It is rare that an event of such vast political magnitude allows domestic issues to be swept under the carpet, but along with the great wars it would seem Brexit has become one of the most significant camouflages in recent history.
With the health service in disarray, public finances in a mess, the economy stuttering and most services enduring strenuous cuts the situation at home for most Brits is far from positive.
Yet thanks to Brexit political incompetence is going under-reported and largely unnoticed on a daily basis.
Compared with last year England’s schools have 137,000 more pupils but 5,400 fewer teachers, 2,800 fewer teaching assistants, 1,400 fewer support staff and 1,2000 fewer auxiliary staff according to the latest figures.
The economy has essentially flatlined with the weakest year of economic growth since the financial crisis and wage growth has remained similarly stagnant as inflation soars.
On the health front, the NHS finds itself in a dire state after been chronically short changed by the Conservatives. Following the worst winter on record the British Medical Association said the institution is now facing year-round crisis with waiting times extended and hospital beds in short supply. According to a new study of international health spending it now has among the lowest per capita numbers of doctors, nurses and hospital beds in the western world. A sorry state of affairs given the amount of wealth being generated in these shores.
But then very little of the country’s wealth is being fairly distributed. The UK has a seriously high level of income inequality compared to other developed countries, and the reality is that under the Tory government income disparities have grown more prominent. Cruel cuts to vital safety nets have seen the use of food banks rocket and the number of homeless people increase. Much of this is dolled out under the banner of austerity, but such budgetary measures make little sense stacked up against other recent governments.
Debt on day Gordon Brown left office: £900 billion.
After bailing out the banks.
Debt today: £2 Trillion.
After seven years of austerity.
— Alex Welsford (@al_welsford) July 1, 2018
Britain finds itself in a perilous state domestically and if it wasn’t for the distraction of Brexit one feels the public would have called time on such incompetence in government a long time ago. As it is the daily tales of Tory in-fighting and set backs in Brussels occupy enough column inches to keep this thing hidden. One wonders how bad it has to get before the reality is laid bare.