These are some facts I’m going to be repeating a lot over the next few days. Or weeks.
I’m putting them here as a handy reference, both for myself and for anyone else who may find them useful.
1 – The Tories Talked About Suspending Parliament To Force Brexit Months Ago
The suspension of Parliament in September 2019 is not about ending the current session because it has “gone on for too long.”
Dominic Raab suggested suspending Parliament in order to force through Brexit in early June 2019:
The Tory leadership contender Dominic Raab has said the possibility of sidelining parliament to force through Brexit should not be ruled out, as to do so would weaken the UK’s negotiating position in Brussels.
“I think it’s wrong to rule out any tool to make sure that we leave by the end of October,” Raab told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, as the Conservative party reels from its disastrous results in the European election, in which Eurosceptic voters flocked to the Brexit party.
Any claims that the suspension of Parliament serves any other purpose are untrue.
2 – A No-Deal Brexit Will Harm The NHS, Despite Johnson’s Pledges To Support The Health Service
Boris Johnson has pledged to support the NHS, but by forcing through a No-Deal Brexit and removing the rights of EU nationals to remain in the UK, he is putting at risk 9.5% of the NHS’s doctors.
9.5% of doctors and 6.4% of nurses are EU nationals
Nationals of other EU countries make up 9.5% of doctors in England’s hospital and community health services. They also make up 6.4% of all nurses and 5.7% of scientific, therapeutic and technical staff. The percentage of doctors and nurses with EU nationality grew between 2009 and 2016. Since 2016, the percentage of EU nurses has fallen.
A No-Deal Brexit will make the already-understaffed NHS unsupportable, despite Johnson’s claims that he wishes to support it. As the NHS struggles more and more to provide adequate levels of service, it becomes easier to characterise it as being unfit for purpose.
3 – There Is Still Hope
I’m really tired. I wanted to spend my free time after work this week making plans for a new Improv show I’m putting together. I wanted to play Kerbal Space Program, and finally finish my massively complex mission to Duna. I wanted to finish Season 2 of ‘Mindhunter’ and whinge some more on Twitter about Rey’s flip-phone lightsaber in the new Star Wars trailer. I wanted to finish another couple of chapters of the trash sci-fi book I’m writing.
Instead, I’m writing letters to my MP. I’m sharing links to organised protest events on Reddit. I’m trying to get as many of my friends as possible onto a train down to London at the weekend. I’m trying to work out how I’m going to make a placard and what to put on it. I’m trying to figure out how I can do all this, and take part in a possible general strike, whilst also keeping the full-time job I need to maintain my vegan cheese addiction.
And I’m barely making 1% of the effort that other people have been making for months to try and end the horrible political mess we’re currently in.
There is still hope that we can stop Johnson’s government from abusing its power, deminishing our democracy and dragging us through a disastrous No-Deal Brexit. We might be able to make a difference.
But sadly, we’re going to have to put ourselves through hell for the next few weeks. We’re all going to have to spend a lot of our free time feeling miserable and tired and angry.
We’re going to have to learn the talking points, we’re going to have stand around for hours in a lot of protests, and we’re going to have to sacrifice a lot of our free time. We may have to make ourselves vulnerable to arrest, to attack from Brexiteers, to abuse and denigration.
We have to make our voices heard. We now have to affect the change that we want for ourselves. We have to support each other, and be strong for one another, and fight twice as hard for every person who is unable to join us.
We have to be resolute and fearless.
I will be at local Midlands protests over the next few days. I will be joining the Downing Street protest on Saturday. I will be doing whatever I can, whilst hopefully not losing my job or getting arrested, to defend our democracy and defeat the ambitions of a few wealthy men in London.
And if we succeed, I may do some of the stuff I actually wanted to do.