The climate is increasingly imperilled. Our long-standing alliances with traditional allies are under enormous pressure, both from the ascent of nationalist strongmen and from the complexities of Brexit.
Meanwhile, tax reductions have swelled the number of billionaires to around 150, a record high. Each of these billionaires is worth at least one thousand million. Fewer than one-third of them are domiciled in the UK.
It doesn’t have to be like this. We all want a country where everyone has a fair chance of finding shelter, opportunity, and fulfilment. But as this long litany of decay and corruption shows, the Tories’ solutions are simply not working.
Meanwhile, Boris Johnson has avoided scrutiny by skipping key TV debates with Andrew Neill and Channel 4. His private life – from the unexplained violent episode with his girlfriend that prompted a police visit in June, to his refusal to confirm how many children he has – remains murky. His own brother refused to serve under him. His ex-bosses at The Times and The Spectator have spoken about the dubiousness of his character. His tenure at the Foreign Office was a series of disasters.
And his simple message of ‘Get Brexit Done’ doesn’t correspond at all with the complex reality of the negotiations to come. Even after his microwaveable deal, the real work of negotiating an actual trade deal with Europe is still to come, and could take decades. The Financial Times claims that Britain will have to renegotiate 759 individual treaties.
Labour have made grave mistakes of their own. They have needlessly caused division within their own party, have alienated and frightened Britain’s Jews through their lax response to anti-Semitism, and have dithered over Brexit policymaking. Their manifesto is a mixture of brilliant, progressive ideas to reignite the economy and make it work for ordinary people, and risky gambles that could easily backfire.
Tomorrow, people will vote Conservative, even though they feel let down by the Tories. They will vote Conservative, even after the scandals, lies, and incompetence that has characterised government after government since 2010.
We shouldn’t ignore or explain away this chronic mismanagement of our country. Instead, we should have the courage to vote for a fresh government of hope, ideas, and compassion. We should vote Labour, and show the Tories that a decade of division and suffering does not go unpunished.