What belongs to you and in which do you belong? How do you understand the ones matters? More pertinently: how do you sense them? Where do you pass that is a shared area with others and that during a few vague way belongs to all and sundry and but none folks for my part? A car park, a library, a swimming pool, a network centre? Do you feel comfy there? Now that such a lot of town centres consist of little however boarded up stores and bookies, where do you grasp out totally free if you are younger, or vintage, or scared, or lonely? What happens while the places that belong to you are taken away ?
I ask because this has already came about. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, with the Huffington Post, have fleshed out this loss with cold, hard figures. Since 2014/15, extra than 12,000 public spaces were sold and £9.1bn has been raised through neighborhood councils promoting property. As councils have had their investment slashed by vital authorities, they have got sold off the whole thing they can as a way to maintain simple offerings going. But, unbelievably, many councils have used the cash raised from promoting off their assets to make redundancy bills to the people they’re casting off. Yes, that’s right – all this somehow made economic sense to George Osborne, the wrecking ball who now has a component-time task as editor of the London Evening Standard.
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This policy is usually called “austerity” and I hate that phrase because it’s miles a con, seeming impartial instead of representing deliberate, everyday brutality. We have lived through this period and yet we discover one among its consequences, Brexit (another stupid made-up word), now quite mad in place of logical. The regulations the Tories pursued beneath David Cameron did now not even make sense in phrases of their own inner common sense. The poorest have been to repay the imaginary deficit, which become redefined as somehow their obligation .
The result is that nowhere belonged to them any more. Nowhere to go. Nothing to do. Go to any deprived region and that is what humans will inform you and you could rattle on approximately some superb art gallery in some splendid metropolis being free and it way sod all. Shared area, civic area, makes humans stakeholders of their network. That has been slipping far from us for years.
You may also were fortunate sufficient now not to word it. You simply drove past the new boxy flats being constructed in former council homes. You hadn’t been to the library in years besides because … properly, due to Google and due to the fact we all have to tighten our belts or something.
And now the magic cash tree is in bloom once more with Theresa May supplying distinctive bribes – actually small change – to go away-balloting cities in the north and the Midlands. This is cynical past notion, however take the money and run because, Christ knows, it is needed.
Several myths have been busted by Brexit that’s, whether or not we love it or no longer, a few kind of reckoning. One is that humans vote best out of economic self-interest. The accusatory narrative of remainers is like shouting at a person who is self-harming, “Do you take into account that this is bad?” whilst, of direction, they bloody well do. All the talk about standing alone and now not desiring anybody else is protective, certain, however it’s miles a understandable response to feeling both attacked and deserted.
One abstract noun (austerity) did no longer definitely motive every other summary noun (Brexit), however allow us to subsequently give up the myth that everything just went mad, out of nowhere, in 2016. The damage, the deliberate damage, the destruction of the general public sphere and public area had, for years, been going a great deal similarly than some thing Thatcher dreamed of. Cameron and Osborne carpet-bombed the social fabric of our state. In searching for to patch up flesh wounds with pathetic bribes, May couldn’t make this extra abundantly clean.
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