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Parties, who are they and what exactly do they stand for?


Parties have traditionally been apportioned along political lines:
Such as "Right-wing"= Conservative Party. And "Left-wing" = Labour Party

In recent times, new parties have arisen, such as the Green Party, not governed by a narrow "political" outlook but by a concern for wider world issues. Yet these new parties don't seem to gain much electoral success. The Green Party hasn't gained many MP's.

Why is that? Is there some fierce, visceral difference between "Right-wing" and "Left-wing" that transcends any concern for the well-being of the world in general?
They weren’t always right and left wing. Indeed it’s quite a new concept.

In British terms it was historically down to where you stood on a major issue. Thus you had people divided on the issue of ‘divine right of kings’ vs the ‘sovereignty of parliament’ (English Civil War). Cromwell cut off the King’s Head but you wouldn’t consider him ‘left wing’ by any means.

Until the days of Queen Victoria the sovereign was the chief executive and chose his (or her) cabinet to carry out their will. Other politicians did not always agree and became the ‘opposition’. Formed parties really start to appear in the time of the Hanoverians, but again they are divided on the issue of the day - the ‘Tories’ originally supported the Stuarts with the ‘Whigs’ supporting the succession of 1689.

So politics became binary. For or against the government of the day. It’s why sears in the HoP are arranged opposite each other.

* Support to the conduct of the Napoleonic Wars
* Free trade vs protectionism
* Conservatism (small c) vs parliamentary reform
* Irish home rule
* imperialism vs ‘little Englanders’

All major issues in their day.

The Labour Party was the original ‘third party’ of British politics and might have stayed a minor party if Lloyd George hasn’t destroyed the Liberal Party in an attempt to cling to power.

IIRC the very terms ‘left and right wing’ is a French invention therefore we should hate them like the devil. I think they represented where one sat in the National Assembly, where the seats are arranged in a semi circle.

It’s therefore hard for any special interest to form its own party; special interests tend to get taken up by one or other of the main parties.

One might argue that a Brexit/Remain polarity is the major issue of the day. When the Tories embraced the B-word a political scientist might have expected the Labour Party to take up the Remain cause, but Corbyn’s own historical views on the EEC prevented that.

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