Matthew Parris yearns for a new “moderate leadership” in The Times today. Without major political change from the Opposition parties I fear that he will be disappointed. When Britain voted for Brexit (not even mentioned in his article) the die of extremism was cast.
When Theresa May failed to even attempt to get a soft Brexit or to aim for a confirmatory referendum we were launched down the slope from moderation towards unprecedented division in politics and society. We are still there sliding further from tolerance and the slightest vestige of togetherness.
The pandemic, unconnected to Brexit, has shown that the virus of division has spread from the Europe disagreements to other areas. The streets fill with lockdown deniers and anti vaccers , preposterous fools whose only achievement is to tie up police forces who surely have better things to do than attend their dimwitted protest marches or defend civil servants from attacks.
England is irreparably split, Scotland wants out and Northern Ireland on the cusp of another disaster. There are no votes to be garnered by the peacemakers generally – though Chesham and Amersham and Batley and Spen may just be hopeful signs. But pessimistic me sees false dawns unless dramatic change happens.jn
Looking at the G7 leaders one could only have pity that six nations have sane leaders whilst we have a buffoon. Boris Johnson creates every opportunity to hang out the flags because he has nothing else. The recourse of the scoundrel is of course patriotism – utterly contrived and populist in the Prime Minister’s case.
Johnson’s Cabinet must be the most intelleftually deficient in living memory and when a rare vacancy occurs he appoints someone who pronounces policy before he’s even visited his office, let alone been briefed on the subject by experts. When Michael Gove railed about experts he knew what he was doing. It was part of the Brexiteers campaign. The experts were 99% against leaving the EU, so Gove insulted them.
Keir Starmer is a decent and moderate man, but labelled insultingly as a “centrist” by the mad Corbynites of the Hard Left. His choice is to segue towards them or to be true to Labour’s solidly social democratic tradition. If he does the former he’s finished, if the latter he’ll maybe struggle.
A moderate message hasn’t won many votes for some time in our divided nation – until the two recent by-elections. Can Starmer break the fetid mould of extremism? If he works with the LibDems and the Greens he has a chance. We urgently need a “Progressive Alliance” to combat the extremists of both sides – one of which happens to be in Government.