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Without a shadow of a doubt, the blame can only be put, fairly and squarely, at the mainstream parties themselves.
A by-election in Newport, Wales, (called as a result of the death of the sitting Labour incumbent), saw a ‘safe’ Labour seat elect a Labour member of parliament. That, on the face of it, suggests that, perhaps, the decline in voter trust may not be terminal.
However, one swift look at the facts suggests it is, at best, on permanent life support.
This ‘safe’ Labour seat saw the Labour vote reduced by 12.7%. The Conservatives share reduced by 8%. Every other party standing, including the usual array of peculiar independents, saw their share of the vote increase. None more so than UKIP, (United Kingdom Independence Party), who’s share increased by 6.1%.
The voter turnout was, to put it mildly, lethargic. Only 37.1% of registered voters even bothered to vote against over 67% at the last general election.
It is just beginning to look as if voter lethargy might well be the only thing that prevents a lurch to some political extreme or another.
That being said, one of the causes of the rise of Hitler was due, in part, to voter lethargy and disillusionment.
Perhaps history should give today’s voters in Britain a metaphorical ‘kick up the backside’ and get them into the polling booths?
I have spoken to so many friends about the current political crisis in Britain – Brexit being high on the agenda but, by no means, the only issue – and, increasingly, many of them are talking about, primarily, more ‘right wing’ parties they are considering supporting.
The more ‘left wing’ side of the debate is easily covered by the current opposition party, Labour, who have moved so far to the left under leader Jeremy Corbyn, that they might well fall off the edge soon.
It is perfectly clear that, if a Labour government was elected, Britain would have the most extreme left wing government in its history.
Whether this would prove to be a good thing or not is, of course, unknown, although even Labour supporters that I know are alarmed at some of Corbyns ‘inner circle’ being potentially given serious authority. One such, Dianne Abbott, who would become our Home Secretary in charge of, among other things, our police and armed services, has steadily built a reputation for being dumber than a single cell amoeba that has lost its single cell.
Which only goes to show that a university education is hardly an indicator of common sense, let alone intelligence.
If a political swing went the other way sufficiently, we could potentially find UKIP MP’s sitting in parliament for the first time.
Indeed, most of my friends who are not Labour supporters and, surprisingly perhaps, some who were Labour supporters, are starting to sound increasingly keen on UKIP.
Of course, using people I know personally is not much of a poll in terms of voter preference, but I have always maintained a large number of friends with varying opinions on pretty much everything under the sun.
Never have I found so many of them in such full agreement that a more ‘right wing’ government would be a good thing. I even include on good friend who, for many years, I have affectionately called ‘a commie bastard’ due to his extremely left wing views.
Finding him now leaning towards UKIP is a bit like finding out that my father was, in fact, a Martian visitor.
Now, in the full knowledge that many readers are American, I understand that the goings on in a Newport West by-election probably holds about as much interest as watching the grass grow or the paint dry.
However, I am starting to wonder just how much blame for all this can be attached to America.
You see, unintentionally as it may be, Britain has tended to follow America culturally speaking in so many ways.
It’s called the ‘Americanization effect’. It’s happened to greater or lesser degrees pretty much everywhere on the planet. Even China has a McDonalds.
Britain, long having been considered a very close ally indeed of America, has tended to sleepwalk into much ‘Americanization’ over the decades.
That usually puts us a wee bit behind, culturally speaking, in terms of what happens hear, but, Britain is often a mirror of America in the past.
Race riots began in America in the 1960’s. They began in Britain in the 1980’s.
Rock ‘n roll began in America in the early 1950’s. It began in Britain later that same decade.
So called ‘fast food’ began in America in the 1950’s. It began in Britain in the 1970’s.
I’m approximating here by the way, so don’t go all ‘huffy’ and tell me the dates are out. They’re near enough for the examples.
Along comes right wing Trump and hey presto, Britain goes all ‘Britain first’ and leave the EU and UKIP’s vote grows again.
See? Britain is in trouble. There is a serious danger of a swing to a political extreme and who’s fault is it? Yours America. You may apologize at your convenience.
I know you didn’t mean it so, as we Brits love you to bits, forget the apology. You’re forgiven.
Mind you, whether it’s Americanization via the bizarre meandering of my mind or something else all together – which it probably is to be honest – we are certainly living in interesting, if a little frightening, times.