Wednesday, 5 May 2010

No Difference Between Labour and Tory?

It's a mantra you often hear. I know, I've said it enough times. And you've got to be honest, there is more than an element of truth to it. On the fundamentals all the manifestos of the three main parties are in hock to the capricious demands of capital. But the differences that exist do impact on the lives of "our people" - the working class, the unemployed, the elderly, the disabled and the dispossessed. I am no fan of the Labour party manifesto or the raft of regressive policies the government has implemented over the last 13 years. But nonetheless there have been attempts to implement social democratic policies within the self-imposed confines of neo-liberalism. The Tories however have no desire to pursue such a course should they form the next government.

Readers unconvinced by this argument who are either going to vote left, green, LibDem or whatever in tight Labour/Conservative marginals should read
this vision of an incoming Tory government. In this piece Johann Hari has not peered into his scrying pool to divine the trajectory of a Cameron premiership. Instead he's looked no further than Hammersmith and Fulham council, a hard right local authority systematically dismantling what welfare services remain in pursuit of its small-state dogma. As Hari notes, Cameron and Osborne both cheer this heartless agenda on with enthusiastic abandon.

If you do live in a marginal (list
here) the choice is giving Labour one in the eye and voting for some alternative or spoiling your ballot paper; or fixing the nose peg and placing your cross by the only party that will not destroy the welfare state for the sake of lunatic experiments in "libertarian" economics.


Budapestkick said...

I've been hearing that the Greens have a chance of taking a seat. What consituency is that?

I'm afraid I can't agree about Labour though. Whatever about mad libertarian economic experiments, I don't think there's any depth to which Labour will sink under the pressure of the markets and the rich in terms of cuts and privatisation. Look at Greece and Iceland. Both ideologically social-democratic governments but forced into right-wing policies due to international pressure from the bankers and speculators. Labour has been implementing neo-liberal policies for the past 13 years in a period of boom. The pressure of continued recession will almost certainly see a move further to the right.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

I am under no illusion that if the last 13 years had been under a Tory government, we'd be in a far worse Britain than we are now, Labour has achieved much but the spectre of iraq looms large over them.

Budapestkick said...

It goes deeper than Iraq though. Labour has introduced incredible levels of privatisation and will continue to do so, see for example, 'Building's Britain's Future' p.12: 'We will step up our efforts to sell off assets that would be better run in the private sector'. Has seen massive increases in inequality: 'The proportion of wealth held by Britain's richest 10% rose from 47% to 54% during the 1990s' - Institute for Public Policy Research. It has also lost thousands of its best working-class activists. I don't mean to be polemical but even genuine socialists who think that there is still something to be salvaged in the Labour Party will admit the problem goes much deeper than Iraq.

michael said...

Joined Labour. North Lincs based. Been round the houses, inclusive of your ex comrades in the SP. Great blog. Please keep it going.cheers