There’s an election on May the 4th. I’m running for Labour at the Linden Lea Dorset County Council division and even with a 100% voter turnout I probably wouldn’t win even if I had run a hard face to face campaign. Some people ask me why I bother standing? We need an opposition to make those in power accountable. If I came within a hundred or so votes in Linden Lea against the incumbent Tory, you never know – they may work harder for their votes next time…
During my movements among people who identify themselves as ‘left wing’ I far too frequently find them non-voters. If the non-voters voted we wouldn’t have this silly Brexit rubbish as the far right dismantle the United Kingdom and destroy our economy. Looking to the US, we wouldn’t have the Toddler In Chief Donald Trump threatening to nuke North Korea, and potentially have a sane and stable president in the White House Instead.
Among all the hand wringing and ‘remoaning’ going on there is a stark fact – that those who didn’t vote are predominantly young and the young predominantly wanted to remain in the European Union. Never mind that far right ogre Nigel Farage – it is the young who didn’t get off their bums to vote that led to this awful crisis we’re facing today. According to the London School of Economics, “those who did not vote were, by a ratio of 2:1, Remain supporters.” In short, yes we would be run by a pig loving old Etonian and his clueless Chancellor today but we wouldn’t be watching the people who dress up in jackboots and leather in the Tory playpen running the joint, with David Cameron walking out of Downing Street.
We are watching the news in South East Asia as the US President Toddler Trump handles nuclear button happy North Korea with all the deftness and diplomacy that my 2 year old daughter does our cat. Yet, again the statistics show that it would likely be President Hillary Clinton at the helm if US voters had bothered to vote on the day. Forbes Magazine stated, “The story of Hillary Clinton’s defeat, then, is not the Trump Movement erupting in the ballots, nor the fable that some “Reagan Democrats” flipped again from Obama to Trump. The story is altogether different, and very simple: the Democratic base did not turn out to vote as it did for Obama. Those sure-Democrats who stayed home handed the election to Trump.”
The US is somewhat different to Brexit. There is definite evidence that the Democrat establishment fixed the Democrat Primaries so Bernie Sanders didn’t get in. Their meddling really alienated many voters and Sanders voters didn’t support Clinton.
The UK is more nuanced and there is an awful lot of history to really do this section justice. I will touch on some of it in broad terms. Firstly, Tony Blair abandoned the left wing of the Labour Party. We can see this in his ignoring the million or so who marched over the Iraq War, and the advent of the middle class champagne socialist. According to a blog in the New Statesman written by Graham Jones MP, “Rather than serving as a vehicle for collective empowerment, the party strayed towards managerialism, centralisation and statism. For some of a younger generation, Blairism changed the path of their lives, giving them university dreams and the belief they could live lives more prosperous than their parents. But, for too many, it left a sense of detachment and disappointment, with leaders and ideas that could never relate to the realities of life.” Many never voted again.
I even hear today some people who say they support Jeremy Corbyn also say that they won’t vote because he won’t get in. Let’s face it, the newspapers and even the BBC hate Corbyn with a passion. They are for the most part run by upper middle class and the top 1% who would stand to lose out from someone genuinely interested in bringing equality back onto the UK political agenda. Given he wants to tax multinationals to the same extent that shopkeepers are and not let them dodge tax, I can’t say I’m surprised as they would have to pay up to £35 billion a year between them. News International is one of those, and the Barclay brothers who own the Telegraph aren’t short of a bob or two. The Guardian? Given its plummeting sales, is it even part of the argument? The Independent has gone out of circulation. The Mirror is owned by City shareholders and thinks being left wing is to be to somewhat to the left of The Sun. The BBC? It used to be a news organisation of standing, once upon a time…
If you read the story of the Tolpuddle Martyrs you will see that the Linden Lea division once spawned a national movement that is still extremely powerful today. Due to them, being a member of a Trades Union became legal, and the Trades Union Council was in a large part responsible for the formation of the Labour Party. When you see Jeremy Corbyn in Tolpuddle you will see just how much the man owes to the young farm labourers in that village. It may be argued that because of those farm labourers getting together and asking for collective bargaining from their employer, we have the NHS and Welfare State today where no one should go hungry and the best medical care available is given to everyone, free at the point of demand. These systems are being demolished by right wing haters.
Can we begin a revolution again in Linden Lea? Can everyone of voting age get to the polling booth on May the 4th and vote for the party that represents their views? Could they vote again in 2020 and have a government that represents them in power? It would be no bad thing if we had a 100% voter turnout in each election as you really wouldn’t believe the power of an X in a box. The Tories might be put in their place for good!
Printed by R Shrubb, 4 Bellever Court, Poundbury, DT1 3ST. Promoted by D Rhodes, on behalf of R Shrubb, both at 5 Old Vicarage Close, Charminster, DT2 9TN.