Politics is a big old beast, and given everyone wants their two penneth, it gets continually tarred and convoluted by thousands of viewpoints across the whole spectrum of society. Fair enough, everyone’s entitled to their say, but it makes having meaningful conversation about the fundamentals of politics pretty difficult.
I don’t like being simplistic, but I do like keeping things simple, so let’s get down to some basic truths we can hopefully all agree on.
The goal of government is surely to aid the development of a society that:
- Is stable, secure and fair
- Is well-educated and healthy
- Supports the people who’re in need and ensures everyone has a safe & comfortable standard of living
- Respects people regardless of gender, race, cultural background or sexuality
- Appropriately rewards the people who excel and contribute
- Provides choice and freedom
- Is environmentally sustainable
- Is happy, optimistic and proactive
- Creates equal opportunities for all
…Or something like that anyway? Well, does that sound like a list of priorities the government has been working on? What advances on any of the above points have there actually been in the past say 5 years?
Barely anything. I can’t think of any initiatives the current government has to even try to tackle the points above. Not a scrap of positive vision. In fact, come to think of it, aside from some general grumblings about immigrants, Brexit, and powering up Big Brother’s spy network to help us be more secure against terrorists, my fucking tits, I can’t think of anything else Theresa May has actually said?
What’s going wrong? Is it because Tories are all evil, and they don’t give a shit? Well, no, I don’t think so. Funnily enough most Tories I’ve ever met are good people. The right-wing just have a different view of how things should work. Incidentally, on that subject, the whole bipartisan left-versus-right pantomime of modern politics helps no one – can we all just get a fucking grip for a bit?
Now I’m left-leaning, but even I can see that the fault of the Tories isn’t necessarily that they’re too right-wing or neo-liberal. What’s undeniable though is that the Tories have fallen hopelessly short in making right-wing politics work for the British people and economy.
I personally couldn’t give a shit who funds schools, hospitals, national infrastructure, social support programmes, arts or anything else – IF IT WORKS.
The issue for me isn’t necessarily that we have a right-wing Government. It’s that the Tories have totally failed at developing and advancing the society described in the bullet points above through right-wing fundamentals. They’ve failed so spectacularly, that it’s impossible for anyone to discern whether the fault is down to those right-wing fundamentals, or whether it’s just down to a shockingly poor implementation of them.
Maybe right-wing politics, free markets and libertarianism could create the society described above if it were properly managed and implemented. It’s hard to say. All I can say is that on the evidence we have so far, right-wing politics is next to fucking useless.
Now admittedly I’m a wee bit left-biased. But I’m practical about it, because far from left wing being ‘looney left’ ‘cloud cuckoo land’, like the garbage heaps Daily Mail & The Sun will have you believe, I actually think left-wing governance is more pragmatic and realistic about society than a right-wing that believes the markets will magically sort everything out. In my opinion libertarianism is way more airy-fairy, ideological and laughably optimistic than socialism. Socialism has a sort of cautious cynicism about the darker sides of human nature and greed, which experience tells me is pretty well founded. Believing there’s an invisible hand guiding the distribution of wealth has about as much credibility in my book as believing there’s an invisible bearded man in the sky guiding our moral choices.
But let’s not rule out the right wing. Let’s not be dogmatic about the means, when it’s the ends that really count. Please, Theresa May, just show me and every open-minded person (left, centre or right) some small scrap of evidence that your methods are working and helping us build a better society for all. So far all I can see is failure. Failure in education, failure in healthcare, failure in the economy, failure in social care, failure in balancing the north south divide, failure in managing the escalating housing crisis. Just show me some data, or a plan, or anything at all that can make me believe you have something positive to offer us.
Until proven otherwise, it seems clear to me that Labour and the Lib Dems have significantly more to offer the British public than the seemingly aimless policies of the Conservative Party.