How refreshing it was to have Ken Loach straight talking social honesty on Question Time? How depressing that with three comments he demolished the collective wisdom of our three political parties. Despite the patronising 'National Treasure' comment of the embarrassing Claire Perry MP, he was the only one to talk about people, the 1 million youth unemployed and the need for us to do something. Progressives should welcome his suggestion that the Unions split from labour as it has it could create a viable movement on the left.
It was refreshing because this coalition government formed in the 'national interest' has failed to solve any of these problems and are running out of people and snow to blame. Just look at their mid-term report. The opposition have failed to communicate clearly what they would do as an alternative. So we must presume this is nothing or not far from what we already know. With the clock ticking to the next election Labour should ignore their lead in the polls. They should be really concerned that they have not communicated one clear alternative. Their leader, while genuine and honest, has not developed the appeal or communications skills to cut through to the electorate. Progressives have nothing to vote for so they will either vote liberal democrat or abstain.
One of the biggest problems the public has today is that not one of our professional politicians are willing to put up there hands and take responsibility. We have had twenty years of failed economic planning and no structured plan for people and society. Labour were in charge until 2010 while the Lib Dems and Conservatives have presided over the vandalism since. Not one has come up with a credible alternative for maintaining an effective state apart from selling it and following the old Hayekian policies designed for the cold war. The left has moved so far to the centre we have three parties of professional politicians who have little emotional or intellectual connection with the electorate. The electorate have very few options.
We live in very distinct times which have changed the the public attitude and acceptance of the our political classes and hierarchy. Matthew Taylor and the RSA have pointed out that society has a few active groups and influencers who set the agenda for how we live and do business. Outside these hierarchies are the consumers, the people who receive the impact of disastrous short-term policy making.
The unwritten and unacceptable deal is the political classes, some corporations and establishment set the agenda. (Just look at the Treasury policy development around corporation tax which lowers the rate for the very corporations that have been avoiding tax) We the public play along submissively. Thats fine if we were playing along. Things change if we listen to Ken Loach and change status quo.
We are not at a point of anarchy we are simply not playing along. We are disengaged but still active. Hence Ken Loach suggestion to form a new left to match UKIP is not insane. Just look to Beppe Grillo in Italy. It frightens the markets and the right but gets the people engaged.
The time for change is now. Our hierarchies are in a state of chassis. In general we have an feeble class of politician on both the left and the right. Many of them rarely have life experience and are terrified of original thought. Many do not recognise nor understand the large sections of society who are motivated by solidarity, individualism and fatalism. This is the only job they have know or have trained for so they are terrified to upset the status quo and risk their jobs.
Throughout the conference season none of the political parties addressed this reality because one feels there are very few who recognise what is happening on the street. No matter what party they come from week after to week on question time and watching debates in parliament one gets the firm impression these people are outer worldly. They are firmly trapped in their westminster bubble and don't have a clue what is happening on the street. Its tiring to hear their constant tittle tattle and statements of being 'tough on the economy, tough on crime' and all the rest. They are paid to sort this out and should have it done by now.
The traditional establishment has been rocked by scandals, corporate malfeiscence and failures of the police and judicial system. The public has lost fate in them and no longer trust their judgement. Instead of politicians seeking justice and fairness for the people they tend to get in the way and protect the special interests. We have a climb down on leveson, selling of the NHS, rolling back on environment regulation, rolling back on food regulation, privatisation of schools. All issues which the public were against. They are paid to manage the affairs of the state not to outsource all the services and assets. (Gordon Brown with Gold - David Cameron Schools, NHS even the Red Arrows)
Some people are motivated out of solidarity. We have had an increase of people coming out to campaign and show solidarity around key issues and campaigns. This is largely driven by social media and the public can be motivated in reaction to a piece of public policy or a reaction against a company or group. This is the opportunity for a new left to tap into this solidarity. It would be radical for the Unions were to disengage from a 100 years support for labour to 'new labour' but it would create a new offering for the public.
Lets do it.