In case you aren’t aware, my political views are rather towards the Left end of the spectrum, to the extent that while I’m not sure I’d fully commit to the label ‘Socialist’, I’m certainly not far off.
I make no secret, however, of being a Liberal Democrat supporter, and indeed I’ll be voting for them on Thursday. Despite their history and nominal status as a Centre party, they are now to my eyes the Leftmost of the three main parties.
I’d like to support Labour, I really would – the problem is, I’d like to support Old Labour. And I never got the chance. I was twelve years old in 1997, when a widely-grinning pair of ears swept into power to the tune of “Things Can Only Get Better”. And things probably did get better for ‘Middle England’. For the entirety of my politically-aware life, Labour has been New Labour. To me, it has always been about courting the middle classes, about image and spin and lobbying, about unjust wars and surveillance and mediocrity, and a bunch of laws that show just how far detached Whitehall is from the world outside.
They’ve drifted so far to the Centre and, on occasion, the Right, that I just can’t bring myself to show them any kind of support. Not to mention that as the incumbent party, they offer no hope of the kind of electoral reform I would like to see.
So sorry, Labour. Maybe if two or three Cameron governments drive you back to the Left where you once belonged, we’ll meet again.