The left-right analysis stemmed from the division of the French National Assembly in to supporters of the King and supporters of the Revolution, with the King’s people sitting to the right and the revolutionaries to the left. As some have mentioned here it no longer represents a great way of explaining the complex positions and views of modern political parties.
Today in the UK as we can see from recent election results there is still a divide between Remain and Leave. Maybe a quarter of the country still regrets the decision to leave the EU and actively encourages the Lib Dems, SNP and Labour to adopt negative tactics against all things related to Brexit instead of accepting the democratic verdict. Labour’s decision to send a Remain former MP who had done his bit to derail and delay Brexit into Hartlepool where most people want Brexit was a needless added difficulty for the party in that important by election. All the time these Opposition parties fight the will of the people and the reality that we are now out they will find it very difficult to build more support and creep towards a majority.
The SNP are trying to divide the country over whether the Union of the UK should remain or whether it is time to split up the UK. The EU from outside is also seeking to split the UK with its one sided, heavy handed and legalistic approach to Northern Ireland relations with the Republic. None of these identity issues, Brexit/Union/EU relations is a right/left matter, with people from all parts of the so called right-left spectrum holding differing views on identity. We now know people have been willing to move their vote from Labour and Lib Dems to Brexit parties and then to Conservatives owing to the refusal of Labour and the Lib Dems to back and help Brexit. In Scotland Some Conservative and Labour voters were voting tactically for each other to support the Union.
A third important division in our country is between lovers of liberty and supporters of more government control. There are some lovers of liberty on the left, as well as many on the right. There is an authoritarian left and a civil libertarian left, just as there is a law and order right and a freedom loving right. CV 19 has brought this out , with some supporting prolonged lockdown and precise instructions over how we should lead our lives whilst others support people making more of their own judgements. Again traditional party lines do not reflect this division.
Meanwhile the main parties agree on a lot. They agree about climate change and the need to pursue net zero. They agree about membership of NATO, the desirability of the so called international rules based order, and the need to encourage tolerance and understanding for all people whatever their background. They agree about the importance of the NHS and free schooling. Challenger parties to these views have attracted very little support.
There needs to be a clear division on economic policy, with Conservatives backing growth through setting competitive tax rates, encouraging free enterprise, backing self employment and going for growth.The next few months are best spent securing a strong recovery, helping create many more well paid jobs and bringing home Brexit wins.
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