Tag Archives: First Past The Post

How can Labour clean politics by mirroring the Tories?

Blue Labour: under Keir Starmer, a once-great socialist organisation has become nothing but the Substitute Tory Party.

This is the dilemma facing voters who want change at the next UK general election:

It’s a valid criticism. The truth of it is partially in the quality of the people Keir Starmer is attracting, after his changes (This Writer can’t call them reforms):

And the truth of it is in what Labour will do, if it takes office after the next general election:

In other words, Labour would follow Tory policy until such time as the economy improves (and you can bet that the economy won’t improve enough for Keir Starmer to introduce any socialist ideas, or indeed any measures that would improve the lot of the “ordinary working people” he claims to represent.

Think about what Labour has already said it will not do:

Add to this the fact that Labour won’t build more houses:

This is while 1.2 million people are waiting for social housing.

Then again, Labour will continue the privatisation of the National Health Service in England, even though 7.4 million people are waiting for NHS treatment as a result of this progressive mismanagement.

Keir Starmer himself seems to believe he is above the concerns of the people he reckons should be voting for him.

We saw him, last week, shutting up young environmental activists who tried to speak out during his policy announcement on how Labour wanted young people to be able to express themselves in speech. And he lied to them; after promising to meet them after his own speech, Starmer ran away.

Is it because he hates “tree huggers”?

He’s not interested in “hope and change”, you see:

The economist Richard Murphy has highlighted that Starmer’s “tree huggers” comment indicates not only that he isn’t interested in new economic and policy thinking about the issues the UK faces as a country, but that he and the rest of the Shadow Cabinet are far more right-wing than Ed Miliband – and Ed (bless ‘im) is himself hardly the socialist his dad was.

In the article, Mr Murphy states:

This is the attitude of a prospective Labour Chancellor who  questions whether we can afford to save the planet because it is instead better to crush the well-being of millions with unnecessary interest rate rises.

Reeves says she and Starmer are as one on issues. I suspect that for now that is true. It is deeply dangerous that such a reactionary pair are in that position and are described as the Opposition when it is so apparent that their goal is perpetuation of the status quo.

Link that with the words of Ian Hodson, below:

The consensus is clear: Labour is now nothing but a Substitute Tory Party. We should call it the STP from now on.

That’s one reason why this claim by the party’s deputy leader, Angela Rayner, is hard to take seriously:

Labour is itself riddled with cronyism.

Look at its attitude to the scandal of Boris Johnson’s resignation honours list: where once Labour had planned to get rid of the House of Lords altogether, it has shelved the idea – and in any case would want to keep the honours system and the possibility of gifting a place in the second House of Parliament to its… cronies.

It is clear that Keir Starmer’s (and Rachel Reeves’s, and even Ed Miliband’s) party will not be representative of the people of the UK and will not give us the change we desperately need – in fact it will deliberately frustrate any such aim.

It can do this because of the current “First Past The Post” electoral system that ensures each of the two largest parties in Parliament have “safe seats” that they can expect to win at every election. Knowing that, cronyism ensures that these seats go to those who most strongly support the right-wing views of the leaders – never mind what they’re saying to the voters. They don’t have to listen to us.

And that’s why the UK is regressing; our so-called leaders aren’t interested in building a dynamic, go-ahead nation with a restored economy – they just want to ride us all into ruin and then take what they can for themselves.

The answer is clear to those of us who can see it. We need to change the voting system to root out the rot.

Don’t vote Labour at the next election. And don’t vote Tory either.

Vote for candidates who support proportional representation.

Vote for independents who understand the needs of your constituency.

And make sure everyone you know does the same. Starmer’s treachery means it is your only hope.

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A Conservative victory: Now our suffering begins in earnest


If you thought you had it bad under the Coalition then, as someone once said, “You ain’t seen nothing yet!”

The Conservative victory in last night’s election has left many of us reeling – not just because of its disastrous implications for the future of the UK and its citizens, but because nobody saw it coming.

Some have blamed ‘shy’ Tory voters. These are selfish little liars who skew the polls by denying any intention to vote for the Nasty Party. In the case of yesterday’s vote, many will have done so against their own best interests.

So why did they do it? The most likely reason being touted overnight is the success of the Conservative Party’s big scare tactic: The lie that Labour would go into a coalition with the Scottish National Party in the event of a hung Parliament. Cameron made vague claims that this would hit everybody in the wallet and Middle England – already burdened by a £4,000 per year loss of earnings thanks to Tory austerity – turned into a tribe of ‘shy’ Tories.

With the polls duly skewed, there was no way for Ed Miliband and Labour to know that their strategy wasn’t going to work for them, so they carried on. Britain fell into the Tory trap and now David Cameron has a slim majority.

And we are all in deep, deep trouble.

For supporters of the SNP, the disappointment must be the most bitter. Still, they supported a party with the most contradictory message of all – vote SNP in Scotland because Labour is bad, so that the SNP can go into coalition with Labour MPs from everywhere else because Labour is good.

It seems likely the most straightforward reason they voted SNP is because they had been whipped into a frenzy of righteous indignance about the independence referendum, believing the SNP propaganda that Labour was “in cahoots” with the Conservative Party – not just over the referendum but on general policy as well; ‘Red Tories’ was the SNP brand on Labour.

(Of course, others responded by labelling the SNP ‘Tartan Tories’. It is ironic that all this bickering resulted in the real Tories seizing power.)

So Scottish voters believed an SNP lie about Labour, and the knock-on effect was that English (and some Welsh) voters were convinced by a Conservative lie about Labour and the SNP. This created a domino effect which eventually meant that every single Scottish seat could have gone to the SNP, and the UK would still have ended up with a Tory government.

Is Nicola Sturgeon proud of herself? She seems to be. One is led to wonder how her party will respond to Tory legislation, when Parliament resumes.

Interestingly, Jon Craig (of Sky News) tweeted: “Tory at East Renfrewshire count: ‘Nicola Sturgeon has won more votes for the Conservatives in England than she has for the SNP in Scotland.'”

If anything, the election has demonstrated that Conservative/Coalition policy has created an atmosphere of division in the UK, greater than at any time in our history. Nationalism is on the rise, with Scotland keen to secede from the union and the UK as a whole heading for a referendum on whether to stay in the European Union.

The SNP result should also signal the death-knell of the First Past The Post voting system in this country – although its demise is likely to be protracted (the Tories will fight tooth and nail to keep it). Where’s the fairness in a system that can deliver 56 seats to the SNP with 1.5 million votes, and only one seat to UKIP, with nearly four million votes?

(This Writer supports neither party, as previous articles on this blog make all-too-clear. Facts are facts.)

It will also be interesting to see what impact – if any – the Coalition’s ‘individual voter registration’ has had on the number of people who voted. Also, how many people didn’t bother to vote “because it never changes anything”?

Come to that, what about all those people who were forced to move out of affluent areas because they couldn’t pay the Bedroom Tax (which will, of course, continue)? Did they move into Labour constituencies?

We could be looking at interference in the electoral process on an industrial scale.


Feel free to disagree with the free pass this image gives to Scottish voters if you like; the claim about voters in England is absolutely on the button.

Overall, the situation is best summed up by ‘Grumpy David’ on Twitter: “Seriously, who’s looked at the last five years and gone yeah, more of that please?”

What of the future?

Richard Murphy of Tax Research UK tweeted that a Tory victory would mean neo-feudalism is on its way in England, the union will be broken (with Scotland seceding), and the UK will leave the EU. He also predicted an economic crisis within a year.

Europe will be a major issue for the Conservatives now. With no Liberal Democrat partners to blame for government decisions, Cameron will be exposed to attack from his own backbenchers – many of whom are raving Europhobes.

Everyone on benefits will suffer, including those in work. Rachel Martin tweeted: “If exit polls are accurate I advise you not to be poor, not to be ill, not to be old and not to be in need of a job.”

The Tory victory means the end of the welfare state as we know it: People who deserve compassion will get none. Instead they will suffer £12 billion of cuts. Many thousands will die for the sake of a few pennies.

And the NHS? Privatised. With the provisions in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) that will lock that privatisation into international law. Here’s Jacob Richardson: “Imagine seeing rape crisis shelters being closed and children’s palliative care being sold off to Virgin Healthcare, and wanting more of it.”

Workers’ pay will take a hammering – and our ability to protest and get a fair deal will be removed, along with the rest of our rights according to the Human Rights Act. They will be replaced by a ‘Bill of Rights’ telling us more about what we can’t do than what we can.

The Labour Party will need to get its act together quickly. Probably the best thing to do is get right back out to the general public and get confirmation of why the vote went to the Tories. Was Labour policy too close to the party’s arch-rivals, as some have surmised? Did people feel Labour wasn’t offering a genuine alternative? There will be a conflict between the neoliberal Blairites and traditionalists, and it is important that traditional Labour wins. If there’s one thing to learn from the SNP victory, it’s that a genuinely left-wing, anti-austerity platform delivers a massive victory at the moment.

The Liberal Democrats have been destroyed as a Parliamentary political party – and rightly so. The message for others to take away is that any form of compliance with Conservatives is fatal. The Tories will shift blame for anything bad onto their partners and contrive to win more votes.

UKIP is also a spent force. Despite increasing its vote share, its representation in Parliament has been halved. Voters will see this and abandon.

The SNP has taken on the role that the Liberal Democrats enjoyed at the 2010 election. They were the darlings of the voters this year but will lose out when it becomes clear that they cannot deliver a single promise – and, in fact, their victory in Scotland ensured that they would not be able to do so.

Finally, what can we do – the public?

We need to watch the Conservatives – and any of their known collaborators – hawkishly. We need to build up information about them, their policies, and any other interests – including and especially those that are less than legal (and there will be a lot of this). They won because the public believed them. It is important to undermine that trust with the facts.

We need also to ensure that the Liberal Democrats do not stage a comeback. That party betrayed the people and must be consigned to history. Again, we need to monitor the behaviour of its members and work to make sure the public is not gulled into a false sense of trust.

And it would be good to start thinking about the kind of country we would create, if we had the chance – and what steps we could take to build it. This may seem like pie-in-the-sky at such a dark point in our nation’s history, but it is only with careful and clever planning that anybody achieves anything.

We are in a very dark pit at the moment – dug for us by the Conservative Party. At least we can take heart that, from here, the only way is up.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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