Many people have intellectually accepted that ‘left’ and ‘right’ has little meaning nowadays. But, many on the left consider that voting for anyone other than Labour, Green or LibDem is beyond the pale.
Since the EU referendum, it is people who consider themselves to be left-wing or liberally-minded who have created the narrative on Brexit. They think the worst of people around them – voters are gullible, stupid or xenophobic. This sentiment is often heart-felt and genuine. But it is mis-guided and deeply misanthropic.
The defining issue of our time is about democracy:
Do we believe that everyone should have an equal say in shaping politics, or not?
Do we believe that the vote for Brexit was a desire for greater control of our collective destiny?
If yes, you are on the side of democracy.
If no, you’re not.
The left should be leading the fight to defend and extend democracy, but it has abdicated its historic role. It is now a barrier to the emergence of genuinely progressive politics – whatever that will be.
In the coming election, the only question is one of democracy and implementing or crippling Brexit.
For many people the only practical choice will be to vote Tory. Some people will find this to be too much. The self-conscious middle classes and many public sector workers will stick with Labour. Few others will retain their tribal loyalty.
Once again, the working class and the ordinary people of the UK are one-step ahead.
Time to catch up perhaps? Take a stand, swallow hard, take strength..
© Andy Shaw 28th April 2017