This is going to seem like one of the most counter intuitive things to talk about right now given the results of last weeks Local Elections and the By Election in Hartlepool.
But the UK is heading for a defining moment and we need a new approach to running government that can only be provided by a new political movement or party. One that will be A New Party for All.
No, it isn’t an easy thing to do. New political parties are not easy to create.
The graveyard of politics is filled to overflowing with the efforts of individuals and groups who set off with the optimistic aim of establishing new political parties that would change everything without changing a single thing.
The common ground between them was that they were motivated by ideas or very focused versions of those ideas that we all have all experienced, seen and heard before.
Why don’t new parties work quickly – as good ideas should?
The biggest elephant in the political room is the idea held by many a new entrant to politics upon which they believe they can do something or the same things better, simply because they have been done very badly by others before.
The truth is that people or voters will only be inspired and encouraged to buy into ‘change’ by a movement or new way of doing things that not only provides an alternative to what they already have available to them. It must represent a credible way of doing things that has never knowingly or consciously been done before.
So why A New Party for All right now? Hasn’t it already just been done?
Unless you are already a Conservative politician who believes that your shit really does smell sweeter than anybody else’s, the electoral success of the Tory Party is surface deep, unexplainable and transitory at best.
Deep down, you know that something with British Politics is fundamentally wrong.
Under Boris Johnson, the Conservative Party has become successful by morphing itself into any mould or shape which is representative of current media and populist calls. Shapeshifting has become synonymous with the term ‘to lead’.
The Conservatives have quite literally stolen the ground from under the feet of Brexiteers and left-wing progressives by becoming caricatures of everything that is Brexit and everything that is socialism, whilst glossing over the uncomfortable truths and the bits they don’t like.
Meanwhile they have no grounding in true representation and have retained their power by developing a framework of policies which are hollow and have no substance contained within them.
People are voting Conservative because there is no alternative
Whilst it may be considered a cliche, the idea that we have more in common with each other than what we have that divides us is very true.
Building upon what we all have in common should form the basis of how we do politics in the UK, allowing us to move on from the tribal alliances and prejudices of the past that are still doing so much damage today.
The problem is that like many terms that have entered common parlance, this principle has been stolen and remoulded for selfish purposes by the woke and politically correct. It has become their way of saying self-righteously to others, ‘what I believe is right and what we have in common; what you believe is the difference and is what drives us apart’.
I’m sure you will agree that this is a very strange and dangerous way for anyone or anything to work – and particularly so in politics, where consideration of what is good and right for everyone should be the basis of any policy or cause.
Reality always bites when we believe the world should behave and think the same as we do
What we have seen in recent months in the lead up to the Local Elections, is the establishment of a range of new movements and political parties, all sold to us as being something different with the ability to work and make a difference, simply because they are a different choice, when in reality they are not.
For example, there’s the Reclaim Party, established by actor Laurence Fox, overtly created to deal with issues like the assault on freedom of speech. The arrival of Reclaim may have been well intentioned. but Laurence’s approach to politics is based on ideas, thoughts and philosophies that are his own. All he has really sought to do is receive the endorsement of others, rather than establishing a vehicle that might have reached out to engage and evolve the views of many others – rather than those of just one.
There is nothing universal in Laurence Fox’s approach or within his policies that can be applied to or interpreted as being inclusive and being there to represent and champion policy for the benefit of all. But Laurence is not alone. He has done nothing wrong and many others have failed by doing exactly the same.
Likewise, the rebranding of the Brexit party to become Reform UK has given witness to a serious failure to launch. Richard Tice focused on selling Reform as something completely different to The Brexit Party, when the reality is that this simply rebranded one-aim vehicle has already been successful at all that it set out to achieve.
It may not have been the Brexit party that existed when the anti-EU movement began. But it was through three decades and the various evolutions that were the Anti-Federalist League, UKIP and then the Brexit Party, that the anti-European Union movement delivered upon the very purpose for which it was established. It then instantaneously lost its value as a collective, as it had been assembled to fight for nothing more than a very specific, mutually aligned cause.
People want change. They are not stupid. They can see, understand or recognise at a visceral level when something old has been rewrapped and presented to them as change.
Making a choice today, so that we can experience something better tomorrow for all
Many people now feel and understand that there is a need for significant political change. But the technical understanding of how the British political system works only comes from objective experience or very careful observation.
This means that many of the people vocally looking for change today and believe that the ideas they have are unquestionably right or justified – such as the arguments against lockdowns – should make immediate sense to everybody else in the same way that it does to themselves.
Accompanying this genuine misunderstanding is the belief that change should be easy if not already be well in hand, given how justified they believe their cause to be.
The reality that nothing has or is seen to be changing leads to great frustration, or what looks very much to others like madness on the part of those making demands through social media and the platforms they have, upon a system that doesn’t behave in anything like the way that it should.
This is not the way that British politics works
For there to be an alternative to the Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat and other political parties that are currently represented in the Westminster Parliament or are trying to get there, it is up to the British people to create and be the alternative themselves.
Being the alternative at the next General Election is the only way that this self-serving, out-of-touch and unrepresentative political culture will be replaced with one that is truly representative of all people and genuine public need. One that is ready to get to work once the Election has been won.
We may be only two years or less away from the next General Election. Rumours are circulating that the Government decision to begin working towards the removal of the Fixed Term Parliament Act will now lead to a General Election in May 2023, whilst the Conservatives are ‘riding high’.
Anyone seeking or believing in the value or real change should take this possibility very seriously right now. As without the creation of an alternative that people can vote for, things will always seem to appear different, but will stay exactly the same as they already are.
The stepping off point. Where we are today
The problem we face, is many of the people who have public profiles and with it the platform to give us a real voice against the form of Government we have and the actions that these politicians are taking are also the least prepared for what we need to do next.
They are not open to the ideas and ways of thinking available that would form the basis of the alternative way of doing government that this Country now needs, and the process that will get us there, from the point at which we stand right now.
Rebranding or repackaging the kind of politics that we already have simply will not work. Neither will expecting the current crop of politicians to adopt a different way of working that runs contrary to everything they believe and risks them losing seats across the Country. All when they genuinely believe these ‘democratic’ seats are theirs and theirs alone to own.
Opening the door
Instead of standing on the soap box of social media and grandstanding with speeches about how only their own ideas are suitable to answer to the problems that all of us have, the new political class that we need leading us must focus on being the means that will not only allow but facilitate the germination of grassroots ideas and policies generated from our communities up.
They will fully consider the needs and desires of all to genuinely and reliably inform the changes in public policy that this Country needs and then create the policies that will lead and inspire us all to achieve and experience it first-hand.
Policies MUST reflect the different attitudes, approaches and perceptions of people of all backgrounds and all ages, yet be driven by an openly communicated and therefore shared understanding that how things should be can never be delivered without accepting, working with and always using the foundation of how things really are.
This is no mean feat. But it does represent a process and direction of travel and embraces a future that is based on always doing the right thing.
That itself will fuel the creation and evolution of a movement for change which has the power to grow exponentially and within this very tight time window – once it has successfully begun.
The part you can play: Are you ready to be the change?
The funny thing is that many will read this blog. They will relate to the content and even agree. But the general response will be ‘This is for someone else to do – not me’.
The thing is, it isn’t. Changing politics for the better and getting people elected who not only can but will take the decisions that will work for everyone and not just benefit the same old few isn’t something that we can outsource by default and place in other people’s hands. It is because we have been doing this for so long already that politicians and the political parties they represent today are the way that they are.
Please don’t fall into the perpetual trap of judging what we can do with our future by looking at how things are done now or rather how they have been done in the past.
The situation in the UK might look ok today at first glance. But there are countless problems being stored up for us all, from the consequences of the lack of foresight that led to lockdowns, how the support for those unable to work or run their businesses during lockdowns was not applied equitably and the gargantuan debt spiral the government has created, to the problems with the way money and the economy works, housing and how policy is driven by idealism rather than any practical relationship with the experience of others.
Your voice matters. It may not feel like your voice matters, but it always has
The impact and consequences of Covid, the way the World and International community has handled it and the need for a very practical approach to green issues and the environmental problem are going to make the future success of the UK dependent upon us focusing on localism and our communities to be the change in just about every day-to-day way.
We can no longer afford to have government run by glory seekers.
Government and the political system that is the means to provide it must be led and managed by people who know and are prepared to do what it takes to get everything done.
The political journey to government solutions at all levels must engage and involve everyone – if they so choose – in some way.
Let’s begin the conversation
This is not the first time that I have written and published about the need for change and the realities that surround the creation and development of a new political party. It is however the first time that I have done so with the concern that led to it feeling tangible in a way that it hasn’t before, simply because events both in the UK and across the World suggest that the rich mixture and chain of poor decision after poor decision made by our politicians will soon create a situation with a narrative that they can no longer use manipulation and dark arts like behavioural economics to control.
I am writing this as a former Conservative politician and local authority officer who has experienced the way that government and politics works from both sides of the fence.
I do not pretend to have all the policies or answers to the real problems that we face. But I do understand how politics and the nature of the people within it work. I have written a book called How to get Elected which is FREE to read as a blog or alternatively can be purchased for £1.99 as a Kindle download.
Anyone can start a new political party, and many have tried. Nobody has yet been motivated to genuinely try creating and establishing A New Party for All.
Who does this or who succeeds at establishing A New Party for All is not the important thing.
The important thing is that it happens and that it develops in the inclusive way that it should do so, right from the start.
It is vital that we have a credible alternative to the political parties that we have already got when the next General Election comes.
This post is available on my Blog, on its own Twitter Account @ANewPartyForAll and on its own Facebook Page @ANewPartyForAll.
If you are motivated to be the change and accept that this can only be successful if we work together and respect and value the input of all others, why not ask any questions that you might have. Feel free to comment too. But please understand that any input that reflects anger with others or intolerance of any kind will be viewed appropriately – i.e., it simply doesn’t count!
Best wishes to you all, whoever you are and whatever your former cause.