As we head closer to what’s supposed to be Brexit day on October 31st, tempers inside and outside of Parliament seem to be getting noticeably shorter as the pressure mounts. The sense of tension has been ratcheted up to the max in the last few days with hyperbolic talk of bitterly disappointed Leavers resorting to rioting on the streets if the UK doesn’t exit the EU as planned on the 31st.

As we’ve noted previously, we know a lot of people who voted Leave and while they’re frustrated with and feel let down by the political classes, somehow, we can’t see them taking to the streets to riot if the UK is still in the EU on November 1st. We think the deliberate stoking of tensions is possibly down to the pressure being exerted on government by those with financial positions that are heavily reliant on the UK exiting the EU on October 31st.

As we’ve previously mentioned, there’s what can best be described as a ‘church and king’ mob that has been coming out on the streets around Westminster in support of a hard Brexit for a good many months now. So yes, there is the scope for the scuffles this mob have been involved in so far to escalate into more widespread disorder in London. The way certain politicians and commentators with an agenda are hyping things up, this disorder could become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

We are in an unpredictable and volatile period, there’s no denying it. People are fed up with politicians and are pissed off with what they see as a society that’s fraying at the seams. Ten years of austerity is shredding the social fabric and killing off the hopes and dreams of a growing number of people. While people may not be taking to the streets in mass, militant protests, a growing number of them feel they’re getting to the end of their tethers.

We’ve recently written a couple of pieces with our assessment of the mood of the nation: While it’s all kicking off in Westminster… (September 27, 2019) and this: Away from the circus, the slow collapse continues… (September 4, 2019) Obviously, these pieces are mainly based on our experiences out in Essex enhanced by some other research we’ve undertaken so, we’re not claiming these are definitive or one hundred percent accurate.

Suffice to say, we are in troubled times. What we don’t want to see are our communities being riven by divisions stoked by elements with their own agenda who have no concern whatsoever for the neighbourhoods we live in. Which is why we may well be banging on a lot this month about the need to build neighbourhood solidarity and cohesion. To get you started, below are a selection of pieces we’ve written on various aspects of this over the last year and a bit:

Rebuilding solidarity at the grassroots… (June 25, 2019)

Just getting on with it… (April 26, 2019)

Some pointers on neighbourhood solidarity (January 24, 2019)

Neighbourhood solidarity and resilience (July 12, 2018)

To conclude, now more than ever, we need to pay attention to where we live, fostering an ethos where people look out for each other and strive collectively to keep their neighbourhoods functioning and as free as possible from tensions. If we together, we can pull through what’s coming, we may be in a better position to start thinking about what to do with the dysfunctional political system that dropped us in this shite in the first place!