NHS Winter Crisis are starting to become normalised, but some of the details that have emerged in the past week are truly shocking. Years of Tory austerity, mismanagement and privatisation throughout the NHS has left the staff fighting an uphill battle to provide care for those in need.

It’s tempting to get carried away in reeling off the stats, but it’s important to remember that each one of the 17,000 patients left waiting in ambulances is someone’s mum, dad, grandparent or child. The nature of sickness is such that one day it could be you. The human cost of Tory callousness has never been so clear.

Jeremy Hunt broke his silence on Twitter this morning to essentially accept that the NHS is in crisis. Theresa May later apologised for the on-going situation which has seen ‘non-vital’ operations cancelled. While the Prime Minister says she knows how “difficult, frustrating and disappointing” the cancellations have been for people, there has been no effort to mitigate the crisis.

Platitudes from May about the NHS being “better prepared for winter than ever” are clearly not going to placate the growing public anger, which started at the ballot box in June last year when Labour denied Theresa May of her parliamentary majority. Public sector workers, suffering years of a pay-freeze and seeing the service they have worked in for decades decimated by the Tories, turned to Labour in huge numbers.

Jeremy Corbyn has been quick to lay the blamefor the crisis at the feet of May and Hunt for the long-term under-funding of the NHS. As the British Medical Association stated this isn’t just about one aspect of the NHS, it’s a systemic crisis. With GP appointments almost impossible to attain, A&Es across the country full and beds taken with people suffering from cuts to social care, there is nowhere for people to go.

The NHS has cared for people for more than 60 years, but it wont survive much longer with the Tories refusing to give it the funding it needs to flourish. The Tory drive for privatisation is costing British lives. Now, more than ever, we need a government that works to improve the life’s of the people they serve, and not one that caters to the wallets of the wealthy.

Toby Young – A threat to University Liberalism, and decency

On New Year’s Day the Office for Students (OfS) came into effect, a new university regulator expected to “promote choice and ensure that students receive a good deal”. Higher Education Minister, Jo Johnson, has also given the body the right to fine universities should they not uphold free-speech. The plan was viewed suspiciously enough by academics, but when the Guardian announced Toby Young was to sit on the board suspicion turned to fury.

Young has a chequered career to say the least. He set up the first of the free schools pioneered by David Cameron and has supported the government in various avenues. However, not only does he have next to no experience in higher education his comments over the years have ranged from deranged to downright bigoted. He has criticised the idea of “inclusiveness” which include its insistence on wheelchair ramps in schools, and has an unhealthy fascination with eugenics. Young also labelled working class undergraduates “vaguely deformed”.

If this was not enough, his Twitter account has to be seen to be believed, with countless comments degrading women through promiscuous sexual slurs and insults which Young has attempted to cover by deleting all but 8,500 of his 56,000 tweets. While watching a Comic Relief charity appeal, Young tweeted: “What happened to Winkelman’s breasts Put on some weight, girlie” and several tweets about US television host Padma Lakshmi (whom he worked with), one of which he claimed he had his “dick up her arse.” This, a man who is now supposed to be monitoring the best and brightest that this country has to offer. A man who the Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, believes is the “right man for the job.”

Free-speech has been a coveted subject over several years since the concepts of “safe spaces” and “no-platforming” have become a popular tool amongst student bodies. Guest speakers and lecturers who students have decided are racist or homo/transphobic have faced protests. As a student at Cardiff University, I witnessed the uproar that renowned feminist Germaine Greer received over her comments about transsexual women, an example of the rise in identity politics that has swept through university campuses, with LGBT groups particularly capable of controlling and directing the zeitgeist.

Although the National Union of Students have defended this policy, insisting no-platforming does not limit free speech but defends it by “allowing debate to take place without intimidation”. The head of Oxford University, Professor Louise Richardson, has challenged universities to protect free speech and called upon students to challenge the views of those they disagree with, using intellect to work out how to convince people with differing views.

However, the intervention of the government has the potential to create a deeply worrying precedent. To avoid fines, universities will need to monitor what is being written and said in their universities or risk a fine and negative implications for further research opportunities. The government can and will use this to influence. Remember, the General Election was a disaster for the Tories and success for Labour because of the surprising turnout amongst young voters in constituencies with universities. Many will see this as a move to influence political debate on campus and suppress ideologies the government is not keen on. The Ofs is a body that is not needed, and the personnel hired are simply inadequate.

Gender inequality rife throughout Africa

The largest gender gaps are observed in West and Central Africa, where 79 girls are enrolled in secondary school for every 100 boys.

Although, African leaders declared that this year was “the African youth decade” and launched a number of youth employment strategies to help the increasing unemployment figures, its still on the rise. There is no doubt that more needs to be done to give the youth the educational resources they need to thrive, but as the region continues to increase its military spending, they are cutting education which is having a devastating effect on rural areas.

The rural poverty across the continent is something that is constantly spoken about, so it is not surprising when it is stated that the rural children are at a disadvantage learning only key skills needed for manual labour work. Many parents who send their children to school see this as a way to climb out of poverty, this would be the case if the money is continuously invested, and many of the African countries weren’t exploited by their leaders.

Teachers must be paid a fair salary, and students need up to date resources.

Many of the children who are sent to school still severely lack in the skills necessary for employment. A large focus has been placed on urban areas by ensuring new infrastructure and leisure facilities are built, which is all well for tourism but, does not ensure youth are given the skills they need to contribute to the economy of the region.

To address this education crisis, African governments must direct more resources towards rural areas by implementing policies that give the youth of the region the opportunity to succeed.
Surely, the most urgent priorities for the government besides taking care of the welfare of its citizens should be the provision of schooling for its children. Many were perplexed on the announcement back in 2012 that Western Cape government was considering closing 27 schools in the province but, since then there have been many additional schools built providing the Western Cape with some of the largest campuses in the southern hemisphere.

In South Africa public spending on education is 6.4% of GDP; the average share in EU countries is 4.8%. However the issue that continues to affect school children is not the amount spent on schools, but the quality of the teaching. This has massively affected the results of science and mathematics tests, ranking South Africa 74th out of 75th in the league tables.

A Professor at the Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol said: “The key message is that a first step to improving education quality and equity in rural areas is through improving monitoring and evaluation systems. The evidence indicates that providing value added data to policymakers and practitioners will improve evaluation processes at all levels of the education system – national, regional, county, school, class and learner”

Another way in which the education system can be ‘enhanced’ is employee education, many children from poor and underdeveloped regions cannot afford education fees and many of them end up giving up school in order to take care of their families or undergo child labour, providing them with skill based subjects and teaching them the fundamentals of surviving in the tough industries whether its crafts, dairy, carpentry etc. This will allow them to have a better and safe employment option rather than core labour.

Trump’s tax bill betrays working class to help Republican donors

The Trump administration soared to power on the back of its policy of economic nationalism, appealing to blue-collar workers across the American industrial heartlands who had been left behind in the era of globalisation. Yet the new tax bill epitomises a fundamental realignment from these campaign promises; it is a tax cut for the wealthy and the corporations, leaving behind the millions of politically disillusioned American workers to whom Trump owes his election to the White House.

Until 2016, the US economy had been dominated by the neoliberal ideals of globalisation and free movement of capital, enabling corporate profits to skyrocket – alongside the neglection of the newly unemployed, whose jobs had been transferred to Southeast Asia where production costs were cheaper. This chorum of disenchanted workers were the losers from globalization. They remained overlooked by the Western political elite who favoured maximising economic growth, regardless of the individual costs. This fuelled economic nationalism across the Rust Belt who demanded prioritisation of the workers.

In the years since 2008, median real wages have risen by a grand total of 3.58%, in comparison to the explosion of corporate profits by 57.25% over the same period. The trend of stagnating working wages began under Reagan, and continued in the era of Neo-Liberalism. Rust Belt workers hoped Trump would reverse the trend.

And so, how does Trump help such disenchanted voters, reversing the political tide away from corporate appeasement? He reduces corporation tax from 35% to 21%. Those very workers who were seduced into the ‘America First’ slogan, the backbone of Trump’s ride to the White House, appear to have been deserted in favour of the rich.

The change will reduce taxation of business owners by an average of three times as much as those whose primary source of income is wage labour – explaining the statistic that 75% of people believe this Tax Plan, disguised as a simplification of the tax code, is a tax cut for the wealthy only. Whilst some credit is given for remaining loyal to his voter base, as evident in the expansion of child credit to $2000 per child, this historic bill represents an appeasement of the GOP donors rather than Trump’s core supporters.

The workers left behind by globalization are in desperate need of government investment in infrastructure and education to help them adapt to the new economy – yet the estimated $1.7tn increase in the deficit as a result of the tax bill will restrict the administration’s ability to achieve this, and it seems like the administration has no great desire to invest in vital government services.

The potential for increasing dissent amongst Trump’s core supporters in the industrial wastelands, combined with his traditional opposition in the Democrat sphere, could force him away from politics of patronage in order to prevent the loss of control of both Houses of Congress in the upcoming elections. The Trump administration is treading a fine line; much like his globalist predecessors, a continual neglection of the the American manufacturing class could cause the downfall of Mr Trump’s control of Congress and his chances of re-election, leaving America even more economically divided than it was before.

Looking back, a year in review

Editor in Chief – Iwan Doherty:

2017 has been a year of recovery. After the horrors of 2016, democracy regained her footing. After the triggering of Article 50, the UK snap general election was the most important one in my lifetime. The Conservative party went into the snap election in the strongest position they’ve been in since 1983, yet when Corbyn’s message got out they saw their lead evaporate. The result: Theresa May hiding under the desk with Corbyn knocking on the door at Downing Street. Labour have come out of decline but still have a long way to go to get the party back in power.

Across the world, the defeat of Le Pen was welcomed, but Macron’s anti-worker approach has seen the door creak open for a radical progressive to win in France. Across the pond Alabama sent a Democrat to the senate for the first time in my lifetime, deciding Liberalism was better than Pedophilia. Although I do not expect a blue congress come this time next year without the left winning the primary battles in the summer. Names like Pelosi and Feinstein need to be replaced by the likes of Jaffe and Hildebrand for the Democratic Party to win back it’s working class base.

However in 2017 something awoke. Hope. And it’s brought Socialism back with it.

Communications Director – Henry Jones:

2017 has, undeniably been a terrible year. We’ve waited all year for good news. I haven’t seen any of it. Take those BBC (sorry Adam) Breaking News alerts we get on our phone. The vast majority have been incredibly depressing.

Having said that, we can find solace in the incredible acts of human kindness and generosity that have been witnessed in response to the various acts of terror over the past year. While we cannot whitewash the comments from those who spout unhelpful rhetoric like ‘all Muslims are terrorists’ or even our Prime Minister’s meaningless platitudes that never translate into anything meaningful, we must always hold in our hearts the actions of those who give us hope in these trying times.

I’m talking about the taxi drivers who turned up outside the stadium in Manchester after the bombing, ferrying people free of charge to the hospital, or to safety. Or the people in London who opened their homes and businesses to people during the Borough Market attack. Or our Police Force, who run towards danger when we run away from it. 2017, more than any year before, highlighted the positive traits of our hugely diverse and wonderful nation.

In spite of all the chaos and sorrow, you can count on us to get up and carry on, with tea, or a lager. Here’s to 2018. There will undoubtedly be more pain, sadness, and Tory madness. But we’ll jolly well carry on fighting for the values we are passionate about.

Editor – Adam R. Brosnan:

2017 has taught me that the actions of the ruling classes do not have consequences. We are constantly fighting battles that clearly have no place in a democratically civilised society but because they are committed by the ‘haves’, they aren’t seen as the crimes that they are – these include; fox hunting, watching porn on your computer in at work, expenses fraud by Nigel Farage, Tories illegally using call centres to canvas,Tory austerity being correlated to 120,000 deaths, Lord Ashcroft avoiding millions in tax, May’s husband’s firm outed for having not paid corporation tax for 8 years. The list is literally endless.
These actions are morally repugnant to democracy, but their contempt for democratic values is further demonstrated in the way the Conservatives are actively trying to suppressing the votes of those who are likely to oppose the activity outlined above (e.g. filibustering vote to allow 16 year olds to vote/attempts to introduce voter ID laws).

They claim these actions were to preserve democracy and maintain the integrity of our political institutions. This, however, is a blatant lie and in the case of introduction of voter ID laws – taken straight out of the Republican playbook that actively works to suppress the votes of minorities in impoverished areas that would likely vote against the establishment.

I am happy with the progress made by Labour, but when the governing party writes the rules and is in the pocket of the elite who interpret politics (the media) – I am not sure the rose-tinted future of socialism and equality is a viable one. However, it can be if Labour (once in government) immediately addresses the media monopolies that have manipulated the will of the people for their own selfish greed for far too long – if not, our movement will falter and remain an ideal that we couldn’t quite attain.

Head of Recruitment – Zach Ntim:

Grenfell Tower is a horrific tragedy that hopefully will go down in British history. Mostly because it could have been prevented.
I’ve always found it odd hearing people refer to Grenfell as North Kensington, as a North Londoner; it’s Ladbroke Grove/Latimer Road, either way on the morning of the fire, like many other Londoners I went to *North Kensington*. I had no real plan or any real money to give, I just felt the need to help.
By the time I got near, all direct routes were shut off. No tubes, buses or cabs would take me into the area. The closest I could get was South Kensington, to where I was left stranded for about 2 hours. Hanging around looking at pimped out Ferrari’s parked outside grand Georgian homes. Just minutes away from the Palace, in the backdrop was the smoke of Grenfell. I was always consciously aware of the vast inequality in the UK, but this was a particularly sobering realisation for me.
One the 14th of June 2017 this country changed forever, I just hope it is for the better. #Justice4Grenfell.

Head of Promotion and Advertising- Owen Morton:

I think its fair to say that 2017 has been a massive year in British and global politics. There’s been a return of politics to front line of conversation, real change is on offer, not seen since the 1970’s.
In terms of the UK, we saw an almost fairy tale story of redemption. When Mrs May called her election, designed by the Tory cabinet to sweep her to victory with a mandate to rival Tony Blair, no one could envision what would follow. Those weeks were like a dream for me. I was surrounded by people who were laughing, giddy with excitement due to the Labour Party’s impending doom, but I along with millions of others stood up against the onslaught of Tory bile. I’m not for one second going to argue that Corbyn won, but I can say with some conviction that he didn’t lose it. Since then we have seen the polls move in the right direction. There is still work to be done but we’re definitely on the front foot.

I could talk all day about British politics, but its important to acknowldge the wider world around us. A populist president slipped into the Oval Office with no majority, and since then has been careening from one global disaster to the next. However, it’s the new year. Optimism shall rule – we can still change the course of history.

Rohingya crisis: A textbook example of religious extremism

Aung San Suu Kyi, the once inspirational leader of Myanmar, has been stripped of her 2013 Nobel Peace Prize and various other honorary titles after the international community’s increased attention on the so-called Rohingya crisis.

Muslim minorities in Myanmar have faced systematic torture, murder and expulsion at the hands of Buddhist extremists led by the infamous and militant Ashin Wirathu.
The UN has described the Rohingya’s treatment as a “textbook example of religious extremism and ethnic cleansing.”

Religious extremism and ensuing acts of terror are indeed a prominent theme in today’s world, but religious justification for mass violence and terror is actually a well-established trend in human history. The Protestant reformation in the 16th century, the Medieval Christian Crusades, and the Jewish Holocaust of the Second World War.

And now the Buddhist-Rohingya conflict. One cannot help to think: why so much hatred against the other in the name of religions that preach love, peace and harmony? Let’s not forget that the religions in question here (Islam, Christianity, Buddhism) all contain teachings that promote peace rather than hate. How is it that these militant groups have derived justification for violence and murder from such polar opposite premises?

The ethical arguments are complex and unique for each case and, in many of these cases, require close examination of the religious evidence that has been misinterpreted and manipulated craftily for evil purposes. Still, one may generalise by pointing out that in all of these conflicts there is a blame-rhetoric of labelling the other side as the aggressor/initiator of violence and hence the culprit of the situation at hand who deserves to be punished by force if not death. This justification for self-defense is then supported and augmented by appeals to religion which function as propaganda in garnering momentum for the mobilisation against the evil common enemy, as is now seen in Myanmar, Syria, Egypt and Iraq.

One falls into a vicious circle – if not logical regress – of mutual finger-pointing unless one manages and dares to identify the root cause of the conflict by discovering the perpetrator of the original act of provocation, which may indeed be very interesting. One thing is for sure, however, and that is the human price of all of these conflicts is always massive and tragic.

The number of deaths and casualties in Myanmar is quickly approaching the millions, of whom the majority are Rohingyan civilians, women and children. If this vicious argument continues, it may be impossible to bring a halt to these acts of aggression.

First Secretary of State Damian Green Resigns

Secretary of State, Damian Green, was forced to resigned amid the conclusion of an investigation into sexual misconduct.

Green, who is MP for Ashford in Kent, and one of Theresa May’s closest allies, was appointed as the UK’s first secretary of State, in June. He quit this evening stating he made “”inaccurate and misleading” comments about his knowledge of claims pornography had been found on a computer in his Commons office in 2008.

In short, he publicly denied any prior knowledge of the porn found on his parliamentary computer, which was a lie. In his resignation letter he said:
“I accept that I should have been clear in my press statements that police lawyers talked to my lawyers in 2008 about the pornography on the computers, and that the police raised it with me in a subsequent phone call in 2013. I apologise that my statements were misleading on this point.”

Damian Green has been Theresa May’s sort of political confidant. The pair have been close friends since university, and in his role as secretary of state, he acted as May’s deputy.

The police have been investigating Green over two counts of misconduct, the most serious; making unwanted advances to journalist, Katy Maltby, in 2015. Mr Green denies all allegations. The family of Katy released a statement this evening addressing Green’s sacking:
“We are pleased that the Cabinet Office has concluded its enquiry into the conduct of Damian Green. We are not surprised to find that the inquiry found Mr Green to have been untruthful as a minister, nor that they found out daughter to be a plausible witness.”

This could be May’s biggest blow yet. Green who in November, stood in for May at PMQ’s played a pivotal role in managing Brexit. Not only in Brussels, but back in Westminster where both Cabinet ministers and backbenchers are fond of disobeying May.

A wholly unwelcome, but maybe unsurprising Christmas present for the PM who is now out of office until next year. We do not expect Green’s successor until then.

Nothing has changed

Tomorrow, the region of Catalonia is going to the polls to choose not only their new Government, but more importantly, to define themselves as a nation. It is impossible not to read the outcome of the referendum as a declaration of will from the Catalans who are expected to go to vote in record-breaking numbers. The contest has been simplified, and rightly so, between those determined to go ahead with their secessionist plans, against those who want to protect the unity of Spain. All the latest polls published by the Spanish press agree on how tight it is going to be. There are 135 seats in the Catalan parliament, which means that any party or bloc of parties will need at least 68 of those seats to hold a majority big enough in order to govern. According to all the vote intention surveys none of the blocs will reach that majority leaving their fate in the hands of Catalunya en Comu-Podem, the Catalan branch of the Spanish antisystem party Podemos. They opposed both to the application of the Article 155 and any kind of declaration of independence in the region and they have already declared they will not support either separatists or the so called constitutional parties.

Ahead in the polls parties wise is Ciudadanos. A young right party created in Cataluña back in 2006 and whose candidate, Ines Arrimadas, has managed to appeal with her strong stand against the secessionist to all those Catalans who just want their region back to normal after the crisis that saw them lose their autonomy. Behind Ciudadanos are the strongly pro-independence party, The Republican Left of Catalunya (ERC) led by Oriol Junqueras, who is currently in prison facing possible charges of rebellion for his role in the Declaration of Independence. With a possible 23% of the votes the ERC is the main independent force followed by Carles Puigdemont’s Junts per Cataluña. Mr Puigdemont is campaigning from Belgium and no longer under a European arrest warrant, but nevertheless still playing the martyr in this surreal battle for independence. His party keeps promising he will be back as the prodigal son of the Independence, but with the ongoing investigation over possible crimes of sedition, rebellion, and misuse of public funds, it seems that he won’t be returning home for Christmas anytime soon.

As we have witnessed in previous elections, polls are to be taken with a pinch of salt and only by Friday we will know how the Catalans have voted for sure. The fracture in their society is extremely deep and it will take a long time to heal. Once again this campaign has been riding more on emotions than in practicalities. The pro-independence parties haven’t explained why the declaration failed and neither have they proposed a well-studied plan to rectify mistakes and guarantee to their supporters they will get it right this time around. With the excuse of not wanting to go ahead with it because they feared a disproportional response from Madrid, they are making excuses for their own incompetence and madness. Truth is they were not ready for it. The backbone for their dreamed republic was still germinating. No financial, taxation or any other institutional structure in place. Just the dream. One would have thought they will be campaigning now explaining why they failed before and what have they done to rectify their previous mistakes. However, I am afraid this is not the case. Still the same old promises that it can happen, the EU will listen, the article 155 will be lifted and so on. The same can be said about the constitutional parties. They seemed pretty chuffed with themselves just stopping in their tracks the secessionists, with not much substance to explain what their project is for a nation who was put on the verge of collapsing by nationalism. There seems to be too much appealing to the heart and too many fire starters with no clue of what to do next.

Grenfell: The Forgotten Tragedy

Early in the morning, on the 14th of June, our nation was struck with the devastating news that a tower block in West London had been engulfed in flames. Over 200 firefighters, and 40 fire engines, attended the scene. Harrowing images dominated the news for over a week, and public frustration was brought to a breaking point.

It was clear that residents had previously expressed concerns surrounding fire safety within the tower block, and yet no action had been taken. The unavoidable disaster prompted calls for this horrendous event not to be politicised, often by those deemed partly responsible. It’s clear that all previous governments failed. Profit was put before safety, and subsequently money outweighed the cost of human life. It’s devastating to say the least.
I’m surprised how quickly attempts were made to subdue the public, and ensure that frustration died down. Of course it’s necessary to avoid social disorder, but to avoid accountability is cowardly. It was unsurprising that Nicholas Paget-Brown was forced to resign following this tragedy. The cries of local residents, following the swift election of Elizabeth Campbell, went largely unheard. They cried ‘shame on you’, called Councillors ‘murderers’, and demanded that Ms. Campbell ‘resign’. So, almost six months on and where are we? Nobody has been prosecuted, the majority of residents remain unhoused, and little action has been taken to address poor fire safety standards in public buildings.

Our government has failed to learn from past mistakes. Henceforth, they are implicit in any future disasters. If there’s one thing we can take away from this horrendous event, it’s that we can now appreciate the value of fire safety measures and the role of fire fighters. Never forget. Refusing to retrofit sprinkler systems in high rise buildings, cutting budgets for emergency services, and failing to act upon past promises doesn’t help alleviate the problem. Taking immediate action will. It’s time for the government to step-up, work with other parties, and tackle endemic issues within our society. Because let’s be clear, this disaster wouldn’t have occurred in central London.