Appalled at mess our country is in

Ronnie Campbell MP.
Ronnie Campbell MP.

Predicting the year ahead is always a mug’s game, so I will give it a shot.

I forecast that a Brexit deal acceptable to all will rise from the shambles of the Tory government, the nation will rejoice and Britain will be top of the world again.

And if you believe that, you’ll believe that pigs can fly. Mind you, Theresa May is still Prime Minister so I suppose anything can happen.

As a solid Labour Brexiteer, I have been appalled at the mess the Tories have made in trying, over two-and-a-half years, to deliver the clear will of the people.

My own party has hardly been clear on the issue. We have also been divided on the EU and that must end.

That said, the paralysis of the government on domestic issues is hurting millions of decent families.

The last week or so saw a raft of announcements, which in ordinary times should have shamed any government.

The Young Women’s Trust reported that one in ten young parents has used a food bank and that many are forced to skip meals. Yet the rollout of the flawed Universal Credit will continue.

There was a surge in deaths of homeless people, and Shelter reckons that there are more than 2,400 homeless people in the north east alone.

Austerity cuts have led to a 42 per cent drop in fire safety checks, while police forces cannot afford to chase burglars, muggers and drug-pushers.

Approximately 2.4 million over 75s could lose the free TV licence.

More working-age people will be locked out from buying their own home, and the knock-on effect will be a rise in the number of pensioners, currently one in six, condemned to a poverty-stricken retirement.

More than 500,000 British workers have been swept into working poverty, yet we see boardroom bonuses, paid for by squeezing workers out of decent pay.

As long as this government remains in power, I believe the rich will get richer and the rest will struggle.

Happy New Year.