Less than 6 months after the ‘Brexit Referendum’ that saw the United Kingdom leave the European Union, are the Political-left within the UK in serious trouble? Led by Jeremy Corbyn, Labour are dropping like a stone in the Opinion Polls, struggling to exceed levels of even 30% amongst the public and failing to come atop a Poll since Late-April. Across the pond, the United States enjoyed a similar experience during the November 2016 US General Election that saw the Republican Nominee Donald Trump beat the Democrat Nominee Hillary Clinton by a landslide in the US Electoral College. This asks some very important questions: why has this happened? When did it all begin? How did it come to be that we are now witness to the fall of the Political-Left?
Benjamin Disraeli, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, once said, “There is no Gambling like Politics. Nothing in which the power of circumstance is more evident”. This can be validated by the Brexit vote, a vote that saw ex-Prime Minister David Cameron having his bluff called in one of the biggest political upsets in modern British history .Brexit won due to the massive disconnect that had built up between the government and the people and how they felt the country should be run. For me, I feel that the government should be there to reflect the wills and views of the British public, the true definition of Democracy.
The Brexit vote served as a reminder to parties across the horseshoe spectrum that the role of the UK government is to serve the electorate who are supposed to trust in their Political party to reflect the views and ideas of the electorate.
During a Live event, Political Commentator, Ben Shapiro, distinguished the Left’s attitude towards those who hold conservative values, he made the point that “Nobody on the Left knows anything about Politics, they know you’re evil (They don’t think that, they know) … They know you’re a racist, sexist, bigot, homophobe who hates the poor”. This is an extreme view, yet it appears to hold some value as after the Brexit Referendum back in June, Dianne Abbott – Labour Shadow Minister – was quick to label 17.4 million voters, including a significant minority of her own party, as people “who want to see less brown people on their streets”. This level of contempt towards people living in the UK, who wanted nothing more than to have their own elected government as the provider of 100% of all present laws within the country, in essence shows just why people are starting to kick back against Political establishments.
Political Establishments who once listened and respected the people who supported them; who now hold nothing but resentment towards people for expressing a differing viewpoint. Countless U-turns by left-leaning parties has shown the real ineptitude of the people who run these political establishments and their incapacity to lead a political movement that is truly representative of the people.
This trend is not too dissimilar to the attitude within the Europe itself; the rise of Nobert Hofer who nearly won the Austrian 2016 Rerun and Marine le Pen – leader of the French National Front. A very important factor for the Right’s inexorable rise is also the real attraction of these Political Parties; their adoption of Populism designed to mobilise the large groups of the alienated element of the European populations against the numerous governments that are seen as being controlled by an out-of-touch and closed elite.
For 2017, with both the French and German Presidential Elections hanging over Europe, the possibility of another political upset could be on the cards. The rise of the AFD – Alternative für Deutschland party – as well as the Front National in France show the opening to not only conservative parties, but also populism in general. For the future, a cross-party political realignment is a major possibility with populism taking the centre stage in support of the concerns and problems of the public. We can already see this taking place, at the tail end of 2016, Labour announced that they would be rebranding Jeremy Corbyn’s image as a left-wing populist to win back voters who had defected from Labour to UKIP and the Liberal-Democrats.