An easy blog today. Something very strange and noteworthy would have to happen later in the day for me to want to blog anything else, so I’m going early, leaving me free to work on m’new book all day.
So, I’m a Guardian reader; no huge surprise there. Saturday is my favourite day, because of the excellent Review, and because my Beloved and I are both quizzers, and we always sit and do the general knowledge quiz at the back of the Magazine over a nice cup of something, usually in Shepherds in Hereford, but this morning in Elda’s Colombian Coffee House here in bucolic Radnorshire.
The back cover of today’s Guardian Review is given over to an advert for the latest issue of The New Left Review, NLR62. The lead article is by NLR staffer Tony Wood, and is called ‘Good Riddance to New Labour’, which I thoroughly commend to my readers. Here’s the concluding paragraph…
‘The clinching argument against New Labour is one of simple democratic principle. Any government with a record as appalling as this one’s deserves to be punished at the polls, if accountability to the voting public is to have any meaning. The specifics of Labour’s years in power – one murderous war after another; slavish devotion to finance; promotion of rampant inequality; repeated assaults on civil liberties; fragmentation and privatisation of public services; endemic corruption – make plain that they fully merit being turfed out of office. Good riddance; this execrable government desrves to go.’
That’s from The New Left Review. The New Left Review, not The Spectator, or The Salisbury Review. The New Left Review.
I know it doesn’t answer the question of who to vote for (Wood, like me, points out that in some constituencies it might be necessary to vote Real Tory, however distasteful some might find it). And I know that I’m in the fortunate position of living in a constituency with a popular Lib Dem incumbent, so I know my vote won’t be ‘wasted.’
I voted New Party, in 1997. I wanted to vote Green, but I was swayed the night before the poll by a friend who pointed out that for 18 years I’d campaigned against the Tories, and that now the time had come, I should swallow my pride and vote New, because the main job was to get the Tories out. And so it was. And so I did. It’s a tragedy that 13 years later, we find ourselves in the same position.