Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

Does the center-ground of politics even exist? Watch

    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    New Labour, some say, have lurched to the center of politics over the years, but have kept one foot also in the left. The Conservatives, now people say, have lurched to the center of politics also, but have kept one foot in the right. The various protest parties like BNP and UKIP have no historio-political foundation as such and so will hop about from left to right, to center, although the mainstream parties also do this depending upon what issues politicians stand on.

    But if we were to latch a piece of the political spectrum onto each of the mainstream parties, it should look like this:

    Labour= center-left
    Conservative= center-right
    Libdems = center-left

    All parties try to take the center ground to maximise votes and to procure a longer term in government. But does do the politicians shift to the center ground, or does the center-ground shift instead? The center-ground could move to the right, for example. But in order to move that center-ground you need propaganda and then public support.

    If the public do not support it there will be no shift, so it is the center that shifts its position rather than the politicians who shift ground.

    When politicians talk about a "new center-ground in politics" what they mean is that it is shifted its position (i.e., either to the left or the right). It can only shift to that position if there is a) propaganda b) public support or concensus.

    Politicians create propaganda, they facilitate public opinion as do the neswspapers. They do not "read" the public, untill the center ground starts to shift its position.

    So does the center-ground actually exist?

    I do not think it does. There has only ever been left and right, Communism and Capitalism. There is no center ground between the two. They cannot meet in the middle for they are both antagonistic to each other. The two extremes can shift to a center only in light of maximing votes and procuring terms in office; it is a political maneouvre and does not exist on the political spectrum in the same way as left and right do.

    Fuelled by their electoral success, reinforced by the rise of globalisation (if barriers between countries could come down, why not between political parties?), symbolised by the fall of the Berlin Wall (so that there were no dragons left to slay) and endorsed by academic works such as The End of History and Beyond Left and Right, the myth of the centre ground was born and became the conspicuous feature of the age — the equivalent of a political law of gravity. The myth grew and grew until it achieved the level of dinner-party platitude in London and New York — as in the popular injunction: ‘You can only win elections from the centre ground.’

    http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/...centre-ground/
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    I would argue that none of them are particularly left wing.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    That seems to be the problem now. They're all fighting over the central ground. Nobody with political convictions is centre and are normally floating voters. This means that the core supporters of the main parties are feeling disenfranchised.

    We also have another scale than left it right. There's pro or anti federal Europe.
    Online

    16
    ReputationRep:
    I disagree. The politicians are the ones who move the 'centre ground'.

    After WW2 the Attlee government's welfare and nationalisation policies were regarded as on the left, yet they became the consensus, and thus the centre, until Thatcherism. After Thatcher, Blair and then Cameron moved a slightly diluted version of Thatcherism (with a few concessions and better PR) to the centre, and it's now accepted by all the major parties.

    Though that's just economics, social issues would require a different analysis.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by MatureStudent36)
    That seems to be the problem now. They're all fighting over the central ground. Nobody with political convictions is centre and are normally floating voters. This means that the core supporters of the main parties are feeling disenfranchised.
    Why would you tie yourself to a particular party or right or left political ideology anyway?

    Parties don't always have the same view all the time, left and right change and neither are 100% perfect. You can take a left stance on one thing a right on another it depends on the situation, but if you always see yourself as right wing and conservative rather than a humanbeing then how can you look beyond your own right wing bias.

    I am centre because I don't want to class myself as any political party, I am an individual and seek to gather as much opinions from others as possible, contrast them and scrutinise my own biases then vote on what I think is logical, right and best.

    What is the point in a constant labour vs conservative party war? If there really was one that was perfect all the time then they may as well stay in government all the time, where then what becomes the point in democracy if there is always the correct thing to do and no choice?
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    The fact you characterise Labour - responsible for the continuation of Thatcherism throughout the noughties - as centre-left shows a total disregard for the left of British politics.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I think
    Labour: far left
    Conservative: centre left
    Lib dems: no idea
    I agree with what a prior poster said about the post war consensus of nationalisation becoming the "centre" then again with Thatcherism. From a social perspective though being pro eu and immigration have become the norm for both parties.
    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Lib dems are right wing currently. Check their webpage, their 'where we stand' section is a copy of the conservatives just re-worded but in some places not even re-worded.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Solarstorm)
    Lib dems are right wing currently. Check their webpage, their 'where we stand' section is a copy of the conservatives just re-worded but in some places not even re-worded.
    Dream on.
    Lib dems wanted to legalise cannabis, dismantle trident, increase taxes on the rich, more EU integration, more immigration, amnesty for illegal immigrants.
    I'm guessing you're either an ex lib dem annoyed they went into coalition or a green party supporter because if they're right wing, conservatives would be far right.
    Offline

    6
    ReputationRep:
    I don't think Liberal Democrats want "more immigration" per say: they want to allow asylum seekers to work and not be forced to rely on welfare, they want a cap on annual immigration and they want amnesty for illegal immigrants that have been in this country for more than 10 years.

    Oh. I probably should have said wanted rather than want seen as though Clegg has sold us short. I lost faith in the Liberal Democrats quite a while ago.

    Going back to the original point: I think the political spectrum is more of a 'guestimate' tool. Politics is very subjective. I can't imagine there are many people in the UK that agree with every single ideology of a political party: you simply have to align yourself with the party that best suits your interests. If I were to attempt to categorise myself politically I'd be a little bit right but a tad to the left and a tiny bit centre. There is no political party that properly holds my views and as such I find myself in a bit of a political minefield.
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    as the Left Right paradigm is hugely inaccurate generally, especially as used by the media, even if it wasn't I don't think the "Centre" of it could really exist, it would require you to either have 50% right wing and 50% left wing policies or no policies at all (total neutrality on all issues means you can't take a position on them)


    (Original post by The Mad Dog)
    The fact you characterise Labour - responsible for the continuation of Thatcherism throughout the noughties - as centre-left shows a total disregard for the left of British politics.
    this is also true and somewhat demonstrates the start of my point above.
    Online

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Josh94)
    Dream on.
    Lib dems wanted to legalise cannabis, dismantle trident, increase taxes on the rich, more EU integration, more immigration, amnesty for illegal immigrants.
    I'm guessing you're either an ex lib dem annoyed they went into coalition or a green party supporter because if they're right wing, conservatives would be far right.
    Economically, the conservatives are far right at the moment.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Josh94)
    Dream on.
    Lib dems wanted to legalise cannabis, dismantle trident, increase taxes on the rich, more EU integration, more immigration, amnesty for illegal immigrants.
    I'm guessing you're either an ex lib dem annoyed they went into coalition or a green party supporter because if they're right wing, conservatives would be far right.
    Yeah 'wanted to'

    Those aren't particulary leftist pollicies anyway just pathetic 'liberal' pollicies a school girl would have come up with, although with the exemption of the EU were generally the left and right are both pro.

    Really don't see why you see the conservatives as left, they are center right although if David Cameron could not keep his back benchers in check and they had free reign then the party would be as far right as UKIP.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Solarstorm)
    Yeah 'wanted to'

    Those aren't particulary leftist pollicies anyway just pathetic 'liberal' pollicies a school girl would have come up with, although with the exemption of the EU were generally the left and right are both pro.

    Really don't see why you see the conservatives as left, they are center right although if David Cameron could not keep his back benchers in check and they had free reign then the party would be as far right as UKIP.

    What makes you say UKIP is far right? They're centre right
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Modern political speech is inaccurate. All "mainstream" parties today subscribe to neoliberalism (market fundamentalism), which 50 years ago would have been seen as "extreme right" (in the economic sense) and "insane" or "unfeasible."

    The centre ground means nothing when the 3 main parties are identical. Rarely are any policies such that a "compromise" can be reached - parties usually trade off one policy against the other when taking part in coalition negotiations.

    It's just lazy journalism (or propagandistic Murdoch speech) to describe a party attempting to moderate its image. In recent British history that has meant everybody follows Thatcherism.
    Online

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by MatureStudent36)
    What makes you say UKIP is far right? They're centre right
    I'd say centre-right socially, far-right economically.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by anarchism101)
    I'd say centre-right socially, far-right economically.
    It depends what scale you're looking at. There's nothing economically that UKIP are advocating that is far right. And when I say far right, I mean Fascist level.
    Online

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by MatureStudent36)
    It depends what scale you're looking at. There's nothing economically that UKIP are advocating that is far right. And when I say far right, I mean Fascist level.
    Ah, I'd class fascism as economically centrist. When I say UKIP are economically far-right, I'm referring to things like their proposed cuts, flat tax, "free markets", etc.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Your standard "left/right scales are a waste of time" stuff aside, I think there's a centre ground. It's just mislabelled by the media, who provide simplistic analyses at best. So, whil it may be true to say that the leaders of Labour are centre-left, is the whole party centre-left? Nope. So can you say that Labour is centre-left? Only partially.
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Brussels sprouts
    Useful resources

    Groups associated with this forum:

    View associated groups
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.