So we emerge helplessly into a scenario that many dismissed, and few believed could happen.
The UK voted to leave the EU, and Mrs May has turned it into the coldest hardest brexit that anyone could have foretold.
But there was clearly a plan for this all along.
Consider the package of Govt policies since 2009, and it’s clear the contingency plans have long been in the works.
We had the massive govt investment in education, making sure all our most able can take advantage of the best facilities, the best tutoring, all without reference to their relative financial capabilities, key here being the big student debt write offs that freed a generation to pursue their dreams, at least for a while.
The new Itec technical qualifications have proved popular and the enlightened approach of pairing up the innovative colleges with council investment funds and business and marketing students has meant the UK has registered more new patents in 2016 than in the previous 10 years. Even better, as Cooperatives these new start ups have given so many young British kids a stake in their future that’s proving more inspiring than any previous employee share scheme. Moreover getting the pension companies to pitch in 5% of their charges has enabled the icoops to plan ahead, as the brilliant facilities in Lincoln and Livingston have demonstrated.
The NHS is now starting to be envied again around the globe, with the increased numbers of (UK trained) junior doctors and nurses allowing GPs to open longer hours, and all treatments seeing lower waiting times.
We invested in housing stock, ensuring that those starting on the housing ladder had modern, efficient and ecologically sound homes, whilst the increases in inheritance tax, tight landlord controls and the restrictions in place to eliminate avoidance have meant that existing stocks have ceased to inflate endlessly and remain affordable.
The govt have tirelessly sought to rebalance the regions of Britain, focussing help, expertise, and investment on impressive start ups and our manufacturing base, ensuring exports continue to rise year on year despite expectations from the naysayers. Scotland is no longer looking for an out, and theres confidence that regional assemblies like Yorkshire’s will be rolled out, with Cornwall next in line.
The UKs successes in reducing co2 emissions, and the revolutions in energy storage have yielded much cheaper electricity costs and the need to import Russian gas seems like a distant nightmare.
The Natonal Insurance breaks given to firms offering additional leave entitlement have seen the tourism, arts and service sectors buoyant with the regional museums now seeing record footfall season on season.
Equality has benefitted from these measures, helped also by the reduction of VAT back to 17.5%, with youth unemployment under 4% in most areas. Without the neo-liberal restrictions of Europe there’s real hope that VAT will fall to 15%.
Further, the introduction of Carers Income covering all parents working less than 35 hours, with the extension to grandparents, and those with adult dependents have improved the quality of life for the forgotten heroes of Britain.
There’s still work to do… The press continues to be dominated by the right wing, although the removal of non-Dom status did lead to new owners across the board. The House of Lords remains an anachronism. And the farming lobby has successfully campaigned for no funding changes until 2020, but the newly energised rural left are starting to make inroads.
The Brexit vote was a shock, and I’m not alone in being surprised seeing the govt pushing so hard for a quick-and-dirty version. And I know many would like it to fail just to prove the Farage/Gove types wrong, but thanks to our govt, since the crisis of 2009 we’ve actually taken amazing steps to rebalance the economic and emotional wellbeing of the nation, which should ensure we’re more successful than many predicted.
I mean, just imagine if we’d done this without the imagination represented above. Thank goodness the false idols of small government and austerity combined with corporate welfare haven’t for years been reducing our national coping mechanisms.
Just imagine the govts only plan was to negotiate trade agreements and there was no inclination to look at the fitness of our structures.
Then this wouldn’t seem like a smart idea.