The British people have voted. The general election result is known. But what are we to make of it?
What we do know beyond all reasonable doubt is that the Conservatives, led by Boris Johnson, now have absolute control over Parliament. That suggests an extended period of austerity rather than a much-needed spend and borrow programme as set out in the Labour manifesto. I know which I’d rather have!
Of course, we don’t know for sure what an administration under Johnson will actually do. But, if the pundits and opinion-formers are to be believed, nothing Johnson’s administration does will go far towards healing the broken feeling that is so evident across much of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Are our country roads’ potholes to be fixed? And what about the dropped drains to be encountered almost everywhere? Will my car have to suffer many more knocks and blows to its suspension?
Will someone tell us what’s going to happen to our National Health Service? Will parts of it be sold off to some private enterprise so that they can make money out of it? Or will the new administration find some way of making the whole thing viable instead of ‘in crisis’, as we are so often told it is?
What’s going to happen to our schools, many of which are a disgrace to anyone who believes that a fair education can lead to a fair, well-paid career?
And what about our police force? It seems to be very short-staffed at the moment, all over the country. I can’t remember the last time I saw a local policeman or policewoman ‘on the beat’.
As to the nation’s social services, they seem stretched beyond belief. People are sleeping on the streets of our cities, because there is little or nowhere else for them to go. Others are suffering from severe deprivation because the system cannot cope with their physical or mental health problems.
As you can see, the election result seems to raise more questions than answers, all of which are relevant to a broad society that includes the less-well-off as well as the comfortable rich.
I live in a retirement area, so I probably won’t see much of the horror that seems about to be perpetrated on our nation. My pension and investments will shield me from the worst of it all. But I can’t help feeling that we – the liberal-minded community – are in for a rough ride over the next little whiles.
Let’s hope that Boris proves to be more of a “one nation” Tory than his recent election performance suggests.
Let’s also hope that he is less in the pocket of what looks like his hard-right cabal.