The gap in British politics — and what should fill it

On offer at this election are two distinct visions of political change. One from Boris Johnson’s spiritually-absent Conservative Party and another from Jeremy Corbyn’s ultra-woke Labour. For many people, these two options present no appealing choice at all, just merely an opportunity to pick the least bad party.

But where is the party that is neither distinctly ‘red’ or distinctly ‘blue’ but a combination of the two? What would such a party look like? What should it say to the electorate?

Below are 30 suggestions on the vision and policies a hypothetical party of the centre might propose to motivate the apathetic among us to vote enthusiastically at the election.

  1. It would not be the Liberal Democrats. Neither would it be a form of reheated Blairism
  2. It would be socially conservative and economically progressive
  3. Pro-wealth creation but would also aim to close the gap between the rich and poor
  4. Progressive tax reform but rates not set so high as to be self-defeating
  5. Challenge liberal ‘over-reach’ head-on
  6. Offer an economic programme based on full employment, growth and investment
  7. Pro-public sector and pro-market sector, understanding both are complementary parts of our society and should not be regarded as opponents
  8. Pro-nationalisation. Public ownership of the railways would be a central policy
  9. Utilities would be subject to tougher and tighter regulation in favour of the consumer
  10. Tackle the housing crisis with a new council house building programme
  11. Aim to build a coalition of support between working-class and middle-class voters
  12. Eschew liberal buzzwords like ‘diversity’, ‘inclusivity’ and ‘fairness’ and instead talk about ‘family’, ‘place’ and ‘tradition’
  13. Emphasise responsibilities as much as personal rights
  14. Fraternal and communitarian. No toxic and divisive identity politics
  15. Abolish the House of Lords and establish an English Parliament outside London
  16. Pro-electoral reform
  17. Remove privatisation from the NHS
  18. Respect the will of the people on the Brexit referendum and embrace it as an opportunity to bring about democratic renewal and deliver a progressive economic programme
  19. Implacably anti-austerity, understanding that deep cuts to public expenditure are a counterproductive response to a faltering economy
  20. Uncompromisingly anti-racist
  21. Put an end to the predominance of financial services at the expense of a productive economy and make reinvigorating industry a prime goal of its economic policy
  22. Accept that despite best intentions the multiculturalism experiment has failed and has resulted in too much separation and difference
  23. Use the state to foster a post-liberal cultural consensus
  24. Introduce a points system for migrants and sensible limits on immigration conducive to more effective integration
  25. Immerse itself among working people and genuinely listen to and reflect their concerns
  26. Be a party of villages and towns as well as the big cities
  27. Measure the success of the economy not by GDP alone but by the impact on the quality of life of the nation’s citizens
  28. Incentivise business to develop new environmentally friendly technologies
  29. Defend, promote and secure free speech
  30. Pro-nation-state and unashamedly patriotic

This list is my own. I’m sure much has been missed out. But if a new political party that is neither ideologically ‘red’ or ‘blue’ were to form designed to meet the electorate in the middle, this would be a good place to start.