Party People column – Cameron’s gamble

Medway Green Party member and Membership Officer, Steve Dyke, wrote the article below for the Party People column in the Medway Messenger:

So we now wait to find out the consequences of Cameron’s gamble.  Although the political landscape changed immediately following the EU referendum, it will be years before we know if the decision to leave was a good or bad one.

In this period of uncertainty we should remember that the same people are governing Britain as were on the day before the referendum.  We must not allow ‘Brexit’ to be used as a way of removing our hard-won rights and environmental protections (many of which emanated from the EU), to impose more austerity or privatise our NHS and public services.  It is notable that the existence of EU nature directives was a crucial factor in the Davies Commission ruling out an airport on the Hoo Peninsula in 2014.

The referendum result showed many people’s alienation from mainstream politics, with austerity-hit and economically disadvantaged communities using it to express their anger and frustration, including in Medway where nearly two thirds voted to leave.  The referendum campaign was bitter and divisive.  The scapegoating of refugees and immigrants is always wrong, but does reflect real stresses faced by local communities who should be listened to and have their problems addressed.

Divided communities need rebuilding and the increase in racism and hate crime since the referendum must be addressed.  The Green Party will always stand up for multiculturalism and the principle of the free movement of people.

Ultimately, real political change is needed.  The referendum was called by a government elected by just 24% of eligible voters.  A more responsive, representative and inclusive democracy must be built through electoral reform.

The Greens want to see a better, fairer society in Britain and we will always fight for this nationally and locally, even though we believe that Brexit will make this harder to achieve.

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