Hope, when given the encouragement and the space, can be a force more potent than despair. The leap of faith that it demands, in imagining a future that does not yet exist, leaves it prone to the disparagement of cynics. To act on that faith, to take that leap, necessitates risk. And inherent in all risk is the possibility of failure.
For far too long, cynicism has been the dominant force in British electoral politics, willing failure at every turn. When they saw large, engaged crowds, the political class and its stenographers in the media dismissed them. They did not appeal to people’s better nature because they assumed people did not have one.
Mistaking morality for naivety, they presumed that people were motivated solely by self-interest – in the narrowest and most venal sense – and could not be moved by principle. When you talked to them of passion, they responded with polls. When you argued for what should happen, they explained why it could not be. Insisting that politics is the art of the possible, they refused to entertain that we could create new possibilities.
keyboard shortcuts: V vote up article J next comment K previous comment