Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Why I'm not a Labour Party supporter

Hearing Gordon Brown's speech to the Labour Party Conference from a few hundred yards yesterday (too far away for a shoe protest, close enough to realise he's got a little more charisma in person than on the telly) was a revelation.

There's been lots of analysis of the content of the speech (I won't add to it here - well, for now) but for me it was the imagery that struck home.

The slightly cultish atmosphere, the biblical references, the Himmler-esque propaganda film taking credit for British paralypmic champions, hit records and so on, the illiberal policies on anti-social behaviour (nicked, I understand, straight from the offensive 'gulags for slags' proposal championed by the vile BNP) - all of it delivered under three outsized, fluttering, digital Union Jacks.

For me, the seminal moment was when Sarah Brown called Gord-help-us 'my hero' and the delegates leapt into a spontaneous standing ovation. Weird - and not just a little scary.

Anyway, I left the speech pondering what it was that had driven me away from Labour in the first place. It didn't take me long to come up with a ten-point list, locally tailored, of course, that summarise, for me, the things I'd like to see changed:

1. The widening gap between richest and poorest, worse now than when Labour came to power in 1997

2. Failure to move Britain away from finance and service-led consumption-based economy directly led to economic downturn (predictably, and predicted by Greens): now local unemployment is rising fast

3. Failure to act on child poverty: shocking levels of children in Brighton Kemptown growing up in poverty

4. The CoMART fiasco costing the local taxpayer millions and leaving Kemp Town and Whitehawk without a community secondary school

5. Steady erosion of civil liberties and democracy since 1997

6. Labour's warmongering - costing billions and killing thousands while increasing the risk of terrorist attack here in UK

7. Labour's abandonment of Clause 4 of the party's former constitution: it's failure to recognise that all of our interests are best served by a more equal society and the best way to achieve that is state ownership and control of all public services - and many private ones too

8. Trident renewal plans and failure to show the courage inherent in unilateral nuclear disarmament

and, since yesterday:

9. Family ASBOs

10. Illiberal plans to take 16 and 17 yr old single mums into care (well the less well off ones anyway...)

1 comment:

  1. Agree with most, but dont feel good about not being able to support Labour anymore, know others feel the same. Now support Green party, but dont want Labour to go into freefall, they have done some very stupid things, have not learned from mistakes but dont deserve that. Useful to have a clear list of why cant support labour, Tories its easy, am terrified of them!