Roger Roberts writes: A post-pandemic United Kingdom

I’ve never been a revolutionary! Just a  hopefully useful Minister of the Methodist Church and that faith still steers me from day to day. I have many wonderful friends who belong to other faiths or have no religious faith at all.

At times of global crises what every individual believes directs our thinking. In all probability that decides how we respond to various situations. I don’t know the beliefs of a man who said that Donald Trump was the greatest President of all time and of others who adore Mr Johnson. I only hope that on November 3rd the United States decides differently, or else we’re all doomed!  I’m proud that Abraham Lincoln had a drop or two of Welsh blood in his veins.

What Trump and Johnson believe can decide the future of so many people. The news of the deliberate destruction of Refugee Camps and the readiness to deny so many people basic human rights must surely lead us to instigate a modernisation of the United Nations. It will be a struggle but that incredible organisation that has done so much good in 75 years old and much has changed in that time.

The very thought of the United Kingdom acting as an independent offshore island is so harmful. Whatever the arguments for a hard or soft Brexit we are, as a result of the Coronavirus, trying to decide the future of the United Kingdom in the most unfavourable climate possible. It is now an Impossible Brexit and yet this government refuses to think again and extend the transition period beyond the end of this coming December. The predictions of the consequences of a hard Brexit were of the doubling of unemployment numbers- this on top of the virus catastrophe will mean extra hardship for millions of people.

Do we not need serious discussion now regarding a post-pandemic United Kingdom.  The everyday lives of all of us will be changed hopes and dreams will be shattered. We should make certain that no person suffers unduly. Life will be different but we need to make certain that every person has the means to cope with the changes. I’m not the only one who doubts the ability of the present Government to achieve this.

How prepared are we for sharing our vision with people of all parties ? I’ll close with an oft repeated dream of building a world fit for children to live in.


* Lord Roberts of Llandudno is a Liberal Democrat Member of the House of Lords

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  • roger roberts 16th May '20 - 8:16am

    How do we prepare for a post-pandemic situation and make sure that no one suffers unduly but that every one is able to cope in a very different United Kingdom. Is this in the European Community or outside ? These past few months have shown how much all countries need each other.
    If there was unlimited time to discuss new structures
    in the different society we will be forced to live in then a Commission with someone of the status of the late Sir William Beveridge could proceed and in the long term come forward with positive policies but we don’t have that much time and the danger is that a Brexit led Tory government will introduce harmful short term legislation
    . Any reconstruction should be on an all party basis which would be determined that not a single person would be treated unfairly.

  • Lord Roberts: I cannot add a great deal to your article but have to agree to everything you have said, I totally despise the two politicians you mentioned and cannot understand how some people are blind to their self-serving personalities and policies! By the way I am proud of my Welsh blood from my mother’s family, our much loved grandfather was a hard working miner!!

  • Rodney Watts 16th May '20 - 11:43am

    ” Just a hopefully useful Minister of the Methodist Church and that faith still steers me from day to day……I’ll close with an oft repeated dream of building a world fit for children to live in.” It was people with your faith who fostered and cared for my Jewish father and one methodist lady teacher even stopped a nasty headteacher from beating him. (he picked on orphans and girls, so not anti-semitic). Another minister, who had been a spitfire pilot with DFC was able to relate to my secular parents and father who had won an MM at Dunkirk. Those same people demonstrated the love of Jesus by caring for me too, so I made a decision to follow ‘Yeshua Hanotzri’

    I too have been guided by that faith, in research as a medical biochemist, in youth club work, in political and business life, and as a teacher in later years. Your concluding words encapsulate everything we of any faith or none should aspire to.

  • “I’ve never been a revolutionary! ”

    Maybe towards the quieter end of the spectrum but liberalism needs to be revolutionary 🙂

    ‘I’m proud that Abraham Lincoln had a drop or two of Welsh blood in his veins.” – as indeed did Thomas Jefferson. At least possibly enough to have slotted in had they turned out to be a half-decent openside 🙂

  • Tony Greaves 16th May '20 - 8:32pm

    Hello, Roger. Good to see you are keeping well. I do hope we will be back together in our little office before too long, though it’s not going to be soon. Tony

  • roger roberts 16th May '20 - 9:52pm

    Grateful for all responses to my meandering thoughts . Thanks to my office colleague of many years Tony Greaves- hope you and Heather keep well. It will be good to return as with hundreds of thousands of others to our office at Westminster and to welcome many Lib Dem Voice contributors to a cup of tea. Croeso.

  • It might help to realise that there isn’t going to be a *post-pandemic* situation; there’s going to be a *late pandemic* situation, a *controlled pandemic* situation, and maybe eventually an *endemic* coronavirus situation. But in any case we’re looking at having this as part of our lives for years, maybe decades to come, popping up here and there. It’s not just going to go away, and it’s going to take a lot of vigilance to prevent sudden flare-ups.

    Be the first political party to realise this, and it might actually have some political benefit.

  • Peter Martin 17th May '20 - 8:15pm

    The article initially gives the impression its about the society we want to become after Covid-19 is bought under control, but as we see in the 4th paragraph, it’s really about Brexit and how to prevent us actually leaving the EU’s orbit.

    The virus is causing more damage to the EU than it is to us. There’s no sense of unity there. The eurozone, and the EU, just about survived the 2008 GFC but everyone agrees that the coming crisis is going to be much worse. So, before you start to campaign to try to stay as close as possible to the EU, how about some discussion on just what you are wanting to stay close to?

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