Followers of this blog will know that I’ve been banging on about centrist messages as the only way to go in a civilised world. The trouble with this centrist doctrine is that centrist ideas can been seen as entirely compromise. Surely the centre ground of political thought is a balance between the right and left? Does that mean that the centre is neither one thing nor the other? Does it have no identity of its own? I like to think in the affirmative.
Balancing the needs and aspirations of all societies is mighty difficult and observers will note that the world is exceedingly short of balanced rulers, regimes or governments. We have always claimed that the idea of freedom is the key and that democracies will lead to the balanced way.
Yet half the world, may be more, is ruled by totalitarian or authoritarian governments, aspiring democracies struggle to come to terms with the past let alone plan for the future.
The very foundation of democracy the UK is struggling to establish or re-establish its democratic model which seems to have been at least confused by the bureaucratic model of the EU. There has emerged a backlash against the idea of a Federal Europe despite the evidence that the EU has presided over a peaceful amalgam of European nations for the longest period ever. The Brits of course are an island nation and have been insulated from the horrors of invasion. They see themselves as naturally set apart from Continental Europe.
It is dreadfully sad then to see this former beacon of democracy sliding toward populism both right and left. To hear the exaggerated nonsense from the formerly admired Jeremy Hunt, the histrionics of Boris Johnson and the wild proposals of the extreme left.
What is missing right now is leadership. In some ways as I have already said, it is hard at the centre to emphasise the difference that a balance brings. Leadership, charisma, and honesty are in short supply, but needed now more than ever.