Emerging parties

Image thanks to Prospect Magazine

Evolution is one of those subjects that has fascinated me for years. The process of species forming out of another is mindblowing, so seemingly complex that people often cite the fact there are no missing links as proof that it doesn’t happen. Yet if you think about how many trillions and trillions of creatures that have crawled, swam, flown or walked since the beginning of time it is amazing how rare fossils are. It takes a very special set of circumstances to record an outline of a creature in the dried mud. The chances of finding one or more of every animal or plant that has ever graced the surface of the Earth are impossibly slim.

The concept of a missing link is also wrong. You won’t find an animal that is half of its antecedent and half of its future. Evolution doesn’t work like that. In every species there is variety. Some we find difficult to see as we don’t know what we are looking for but it is there in size, colour, abilities etc. Look at us humans and the wide range of differences that exist within the global population. 

The difference between say Chinese and Swedish archetypes is obvious and these are the precursors to new species forming. Now that humans are able to travel freely and interbreed, such species diversification is unlikely to continue and the human race will stay as one. 

As time goes on variation continues to increase and then something happens which allows separate varieties to occupy their own niche, breeding among themselves and eventually getting  to the point where they are a separate species to their original.

If you want to know more then I recommend Almost Like A Whale: The Origin Of Species Updated by Steve Jones.

We are seeing a similar evolutionary process in UK politics. Within the main parties we see a lot of variety. They are broad churches of opinion, so much so that you wonder if they are actually one party. The oddly named European Research Group within the Conservatives, for example, is a collective held together by some specific and, some would say, radical views. Its members don’t subscribe to many of the traditional conservative values. Why then do they remain within the party? Why don’t they break away and set up a new ERG party?. Obviously the answer is because it is easier to get elected under the Conservative banner..

There are perhaps a dozen or so factions within the Conservative party. Labour is little, if any different. With time this variety increases until the major political parties aren’t really a single party at all but a hotchpotch of loosely affiliated groups. One day something will happen that splits the party into one or more of its constituent parts and new parties will emerge through the evolutionary process. Such a change will only come on the back of something dramatic, such as annihilation at a general election.

Who knows? Such a change may just be around the corner.

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