Are you going to vote Labour?

It’s the Labour Party Conference this week and what with Ed Balls doing his best George Osborne impersonation today, I thought it might be a good time to ask people if they are planning on voting Labour, and more importantly, why? I genuinely have no idea who I will vote for next year, but I see nothing to persuade me that Labour deserve my vote. The only thing that would sway me slightly is the NHS, but the only reason we are where we are today is because of the reforms made under Tony Blair’s leadership, so can we even trust them with that?

I’m interested to hear why others are sticking with Labour though. Here’s a few reasons I can think of why people might want to:

  • Anyone but the Tories, and Labour are the only ones who can beat them
  • You think Ed Miliband would make a good leader
  • You like policies x, y and z
  • You’ve always voted Labour and believe they can change for the better

Are there any others? Or, if not Labour, who and why?

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13 thoughts on “Are you going to vote Labour?

  1. No, because really, what is the point? you only have to look at the blog roll to the right of this reply to appreciate just how bereft of ideas the Labour Party is.
    They have never embraced proportional representation and as I live in a safe Tory seat they have ruined any chance that my vote could make a difference. So I will vote green, for what it is worth.

  2. As a lefty, the only reason I can think of to vote Labour is “because they’re not the other lot.” It’s entirely about what I’m voting *against* – and it’s utterly depressing because there’s virtually nothing in Labour to vote for. I’m used to the left being taken for granted by Labour – and I’m a lefty who has, in the past, been prepared to compromise far more than it appears the party is. But it’s reached a point where I genuinely don’t think I can bring myself to do it anymore – never have we more desperately needed an alternative in content as well as style; never has the Venn diagram of their overlap with the Tories been so large and fundamental. An shadow chancellor should be challenging Treasury ideology, making a case for genuine change, giving a critique of the problems he can solve and do better than. instead, we have a £1300 a breakfast meeting with industry sop to everyone other than the people who need better, a charlatan missing both an argument and a vision to pretend to be offering.

    If they are prepared to swallow austerity whole, to misrepresent minor tweaks that give with one hand and take with the other as “fairness”, to pretend the tinkering in the margins that helped to embed this neo-liberal mess are the same as a change in the main text, to still pretend the same promises apply even when their chosen methodology by definition can’t support them, then what’s the point? I went back to the party as a member a few years ago because of the promise for change. i left when I could no longer in good conscience support their hawkishness and backpedalling. The NHS? Why trust them with any promise when their main economic pillar is a lie? When Yes and No in Scotland indicate the desire and demand for, and the popularity of change, they respond by going the other way? There simply isn’t any point.

    I think it might be the first time I can’t put an X next to them in my life. And if there’s no place in the Labour party for a lifelong lefty like me, it isn’t just going to be me.

    1. Thanks Michael, I’m sure a lot of current/former Labour members would agree with those sentiments. I’m not sure who Balls’ speech was aimed at today, but it wasn’t ordinary voters.

      1. Baffling, isn’t it? Whatever the plan is and whoever it was trying to speak to, it isn’t aimed at me. I can’t imagine it’s going to convert anyone new, it certainly risks driving away those who – rightly – expect better.

  3. Hi, Alex

    I’m not a regular Labour voter and have never been a party member. I’m hoping, though, that Labour gets a majority in GE 2015, not because I trust them very much, perhaps with the exception of the NHS (and one or two other things that have caught my eye that I forget, as I write!) but because, tragically, for now, they are the only nationally (by seat numbers) viable alternative to the Tories and it is essential that we get at least a small break in political tone and a chance to slow down the neocon direction in which I realise we’ll still be travelling. I don’t know yet what I’ll do because I live in an unbearably safe LibDem-to-Tory seat where UKip has more chance of usurping them than Labour, or better, the Greens (to whom I lean) could dream of. I might as well spoil my ballot. It wouldn’t be the first time. It makes me feel sick to think that Labour is the default. Though we can all breathe a sigh of relief on the 6th if they win, I know it must be brief. We can’t relax for a moment. We’ll have to keep insisting on our democratic/constitutional reforms and the urgent eradication of neoliberal economic and foreign policies and be prepared for a long, hard fight because, as we know, TPTB are extremely unlikely to surrender.

  4. Anyone but the Tories, and Labour are the only ones who can beat them: absolutely true at the moment but might not be once the Greens become Labour’s Ukip.
    You think Ed Miliband would make a good leader: He’s decent and thoughtful and might surprise us in power, which he might not get if he doesn’t play the game.
    You like policies x, y and z: we have to get rid of the bedroom tax, employment tribunal fees, the HSC Act, the gagging law. That won’t happen without a Labour govt
    You’ve always voted Labour and believe they can change for the better: this is the most important one. Labour might not be a socialist party at the moment but it has plenty of socialists in it. The party can change eventually with pressure from below. Besides, are we really going to stand by and let neo-liberals walk away with our party, the one we set up for working people?

    Reluctant we might be and angry about the continuing austerity talk but this all adds up to voting Labour. The alternative doesn’t bear thinking about.

  5. I’m for Anyone but the Tories, Orange LDs and Ukip. Osborne’s comprehensive spending review of October 2010 made it quite clear that he wants to reduce government spending below that of the US, and reading the Cabinet papers of Margaret Thatcher’s govt, 30y on, confirms the intention. These Tories (including the purple and Orange ones) are ruthless, anti-democratic and corporatists. As Francis Maude said in 2010, they see no reason why everything should not be privatised. Ed Balls’ speech was one of the most depressing I’ve ever heard, and since it was a complete volte face on his 2010 Bloomberg speech, he knows that it was all complete crap. Nevertheless, the LP are not like the current govt. As Dennis Skinner says “We need to get rid of this government to save the NHS”… I just hope that Andy Burnham has seen the light about foundation hospitals, PFI, the internal market and that it does matter who owns the services.

  6. The Westminster system has been discredited. The only sensible option is to boycott the election. Westminster is obsolete. We need to implement e-democracy.

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