U.K. General Election: Now, Progressives must Focus on the things they have the Power to Change

Will Sadler
Dec 13, 2019 · 3 min read
Used under Creative Commons licence: source Pixabay

Over the three years that I have been writing about politics, I’ve tried to follow a rule.

No matter how bad things get, try to find the positives; the bits of hope that are there for the progressively-inclined.

At the same time, I’ve tried to avoid entrenching my ideology to such an extent that I can’t see more than one side of a debate (only you can be the judge of whether I achieve that) and keep that ‘hope’ grounded in reality

You won’t be surprised to hear me say that I’m really struggling to find that optimism now, but I’ll try.

So all I’ll say is: let’s focus on the things we have the power to change.

Let’s recognise that in the years ahead, there will be people around us who will need us more than ever before — and most of them will be strangers.

Let’s find our national and regional voices, campaign for more decision-making powers closer to where we live and work — and become more involved in the decisions we can influence now.

Let’s be part of the inevitable collective roars that will be channelled through elections in the years ahead: for local councils, regional mayors, and the devolved parliaments and assemblies, as voters come to realise the con-man Johnson truly is.

The emerging vote share suggests that pro-Brexit parties will have secured around 47% of the national vote share, with 53% going to parties against Brexit or in favour of a second referendum. It’s therefore doubtful whether Brexit remains the ‘will of the British people’.

But Brexit is happening, and remainers must get over it. The next question will be what kind of Brexit we have. I’ve seen some suggest that Johnson’s comfortable majority might persuade him to pursue a ‘soft’ Brexit, with close ties to the E.U., now that the government is no longer as vulnerable to the hard-line E.R.G. (a hard-Brexit caucus within the parliamentary party) or Northern Ireland’s D.U.P.

There again he might pivot States-wards and strike a deal with Trump’s U.S.A, with the resulting regulatory dealignment creating rifts in U.K. — E.U. trade and co-operation.

Progressives are relatively powerless to influence these things now, so there is little point in worrying about them. Think: serenity poem (or prayer, depending on your outlook).

But it is certainly not beyond the realms of possibility that such Brexit deals will remain uncompleted — and therefore not too late to change - five years from now.

Five years (or so) from now, the fight we’ve just fought will be on again and perhaps hope will be on the ascendency.

For the Conservatives, one of the disadvantages of receiving around 44% of the vote is that it is not unrealistic to hope that they have reached their peak and it is only downhill for them from here.

And until then?

We must be prepared to do nothing more - and nothing less - than what we can.

Twitter: @mrwillsadler

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