While the usual media circus fixates on personality clashes, fringe identity politics and isolated single issues and talking points, no thought is given to the concerns of the silent majority who simply wish for Britain to return to being a functional country that is somewhat recognisable to the one they used to know.
For many years now it has been the same old story. "Is so and so a strong leader"? "Will Mr X or Y have what is takes?" This transition to base personality politics, in part a sort of Americanisation of our politics and a legacy of the Blair era which introduced PR gurus to our political system, has greatly cheapened political discourse in our country. But more than that, it obscures the fact that while the media attempts to enthral the public with the intrigue of power politics and personality clashes, our country has for several decades been on a one way road defined by devolution, debt, de-industrialisation, aggressive secularisation, mass immigration, multiculturalism, rampant globalisation, EU integration and the erosion of the traditional family, community and national structures that once defined British life and society. Heath, Wilson, Callaghan, Thatcher, Major, Blair, Brown, Cameron, May... they all represent staging posts on that road, and any pretence of a serious difference between them has entirely disappeared since the Major and Blair administrations.
For many years now the political class have decided that the Britain which the ordinary people knew, and felt a deep sense of attachment to, was too backwards, too old-fashioned and insular for their ambitions. The old Britain: homogenous, Christian, industrial, functional, sovereign; rooted in old values and old social structures, had to be replaced. In its stead would be something more modern, more multicultural, more pliable, more open, more service sector, more atomised and more global. It is in this goal that the ambitions of the Blairite Eurocommunists and the Thatcher-esque low Tories meet; it's why that for all the ideological squabbling from the 60s until today, it feels like we've been essentially on a one way road, and our country seems to be ever more alien; everyday life a little less intimate and familiar than how it used to be.
Most people aren't interested in Corbyn's cultural radicalism or May's bland centrism; figures like Boris Johnson or Rees-Mogg might try to lure them in with fighting talk over Brexit, but even their idea of a 'hard Brexit' is ultimately still a hollow Brexit, rooted in the mantra of modern, multicultural, global, service sector Britain; in other words a 'business as usual Brexit'. Meanwhile separatist parties like the SNP offer nothing other than whinging about their failure to break up the United Kingdom, and have become the ultimate establishment, Europhile stooges.
The ordinary British people generally aren't interested in what these parties or figures have to offer. The truth is that most people simply wish for Britain to feel like a functional country once again; to feel like things work, that they belong and that they and their children have a future there. For too long many people have been unable to feel that way, and sense only that the country is in various ways 'going to the dogs'.
And yet the common sense values and policies that the silent majority wish for are fairly simple. It is not outlandish to wish for matrons to run hospital words, for state-enrolled nurses to fill the nursing gap and for a culture of profit and middle-management in the NHS to be tackled, along with the inexcusable waste of PFI deals and bosses' salaries.
There's nothing radical about wishing for national infrastructure to be run for the public and owned by them, rather than being sold out to foreign companies or vastly overpaid quango bosses. Electricity, gas, water, roads, rail, buses, the post office and so on... it is only in quite recent history that these things ceased being ordinary public infrastructure and utilities and become vehicles for private profit at the expense of the taxpayer.
It is not a great deal to ask for a functioning education system that seeks to equip our young to think for themselves, rather than indoctrinating them with the equality and diversity agenda at school before massively indebting them through the student loans system as soon as they enter independent adult life. Nor is it unusual to wish to return to having a productive, industrial economy that provides stable jobs, and to lament the transition into a low-pay, low-skill service gig economy that offers nothing more than call centres and McJobs to our youth.
It is not 'extreme' to be opposed to the mass immigration project, and the deliberate transformation of Britain into an atomised, disconnected dystopia, robbed of community and common social bonds. And it is certainly not 'extreme' to wish for Britain to be an ordinary, independent nation state that can set its own laws and control its own borders.
These are the things that people are concerned about, and all they require is common sense. People generally are uninterested in the cultural radicalism of the modern Left or the market veneration of what passes for the modern Right. They are not for the most part interested in the petty personality clashes and tribalism of modern politics; they can get their fill of such pettiness from reality TV if that sort of thing entertains them. Beyond the circus of modern political discourse, many can recall a time within living memory when Britain worked in a way it no longer does; when matrons ran hospital wards, when police patrolled the streets by foot, when people had stable, honest jobs and when we felt like we uniquely belonged in our own country. It's high time that this silent majority had a party to represent them.