Tory election victory is a triumph for nationalism
There has been a landslide victory on a monumental scale, from all radical political parties, towards the most hard-right Conservative government since Mrs Thatcher destroyed the economy of mining regions, yet the media suggests Boris Johnson will suddenly become the champion of the working class.
It is difficult to distinguish between stupidity and deceit. The fact that they did not like Corbyn did not force Brits to vote Tory. How else do you think Iain Duncan Smith and Jacob Rees-Mogg must see this, but as a triumph and justification for their hard-right nationalist politics?
The last time this happened, in the 1930s, the Conservative Party, the Press, UK aristocrats and a large section of the working class lurched towards Fascism under the demagogue Sir Oswald Mosley. But even Fascists believe in feeding all children.
The present UK Conservative Party is a copy of the US Republican Party under Donald Trump. Each is led by a buffoon demagogue on the international stage, with an iron control of his party’s elected representatives. This is personality politics in the culture of populism, that ignorance knows better than education.
Wales will be left behind yet again
Downing Street officials are drawing up plans for a department for the UK’s union to boost the battle against a break-up. Boris Johnson faces the twin threat of Scottish independence and the reunification referendum in Northern Ireland.
Nationalist parties in both home nations won a majority of MPs for the first time in last Thursday’s election. Wales will be left behind and taken for granted again. The end result will mean Wales sharing a member of the cabinet with the other two countries, a Whitehall unelected MP.
Boris’ battle on two fronts
Congratulations, Boris, the battle of Brexit is over. The battle for a good trade deal is about to begin.
The best Boris can expect by the end of 2020 is a deal covering goods, security and fisheries, but only if he is either prepared to compromise on alignment issues or extend the transition period.
It could take years to agree a deal on the complex issues relating to the services sector, which employs over 80% of the UK’s workforce. Alternatively, Boris could decide to leave at the end of 2020 without a deal as he comes under increasing pressure from the Brexiteers, Farage and his millionaire backers. That would mean dealing with the negative economic consequences of a no-deal.
At the same time, Boris will be fighting on a second front – the battle to keep the UK from breaking apart. The election has changed the political landscape and attitudes in Scotland and Northern Ireland, where support for independence and a united Ireland is growing.
In my opinion, Boris may have been handed a poisoned chalice. I fear he may be remembered as the PM who led us out of the EU but failed to prevent the breakup of the UK. I sincerely hope that I am wrong and that Boris exceeds my expectations by creating a hi-tech, high-productivity, high-value-added economy that is able to support a socially caring and compassionate UK.
Bryan D Prescott
Victorian values will trample ‘one nation’
“one nation Toryism” – a phrase first used by Victorian Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli – was a proposed solution to what he rightly described in that other prophetic phrase of his, “the two nation Britain”. The rapid industrialisation of Victorian Britain was creating a nation of haves and have nots. The levels of poverty amongst the underclass were of such a magnitude they were almost as bad as they are in today’s Tory-run Britain.
Disraeli proposed a system of welfare! (A word that has the same effect on a true blue Tory as does garlic on a certain count.) Alas, this solution proved to be anathema to the “great and the good”. By the end of the 19th century sanity had returned with free-market capitalism at full throttle and what were known as “the deserving poor” did the right thing and found a quiet place to die. This is what the monstrous Thatcher meant by “Victorian values”.
In closing, I would like to say I had no time for “Jeremy Poppins” and the sooner he goes floating above Westminster clutching his umbrella, the better. I bet Dorothy and Toto will be delighted to see him after such a long absence.
‘Tis not the season to overfeed our pets
With Christmas celebrations in full swing, I’m sure many of your readers are allowing themselves a few extra treats and indulgences over the festive period, and many will also be treating their pets to a few extra goodies during this time too. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with treating yourself over Christmas, I’d like to remind pet owners to be mindful of the health implications of overfeeding and remember that some human food can cause digestive upset or even be a serious danger to dogs.
Although it’s tempting to feed our four-legged friends more treats than usual at this time of year, just like we do ourselves, be careful not to go overboard. Come January, I’ll be hearing from pet owners asking if we changed our formulae, as their dog has been upset over Christmas. Of course, the problem is usually just overindulgence. Many of the common issues we see in dogs, like itchy skin, persistent moulting, tear-staining and digestive problems, are tell-tale signs of toxic waste build-up in a dog’s body caused by an unsuitable diet and/or overfeeding.
Obesity is one of the biggest health and welfare issues facing our pets and can cause a number of problems in dogs like diabetes, arthritis and joint problems, as well as cutting their lifespan, so it’s important not to forget about portion control during the festive period. If you’re treating your pet to some leftovers, consider their meals for the rest of the day and try to stick to their normal food quantities for an average day.
The kind of goodies you treat your pets to at Christmas is also an important consideration. Giving them some small amounts of boneless meat and veggies from your Christmas dinner, such as broccoli, carrots and potatoes, is unlikely to cause harm, but some human foods are simply not safe for dogs to eat. Chocolate, mince pies, onions, garlic and other bulb vegetables like leeks and shallots are an absolute no-no for dogs, while salty, fatty foods like turkey skin, gravy and pigs in blankets are not recommended as they can cause stomach upset. If you’re unsure about a type of food, be sure to check first.
Of course, enjoy your celebrations with friends, family and pets – just be careful with what and how much you feed your pooches and ensure you keep an eye out for any troublesome symptoms.
John Burns BVMS, MRCVS,
Veterinary Surgeon and Founder of Burns Pet Nutrition