The Brexit vote has brought up many issues. One not yet fully explored, because of the continuing issues over Brexit, is the growing lack of affiliation towards the political parties. The older generations who still primarily vote are keeping this system in place at the moment but in the coming decades this is likely to start to change.
If we start with the labour party, one fixed within the working classes. Yet how many people now truly connect to the working class values and live there lives in this way? The reason Labour are struggling is because they have failed to adapt to the changing social classes. I am from a traditional working class area, where people worked in factories and the men laboured and the women worked in offices and sorted out the children. British life is no longer like this and the same area I grew up in, is deprived of any large wages, the men are generally unemployed and where education was never seen as important because there would always be work, the attitudes haven’t changed but the job vacancies have gone. Labour will continue to struggle while they try to hold their past values in the modern world.
The liberals are no longer seen as a political force for government because of the way they handled the last election. Rather than standing side by side with the Tories, they spent all the time distancing themselves. This meant the Tories took the credit and the liberals were blamed for all the errors. It is a real shame because Nick Clegg spoke honestly about what they could achieve and they did try to bring in no tuition fees and PR, but lost the vote in the commons and the referendum respectively.
The conservatives seem unable to move on from Margaret Thatcher. I would suggest she was needed in the eighties because the unions were debilitating the country and the privatisations have not been all bad. But to continually hark back to this era as a roaring success is to forget the recession at the end of the eighties and the fact the railways still have subsidies, the utilities are more a monopoly than a perfect competitive market and our infrastructure has not been improved because of it. Why then is privatisation the answer to everything, NHS & education, why do they force low taxes on a nation that is desperate to fund the NHS properly without bankrupting the country and why do they continue to look back at the Empire, Brexit, for our future.
I would call for a new party that has not got the shackles of the past holding them back. One that is socially aware of our poorest in society and will be there to support them when in need. One that provides free healthcare and education for everyone. One that is business friendly but looks after the employee as well. Our current political parties are so desperate to keep their mainstream support that they continue to alienate the rest of the population. This fuels the feeling of distrust to the politicians and makes the public feel they are only interested in themselves. This is not the case for the majority but they back themselves into corners because of the press and what they fear will be the backlash in the election.
My final hope is that the new party, or the current one willing to change, will help stem the rise of the far left and right of each party. This is only happening because each party has to distance themselves from each other and so pushes further to the extremes. Once apathy to the parties increases and trust disintegrates, then we have a situation as we now see in the US. No one believes the politicians and so they follow someone who they think is different, who will change the system back in their favour. Do we really want that to happen in this country? The Brexit vote showed it could happen.