This election is not about Brexit, it’s about the Green New Deal

Posted on

The election campaign has weeks to run, and I am not going to cover all my thinking on the day after we know it will happen. But, I will, nonetheless, speculate on what the big issues are.

That means that I must say now that despite what seems glaringly obvious, the issue is not Brexit. It might seem that way, but I do not think it is. Brexit is not about anything per se, unless, that is, it is about 'getting it done'. As my recent enquiries have shown, no one really knows why they want Brexit. What they know is what they do and do not want on other issues.

So, they do not want austerity.

They do want better control of migration.

They do want higher living standards.

They do want better public services, which they think they are being denied.

They do want to feel that the government is in control.

They want a sense of identity.

There has been failure on these issues. 'Taking back control' has become the mantra that suggests to people that these things can be addressed. The claim has been that Brexit supposedly delivers them. It won't. That requires other policies. And that is why this election has to be about those other policies, looking beyond any debate on Brexit itself.

So I suggest the big themes are:

1) Austerity

2) Real wages

3) Public services

4) Believing the government is in control - that it has a plan

5) Resolving who 'we' are - which is a question on the union.

To pull this together there is, then, the Green New Deal, which is a plan, does increase employment, does provide secure and well-paid work, does deliver jobs in every constituency and does address the issue of having a plan - because it is something other than Brexit to believe in.

Does it resolve the question of the union? No, I don't think so.

But on everything else it works.

Expect to hear a great deal about it from all sides. But right now Labour and the LibDems are way ahead in their planning on the issue and the Tories are very far behind. The SNP have ground to catch up, but for them the issue is independence.

With luck this election will be about vision, and not Brexit. If it is the Green New Deal is the only game in town, and is a sure-fire winner.

I'm hopeful.