Saturday, 25 June 2016
We need a new political party
Like many, many people I was disappointed by the result I woke up to on Friday morning. I wouldn’t say I was a fan of the EU, but I could not see the advantages of leaving (or rather, no-one put a case to me which I felt convincing enough). No matter, that’s now water under the political bridge.
Watching the fallout of this momentous decision, one which took everyone by surprise, I have been most surprised by how distinctly ungenerous the crowing pundits and critics have been towards David Cameron (I’m sure they would have been equally ungenerous in defeat).
Reading the lead headline of the Mailonline this morning, written by reactionary bore Max Hastings and a vitriolic, arrogant comment piece by former cabinet minister and right-wing windbag Norman Tebbit, I was saddened that the reputation of the man who has done so much to make the Conservative party a credible, electable and palatable party is starting to have his legacy dragged through the mud. I was very proud to play my part in getting him elected in 2010, and I always will be!
Of course, history is written by the victors and Cameron is set to have his career judged merely on his defeats in Brussels and in this Referendum. I think this is a sad state of affairs, and I think it’s worth commemorating some of the brave decisions he took during his tenure, no least when trying to manage his own party.
Let’s rediscover some of that generosity of spirit, which we were once famous for, and thank the outgoing Prime Minister for his work than snipe at him from the turrets.
Of course, there have been some wild overreaction and exaggeration to this fallout. Anyone out in London last night might have supposed that some great tragedy had occurred. Putting it in context, no one was murdered, we have not declared war, all we have done is chosen to conduct our political and economic decisions in a different way (wrongly in my opinion, but there we are).
It’s far easier to moan, be negative and throw your toys out of the pram. The amount of booties being stamped across social media yesterday was quite extraordinary, especially from our ghastly ‘celebrity class’ who creep out of the woodwork when the oxygen of publicity becomes too irresistible.
Let’s be pragmatic (another mark of a good Conservative) and work with the outcome. Some reading this might think I’m irritatingly buoyant, but I have respect for our electoral system and live with the result. There’s been plenty of moaning from ‘Millennials’ that the ‘Baby Boomers’ have sold us down the river; how much more mature it would be if we just got on with it and offered intelligent debate when it arises! We are supposed to have an unshakeable stiff-upper lip, let’s live up to this reputation, keep calm and carry on to make the best of the situation.
Last year, I was ecstatic when I realised that the Conservatives were going to carry the day at the 2015 General Election. This elation soon soured when I realised the slim majority we had, beholden to a cynical, right-wing, reactionary rump who would stop at nothing to confound government policy until they achieved their vote on Europe.
I have spoken to someone who said that, now they have their head, they will pipe down… I don’t care, if they were prepared to wreck the Conservative Party to achieve their ends I don’t really want to be a part of it. I’m sure Peter Bone and Bill Cash feel particularly smug this weekend!
My sincere hope is that, perhaps we have a shake up of the political parties. How refreshing it would be if the left-wing of the Conservatives (of which I am one) and the right-wing of the Labour Party came together and cast of the zealots which populate their rumps! Perhaps a pipe dream but one worth holding out for.
As the dust settles, I think there is going to be plenty of speculation, exaggeration and tough-talk. Let’s just get on with it, this Sceptred Isle has never been more divided, let’s unite it and try and make the best of what I believe to be a bad decision.