Posts Tagged ‘Bullingdon club’

Our parties and politicians don’t understand how the world is changing

14/03/2013, 08:08:28 AM

by Peter Watt

There doesn’t yet appear to be an existential crisis at the heart of our political establishment but there quite possibly should.  Right across Europe from Germany to Greece and Italy there has been a rise in new, fringe and occasionally comic parties.  They are all benefiting from a sense of disenchantment with the established parties.

In the UK it was traditionally the Liberal Democrats that farmed the protest ‘none of the above’ votes but the advent of the coalition appears to have put a stop to that.  The result is the rise of other smaller parties – Respect in Bradford, UKIP in Eastleigh or a whole series of independents.  In fact increasing numbers are choosing to either not vote or vote for whichever other party or candidate is best placed to deal the establishment parties a bloody nose.

The political assumption appears to be that this malcontent has at its heart the prolonged economic crisis.  Financial uncertainty combined with an already rapidly changing world has meant that people are looking for an answer to an increasingly complex set of questions.  Where we used to assume that we would be better off in the future we now expect to be worse off and we worry for the economic plight of our children.  Following this logic through and when the economy upturns, then political business as usual will resume.  Labour and the Tories will battle it out for supremacy with Lib Dems battling for scraps or possibly further coalition.

The result of this assumption is essentially conservative; it is the politics of no change in how we do our politics.  The countdown has begun to May 7 2015 and the only question is which of the big two will be the largest party the day after.   Whilst others may be suffering from the economic situation or the rapidly changing world, the world of politics appears unaffected.

Candidates are being selected from those who have most faithfully played the traditional political game within each of the parties.  And the political cycle of conferences, budgets, parliamentary rebellions, briefings and gossip has not been interrupted one dot.  The political elite may feel a little battered reputationally but they are certainly not unduly concerned; patience will be rewarded with the maintenance of the status quo.


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