Friday 21 November 2014

But What Would Labour Do?

As we gear up for the general election campaign, I've lost count of how many left leaning voters have told me that Labour are no longer a centre left party/are exactly the same as the Tories/are part of the neoliberal consensus etc etc.

Certainly, there are many things about the modern day Labour party I'm not proud of. If anyone knew just how frustrating I have found my dealings with them, how fiercely I've fought them on social security issues and how cross I am about the things I haven't been able to change, no-one would accuse me of naivety in the comment thread. Sadly, most won't know and will accuse.

But to say Labour would be no better than this coalition is just bizarre. It doesn't matter how we look at it or what justification we use there are only 2 parties in the UK that can win a general election, Labour and the Conservatives. All the while we retain the illogical first-past-the-post system we have no choice but to accept this. If we don't, we allow the Tories another 5 years by default.

I absolutely guarantee that my comment thread will be full of Iraq, trident, 10p tax rates and PFI, but I've just never understood why progressives insist on only seeing the bad yet dismiss all the good.

So for the record, the following list are the policies Labour have announced for 2015 so far. Under absolutely no definition could this list be thought of as right wing. None. Is it perfect? Of course not. Do I wish they would go further? Of course I do. Will they stick to every one if they win in 2015? None of us can possibly know. Sadly, you still can't get crystal balls on Amazon.

But the list represents the progressive Labour party we've had for decades. Doubt them, push them, hold them to account, but if you want the Tories out and you live in a marginal seat, voting for anyone but Labour will get you exactly what you most fear. 5 more years of Cameron.

-An £8 minimum wage
-Fight for a living wage 
-Repeal Health and Social Care act
-Repeal the Gagging law
-Repeal the bedroom tax.
-An end to inaccessible WCA centres
-200,000 new homes pa by 2020
-A mansion tax
-A freeze on energy bills 
-Guaranteed jobs or training for young people out of work for a year or longer
-A clampdown on exploitative landlords & more stable, secure rental contracts
-25 hours of free childcare for 3 & 4 year olds 
-A clampdown on exploitative zero-hours contracts.
-Integration of health and social care
-Maximum 48 hour wait to see a GP
-Mental health training for all NHS staff
-A reformed WCA overseen by sick and disabled people
-Penalties for every mistake Maximus make
-ESA claimants out of the work prog
-Reverse the 45p tax rate back to 50p
-A clampdown on payday lenders and tax avoidance
-Increasing a tax on bankers bonuses


  1. Problem is - None of us believe what they say - They LIE - Everything is always a lie - They make all these promises in their Manifesto - But that is just a manifesto of DREAMS. They are empty promises - Ie = LIES to pull in the votes - I would say that IF you LIE in your manifesto and do nothing about that - Then you should get the hell out - Scameron said in 2010 -

    "And I want to say to British people clearly and frankly this; if you are elderly, if you are frail, if you are poor, if you are needy, a Conservative government will always look after you"

    David Cameron: 4.5.2010

    EVERY word of that was a lie - That man I despise more than anyone I ever knew. But - I now have so much distrust of them that I do not believe it will change - I WANT to believe I really do and I do worry that if UKIP did get in - That they are just conservascum in sheeps clothing,,,,,,

    We live in a very scary time. Disabled people live in fear every single day - I hate this fear. Like the rule of the now - If your child hits 12yrs and you are lucky enough to have not been attacked by ESA yet - They no longer pay your stamp.......

    This fear is overwhelming me TBH

    1. I feel the same.

      I just don't feel it's fair to judge Ed Miiband on Cameron's dishonesty. I have to believe there's still a chance someone will stick to his/her word or life would be very bleak.

    2. I understand that Sue, I really do..... And of course I would never vote conservascum. I just wish that Millipede woudl stand up and try to be a man - Not look like such a twit.... Then again - Thinking about it - Twits can pull some great punches if you under-estimate them. I hope that Labour will do something amazing FOR the people. The people need someone from the people for the people - And not an etonian like Scameron who is only out for his only smarmy self.

      There is a chance that Labour will come up trumps and I am praying for that..... But I feel at this moment the UK voting system is choose from much of the same (to a point) and we just have to choose the lesser of the evils.

      UKIP worries me as they are conservascum under a different colour in many ways. Lib Dem - Well, they are just a waste of time, Smeggy Cleggy has turned them into a laughing stock whilst kissing conservabum... So - Unless a new party FOR the people FROM the people arrives (Unlikely if not impossible) Then we have the same three parties - Forever. This does not feel like we truly have a CHOICE....

      I think I would vote for you Sue :) I know it is a dream but to have a party made from people who KNOW what it is to live with a challenge/disability - To know what it is to just be a person who just 'IS' no false-ness, you are what you are....

      Yes all parties and all people have faults... But..... The ones who hold the reigns of power seem to hold out little care for the small man, the weakest of the people need a helping hand. And in that I dont mean letr everyone lie on benefits - I mean give them a step.... a ladder..... or another mans shoulders to climb upon to SEE over the parapet of what can be before them just out of reach. And KNOW they CAN and they WILL reach it - With some determination and some work... My son feels like he will never get there as everything is stacked against him - Your boss can treat you like rubbish then sack you and lose you your next job by giving you a bad reference (Yes they can still swing any reference into being bad even with just a few works) He fears he will never get off a bottom rung of the ladder job even tho he has exams a plenty and I never knew GCSE's went out of date in 5yrs - But apparently they are not worth the paper they are written on now....

      OK I ramble a load of rubbish (sorry) But back after the war - People could see a future and would strive towards it the world seemed an exciting place with amazing possibilities - The UK needs to get that back... Gice kids somethng to aim for - And allow and help them to gain their dreams or they will just sit on their computers in a virtual world like Oh so many do now - Because the real world seems to be empty for their futures. Too many people here after the same jobs, I don't mind immigration but it needs to have some sense in it. I am a live and let live person - But you need to bring common sense in to so many things that seem to have lost it..... And moreso - Humanity. Where did we lose the care for our fellow humans, our neighbor - The man on the street?

      Ahhhh, lucky for you I can sit no longer cos of pain, but I feel that YOU and your team could show them a thing or three about care, and how to achieve it. :) Hope you are doing well Sue

  2. "but I've just never understood why progressives insist on only seeing the bad yet dismiss all the good."

    What do the Labour leadership themselves prioritise? As far as I can see, they're spending little energy actually trying to court the Left and instead inexplicably chasing the votes and approval of those who despise them and will never, ever vote for them.

    When they gain some self-respect and stop triangulating, they'll be worthy of our vote.

  3. The other problem is that they haven't given any remotely convincing explanation of how they will pay for all this stuff. The Mansion Tax won't do it and is probably unworkable. Putting up the higher rate back to 50p won't do it. Where will the money come from? They need to come clean about it. Otherwise it's just another load of baloney.

    (Btw I want to sign as my Twitter a/c but it won't let me.)

    1. I talked about this last week with a Labour MP, and the bottom line is this.
      Until they get into government, NO party has access to the UK's accounts/finances or whatever you want to call it.
      Labour have, at this time, only 'guestimates' of how bad the REAL bank balance of the country is. They fear that things are, in reality, much worse than people think, and that Cameron, et al will do everything they can to leave a massive financial mess for Labour.
      That leaves Labour in a very invidious position indeed. They KNOW how some things will be paid for, yet for very real reasons are afraid of making promises or whatever, that they may not be able to deliver because, quite simply the money has gone.
      For example, Royal Mail is sold [at a loss] so the government's income from it is mostly gone. Tories profited and a hole left in UK finances.
      If Labour could see the books, they'd know what to do, how to pay for it etc. Now, they are afraid of saying too much because if can't deliver, the tories & press would assassinate them. They would NEVER get back.
      Labour MUST tread carefully now, so as NOT to break any promises. I do know they want to make things better, and will. I know there are issues with them as has been stated above in post[s], but I genuinely believe and trust that they intend to do what they've already said at least. More if they find they can.
      Sorry if a bit long-winded, but I'm one of the people very much affected by the tory pogrom and, like Sue & many others, very worried.

  4. Another five years of conservatives is just too frightening to contemplate, you talk of untrustworthy you need look no further than this lot and I personally hate them with such emotion it scares me. Are Labour any different/ better? Yes a million times yes. I have no knowledge of the how's what's and wherefores so why am I so certain? Because I believe the majority of the Labour Party have a conscience, the one thing that you won't find anywhere in the Conservative party, therefore they can be guided, talked to, shamed if necessary and with that in mind I will be voting for the only chance I've got not to spend the rest of my life in fear!

  5. my biggest fear is a conukip coalition - As an old labour party supporter I left the party when living in Hartlepool when we had Mandleson imposed on us - he and his like frighten me just as much as the prospect of conukip coalition. So what will I do next GE? I still have not decided. I have voted at every election since I was allowed to vote. I have been a political animal from age of 16 in 1968 although stopped overt involvement for the last few years. The horror of what has happened in our society in the last 20 years will take a very brave and determined government to address, I do not see any party with that capability.

  6. Perhaps you need to consider what the Green Party has to offer? Aside from our much more distinct socialist policies than Labour, we do not shy away from standing up for what we believe in.

  7. Living in Scotland I will vote SNP - not because I distrust Labour completely, but because Scottish Labour are going to lose most of their seats to the SNP - Labour let us down badly at the referendum, as well as all the other parties but the broken promises have more or less killed any respect that people actually have here in Scotland. We only have the one Tory and I think he'll also bite the dust come the election, and Lib/Dems are no hopers due to the coalition - it'll be a miracle if Lib/Dems actually exist come May.
    The reason I am voting SNP is due to the fact that they may be the party that has the balance of power in their hands should it come to another coalition. They have already sworn that they would do nothing with the tories and would help labour, with conditions.
    If we end up with a Tory/Ukip coalition then life won't be worth living for many, many disabled, long term sick and jobless people :(
    I wish that the voting system would change to one man one vote - is there no party out there who would change the way we vote?

  8. Labour have slowly built up a good list of aims, but by trying to do so under the radar of the media, they have failed to impress (and inform) a lot of people. I also think that what a lot of people want is for Labour to push harder on the damage done to the disabled and the poor. Many people have died, and those that have survived are looking for a party that puts this issue right at the top of the agenda.

    1. Being both of the above, I have to trust Labour. They will do a lot for the people like myself, Sue & the many, many others hurt by the tories.
      Its more than just benefits though. Very difficult but hopefully do-able to reverse tory policies and improve life for us all.

  9. There is a list, with links of 100 things Labour want to do available here:

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