I don’t quite know what to do with myself. This Coalition has made my life so stressful, I can’t bear the possibility of another Parliamentary term under a Conservative Party mindset that knows false economy and societal fabric ripping better than anyone. I really need an alternative and you are the only one actually electorally viable. But I’m stuffed: you have no intention of being that alternative, do you? Not really.
Oh, yes, sometimes I see chinks of light – taking on Energy and Murdoch (albeit temporarily) – that made you look promising for a while. My hope started to grow a little after your conference last year. For the first time, I started to believe that a vote for Labour might not entail me having to hold my nose and settle for the least right-wing party of viable governance just to get rid of the present one. For the first time, I believed that someone – Ed – would champion The Commons, value common human decency, stand up to the overly powerful and the too bigs to fail.. that we might yet get a mature socialism in Britain through enlightened Labour Party policies. For the first time in ages I thought I saw comprehension, courage, credible strength and integrity.
This Coalition blames the poor for being poor and picks on everyone bar those who really caused this mess and continue to do so. You, being the exception, of course. The Coalition and Mainstream Media have had a field day blaming you. You’ve taken hit after hit even when it was not always yours to take or yours to take alone. This Coalition picks on one demographic after another with the express purpose of pitting them to blame each other and cause division and, over the last four years you have been too in awe and the most dire of Oppositions. You should have kicked up merry hell at the insulting governance of this regime but you chose to squander more opportunities than a petulant teenager and failed to properly stick up for the citizens in the face of continuous denigration. But then, why would you, when you can’t or won’t even defend yourself… Britain’s vulnerable are made more so. The dependent are made more so. More vulnerable and more dependent but with less assistance and facing ever more unreasonable and downright ludicrous demands, delivered with an increasing hubris, callousness and ignorance that is breathtaking and heartbreaking.
It is an affront to Humanity, Justice and Democracy and you are virtually holding us down so that the Coalition can more readily beat us. Of course, this scourge of decades is actually neoliberalism rather than conservatism – gods know there must be conservatives out there who wonder what the hell happened to their lovely individual-freedom-for-all and life-is-what-you-make-it notions. But you are Neoliberals too. Just with a slightly kinder face. There’s a good reason you are known as ‘Tory Lite’.
If I wanted another authoritarian Tory government I could have one in a flash. Never has it been made so accessible since you are seeming bound to provide one, whoever wins in 2015. People say of you politicians, you mainstream parties: ‘they’re all the same’ and I know this to be simplistic if not a mistake but ye gads: you sure do seem to be intent on proving me wrong. You are rendering yourself superfluous.
So, I am back to having to either hold my nose and vote for you or spoil my ballot if I am to stay true to my conscience. To rub it in, you seem content with this. You not only have your own target percentage but you are mollified by it! You have no sense of urgency about taking the country with you in confident hope and, instead, are satisfied with acquiring power through the protest of floating voters who can’t lower themselves to vote UKip at one end and an electorate so desperate at the other that it will settle for the relief of seeing you as a lesser evil. Now, I don’t know if you are terrified of the right-wing press, if you truly support neoliberalism, if you really and genuinely don’t like or understand the electorate and/or if you just have no clue what you’re doing because you can’t imagine beyond the ideas of a has-been think tank. What a waste of money! Tell Ed it’s actually cheaper to just read the newspapers, watch the news, ask the unions and read the thoughts of bloggers and tweeters. But can’t you see for yourself? Can’t you think for yourself? If all you wanted was for someone else to do your homework only to come up with policy ideas the Tories would and are implementing, you could have just crossed the House and joined the original Neocons. That, at least, would seem authentic.
You just don’t care enough, Labour. Or perhaps you’re overwhelmed and part of you doesn’t want to win. That would be somewhat understandable. Maybe you care so much that you’re paralysed by the fear of really explaining and managing the true enormity of things. Is it performance anxiety? I’m anxious about your performance, anyway. You’re not presenting an alternative. There are alternatives. You have no counter narrative. There are counter-narratives. You are, too much, more of the same – inept, condescending and patriarchal – merely with less confidence.
And, you know, this is not so much about Ed, for me. Four years ago I thought Cameron would be a crap leader and I was right. Four years ago I thought Nick Clegg might have good leadership qualities and I was wrong. Is Ed a good leader? Who knows.. Would he make a good Prime Minister? I hope so! I don’t know if he’s ‘geeky’ or ‘weird’ – whatever the heck that means, these days – and I don’t much care. I don’t care, either, if he isn’t the guy down the pub à la Farage. And I most certainly don’t care if he makes eating look difficult. I care more about leaders and would-be leaders making our lives less difficult and being able to afford to grapple with my own bacon sandwich.
I don’t need patronising with your benevolent patriarchy. I don’t want you to see prosperity as growing more crap that no one needs but that wastes precious resources. I don’t need jingoism nor the phrases of abstract fashion. I need you to find ways to not subsidise profiteering employers so that taxpayers can fund essential public services rather than top-up benefits.
I need an economy and financial system which thinks fiduciary responsibility is a good thing. I want a sensible, uncomplicated tax system. I want a greener economy that preserves habitability and respects the planet. I want Social Security not a flimsy, judgemental you’ll-fare-well-if-we-say-so. I want the next generation to get the best education, to have enthusiasm for Life and confidence in their futures. I want them to have futures. I need an income I can live on that doesn’t kill me in the effort and I want a state pension and a health service I can rely on. I want some confidence in my future, too. I don’t need any more petty, unreasonable demands and sanctions to justify this austerity false consciousness and neither do my kids. I don’t need you to “be tougher than the Tories” and you shouldn’t think you would need to be – not if you have faith in your own abilities and in We, the People. I might need help to apply my talents but I certainly don’t need persuading or motivating into a better life, thanks.
I want a sustainable and ethical economy from the bottom up and the top down. I don’t want foreign policy that bullies, tramples, destroys and pilfers. I don’t want trade deals that champion parasitical corporations. I don’t want the plastic future of the likes of Monsanto and Big Pharma as a way to feed and treat the world. I don’t want my human and citizenry worth to depend on my market value. I don’t want to live in a ‘Truman Show’, a ‘WALL-E’, a ‘Minority Report’ or a ‘Hunger Games’ film. I want to be trusted and believed in. I want leadership with vision, kindness, common sense and grace. I want a healthy planet. I want Human values. I want Justice.