Zero Sum politics = well... not very much
Updated: Oct 29, 2020
Having touched on this topic before I thought it might be worthwhile expanding/refining a little.
Political parties produce manifestoes. You know the guide to what that party would intend to achieve when the assume control of the reins? I'm not convinced that the 'how to' sections of these documents are all that well thought out, comprehensive, structured, or most importantly realistic.
But for the main part, unfortunately, it doesn't matter because it does seem that the main thrust of any campaign for any party follows the Lord Greystoke style of conversation. Me Tarzan, you Jane, i.e. We're right, they're wrong, we're good, they're bad. It is the discourse that feeds the tribal element within society, but surely those involved must realise how divisive and unproductive that kind of conversation is?
In the real world; in business, between friends, within clubs, associations and most other parts of society the normal route to finding a solution is through consensus. Most people fully understand that we all have to make concessions if we are to get along in the world.
And this is, I believe, is why we see such a diminishing return from our political process. This is not just a UK problem, or a USA problem, it is everywhere. And, quite scarily, there is a real risk, because of the profile of such discussions that this ineffective style of negotiation is going to contaminate and proliferate into other parts of our society. Politics plus media is not a good educator.
A particular example in the moment. The SNP is the party in power in Scotland and its goal is an independent Scotland. But within the UK they take an adversarial role. Whatever the government in London says, no matter left, right, or some kind of kind of weird liberal/right love child; the SNP will ardently oppose whatever is being expounded. They're wrong so..... we must be right?
The SNP would like to govern Scotland independently of the rest of the UK. At the same time they want to be part of the EU and claim that they would work well within that structure. A group that has spent its lifetime honing its adversarial role against its largest business partner and ardently wants to break. away from that partner; is going to be able to work constructively within a group of 28 countries?
It is a nice romantic idea. But have they really been developing themselves to be the group of people most capable of performing the task? And no, the argument; 'well they're better than those tossers/pricks/bastards in Westminster' is neither valid or of any use.
With all parties being so incapable of compromise it is inevitable that any progress that we are going to make is going to be halting, stumbling, sporadic, chaotic and painfully without purpose.
It is quite clear to me that what is required is a new party.
A party that accepts that there are more than two dimensions to the required politics within a society. Left and right is by nature far too simple a concept to properly represent the machinations of a society as advanced as the one we have and are evolving from.
A party accepts that; that there must be concessions; that somethings take time; that everything of value takes hard work; that we must work together and there is no utopia.
The goal is simple. We want a better society for our descendants than we have now. The process is much more complicated. The first step is to find the right people to lead the way. The ones we have currently are not the right ones.