Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The problem with (UK) Labour

The UK's youngest MP, the SNP's Mhairi Black, gave her opening speech to the house of Common syesterday, and highlighted UK Labour's central problem: betrayal of its core values:

“Like so many SNP members I come from a traditional socialist, Labour family. Like so many, I feel that it is the Labour party that left me, not the other way about,” she said.

“The SNP did not triumph on a wave of nationalism – it triumphed on a wave of hope – hope that we could have an alternative to the wave of Thatcherite neoliberal policies from this chamber, hope that representatives could genuinely give a voice to those that don’t have them. …

“I mention it in order to hold a mirror to the face of a party that seems to have forgotten the very people they’re supposed to represent – the very things they’re supposed to fight for.

UK Labour will apparently respond by voting for Tory austerity. Because that's who they are now: just another pack of NeoLiberals in suits, unwilling to present any alternative. And then they wonder why people don't vote...

...or why people don't vote for them. Because in the part of the UK with functioning proportional representation (sorry, Wales, I do not regard your intentionally cripped and disproportionate version of MMP as functioning), they're now hemmoraghing votes to the Greens:
The Green Party is on course to take ten seats from Labour in next year’s Scottish Parliament elections, a new poll shows.

The left-wing environmentalists will increase their MSP count six-fold from two to 12 if a new poll conducted by Survation is repeated on 5 May.

The Greens are polling 11 per cent in the proportional representation list vote for the parliament, up from 4 per cent at the last round of elections in 2011. They are fighting for third place with the Conservatives, who are on 12 per cent.

Labour are just ahead of the two parties of 19 per cent, down from 26 in the previous round of elections. The SNP are far ahead on 45 per cent.

So that's 25% of the Scottish Labour vote, gone in one election to a party willing to present a green and left alternative, rather than more NeoLiberalism. And the only thing that's stopping the same thing from happening at Westminster is the UK's unfair electoral system.