Let’s Dump Divisive Politics

I’ve just read an exciting article in the Times (October 27th) that makes me feel I am not so stupid and ‘out on a limb’ after all. For years I have also wished that politicians would crawl out from under their ‘partyist’ shells and see the bigger picture. I love the title of Rachel Sylvester’s article – ‘Britons are weary of angry, divisive politics.’ I have been one of these angry Britons for many years.

The focus of her article is the New Zealand prime minister’s ( Jacinda Ardern) approach to cross-party politics in response to the changing times. Apparently this lady, who has recently won a landslide victory, believes that elections do not have to be divisive and has entered into talks with the Green Party about forming a Coalition government. Let’s all give her a huge pat on the back, and hope that her example is followed by other leaders.

Politics has long since lost contact with reality and people are surely sick to death of all the in-fighting. Furthermore, the origins of conservatism or labour, have surely ceased to have current significance in our lives, especially now – given the battle we in Britain, and other countries are surely facing. Whether conservative or labour, most people’s basic beliefs about how to live are similar. Yet, to hear politicians talk – you would think we were back in the Industrial Revolution. Time has moved on!

This pandemic is far bigger than politics! And it is about time that politicians peeped out from their isolated party shells and made cross-party contact. Maybe they should all go on one of those team-building weekends that companies send their managers on. They would then realise that what they have in common is far greater than the sum of their differences. Who knows – they might end up being able to identify together what needs to be done to place the country back on its feet, because, let’s face it, Britain has long since lost its way.

Whether a politician is conservative, labour, Green or any other party, matters far less than whether such a person has the required skills and knowledge to help govern the country in a way that is non-divisive, and based on the brand of equality and opportunity that enables every young person and citizen to succeed in life. Once that happens, there is no need to focus specifically on issues such as Black Lives Matter, or any other movement – because ALL lives would matter, and policies would reflect that belief.

It’s about policy – not party! So let’s dump party politics, stop squabbling and start problem-solving. Sylvester’s article also makes the point that Jacinda Ardern is one of the most popular world leaders. Let’s compare her approach with that of Donald Trump. The run up to the US election could have been a respectful debate between two potential leaders about American policy – a discussion of what America needs. But no, as usual, it has turned out to be a dirt-throwing, disgusting spectacle.

Back to Britain: thankfully, like myself, there are thousands of people who are also fed up of dirt-throwing because it achieves nothing. Nor is Government anything to do with the pursuit of power, yet for years, parties have sought to be in a position of ‘power’. Once elected onto a governmental seat, politicians have a duty to govern on behalf of the electorate. It is not about power. It is about service to the country.

This pandemic has sent us all a huge challenge. So let’s start to deal with the problems, based on an agreed agenda that seeks to tackle issues, from the right perspective, using the right people – regardless of the political party they belong to. In fact let’s dump parties altogether and focus on policy. Policy is the answer – economically and socially.

Start with belief and philosophy – what kind of society do we want to end up with? The chances are, we all agree on fairness and equality. Secondly, what kind of society do we currently have – and therefore what needs to be changed? What new policies should be put in place? Here is where people are more likely to disagree because it depends on which side of our capitalist society they are on.

It’s not rocket science – but it is sociological. And the problem with politicians is that they have forgotten what they have learned about sociology, even if they have ever known anything in the first place.

So let’s forget about left and right and move towards the middle – because that’s where all of the country’s problems are more likely to be solved. From divisive to co-operative.

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