It’s the policies stupid!

The debate rages on following the referendum in Scotland about what powers ‘people’ should have, where they should have them and why they should have them.

The question I ask is this: who is taking part in this debate? The answer is all too predictable and sorry: Politicians! Yes, amazing isn’t it? Following one of the most engaging and interesting political discourses which caught the imagination of so many people, politicos now have the answer for all future engagement and franchise. Give them more power!

What this demonstrates so clearly is how totally out of touch so many senior politicians in power are from the reality of people’s everyday lives. To try and jump on the bandwagon by somehow suggesting that in order to please all the people all of the time, all you have to do is change the constitution is really code for even more politicians doing more of the same. The public will lap that up!

The reason why the Scottish referendum hit a cord is simple: it got people to talk about how they can improve their lives and the lives of their fellow citizens. Dominating the discourse were policy issues such as the economy, North Sea oil, the NHS, jobs and defence. Ultimately, who took those decisions didn’t matter as much as wanting those decisions made.

And that is the lesson all politicians should take from the referendum. As long as politicians talk to themselves, the longer the disconnect between voter and political parties will continue. Let the Tories, UKIP and the discredited Liberals squabble like cat and dog about how to make decisions.

Labour has an opportunity. It’s not how but why! Let’s be policy radical and let’s engage voters desperate for hope and wanting someone or something to put their trust in.


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