"Philosophers have only interpreted the world, the point however is to change" - Karl Marx

This blog is my interpretation, I will do everything I can to change the world along those line

Monday, 15 February 2010

The importance of listening

Recently I have had several discussions with people who should really know better, people who call themselves Marxists but have advocated a vote for the Labour Party in the forthcoming General Election. A position which I cannot understand for any socialist to hold, to advocate a vote for the neo-liberal agenda of New Labour, a party which has lost all the democratic structures which means there is no hope of reclaiming the party. Nevertheless these points seem to have fallen on deaf ears amongst many so I thought I would blog from a different angle.

Earlier today I spend several hours outside to different Job Centres in Cardiff leafleting for the Youth Fight for Jobs (YFJ) demonstration on Wednesday at the Welsh Assembly. As such a had the opportunity to discuss politics with a lot of people as they were hanging around waiting for their appointments in the job centre. I heard the same thing from each person I spoke to. The anger was most certainly there but so was the demoralisation.

Everyone I spoke to agreed that labour doesn't care about ordinary people any more. Particularly amongst the youth but not exclusively the people I spoke saw no difference between Labour, Tory or Lib Dem and rightfully so. The problem was that they were all extremely demoralised and saw noway forward. Nobody I spoke to said this but one or two did display the potential of voting for the BNP because of how disenfranchised they have been by the main parties and of course because of the media scapegoating as well.

But it exactly for these reasons that Socialists should not call for a Labour vote because this will increase the disenfranchisement and the feeling that nothing can e done which on one hand could lead to political apathy and on the other hand it could lead to the kind of rise in the BNP vote which we have already seen so far.

When we spoke to people about both the YFJ demonstration and the TUSC electoral challenge the conversation took a turn, it significantly changed their outlook and many said they would come along on Wednesday. The Labour Party has already hung itself which is evident by the outlook by many people who rightfully so no difference between Labour and the other main parties. Instead of offering them more rope we should pull the noose shut, refuse to offer them any support. It is important now that we support candidates of the left and where there are not any agate for abstentions and the urgent need to build an alternative



  1. good post
    I disagree with the old labour was great angle
    but it is very accurate

    if these wankers lived on an estate, or actually talked to low paid or the unemployed, or workers on strike etc they be fucked with this vote LP shit

  2. I don't think i said old labour was great at al

  3. Shoot me now , I'm voting Labour . Well I'm voting for Julie Morgan the MP in Cardiff North . It's a marginal and the last thing I want is a Tory MP . Julie's not to bad as Labour MP's go and she was opposed to the Iraq war. In the present situation it's probably best to take each constituency on a case by case basis voting for the left and hopefully working class candidates whether thats Plaid in the Rhonnda , Respect in Tower Hamlets , TUSC in Cardiff Central or even Labour MP's like Jeremy Corbyn ,John McDonnel or Diane Abbot.
    It's worth remembering that the Tories in government devestated South Wales and are cordially detested round here so a Labour Party vote against the Tories could be seen as a working class vote .
    This is not to ignore the crimes of New Labour. Remember the 1945 LP government pursued imperialist wars in Korea and Malaya , used troops to break strikes and gave the UK nuclear weapons . Yet you wouldn't have called for no vote for the Atlee government , would you ?
    Another small thing is that there are actually some left labour MPs . Would it be better for the LP to be in government so those MPs could at least try to have some influence on government .
    Another thing , I think the question of who to vote for should be a tactical question not a matter of great principal . Parliament and elections are only a small part of the struggle . Most of the real battles are going to take place outside parliamentary politics.

  4. I think there is a difference between understanding why a lot of people still vote Labour, and calling, as organised socialists, for people to do so.

    The fact that many workers are voting Labour doesn't make it any more correct to call for a Labour vote, because those votes are not indicative of any further engagement with the Labour Party on the part of the working class. Nor can they be with Labour's current structures.

    They are simply Labour votes as a "lesser evil", and socialism has never been about lesser evilism.

  5. But to be *practical* about it Ed ,If you were in my position would you want a Labour MP on the left who was opposed to the Iraq war or doesn't it matter if I end up with a tory MP ?
    What if I had an issue I wanted my MP to take up ? I'd think I'd prefer a Labour MP to a Tory in that situation .
    We're coming from two different positions. I see the choice of who to vote for as a tactical question while you seem to see it as a matter of great principle . You might have a point if there was a credible left alternative standing in every seat to challenge Labour but there isn't .
    We have to start from where we are rather than where we'd like to be .

  6. so we agitate for the creation of such a challenge in the future rather than submitting to lesser evilism

  7. i think it's ultra-left to dismiss tactical votes for labour. people like john mcdonnell are solidly on the left, whatever the SP think.

    marx said that the communist does not set up sectarian ideals seperate from the mass of the workers. where is the bulk of the organised working class in britain today? in labour and the unions it relies on or outside in various small groupings like the SP?

  8. I have said there are certain exceptions like McDonnell. If you were to actually read the post though you would realise that I am not making sectarian moves away from the working class at all.

    I suggest you look at reality a bit closer


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