So….its a couple of weeks later and the political and social landscape appears to have moved from an all out constant offensive to a series of smaller battles.
Social media appears to be the liveliest battleground between remainers and leavers. Remain voters have decided that they will constantly make their displeasure over the referendum result known to anyone who will listen and/or read. This exercise of free speech appears to have irked off the leavers who insist that the remainers should stop whining about the result, accept that democracy has spoken, suck it up and help build a better Britain.
I’m afraid I don’t understand how the leavers can insist that everyone respects democracy but also insists that those with an opposing view should not speak of it. Is this any different to those who wished to leave the EU making their viewpoint known in the years running up to the referendum? They were able to express their viewpoint for all the years 1975 – 2016. The leavers need to understand that the remainers will be shouting out their viewpoint for many years to come.
I have spent the last couple of weeks fighting to remind people about the dangers of making sweeping generalisations when discussing those who voted leave. I have seen complaints and negativity directed against “Britain” for getting us to where we are and sadly I have seen commentary insinuating that all leavers are old and racist, are complete idiots and have thrown away the future.
There appears to be little realisation across the masses, on both sides, that the leave campaign was not a single homogeneous entity. Far from it, the leave campaign was made up of many different blocs of voters with differing viewpoints from protest voters, to xenophobic racists (can you be a non xenophobic racist?) to actual educated people who believe that the UK is actually better off outside of the EU and logical, reasoned and evidenced opinions to back up their arguments. Sweeping generalisations do not help.
The level of debate and discourse has to be raised in this country. We have to work to make sure that “Britain is sick of experts” stays as the soundbite that it is. People should be encouraged to find things out for themselves so that as a society we are not totally dependent on the mass media organisations controlled by a handful of people. This in of itself is a nice soundbite, I have no idea how we turn it around and make it happen. But it needs to happen. Society needs to be able to think for itself…critically. People need to be able to judge for themselves based on objective analysis the merits and weaknesses of any argument. Again not sure how that happens…..
I mentioned before that I wanted to become more engaged in the political processes of this country and that one of the more likely ways of that happening was to join one of the existing political parties. But who to join?
None of the political parties are standing out at the moment as worthy of my attention. As I mentioned before I’m mostly centrist (to my mind) in many of my views. I believe in a strong defence policy (although currently on the fence on Trident), a free to use and effective NHS, Education policy decided by those who have experience in the theory and practice of education, recognition of crime and associated social issues not just being a police issue but a multi-agency issue. I believe business and free markets have a strong part to play and I also believe that we should adopt green practices wherever possible and practicable. I’m a unionist and a royalist and I believe we should play a leading role on the world stage where our skills and capacity allow. But with all that I’m not sure where I fit in.
During the post Brexit fall out the politician I was most impressed with for their display of leadership skills was Nicola Sturgeon. However she doesn’t share my unionist views and it was easier for her to show the necessary leadership skills as the population of Scotland was largely united in its viewpoint.
Labour feels more naturally like my party but I think that may be more down to wishful thinking than anything else. I admire Corbyn for his principles and he clearly has the support of a great many people with his espousal of a new way of conducting politics. I’m not sure if is PM material…yet…and if the mass media has its way I’ll never be allowed to see if he has those capabilities. Several of his policies are more to the left than I’m comfortable with but perhaps I need to rethink where I stand in the light of the changes to UK politics and its response to globalisation. I certainly don’t feel able to join at the moment where the Parliamentary Labour Party feels that it has primacy in deciding who should vote rather than listening to the wider membership. That smacks of being out of touch with their own base and more concerned with their own agendas. They should be taking the opportunity to shape the future direction of the party not threatening it with a split I certainly don’t feel that Angela Eagle is the right person to lead.
I think over the next few months will see a continuance of instability for many areas of UK politics. With the election of Theresa May as the new leader and PM, the Tories are currently in the lead to take advantage of the political landscape as it changes purely by having, y’know, a supported leader. The way things stand at the moment the Tories would stand a good chance of improving their standing in the Commons if a snap general election was called purely because of the disarray of their main opponent.
As it stands, other than talking to people online and offline and continuing to write like this, I still haven’t found a worthy way of becoming more engaged.