Thursday, May 03, 2007

vote (update)

It's funny being across the Atlantic on voting day in the UK - I feel very distant from it all, and uninvolved, even though I've cast my postal vote - it's the first time I've been away from an election in the UK since I've been eligible to vote, and I miss the excitement. As it is, I'm thousands of miles away, and all I can suggest - not that you should care less - is that you vote for (pretty much) anyone but Labour, unless you have an exceptional councillor. But you'll do your own thing, of course, so what I say is irrelevant!

Update (8 hours later): Hmm, I've been having pangs of conscience about writing this, predictably enough - and not that anyone will listen. A labour council will be a better council than anything the Tories or the Liberals can offer, so it doesn't really make sense to register a protest vote which will have negative implications for one's own community. There are some excellent councillors out there. At the same time, I simply feel such boiling, frustrated anger at this so disappointing government and the Prime Minister. Is there a way to resolve this without allowing the Tories back in? I think I'll feel a whole lot better once Blair announces his resignation (hopefully this week). I might even vote for them again, you never know.

But at the moment... I just can't do it.

But you probably should.


Andrew Brown said...

I wonder if its time you stopped calling yourself a "Labour supporter", Jonathan. At least until you're prepared to stop saying "don't vote Labour".

I suspect that while using your vote (against Labour) is barely going to make a difference to your life, it's likely to make quite a difference to those less fortunate than you.

As I understand it Brighton and Hove is pretty much a straight Tory/Labour fight. So let's look at what you can expect if the Tories take the Council.

Look at what's going around social housing in Hammersmith and Fulham after the council elections here last year. Just remember you won't have Ken to intervene. And we already knew Tories don't build social housing.

Or perhaps you'd like school closures and cuts to arts budgets or the myriad of other services that are feeling the cold hand of Cameron's local heroes?

You're entitled to vote for whom you like, but don't pretend it doesn't make a difference.

jonathan said...

Ha ha, hi Andrew - funnily enough you'll note that I woke up this morning and updated that (late night and alcohol-fuelled) entry to advise people that they probably should vote Labour, after all, although I did vote Green myself.

I do still consider myself a Labour supporter, although I do tend to use the caveat 'broadly' these days, and I am hoping that I can re-join the party shortly after Blair's resignation, and become a paid up B4L blogger - but as much as I'd like to follow my instinctive loyalties, I still can't bring myself to vote for them again (at the present time).

I'm certainly not pretending that these things don't matter, however - and your comment raises lots of good points which I'm sure the Brighton readers of this blog will bear in mind!

They don't listen to me anyway, however - I've tried to bend them to my will before without success...

Dan said...

Simply not true to say that it’s a straight fight between Tories and Labour in Brighton and Hove. To say Brighton and Hove in the context of a local election is too simplistic anyway!

Greens are at least in with a good chance here. That’s an honest observation too, not a silly slogan from a party mandarin.

Jonathan was right. Don’t vote Labour! Their councils have always been a joke, wherever they were and don’t listen to all that New Labour technocrat spin from a spineless Blairite reading from Head Office press releases on schools, social housing etc.

There’s plenty of alternatives to Blair’s Brown Shirts here!

jonathan said...

Ha ha, thanks, I think, for the defence - although Andrew is a good thinking politico and I think he does know what he's talking about. I don't agree that labour councils are useless, and I like what ours has tried to do over school applications recently. It's labour governments, rather than councils, that I have a problem with!

Andrew Brown said...

Jonathan, nice to see you recanting.

Dan, I might be a spineless Blairite, but at least I provide evidence of what happens when councils go Tory.

In contrast you compare us to fascists, very grown up I'm sure.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, seeing as I'm not in my electoral home I missed the opportunity to vote so felt a little bereft. To compensate I stayed awake most of the night watching the results come's so addictive.

I have to say Dan said the same thing about the Green party standing a chance in Brighton last year and they ended up with a fairly slim minority of the vote. Thank god I didn't listen to him and stayed

anne so said...

I voted for the first time! Greens won in my ward which i was very proud of :)

Dan said...

Greens came in one seat behind Labour in B&H and both lost to the Tories, however the Council remains in No Overall Control. Hardly the two horse race as predicted here.

I think the jibe of 'fascist' actually stands up quite well to a number of Labour policies.

I'm also grown up enough not to vote for the war mongering, enquirey denying, lying, spin obsessed, technocratic, salesman style of government that has NOTHING to do with the left of the political spectrum.

Dave said...

I voted for having cheese on toast with Lee & Perrins (Other Worcestershire sauces are available- are they?) and watching The Moomins- it was great.

Voting is bullshit- AND there's no ACTUAL scientific evidence that politics even exists!