The last twenty four hours or so have been interesting in the world of politics to say the least. The Conservatives (the party I voted for after a lot of internal struggle) have lost their majority and have now had to form a coalition government with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to get the last few seats needed for a functioning minority government. Theresa May, for all her talk of a ‘strong and stable’ government and the need for the british people to ‘strengthen her hand’ for a hard Brexit, has cost the party it’s mandate.
I’m a pragmatist when it comes to politics. I’ve always either voted for or against ideas, or prevalent qualities in the people at the top. I dislike purely voting party lines because it does a disservice to the electorate. I’m not as involved in it as some in my circle of friends and that is down to a combination of choice and frankly a lack of productive time investment in the matter.
My issue with this election, as I find becoming more and more prevalent in the UK political scene at large, is that we’re having to become more focussed at keeping people out than bringing people in. By this, I mean that we needed to keep Labour from taking power. Supposedly nearly three quarters of 18-24 year olds turned out to vote, and this theory is buttressed by the record turnout of just over 68%, the highest since the 1997 election where Tony Blair’s New Labour essentially destroyed the Conservative party at large.
I do not believe for one moment that the younger end of that ‘youth’ category voted Labour as it’s popular choice. The so-called Generation Z (born after 2000) is supposed to be incredibly conservative because they have lived through austerity during their formative years. They’ve never not known terrorism, and they can see through the fluffy condescension that a good chunk of university educated Milennials swallowed up like their surname was Twist. They ‘get’ that the world has to have borders, that some cultures are empirically superior to others and that being frivolous in any facet of life will come to haunt them. They will be the balancing force in the back and forth of politics and rebelling against the generation prior.
In that sense, I am an outlier. I expect the time of my being able to say that I voted with the majority will soon end, as the older Conservative voters become too encompassed in just living their day-to-day and leave the floodgates open for a deluge of people who don’t truly understand what they are voting for, and some (bluntly) delusional people that do.
I know that this was a poor election, but I’m also glad that it was. Theresa May had no intention to engage with the public aside from behind a lectern while repeating the platitudes of ‘strong and stable’ in a manner of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Refusing to debate on television was killer for her, as was the notion that her ideas for fox hunting, online cryptography and social care would be accepted on a second tier of division, the first being her push on Brexit. Corbyn, despite how I detest his policies and his shadow cabinet, has to be commended for attacking where May was weak; engaging the people and energising them to vote with a cult of personality as well as constant presence in the media.
But it still wasn’t enough. The Conservatives still have a government (albeit minority), and Labour still couldn’t win outright.
There’s trouble on the horizon though, and that’s even after any leadership contest which is looking likely in the blue camp. A hard Brexit is now in peril, which was my primary reason for voting Conservative in the first place, and with all the parties on the back foot save for one, there will be huge shifts in the political landscape in the time between this election and the next. A populist right-wing policy was never enough to keep the Tories afloat, and the only way that the party will be able to recover is a move to the centre again, and abandoning the penny pinching (Dementia Tax, School Lunches et al) that turns them from the masters of austerity into mental masturbators.
I’m going to leave a video to end this as a more direct way of getting the message across. I agree with Carl on his silver lining, too. Nigel Farage coming back is the best case scenario for UK politics at large, for the people.