My local MP is Frank Field, who is probably to the right of most Conservatives. Yet I’m still expected to vote for him as he is the only choice Labour are offering me. Field’s recent comments about the unemployed reminded me of Norman Tebbit, a man who I used to imagine had an attic full of Nazi war memorabilia and read Mein Kampf on more than one occasion (allegedly).
Yet I’ll still be voting Labour. I think that to blame Gordon Brown for everything that has gone wrong is lazy. Capitalism and the insatiable lust of consumerism is at the heart of the present economic troubles. The Thatcher administration ushered in Friedmanite, laissez-faire economics during the 1980s and New Labour simply did not have the backbone to stop the banks and multi-nationals doing precisely as they pleased – in fact, they made matters worse.
The question is, why did they? I think the answer is very simple. They decided they were unelectable with items like Clause 4 (public-ownership), and othe left-wing initiatives on their agenda. However, who would have complained if they had forcibly nationalised the banks eighteen months ago? They had to prop them up with public money anyway. Certainly the bankers would never have been allowed to award themselves huge bonues; in fact the money would have been poured back into the public purse. Call me naive but I think the public may have welcomed this.
The current drive of consumerism is unstainable – not just in terms of economics but also ecologically, which means that Cameron’s current postulating about the environment is rather hypocritical, since The Conservatives are still neo-liberalists and no amount of window-dressing can hide that. How much money is their election campaign costing? There seems to be a surfeit of new posters up every week. They are already indicating that they would lessen the tax-burden on the rich, and their talks of ‘smaller government’ and ‘more for less’ seems to be essentially code for redundancies in the civil service.
Therefore I will still be voting Labour, despite the many things they have done that I hate; their illegal warmongering, their broadening of the gap between rich and poor, their gradual move away from what the Labour Movement was supposed to be about. They have improved hospitals and education (even though they should have reintroduced atudent-grants rather than making students even more impoverished), they did introduce the living-wage, cold winter payments, and repeal Section 28.