Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home Opinion Letters

Political and economic elite get a wake-up call

Published 01/07/2016

So, it is goodbye Europe, goodbye Mr Cameron, and hello Teresa May. The psychodrama of the rivalry that has split the Tory Party has been played out on an international stage with a denouement worthy of a Shakespearean tragedy.

What has emerged from a cloud of personal ambition is a wake-up call for political and economic elites who live off the electorate, not for them. We have experienced an awakening from the slumber of indifference to the inequality of wealth and opportunity that defines the lives of so many.

Immigration has become a scapegoat for more fundamental ills. The divide between the haves and the have-nots has been steadily widening.

Talk of economic growth rings hollow in the ears of those who are not its beneficiaries. Voting in droves to opt out of Europe, their voice has now rung clearly in defiance of the so-called "expert advice" of big business, banks and some economists.

Here we have democracy at work, revealing the radical disconnect between government and the people. Britain's half-hearted embrace of the European project was destined to end in tears.

There is a growing awareness amongst economists and political analysts that tolerance of inequality of opportunity is not just immoral, but debilitating to the economy through the creation of a disillusioned underclass.

The yawning gap in individual fortunes gives the impression that the odds are stacked against a significant proportion of our people.

PHILIP O'NEILL

By email

Belfast Telegraph

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph