I’ve never liked abstention.
It seems timely to raise the subject, but I’ve never been keen. My general thinking has been if you’re elected to a decision making position then it falls to you to…make a decision.
It’s not always easy, but if you can’t take the tough calls then you have to ask whether you should be in the position of taking them.
Which is a tough thing for me to say, given how Labour voted on the Welfare Bill on Monday night. Before I go on, I should probably point out that it’s not quite as black and white as the Greens, the SNP, and the Corbynites have been painting it, and that in fact Labour did vote against the bill — Andrew Gwyne MP has blogged an explanation which is, embarrassingly, better than anything the Labour press office or frontbench has come out with.
Nonetheless, we did not acquit ourselves particularly well on Monday night, in my opinion.
I genuinely can‘t remember if this was funny to start with or not. But if in the mists of time it ever was, it has long since ceased to be.
I am talking about the suddenly omnipresent tendency to call anyone within the Labour Party — or, indeed, the left in general — with whom you disagree a “Tory”.
The logic goes, you see, that if you disagree with somebody, then they can’t be “left wing”. If they aren’t “left wing” then they must be Tory. It’s a pretty black and white way to view the world. Not to mention fantastically thin-skinned and short-sighted.
Primarily it seems to have been aimed at Liz Kendall, in the Labour leadership race, so far. Now, bear in mind I say this as someone who is not a Kendall supporter — but really, can we get a grip? Liz Kendall is not a Tory.
In fact, I’m pretty certain none of the leadership candidates are Tories.
I went into this contest with an open mind. I hadn’t chosen a candidate, and wanted to hear what they all had to say. I could have gone for any of three of the four candidates.
The truth is that I could still live with any of those three. But one candidate has, for me, stood out as the best of the candidates. One candidate who has stood head and shoulders above. One candidate who has convinced me that they have what it takes to take the fight to the Tories and to lead the Labour Party forward from the defeat we suffered in May.
I am proud to say that I am backing Yvette Cooper to be the next leader of the Labour Party.
This is a group of like-minded Southend Labour members, who believe that Stella Creasy’s community-based, grassroots approach to campaigning is exactly what the party needs. These are the same techniques which we have used to great effect in Southend, why we are now part of the administration running Southend Council, and how we held our own in a disastrous general election for Labour.
So like, follow, and let’s get Stella elected as the next Deputy Leader of the Labour Party.
Have you already decided who you’re backing in the Labour leadership election? If so, I’d say you’ve probably chosen wrong.
Not that you’ve picked the wrong candidate. I’ve no idea who will win the election, much less who would be the leader we need to repair our party and get us back into power. But neither do almost any of the membership.
And that’s the point. If you’ve already chosen, you’ve probably chosen for the wrong reason.
Tomorrow every citizen of the UK has a vote, to decide who will represent them.
Obviously am going to say that I think you should vote for your local Labour candidate. I am a Labour Party member, an activist, and I believe that Labour policy offers the best future for this country.
If you elect a Labour government tomorrow, Ed Miliband has already laid out the 10 bills which would feature in his first Queen’s speech. I detail them below, so that you can see what is really on offer here, and the better Britain which we are striving towards.
I created this infographic in response to a local Green candidate sharing a similar one claiming that the Greens and Labour neck and neck, with data from January. She insisted that the polls were still the same today.
Upon my demonstrating that they are, in fact, very different, she branded it “bullshit” and deleted my post. So I’m sharing it here, for the world to see. Because I’m not going to be censored or bullied into silence by a Green Party who find facts inconvenient.
If anyone wants to check the data, my source is cited in the infographic itself, and the raw data can be found here, on YouGov’s website. Enjoy.