I recently commented on an article on the Guardian’s website, correcting their wording about Momentum seeking to shift Labour to the left, saying that I felt a better phrasing would have been shifting back to the left:
The comment I received got me thinking though, and it was a bit of a tangential rambling path I took.
If a consciously leftist Labour party is, as commentators, and indeed a lot of the Blairite members of the Labour party itself always suggest, unelectable, what does that say about the people who do actually vote?
Many, far too many, bought the manifesto lies that have now been quietly ditched by the Tories, like the sobbing Michelle Dorrell on Question Time last October who said she voted Tory because she thought it was the right thing to do and now felt betrayed. The Tories backed down on those cuts (tax credits) but you’d have to be an ideologue of some iron will to suggest that government policy hasn’t been to the detriment of the vast majority of low income or benefit claiming individuals.
Disability Welfare Assessments have been linked to almost 600 suicides and over 700,000 additional prescriptions for anti-depressants, recently a wheelchair bound woman had the double penalty of being hit for a bedroom tax bill because she couldn’t be re-homed to a smaller dwelling and being fined for damages that the home, which was unsuitable for a wheelchair, had incurred whilst she was stuck there . Chilling is not the word and I believe that we are genuinely heading towards a situation where the demonisation of the disabled will let something rather untoward happen, much like it did in Germany in 1939. Far fetched? Cerebral palsy sufferers have long been expected to “get better” by disability assessments; the next logical step is to punish them when they don’t.
There is a disassociation between moral and religious belief on the one hand and party political affiliation on the other. As a friend on twitter often says, a lot of Church congregations are full of the elderly blue rinse brigade who have voted Tory all their life and will continue to do so, at the same time that they support Church run food banks that only exist because of government policy that they presumably endorse. It makes little or no sense; if you believe that the way to get people in to work is to remove their benefits, replacing them with donated food is surely counter productive yet many sdo not see the logical fallacy therein.
I can understand why the Labour party didn’t win the election; a mixture of the lies that people bought from the Tories, the press vilification of Miliband, and the vague Tory-lite policies that Labour had (buying into the narrative of austerity, and wanting to show they were tough but not too tough) that didn’t appease their traditional supporters or attract Lib Dem voters.
What I genuinely can’t understand is the perceived wisdom that trying exactly what failed at the last election, another round of Blairitewatered down Toryism-lite , is the answer.
It’s a bit like the First Order building Star Killer Base in the new Star Wars film- the Death Star had an Achilles heel and was blown up, they built another, bigger Death Star, that had an Achilles heel and was blown up, so they built another Death Star, this time in a planet, called it Star Killer Base, that had an Achilles heel, that got blown up. History would not look favourably on the Empire/First Order for repeating the mistakes of the past without learning from them but for a Labour party attempting to try something different, it is apparently a faux pas that will see them be unelectable for all eternity.
It may be that come the next election the Tories will have buggered the country up to a point that any one standing against them will win. I hope not because the country will be in a terrible state if that’s the case and it will take more than one fixed term parliament to undo the damage caused.
I am struggling though to think who this nameless hoard of voters actually are. Even if you subscribe to the belief that few people have a social conscience and will vote for what directly improves their lot in life, damn the rest, are there really that many people in every constituency as to give the Tories an unassailable lead over a left leaning Labour party? Are there that many people who are genuinely better off now as to a year ago? Is it really down to the retired, who would condemn their children and grandchildren to poverty and ruin for their own benefit and a few salacious Daily Mail stories?
Who knows, I certainly don’t.