They're not voting because...
- Until a few days ago I was sure I wouldn...
Until a few days ago I was sure I wouldn't vote, because none of the major parties gets near to representing my views. Labour has vanished into the distance, the Lib Dems if they got power would be old-fashioned Manchester Liberals, and the Tories are led by a vampire. But now I have my doubts ...
In 1979 I, and many others like me, refused to vote for a Labour Party that had just been bashing the unions and brought in racist controls on immigration. I still have the badge (don't blame me, I didn't vote). We got 20 years (26 years and counting) of Thatcherism, and a worse Labour Party.
Last week I was in the museum of German resistance in Berlin. The Communists in 1933 thought the Social Democrats were their real enemy, and wouldn't make common cause with them against Hitler (the SDs weren't perfect non-sectarians either). A World War and a Holocaust were, perhaps, the result.
I wasn't going to vote, but that museum visit (and the memory of 1979) has shaken me. Labour aren't as bad as the Tories, for all that they have hitched their wagon to a Scottish neoconservative, and Steve Bell's cartoon (are you drinking what we're drinking?) sums up what the alternative would be like.
On the other hand, I don't think I can vote for Barbara Roche, for various reasons (toadying, lying, Zionist, toadying). Lynne Featherstone isn't much better (anti-Livingstone, pro-motorist, Zionist). I could vote Green, but that's really just like not voting.
I'm not apathetic: I went to a Labour Party ward meeting to try to deselect Ms Roche. If I don't vote it will be because none of the candidates represents my views. If I do vote it will be because I'm scared of 1979.written 15th Apr 2005
Nick replies: The two main parties appear to be thatcherite. I don't think the conservatives will stop being so any time soon. If re-elected, Tony Blair is hardly likely stop being right wing.
If labour was not re-elected, they would eject Tony Blair then become less right wing.
So, if you voted Labour:
Both the opposition and the government would be right wing thatcherite and you will continue with a party in government which has an undemocratic structure. Labour may never recover as a left wing force in politics.
If you voted not labour:
The government will be right wing and honestly conservative, but with a counterbalancing left opposition. Labour may even make the party democratic by re-installing a mechanism for de-selection of their leader.
The second option would give a more left wing effect in parliament than the first and have long term advantages.
Surely the second option would be better for any true labour supporter?written 16th Apr 2005
Richard Bornat replies: That's certainly what I thought in 1979. It didn't work out that way.written 17th Apr 2005