Tomorrow is the night before Christmas which reminds some of us of a poem that describes a family settling down to rest throughout their home before there is a clatter on the lawn and St Nicholas arrives bringing some wonderful gifts for them all. Over the next few days many people in our community will experience a range of events and feelings that can make Christmas wonderful for some and a very difficult for others or possibly a bit of both. It is of course impossible for most of us to avoid the fact that Homelessness and Poverty and a number of other challenges impact our community very acutely, even if many families are not affected by such matters. Today and Tomorrow will be very very busy days for people working in the retail part of our economy and there are other parts of society that will be impacted by similar peaks of hard work. Equally many people have already finished work for this year and so for them the time of rest is underway unlike many of those working for agencies such as Fire and Rescue, the NHS and the Police along with the shops, restaurants and Hotels. Let us hope that all of these hard working people and the many others do get a chance to rest in due course and that their hard work will be appreciated by their bosses. Although St Nicholas will not arrive on any of our lawns it seems reasonable for those of us concerned about Politics to hope for the arrival of someone or perhaps a group of people who are willing to address the challenges we are currently facing. Indeed given the tradition that being good is vital to receive gifts from St Nicholas, it would seem reasonable to call on the whole of Parliament to consider what being good for the nation would mean to them.
Given that the Conservative Party got an early Christmas present in the form of a very disproportionate number of Parliamentary seats for what was a modest number of extra votes it seems reasonable for the rest of us to expect them to be generous with their influence and indeed to deliver the promises that they made during their campaign. I know from the past that the challenge of discussing such matters is far too often faced with people taking the view that they now need to wriggle out of such difficulties when actually a bit of honesty would be very much appreciated. After all we need honesty as a starting position for people who have been granted power as part of the dominant party to move beyond that and start to call for the leadership of their party to avoid ignoring their promises as seems to have happened in little more than a week since the election. It is rather disturbing that Johnson has demanded that after the 31st January, that his Government staff are not allowed to refer to Brexit, given that the departure is a major process, not a single event. Indeed he was once the person opposed to a much less challenging departure and he has been claiming that a good deal was what would be best for our nation. It is also concerning that he is intending to prevent our Parliament from being able to discuss a significant number of the issues which relate to the European Union departure. This places his role and the role of his Government in a very arrogant and an almost dictatorial position.
However the challenge is not just for the Tories to be good and pay attention to what they were promising a few days ago, the rest of the Parliamentary family are now also faced with the need to behave in a good way. The fact that across Sussex as a whole that one Party received just over half the votes given to the four major parties (50.8%) and yet obtained 81.25% of the seats is clearly deeply disturbing if one was looking at this from the point of representation. Now of course one way of fixing this would be through a proportional representation process. However as one Tory Councillor has made clear to me, he believes that PR is full of many more problems than First Past The Post. Whilst I totally disagree with Robert on this matter, it seems we need to get the three parties to work in a manner that ensures that our votes can go as far as possible to get representation across our region. The fact that YouGov identified 76% of Labour members supporting PR and only 12% opposed to it should give the Sussex Labour party enough of an incentive to start to work in a constructive way with the Green and Liberal Democratic Party.