Although it is easy to pick on Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party Conference, there are a whole number of other ways in which people and the media seem to be interpreting recent events wrongly and in the process miss seeing what is actually happening.
Worse than this between Labour committing themselves to trashing the economy through renationalisation, the LibDems refusing to accept Brexit and some Tories imagining that Grammar Schools are the answer to better education, we clearly have politicians on all sides of the House that are not fit for purpose and therefore unfit to serve !
Whether it was with regard to Brexit or the election of Trump, the charge made that this was just naked populism on the part of some politicians and the public were both stupid and deliberately sold a tissue of lies is not correct. Equally Corbyn and his fellow travellers found that by preaching old time Marxist stuff, they were popular both with the young and old time Labour supporters. But in reality all three of these things have one common driving force behind them a desire for change or an alternative choice to what exists and has existed before, in this respect I don’t think that Corbyn’s Labour is different enough !
This desire is neither logical nor illogical because it is based upon a view by the public that the current “system” is not benefiting them personally and this has been the case for some time. Even though jobs have been created at really quite a good rate in the USA and the UK, most of those jobs have been unskilled and low paid which might be better than many places within the EU where there are no jobs at all but expectations come into play. You may say that due to austerity there is no ‘feel good factor’ because incomes are certainly not keeping up with people’s expectations and desires.
This has also been obvious in both the French and German elections where right wing parties previously thought “Unacceptable” have made strong showings. At the root of this lies economics and the quite natural desire for a “better tomorrow” there is little to no prospect of this and in one sense it takes us to the politics of despair. Nobody in their right mind would imagine that Trump, Brexit, Corbyn, Le Pen or the AfD are “the answer” and solution to anything but the public feel prepared to flirt the untried just in case it does move the logjam by some accident and open up broader horizons.
The final mistake of course which is a truly totally foolish one to make is the labelling of those electors who both feel and vote on this as being “old, uneducated and economically left behind” and by implication, being stupid and easily led. By even saying this they are illustrating if they were bright enough to see it, just what is wrong. Equality has notably diminished, the status quo only suits those who are benefiting from it which is why Bankers and the Muddle Classes love the EU even though it is probably not in their real interests to do so. Neither should one demonize Trump supporters or those of the French National Front or the German AfD, they too have their valid reasons and hurling insults will only cement their views.
The Need for Courage
Next week will see the Conservative Party Conference which will be interesting because of Theresa May having to face the whole party for the first time and against the background of the ongoing Brexit negotiations which truthfully do not seem to be going that well and a total breakdown in these might well be the ideal result for the UK going forward. The problem with the EU remains the same one that faced David Cameron, an organisation that historically has muddled through but has now reached a moment in time when that just won’t work any more but is reluctant to face their problems. In this case, fussing about the terms of Brexit and how much cash they can extract from the UK to cover their budget shortfall by the UK leaving allows them the luxury of continuing to ignore their real problem, the Euro.
There is a need for political courage, a sense of vision and a degree of realistic leadership which globally seems totally lacking and most certainly lacking here within the UK. It is one thing to “Speak truth unto power” but what is required is to “Speak truth unto the people”.
To take one example in the UK, the NHS which employs 1.4 million people. Whilst people may complain about the “NHS falling apart and low wages” the reality is that NHS has plenty of money, the real problem is that neither the organisation nor its staff are forward looking enough to realise that as currently constituted, it is unsustainable because both its model and the thought processes of all the staff are wrongly focused. Continue as it is and despite any amount of money pumped into it, the service will remain poor and the wages low. The plain truth is that the NHS is striving to deliver a service that is based upon providing an answer to yesterday’s problems, it needs a thorough top to bottom shake up to produce an approach that deals with today’s issues.
But that said what also needs to happen is a public discussion and a realisation that any substantial shift in the quality of the service will take at least 10 years to bring about if only because that is the timespan it takes to ‘grow’ a new doctor. In fact, the key to solving the problem lies in a radical overhaul of the training and career paths of ALL medical staff along with looking at how current processes can be fully automated and what kind of qualified staff will be required in the future.
We are at a crossroads in politics and politicians need to realise that and change their game accordingly, they need to leave behind the “God Like” pose and switch to being more humble, communicative and clearly presenting the ‘problems’ as they are. The public won’t like it, they want “The Man” to carry the burden of their expectations as the adulation of both Trump and Corbyn by their supporters shows but they need to be forced into facing reality because if they don’t realise it yet, it is reality that governs the quality of their lives not demi-gods.