For years, UK politics has become more right-wing, popularist, and presidential.
Right-wing, because the Conservatives have been in power for over 10 years, and have had the opportunity to implement most of their ideological policies, which we see at the moment highlighted to an extreme with Liz Truss gearing up to emulate Thatcher on almost every level.
Popularist, because the Conservatives have implemented policies designed to appease the populations feelings, rather than those based on factual positive outcomes.
The biggest example is Brexit. People voted for Brexit based on a mix of nationalism, xenophobia and racism. Lots of people were tired of the increasing multicultural nature of their communities and society, and wanted to make them ‘British’ again, whatever that meant for them.
Of course, we see now that Brexit has cost the country billions and billions, and very much reduced our standing as a powerful nation in the world. The Conservatives knew this, of course, that is why so many of the Conservative politicians now trumpeting hot air about the positives of Brexit originally voted AGAINST Brexit, because they knew it was bad for the country.
Presidential, because voters increasingly vote based on the personality of the would-be Prime Minister. They forget entirely about the policies that are part of their manifesto, presumably thinking they will not be implemented due to a general cynicism about politicians keeping their promises, which has worsened around Boris Johnson’s behaviour as Prime Minster.
The problem with picking a leader based on personality, is that you are often misled about this personality by the press and media. Especially in a country with media and press which is controlled by the right-wing. They will paint whoever is the current Labour hopeful in an incredibly bad light, so much so that the public will not be able to rationally judge them on their personality. They will also paint the current Conservative leader in glowing colours, and try and brush under the carpet any problems, as much as possible.
This is not a conspiracy theory. I have seen the change at the BBC between 2011 and 2017 while I was there. Increasingly the leadership of the organisation was put under pressure to silence left-wing voices and programmes from within, and increase right-wing representation. When I left it was most definitely a Conservative-owned media giant, with an ex Conservative MP leading the organisation. Most people who regularly read the newspapers and watch TV don’t even realise they are being influenced at all.
What is the alternative then? Ignore the media. Pick a leader based on the policies they say they will implement. It’s simple. The leader is just a figurehead at the end of the day, it is the whole party behind them that rules the country, and that party will have a set of policies it wants implementing and will publish them.
Simply read through their two manifestos on the different party websites, do the research on the issues around those policies on a relatively neutral website such as Wikipedia, and consider which would help you personally and people you care about the most.
But people don’t do that. They just judge the leaders personalities based on what they read in click-bait articles, the newspapers and see on TV.
I would also recommend anyone consuming the news media on any level read my article on it.