Hang ’em all
As readers of my blog during the election will probably have gathered, I’m not exactly a fan of New Labour. It’s not so much the erosion of civil liberties, the disastrous handling of the economy which could take generations to repair, the building of runways and coal fired power stations, the identification of education with testing and all the rest of it. Anyone could have done that. It’s not even the betrayal of ‘the core vote’, the abandonment of places like South Wales or the West Midlands to institutional poverty and welfare dependency. No, for me, it’s about the wars. You may sincerely believe they were legitimate; I do not. I think they were deeply wicked, and unless something extra-ordinary happens to change my mind, I always will. ‘Not in my name’, we chanted on the streets of London and Glasgow and Cardiff and Belfast: and by voting New Labour, I believe that we put our names to the terrible acts of cruelty that this government have aided and abetted.
So, in my first blog on the night the election was called, I argued that there might be circumstances in which it would be necessary to vote for the Real Tories. Yes, I know perfectly well that they might well have gone to war in Iraq; that in fact they voted in its favour. But I thought there was no choice; in a system which only favours two corrupt parties, we were morally obliged to vote for the one which has killed the least number of people; in recent times, at least.
But then, the debates, and Clegg-mania, and all that, and it seems like there might be something to hope for beyond punishing New Labour. This is the hope of real political reform. I want PR because I want to be able to vote for what I believe in (broadly characterised by the Green Party), and for my vote to have at least some small meaning. I want PR because I want government by consensus, not by a crude majority. I want PR because I want a weak government and a powerful Parliament, not the other way round. And for a couple of weeks I’ve been allowing myself to feel vaguely hopeful. But tonight the polls are showing the Lib Dems starting to fall away, and Cameron to pull ahead. He has the light of victory in his eyes. And tonight, I’m scared that a hoped for positive outcome might not come about, leaving us with a Government who merely supported an illegal war, rather than perpetrating it.
Still, at least the Real Tories will look after their own.
And at least there is still pop music. If anyone knows a more uplifting song, please post it here. Tonight, I need cheering up.