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5th February 2019

Listen to your Public!- Where Party leadership is going wrong

Luke O Hane argues that listening to the views of the general public may help Theresa May to gain more confidence within her Brexit negotiations.
Listen to your Public!- Where Party leadership is going wrong
Photo: EU2017EE @ Flickr

Since Brexit, leaders of the two major parties have repeatedly demonstrated a lack of interest in the concerns of their own supporters and the general public as a whole.

Since triggering Article 50, the Governments’ talks with Michel Barnier have been closely kept under wraps. Theresa May has not listened or been communicating with her colleagues, her enemies or her country. Parliamentarians have constantly highlighted the lack of attentiveness from the Prime Minister. They have heckled her in the Commons, they have written her letters, they have called her out on national TV. Yet, she does not budge.

May has held meetings with Union leaders, opposition leaders and the devolved administrations. This, however, was only after Parliament inflicted upon her the largest defeat in History. This has led journalists to rightfully argue why she had not done this earlier?

The UK’s position would be clearer to the European Union if she had done this.  In return, the agreement would perhaps pass through parliament with fewer difficulties and put the political discontent to bed. Yes, this revolutionary idea of listening is proving to be rocket science for our  Prime Minister. While Brexit has highlighted this phenomenon, it was not unheard of before.

On many occasions Theresa May has shown a “couldn’t care less” attitude. The 2017 election was called  to enable certainty and stability for the path ahead.  Yet, in my eyes, Theresa May’s election call appears to be only a shameful reach for power. I suggest that voters saw through this and that it is part of the reason that they gave her a minority. It is therefore bizarre that the Prime Minister has not learnt from past mistakes.

Moreover, it is not just the Prime Minister that has been inattentive to the public.

Jeremy Corbyn, the supposed great advocate of Labour party democracy, has repeatedly not listened to party members and his own MPs with regards to Brexit. Polls have suggested that 72% of Labour party members want their leader to back the idea of people’s vote. In addition, even after losing the vote of no confidence, the Labour leadership still has failed to campaign for a people’s vote.

I simply cannot understand the fact that a man whose political beliefs rely on democracy and public engagement repeatedly neglects to listen to his own members and his fellow MPs. Furthermore, he seems to fail to realise that this change in position might actually win him a few more votes.

One of the main culprits of a lack of political engagement is how out of touch politicians can be. They seem to be too concerned with their own parties and evidently not their own country. There is nothing that repulses the electorate more than this.

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