‘Take back control’ was the mantra of the Brexiteers during the 2016 referendum. Ensuring the UK parliament was sovereign above all others, and who can forget the famous £350m on the side of the bus?
What better way to take back control than a Tory ruse to prorogue parliament and limit the time left for democratically elected representatives to debate Brexit ahead of an October 31 deadline? It seems sovereignty of Parliament is limited to a Prime Minister elected by 0.3 per cent of the UK’s population. But we should not be surprised to see the Tories say one thing and then do another. Duplicity is a common thread throughout their policy making, not just Brexit.
Universal Credit is a prime example. A system supposed to help people back into employment which attempts to send many terminally ill people back to work, imposes a rape clause, and deliberately delays crucial payments to some of the most vulnerable people in our society.
Just last week Fife Council announced tenant rent arrears have now surpassed an unprecedented £2m due to delayed Universal Credit payments. Amber Rudd has repeatedly said she has many concerns with the policy but she simply will not change it.
The duplicity, however, goes further. Just a few months ago Amber Rudd said the idea that Boris Johnson would prorogue parliament to shut down debate on Brexit was “absolutely outrageous”. Now we see Boris Johnson’s true intentions, Amber Rudd loyally remains in her role unable to call out her own Prime Minister’s actions.
It seems, however, that the Tory doublespeak became too much for Ruth Davidson, who felt forced to resign last week. To her credit she wrote of her conflicts with Boris Johnson’s position on Brexit and the direction of the UK party in her resignation letter.
But we don’t have to settle for the Tories’ failings on welfare, WASPI pensions and Brexit. The work of the last Labour government under Gordon Brown saw the introduction of pension tax credits, free bus travel, cold weather payments, free TV licences to the elderly – and he pulled one million children out of poverty. All being systematically reversed under a Tory Government which now has its sights on raising the pension age to 75.
We need the Tories out – and Labour in. We are the only party offering any alternatives to Tory austerity. We would pay a £10 minimum wage, invest in our communities, build a green industrial strategy, and restore hope and dignity for young and old.
If the Tories stay in government any longer our communities will be destroyed beyond anything we have ever seen.