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Johnson will use Brexit to cement elitist control. It's up to the rest of us to stop him

3 313 0
31.07.2019

There are plenty of things I disagree on with Boris Johnson – Brexit, £350m daubed on the side of a bus and his failure to act on the climate crisis. But he was right when he said: “They [the people] haven’t failed. It’s we, us, the politicians, our politics has failed them.”

The north of England, and plenty of other areas, have been abandoned by the political class. Communities with proud histories were hollowed out by de-industrialisation and decades of neglect, followed in recent years by an ideologically driven assault on public services in the name of austerity. Left to decline not because the political class didn’t know what was happening: more likely, they didn’t care.

So when the chance came for those people to give the establishment a good kicking for such arrogance and complacency, it’s hardly surprising that they took it. The result was a leave victory in the 2016 referendum. The status quo in this country is intolerable for huge numbers of people. The social contract is broken, the power game is rigged and it’s primarily thanks to those who voted leave that this crisis at the heart of our democracy can no longer be ignored.

Splashing the cash as Johnson seems intent on doing now isn’t any kind of solution. That was the clear message I heard when I visited leave constituencies earlier this year as part of my Dear Leavers initiative. The problems run far deeper and will only be addressed if we redistribute power as well as resources. Vote Leave’s powerful slogan “take back control” resonated........

© The Guardian