I received a ballot paper for the Scottish Labour Leadership Election due to my membership in the Labour Affiliated Communication Workers Union (CWU). I didn’t use it. There was a wee bit I had to tick that asked me if I supported the party and agreed with its decisions. I couldn’t in all good conscience tick the box to validate my vote.
I’m left wing, I’m working class, I’m for workers rights. What has happened that I don’t feel that the Labour Party is the place for me? I had a wee chat with a few of the guys at my work, also CWU members, and they had the same feelings as I do.
I was delighted when in 1997, Tony Blair and his “New Labour” ended Tory rule, but crucially the “New” part seemed to be the more important part than the “Labour” part; no renationalisation took place, instead we got illegal wars, an attempt to sell the Royal Mail and the continuation of a downward spiral for the NHS. Then, ultimately we got Gordon Brown inviting Thatcher over for tea, a photo which could well be used as a talisman for the 13 years of Labour Rule. Thatcher is still a figure so powerful that Ed Milliband praises her leadership in his speeches, in a blatant attempt to win votes and pander to middle-England votes. Both Labour Leaders showing a complete disregard to how the woman is viewed, by the very people who put them in power.
The Labour Machine in Scotland is now in full, “Vote SNP and get the Tories mode.” Well frankly for me and many like me, just not being the Tories is never going to be good enough anymore. Scotland voted Labour in 1979, 1983, 1987, 1992 and 2010 and every time we got the Tories and the 13 years in between we didn’t get much different.
I want to be Labour
I want Labour to own its socialist roots. I want Labour to ditch the careerist political elite, who all seem to come from the same pod and are just allocated a different coloured tie, so we can tell them apart. I want MP’s with Union histories (Perhaps not NUS, I’m looking at you Jim Murphy) who genuinely care about the social fabric of this country, the NHS, social justice and who put the rights of workers before the profits of their bosses.
I would embrace that Labour Party. I feel I may stand with my arms outstretched for a very long time.
For what it’s worth I would have been Findlay/Clark on my ballot paper.
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