I see that Tony Blair is straining to make the headlines again. This time he insists that the UK's immigration controls are made more robust - and in return for this unrivalled wisdom he states that the condition for this is not to pursue Brexit ! What a deal that sounds like. After all, the Brexit camp only voted for Brexit because of its racist, nationalistic, xenophobic attitudes to foreigners - did it not ? Of course not, and it is irritating in the extreme to hear well past their sell-by date politicians trying to stir things up and create yet further divisions in the country. The only beneficiary of this silly interventionism is Brussels and their bureaucrats must be enjoying themselves immensely at Britain's confusion. In a phrase, Mr Blair, go back to your after dinner speaking engagements - it's far more lucrative and it keeps you well out of the way of serious issues that don't warrant your post-dated wisdom.
Nigel Farage reports recently have him saying that the EU is afraid of Brexit. At a purely administrative level I am sure he is right, but those EU mandarins are possibly having a moderately enjoyable time observing the divisions and changing declarations being made on our side of the Channel over Brexit related matters. It seems obscurity is the mantra over what Brexit is going to actually look like and the political differences and divides within government and Opposition make this more opaque than ever. Our politico's really do need to get their act together and indeed work together if Brexit is going to be successful. Yet the signs are not encouraging as dissent and a fervent noise from committed Remainers make a cohesive strategy and angle of attack difficult to gauge and implement. It still looks very much like the Remain detractors still view the Brexit supporters as clog-wearing, ignorant and prejudiced whilst they see themselves as enlightened, informed and immeasurably better placed to make the right decisions for Britain (for Britain, read the south-east). This is a division par excellence is it not ? And probably a major source of that division is a very unresponsive government machine that imagines it can bludgeon its way through Brexit purely to achieve something of a goal - but not necessarily the right goal. As these blogs have commented previously, it looks like a target to be reached irrespective of the chaos it inflicts along the way. Well, ladies and gentlemen of Westminster, that is not good enough. Brexit holds the future for this country and it needs to be brought about effectively, without unnecessary compromise and in a timely fashion. All the talk of dilution, extension, maybe a bit of part-membership, etc, etc doesn't wash. As the saying goes, 'Leave means Leave'. There is little point in pandering to the vocal minority, we have voted to leave and leave they must deliver. In spite of us all wearing clogs and cloth caps, the majority of Brexit supporters are actually thinking types who care about the nations future. Metropolitan elites who are upset about a change in their lifestyle are not a factor.
I also see growing concern amongst the great unwashed masses about the conduct and management of some of our local authorities. Super-Authorities resulted from the merger of several smaller Council styles a decade ago and these very largely control the country on all domestic matters. Yet the evidence is growing of mismanagement, inefficiencies and even downright corruption guiding their daily activities. Much of this has come to light over that topical subject of house building. I'm guessing nearly everyone in the land has in some way or other fallen victim to the explosion of domestic building all over the place. Planning permissions have exploited loop-holes in Council planning strategies and every scrap of land being sold off by farmers and other owners has resulted in an ugly and perhaps unnecessary invasion of brick and concrete. I wonder in particular why it is that many of these buildings are still for sale, incomplete or mothballed ? Waiting for the market to improve, the developers respond. But what of the pressing need to build much needed new houses you might ask ? Wasn't this the panacea to get the economy working again after the recession ? Well, seemingly not. These houses are all in the wrong places - amazing revelation ! Which begs the thought that there has been a cosy connivance between government and developer (generous party funding, perhaps ?) to just build, irrespective of location and specific need. And in the process, of course, we have expanded the semi-rural into some awful, extended urbania. Class act, eh !
Yet local governments are the implementer of central government policy, so we should not exclusively blame our local heroes. But it is very tempting given some of the evidence - falsified data on air quality, infrastructure need, social services, roads, police and so on - all make for a suspicion that all is not well within the temples of local government. There is much to be enquired into and the one thing that I believe councils will no longer be able to assume is the fact that the public won't wear it without tangible signs of improvement. Like Westminster, ladies and gentlemen servants of the public - get you act together and start behaving with probity and effectiveness.