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Election 2015: The Final Nail in Labour’s Coffin


According to the British Social Attitudes Survey which reported just two months before the election the UK public are by and large tolerant, believe in values of fairness and justice, and don’t like bullies or those who seek to be mean minded to others, agree that those less fortunate than themselves should be helped out and support the NHS. Even over half of self declared UKIP voters told the survey that they found the growing wealth gap a worry. A staggering 92% of the 90,000 people asked believed that the NHS is underfunded.

Yet on Thursday 7th May 2015 a staggering 11,334,920 people trooped into polling stations and placed their mark for the Tories.

More people voted for Cameron last week than voted for Tony Blair and New Labour in 2001 and 2005. In other words only 1997 saw Labour poll more votes than the Tories did on Thursday.

How many of those 11.34 million would be horrified to learn that an ex squaddie, David Clapson, was found dead last year in his flat after his Social Security was stopped following one missed appointment. He was diabetic, and without the £71.70 a week from his jobseeker’s allowance he couldn’t afford to eat or put credit on his electricity card to keep the fridge where he kept his insulin working. David died from diabetic ketoacidosis, caused by a severe lack of insulin. The Coroner noted there was not one morsel of food in his stomach.

Did these Tory voters feel alright about the suicide of Malcolm Burge who took his own life due to having his housing benefit cut by a staggering 50%? Malcolm wrote to his Council appealing for more time, “I am depressed, stressed and suicidal. I am not trying to live, I am trying to survive.” In June last year he drove to Somerset and torched his car.

What do those Tory voters think when they hear about a woman whose disabled son died this January and just two weeks later she received a letter demanding she pay the Bedroom Tax back dated to when her child passed away?

How would they feel to hear about a pregnant woman with mental health issues being forced to walk four miles to access a food bank? Her midwife recorded that her patient had not eaten a cooked meal in a fortnight.

The mis match between the opinion polls and the actual result do prove that people realise that voting Tory is a form of anti social behaviour, and let’s face it who is going to admit to that?

The Labour Party has to take much of the blame. You can point to the media but when four out of the last five years has been spent pursuing a Tory Lite agenda what do they expect? At least the Tories are experienced slayers of the vulnerable. When you have a Labour Council delivering the Tories dream scenario and having the gall to say the cuts are, “compassionate”, you know that the game is up.

There are so many brilliant people in the Party who are busting a gut for their residents which is why it pains me to say that I am just sorry and embarrassed that it took me so long to finally give up on the current Labour Party as having any relevance to the lives of working people in our era.

It took them six months to say that the Bedroom Tax was wrong and their MP’s voted IN FAVOUR of a cap for social security payments. The leader refused to support striking care workers in his own town and the Shadow Chancellor decided that penalising single, poor mothers was a, “tough choice” as a pose to making the City and the Banking System pay for the economic mess.

The 2015 UK General Election drove the final nail in to the coffin of the Labour Party to deliver any form of meaningful and lasting change for the British people. The argument that by playing along with the illusion of Parliamentary democracy Labour can mitigate the worst excessive of the market is dead. The House of Commons as the voice of the people is, and has been for a very long time a total joke and this election confirmed this. The chamber is, with very few exceptions stuffed full of out of touch and out of reach people with little or no real life experience.

After five years of the cruellest Government in recent history Labour was unable to speak for the majority because it only woke up to the crisis facing working people at the last conceivable minute. They were more interested in plotting and undermining each other, both at local and national level with cheap points scoring and feuding than articulating an alternative to Austerity.

The final programme for Government was a good document and a basis for progressive Government. In cloud cuckoo land. Elections are won and lost over five years. How could the voters be expected to take Labour seriously when their track record was so abysmal?

From welfare to fracking, from the NHS to the economy Labour was consistently on the wrong side of the argument.

The UK is the six richest nation on earth and yet we have 1 million reliant on Food Banks and the spectre of destitution stalks our land.

Labour’s answer is to re arrange the deck chairs on the Titanic and then wonder why the voters view them with bafflement. This allows the politics of fear to triumph. If you can’t offer the voters a positive alternative which is based on optimism and the promise of a bright and prosperous future then why bother?

Why would young people vote Labour? The Party can offer two million new homes, quality apprenticeships and fully funded third level education but it refuses to do so because it will not challenge the ingrained hegemony of the super rich and the Debt System which subjugates our people for maximum profit for the least outlay.

The future lies outside the festering moral cesspool that is Parliament. We must mobilise a Broad Left Coalition of our people via the Unions and like minded socialists to bring the system directly and peacefully to an end.

The starting point must be to gather together a Convention to work out how to clean up politics, bring democracy to the nation and reform our economy so that it works for and not against the people. Then we can start to rebuild our country.

Labour did much to be proud of but those days are long behind us and those wonderful people in the Party deserve better. We cannot stand idly by and just let the Tories do their worst. The reason this happened is because 34% of voters, despite wall to wall coverage did not cast a ballot because they thought it was a waste of time, and of those that did vote 64% voted against the Tories. Yet we have a majority Conservative Government. How is that democracy?


About dermotrathbone

Writer and co author "Through Red Lenses". Activist Unite the Union, Save Our NHS Hull. Fan of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Hull FC, Munster and Ireland Rugby. Views are mine alone and may not reflect the organisations concerned.


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