In our British democracy, we have a vote. If we were members of political parties we would also have a vote and be able to influence policies in two main ways: oppose what we dislike, support what we approve. Shall we, as a parish?
The members of our two main political parties are overwhelmingly white and very largely middle class. Members of the black and ethnic minority communities make up around 13% of our population but they constitute only three or four percent of the party memberships.
Labour is closer to gender parity than the Conservatives: some 47% of Labour’s members are women, but just 29% of Conservatives. Some people may be surprised that Labour has more young members, but not such a big proportion as the image of Momemtum suggests. Research tells us that quite a few people have rejoined the Labour party, having left it when Tony Blair took it to the centre and the country into the Iraq war.
Some 98% of Labour members think austerity has gone too far, but only 11% of Conservatives. Just 15% of Conservatives think the Government should re-distribute income to the less well-off but 94% of Labour look for more just distribution. Ordinary working people don’t get their fair share of the nation’s wealth say 97% of Labour members but only 19% of Conservatives.
Law and order: 59% Conservatives support the death penalty, but only 7% of Labour. 85% of Labour support gay marriage but only 40% Cons.
Brexit: 25% of Conservatives favour staying in the single market and the customs union – an option favoured by 85% of Labour. Nearly 80% of Labour (compared with just 14% of Conservative) would like to see a second referendum on leaving the EU.
“Society Now” is a quarterly magazine of research on social issues. The above figures come from the latest edition. Do they surprise you? Thus the question: do we get involved? If we don’t, we choose not to have a voice, only the occasional vote.
God bless us,
(6th May 2018)