Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Genie unleashed, attacking the vulnerable, same old story

I spent part of the morning watching the European Parliament debate on the UK referendum result. I was impressed by the warmth of goodwill expressed towards Britain despite the brexit vote. Nigel Farrage behaved with disgraceful contempt and discourtesy towards other MEPs and the Assembly, and he was booed. Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker didn't hold back, openly calling him a lair, just for the record. It is disturbing to think Farrage was elected to the European Parliament, that he has attended and taken his MEP's financial entitlement for such a long time.

Today's news has also raised concern over the disturbing increase in the number of hate crimes against immigrants, people of other faiths and ethnic minorities in recent months. A certain section of disaffected people are scapegoating others on the basis of appearance. Inflammatory rhetoric during the referendum debate seems to have contrived to embolden people to voice resentment by verbal and physical attacks on others. 

It's like a re-run of the seventies and eighties all over again, and I worry that there'll be outbreaks of racially driven civil disorder, unless politicians get a grip on themselves and focus attention on this issue as a major post referendum priority. Now that everyone has tasted a little fear and uncertainty at the outcome of such a divisive decision, it's going to be a lot harder to restore calm and social harmony. Without calm and social harmony, there is no basis for any new policy effort or economic initiative, as these things rely on a bedrock of stability - not just in prosperous areas, but all over the country. I hope that those entering into political leadership contests in coming weeks are aware of the dire need to address this promptly. It's what national survival depends upon.

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