The Centre! The Centre! Everyone thinks s/he knows where it is and none more so than the right-wing political class and its supporters. All opposition to its groupthink is painted as the naive work of upstarts who want to go on some nostalgic trip to another era where it failed to make intellectual arguments that resonated. The prevailing nonsense in Mainstream is that the middle ground has been identified and fixed and that where it has been anchored is correct and reasonable. It’s a given. Job done. Any view; any evidence, experiential, academic or data-sourced that contradicts the groupthink is framed as some regressive, tedious, even dangerous, militant red blight. No wonder people are becoming polarised in their efforts to attack and defend positions.
Groupthink likes to imagine that, because it won the socio-political arguments of thirty, forty years ago, it doesn’t need to win them again. And yet, both tangible and experiential evidence is gradually shifting the collective consciousness to a place of critical mass, where it wants and needs to have the arguments again. Now, not only does this consciousness have a more sophisticated collective with more coherent narratives but it also has that “see, we’ve tried doing it all your way…”
The centre is a point equidistant from the outermost edge(s). Democratically, this implies a place of reconciliation, balance, general consensus, with the potential to expand or shrink its middle by moving, evenly, all ways. The last few decades have seen a steamrollering of consensus without any attention to balance. See how the world wobbles under its asymmetry of power and belief. Move any further to the right and we’ll all fall over the edge. To get back to balance; to find a more representative centre; to reconcile the needs of all people with their individual desires, leftwards is the only shift possible.
What currently passes for commonly accepted socio-economic philosophy in British politics is not the ‘centre ground’. It is merely the core from which crony authority radiates. It’s a self-centre in a bubble. The Right-wing mindset won’t admit quite how much trouble it has caused the world nor how much it, itself, is in but, really, it is just a tatty old flag on a crumbling spire, dying of its own conviction.