There’s every danger that we progressives i.e. Libs, Greens and much of the Labour Party will continue to fall into the trap for the next 5 to 10 years of calling out our awful Tory Government for well, being Tories and doing what Tories do.
What we have to accept though is that because we could not put forward a credible progressive alternative to the Tories (and because our warped electoral system helped the Tories to win as usual) we invited the electorate to say to themselves ‘the Tories may be bad but they’re not as bad as the alternative/s’!
Corbynism has been an abject failure as it was always going to be and anyone still batting for it is in effect saying ‘we’d rather have a Tory government than sort ourselves out to become credible’. And those social democrats within the Labour Party who sat on their hands and said nothing whilst their own party was systematically ruining the chance of a progressive government your guilt is, in my view, the greatest. When Labour fails in the UK progressive politics usually follows it, Scotland being the obvious exception as Labour’s demise became the SNP’s chance to shine.
And of course we progressives love to kick lumps out of each other and blame other progressive parties for the failure of the left when actually we jointly hold the title of champions of delivering yet another Tory government because of our common unelectability cause.
The key to gaining an electable left of centre government is actually quite simple – progressive politics needs credible leaders that means no Corbyns and no Swinsons with their common hatred of each other seemingly being greater than their supposedly common cause against the Tories. And both Labour and Lib Dems need to sort out a credible working arrangement with the SNP by putting the issue of an independent Scotland to one side.
Then all the left of centre parties, including the Greens and Plaid Cymru, need to push for electoral reform and stand together on a pledge to implement it when a progressive government comes to power – no half hearted well maybe or squabbling about which form of PR brings the best advantage for each party, just do it. Oh and no Trudeau pledges on it either just to turn around and drop the pledge because no one can agree how to do it when it’s been in manifestos and power has been won. We’ll get one shot at it and if we fail it will be gone for another generation and the Tories will continue to be the party of government for at least two thirds of the time for ever more. Fair votes has to be a common cause for all progressives, those who claim to be progressives but who continue to back FPTP are actually not progressives at all but Tory enablers.
When life long high profile supporters like Tony Robinson walk away from Labour you know it’s in trouble. The Independent has the story on its website – see link below:-
Another high profile former Labour baker, comedian Mike Harding, said this recently:-
Vot Lab. The Bail-Out Party. Overall it was a vote for the remain parties – 1000 seats lost to them. Lab for 56 yrs Active supporter. I and many more have left. You can bail the Tories out if you like – but we’re leaving in disgust for our childrens’ and grandchildren’s sakes.
As I say Labour’s in deep trouble and if its leadership really does bail out the Tories over Brexit, as it seems to be threatening to do, you can be sure that their troubles will deepen even more. Can anyone take the spade from Jez Corbyn, the hole he’s dug is very deep now…….
With thanks to Roy Connell and Keith Page for the leads to this posting
The story is on Richard Kemp’s blog site accessible via the link above
Richard and I have our differences as free thinking Liberals but I think he has really hit the nail on the head here with regard to Labour all but abandoning the poor.
For me it started back in 2013 when Labour MP’s began to seriously get behind welfare cuts. The Guardian newspaper link below gives the detail:-
It was a starting point from which Labour has not really backtracked even under its supposedly socialist leadership as Richard Kemp details.
For me the big issue of recent times has been Labour’s reversal of policy to back Brexit. What on earth made them do this when they know that Brexit will hurt us all but the poor and disadvantaged the most beats me. If that’s not abandoning those with little or nothing I don’t know what is.
The best you can say about the modern Labour Party is that it sees itself as the political party of those who have something but not of those who have nothing. Is there any wonder that UKIP tried to fill the void vacated by Labour with their racist propaganda.
And if you don’t believe me just take the time to read Richards blog because it shows only too clearly how in Parliament Labour has been walking away from those with little or nothing.
The bottom line for me is that we can’t call ourselves a civilised society when our two major political parties are in effect vying for who can cut those with nothing adrift most ruthlessly.
Labour have always prided themselves on being a broad church with their members and supporters holding some very different views indeed.
It used to hang together as a political force as much because of its authoritarian approach to politics where internal disagreement was kept very much out of the headlines.
How things have changed with just about every Labour disagreement filling our national newspapers and splits of every kind being an everyday thing these days.
And this leads me to a question that I have been asked a surprising number of times already as we move towards a General election. The question? Do I agree that electors should vote for the candidate of a left of center party that can most obviously beat the Tory candidate in any given constituency. Well at one level, to me as someone of the left, the answer in the abstract is yes BUT….
The BUT is this for me. Before voting for any candidate (of the center left) you must look at what the person actually thinks, what their record is (if they have been an MP previously) and how easily they may be whipped to vote for things that their party wants but you as an elector may well not want. In other words just blindly looking for the best left of center candidate to beat the Tory in your constituency may at face value get you a non-Tory MP but it may also get you someone who is little more than a Tory under a different flag.
Some Labour MP’s are actually quite right wing in their outlook so watch out. For example you would probably be using your vote well if you live in a seat where the sitting Labour MP voted against Brexit (despite being whipped to back Brexit by Jeremy Corbyn) and you supported them. But what about those Labour MP’s who either campaigned for Brexit or were prepared to be whipped to vote for Brexit in the House of Commons despite having campaigned against it in the EU Referendum?
And why do I use Brexit as an example? Because Brexit will hurt the ordinary man and woman in the street hard and it will hit the poorest hardest. No one of on the left of British politics can support Brexit without realising that it is a social and economic disaster for anyone but the rich and powerful. So how an MP voted in the House of Commons over Brexit is a really big issue. An MP who voted for Brexit but who also says they support ordinary working people and those in society who are less fortunate are, in my view, running with the hare and the hounds. What I am saying is that Brexit and a caring social attitude are incompatible as far as I am concerned.
So yes please seriously consider the best placed candidate to beat the Tory in your constituency but don’t assume that the Labour candidate (should they at face value be the best placed) is all that you would want them to be. You may be in for an unpleasant shock if you don’t check out the candidates of the center left in detail!
I listened to media coverage of Jeremy’s first election speech today and he said what I would have expected of him as a socialist Leader of the chaotic Labour Party.
But hang on a minute whilst he was saying that he would be the political leader of ordinary working people (if electors gave him the top job in Downing Street) one glaring issue contradicts the vision he was putting forward – there could well of course be others but the big one for me is this.
When he whipped his Labour MP’s to support a Hard Brexit and vote with Teresa May’s hard-line right wing Government he actually voted to make life much harder for ordinary folk. Yes, many of this working class supporters may have voted for Brexit but he knows how much they were lied to and that many of them are now wishing they had not voted the way they did.
Brexit is a plan by the rich and powerful to gain more power and more influence over us all so what on earth is a supposedly socialist leader doing backing it?
Sorry Jeremy, you can’t back ordinary folk via political rhetoric having already and very recently voted for a process from which they can only be the losers.