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Wanted – a British Macron

Clearly, there is an open vacancy to be filled in Great Britain: a positive, pro-European political leader for all Remainers in the United Kingdom. The voter base right from the start: 16 million plus! In France, Emmanuel Macron is currently showing how you can attract millions of people with a positive and pro-European message. But in Britain? Is there a British Macron in sight, at least some kind of? Let’s have a look at potential candidates.

Candidates of the established political parties

It was probably never easier for a candidate from Labour to win a premiership than this election. With Brexit Tories steering to a hard cut from the European Union, having increased Britain’s debts tremendously while putting the burden in an unfair manner on socially disadvantaged people and local communities, a general election could be some kind of a home run to a premiership for a Labour candidate. But instead, Labour has Jeremy Corbyn. Uneuropean, stubborn and extremely shortsighted as he is, he is still indifferent on Brexit. That is even more remarkable as the majority of Labour voters are against Brexit according to different polls. For good reason, because it will be the most vulnerable who will suffer the most from Brexit. What if he states: ‘If you are going to elect me as your next Prime Minister – through your Labour candidate of your constituency -, I am going to save you from Brexit and stop it!’ How many more votes would that secure for Labour? But he didn’t. In addition, in every single poll, his ratings to be Britain’s next Prime Minister are so much worse than the ratings of Theresa May. So, it is more than obvious that he is not a British Macron, neither does he intends to become a political leader for all Remainers.

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Jeremy Corbyn

How about Nicola Sturgeon? Truly, the most convincing candidate so far. Stayed positive and pro-European before the British referendum and even more so afterwards. She even has experience in governing a country. Her disadvantage so far, is that she is still imprisoned in her own nationalism, the Scottish nationalism, which makes her a positive, pro-European candidate for all Scots, but most likely not for all Brits, at least so far. She would have to free herself from her own Scottish nationalism first to become a pro-European British one and before becoming some kind of a British Macron.

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Nicola Sturgeon

What about Tim Farron? He is one who clearly says that if you are going to elect him and his liberal candidates, they are going to save you from Brexit, at least from a hard Brexit. And at least they will try. Even more, he would probably also save Britain from Brexit Tories who are trying to turn the country more and more into a Big Brother state as they already started to do with Snooper’s Charter. But he is a candidate for the Liberals and it’s likely that many Labour Remainers would not agree to vote for Liberals even ten years after the worst financial crisis since 1929, so he is also not a candidate for all Remainers. Even worse, the “bankrupt” British electoral system – to use the notion of first nationalist Nigel Farage – is not in favour of small parties. Not at all. And with him being still interwoven in traditional party politics, Mr. Farron does not really look like a British Macron.

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Tim Farron

New candidates from outside of the classic political spectrum

Who else could it be? Maybe is could be Gina Miller? She defeated the Brexit Tories in court – for the sake of Britain’s one thousand-year-old tradition of parliamentarianism. During that process, she demonstrated enormous courage, personal strength, strong communication skills, leadership and strategic foresight, all skills that are undoubtedly needed for a political leader. She is going her own way, regardless of what others say or how much they are trying to threaten her. And she is independent, not interwoven into traditional party politics. She would not only be a British Macron, she would be even a female Macron. How nice is that? The big question is: does she wants to become one?

 

And finally, how about another person who we do not know yet? Someone with managerial experience maybe from a business job, a strong positive leader who is convinced that Britain’s place is at the heart of the European family and not – more or less – outside of it? Probably never since World War II it was easier to found a new political party in Britain…

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Gina Miller

 

But is a British Macron feasible at all?

But here is the challenge. Even if someone wants to become a British Macron, there is a problem. The French Presidency is a direct election, the British Premiership is not. The British Prime Minister is appointed by the Queen, who usually picks the majority leader of the House of Commons. So, any new British Macron is clearly better off with having a strong party organisation with 650 candidates rooted in 650 constituencies across Britain. And as pointed out in an earlier article, the “bankrupt” British electoral system is not in favour of small parties and therefore it is also not in favour of new political party startups. That makes the British electoral system not only undemocratic with regard to a fair representation of its people and their opinions, but also less innovative for new political ideas. Undoubtedly a great political disadvantage for a country that is so strongly connected to the idea of innovation.

What Britain needs most

Therefore, what Britain currently needs most is a grassroots movement, a movement by the people. Those British citizens who want to remain in the European Union need to take the initiative, to collaborate and to work together, to put egos aside and to unite across political parties for a common goal in the upcoming General Election. Remember: for the Tories, there is no such thing as a society! For Brexit Tories, of course, there is no such thing as a European civil society. Let’s prove them wrong! How to do it will be the content of the next article…

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5 replies »

  1. Yes Ken, an interesting question indeed. Let me take two ‘candidates’. Firstly, Nicola Sturgeon. She is not a Westminster MP but First Minister of the Scottish Parliament, simply an MSP, but then the SNP requires more or less that, so that should she ever decide to stand for Westminster she would no longer be the FM. So, at present anyway, very unlikely and anyway she has more than once firmly stated she has no wider UK ambitions. The SNP is also only a minority party in UK terms, therefore we can rule her out.

    Then Tim Farron. I have jokingly compared him with Harry Enfield’s ‘Tim Nice But Dim’. Sometimes he is, He described himself as a ‘bit of a Eurosceptic’ on the Beeb’s Andrew Marr Show despite his party’s pro-EU stance. He also said “The prime minister is heading for a colossal coronation on 8 June”. I find that all rather dim, so perhaps I am not entirely joking. The Lib Dems are scarred by their disastrous collaboration in coalition with the Tories. The fact that Vince Cable is setting out to regain his seat that he lost for the disastrous actions and decisions he made in the coalition is tarnishing them terribly. What is Tim Farron doing about that to show positive leadership? He is saying nothing. So, not a national leader there.

    The Labour situation is worse. Not only is Corbyn a disaster, despite high ideals, but carries with him his ambitious but not constructive deputy Tom Watson, then the likes of John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor who always denies wanting to be leader but has at times shown he would never say no. Nobody inspires there at all. It would be unfair to forget the Tories, however there is nobody most of us would trust in any respect, just look who stood until one after the other dropping out to leave May in place. No chance there. The tiny little Greens? Neither Caroline Lucas nor Jonathan Bartley shape up at all. Dare I throw in ukip? Well, just for the sake of doing so… Paul Nuttall. OK, that was enough nonsense.

    What does the UK have? A singular lack of talent. Throwing in Gina Miller, a person who has said she has no political ambitions, who is a philanthropist trying to maintain balance in a fading democracy by using the forces of law and positive campaigning. Align such people with a party and they are lost because the party assumes control of what they do and then dilutes it to fit their style and ambitions. That is the last thing the UK needs with so few strong activists. So perhaps there is nobody, certainly no commitment politicians stand out whilst a few careerists try to advance themselves…

    The question is and shall remain open at exactly the moment in time when somebody is needed. In France Macron is perhaps a ‘good act’ who would be proven or discredited if he wins next Sunday, but is by all accounts better than the alternative, Le Pen, who would follow the Tory route to driving her country, but also Europe, back 40 or 50 years rather than offering a future. So, the final part of the question might be whether the UK wants the uncertainty that Macron offers, although he might be successful and very good in time. We do not know. It is as if we might say of him ‘All that glistens is not gold’, but might be one day.

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