(wrote this on my phone a couple of days ago while waiting for my girlfriend in a sports centre drinking a latte and generally passing time. so its a bit of a rant and perhaps not overly insightful , but then again so is most political commentary)
There is something strange in the waters of British and American politics.
This to be fair is nothing new, politics has always had its odd side on both sides of the political fence. The right has always had its reactionary’s, bigots and let us be honest here, racists and sexist’s. Meanwhile, the liberal left has had its own radical’s, whom are perhaps a little more loveable than the extreme right, but are no less extreme in their views.
There is an old saying, born a liberal die a conservative, but some of us never grow out of the liberal.
In Britain we have the return of the left, battling its age-old battles. Trying so had to do what it feels is right, Corban wants to scrap trident, yet has to face off with unions which want to preserve trident jobs, so comes up with the compromise of nuclear subs with no nuclear warheads. An insane compromise being forced upon him to safeguard a few jobs and keep the unions on board. Insane because the money it would cost could be spent creating so many jobs elsewhere. The right wing media rightly ridicules the idea. A sentence I never expect to write…..
Meanwhile in the USA, we have the radical right with its cheerleader billionaire Donald Trump, whose increasingly insane ideas would be as laughable as his hair, and boy do we laugh if he was not the leading republican candidate. There have been other radical right wing politicians with funny hair that were laughable, one of them did remarkably well in the German elections in the 1930’s. Remember how that turned out?
Comparing Trump to a failed Austrian art students political ascension may seem far fetched. Just as far fetched as believing America could elect someone to the Whitehouse who openly spouts idiotic racist ideas. This is however an America who elected G.W.Bush twice, accepted the patriot act and whose poorest states tend to be the most republican.
There is a prevalent belief that the British left is unelectable. Just as there is an equally prevalent belief that the American right is unelectable. But despite a right-leaning media in Britain and deceiving polls, there is a groundswell of support for a more left-leaning labour party. Why? Well because there is a generation that has grown to middle age that has lived through centralist politics and Blairite hypocrisy’s. Labour lost the last election not through been too far to the left, but by remaining in the same centralist tory lite they had moved to in the Blair-Brown era which lost them the previous election. Though under Margret Beckets’ report this week into the defeat labour has blamed everyone but themselves.
Centralism has had its day as a political position because apathy among the electorate has had its day. Both in America and the UK. The extremes now have more draw as people look for solutions to the mess centralism has given us. The downside of wanting to have a real choice is that the electorate may not choose what you want. Which leaves us with the prospect of an extreme right wing in Washington and a left wing political move in Westminster.
Democracy, Churchill’s ‘least worst way to run the world’, seems poised to throw a curve ball at us , to use an Americanism, or bowl us a googly to use the British equivalent. There is something in the water, and the electorates of the two nations could give us a whole new ball game.
What’s the curse about interesting times?….