Monday 17 June 2024

Why I Will Vote Labour


Is my flat the only one in Muirhouse, Edinburgh, with a Labour poster in its window? I suspect that it is the only one with any political posters in any window and I am sure that it is the only one with eighteen potato plants growing happily in its garden and a cat named Daisy sat on its steps.

Yes, I'm going to vote Labour, but not because I give a tinker's cuss for that party or believe a word that its leader, Sir Keir Starmer, says. I was going to vote Reform, as I know the candidate, but my detestation for the SNP is now so total that I just want to see them taken down a peg or two. It's hard to believe that I voted Yes in the 2014 independence referendum and then went on to vote SNP in the Holyrood and Westminster elections: they have turned Scotland into a laughing stock and I want rid of them. Labour are the second party in this constituency so I will vote Labour, and it is as simple as that.

The window poster came about because at the start of the campaign, Labour sent a solitary canvasser out to leaflet my area and I got chatting to the fellow and I told him that since I moved into the flat in 2018 not a single person for any political party had ever bothered to hunt for votes on the Muirhouse scheme. Since I was going to vote Labour anyway I figured that act deserved a poster as a reward. That said, since then no other party has been anywhere near and my poster seems to be the only one around.

Westminster elections are held using the first past the post system, but council elections in Scotland use the single transferable vote method, so we have big, multi-member wards. Mine is part of Acorn Ward that consists of this scheme, plus South Queensferry, a big owner-occupied area, along with the swish, leafy Cramond that featured so prominently in the Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.

South Queensferry got the full treatment of leaflets and canvassing at the last local elections, whereas Muirhouse got nothing, so being a bit of an old devil I contacted all the party hacks after the vote and asked them why we were ignored?

The replies were entertaining with the SNP saying that they thought that Muirhouse was solid Labour and the Tories said that as a council scheme it was either Labour or SNP. As an exercise in buck-passing it made me hoot, but Labour took the biscuit by trying to claim that they had canvassed, but when I asked them to tell me where and when so that I could go and knock on doors to confirm the story they clammed up. Still, it prepared me for Sir Keir Starmer, a Labour leader who cannot get his story straight either.

I suspect that since party politics is now a middle-class hobby, its participants basically lack the bottle to walk around a council scheme and talk to real schemies. That makes Labour doubly contemptable in my book since it is the party that was set up to represent the urban proletariat, the very same people who inhabit Muirhouse.

I will still vote Labour, but only because of my deep contempt for today's SNP.

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