Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Vote for the party you believe in....

You know perhaps the warning I hear more often than any other is that by seeking to be elected a Green MP I'll just split the 'Labour' vote and let the Tories in. Can I, a proud socialist, handle the small part I'll end up playing in a decade of Tory misrule?

Never mind the fact that the gap between rich and poor has grown since Labour came to power, never mind the war(s), never mind the fact that unemployment here in Brighton Kemptown has nearly doubled in a year under a Labour government.

Never mind the impracticalities of the argument: there are as many Green party councillors as Labour ones now in Brighton and Hove - and, locally at least, it probably makes more sense to ask Labour voters to vote Green (wearing clothes pegs on their noses if necessary) to make sure we don't end up with yet another Tory MP.

No, this is nonsense even if all this weren't true.

In one of the more insightful analyses of the way grumpy Labour activists greeted Green party leader Caroline Lucas as a conference fringe event hosted by left-leaning Compass, politics.co.uk writer Ian Dunt well argues the reason why.

'It is a pernicious and nasty piece of reasoning,' he writes.

'It is the intellectual equivalent of threatening your wife with divorce every time you have an argument.

'If someone believes in something, they should vote for it, not have the eventuality of a Tory government waved in their face for daring to consider their options.

'Labour's been using this argument for about a decade now and to say it's grating is an understatement. It's logical conclusion leads us to a one party state – an eventuality entirely compatible with the police state the party has tried to create in modern Britain.'

So yes, life under Thatcher was even harder than life under Blair or Brown. But not much, really, for those at the bottom of the pile. But vote Green because fairness is worth fighting for, not to keep either Labour or the Tories out.


  1. You make some good points about the Labour effect in your 2nd para. But is it not a little disingenuous to attribute the rise in unemployment in Kemptown to the Labour government, as opposed to a global financial crisis that very few properly predicted?

  2. Hi Alex

    I have always believed that overstatement undermines a good argument, and perhaps the unemployment example wans't the best one to use for that reason. After all, there are loads of other examples I could have chosen.

    But, to be fair, unemployment is worse here than elsewhere, some countries haven't seen rises - or recession on the scale we have - and I'm only following the convention of blaming the Government for economic woes brought on primarily by a lack of regulation of the financial sector and the consumption-based and debt-fuelled economic approach shared by Gordon Brown, Tony Blair, George W Bush and, to a lesser extent, Barrack Obama.