Saturday, May 09, 2015
How those who were too left to back Labour helped to ensure that the Tories got their majority...
The interests of the working class were served by those who voted Labour last Thursday, for all that our Party is dominated by those who won't do enough to defend our interests (and that our trade unions are led by those who consistently refuse to do anything to change this state of affairs).
I won’t dwell long on the votes cast by those who believed that there was value in demonstrating their left wing beliefs regardless of the outcome of the election, but I will say this before I abandon the topic.
I need say nothing about the votes cast for the pitiable “Trade Union and Socialist Coalition” (TUSC) – because the votes cast for these candidates proved only that no sensible socialist would spend further time pursuing that failed experiment. TUSC was and will remain an irrelevance. There is no constituency in which their vote even made a difference to the outcome. It is only a shame that good socialist trade union activists decided to humiliate themselves by willingly stand on a platform which commanded no meaningful support. (I won't embarrass those associated with the amusingly mis-titled "Left Unity" by referring to them at all).
Other good socialists have supported the Green Party, which won a million votes and a single Member of Parliament. Whilst there is a case to be made that Labour ought to have come to an agreement to support Caroline Lucas in Brighton Pavilion (although she won in any event) – there is a more compelling case that those who encouraged Green votes in Labour/Tory marginals knowingly connived in the election of a Government which will exceed the last in the damage it will do to our society.
These are the ten English seats in which the Green vote exceeded the Conservative majority over a second-placed Labour candidate (and without which Cameron would not have a stable majority); Bedford; Brighton Kemptown; Bury North; Croydon Central; Derby North; Gower; Morley & Outwood; Plymouth Sutton & Devonport; Telford; Weaver Vale. Those who believe themselves to be leftwing and who voted Green, or encouraged Green votes, in those ten constituencies will be entitled to celebrate each act of privatisation, and every redundancy, alongside those who voted for the Tory candidates whose success they assisted.
That said, Labour has no property rights in the votes of working class or progressive voters – neither can trade unions expect that we should be able to tell our own people how to vote. We need a massive investment in political education of workers and working class activists – from which we may hope for a better Labour Party. I have blogged before about the organising response which the General Election result demands – I will blog again about the political response which is required from our trade unions.