A new political ‘party’ has been set up in Westminster with a working name of The Independent Group as an alternative choice for voters. The idea of The Independent Group raises big questions and could be a big opportunity. A group that claims they are different from the big two parties – Conservatives and Labour – or at least how those two parties are at the moment.
Seven MPs have left the Labour Party and have decided to work together to try and change politics. They are calling themselves The Independent Group until they work out their next steps.
Now I don’t want to get drawn into the specific politics of why they left the Labour Party or indeed if others leave the Conservative Party to join them too, but I am interested in these points below.
The big question
Independence and being part of a group or party doesn’t quite sit right in my mind. Are they independent or are they part of a party collective view? Are they just a new party with a more centrist view? If so, why not declare that and not just say that they are not in the mould of a fairly right leaning Conservative party under Mrs May or a further left leaning Labour party under Mr Corbyn.
The big opportunity
Imagine if party politics wasn’t so toxic like it often is right now. Imagine if we voted local MPs based on what THEIR view was on subjects rather than what their PARTY view was. Imagine if MPs could vote with their own conscience or for the interests of their own constituents instead of the party line.
Imagine if this new group – The Independent Group – was facilitating MPs to represent their local constituents and their thoughts and views on issues rather than parties dictating or stating what their MPs should believe in. A collective group could enable MPs to not be whipped into voting one way or another, but to look at working collaboratively with others on the big issues on the day and to seek consensual agreements with their colleagues in a non-party dictated manner.
I don’t have the worldwide political knowledge as to whether this has ever happened elsewhere in the world, or whether party politics is the de facto only system in place in democratic governments across the world. I certainly would like to find out more about whether a system without a central manifesto would would but it could possibly lead to communities taking more of an interest in bringing forward new representatives and not just collectively voting for the colour of the rosettes from often historical reasons but looking into the specific policies of the standing candidates.
We can hope for change
Change is often promised but seldom delivered in UK politics. The ideas are often based around individuals wanting their own power and based on their own agendas. I hope that we may see a brighter future where common sense and decency make a difference in politics but I fear that this may just be a utopian dream.