As the Labour Party is continues its total meltdown that rivals any Shonda Rhimes production (actually, at this point I think it outdoes Rhimes), many mere mortals are considering a holiday from the everyday of their work and this utter political mess. I have been educating myself as to the history of both the Tory and Labour Parties since before the Brexit vote and am still reeling from the Sturm und Drang of various subplots, unfounded conspiracy theories, and the latest of politicians who are in search of both voters and a platform. I see in the not so distant future a reality show called The Bachelor: A Man in Search of the Perfect Political Narrative, as one policy after another is strutted across the stage as he offers the rose to the most undoable and yet bubbly, giggly contestant. So yeah, I too would like a holiday from the madness.
Recently in my conversations with parents who are now left struggling with the challenge of six weeks summer childcare for their children, the choices are usually one of two options: to take annual leave from work in the largest possible wage such as to have four or five weeks with the children, or to dash in bits of annual leave with day camps or babysitters. Add to this formula the fact that the British Pound is at a thirty-year low (up from its $1.2796 post Brexit rate, but currently just a bit higher at USD1.311), and the options of travel abroad are now suddenly more expensive unless you find something to do in Dubai during the off-season or shrink-wrap your children, stick them in your carry-on luggage while on a business-paid trip which you might extend for a few days. Instead of leaving the country, many Brits are remaining in the UK and opting for holidays with a very low overhead from camping in the country's many private and National Trust campsites, to riding holidays, to permaculture courses offered around the country, or to Camp Bestival, an alternative to the adult music festival for children. If only the options for escape from the madness were as clear-cut with the Labour Party!
Indeed, as Labour is going to hell in a hand basket, most people are either trying to dialogue within the party (only to find themselves blasted for not taking part of the beatification of Saint Jeremy) while others are simply trying to escape this madness of what seems to be the Peyton Place of Parliament these days. Between the constant bickering of politicians in what is one vast pool of narcissism, to the overt sexism doled out to the now former Labour Head candidate, Angela Eagle, many progressives in the party simply do not see Corbyn as a viable leader for obvious reasons (see the two articles just this week alone which offer cogent, if not damning, critiques of Corbyn's inability as a leader). While it is all fine to have a position on Trident, it is painfully aware that Labour needs a holiday from itself--camp Corbyn to camp Smith--to do a bit of soul-searching in order to discover, hopefully, the political narratives and actions necessary to move forward.
Enter More United, a new political movement:
We're a tech-driven political startup created to give a voice to the millions of open, tolerant people in Britain who feel the political system doesn't speak for them anymore....We are not a political party and we won't stand candidates in elections. Instead we will drive change by giving financial and human resource to candidates, from all parties and none, who formally commit to support our principles.
Wow! Someone has come out with a completely coherent and realizable political discourse and not one aluminum roll in site. I'm hooked!
This movement, born in the aftermath of the murder of the late MP, Jo Cox, proposes five fundamental principles:
• A fair, modern, efficient market based economy that closes the gap between rich and poor and supports strong public services
• A modern democracy that empowers citizens, rather than politicians
• A green economy that protects the environment and works to reverse climate change
• An open and tolerant society where diversity is celebrated in all its forms
• A United Kingdom that welcomes immigration, international co-operation and a close relationship with the EU
Sounds dreadful, doesn't it? While some might prefer the pot throwing and screaming in Labour's kitchen, More United is in the drawing room sitting down, discussing, and exchanging strategy ideas.
And just wait--before you start with its imperfections, I will just preface this with one fact: any project involving our species (ie. humans) will necessarily be imperfect. Alas, there might be some uproar already bubbling up from under. But what is refreshing to me about this political strategy that More United offers--even if it is not as far left as those who inhabit the echo chambers of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy--is that it is about collaboration, not division. It is about progressive actions, not idle navel gazing and a rehashing of key words that, like "anti-austerity" have failed to address the current political and economic realities. But don't take my word for it. Have a look at the strategies that More United offers which provide practical responses to xenophobia, economic ties to the EU, environmentally progressive policies, and an active maneuver to close the gap between the rich and the poor.
And then grab your wellies and run to your nearest campground or music festival to zone out of the drama because no matter how little or much fun you will have over the next month, believe me, the drama will be there when you return!