The curse of the badge politician

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I have published this video this morning. In it, I argue that people are tired of meaningless badges, titles, rosettes and banter in politics. They don't want symbols and logos. They want conviction and delivery. And they're not getting it from multiple versions of neoliberal politicians all wearing different badges.

The audio version of this video is here:

The transcript is:

We are suffering from what I call badge politicians.

Badge politicians join their political cause into that of an existing political party.

So, we've had the right-wing enter into the Conservative Party, and the effect has been very obvious. That party has been taken over by people who are, well, not in any way Conservative, and the consequence has been infighting and, in the end, a complete collapse of what it means to be a Tory, and as a consequence, the failure of that party in government.

Ignore all the corruption, everything else. Actually, the Tories simply no longer know what they are, and that, for them, is a massive problem. And that will become all the more obvious as they go into a leadership campaign.

But we've had exactly the same problem with Labour. Whatever Keir Starmer is, he's nothing like the Labour Party of old; the Labour Party that I was used to in the 1970s when I was becoming politically aware. It's nothing like the Labour Party of the 80s and even the 90s and, well, zeros.

There aren't people like Robin Cook left in the Labour Party, for example. That degree of independent thought and left-of-centre thinking has been eliminated because the likes of Starmer have come in and claimed the badge of Labour for their own cause, which is nothing like most people think the Labour Party should be.

So, we have both our major parties in a two-party political system, flying flags, putting on badges, coloured rosettes that are meaningless. Unsurprisingly, people are uninterested in them and the consequence in this latest general election is we saw the lowest number of people vote for our two main political parties.

In terms of the population as a whole, that figure was well under 40 per cent, once we allow for those who never turned up to vote, which was 40 per cent of the population.

So, people aren't convinced by the rosette, the badge and whatever else it might be anymore. What they're looking for is substance, and they're not getting it.

There may be problems with the Liberal Democrats too, I'm not sure. They're never quite tested enough to find out.

And who knows, there may be problems with Reform, because, frankly, it's very difficult to work out what they stand for as well.

What is missing, in the whole of politics, are ideas, convictions, principles, policies, strategies and plans to make life better for people. In all the badges that are attached to the various political parties, none of those things seem to matter.

People have had enough of badge politics.

It's time we had conviction politics again.

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