Examining the current state of the various leading British political parties makes for an exasperating and hopeless picture. For some time, it has been widely speculated that the Tories are gearing up for a leadership change, if not before, at least following the official leaving of the UK from the EU, scheduled for 29th March 2019. It is to be presumed that any change of PM will be a matter purely for the Conservative party, however, if there was to be a General Election upon this event, it would not be a surprise if there was a low voting turnout. This is because there are more and more people becoming disengaged with politics in the UK and this is a result of the wide scale incompetence that we are now becoming accustomed to.
- The Tories have gone through multiple “crises” of late. No sooner did they get over Windrush, but whilst we were all focused on England’s World Cup run, the Cabinet was falling apart over the farcical Brexit negotiations. Both David Davis and Boris Johnson have now stepped down from their respective positions and the reports coming from Europe are less than encouraging: most recently the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, rejected one of the government’s key customs proposals and the prospect of a “no deal” is looking increasingly likely.
- Given the absolute mess that the Conservative party are in, one would have thought that the Labour party would have grabbed the initiative and presented themselves as a more favourable option for government. However, instead, Labour continues to let Theresa May off the hook by failing to successfully grapple with its own inadequacies. This summer, once again accusations of anti-Semitism within the Party membership, and perhaps more worryingly, the leadership’s inability to effectively deal with this problem, plague the Labour party and dominate the headlines. This has stopped the Party from being able to offer a credible alternative to the Tories and, moreover, weakened its ability to hold the government to account.
- As for the Lib Dems, there appears to be no sign of a convincing resurgence post their collapse after the Coalition government of 2010 to 2015. Despite the Party’s firm stance on Brexit through their push for a second referendum, the Lib Dems have failed to command any sort of a meaningful existence in public consciousness. Indeed Tim Farron and current leader Vince Cable missed two crucial Brexit votes; the fact that both of these Bills only just passed, makes their absence particularly scandalous.
In a democracy it is important that politicians can capture our imagination, provide us with strong leadership and present a credible vision for which we can vote. As it stands, they are failing to live up to these ideals, letting down both themselves and the people that they represent. We deserve, and should expect, more.
Article by Helen Taylor