08 May 2008

Labour Should Hand Power To The People, Not The Tories.

After our hammering at the polls, this has been a time of serious reflection for Labour supporters everywhere. We are not short of good ideas for new policies but will any of this improve our polling?

All these new 'back to our roots' policies would be wonderful and...
maybe even 'on their own' popular with the public, but as Ken's defeat shows - having the best policies might not be enough.

Even if we change all our policies to popular ones and get rid of our crap leader, I don't think it is possible to turn this around. People are fed up of Labour per se. The press as ever, hasn't helped us - but we cannot blame the press for crap policies like scrapping the 10p tax rate (only Labour could cut taxes for the majority with a basic rate cut from 22p to 20p and get themselves into this mess - masters of spin, my arse!).

The thing is, people want change but there is no enthusiasm for the Tories. As we are certain to lose the next election, why not hand over power directly to the people rather than the Tories.

Is the Labour/Tory stitch up of an electoral duopoly really in our interests? We allow the Tories absolute power on a minority of the vote because we know they will do the same for us and we can get our chance to 'play with the trainset' in due course.

Not only is this destroying turnout it is hitting our supporters harder than the Tories and the Tories are not going to play fair - if elected they are going to change the boundaries massively in their favour and scrap broadcast impartiality (imagine Sun, Daily Mail and Daily Express TV and radio dominating and as biased as their printed product). This electoral theft suits the Tories fine but not us and it certainly does not suit the people, who end up with inept and corrupt government.

In the 2 years Labour has left in power, we should concentrate on producing a decent written constitution that includes what really matters - electoral reform. Labour should embed its legacy in a written constitution.

We should devolve as much power as possible to the lowest possible level and allow local areas referendums on what electoral system they want. The Tories will fight but it will make them look bad to argue against local democracy.

Then with the Lib Dems and other minor parties supporting us we should offer the people a referendum on what electoral system they want for Westminster (as we promised in 1997). To do this, we need to start now and concentrate on little else. We need to explain the options the public have and maybe have a citizen's assembly to decide on which system would be best to put before the public. Or to save time we could just dust off the Jenkin's report and offer the public that.

It is either this, or another decade or more of Tories destroying every advance that has been made and entrenching their electoral and media bias even more, despite a majority of voters consistently and explicitly voting against a Tory government.

Who knows, if we trust the people on this, maybe they will return the favour.


  1. While I support bringing more power to a local level, (unlike the centralising tendencies of Labour), this smacks of skullduggery and desperation on your part. I do apologise if you are doing this with a clear concience, (although the fact that you see the main benefit being that it keeps the Tories from power speeks against that), but even if so, it does no look good given your party's electoral position.

    As for "if elected they are going to change the boundaries massively in their favour and scrap broadcast impartiality"

    Firstly the boundaries are loaded against the Tories, (and England), currently so they need to be changed. Secondly, what impartial broadcasting? The Beeb? I think not, even BBC insiders have admitted the lefty bias that it posesses. As for ITV, I saw their reporting of the Mayoral election that would have warmed the propaganda loving cockles of your heart as they belittled Boris. I am still waiting for a reply from ITV as to why all the links on their site as to their licence obligations are missing.

  2. Falco: Oh yes - the lefty bias of Andrew Neil, NIck Robinson at the Beeb, NIck Ferrari on LBC radio, James Whale on Talk Radio- (all student Tories) and as for ITV it has always been to the right. You are talking rubbish - there was a right-wing bias if anything, but at least it cannot be overt, extreme and obvious bias - due to current broadcast legislation keeping it in check. The Tories are going to scrap this - welcome to FOX TV - the more you watch, the less you know.

  3. Neil, the BBC is certainly not biased to the right as a whole even if they have the odd employee who never subscribed to the socialist worker.

    As for ITV, that was regarding a specific incident although there have been others as well. The bias was so obvious and extreme that I was astonished and have written to them for an explanation. I'll let you know when I get it.

    No answer re devolving power and constituancy boundaries I notice.

  4. Falco: "the boundaries are loaded against the Tories".

    No, they are not. In England at the 2005 election, the Tories got 35% of the vote and about 35% of the seats. At the next GE, this system will give them a bigger percentage of seats than votes. Why should they get more?

    I believe that if you get 35% of the vote you should get 35% of the seats. This is reasonable. Labour got 55% of the seats on 35% of the vote - this is bias in favour of Labour - this needs curing but not by giving the Tories more seats - these seats should go to those parties that get the votes.

  5. Your sole media consumption has to consist solely of the The Morning Star or The Socialist if you think there's a left wing bias in this country.

  6. Sorry, I have to laugh. The left wing bias of the BBC is obvious. I have lost all respect I had for the beeb. Most notable is what they don't report, usually those items that would harm the labour vote. The beast that labour has become saddens me greatly. It is statist and authortarian. It has constantly attacked our freedoms and demonstrates contempt for democracy. I, for one, will breathe a huge sigh of relief when they are gone. Then we will have the Tories to deal with - and so the fight starts all over again.