Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Why doesn't Labour learn its lessons?

I am a card carrying labour member, in every election i have put down their name in the electoral ballot, still, as time goes on i find myself worn down by the self destructive attitude the party seems to condemn itself too. People argue about a shift to the Left like that's a bad thing in the party, they suppress anyone within the party who says such a move might be for the best, i wouldn't mind that if they weren't such dicks about it like Dan Hodges. Still, there is something that annoys me more, this political class, have so deluded themselves that at best they are making themselves redundant, and at worst slowly committing suicide.

So firstly a bit of family history here, my Gran-dad was born into a family of Sheffield Coal miners, conservatives, my great Gran-dad was in fact a stone mason, still he entered a comprehensive and from there went into Oxford. I am not sure at which precise time it was, but i believe at some point during or soon after University he became a Fabian, an intellectual wing of parliamentary socialists affiliated with the Labour party who date back as far as the 1890's, if not more (My history on the subject is somewhat lax sadly.). Since then he helped Labour at every single election, through the bitter 1980's he would go out to the hard end estates with my mum and aunt and would canvass for Labour, in 1997 his house was a base of operations for the local canvassing operations that my whole family involved themselves in. In 2004 the Iraq war went down against mass protest, my Grandfather resigned from the Labour party though kept on as a Fabian, he hasn't canvassed for them since, though he is getting quite old so in part it is down to that, but my family do not really canvass either, a tiny bit last election, but it was really just to help me with it.

The next story took place about 3 days ago, it was freshers fair and i was standing in the freezing rain at the Essex Freshers fair, i was in a tartan black and white shirt as has become the trend around Essex as i had misjudged the weather and consequently soaked myself. Now i am sure i do not need to say that my politics are quite to the left of where Labour is now, but i am responsible enough to hold some of their opinions and not distort the message too much, we arn't directly affiliated so its also fine to be a bit more radical. Still, you have no idea how hard it is to get people to sign up to Labour on what is being offered, the Grass roots are drying up, you know how much membership has declined in the last few decades, i mean its across all parties but we started with a larger base and derive more of a need from them. People are turned off by Ed Miliband, they are turned off by soppy politics with no backbone, they crave some actual left wing policy's, half of the people signed up, and most of the Councillor's and helpers the CLP sent from Headquarters were so obviously there sustained primarily by either familial attachments, historical respect for Labour or righteous fury at the conservatives.

You can't win an election like this, Labour Heads say that the party voters vote for moderate candidates, but that's because firstly you bombard them with messages of (if you don't we will loose) but more because ideological left wingers migrated from the party en mass. The ones left are pragmatic lefties which while important for some rationalizing of policy, cannot win an election by themselves, let alone have a meaningful administration of reform.

Still what made things very sad for me, was Miliband's response to university fees, £6,000? If the saying "The difference between Democrats and republicans is that Democrats 'care' about the people they hurt" rings all the more true here. Trust me, the students do remember, because they tell me every day, and i personally am done defending their record. Its not enough to deny anything a Lefty could want and then belittle us for being politically unreasonable.

The thing is though, is that you need us, you didn't loose the election in 2010 because there was a mass migration to the Tories, sure there were some, over immigration and the Iraq war to Tories and Liberal Democrats respectively. But the majority lost were just Labour voters who didn't go out to vote, because they didn't see you doing anything for them. How do you even expect to fight the next election when you keep hitting the membership base so hard, sure there are centrists who will go out, and small groups of reluctant left wingers, but ultimately your stuck with a small team because why the fuck should they work to get a center right party in? Just because the masquerade as left wingers who are bowing to the needs of the day?

This is not to berate the Labour party, this is me pleading for them to get their act together and look out for the interests of the people they are supposed to represent, this doesn't mean going back to the 70's, it just means actually putting the Socialist bottom line of equality by Economic, Political and Social matters at the front of our policy decisions, not just in word but in white paper.

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