Brexit and the Local Elections
I am a veteran campaigner. I have been knocking on doors and talking to voters for many years. As a local Councillor, I tend to talk about local issues. However, people often choose to raise national political issues with me.
The thing about politics is that it is always changing.
The fortunes of the different political parties goes up and down.
There are some general trends that you notice over the years.
Politicians aren’t much trusted. Governments aren’t generally popular.
People dislike parties that are divided.
They get really annoyed when pledges aren’t carried through or promises kept.
I have been around long enough to see the whole circle of good and bad times.
The Lib Dems were massively popular during Maggie Thatcher‘s poll tax days.
We were beneficiaries of the protest vote.
Suddenly, we got thousands of extra local Councillors elected because people were unhappy with a national Conservative policy.
A decade or so ago, the expenses scandal seemed to cast a cloud over all political parties.
It had nothing whatever to do with local Councillors, but I remember encountering hostility on the doorsteps from people who didn’t make a distinction between MP’s and Councillors.
Now the wheel has turned once again, this time because of Brexit.
I am finding a lot of people who previously supported the two main parties saying that they will no longer vote at all.
It’s slightly ironic because Brexit isn’t a local authority issue, but a reminder really that voting (or not voting) is one of the strongest ways of showing displeasure with a political party.
In some ways, I should be pleased that smaller parties, including the Liberal Democrats, are going to benefit from the stay at home voters, or those that are prepared to switch.
As everybody knows, I have always been consistently in favour of Britain staying a member of the EU.
Put at its’ simplist, whether you think of keeping peace in Europe, trade, jobs, the environment, our security, the opportunities that freedom of movement brings, our influence within Europe and a wider International stage…. it is to me, blindingly obvious that it is in our interest to remain a member.
Most MP’s agree with this too.
I don’t like to think of the billions of pounds of taxpayer’s money spent by government already on Brexit preparations, on top of the billions of pounds that our businesses have had to spend.
Most of which will be completely wasted.
The Conservatives have to face the charge that they are not respecting the (narrow) referendum result.
They delivered the referendum, set the rules, set the tone of the remain campaign, promised the result would be respected and have failed to deliver it.
It is probably right that they should be punished and probably explains why most of the local Conservative Councillors have given up any hope of keeping their council seat on May 2nd.
Also see: brexit-made-simple