The Changing Wills of the British Public

3 years ago Britons went to the polls in an election dominated by the idea of Brexit and the future of the UK in Europe, there were many other aspects of society that were at play among the parties. Now three years later

3 years ago, Britons went to the polls in an election dominated by the idea of Brexit and the future of the UK in Europe, there were many other aspects of society that were at play among the parties. Now three years later, Britons return to the polls with many of the same themes dominating the public discussion, and in the case of Brexit tempers have continued to run high with all parties wanting to “fix” Brexit in their own way. 

However, while the themes that dominate the discussion primarily remain the same the platforms and policies that are being discuses have changed in the slant, with all major parties promising significant increases to social services, especially the NHS, and to national infrastructure.  A stark difference to 3 years ago when even Labour only promised minor increases, and all other parties pushed for further austerity in the uncertainty.  

During the 2017 election the centre-right conservative party enjoying a surge in popularity in fringe voters on the wave of a receding UKIP, saw in their manifesto and policy a more heavily right leaning angle than seen in previous elections.  During the election they promised to increase police powers and funding and review state control and the reach of both mass media and social media platforms as well as to reduce the influence and power of social services, such as state pensions.  They also joined one of the major points found among right wing parties during the Brexit campaign of the idea that Britain was suffering from out of control immigration, and on this they promised caps and more restrictive legislation on immigration and for a period refused to comment on the future of EU nationals in the UK. 

Now in 2019 with Brexit remaining the headline issue all 3 of the major parties have taken a turn for the left on the backs of labours major gains in the 2017 election and the resurgence of the right wing anti-EU parties in the last EU general election in this summer that saw the Tories loose a significant number of their seats to the Liberal Democrats and the Brexit Party. 

Through there manifestos and campaign promises all of the major parties have announced tax raises major increases to social services, engaging almost in a bidding war on how much more funding and staffing would be added to the NHS.  Two of the major parties have also increased calls for greater nationalisation of utilities and transport something that was in many cases a pipe dream last election.  It has also seen the Lib Dems more confidently positioning themselves as a reasonable middle ground opened by the moves to the extremes on both sides of the aisle, as while the Tories pledge greater social services, they also continue with plans of restrictions on immigration and lack of commitments on dealing with common social issues, such as poverty and education.

While Brexit remains a major issue for all voters, and the shifts in party support and attempts to gather more voters will result partially in some of the shift the three years of protests and discontent over the policies or inaction that has been seen to address social issues by the government has forced all of the parties to pledge greater and more significant welfare state policies. 

Therefore while the Conservatives seem to demonstrate a comfortable lead in the polls the last election proves that such a lead is no guarantee and the effectiveness of the labour to run their campaign or the campaigns run by fringe parties who claim that the Tories have failed the will of the people on Brexit may have interesting effects on the final result.  It can be definitely said though that all of the major contenders for the Prime Ministers office have been forced to adopt the social questions that, barring exceptions such as Margret Thatcher, have become a comfortable part of British life and society. 

3 years ago Britons went to the polls in an election dominated by the idea of Brexit and the future of the UK in Europe, there were many other aspects of society that were at play among the parties. Now three years later

OP/ED 1

The failure of Bernier to gain any form of momentum during this past election illuminates the complicated relation that Canadians have with there racist past and attitudes.  During the recent election Maxime Bernier and his Peoples Party campaigned on ideas and policies that were similar to those that many other populist and right leaning politicians would agree with.  However long these ideas of immigration and national identity may have circulated in the spheres of other populist parties they had thus far avoided Canadian politics and with the resounding defeat of Bernier and his party will remain absent from mainstream politics for the current future.  While this could be seen as a rejection of those kind of ideas by the Canadian people this idea of Canadians being unwilling to as publicly discuss and views towards racism and immigration has in many ways been along standing aspect of Canadian politics and ideas.  Even within the last hundred years the government and with popular support banned all immigration from all Asia with the preteen of protecting people from race related riots and to maintain a white nation.  Beyond that there is the other major issue of the treatment of natives and residential schools, issues the government and public are more than happy to allow to be kept quiet and instead discuss the greatness of Canadian multiculturalism and inclusiveness.  However when push comes to shove the government have shown many cases of an unwillingness to acknowledge or apologize for these acts unless there is a great deal of public pressure and when members of the government or community leaders make strides to mend these issues they get called for apologizing to much and this is seen as an issue and a weakness.  But when someone comes into the front and is more willingly to publicly to speak of these values and aspects of the Canadian past they are shunned and turned against by the public.  How come Canadians are willing enough to practice and allow these values away from the light.  As even to the present-day discrimination in employment and recognition are still rife in many sectors of daily life.  Despite this coloured past and legacies Canadians remain proud of the fact that they steer clear of the more overt forms of racism as seen in the US or some central European countries such as Hungary, under there current presidents, however much it may continue to simmer under the surface. The reluctance to admit and resistance to this more overt form of racism show that despite the legacies and continual attitudes, especially in certain parts of the country, mean that hopefully leaders and the brand of far right populism promoted by the Peoples Party will remain as outsiders, and there ideas dwindle with the embracement of the multicultural past of Canada. 

Women and the Falangists during the Spanish Civil War

The article by Sofia Lopez, relates the role that women played in the Nationalist Fifth Columns and the way that the government formally recognized them after the war. The nature of the Civil War lead to many collaborators and agents in the zones of the country controlled by the opposing side, the article focuses on the role of women in nationalist zones of the country. The article focuses on the differences between the way that Nationalists portrayed the role of women in the movement, but the article points to specific examples where the catholic traditional values of there women were extolled. The way that this propaganda was used to portray the role of women, in many cases that the article points to the roles are downplayed by the official records and the numbers of members that were officially recorded was kept suppressed. The article though shows how that many women participated in many varied roles to support the movement. The portrayal of women I find interesting as the use of the way that the narrative became so tied to the use of the traditional roles of women, as homemakers and wives, compared to what the republicans, in the article held as values of being tied to equality and freedoms for all, an image that the nationalist government after the war in 1939 would want to quash and quell the ideas that the republicans were tied to. The article talks to this that the nationalists didn’t credit many of the women who participated and only those that had already originally registered with the Falanigst parties before the war and that for many of them they were relegated back to there traditional roles by the state.

The ways that the differences between sexuality and gendered nature were treated by the authoritarian regimes in the early 20th century show how effective that they could be as tools in the control of people and the building of a so called united people.

The articles regarding Germany and Russia, show that despite fairly diverse opinions on sexuality and gender in the Russian revolutionary period, before Stalin, or the Wiemar republic became fiercely quashed and controlled by the regime with the rise of authoritarianism. Though in both cases was mainly targeted against male homosexuality and subversion, with female equivalents even in the more influential circles was not seen as a threat due to the lack of influence and power attributed to females.

Though that in the examples of the soviet gulag and gestapo investigation the state was mainly indifferent to female homosexuality and the case of the soviets saw it as a passive benefit to the maintenance of order. The wider society was less willing to be so with other citizens being willing to use there distrust of such activity as evidence of subversive activity against the state. This was seen by despite the openness of such relations in private circles or the prisons, but in wider society and upon reintegration these relations and attitudes were again buried to ensure less of a prejudice and suspicion in normal life