Bernard Ingham: Enough excuses '“ it's time our political class got real

THIS is what every self-respecting voter should tell his MP '“ and especially Tory MPs who are in Government '“ this recess.

The public, says Sir Bernard Ingham, is fed up of the excuses put forward by politicians like Chris Grayling, the Transport Secretary.

Now that you are released from the Westminster bubble, you should know how real people see things. They are not a pretty sight. Bluntly, Britain isn’t working.

It is no use coming to Yorkshire and telling us – as Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, did the other day – that he doesn’t run the railways.

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Or for other Ministers to say they
don’t run the NHS, the welfare and education systems, police, local authorities, companies that could not care less about service to us, their customers, or the corrupting so-called social media.

Of course, you don’t run them. But the political class past and present have laid down the framework for their operation. If that framework is deficient, then it is your job to fix it.

We have had enough excuses and note, to our despair, that these services seem to have all the time in the world to pander to politically correct minorities.

I am the first to say that individuals should take responsibility for their lives and not try to pass them on to the state. Equally, I deplore their resort to ambulance seeking-lawyers to milk the system for all they can get.

But that means MPs should set an example. They have not done so for several years, whether over expenses or openness about investigations into their behaviour.

The time has come for everyone – and especially MPs – to recognise that we cannot go on like this with soaring crime, flashing knives, gang culture and a thousand and one scams in commercial and computer life. We need a new morality or, better still, a return to old values.

That requires MPs to have the guts to start at base and tell parents that they are responsible for the behaviour and development of their children. We want no more kids starting school illiterate, innumerate, incoherent and not even potty trained.

Every parent whose child goes wrong should have to appear before a court to explain themselves.

It follows that I expect the police to uphold the law and preserve order. And I expect you to tell chief constables that, if they won’t, then you will jolly well find some who will.

This nation needs more discipline in
all walks of life. That certainly goes
for the education system which is failing from top to bottom. I sometimes wonder who the “snowflakes” are in higher education – the students or the academics and their overpaid bosses.

They might get some public respect if they told the immature, who are affronted by such things as statues of benefactors who were engaged in the slave trade – until a Yorkshireman, William Wilberforce, stopped it – to 
grow up.

I think it is also time you told local authorities to live within their means, stop wittering about “cuts” and, if councillors are so concerned about caring for people, to forgo their annual allowances amounting to a minimum of £10,000 a year. Talk about hypocrites!

As for the NHS, you and your kind have known for 40 years to my certain knowledge that it is faced with an impossible task: giving service free at the point of delivery with an ageing population, uncontrolled immigration and a vastly increased range of medical treatments. Yet crises come and go and nothing effective is done.

It cannot all be blamed on grossly overpaid, pampered and apparently useless NHS executives.

The economy may be roaring ahead, but we need to start living within our means and stop piling up debt for our grandchildren.

As for Brexit, we are fed up with the pantomime that passes for negotiation. If Britain does not recover its sovereignty and control of its borders next year, the entire political class – and our democracy – will be in deep trouble.

But most of all we are fed up with
the neglect of the nation’s malaise stemming from the pre-occupation 
with Brexit.

It is time that the vast majority of moderate MPs in Britain – Labour, Liberal Democrat and Tory – told rapacious businesses that they are the best recruiting sergeants for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and his Momentum apparatus.

The hard Left is as much a threat to our still-envied way of life as are those radical Islamist extremists who seek to impose their laws and customs on us.

We are far from a racist country. But we expect immigrants to adapt to our culture and to integrate. Let’s stop being mealy-mouthed and stand up for the Britain we love.