Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Why we cannot afford the luxury of voting Green

Thoughtful Tories are clearly concerned that UKIP will take enough votes off them to allow Labour to come through the middle and grab a few seats in May. Given the rise in support for the Greens, Labour must also be worried that the same thing will happen to them. It is a ridiculous situation, with the Tories worried about a party that wants to take Britain back to 1950 and its one television channel and Labour fearful of a party that hankers after 1450 with every house having to keep a cellar full of turnips in preparation for the next famine.

Back in the day I voted Labour because I wanted to keep the wages up and the management down. Becoming unemployed in the early 1980s, I wanted Labour to retake power so as to restore the status quo ante, and in the meantime fight to keep my dole payments up to scratch by opposing Tory cuts. Today, as a disabled man reliant on benefits, I want a Labour-led government that will cease the Tory war against all claimants.

All good bread and butter stuff. The same type of things that led people in Scotland to switch from Labour to the SNP, because the latter has banned the sale of council houses, and kept such payments as Education Maintenance Allowance alive north of the River Tweed when the Tories scrapped them in England.  

If I still lived in England I would vote Labour, without a doubt. Of course I would like to see a referendum that would hopefully lead to British withdrawal from the European Union, and yes I am gagging for levels of taxation that would see the middle class taxed to the levels where they have to pimp their daughters, but I also accept that neither of these policies is liable to happen under Labour. So I would grit my teeth and take the best that is on offer.

 The Greens do not offer an alternative that appeals to many people. Instead what they offer is an opportunity for a well-fed section of the middle class to play posture politics and allow the Tories to snatch a seat or two by taking votes off Labour. If you think that I am being alarmist, then just yesterday I was reminded by an old friend in the United States of just what can happen when bourgeois posturing  gets out of control. Back in 2000 the American Greens ran Ralph Nader as their candidate for President of the United States and he took just over 97,000 votes in Florida. That state went to George Bush by a mere 537 votes, giving him the White House.

Nader and his followers have argued that they are not to blame, and the fault lies with the right-wing shift in the Democrats, but that argument ignores the possibility that had the Democrats moved leftward, they would have lost votes on their right flank. In a two-horse race, both parties are giant coalitions, and people have to make the compromises necessary to ensure that their team wins so that they get some of what they want.

Under Miliband, the Labour opposition prevented the Tories from obeying the Americans and going to war against Syria. The party has now pledged to introduce a mansion tax to fund further NHS spending, something which is a good in itself, but made even nicer here by the fact that it will hit the aspirational scrote element in London especially hard. As revenge for the 1980s goes, the mansion tax proposal isn't much, but it is something the cheer for, and more than people will get from any other party in England.

If there is something to vote for with English Labour, why are around eight percent of the population seemingly determined to throw away the chance to be rid of the Tories? I suspect that some of them are just mental defects, but the bulk do tend to come over as people who are well cushioned economically, but want to pretend that they are right-on and radical. In other words they are middle class crap who have done well out of globalisation, but who want to pretend that they are part of the proletariat. Voting Green gives them the best of both worlds: a Tory government that they can pretend that they did not vote for.

Voting Green anywhere in Britain is nothing more than a posture, and those who thus posture need to be treated with derision and contempt by everyone who wants to see an end to this Tory government.

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