So, it is a week until the General Election. The campaigns have meant nothing to me in how I will cast my vote, that was never going to be anything but Labour. I do enjoy the coverage and following all the silliness. The constituency I live in has a large Labour majority, Joan Walley was the MP, she’s retired and a younger local woman Ruth Smeeth is standing, I think it is likely to be a bit closer than before, Joan had a large personal following, and there will certainly be some who will vote UKIP as there is certainly a racist element in this area especially in some of the large old ‘white’ estates, but Labour should win with a 10,000+ majority.
Around here it feels even less like an election than before (there is the City Council election as well), no posters around, no one knocking on doors, nothing, no wonder people feel left out in areas like this. Many years ago Stoke-on-Trent had only Labour councillors, then (and I was a Party member then) they forgot that the electorate mattered, and lost seats. A ridiculously bad Independent Councillor who was elected at that time, standing on a blatantly racist ticket, is still there. Labour locally and nationally has forgotten their roots and meaning. Just look at Scotland.
I will vote for Labour, because there really is no alternative. The other parties such as Green or Socialist Labour will be lucky to even slightly figure, and Green Party votes especially could allow Conservatives to take some very close seats. I left the Labour Party more than 10 years ago, I didn’t like the PFI schemes; totally disagreed with the Academy school system; I didn’t and don’t approve of Parental choice in schools; was against bringing in private companies to do work in the NHS; I was totally against giving devolution to Scotland and Wales or any other part of the UK; and believed, and still do, that Labour should have re-nationalised services such as water, power, railways, telecommunications and made equal pay/equal rights not an aim but an actuality when they had huge Parliamentary majorities.
So why vote for them?
As I said there really is no alternative. The only alternative, which I fear may well happen, is a Conservative led Government and all the cuts to humanity that will entail. So I would urge anyone reading this to vote Labour, other parties may have some lovely ideas but in the cold light of the day after the election, they will not have power, just look back to Cleggmania in 2010 and how the Liberals had to ditch so many lovely policies that attracted voters.
It may not be ‘cool’ but just be a realist when you come to put your X down!