It is no longer a simple matter of Left and Right, and these old battle lines are actually part of the problems we face now. I meet plenty of Tories who yes, bemoan spending on Welfare or Foreign Aid BUT believe in the NHS and Nationalisation of the railways; likewise I meet plenty of Labour voters with some pretty nasty views on Immigration and Capital Punishment. It is no longer a given that one side is right and the other wrong, and this refusal to accept any consensus on certain issues is destroying people's faith in politics and its ability to pave a path to a better future.
UKIP are abhorrent to me, but they understand this dichotomy even if they can't spell it. They can pluck voters from the No Man's Land between the old battle lines by seeming to offer a populist blend of both old school Left and Right. Theresa May is pitching her rhetoric here too, making sure she gets in her buzz phrases about the Tories being the party of "ordinary working people" at every opportunity. The reason they are providing the prevailing political narrative is that they are reaching out into this political No Man's Land with words, if not with actions, and with the media on their side, are in the driving seat in these uncertain times.
Labour have the twin problem of the Blair/Brown years having driven people from their trench on the Left of the battlefield, and an uphill struggle to persuade them to climb back in. The reasons for this are complex and to lay the blame solely at Corbyn's door is not only overly simplistic, but displaying a myopic naivety as to what their problems actually are to begin with.
Down here in the real world life goes on. I have had this discussion countless times on social media and at gigs, but the truth of it always strikes me. Our struggle as a nation is that we have allowed politicians and media alike to present our problems as those of Economics rather than Ethics.
As the cliche goes, it's no longer Left and Right, it's Right and Wrong. We simply HAVE to get over the idea that it is OK to let someone starve or freeze to death in a shop doorway because we can't afford to help.
This is where the consensus in Britain lies. I know people talk the talk, but I know very few people who hand on heart would walk past someone dying without trying to help. We just aren't like that. 99% of us, no matter which way we vote, would try to help. Politics might not treat us that way, but we are BETTER than the way we are painted.
The future of this country is politically bleak if we don't change this. Brexit will likely deliver a small State, lowest common denominator tax haven for the super rich and prices will rocket as wages are driven down.
The Establishment will punish us for daring to vote Leave. They will do that through our pockets and the poorer we get the more the 48% will blame the 52% and those in charge will fuel that division playing the same old divide and rule politics they have since time immemorial; but while the ECONOMIC future is bleak, we as a People need to concentrate on ETHICS. We need to focus on the right and wrong of what is being done to our communities and demand better.
After all, the NHS and the Welfare State were built at a time when the nation was broke because it was the right thing to do and we found a way to pay for them.
Ethics rather than Economics drove that.
The future does not need our old battle lines, it needs us to rediscover our ability to think beyond them and make things happen for the benefit of ALL, because THAT is a tradition worth remembering and more a part of our collective identity than any of the petty squabblings of day to day politics.
It's in our DNA.
It's time we all looked ourselves in the mirror.
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