Monday, May 08, 2017

Disaffected, Disengaged and Deradicalised

With only a month to go before the general election, I would have expected to feel more engaged than I actually do.  It might be because everyone assumes the result is a foregone conclusion that I feel so disinterested.  Then again, it might simply be middle aged cynicism setting in: I've been through enough general elections now to start believing that they don't actually achieve anything.  Nothing ever changes. Except, of course, that it does.  General elections like that of 1945, which delivered a Labour landslide, affected the shape of post war Britain profoundly, bring us the National Health Service, the welfare state and universal state education.  Similarly, the 1979 election, which brought us Thatcher, had profound consequences also - for the worse for many ordinary working people, it also helped create the mess we are in now, with its deregulation of the financial sector and and credit services.  The outcome of this election will, likewise, have profound consequences: if it goes as predicted, then things are likely to get very much worse.  Yet still I'm not engaged.  Perhaps I'm just feeling complacent, having just paid off my mortgage:  my home is secure and, financially, I'm in the best position I've ever been in.  I have no dependents, no debts, no other financial obligations.  At the back of my mind is the feeling that, as far as I'm concerned, it doesn't matter what the election result is, I'll be OK.

Nevertheless, I still have a conscience and  there are a lot of people who are likely to suffer if there is a Tory landslide, (even though many of these people will vote against their own best interests by voting Tory).  So, in spite of Corbyn and his delusional followers, I'll be supporting Labour.  Not with much enthusiasm, mind you.  But I feel that I can support them safe in the knowledge that Corbyn, waste of space that he is, won't actually get into power and discredit Labour as a credible electoral force even further.  The important thing is to keep the aggregate vote up and try to minimise any Tory majority.  Sadly, I think that is he best we can hope for.  The thing I find most frustrating about Labour's campaign is that, despite all of Corbyn and his cronies' claims to be true left-wing radicals, I have so far not heard any radical policies proposed by them.  New Labour's 1997 manifesto contained more genuinely radical left policies (most of which, incidentally, were actually implemented).  Why are they being so cautious?  After all, if the polls are to be believed, they've got nothing to lose, so why not present some kind of radical reform programme?  Surely, if you are likely to take a pasting at the polls, it is better to at least fight the campaign on your own terms, with policies true to the Labour traditions Corbyn claims to represent?  Indeed, it might even attract otherwise disaffected Labour voters from the likes of the SNP and other fringe parties.  Ah well, that's what is fast becoming my regular Monday night political rant over for another week.!

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home