Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Labour's lost, lost Labours

I have little intention of mentioning Labour on this blog. Unfortunately the ridiculous first past the post system (FPTP) that we use for elections in this country means Labour is a total irrelevance in Surrey. At the last County Council elections (2009) Labour came fifth behind UKIP and the Residents' Associations (RA). They have 1 County Councillor out of 80 and of the 500+ Borough and District Councillors in Surrey only 4 are Labour. With none at all in Guildford, Woking, Farnham, Dorking, Leatherhead, Haslemere and so on. Indeed their one County Councillor has agreed to stand down if he wins as parliamentary candidate in Swindon. I don't think there's much danger of that though,Victor, as this is the Tories 57th target seat. So if Victor wins, its unlikely Dave the stud, will become PM.

Victor Agarwal hanging on for dear life.

The other half of my rather pathetic title refers to a pamphlet by the well known political journalist John Kampfner. In it he explains why he left Labour in 2005 to vote Lib Dem and why he is sticking with the Lib Dems in 2010. The pamphlet's called Lost Labours.

"I deserted Labour in 2005 in protest at Iraq in favour of the Liberal Democrats, the only party to oppose the war.
New Labour in office has had one all-consuming purpose: re-election. Since 1997, their every working day was based around the task of prolonging their term of office. It filled in the ideological hollow and justified ever-encroaching authoritarianism and a pandering to the right on criminal justice and other areas of social policy. In contrast, the Liberal Democrat analysis of the failures of the deregulated market has been consistently, and painfully, accurate. Nick Clegg’s tax reform plans, taking four million low paid workers out of tax altogether, are the most redistributive of any party. And the Liberal Democrat approach to criminal justice, human rights, foreign and social policy is close to mine."
There's a shorter version here.

One thing I would say to Labour voters, particularly in Guildford and Woking, why not lend your vote to the Lib Dems this time. We are committed to a fairer voting system which would mean that the many thousands of Labour voters in Surrey would not waste their votes. In Guildford and Woking if those who voted Labour at the last election had voted Lib Dem, then we would have had two fewer Tory MPS.

I will return to the subject of our daft voting system in a later post.

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