The two main UK parties (for now), the Labour and Tory rabbles, are trying the impossible in the run up to the local elections on the second of May – they want you to forget about Brexit!
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Just don't fall for it. The Labour and Conservative parties are trying to get voters to forget the Brexit issue and pretend it has no impact at all on local issues and therefore you should continue electing their local council candidates.
But anyone who gives it even a moment's thought, realises that when central government doesn't have full control of its borders, laws and money then local government suffers as a result.
If central government is told what VAT rates to set and has to pay vast sums every year to the EU coffers via indirect taxes and Common External tariff rates, that also drive up prices for consumers as well as giving billions a year to already rich countries via the foreign aid budget, then there is always going to be less money for our local services.
When borders are open and we have no control over the numbers of people coming in, how can we know how few or how many people will choose to come into the country and how do we know how many schools, hospitals, power stations, roads, shops and police officers we need? So how can we plan our infrastructure? It's all about infrastructure, it's not about race and not even about space.
And the truth is, with an open border policy we don't know how many people will be coming and we therefore can't plan for the years and decades ahead necessary to make a sustainable society.
And further, if we don't fully control our own laws and money as well, then what hope do we have of getting on top of such issues?
Now, when you vote for local politicians from the two main parties, they will follow the party line on all things right from the top.
If you have a Tory government, for example, hell-bent on an austerity programme, do you think that local Tory councillors will rebel against that? Do you not think they will unthinkingly deliver on that programme?
And the same goes for Labour on a spendthrift everything for everybody programme.
And, very importantly, where possible they always try and use use local election results as a popularity barometer to justify their national politics. How many times after local elections do national party leaders use it to say that either the electors believe in all their policies or if things go badly for them then they say it was a protest vote.
If the Tory's local council vote holds up, they will say it is because voters like Mrs May and her vassal state treaty.
If Labour does well they will claim it shows that everyone wants a permanent customs union with the EU.
So central government and local government go hand in hand, especially as the overwhelming number of local councillors are elected on the back of their party colours and leaders – not on their own personal merit or ability.
But in the current circumstance we have two main parties who are overwhelmingly pro-EU, something that permeates from the top to the bottom of their organisations.
So their councillors will all be willing, whether Tory or Labour, to help push that agenda. Especially if their local councillors have their eye on being chosen for a seat on the green benches at Westminster.
So they want you to all look past Brexit where both parties have failed you. So they will both try to get you to reset your sights on the traditional Blue Versus Red, two party state, class war. And believe me that's exactly where they want to get the rhetoric to.
For example, on the Labour side we now have Jeremy Corbyn talking about the 'real divide' being between the rich and poor, not between Leavers and Remainers, saying:
"Labour doesn't believe the real divide in society is between people who voted to remain or to leave the European Union.
"We believe the real divide is between the many – who do the work, create the wealth and pay their taxes – and the few – who set the rules, reap the rewards and dodge their taxes."
While on the other side the Tory MP James Cleverly says it's about better services provided by the Tories against Labour profligacy.
They both want to talk about potholes without telling you that while we're in the EU we send loads of money abroad, so we'll never be able to afford to fix our potholes.
On local TV and radio stations expect to hear the following sort of phrase from them, "when I'm on the doorstep no-one's mentioning Brexit, they all want to talk about potholes etc."
But the feed-back I'm getting from these local elections is that the two main parties are getting a torrid time on the doorstep because of Brexit and the uncertainty their parties are causing by trying to prevent it happening.
So, expect them to try and use the Easter break, while Brexit news is lighter, to try and deflect that narrative.
So bear all that in mind as the local elections approach. Brexiteers should all be determined to vote and vote in a way that signals their displeasure in the Remain parties!
— James Cleverly MP (@JamesCleverly) April 12, 2019