The decision to leave the European Union in June 2016 was a vote not just to withdraw from a supranational organisation, rather completely replace established political norms. Undoubtedly, this decision has left a vacuum ready to be filled by any ideology ready to take on the new era in British politics. Truisms like continued membership of the single market, high levels of European immigration and political alliance with partners in Europe are no longer the reality. The foundations of Westminster have been shaken by the cannoning of its political influence over the will of the people. It is not only, however, those at the very top that are charged with dealing with this mass exodus from conformity.
In September, The Green Party elected in Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley, two leaders to the helm of the party. This new step in the process of leading a major political party (And yes, I say that without irony) could well recalculate how we think about politics in the country. For too long, there has been a duality of expectation on our political leaders. On the one hand we expect them to be completely infallible – I note Hillary Clinton as an example of this. Curiously, leaders are expected to show be ‘human’ and ‘real’, and are oft criticised for over-reliance on the party line.
What is particularly progressive about the Green Party’s acceptance of their new leaders’ need for part-time provisions is that is yet another symptom of a sea-change in British politics. It is not the work of the pioneer to state ‘Brexit has changed everything’, but I feel that the tearing down of these established norms may be one of the ways that ‘Brexit changed everything for the better’.
Image by jwslubbock via Wikipedia.