Express & Star comment: Get Brexit blinkers off and focus
One of the most damaging consequences of the Government’s inability to guide us out of the EU has nothing to do with the issue of Brexit at all.
Our delayed departure from the bloc has already been held responsible for a million and one things, including the collapse of our economy and food and medicine shortages.
While none of those things have actually happened, there is a real world disaster that has almost certainly become worse as a result of the unrelenting debate over Brexit.
The Conservative government was struggling to get to grips with law and order long before we voted to leave the EU.
From the start of the current decade crime rates began creeping upwards, with violent crime in particular a cause for concern.
The soft-soap approach adopted by David Cameron’s administration was an abject failure, meaning Theresa May simply had to get tough on crime when she took office.
But with our politicians devoting the vast majority of their time to Brexit, other policy areas have fallen by the wayside. The result, as far as violent crime is concerned, is that a bad situation has deteriorated further.
On one hand, the fact that West Midlands Police have taken more than 300 blades off the streets is good news.
These are deadly weapons that could cause havoc in the wrong hands. By removing them from circulation, lives could be saved. But the very fact that so many knives were placed in surrender bins in the first place tells its own deeply concerning story.
As the law has retreated in the face of damaging budget cuts and diminishing police officer numbers, carrying a knife has become completely normal behaviour for many people.
Is it any surprise that knife crime is rising to such an extent that the region’s chief constable describes it as an “emergency”?
If we are to stand any chance of reversing this tragic trend, the country needs its politicians to remove their Brexit blinkers and take a long, hard look at what is happening on the streets of Britain.
Our departure from the EU is an issue of crucial importance, but there are other things that matter.