The people who do not care about Brexit either way have been left out in the cold


I would like to make a plea for some coverage in this paper of a growing but unreported group of voters – those who do not care about Brexit, either way. There seems to be no party which this group can support – which effectively disenfranchises them – and there is similarly no national paper or website.

We believe that Brexit is unimportant because of three things.

Firstly, sovereignty: the UK gave up its sovereignty to the US nearly 80 years ago. Since then, governments of all stripes have done exactly what America wants – before and during EU membership – and certainly after. On all important matters, we have already given up this independence.

Secondly, the emphasis on trade is a very 19th-century preoccupation. 3D printers are in their adolescence – but in ten years or less, all goods will be able to be printed as required, in each community – so trade itself will become unnecessary. Intangible trade, similarly, will be AI-led, and will therefore not be an inter-country revenue earner.

Thirdly, an exaggerated concern about immigration always has racism and chauvinism at its heart – so should be disregarded. Such control is anyway impossible without measures which themselves would negate the values of our society.

Take away those three factors, and there’s so little left that the entire matter is irrelevant. So, who should we vote for?

James Hewett

The Living Wage

Forecasting can be difficult for companies in times of political and economic instability. But it’s the lowest paid workers in our society that feel the effects of uncertainty the hardest and, as responsible employers, we must commit to ensuring our employees have the financial and economic stability they need to live.

That’s why we’re proud to be part of a movement of Living Wage employers that go beyond the government’s minimum and pay the real Living Wage. It is an independently calculated rate that ensures workers can meet the cost of living and earn enough to support themselves and their families.

There are nearly 6,000 accredited Living Wage employers across the country who have made this commitment, ranging from household names and FTSE companies to thousands of SMEs.

No one in work should be struggling to make ends meet, but without a real Living Wage that can be the reality for many. That’s why today we’re calling on all businesses to step up and join our movement.

Stuart Wright, Chair of the Living Wage Foundation and Properties & Facilities Director at Aviva

Kim Healey, People Director, Everton Football Club

Julie Abraham, CEO, Richer Sounds

Gideon Moore, Firmwide Managing Partner, Linklaters LLP

Paula Stannett, Chief People Officer at Heathrow Airport

Erica Bourne, Chief People Officer at Burberry

Alison Brown, Executive Partner at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Laura Faulkner, Nationwide Building Society’s Director of Supply Chain Management

Tom Stables, Managing Director, National Express UK and Germany

James Watt, CEO and Founder at Brewdog

Alex Lowen, Group General Manager of Human Resource at HSBC

Tara Mansfield, Head of People at Monzo

Peter Jelkeby, Country Retail Manager and Chief Sustainability Officer at IKEA

Number crunching

How can people have faith in our parliament? The Tories can splash their estimate of Labour spending plans all over the place, without verification their estimate is accurate, and not release their own spending figures – and now Nigel Farage says he will only target Labour seats.

I am not a Labour voter but think it is bad for democracy and people’s faith in voting that these things are happening.

Personally I think Labour should splash Tory estimates of Labour spending plans and underneath it show Boris with his Brexit bus and £350m a week extra for the NHS if we left the EU.

Valerie Crews
Beckenham, Kent

An alliance is born

Remainers’ worst fear is here – an alliance, even if not in name – between the Brexit Party and the Tories. Unless Labour sees sense by agreeing pro-EU electoral pacts in carefully selected constituencies, we will be leaving the European Union on 31 January and heralding the end of a liberal United Kingdom. Hang your head in shame, Mr Corbyn.

Patrick Cosgrove

Nigel Farage has announced his party will not contest Tory-held seats in the forth-coming general election. The Tory-Brexit Party alliance highlights the ideological unity. They are two cheeks on the same arse.

Just a few weeks ago Donald Trump endorsed such a pact arguing it would be an “unstoppable force”. It is down to decent people everywhere to ensure this new “axis of evil” is defeated at next month’s polls.

Sasha Simic

Our justice system needs funding

I recently resigned as a magistrate after 11 years of voluntary public service. I have become increasingly disillusioned with the damage being done to our Criminal Justice System (CJS) by the policy of austerity since 2010. I have resigned because the system is in crisis and has become unfit for purpose.

We have seen dramatic reductions in recent years in police numbers, in the Crown Prosecution Service, in legal aid available in magistrates court proceedings, in legal advisers, in probation services (along with a disastrous partial privatisation) and in the prison service. We should all be aware that these cutbacks have had seriously damaging impact on those affected by the CJS. Now that a general election is pending, our esteemed politicians are making all sorts of promises to address the problems they have caused.

Recent Home Office figures show the scale of the problem, with recorded crime on the rise, whilst the number of prosecutions is falling and the proportion of solved recorded crimes has dropped. To provide just one terrifying example, the percentage of alleged sexual offences between 2010 and 2019 that were prosecuted, has fallen from 28 per cent to 3 per cent. Large reductions apply to other categories of offences too, such as “violence against the person” and “robbery”.

I can assure you that there are many former colleagues who have similar concerns to my own and are disillusioned with the fact that justice is neither being done nor being seen to be done. Trust in the system and within the system is at an all-time low.

Unfortunately, the administration of justice has always been a low priority for governments of all shades. Patently it is an insignificant priority compared to the latest popular initiative and the demands of austerity, and one suspects that governments take the view that it doesn’t garner many votes. But when the CJS collapses to its current low ebb, one hopes that it will have an impact on the opinions and concerns of our fellow citizens. It is an uncivilised society that fails to ensure that it has a properly functioning CJS that provides fair and equal treatment for all.

Gareth Hopkins

Boris Johnson acted like a complete buffoon during yesterday’s Remembrance Sunday.

First, during the minute’s silence at 11am whilst the nation remembered the sacrifice of our servicemen and women, as other political leaders stood still in remembrance, Johnson’s attention was wandering all over the place.

Next he set off prematurely to lay his wreath and then when he did, he laid it upside down in a show of ceremonial disrespect. Jeremy Corbyn by contrast was dignified. He headed from the service to speak at a further tribute in his Islington North constituency, before spending time talking to veterans and families while Johnson hobnobbed with the elite.

The establishment broadcasters and media have ignored Johnson’s actions entirely – in stark contrast to the blanket coverage that would have followed had it been Corbyn. Whatever a free press looks like, this isn’t it.

Julie Partridge

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