It’s fair to say that British politics has never seemed so chaotic. Surrounded by roaring tunnels, punctuated by the incessant howling of the London Underground, I have spent many an evening returning from university perusing through a number of articles trying to acquire a firm grip on Brexit. Of course, I wouldn’t say I’m an expert as if the politicians are failing to maintain focus it seems rather unlikely that anyone outside of the circle should take the title of specialist. With the Withdrawal Agreement also being put to the vote in less than 48 hours it stands to reason that the country should step back and take a deep breath. Not so much for what’s to come – it’s already reckoned that the vote will result in a massive defeat for the government – but to take a thorough look at what we’ve missed in the past two and a half years.
Increasing poverty, demeaning cuts to welfare and crippling pressure on our education system compose the terrible Trifecta of recent Tory policy. Now, I would never advocate for any man to ignore the current state of affairs in terms of our position with the EU but we have all become victims to its overexposure. And with the ever-persistent presence of the far right and Tommy Robinson, it is time now more than ever to draw our eyes back to the homestead.
Remember when May declared austerity over two months back? She remains stoic, guarding such lip service like a rabid dog would a dump, but at least the latter deserves our sympathy. In the 70 days or so since her declaration there’s been much to say otherwise regarding the state of the UK – food banks are expecting crippling demand for their provisions this Christmas while mothers steal packs of sugar to place in the Christmas stockings of their daughters. Hyperbole? I wish. Brexit has eclipsed poverty as a major issue around the country, but no less prevalent does it remain as even a sixth of pensioners are currently finding themselves in such a state.
Stories about education are no different. Recently, I have been keeping an eye on the BBC’s ‘School’ series which takes a look at the efforts of four institutions in Gloucestershire to push back against rising pressure in the face of budget cuts. It would be foolish to assume that such changes do not affect the morale of both staff and student and the series employs a wonderful presentation of these detriments. In this case, we see the efforts of a disheartened head-teacher attempting to cut £1m from the school’s annual budget – it’s not foolish to assume that this is the only institution having to navigate this maze, be it a million or two and a half.
In a nutshell, the developments related to education, poverty and Brexit will all have long-lasting effects on the future of this country. It just so happens that with a rising disinterest in the long-winded, nonsensical process for our leaving the EU, we need to turn our attentions back to issues long preceding the referendum. Combined ignorance for all of these facets will lead to failure and a lack of faith, but we can soften the blow of the impending Brexit bomb should we decide to improve our standing of where we are now, rather than where we will be in March 2019.