So where are we? The UK and the rest of Europe have lurched to the right. People and countries are becoming more insular and less internationalist, less tolerant of difference and are looking for “others” to blame. Almost inevitably during times of austerity, people do not like those inflicting the pain, however necessary. Of course, some will argue that the cuts in public spending are not necessary, are not fair, are not reasonable, do not need to be so severe or all of the above. The fact is, for years the UK has been spending more than it earns in taxation, building up massive debts that interest has to be paid on and it’s payback time.
The “cost of living crisis” is more about paying back what we owe because we overspent than it is to do with a mismanaged economic recovery. Facing the economic crisis we were facing, drastic cutting back on public spending is necessary. Once the debt reduces, and the interest payments begin to fall, there will be scope to increase public spending again and this we could and should do.
It is easier to blame “foreigners” for “taking our jobs” than it is to get some of the long-term unemployed into work. It strikes a chord with people. So the main political parties are looking to recoup their losses to UKIP by sounding more and more like them; “we need to listen to voters concerns about immigration”.
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