The death of Margaret Thatcher has brought into stark relief what a divided society we still live in. I’m not talking about the divide between North and South, or East and West, or rich and poor. I’m talking about the divide between Left and Right.
It’s been a whole generation since Thatcher came to power, and the political debate hasn’t moved on. Left and Right still argue exactly the same points and nothing has changed. I find that hugely frustrating and quite depressing.
In everyday life, we make plenty of mistakes, but usually we learn from our errors and don’t repeat them too often. We aspire to learn something about the world we live in.
In science, thought moves forward decisively. Ideas are discussed; correct ideas become mainstream and incorrect ideas are dropped. Scientific knowledge grows.
But in politics, nothing changes. Personalities come and go, but still nobody knows anything. It’s all just noise. Decades and decades of nothingness. Left wing, right wing, back to left. Nationalise, privatise, nationalise again. Lower taxes, raise taxes, lower them again. We may as well get rid of all politicians because not one of them is sure to know anything. We could put a team of monkeys in charge and the outcome would be no different.
To make progress we need to try to understand and to learn. Politicians won’t do that for us, because few politicians are ever willing to admit they might be wrong. We have to do it for ourselves. And with the arrival of the internet, there is a way for ordinary people to discuss such things.
But debate isn’t enough. In order to learn, we have to be open-minded and prepared to admit when we’re wrong. And to start making any progress whatsoever, we have to leave the hate and lies behind. Because we really are all in this together, and the sooner we fix this politics thing, the sooner we can start to move forward instead of endlessly repeating past mistakes.
Although I have particularly strong political views myself, I’m going to try and examine the key questions of politics on this blog and see if I can shed a little light on them. I’m going to strive to understand all points of view, even the more extreme ones, and try to identify the core beliefs they are built on. If I find that I’m wrong about something, I’ll own up. And I hope that readers of this blog will join the debate and hold me to account if I say something that isn’t right.
In short, I’m going to try to take the hate out of the Left-Right divide.