A centrist party is a non starter

MacronThe idea being promoted by ex David Davis aide James Chapman (@jameschappers) that the Tory MPs who oppose Brexit should align themselves to the Labout MPs who also oppose Brexit and then join up with the Lib Dems and Greens to form a new centrist party has gained interest from amongst the few journalists who are not themsleves on holiday. My friend Linda Jack who is a well known member of the Lib Dems within the party and in her home location of Luton and Bedfordshire was invited onto BBC 3Counties Radio to give her perspective on the idea last night. The idea that the Lib Dems and Greens would sit comfortably with a few Tories in a new Party or that MPs from within the tribal Labour party would be able to leave without a major amount of confrontation is inconceivable. In any event trying to find sufficient common views and ideas apart from being Anti Brexit would create all sorts of challenges. There is a solution which takes as much guts as trying to create a new party but is quicker and more effective. That is for MPs who no longer trust the direction of travel of their parties or indeed the Government to resign as MPs and cause a by-election and leave the Westminster village to a new intake of MPs some of whom may be members of the same party, but hopefully some who are not members of any party or who are members of one of the other parties. In the radio interview that I made reference to, Olly Mann (who was standing in for a journalist on holiday) in his discussion with Linda made reference to the success of Emmanuel Macron. The reality is that most of Macron’s colleagues have come from outside of politics and in that sense people have gathered around an entirely new way of thinking. My view is that we need the same sort of radical change here in the UK, but we will not achieve this simply by asking a few people in Parliament to start wearing different colour rosettes. One of the most substantial barriers to new faces and new ideas emerging in the UK is our electoral system which places enormous advantage at the feet of the two largest parties, helped by the culture of the last 500 years of how Parliament operates. By all means a new pro EU party that is made up of ex Tories would be a good step forward, and act as a useful counterbalance to the Greens and Lib Dems, and if this diminished the power of the Tories and a few Labour MPs sought to join in the Greens or Lib Dems, then the mix would be much healthier than at present. If the radical change to our system led to a dozen or so Independents being elected we would then have a Parliament that was not simply a two sided debate and demanded more of us as electors to consider our views more carefully before voting. All the while the prevailing concepts are red vs blue, left vs right, worker vs boss, town vs country there is no room for fresh ideas. In one sense the fact that the Brexit is fully supported by the two main parties and yet we are fast approaching the Brexit cliff edge without any form of braking system, could be seen as good news if the only concern is our two party dominance. Sadly the damage that Brexit will do to both the Tories and Labour is superficial compared to the damage it will do to the country as a whole. However perhaps after we have all pushed ourselves over the cliff and seen that not only is the grass down below not greener but that there is no grass at all, we will suddenly find we have an appetite for real change.

About ianchisnall

I am passionate about the need for public policies to be made accessible to everyone, especially those who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am particularly interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as health services and strategic planning.
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