The 2.3 minute video below explains how since the 1950’s many voters have changed from backing one of the three main political parties to a broader range of choices and articulates reasons for this. However as Randeep Ramesh suggests one of the driving forces is less what we agree with and more what we disagree with. His argument that UKIP is a party that is simply opposed to something is certainly true in its current form. Whilst the same could be said of SNP and Plaid Cymru, these cases are less easy to make than for UKIP.
The idea that the Greens are opposed to things rather than in favour of things is barely credible, if that was the case then so to was Labour at the beginning of the last Century and as for the Lib Dems! Where Randeep hits the nail firmly on the head is in arguing that our press is on a constant campaign against things and in doing so has changed the voting habits of many UK residents. We need a new political paradigm that has nothing to do with the press and nothing to do with being negative, but reflects a desire to have our voices heard and our communities strengthened. One of the reasons why the dominant political parties have lost their credibility is that they are forced by virtue of their size to look first and often only to their large financial backers for ideas and concerns at a national and even local level. This may not stop a local Councillor or even MP from being responsive to local concerns, but it will ultimately prevent these people from working collaboratively with people with equally good motivations from other parties.
We are a month away from the next round of local elections. There will be many people who are elected who do not belong to a political party. Their sole interest is in helping to run their town or parish council and their independence from any party will give them the freedom to ignore historic ideology and instead focus on the needs of the people around them. Over many years the impact of national political parties has squeezed out Independent candidates from standing on a level playing field as MPs, then Councillors at County and District level in all but a tiny number of places and for the last couple of decades has also tragically had an impact in some of the Towns and even Parishes across the UK. It is time for us to see a reverse of this process. My own brief foray into Independent Politics taught me a great deal as people who I had previously supported in elections became unwilling to consider my point of view, the moment I told them I was considering standing as an Independent. There needs to be enough of a change that results in 10 or perhaps even 50 people like Martin Bell are elected to Westminster and similar proportions in other places where our power is controlled from. This would then begin to change the culture amongst politicians generally and make local candidates much more accountable to their electors than to their funders. It might also reverse the cloying impact of the parties on our local councils.