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  • Writer's pictureJack Martindale

Now What this Party Needs...

The trajectory of political party supporters, has ever been fraught on the direction to take and what road exactly to lead their impetus.

This has to be healthy in that democracy is supposed to amount to an equivalent of “for the people, by the people”. Changes are always going to need to take place to adapt and address, along with support a contemporary society.

Now we appear to be in a state where as much or as little as our affiliation lies, towards any political party, it is ambiguous as to where any stand. Most so, on arguably the most important decision that our country has taken in the last half a century; BREXIT.

In the aftermath of May less than convincingly winning the vote of no confidence held on accepting the proposed Brexit Deal on the 12th of December 2018, when 200 MPs backed her compared to 117 rebels. The exclusivity of only the Government’s side being able to vote aside, it is far from the showings of Westminster being handed in ANY strong or unilateral direction.

In the last equivalent of this leadership challenge – Tory Prime Minister Thatcher in 1990; resulted in 204 for to 152 against – also resulted in a victory. It is anachronistic to contrast the outcomes of these elections directly. Especially as last time was off of a party with a majority of over 100 from the 1987 General Election, compared to this weak Coalition, from the 2017 General Election.

Without getting bogged down in Conservative grievances from the past, the salient point is that, the weakened position that Thatcher was placed within forced her to resign (complete with the famous tears!) from Downing Street, knowing that she would lose another equivalent challenge. A vote of no confidence in itself places the Prime Minister in an incredibly vulnerable position.

The negative momentum has already been almost explicitly been attempted to be appeased by May; however unconvincingly, through vowing not to not fight the next General Election.

The most recent past experience of this was of Tony Blair vowing that 2005 would be the last election that he would fight. Gordon Brown then served as rather something of a lame duck Prime Minister between July 2007 and his fall to David Cameron in May 2010. Unlike Brown, ruling in the aftermath of 3 consecutively strong Labour terms, May took over to supposedly salvage the peril of Brexit that caused Cameron to resign in 2016. It was something of a hubris, when May sacrificed the first majority – albeit of just 5 – achieved by the Tories since the 1992 General Election in deciding to unprecedentedly [she had also stated that she wouldn’t] go to the masses again, which can be seen to have resulted in the current chaos.

Here I feel the need to proudly come out as a member of the Labour Party. This is an affiliation with which I have almost unerringly identified with since I first became fixated with in the midst of the build-up to the 1997 Labour Party landslide. So even at the tender age of 8, I seized the optimism of a fairer and more egalitarian world with positivity being injected; whatever you make of these interim years, unless you are a zealot, you must see how flawed our status quo has become.

There are so many relevant factors within this demise, but there is no clear position on how to deal with Brexit being advertised.

This is why, I entitled this piece with one of my favourite books from childhood Mrs. Armitage on Wheels by Quentin Blake. It goes with the premise of there always being something that can be improved in the function of the eponymous lady’s bike, by something new being added to it. This culminates – sorry to spoil the plot, but it is aimed at under 10 year olds! – in the bike becoming too overloaded and her ending up drenched in the middle a big puddle.

You may believe that it is an incredibly tenuous link and even disconnected from our politics. To me, there is a significant link between Mrs. Armitage’s bike and our Parliament. That is, that it has become so swamped by rhetoric and implausible ideas, that it is unsteady and nobody knows how to steer it is almost an allegory to our current lack lustre politics.

The spin that we are obsessed with and the flaky social media bubble of media that we are within, means that no clear direction is being able to be controlled by anybody.

That is until we have somebody willing and brave enough to take a clear direction on where we are going to take this country; how, being the most important part of this jigsaw. And we don’t need to hear any more “but if…”, or “but…” The fact is that it’s rather too late in the day for that and we have a vulnerable country. I believe that what we do need is for politicians to be able to recognise this and appoint somebody commanding kudos that can viably bring unite the electorate.

At the minute, we have the disgraceful situation where our left movement does not identify with the working class; on any level. What we’ve completed is licensing mockery of the more disadvantaged. The yarn that redistribution of wealth is not viable and does not speak to the masses needs to be exposed as a fable put forward as a fable by the most powerful in society, at the expense of everybody else. Urgently. The fact that at the moment, there seems absolutely nobody willing to stand up to the privileged few and their advantage is appalling. For my two-pennith, I’d say that this should be a woman and/ or a union leader, but whoever can, come along!

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