In the last few years the faces of the ‘lesser’ parties in the House of Commons have begun to have a more influential effect on everyday politics.
Nigel Farage has taken our social media feeds by storm and even though the vast majority are people protesting his policies, any press is good press for UKIP.
The argument of the 7-way televised debate only scratches the surface of the tension between the parties and when we look forward to the election in May it’s not wrong to say that one of these ‘lesser’ parties could hold all the power in the likely event of another hung parliament.
These parties not only now have a foot in the door but it’s evident that The Prime Minister has entertained the possibility that he could well have to hand over the keys as they strut across the threshold of Number 10 come what May.
In his speech in Birmingham last year Mr. Cameron made the now commonly quoted quip “You could go to bed with Nigel Farage, and wake up with Ed Miliband.” Nobody wanted that image in their head but as the months pass it’s getting closer to becoming a reality.
Last autumn, Cameron attacked both UKIP and Labour, highlighting the threat of a coalition of the two parties by simultaneously reaffirming the small size of Farage’s party and playing on the fact that nobody really wants either leader in power.
It is on the NHS were we find the most conflict; Cameron, some say shrewdly I say ingeniously used a very personal experience concerning his late son to cement his unwavering support for the National Health Service.
He turned to Labour and bluntly stated “How dare they frighten those who are relying on the NHS.”
Cameron used this phrase intelligently in some way; he does link himself well with the NHS therefore alienating Miliband but also he plays on the audiences sympathies.
Miliband however makes constant attacking references to the conservatives but the majority of his criticisms are ambivalent, unexpected of someone in a position where they want to gain power.
Miliband uses the now coined phrase “you’re own your own.” Which he employs to call attention to key problems that he believes to have found not only in the reforms of the current government but of the values installed in the roots of the conservative party.
When Miliband confronts Cameron it’s not too dissimilar to a prefect standing up to a school teacher. The sheer awkwardness of this divergent, unphotogenic, cloddish politician would surely make you embarrassed to have him represent our nation? When he stands next to Cameron, Farage and even Clegg it really does give you a feel of just how tilted the political centre is at the moment. Don’t get me started on Boris, at least we have to wait another 5 years before he comes banging at the gates of Downing Street.
There is a foggy future for Westminster and in the coming months it would be justified to say that the stability of this election will be delicate as it has become difficult to see the government reforming with a single party majority.
Miliband and Cameron are aware of the fracturing nature of our democracy and they are toying with this house of cards by alienating each other. What can we do? Do we let these lesser parties in? Cameron said that “It doesn’t matter whether Parliament is hung, drawn or quartered, there is only one real choice.” He believes that the political spectrum should remain red and blue so where have the greens, purples and yellows come from?
The questions that are being asked by the British public should have the government quaking in their boots. What is the right to vote without being able to actually chose something knowing you might not get exactly what you wanted? America has shown us time and time again that legislation is nigh-on impossible to pass with a democratic leader and a republican house. So why would we want a Tory or Labour leader with a sidekick telling them what they can and can’t do?
People will say that in a world where democracy is still taken for granted it should be welcomed that we have such influence on government and that there is a freedom for lesser parties to have the power to impose their beliefs across the nation. But when will people realise that these parties are just the extreme versions of what we already have?
People are so desperate to see change but when it actually happens they will have to come to terms with what their democratic power has granted them.
We are sat in the same rocky boat as Scotland once did, floating aimlessly in a loch of uncertainty. No matter who wins, who backs who; Britain will be divided.
So, has this influx of new answers to old problems forever changed the stalemate between blue and red, between Labour and Conservative, between Miliband and Cameron?
I don’t think anybody knows anymore.
Come May 8th we can only hope that the right person is given the reigns to a horse that is in dire need of clear direction.
At least we know Clegg will be gone…
Sam Neve & James Neve