As we observe parliament struggling to make itself heard against an over-mighty executive, it is clear that the British people themselves have still not been given the time and space necessary to think about the kind of country we want after the referendum decision.
The reduction of the discussion to a “Brexit means Brexit” level, allied with the foaming of the rightwing press, has not just meant that the energies of parliament are directed to achieve a minimum participation. It has also meant that British communities and their individual members have been effectively excluded. Which is an incredible thing.
Why has the government not – and those who were on the leave campaign in particular – created a “great conversation” in the country, asking citizens what kind of society they want after Brexit? Here is a huge opportunity for change but what should it mean for our small towns, our city transport systems, the environment?
What about the education and training we’ll need to operate in a different exporting world? What about those abandoned areas of which leave made so much – how do they want to live and work post-Brexit? And how much are we losing by not letting the British people have a bigger say in what comes next?
The one thing we can all agree on, post-referendum, is that people wanted at least a sense of influencing their own destiny – which again, they are being denied.
So we at the New Weather Institute decided to do just that. We organised an…