So tactical voting rears it head again in this election in Wells and I have been struggling to get my head around the fact that so many people say they support labour or Corbyn or both or just love the policies or love our local Candidate Kama McKenzie but still won’t vote for out local Labour Candidate. The main fear seems to be that it would “split the vote” and therefore let James Heappey back in. I think this is a mistaken assumption and given that so many people say this to me I’m starting to think there is a bit of a smoke and mirrors job going on here.
Firstly, a poll taken in Bath in 2017 showed that when people voted tactically the Liberal Democrats did better, but when people voted with their true intentions – e.g.: all parties had an equal chance of winning – Labour would have won the Seat by a 6% majority. Equally, a recent quick poll on Somerset Politics showed that when asked for who they would vote for if all parties had an equal chance of winning the labour vote would clearly wins with a staggering 4 times as many votes as the Lib Dems.
Admittedly, these polls are indicative rather than precise but what they indicate is that the Lib Dem vote is held up by a huge number of people who actually want a Labour Government and would prefer a Local Labour MP.
The problem is that people keep telling them that labour can’t win, won’t win and will let a tory in. If we reverse that story and convince every tactical voter to vote with their heart and minds, then labour would clearly be in a better position to tackle ousting the current Tory. And that fight – to reverse the traditions of the last 20 years must start somewhere and now is the time. There is a growing number of first time voters registering to vote who back LABOUR, there is a excellent set of policies from the national party and there is a fantastic local Candidate in Kama McKenzie who will make a huge difference to Wells and Burnham and Glastonbury and Shepton should she win.
Another point – Tactical voting has been tried in this constituency before – 2017 – it didn’t work, 2015 – it didn’t work and in 2010 it worked but we still got a tory government which lead to a Tory majority government and Brexit and the mess we find ourselves in now.
Our candidate isn’t going anywhere, this is a long-term plan and if we don’t win this time, we will work to win next time. But we must start to stand up for what we believe in otherwise the best we can hope for is a yet another Tory/Lib Dem austerity supporting nightmare for the next 5 years. If you will stand up, be counted and add your voice to labours you will find that you are not alone. The result above indicate that you might be in the majority!
Being a labour party activist often means putting your self in harms way. Not usually in a physical sense (although, sadly , that does happen as the murder of the Labour MP Jo Cox showed). Daily we are out there trying to convince people of the worth of our party and why this labour party in particular is not just ready for power but is urgently needed by the country.
It seems obvious to many of us that the policies are just what we need to get this country up and on it’s feet again, A bigger plan than just Brexit or not… A future for Britain that will lead to social mobility, increased opportunity a reduction in poverty and a better environment for our children and grandchildren. However – every day we are met with disbelief, hostility and the same seven or so issue thrown at us – usually with little proof or back up. There is a genuine hostility to labour and Jeremy Corbyn in particular. Often, we can see the person putting forward these views as hostile, stupid, mistaken or willfully difficult. I often hear activist saying about voters – but don’t they realise what the Tories/Lib Dems have done to them – why on earth would you vote for a government that will give away your rights, protections and your share of the national wealth to please a small elite of billionaires!
And as I have to put my own parent into that group I understand the frustrations and have asked my self why. My answer is that they are suffering from StockHolm Syndrome. That is – they have been held captive by the kidnappers (in this case billionaires and their lackeys) for so long that they have started to take on the mind sets and world view of the kidnappers. Imagine, if you will, that every year at every election since 1976 you have been told the following – labour is bad with the economy, imagine every interview starts with the premise that labour is bad with the economy, Every time there is a debate they start with the line – “Labour are known as the party of spend spend spend” – every debate, every interview, every report – from the sixties to yesterday saying that – assuming that as read, implying it even when it is not said. That is what has happened. Every newspaper, every TV station, every commentator starting with the same staring point, to argue against that when – Everybody knows – it to be true would seem a foolish task. But the truth is – it isn’t true. It is a lie that has been repeated so many times it seems like a basic truth. But it is not. But for someone who has read, seen, digested and internalised the mantra of Labour bad with Money, Tories good will have a huge psychological barrier to seeing the facts. To accept that that isn’t true will mean someone having to realise they have been lied to “for all of their Lives” and that beliefs and views they think have been theirs, reached by their own thoughts and deductions are actually planted by the media. That is a Trueman Show level of mind fuck….
So, when you are in that debate on facebook or down the pub or on the doorstep remember – this is a victim not a perpetrator, this is the kidnap victim saying – “I was told everything you said would be a lie” . Perhaps all we can do is to keep pointing to the evidence, keep pointing to the facts and hope for a moment of realisation.
Most important result for me last night – vote share – Labour went from 26 point behind in the polls to equaling the Tory share of 40% of the vote (The Conservatives are on 42%). That single fact gives legitimacy to the idea that Labour can speak for the nation. When it comes to Br-exit negotiations, when it comes to voting in the houses of parliament, when it comes to convincing other parties that you can create a stable minority or coalition government, that is important. Continue reading
Social care system ‘beginning to collapse’
Echoing a similar warning from AgeUK, the chairman of the UK Homecare Association has told the Prime Minister that “the adult Social Care system has begun to collapse”. Continue reading
The labour Party was founded by and for working people to improve their lives and to make sure their voice was heard in the corridors of power and Modern Labour are returning to that credo. Today of course, many of those working people are self-employed or run small and medium sized business. In Somerset, this is particularly true. Continue reading
In this election voters are faced with a choice between Fake Economics or Community Health and Well Being. Continue reading
I received this as an email from Michael Cobb, the Co-ordinator of the Glastonbury Bridging the Gap food Bank; Continue reading
Labour Party launches campaign for Somerset County Council
On Friday, in Taunton, Labour Candidates from Shepton Mallet, Burnham, Glastonbury and Street along with candidates and Councillors from across Somerset and Daniel Zeichner MP, Shadow Minister for Transport attended the launched of the Labour Party Campaign and Manifesto for Somerset. The Labour Party will be fielding candidates in all 55 county council divisions being contested in the elections in May. Continue reading