IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Breathtaking cynicism behind May’s bribes

08 February, 2019

Theresa May

• AM I alone in being appalled at the shameless attempt by Theresa May’s government to buy the votes of certain Labour MPs representing Brexit-supporting constituencies by offering extra investment funds in the areas they represent?

Mrs May has already used our tax monies to buy the support of the Democratic Unionist Party for her failing government. The cynicism of these actions is breathtaking.

The offer to the Labour MPs begs two questions. If it is right that the former coalmining areas in the north need extra investment, shouldn’t the government have granted this a long time ago instead of waiting to try to bribe their representatives over Brexit?

Second, who is to say that the problems in these areas are more damaging to the immediate social order than, say, gang violence and knife crime in non-Brexit voting areas like Islington?

There is something seriously wrong with a situation where, through an extended regime of austerity, a government has starved all regions of the country of funds for essential services and infrastructure investment, thereby making their representatives biddable with the offer of scarce governmental funds.

If Brexit has taught us nothing else, it has shown that the British public no longer trusts or respects its governing classes. The realpolitik currently being transacted by Prime Minister May’s government shows us why this is the case.

The time has come for us to look again at the British electoral system. As a remain voter I feel totally excluded from the Brexit debate and thereby alienated from the political process.

The first-past-the-post electoral system has left us with an unrepresentative parliament, where the opinion of nearly half of the electorate is not properly represented and corrupt side deals are being done to force through unpopular policies. Never has the case for proportional representation looked stronger.

PAUL ELLIOTT
Islington Green Party

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