May 4th, 2006

breaking bad

You're gonna need a bigger boat

In 1979 I canvassed for the Labour Party in the election that Thatcher won. I was walking around a posh estate in a Northern town, and the MP said to me - look at all these boats (every front drive had a boat in it) - they sail in them for just a few days every year, and the rest of the time they are sitting on their front drives. A few streets away, people don't have the basic necessities.

But, though he was elected with an increased majority, throughout the country people turned away from his point of view. The boats got bigger, and the poor got poorer. I had a child in 1988 and I found out what lack of social provision really meant. This is capitalism - our social resources are directed at the wrong priorities. The people who do the work are despised.

The Labour Party is probably fatally damaged by very bad decisions taken by the leadership. I've made no secret of my bitter anger about the Iraq war, and the intimacy with the poisonous George Bush. But the alternative are jackals, waiting to strip the nourishment from the corpse. I blame the leadership for giving the jackals a place to get their teeth in, because this is our country, we do the work, and we shouldn't have the results of our work delivered to rich people to buy bigger boats.

In short - today and in the General Election, I will vote Labour.