Brexit. Brexit. More Brexit. I can’t be the only person fed up with a news diet consisting of Brexit for breakfast, elevenses, lunch, and tea. So confused and bitter is the wrangling created by the 2016 referendum, so going nowhere but to hell in a handcart, that it’s enough to bring on a bilious attack.

But what causes upset for austerity Britain’s long-suffering citizens provides an opportunity for others. In particular, Brexit provides an endless series of days for the government to bury bad news, an art form at which they excel.

Take the day of the long-delayed ‘meaningful vote’ on Theresa May’s botched deal with the European Union. All eyes were on the drama in Parliament that ended with her government facing the biggest rebellion by MPs in the history of our democracy. A majority of 230 rejected her Plan A, at which point it became clear the Prime Minister and her cabinet have no Plan B. All this, even though everyone knew her atrocious ‘deal’ lacked support in Parliament or, for that matter, the country at large. Instead, Mrs May still will not rule out the catastrophe of a ‘no deal’ Brexit – an act of gross political recklessness and irresponsibility.

On the evening before the big vote, while all eyes were distracted, the Department for Work and Pensions slipped out changes to pension rules that will affect thousands of our senior citizens. From May 15, new pensioners whose partners are younger than the state retirement age of 65 are no longer allowed to claim a means-tested top-up called pension credit.

Age UK labelled the change a “substantial stealth cut”, pointing out it could have a devastating effect on the health and wellbeing of some older people and increase the numbers of pensioners in poverty. This is because they will be forced to claim the much less generous universal credit alongside their younger partners.

The numbers say it all: the couple rate of universal credit is £114.81 a week compared with £255.25 for a couple receiving pension credit. In other words, a potential loss of £7,320 a year or 50 per cent less than they would formerly have received.

Burying bad news in this cynical manner may well be good for the government, but it hardly increases ordinary people’s trust in or respect for politicians. Yet again ordinary folk who worked all their lives are being punished to fund tax giveaways to those who are already far too rich, thank you. And far too often it happens under the media radar.

Perhaps none of us should be surprised. For the last year or so the government has accelerated another stealthy wealth-transfer – and one with profound implications for us all. Hidden beneath the smog of Brexit are deep changes to our public services designed to benefit shareholders rather than the taxpayers who fund them.

Trade unions representing millions of people have recently accused the government of failing to learn lessons from the collapse of Carillion a year ago. Instead, they have pumped yet more money into outsourcing companies. Lest we forget (and I suspect the government would love us to forget), Carillion managed public sector contracts to provide services such as prison maintenance and school dinners. Their failure cost the taxpayer an estimated £150m and caused major delays to two multi-million pound hospital construction projects in Liverpool and Birmingham. Worse, no one gets held to account when eye-watering blunders like the Carillion scandal occur.

“Buyer beware” would seem a normal reaction to such a situation. However, according to the GMB union, the lifetime value of outsourcing contracts awarded in 2017-18 “rocketed” by 53 per cent from £62bn to £95bn in the past year, including nearly £2bn in contracts awarded to Capita and Interserve despite both issuing profit warnings.

That’s what is so alarming about our current situation. Sensible, efficient government in the UK seems paralysed. I fear we will wake up from this mess one day and find the fabric of our country changed utterly – and all too often to benefit a privileged few. It is up to us ordinary citizens not to allow the well-heeled, out-of-touch elite running Britain a free hand while our collective back is turned.