The results are out. ‘Hung Parliament’ newspaper headlines scream on Friday morning. ‘No one won’, claims political pundits.
Oh come on now. No one won? Think again. The people and democracy won. Hands down.
I am a bit miffed with comments like these. Lets get some perspective on the issues at stake here.
Just because Prime Minister Theresa May failed to win a clear majority, it does not mean that she lost. Her gamble to win strong backing to allow her to proceed with Brexit talks has failed. Nothing else. Technically, the Conservative Party, which May leads, still is the biggest party in Parliament, albeit with less seats.
The Labour party has not lost either. True Jeremy Corbyn is not in a position to form the next government but he has won more seats and gained in popular votes. No one can deny that.
So who has lost? The UKIP – formerly led by Nigel Farage – is now being viewed as a irrelevant party. After all, the party was formed to get the UK out of Europe. It has achieved its aim. But it has not really re-invented itself in a serious manner to draw voters.
What media pundits and political analysts need to take a serious look at – the figures. Brexit and Remain voters and who they voted for. Youngsters rallied behind Corbyn. After all, his socialist policies, were beyond attractive, although how they could be funded, is another issue altogether.
And May’s economic policies, are hard hitting and is affecting far too many households fighting to stay afloat.
We need to ask ourselves some very pertinent, relevant and perhaps a few hard hitting questions.
Why did the Conservatives lose more seats. How did Corbyn, despite media putting him down at every possible opportunity turn around things?
Previous media comments that Corbyn would not be able to win elections will now have to be re-thought. Can he win another election? Perhaps. It is no longer a wild idea is it?
The reality is, most people believe the Tories are the best party to fight Britain’s corner.
And to be honest, I can’t really deny that. But in any democracy, giving one party a free hand to pass through legislation regardless of what the people want is never good.
What May needs to do now
Hopefully, May will not step down like her predecessor David Cameron did when Britons voted for Brexit. I can only hope that she will be man enough to stand up and say The People have spoken. Respect that and get on with the job.
It takes a man, or woman, to do it. Acknowledge what the voters want and work towards it. Cameron decided he could not deliver a Brexit after campaigning against it and quit. For a politician, he was clearly not ready to ‘listen to the people.’
Lets hope May is different. We have seen a little of this when the media lambasted her for ‘doing a U-turn’ on her social care policy. Get a grip please. Yes she did a U-turn, but most importantly, she LISTENED to the feedback and changed her policy accordingly. What a shame her campaign manager did not highlight that fact and work it to her advantage.
That is the leader we want. A leader who has to make hard decisions but at the same time is capable of listening to the people like you and me and who is not against changing decisions, regardless of what the media may tag her.
Also May, please rethink your economic policies. Yes it is going to be hard. Brexit will be hard on everyone. We have been going through hard times since 2009.
We have higher employment rates and most households are still having difficulties meeting day-to day-bills.
MPs may be oblivious to these problems given that they have given themselves a hefty pay hike. The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority announced in February 2017 that MPs’ pay will rise by 1.4%, their second hike since the previous General Election called by Cameron two years ago.
In 2015, the IPSA raised MPs wages by 10% in 2016 from £67,000 to £74,000 per year. This is a sizeable income, and considered upper middle class wages in the UK. Most families, even with two parents working do not even come close to taking in such earnings.
And yet, public sector pay rises have been capped at 1% a year until 2020. Is that fair? Well the lawmakers seem to think so.
What Corbyn needs to do
Well, this is an interesting one. Corbyn needs to get his MPs to toe the line. The party voted him in … not once but twice he was backed strongly. And now the people have spoken. He has delivered credible results.
His MPs should rally around him and start becoming a credible opposition party to question things put forward by the Tory government.
Labour is not just Corbyn. Labour is an opposition party. And we need a strong opposition party to question Brexit talks, to question economic policies, to question NHS policies, to question social care, welfare benefits.
For crying out loud, just be a strong opposition party and stop bickering among yourselves. Stop fighting Corbyn. Work with him. At the moment, he is all you have got and hey, he has the support of the public.