Get Red Pepper's email newsletter. Enter your email address to receive our latest articles, updates and news.

×

You might be a centrist if…

What does 'centrist' mean? Tom Walker identifies the key markers to help you spot centrism in the wild

October 10, 2017
4 min read

Illustration: For Lack of a Better Comic

You might be a centrist if you think that centrism is a meaningless term – so let me point out some other signs of centrism, and you can see how you match up.

You might be a centrist if your response to a political dispute is to say ‘both sides’ are at fault – doubly so if the actions of one side are obviously far worse than the other.

You might be a centrist if your Twitter replies ever start with ‘Actually…’

You might be a centrist if you think that political policies should be made just by ‘looking at the data’.

You might be a centrist if you tell people you feel ‘politically homeless’ since the rise of Corbynism.

You might be a centrist if whatever the issue at hand, you just don’t think protesting can be the answer.

You might be a centrist if you are very worked up about abusive language in politics, but conspicuously silent about most of the abuse being aimed at Diane Abbott.

You might be a centrist if you feel like you just don’t understand politics any more – especially if you somehow nevertheless work full time as a political journalist

You might be a centrist if you are male, a dad, and often explain women’s ‘errors’ to them – and definitely if you have ever used the phrase ‘young lady’ or a variant.

You might be a centrist if you like telling people to ‘get round the table and negotiate’.

You might be a centrist if your Twitter bio contains the key words ‘moderate’, ‘rationalist’, ‘atheist’, ‘skeptic’, or anything relating to your own perceived high intelligence.

You might be a centrist if you are very concerned about ‘fake news’ but have nevertheless repeated the outright fake news that Labour conference didn’t debate Brexit.

You might be a centrist if you believe that the Canary contains more ‘fake news’ than the Daily Express.

You might be a centrist if you feel like you just don’t understand politics any more – especially if you somehow nevertheless work full time as a political journalist.

You might be a centrist if you berated Laura Pidcock for saying she wouldn’t be friends with Tory MPs.

You might be a centrist if you still think the old rules will re-assert themselves and really, it’s still all about swing voters isn’t it?

You might be a centrist if you literally wrote a book about ‘post-truth’ but mute everyone who calls you out for spreading untruths (#subtweet).

You might be a centrist if your view of politics can be basically summed up by old SDP party political broadcasts.

You might be a centrist if you think that scrapping tuition fees would actually be bad for working class kids because (insert lots of spurious graphs here).

You might be a centrist if you believe stopping Brexit is the only real political issue in Britain today, and forget all those people at the food banks.

You might be a centrist if you think anyone who holds an actual political view on anything is an ‘extremist’.

You might be a centrist if you think that any words used to attempt to describe your political position are a slur.

Hope this helps.


For All, By All
The latest issue of Red Pepper asks - how do we invite, support and nurture greater public participation so that our cultural capabilities are empowered beyond the crushing logic of market fundamentalism? 

‘We are hungry in three languages’: The forgotten promise of the Bosnian Spring
Ruth Tanner looks back at a wave of protests which swept through Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2014.

It’s time for a cultural renewal of the left
Andrew Dolan writes that we need to integrate art, music, films and poetry into our movement, creating spaces where political ideas are given further room to breathe.

Jeremy Hunt is poised to flog the last of the NHS
Peter Roderick sounds the alarm on an 'attack on the fundamental principles of the NHS'.

Viva Siva, 1923-2018
A. Sivanandan, who died this week, was a hugely important figure in the politics of race and class. As part of our tributes, Red Pepper is republishing this 2009 profile of him by Arun Kundnani

Sivanandan: When memory forgets a giant
Daniel Renwick calls for the whole movement to discover and remember the vital work of A. Sivanandan, who died this week

A master-work of graphic satire
American Jewish cartoonist Eli Valley’s comic commentary on America, the US Jewish diaspora and Israel is nothing if not near the knuckle, Richard Kuper writes