Richard Pierce

Richard Pierce – author, poet, painter

Life, Politics

Day 188

Today, I am paralysed by reality. … Self-censors … Being a parent is the most painful state of all … Self-censors … Our children remain our children, and we don’t stop loving them. … Self-censors … Parenting is so difficult for those who care about their children. Sometimes people, including our children, kid us that we are good parents even when we pick over the wreckage of their lives. Let me leave it there. But it needed to be said. All that I can add is that we can work to rebuild that wreckage. Quite how is another question.

Let me be clear about one thing – I’m talking about mental health issues. They affect us all. Parents, children, friends, anyone. And government funding of mental health care is appalling. And, today of all days, it’s important to say that the conduct of the politicians currently in power, not just the policies they implement, not just the abject failure of them to adequately fund the NHS, but also their public behaviour, is directly detrimental to the mental health of millions of people in the UK. Imagine someone with fragile mental health who is malleable to circumstance, and who sees those in the great offices of state drinking, lying, sexually abusing, bullying, behaving as if the “small” people don’t matter, treating the people’s money as their own, giving bungs to their friends, abusing the unwritten constitution etc etc. This inevitably has disastrous direct consequences for people with poor mental health. And to see today Boris Johnson resign, and not resign (because he didn’t use the word and has not formally tendered his resignation to the Queen), and to see him claim that he had done so many things he manifestly has not done (like beat covid-19, introduce the best vaccination programme, get Brexit done – a charlatan’s claim if there ever was one -, make people’s lives easier, reduce the tax burden, properly address the cost of living crisis), must fill people with poor mental health, who want nothing more than to live in a good country, despair.

And let’s just be even clearer – we are living our way through a massive constitutional crisis. After his “resignation” speech, Johnson walked straight back into 10 Downing Street and into a meeting of his newly-appointed Cabinet. There is nothing to stop him putting into place new laws and legislation without parliamentary scrutiny, nothing to stop him declaring himself a PM for life. It may breach the unwritten constitution, but because it’s not written, it’s easy to break. This is what happened when he unlawfully prorogued Parliament. He will try to hide behind the parliamentary recess, which is in less than two weeks, and work his way back to new power. Do not be complacent. Do not celebrate his fall, because he hasn’t fallen yet. Even if the news reports that he has.




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