Friday, 22 June 2012
We Need a Labour Government
Well, obviously we need a Green government, but sadly that will not come about at the next general election, which is planned to be held in 2015. It could be that we win a few more parliamentary seats, and if the result is close, possibly get some influence on a minority government. For me though, this could not be with the Conservatives, because they are just too right wing, and I think most Greens would agree with me on that.
So, that means that it would need to be a Labour led government, given the likely arithmetic, they are the only other party capable winning enough seats to be in with a chance of forming a government. It could well be that Labour wins an overall majority and doesn’t need to strike any deals with other parties, but even this is preferable to the present ConDem government, for two main reasons, one partisan the other not so.
Firstly, in general, it would be good for the country to have a Labour government, or at least not as bad as it is under the disastrous rule of the current incumbents, the coalition of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, who have driven us into a double dip recession with their ideological obsession of cutting back the state. I say at least not as bad, because they too would be cutting almost as much and as fast as the government is, should they have won the last general election.
The best thing that you can say about a Labour government, and it is pretty much what they say about it themselves, is that they would be slightly better than the Tories, and I suppose that is about right. I think a lot of other people are thinking this too, as they struggle with the consequences of present economic policies, and so Labour has become a more attractive proposition.
Take the recent London Assembly elections for example. Labour did very well as a ‘brand’ and only lost the mayorality to the Conservatives because Ken Livingstone was portrayed as shifty and hypocritical over his tax affairs. Which he was! Everywhere else they did well, mostly at the expense of the Lib Dems. The Green vote did increase slightly, but it looks as though Labour have swallowed up much of the disaffected Lib Dem vote, in London anyway.
So, let’s get rid of this ConDem government, and replace it with a Labour one.
Secondly, and in more partisan terms, I think the Green party does better under a Labour government. Hopes are always soon dashed by an incoming Labour administration, and the left type voters start looking for a credible alternative party to support, which was mainly the Lib Dems in recent years, but is less likely to be in the future.
Yes, it does take time to build into a party that can be taken seriously as an alternative government, a commodity we don’t have much of given the small window of time left to seriously tackle climate change, and the need to achieve real improvements to social justice for the people.
But if you keep making the arguments, particularly in a world where the status quo has clearly failed, and will continue to fail, you can bring people around. Admittedly, the UK is not in as bad a shape as Greece at the moment, but the spectacular rise of the Syriza left coalition which includes greens, from 4% to 27% of the vote in just three years, making them now the main opposition party in Greece, is an inspiration to us all.