Friday, July 15, 2016

On a changed nation

There is a general rule when it comes to this blog that when it comes to groan up divisive topics  such as politics they are not covered for a number of reasons such as we do need to get on playing without them altering how we see each other, it's not part of being in 'little space' and personally, the impact of politics is very painful for where it left me psychologically.
I can recall though being asked at high school as we all were in our form to write what we felt about the then incoming President  of the United States, Ronald Reagan in a  reflective more current affairs way by our Head Mistress.
This last three weeks in the United Kingdom was been a period of very intense discussion and  change that the preceding weeks of campaigning in a non-legally biding vote called a Referendum on leaving or remaining in the European Union could not of been anticipated.
Last year it had seemed the previous Prime Minister and his Conservative party  had returned to power, this time on their own with a small majority assured of  four more years of continued rule.
Today we cannot even be sure if a fresh General Election may not happen simply because those arguments that came up tore apart the opposition Labour Party also caused a huge split within the Conservative party  too with such bitterness you might of thought they were attacking anyone other than themselves.
The thing that both have in common is very very controversial and divides people across politics and not just  individual parties but in the parties too and that is the membership of what became the European Union and tied in with it is the idea of where the United Kingdom place in the World is.
I'm purposely going to skip the for and against arguments as they aren't necessary for this entry but the then Prime Minister thought having got some changes he would be able to call for a Referendum and win a vote to remain in the European Union.
As it happened it did not work out that way at all. He lost it on June 23rd.
What seemed to had  been unleashed  was long standing disagreements during the campaign that upon its outcome resulted in  bitter recriminations about individuals roles and past decisions and a even more intense form of this happened in the Labour Party where its Member of Parliament are very much at odds with its leader (and shadow Prime Minister) and the wider party membership, wanting to challenge Jeremy Corbyn's  leadership because they feel he failed to provide it during the referendum.
It happened that the Prime Minister's leadership was questioned as was his Chancellors and several people stood to oppose him with very different views and after a series of ballots and withdraws, Theresa May was elected party leader.
This was expected to happen by September 9th but was finished by Monday afternoon!
That under our constitution makes her as the leader of the biggest political party in the House of Commons the person who goes to the Head of State, the Queen, to be asked if they are able to form a Government as Prime Minister as we don't elect Prime Ministers separately. That happened Wednesday.

What it means is for the second time in our history we have a female Prime Minister who has seen fit in appointing ministers to include a good number of able female Members of Parliament so the key people in the Government, the Cabinet, better resembles how our country is made up something her predecessors was much criticized for.
I remember the first one well having spent time with her personally.
She is concerned about keeping our United Kingdom united  not just because of the fall out from the referendum but also that it has the potential to pull the devolved Nations within it apart because they voted differently.
It's also true the referendum campaign caused deep divisions across generations, communities and sadly even races, pitting people against each other with a bitterness never seen before. She wants to heal that and I think, seeing its impact not least on social media, that's right.
Although personally she backed remaining in the European Union, she has made it clear we will be leaving, appointing people and a separate department to oversee this because she respects that referendum vote. This will be a major change for us.
Working through this process is far from clear as there isn't a blueprint, angry words have been said by key people both in the UK and also in the organization itself and a part of what will need to be talked about, how to have full access to its markets and be able to set limits to migration looks to be a sticking point.
New trading agreements with other nations will need to be made, something with forty years of being in the European Union we have not needed to do although it may be that if that means we look outward, trading across the World with emerging economies, we could be able to make leaving work. And Theresa May feels we can make leaving work for us.
The world has many tensions in it, migration, political instability, arguments about territorial limits and 'spheres of influence' requiring careful handling and underlines why we value organizations such as Nato in defending Europe and our relationship with the United States whatever may happen in that countries Presidential elections this year.
I feel the new Government values this greatly not wishing to jump into conflicts that may need resolving but who do need long term, properly thought out plans something the new Prime Minister in general is more given to rather than just looking at the immediate problem.
This is a very much the start of a new era in the United Kingdom's  relationship with the World not least with many European nations with much less than certain but I feel regardless of my own party political feelings the country has now a leader who will do everything in her power to provide the leadership we so badly need at this time.

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