green party

A few weeks ago, I pretty much begged you all to put aside your issues with Corbyn and vote Labour anyway. I explained that Theresa May was confident of an increased majority in the Commons and that it was vital to ensure that Labour isn’t wiped out altogether.

Since then, a number of new facts have become clear:

(1) Jeremy Corbyn is a much better politician than many of us expected and frankly, it won’t be a hardship for me to vote for a party led by him. For all the fuck-ups, disappointments and problems over the last 18 months, he is by far the most convincing human being out of all the party leaders.

(2) Theresa May is shit. Not just shit in the sense that all Tories are shit - that kind of narrow self-interested completely unsympathetic way. She’s also downright fucking incompetent, in a way that is completely unprecedented. She doesn’t know what her policies are from one week to the next. She can’t handle a Paxman interview or a debate with Corbyn. Even Cameron managed to get something from EU negotiations. She will get us nothing.

(3) Tim Farron is not someone that any left or centre-left voter should be willing to support. He is homophobic, pro-life and pro-fox hunting. He will make a deal with anyone because that’s all the Liberal Democrats can ever aspire to. If they genuinely cared about British voters and not their own careers, they would get out of the fucking way.

(4) Whilst a Tory victory is still looking very likely, Theresa May might not be getting the massively increased majority she was hoping for, because of her aforementioned shitness.

So in light of these new facts… I am still telling you to vote Labour UNLESS you are absolutely sure that another party has a better chance of beating the Tories in your area. Don’t bother with those pointless apps or charts going around to determine this - go to Wikipedia, type in the name of your constituency and check out who came first and second in 2015. This will tell you who you need to vote for to do most damage to the Tories. In the majority of places in England and Wales, that means voting Labour.

People are watching these election debates tonight and saying “oh Tim Farron came off better than I thought” and “Caroline Lucas is good isn’t she?” It doesn’t matter, because those parties don’t matter in the vast majority of constituencies. We cannot let this useless fish turd of a woman continue with a bigger majority, just because we wished Corbyn had spent less time making jam and more time taking the EU referendum seriously.

Get out there on 8th June and vote Labour. Please.

Remember Who The Enemy Is

ALL the progressive/left wing parties are really, really flawed.

Labour: Jeremy “Oh Where Do We Even Start” Corbyn. Useless on Brexit. Has thrown immigrants under the bus for the sake of chasing the WWC, who are not biting. Never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity. Party as a whole still carries legacy of Blair, Iraq. 

LibDems: Tuition fees.  Enabling Tories. I’ve come to see this as more complex than I used to - in retrospect I think they DID, in coalition, worst impulses to a degree and sucked at taking credit for their victories, as God knows the Tories have been even more awful since, but there were opportunities to walk out, bring down Cameron’s government before it enacted our current miseries, and they did not take them.  

Greens: Just unprofessional to the point where I keep expecting them to fall over and roll around with their legs in the air. Made a hash of Brighton. At one point decided the worst threat to civilisation was artists and writers getting to profit from their work.

I’ve shifted interest from one to the other and all of them have royally pissed me off. 

NONE OF THEM deserves your loyalty in the sense of sticking with them to make a point about the unpalatability of any of the others.  

ALL OF THEM are better than the Conservatives. Yes, they are. Yes, even that one.

 What is the point if they’re just watered down Tories?

Well, the point is that they’re not.

Labour: Wants a £10 minimum wage, universal free meals for primary schools, renationalised railways and to integrate NHS and social care. 

LibDems: Trying to save us from Brexit. Much more money for the NHS. Support the introduction of legalised, regulated cannabis and treating drug addiction as a medical issue rather than a criminal one overall. Would give 16-year-olds the vote.

Greens: Want a universal Citizen’s Income. Robin Hood tax on banks. Would repeal the Health and Social Care act of 2012 which basically opened the privatisation floodgates. Also, you know, to save the world. 

I once thought the distinction between the Tories and an exasperating opposition wasn’t meaningful. I don’t any more.   Don’t like that the Lib Dems broke promises? Well, May promised no snap election, just for starters. Don’t like Labour’s bellicosity? The Tories were there for all of it. Aghast at the Greens’ bungling? Iain Duncan Smith exists. Does that mean “they’re all the same”? No, it means  the Conservatives combine the flaws of all of them and the virtues of none of them.

Just some reminders of things the Tories have been up to lately: 
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jul/24/the-9-green-policies-killed-off-by-tory-government

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/nhs-cuts-spending-policies-theresa-may-jeremy-hunt-tories-labour-lib-dems-a7549686.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/dubs-amendment-government-vote-down-child-refugees-orphan-middle-east-syria-iraq-a7616301.html

That’s the Tories killing off good policies Labour  had put in place, or doing awful things opposed by Labour and the Lib-Dems/Greens, and or thwarting efforts Labour/the LibDems/the Greens were making to rescue children. Those green policies, that NHS funding, those refugee children would be safe right now if the Tories were not in power. 

Would Labour/the LibDems/The Greens get to enact all their best ideas and avoid all their worst tendencies? Of course not. Will they do or be what you most want in a government? No. Are you right to be furious with any or all of them? Definitely. 

Are you old enough to remember the 80s-to-late-90s when huge numbers of homeless people were sleeping rough all over London? And then in the late 90s through the 00s,  how they weren’t? It’s true. Have you seen how they’ve come back, how positive change has been deliberately reversed?  I can remember when mass rough-sleeping seemed like the bad old days that would never return. They did not have to.

Do you remember Sure Start? More than 350 Sure Start centres have closed since 2010.

Do you remember when satisfaction with the NHS was at a record high? It wasn’t long ago. It was  in 2010, when Labour left office. Satisfaction plummeted during the following year. Now,  seven years later it’s on the brink of collapse. 

 
Because none of the left-wing opposition parties are that great it is not worth allowing the differences between them to be points of division. And while we remember their mistakes and even their crimes we must remember what they did right. While we point out their ongoing flaws we must continue to see the opportunities they offer to reverse our slide into a cruelty, ignorance and unnecessary deprivation. Not to do so means more people will literally die. They will die on the sea trying to reach safety or under bombs they cannot escape; they will die waiting for medication or operations that would easily save them; they will die by suicide when they can no longer endure the poverty they have been forced into. They will die of cold and exposure on the streets.

I was in Hastings the other day. I met an old friend of mine. He’s a longterm alcoholic. He’s never going to be employable. He’s just lost his flat and was back to sleeping on the street after having a roof over his head for five years. There was a rattle in his breath that really scared me. He hadn’t had electricty or heating for years. He’s fifty-one, and looks at least ten years older. I think he’ll be dead in a year or so. His MP is the Home Secretary Amber Rudd. 

Treat Labour/LibDems/TheGreens as a single opposition. Viewed that way they’re at least adequate. Even if the fuckers can’t get it together to form an alliance. Vote for whoever has the best chance of ousting a Tory. 

Not sure who that his? Here you go! Search for your constituency and this chart will tell you how your vote can do the Tories the most damage.    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/19_yf4RL133fBKscvSbID4eRKwztzY9KSI_2BMaI1bU8/htmlview?usp=embed_facebook&sle=true  Please do this, for the sake of all those who will be denied a vote at all. And if you are in a Labour constituency write to your MP about the desirability of a coalition with the other parties. 

UK General Election 2017

Good Ending - Labour Party wins and inequality begins to decline, working families have more money in their pockets because of a higher minimum wage and investment in the economy stimulates growth. The need for food banks begins to decline. European environmental policy is not immediately scrapped as a result of Brexit and the tax on renewable energy sources is removed - there is no more fracking in the UK and wind farms start to pop up everywhere. This creates a demand for skilled workers and therefore jobs. The NHS begins to heal with the funding it needs, social and mental health care is also properly funded which removes much of the strain on the system, and Doctors and nurses stop quitting from chronic stress and exhaustion. We retain our access to the European single market (where 44.6% of our exports go, and 53.6% of our imports come from) and no citizen is afraid of deportation. The rail is renationalised and no one ever has to take a megabus again. Corbyn continues to make jam and things get better. Dennis Skinner sleeps with a smile on his face.

Bad Ending - The Conservatives increase their mandate giving them greater power to create a hard Brexit with no ties to the EU, while continuing to snuggle up with countries like Saudi Arabia, and Trump’s fascist America. EU environmental policy is scrapped and air pollution sky rockets, fracking and nuclear power become the default as the tax on renewables is maintained. The NHS is slowly dismantled over a long period where of the systematic underfunding of its services and overworking/underpaying of its staff makes it unfit for purpsoe, private healthcare is introduced. Higher education becomes more expensive, increasing the education divide between the rich and the poor. Lower education is also under-funded and grammar schools make a come back, further widening the gap. Scotland votes to leave the UK and the British people can’t blame them. Theresa May poses on the cover of the sun wearing the skin of dead cows, her eyes are gleaming. 

Mediocre (sort of good) Ending - Coalition between the ‘left’ parties, things get better but there is a lot of bickering and no consensus can be made about how to deal with Brexit. Working families are better off but corporations still aren’t made to pay their taxes. Everyone makes compromises and no one is really in charge, still better than the conservatives though.

True Ending - see Bad Ending 

Joke Ending - everyone votes Lib Dem!

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So I’ve read the manifestoes for the English parties because when I vote, I vote based on who I agree with the most. I find it easier to then compare party policies side-by-side. I figured other people might do this too so I’ve stuck together my notes for anyone else who’ll find it useful. On that note, I haven’t included the SNP policies because I cannot vote SNP and therefore can’t justify spending my time reading their manifesto. But if you can vote SNP I encourage you to take that time! Honestly, I love Nicola Sturgeon and I wish she could be prime minister and defend UK politics as passionately as she defends Scottish politics. In the mean time I’ll just pray for her to adopt me.

My aim here is to be unbiased and these are the points that are helping me form my own political opinion. Just to be clear – the statements are summarised from each party’s manifesto and I am not intending to persuade anyone to vote a certain way, but rather to people to be informed when they vote.

Read on if you plan on voting with your principles, not if you want to vote tactically. There are good spreadsheets going around to vote tactically (although I urge you to check the statistics yourself and not let yourself be played). This post is not a tactic. I can’t bring myself to vote tactically – I want to be able to look back on my vote in years to come and be honest with myself when I say ‘I voted for what I thought was best’.
Hit me up for discussion and please let me know if you find mistakes!!