Beware of politicians dividing us

Lisa Forbes, Labour party

Saturday, 18th March 2017, 2:00 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:35 am
Speaker's Corner columnists - Peterborough Telegraph -, @peterboroughtel on Twitter,

One of the more unpleasant political developments in recent years has been the way in which different groups and demographics in our society are being turned against each other.

Dividing sections of society is not a new occurrence but is increasingly applied and obvious in recent years.

Some of the mainstream media along with some politicians have actively encouraged us to demonise certain sections of the population and blame them for society’s problems.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

This acts as a distraction, allowing politicians and those with vested interests to further their own agendas.

For example, hard-pressed working families who struggle on wages that barely cover their out-goings are encouraged to blame benefit claimants for the difficulties they face, but in reality our society has become one where profit for shareholders and bosses is the driving force and not social happiness, public facilities or the well-being of the worker.

This is a totally unsustainable system when you consider most benefits are paid to people who do work.

We actually subsidise businesses to pay us our low wages.

Immigrants are blamed for straining our public services, when in reality those services are being pared to the bone with funding cuts year after year.

Education funding for mainstream comprehensive education is being drastically cut and standards slip whilst the government sets up costly free schools and now selective grammar schools, creating elitist division in education.

It didn’t go unnoticed when recently the MP for Peterborough added another division to the list.

On March 1, Stewart Jackson was quoted in this newspaper stating older residents were “hoarding assets” thereby preventing young people from getting on the property ladder.

It appears he expects those who’ve worked hard all their lives contributing to society should now shoulder blame for the problems in the housing market.

Mr Jackson then has the temerity to claim that such a debate doesn’t have to pitch young against old, this despite using phrases like ‘’intergenerational hoarding’’.

That’s exactly what it does and is a shameful attempt to distract attention from the real problems affecting the housing market.

When it comes to issues like housing, working people are all in it together.

We all suffer from the lack of activity in central government, the lack of any will to take on the large building companies who sit on thousands of acres of land which already has planning approval, or the big businesses that pay paltry wages whilst avoiding their taxes meaning we can’t afford the public services we all need.

We shouldn’t allow the likes of Stewart Jackson to divide us and blame each other, thus deflecting attention away from the fact he and his government are able to change the direction of this country to ensure no one avoids paying tax and that we’re paid fair wages, or to build the houses we need to match demand and to ensure our public services have the proper investment they need.