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Over the next two years, Britain will be remade by a government with a working majority of 12. This new country that is being born will be out of Europe, its territorial integrity under threat from Scottish and Northern Irish concerns and its outlook narrow and sometimes xenophobic. It is a place where millions of people will find themselves ill at ease. Proof of identity will become part of everyday life, not just an inconvenience for 18 year-olds in a pub. Alongside that inflation may have returned and price rises are likely to be commonplace.

While this happens, those who oppose this forthcoming state of affairs continue to tread narrow partisan paths, as we can see in the coming Witney by-election (picture from the Oxford Times above).

The candidates include independents and other parties such as the National Health Action Party (NHA). The eight candidates who attended a recent hustings included independent David Bishop, who came dressed as Elvis and campaigned for better rural bus services.

Also speaking were Robert Courts for the Conservatives, Duncan Enright for Labour, Liz Leffman for the Liberal Democrats, Dr Helen Salisbury for the National Health Action Party, Larry Sanders (brother of Bernie!) for the Green Party, independent Daniel Skidmore, and Nicholas Ward, an independent candidate against the HS2 rail link.

In pursuing these individualistic projects they split the opposition vote and deny the Remainer majority (Witney voted Remain by 54/46%) any option of re-asserting their view on the most important political issue of our times. No, more important to fight over local bus and rail routes and get your picture in the paper.

What is the matter with these people? There is much work to be done in protesting and challenging this government with its slim majority. Looking back in years to come from a diminished and impoverished Britain will not afford a comforting sight for any of these candidates.







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