The state we may be in
‘Labour has betrayed its core constituency, has no value system, is only in it for the power and not for the people. I/we shouldn’t vote Labour, and it’s not our fault if the Tories get in, and anyway they can’t be any worse.’
And that, in the end, is an abdication of responsibility, on two counts.
First, it is in part the Left’s fault that the Labour party has developed the way it has. It takes two to tango.
Second, and more pertinent to the coming days, if the Tories get in it will be at least in part because people on the Left didn’t vote and/or didn’t encourage people to vote against them getting in. It is effective voting that decides elections, not principles and protest votes.
So let’s just try to make this clear. Labour may have done bad things, but a next Labour government will not be ANYWHERE NEAR AS REMOTELY DAMAGING to us all, and especially to the working class, as a Tory government.
You don’t have to support Labour’s track record to support Labour at this election. It’s enough to want to keep the Tories out, and the way to do that is generally to vote Labour (I accept there is a tactical voting issue in some places). Voting for TUSC, or RESPECT, or the Greens, will not keep the Tories out. It’s not rocket science.
To aid thinking on this not-rocket science, here are my personal ‘top 5 things that the Tories are planning to do if they came to power which a Labour government will not do’:
1. They will enter into a Faustian pact with the international bond markets and credit agencies, whereby their reputation and political survival will become fundamentally dependent on bowing to the whim of the markets at whatever social cost is necessary and howeever economically irrational the demands made are. The bond markets and credit agencies will become ever more demanding of a compliant state, knowing that that state has left itself no choice but to comply.
2. They will introduce legislation specifically designed to put the dismantling of 70 years of universal welfare state provision and services in the hands of local authorities, and constitutionally beyond the grip of parliament.
3. They will introduce a compulsory system of ‘community organisers’ designed to create thousands of little local surveillance states, where ‘community spirit” becomes synonymous with ‘doing what you’re told’, and where anyone different becomes the enemy. They will do this by extracting from the charitable sector as much money per year as is currently spent on all arts and culture in the UK.
4. They will corrupt the giving of international humanitarian and development aid and link it inextricably to foreign ‘realpolitik’, and they will hive off significant amounts of the 0.7% of GDP they have ‘ringfenced ‘ for aid and give it to the military. They will also run X-Factor style beauty contests for aid money and humiliate people in poor countries in a way which smacks of rank colonialism.
5. They will unabashedly play dog whistle politics with immigration in a way which Labour, even though it has caved in to the right wing press on this policy area to a very significant extent, have never quite been willing to do. Any sense that immigration may have an economically useful role to play, and any sense that immigrants are anything other than criminals intent on stealing our jobs, houses, wives and our British way of life, will be lost, perhaps irrevocably.
Labour will do none of these things. That’s enough reason to vote Labour.