All entries for August 2015
August 19, 2015
Dear The Labour Party,
Hi guys! I know you’re having your election at the moment so must be very busy, but just wanted to drop you a line to just make sure you were aware of something. I’ve always voted Labour. I’m politically on the left, and generally I like you guys. I’ll probably be voting for you in 2020! But I want you to know, regardless of who you elect as leader, you do not have my vote.
I like you, you’re probably the party I’m most aligned with politically, but that doesn’t mean you’ll get my vote by default. You’ll have to earn it. You’ll have to do something. You don’t have to be perfect (who is!) and I get that to win an election, you’re also going to have to do things to appeal to those in the middle who maybe voted Tory last time round (the little buggers). I do get that. But if you focus entirely on them and ignore me, then you won’t get my vote.
Despite a second Tory term, politics is exciting at the moment. The Greens made huge gains and while they have their problems, they’re an option. And y’know, I do okay. I’m actually better off under the Tories! I don’t vote Labour for my own benefit, I do it because I genuinely believe we should be helping out those less fortunate than us. But faced with a choice between Tory and Tory-lite… part of me thinks maybe we should just commit to something, y’know?
And in your own party, Jeremy Corbyn looks great. I’m not going to tell you who to elect – that’s your business. Some of my friends have upped and joined you in order to vote for him, they like him so much. That’s not me. I just don’t feel that way about you, sorry.
Still, Corbyn has been making noises that would get my vote, but I’m sure some of your other guys would too. They just haven’t explained how yet. But don’t forget, no matter who you decide is best for you, if you want my vote, you’re going to have to try. You’re going to have be a Labour party I want to vote for. If you don’t, you won’t get it.
I’m not being mean, this isn’t blackmail, I just wanted you to know this now, because your election thing has had a lot of people talking about how to get Tory voters back. Not about how you’re going to keep people like me. I don’t want you waking up the day after polling day in 2020 and going “WTF guys?” because I didn’t vote for you and you were sure I would. So I just figured I’d say something now.
Anyway, have a good election-thingy, hope you have fun!
A life-time Labour voter.
August 03, 2015
I like Jeremy Corbyn. But I’m also not an idiot. I can perfectly well comprehend the argument against the Labour party electing him leader. He’s a gamble. The rest are not. The others will make minor gains from the Tories, which will be enough to oust them from their majority, and SNP-willing, put Labour back in power, albeit in an uneasy, difficult coalition.
Corbyn is a roll of the dice. I believe he’s the only candidate capable of winning an outright majority in 2020. I also believe he’s the only candidate capable of actually losing Labour seats. So on that evidence, it’s too risky, right?
Except there is no real risk. The next election is five years away. If Labour elect him as leader (and give him a genuine chance, or at least don’t actively undermine him), they can spend a few years watching what happens. If he crashes and burns, oust him and put someone new in. Hell, Corbyn is the one person standing in this election that would step down of his own accord if it looked like he had no shot at an election.
The reason he was on the ballot in the first place is a bunch of Labour MPs supported him in order to broaden the conversation during the process, and incorporate a greater variety of views. They didn’t expect him to win. And that’s actually sound thinking, but it’s thinking you can apply further – why not do it on a national scale, broaden the debate nationwide for a couple of years, show what a true alternative looks like and see if anyone might be interested in voting for it.
Yes, there will be some damage, that’s a couple of years that you’re not building up the media profile of a fresh new face, and yes, it might put off a few people for good. But honestly, if you’re one of the other leadership candidates and you’re worried two years isn’t enough to overturn a Tory majority of six then you really shouldn’t be here.
The irony is, of course, that the only reason this approach is possible is because of Cameron’s Fixed-term Parliament act. Without that, a Tory majority this small, watching a recently elected leader crash and burn, might well call an early election in order to strengthen their numbers while they had the chance. That’s no longer an option.