May 1, 2017
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.
How about Nicola Sturgeon? Truly, the most convincing candidate so far. Stayed positive and pro-European before the British referendum and even more afterwards. She has even experience in governing a country. Disadvantage, so far, 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.
How 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 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 probably many Labour Remainers can 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.
New candidates from outside of the classic political spectrum
Who else could it be? How about 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 other 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…
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 organization 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 needs currently 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 Tories there is no such thing as society! For Brexit Tories, of course, there is no such thing as European civil society. Let’s prove them wrong! How to do it will be the content of the next article…Oliver H. Schmidt