Last weekend I joined local police on patrol and performed my regular stint supporting the Penzance Street Food Project (SFP).
I came away very encouraged. The prospects for Penzance remain positive, providing that those who speak up for the town are likewise positive about these things.
However, there are still many who would rather blame the most destitute for any ills in the town. That divisiveness is part of the problem. Not the solution.
Generally I find that people respond better to kindness and civility and not so well to unpleasantness and threats…
No wonder Government supporting MPs were keen to get away on their summer break. Because, as Parliament closed we learn:
- Most nurses won’t get the much trumpeted pay award they were promised after that prolonged freeze – but just a measly 23p
- The Government’s carefully agreed “Chequers” Brexit plan was immediately trashed by the EU’s chief negotiator.
- Schools, most of which already face serious financial crisis, are told to fund the latest teachers’ pay award themselves.
- A controversial fracking permit was granted when it was too late to challenge in Parliament.
- Local MPs who committed to support keeping the UK within the Euro Medicines Agency voted to leave it.
- Poverty amongst those in work is growing, in spite of the Government’s much trumpeted claims about supporting those who are “just about managing”
- The number of people in work who now depend on Food Banks is increasing at an alarming rate.
- After two decades of reductions in poverty levels (for children, pensioners and the disabled) this trend is now reversing as poverty is increasing
- NHS debt, waiting times and staff shortages are at an all time high. The much vaunted claim that the Government would give the NHS unprecedented levels of funding will not materialise.
- The Government is now starting to stockpile food and medicines as it prepares for the consequences of a catastrophic hard Brexit
But it’s not all bad news. Brexit may re-introduce duty-free opportunities for tourists to Europe; and the sunny weather and a better world cup run than expected for a home nation seems to have helped to keep retail sales up.