It certainly did for me! I ask that question, as never before has such seismic change occurred in British politics. The tectonic plates of unrest started to move about 18 months ago with the lead up to and the eventual vote on the EU Referendum. It was not this momentous and historic decision that led to the division in our nation, but merely highlighted the fact it already existed.
Stemming from that, there was a sudden awakening of the British public; the bulldog had been poked with a big stick and came out growling. For years it had sat quietly in its corner being fed political fodder and then perfunctorily exercised every five years on its trek to the polling station, after which it was largely ignored until it was time to go through the same cycle of events.
Complacency had set in, probably due to the fact that the nation had gradually become overly embedded with the European Union (an intention never openly publicised in the mandate for the original vote on the EEC). Over the years this led to lazy government, steered by the EP, indeed railroaded by it on occasion, the results of which you witness today. In fact it begs other questions: “Are any of our politicians fit for purpose and, have they actually lost their ability to govern?” At best they are keeping the UK ticking over, at worst they are completely out of touch with all sides of their electorate.
The calling of the “snap” general election, or rather the “snappy election” as it turned out to be, created even more sub-division of the nation. It certainly wasn’t the hoped for firm mandate that Theresa May required to flex her muscles with the 27 other member states when negotiating the Brexit deal. The blues had seriously misjudged the grey vote with an ill-timed and badly written manifesto and the young vote by not engaging with them and identifying their concerns for the future. This left everything “up for grabs”. Obviously not paying enough attention to the rise of Momentum on social media who whipped up the new, young, eligible voters into a freebie frenzy with a Red Labour leader, it was a very close call on Election day.
Another question: “So what are we left with?” Basically a hotch-potch; effectively two main parties who have managed to alienate a large proportion of the great British public. We have the Tories, who I suspect have had many recriminatory conversations between themselves as to how they managed to so desperately misread the people and we also have the age of “Sommunism”, the introduction of and fusion of socialist and communist ideals in the gospel according to Saint Jeremy. Before this new trend actually takes off, we need to step back, take a breath and decide what it is we actually want for the future of Great Britain.
In a previous article I mentioned the “Moderate Middles”, I pointed out the political void, and never more so has this been relevant. My suggestion: if you don’t want reds under the bed again, then the blues need to up their game, listen very carefully to the people, they need to modernise, identify the key areas of concern and address them, engage with youth, indeed involve the young, encourage the young and mentor the young, whilst at the same time showing respect for an ageing population, that has been largely disrespected and marginalised by all parties for having opinions that differs to their own.
This political earthquake has certainly shaken the country to its foundations, but in a positive way it has now given everyone a chance to consider how we really want to run our green and pleasant land. Change on this scale is never easy and no doubt the after-shocks will reverberate for quite a few years. After all the recent turmoil and terrible events that we have all witnessed and endured of late I sincerely hope that the people can re-engage and find a relatively unified direction. Britain has a big heart, it has talent, creativity and innovation – but it just needs to show it a bit more often and that certainly applies to our politicians.