Home Opinion 2020: The Year When Partisan Politics Is Prioritised Over Issues That Really...

2020: The Year When Partisan Politics Is Prioritised Over Issues That Really Matter

It seems this year that politics is not based upon looking to improve society and governing with dignity, but attacking the opposition regardless of whether there is consensus to be found.

The perpetuation of racial tensions, for example through BLM and their recent activism, has changed British society by vast amounts in the last few months. In terms of their aims, they have achieved the opposite. The movement has been more divisive in stirring up tension between the left and right than in ‘ending’ racism.

This is not aided by the concept of ‘you can’t support BLM and be a Tory’. Plainly, this effort at gatekeeping is incorrect. Whatever side one is on in relation to the political spectrum, the concept of all races being equal shouldn’t be an issue of left versus right, Labour versus Conservatives, etc.

“File:Marcus Rashford 2018-06-28 1.jpg” by Кирилл Венедиктов is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

It is ludicrous even to begin to think that the idea of racial equality is a battle between the two sides of the political spectrum; but then again, so is every issue in Britain today. Despite footballer Marcus Rashford’s appeal to put aside partisan politics momentarily for the vote on whether free school meals should be extended, all but five Conservative MPs voted against this notion.

I do not genuinely believe this is from a belief of ‘we don’t care about children in poverty’, but more one of ‘the party Whips have told us to vote against a Labour motion’. However, if this was the case, I am not defending it. Whatever the justification, it is sad that our politicians cannot, even for a second, put down their swords and find consensus on an issue that should not be party political.

It looks as though both the left and right lack pragmatism, because of course consensus is banned, however little there may be. The view has been adopted by both sides that ‘if the opposition take one stance, we must completely oppose it’ – arguably, this is a view instrumented more by Johnson’s Government.

“Boris Johnson Covid-19 23/03” by UK Prime Minister is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The hijacking of BLM by the far-left has only prompted the far-right to respond with the understandably controversial and incendiary ‘All Lives Matter’ slogan. Perhaps the right retaliating with ‘ALM’, is the reason that there is the misconception that being a Tory means you support ‘All Lives’ rather than ‘Black Lives’.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the idea that politics is plainly black or white has been increasingly prevalent. Who is to say that a Conservative voter cannot support ‘Black Lives Matter’? Who is to say that a Labour supporter cannot support ‘All Lives Matter’? There are many shades of grey, but it is evident that both sides of the spectrum are deliberately unwilling to see that, as they are more focused on how to destroy the other than on what’s really important.

These stereotypes of what we believe the opposition to think, compared to what they actually think, have furthered the divide (and anger) between left and right. Delusional liberals exclaiming that the present Cabinet is ‘the most fascist in Britain’s history’ cannot see that they have not even attempted to change minds, but cancel all those who dare oppose the minority. How is it even deemed controversial not to take the view of a marginal group of people?

“George Floyd protest by the White House (5/30/20)” by Geoff Livingston is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The far-left exploiting George Floyd’s death as a way to push their own anarchist agenda has allowed this to occur. Then, on the other side, we have the far-right EDL, who are actively looking for a fight. These thugs don’t genuinely believe that all lives matter; they just don’t like anyone who isn’t white.

The media constantly covers EDL and BLM marches, only showing videos of the worst incidents. Then they portray all who were involved in the well-meaning, peaceful protests as the same.

Society is in a state of chaos and everyone is responsible. The left is just as much as to blame as the right, and the mainstream media are just as much to blame as them – but no-one is willing to meet in the middle. We’re in a stalemate and both sides are as stubborn as each other.

For the foreseeable future, it seems as though things are going to stay this way, and all it is going to do is drive an even bigger wedge between the already gaping political divide.