The Party’s Over

With the British Government embroiled in yet another crisis, would it be better if both the Conservative and Labour Parties split and their factions realigned? Our democratic system is not fit for purpose and establishment party politics doesn’t serve the interests of the people.


Theresa May in turmoil.
Under attack from all sides.
Proof for the Conservatives – the Party’s Over.

Hi, I’m Leon Hawthorne. The latest turmoil in Theresa May’s government is proof, if further proof were needed, that the way we do politics is broken.

The party’s over. Not just the Conservative Party, but also Labour. These two behemoths have held power, intermittently in Britain, for the last one hundred years. Now both are showing signs of age and obsolescence.

The idea there’s one big party on the right, one on the left, a blue team and a red team, and we pick a side, once every five years… and that’s democracy? No.

This approach is overly simplistic and out of touch with the expectations of an electorate who can vote with their TV remote controls and their mobile phones.

The political party system itself is based on a big lie. Does anyone believe 300-or-so MPs all support the policies put forward by their leadership?

Yet, they go on TV and say how great the policies are and vote for them in the House of Commons. But when the cameras are off, those same MPs trash talk their Leader and stick the knife in behind their back.

Or, in the case of the former Brexit Secretary David Davis, he writes a resignation letter saying he hasn’t agreed with any of the key policies in the past two years.

No wonder most people think politicians are all liars. Our system of doing politics requires them to be so.

Of course, all political parties are coalitions of different factions. There are social conservatives alongside free market libertarians.

In Labour, the are some hardline Marxist-Leninists who sit with moderate Christian social reformers.

However, these coalitions look increasingly fragile. Brexit has fractured the Conservatives, while Jeremy Corbyn’s ascendancy has put most Labour MPs out of kilter with the mass membership of their Party.

It’s time to shake things up. The old parties need to split and their factions realign.

I believe political parties should be like hair styles. Nobody expects to have the same hair style all their life, or worse still, the same style as their grandparents. Hair styles and political parties should come and go. New ones arrive. Old ones die off.

One problem when parties split is who gets the assets? The old Party name, its database, its money and the brand loyalty from old supporters?

That’s why it can be easier to takeover a Party and change it in your image, rather than set one up from scratch.

In America, Donald Trump won the Republican Party leadership, even though he had been a long time supporter of the Democrats and had previously run for the Reform Party.

Ambitious politicians use established parties as vehicles for their own self interests.

In France, Emmanuel Macron was different. He left the Socialist Party to create his own movement, En Marche. From nowhere, in one year, a new party seized the presidency and the French parliament.

New populist parties are emerging everywhere. Italy has the Five Star Movement, Spain has Podemos. Greece has SYRIZA. And there are countless more examples on both the extreme left and right.

And that’s the danger. If established parties like the Conservatives and Labour don’t realign and start listening to ordinary people, charismatic extremists will emerge to fill the void.

I’m Leon Hawthorne. Thanks for watching.

Published by videobite2021

Journalist, broadcaster, media executive, academic, author.