Is the British Government dangerously out of touch with Reality? Here are Ten Policies and their Impact to Reflect On

The British Government has been in office since December 12, 2019 – about 18 months. Next general election is about three years away in May 2024.

Few Members of Parliament attend sessions due to social distancing  and use virtual participation. The Government frequently tell the media that Ministers are not available to give comment to concerns about government policies. House of Parliament seems lifeless along with a muted opposition.

Summary of 10 Government Policies and the Impact at Home or Abroad or both

  1. Ramping up nuclear warheads and rejecting non-proliferation treaties of nuclear warheads.
  2. Irresponsible complacency over Covid-19 between January to last week of March 2020 leading to a huge number of deaths, sickness in the UK and the global impact of the highly transmissible British variant that caused suffering and death in more than 100 countries
  3. Cutting of £4 billion, €4.6 billion) of aid to the poorest and most vulnerable people on Earth
  4. Awarding much of £17 billion (€20 billion, $28 billion) of contracts around Covid to businesses with links to the Conservative Party.
  5. Government report said it found no evidence of institutional racism in Britain and this country “should act as a model for white majority countries.”
  6. £98 billion (€114 billion, $138 billion)) high speed rail link saves 21 minutes on journey from London to Birmingham plus spending £27 billion (€31 billion, $38 billion) on road-building projects while promoting zero carbon emissions by 2050.
  7. Government plans a £20 billion (€23 billion, $28 billion) nuclear power station while Germany closes the rest of its nuclear power stations by late 2022 as their safety factor reduces year by year and maintenance costs increases year by year.
  8. Government to give police much greater powers to break up demonstrations and assemblies of people on the streets.
  9. Enforcing strict control and demanding evidence to minimise giving refuge to asylum seekers fleeing from wars and environmental catastrophe
  10. Marketing of Britain as Global Britain, a tolerant and open society. Eurovision Song Contest tells us what 40 neighbouring countries think of Britain.

A List of 10 Policies of the British Government and its Impact in the UK and Worldwide

  1.  British Government will increase the number of nuclear warheads by 42%.In 2010, the British government set a cap of 180 nuclear warheads. The number will increase to 20 warheads said Prime Minister Boris Johnson. This breaks international law of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (Article 6). A major duty of a government respects international law and does not make veiled threats to exterminate citizens from other countries.
  2. British government ignored for weeks in February and much of March 2020, the necessity for urgent action to protect British citizens from the global pandemic. UK death rate per 100,000 people is currently the 16th highest in the world of 203 countries. Ten of the countries with a worse death than UK have much smaller populations, meagre economic resources world and dependent on rich nations for vaccines. Number of deaths from Covid in UK is over 127,000. Over 4.5 million have contracted Covid-19. That is about 1 in every 15 people in the UK. A major duty of a government is to protect its citizens from pandemics, floods, fires, a poisoned environment, unsafe buildings etc.
  3. British Government has cut foreign aid by £4 billion to the poorest countries of the world. For example, thousands will die and suffer in Yemen, the world’s worst humanitarian disaster due to cutting aid for food, medicine and care for families from £139 million to £87 million. The government has cut aid for 600,000 Rohingya refugees by 42%. UNs family planning agency to provide contraception and health will lose 85% of its funding. The government has cut funding for UNICEF, devoted to children, by 60%. UNAIDS is also set to lose about 80% of its funding from the UK. World Health Organization’s Global Polio Eradication Initiative will lose nearly all its UK funding. |A major duty of a government’s foreign policy is to relieve suffering of citizens worldwide.
  4. British Government set up a VIP channel enabling around 500 companies to secure government contracts related to Covid. National Audit Office report said the suppliers with links to politicians were 10 times more likely to be awarded a contract. Between May and July 2020, the government awarded contracts worth more than £17.3 billion to suppliers. The government gave £6.7 billion to pre-approved suppliers, even if they had no history of supplying the product need for the NHS and associated health requirements. The Government spent £250 million on facemasks at £5 per facemask for the NHS that were unusable. The Government gave more than £10 billion of awards to favoured businesses without inviting other suppliers for a quote, quality of product and time for delivery. A major duty of a government is to ensure wise use of citizens’ money (taxation) and act free from morally questionable practices.
  5. British Government’s Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities concluded in its 258 page report there was no evidence of institutional racism in the country. The Commission stated this in their report on issues of race in the UK. The report concluded “UK should act as a model for other ‘white-majority’ countries.” 92.7% of police officers are white. The police are nine times more likely to stop and question a Black motorist. The British government refused to criticise the loud booing of footballers for ‘taking the knee’ before an international game this month.3.7% of students at Oxford University are black. There is not a single Black CEO in the top 100 corporations in the UK. Only 1.3% Black directors sit on the Board of Directors of top 100 companies. In 2018, Oxford and Cambridge accepted more students from eight fee-paying schools, like Eton and Harrow, than almost 3,000 other UK state schools put together. The previous government deported scores of citizens or took away rights to work, receive NHS treatment or permission to remain in the UK for not having documents upon arrival in UK prior to 1971 from Caribbean countries. Many Black citizens, alongside millions of others, work in the lowest paid jobs. They face daily risks to their health from working in health care, public transportation, factories, hotels and zero hours contracts. Many people live in crowded homes. This also increases their risk to infection from Covid-19 Due to low income, adults cannot afford to move out due to high rent and little social housing left. A major duty of a government treats all citizens of every background with respect, maximises their safety and supports basic standard of living.
  6. The estimated cost of the high-speed (HS2) rail link from London to the West Midlands has reached around £98 billion. This project continues to have a major environmental impact on cities, towns and villages. The building of the line and surrounding infrastructure has brought about destruction of the environment, rural area and wildlife sites. The train journey on this high-speed link from London to Birmingham will save 29 minutes – from 1hr 21 minutes to 52 minutes. The Government plans to spend £27 billion on a massive highways programme. A major duty of a government takes care of the habitat of all residents, people and wildlife and rejects vanity projects, such as high-speed train lines and bigger airports.
  7. The Government plans to build a nuclear power station in Suffolk for £20 billion. It takes around eight years or more to build a nuclear power station. Wind turbine farms can take a few months to erect, easy to repair, affordable and can last for decades. British Government has given the go-ahead for UK’s first deep coal mine in 30 years. The collapse of a wind turbine in the sea or on land does not cause death, cancer and suffering, unlike the collapse of a nuclear power station. UK has pledged to slash carbon emissions by 78% by 2035 and Zero emissions by 2050 while creating policies to continue use of fossil fuels enabling more carbon emissions. In Germany, clean energy sources, such as wind farms and solar power, have increased its share of power consumption up to 46 percent. That is nearly equal to coal, gas, oil and nuclear power combined. Germany plans to have closed all its nuclear power plants by late 2022. A major duty of government to support life on Earth develops energy resources through minimal use of fossil fuels, a safety first policy and skilful application of natural resources such as wind, sun and water.
  8. British Government plans to outlaw street protests and demonstrations if they cause ‘serious annoyance.’ Police would have greater powers over assemblies of protestors and protest marches. Government will authorise police to reduce the sound of noisy demonstrations especially near Parliament. Courts would have the power to send a person to 10 years imprisonment for defacing public monuments. The government initiated the length of the sentence after protestors pulled down the statue commemorating a slave trader, Edward Colston during a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Bristol. Courts will have the power to inflict harsher sentences on protestors, ending of early prison release, including non-violent arrests, and stopping encampments. A major duty of government recognises and supports non-violent protests, non-violent assemblies/marches, which remind the government of its duties to serve all forms of life. The British Government bends or breaks international laws and agreements, such as the legally binding Brexit Withdrawal Agreement with the EU and agreements with Northern Ireland, trade and the EU.
  9. British Government has ordered the strict control over asylum seekers. Many asylums seekers have suffered elsewhere imprisonment, torture, rape and starvation. Thousands remain in detention centres in the UK. The one at Heathrow Airport is the biggest in Europe. UK Refugee Council states “It is very difficult for people seeking asylum (in the UK) to provide the evidence required to be granted protection. The decision-making process is extremely tough and many people’s claims are rejected.” In the year ending September 2020, UK received 31,752 asylum applications from main applicants only. Germany received 155,295 first-time applicants followed by France with 129,480, Spain with 128,520 and Greece with 81,465. A major duty of a government is to offer hospitality to those who have fled their homeland due to wars, famine, floods, pandemics and persecution.
  10. British Government markets itself as Global Britain. The country markets itself as a tolerant and open society. Is it true? For it to be true in the current political climate, does it require ignoring the 10 points listed in this critique?

This is 2021. Not 1821.

A Footnote

27 countries took part in the finals of the annual Eurovision Song Contest in May 2021. UK and three other countries have a free pass into the finals. A professional jury in each country and tele-voting decide the winners. A jury and voters cannot vote for a singer from their own country.

This year, Italy won with 524 points. France came second with 499 points. Switzerland came third with 432 points. The British entry in 2021 did not receive a single point from any jury or tele-voters in any of the other 26 countries.

The pandemic caused the cancellation of 2020 Eurovision Content.  In the 2019 Eurovision contest, the British candidate came last with 11 points.

 Is it surprising?

Photo shows environmental impact of one tiny section of £98 billion high speed rail-link from London to Birmingham to save 21 minutes on the journey.

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