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.


6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree with much that you say - except the bit that denigrates Green voting socialists for "celebrating" each oncoming privatisation. Let's not forget that most local level privatisations occurred during the Blairite years, including, through the newly left-reincarnated, Andy Burnham, the marketisation of the NHS. Calls to "rebuild" the labour party from within are not enough. By the time that project is completed, if it can be done (which is doubtful under present labour party rules),, the corporatisation of everyday life for 'normal' folk will be so advanced as to make traditional political discourse irrelevant. The real challenges are economic education of a largely illiterate population (from which political education may flow, not vice versa) and the building of electoral alliances at community engaged level not 'party' level. Something the so called organised left has risibly failed to do for full 30 years of this decay.

Anonymous said...

Trade unionists must still play a role in the way forward debate of the Labour Party. We cannot let the right transform it to New Labour again, and certainly not by Toffs called 'Tristram' an agent provacateur of that I have no doubt.

Paul Canning said...

What a ridiculous argument. It assumes that green voters in those ten constituencies would all have voted Labour otherwise.

What is far more likely and far more serious is Labour voters voting UKIP. That undoubtedly handed the Tories their majority.

Anonymous said...

In the first 40 years of Labour our party formed two minority governments and won a landslide in 45 which transformed society. The Tories are now looking to transform it back. In the first 40 years of the Greens.....one MP.....after the Green surge...one MP. Just sayin....getting nowhere slowly. As for 'toffs' I think the only people who use the word are probably called 'Tristram' themselves.
Dave Draycott

Anonymous said...

Dave get off yet high horse. What planet have you been on if you haven't heard the word Toff. Point is the right will replicate 13 years of new labour if people like Tristram take over. Luckily he has pulled out. The spirit of '45' is still here but new labour have done very little to reaffirm it. Chill out Dave

Anonymous said...

I notice you don't address a single point I make. As for Toff, only ever come across it in the Beano, Dandy and 40's British movies, which I suspect is where you get your politics.