Labour have stolen my Right to Vote

As anyone who reads my blog will know I’m a lifelong socialist, which so far in my life has meant being a Labour supporter; and like many others over the past decade this has become more difficult.

For me being a socialist means giving a damn about people – especially those that need support; and this was the case long before I became benefit dependent, so yesterday’s Commons voted on a Benefit Cap, was for me the last straw, to use an old adage.

I a LIVID, I feel betrayed and I want Labour to know it; my twitter friend @juxtaposed summed my feelings up beautifully with “Oh Labour” and specifically one line  “What’s the point of you if all you’ve got To offer is that Labour will be tougher?”;  this is exactly what I’ve been asking as many Labour MPs I can, generally to no avail.

In a nutshell, what this means to me is a lose of choice, who can I vote for next year – the Toxic Tories and The Ludicrous LibDems do not count for me any more than UKIP or any other Right wing Party but…if Labour are planning to carry on with the exploitive and discriminatory policies introduced by the Coalition, then I’m truly stuck without a  real option.

What I can do is continue to contact as many Labour MPs and give them real reasons why this is not good enough; if only in the hope that the honourable 22 – listed below, who voted against the Cap last night can use this to persuade more to join them.

To the NOES – THANK YOU

Abbott, Ms Diane

Campbell, Mr Ronnie

Connarty, Michael

Durkan, Mark

Edwards, Jonathan

Galloway, George

Hopkins, Kelvin

Jackson, Glenda

Llwyd, rh Mr Elfyn

MacNeil, Mr Angus Brendan

McDonnell, Dr Alasdair

McDonnell, John

Mudie, Mr George

Riordan, Mrs Linda

Ritchie, Ms Margaret

Robertson, Angus

Skinner, Mr Dennis

Watson, Mr Tom

Weir, Mr Mike

Whiteford, Dr Eilidh

Williams, Hywel

Wishart, Pete

Wood, Mike

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90 thoughts on “Labour have stolen my Right to Vote

  1. Pingback: Labour have stolen my Right to Vote | Welfare, ...

  2. It’s a tough one isn’t it. Unless you’re lucky enough to live in one of those seats where the MP is more progressive, then really, in England, the only other left wing party left with any chance whatsoever is the Green Party, then there are a couple of independents as well aren’t there who stand in different places, and I think there is Left Unity who are standing candidates in some places. Obviously, in Scotland they have the best chance out of all of us by voting yes to Independence, and in Wales they have Plaid Cymru as well. But like you, there are so many “Old Labour” voters who do feel betrayed. All the best as always

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  3. The decision by the Labour leadership to vote in favour of the Benefit Cap was bizarre to say the least on both tactical and narrow political levels.

    On a purely tactical level why would they commit themselves to such a move when not knowing the economic inheritance in 2015?

    Now politically,surely this is the wrong message to send to Labour supporters for it shows Labour to be dancing to the Government’s tune and shows that we are quite satisfied for them to set the agenda.

    Now let us consider the six million votes Labour lost from 1997 to 2010.Some would say that these votes were lost from middle ground and floating voters?Those who believe this are both naïve and ignore the realities on the ground.In fact the majority of the lost votes are from those people who now say;”Its not worth voting,they are all the same”!

    I’m left wondering whether the decision to vote in favour of the Benefit Cap will persuade the latter group to change their minds and vote Labour next time?I think not!

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  4. Thanks Jayne – I agree totally. If Her Majesty’s Opposition don’t actually want to oppose anything, then they should politely return the £5m of Short Money and let the Greens et al take it.
    Unfortunately, Labour has been shirking responsibility for 25 yrs plus now, and the culture from the top is more of the same.
    I don’t know if we should campaign for Labour to get better, or all join the Greens, or spend our time better building a new movement.
    It’s certainly going to be tough to unseat any of the Labour big-shots with a radical / socialist (aka sensible, thoughtful, long-term) agenda, and it may now be too late for 2015, and yet, the only other alternative is to wait until the whole neo-liberal regime creates it’s own sink-hole, and hope it doesn’t take us all with it.

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      • They’ve made huge progress – but, yes, let themselves down all too often – I think that’s to do with the currently restricted / historic membership – ie I hope it’s just a teenage fad.

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      • Vote for the National Health Action Party if they stand a candidate in your constituency. They’re health professionals, so they don’t support dodgy unscientific crap.

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  5. what a state of affaiirs when no party is fit to run the country. democracy has gone, it might as well be a one party state from no on and abolish all parties.

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  6. Labour appear to be attempting to steal the middle ground from the Con-dems, unfortunately there is very little middle ground remaining. The Con-dems have split this country in two with no-one prepared to stand up for the sick, disabled, poor, disadvantaged, public sector, low paid, and anyone in receipt of benefits of any kind. The ‘other half’ think everyone who isn’t greedy, self-centred, or prepared to walk over other people to get what they want isn’t worth anything. How wrong they will be proved.

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    • Very true the way the needy incapacitated sick and disabled are being treated you would think the whole economic meltdown was due to this group. The tory mantra “for Hardworking people” by it’s very essence shows they are not considering anyone who they see as lacking in value to boost their profits.

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    • It isn’t the middle ground they are trying to win it is the ground a way to the right of that. They want to get votes off the tories and, as Blair worked out, it is easier to do that by adopting policies to appeal to right-leaning voters than it is to try and persuade those voters to support left-wing policies. In the absence of any other realistic left-wing alternative they have the traditional labour areas safe as the voters there aren’t likely to vote conservative so the strategy is to try and “out-tory the tories. Instead of putting forward an alternative to tory ideology they try and convince conservative voters they can do it better.

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      • What utter nonsense why would ukip be wanting to only appeal to a tiny minority, at some point you need to do some investigation yourself instead of just accepting the drivel from the biased mass media outlets.

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  7. You can’t get a fag paper between the right wing tory new lab and lib dum parties whichever one of those you vote for you get the same right wing nonsense, The greenies would destroy the economy within 6 months with their strategy to believe in dodgy science and nothing else, which leavs just the centrist UKIP, not left wing but certainly not right wing and the bonus of leaving the eu would soon be obvious.

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    • UKIP are not centrist but from the craziest right-wing fringe of politics. Although not on UKIP’s website today here’s an idea of what UKIP really believe culled from January 2010 postings:

      “4.5 The welfare state has also created a brazen culture of benefit ‘scrounging’, whereby individuals who are perfectly capable of working refuse to do so, and go on benefits instead. They frequently justify this by feigning illness. As well as promoting laziness and parasitism, the benefit system allows lucrative avenues for fraud and deceit. The benefits system allows for both breaches of the letter of the law, and the spirit of the law.

      4.6 Despite the creation of over 2 million new jobs (?) since 1997, the number of people claiming benefits has fallen by a modest 400,000. This leaves over 5 million people still claiming benefits. This would suggest that many people find the benefits system, with its labyrinthine avenues for collecting additional payments, more appealing than searching for a job. Indeed, an investigation by The Sun newspaper found that many people prefer benefits to a minimum wage job. The same investigation also suggested that the benefits system was being used to purchase bloc-votes amongst Britain’s urban working class.

      6.9 UKIP recommends that Housing Benefit/Council Tax Benefit payments to private tenants be phased out and the money spent on ‘Workfare’ jobs instead. Local councils, together with local employment agencies will assess whatever skills claimants have that are of benefit to society and ensure that the best use is made of them, whether this is sweeping streets, gardening, assisting in pre- or after school clubs, providing extra tuition for failing pupils, care for the elderly and disabled. Full use should be made of this pool of labour when local infrastructure projects are being built (see appendices) before jobs are offered to workers from Eastern Europe. Local councils would also work closely with local employers, for example by subsidising training places.

      6.11 UKIP believes that all forms of work – whether paid or voluntary – are of great benefit in terms of social interaction, self-discipline and self-esteem. Workfare jobs will be a useful springboard into employment in the private sector. UKIP accepts that local councils will always not obtain ‘full value for money’ for these jobs, but believes that it is better for people to be doing something rather than becoming completely inactive. Under UKIP’s local government proposals, local councils will be freed from central targets and will have more responsibility for their own budgets – there will be less central funding and more local taxation, so there will always democratic pressure to obtain value for money.

      7.9 The three old parties seem keen to adopt the ‘Winsconsin model’, whereby benefits are time limited. UKIP’s view is that if benefits have to be time limited then the system is not working – a lifetime on benefits is only an option if benefits are too generous in the first place.

      11.3 What successive governments have overlooked is that they cannot rely on the goodwill of the unemployed or yet another imaginatively-named scheme. The unemployed respond to incentives as much as anybody else. If they qualify for free social housing and a reasonable standard of living without work, and taking on a low paid job scarcely compensates them for the loss of means-tested benefits, then no amount of cajoling will change that. Indeed it is almost illogical for people in the poverty trap to seek work. Among the jobs that will be covered by the Workfare scheme will be caring for the elderly and disabled, so if a person requires more hours care than close relatives can be expected to provide they will be able to apply to the local council for additional practical help.

      1.1. Additional small scale local public projects – low skilled

      Litter patrols
      Cleaning up graffiti
      Snow removal on pavements in harsh weather
      Maintenance of parks and gardens, street furniture, railway stations, bus stops, schools, hospitals and social housing
      Directing car parking on days when sports/concerts/other large events are in town
      Running soup kitchens for the homeless
      Packing “goody boxes” for troops stationed overseas
      Delivering leaflets for the council, such as council newspapers or info scheme leaflets

      1.2. Additional small scale local public projects – semi-skilled and skilled

      Extra tuition in the Three R’s
      Teaching English as a foreign language
      Work in nurseries and after-school clubs
      Care for the elderly and disabled
      Working as a guide at local historic sites
      Administrative assistance on local councils and businesses which agree
      Manning telephone switchboard at local council offices
      These projects would be ‘additional’ in the sense that they will be in addition to existing baseline local authority services and not supplant existing jobs or employees.

      1.3. Large scale public projects

      All Government contracts for public works would require the use of the Workfare scheme, including:

      Rail projects, such as new high-speed rail lines, reopened lines, rail rebuilding works
      Road projects, such as new by-passes and motorways
      Local transport infrastructure projects
      Energy infrastructure projects
      Utility infrastructure projects, such as flood defences, water grids, dams and reservoirs
      New hospital projects New school or college building. Prison building.”

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  8. Barry, you are clearly deluded, but you keep telling yourself that if it makes you feel better. From wikipedia:
    “The UK Independence Party (UKIP, Ukip, /ˈjuːkɪp/) is a Eurosceptic[7][8] right-wing populist[9] political party in the United Kingdom, founded in 1993.”

    I’m not sure where you’re getting your green-bashing from, but for me that’s the only half-decent option, and I might even get somewhere to ride my bike a bit more safely…

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    • You do realise that wikipedia is not a real area on which to find honest facts don’t you? It is written by people with their own axes to grind, and isn’t democracy supposed to be populist by definition? I fail to see why the people who are scared that most people really understand the eussr and why we should get out are dangerous, it is the ill informed who think it is a good thing for us who you should worry about, that is lib dem labour and 90% of the tories. Their far right policies of wanting us to be run by an unelected committee in a federal fascist state are what you need to be fighting.

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      • Here we are complaining about Labour’s cowardly support for a global welfare cap and you keep bigging up UKIP despite the fact that UKIP want to cut welfare MORE – FAR MORE – than any other party including the Tories. UKIP is factually the most “respectable” right-wing “party” in the UK as everybody who read this blog knows as sure as death.

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      • Here we are stating how there is not enough of a gap between con lab, and lib dum to get a fag paper in between their stance and you are continuing to claim that UKIP is right wing, it is the three old parties that are right wing, remember which party outsourced more than any, that was labour. It is no use pretending you know what UKIP will do and bleating on about right wing nonsense try to find out the truth, go to a UKIP meeting and listen instead of just repeating nonsense you hear from the people in other parties scared for their personal reasons of the UK having independence.

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  9. There decision to vote this was a disgrace and like many I am now baffled by this and confused as to were we go as the electorate from here. Some time needed to console as they have trashed anything good I thought about Labour.

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  10. The sentiments you expressed rang a very loud bell with me as, after voting Labour for all these years, as my late Mother & Father did, I don’t like to think that Milli is NOT a true Labour leader. However, the policies he spouts are not Labour! Oh for someone, anyone who can not only promote real Labour values, but also be a public speaker ie (enter your own name)! In as few words as poss., DON’T FORGET THE PARTY ORIGINS!

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    • Not so sure – sadly I think Milliband IS a true Labour leader and DOES represent the Labour Party as it now exists – just another party full of millionaires and careerists.

      The only alternative would seem to be to ditch them altogether (and aren’t they trying hard to convince to do so…) and either move support elsewhere (the Greens ? Definitely not UKIP !) or start building something new from the foundations up.

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      • I think Milliband is just another of the Blair mould, after all he stabbed his brother in the back to get the job, I said at the time and stick with what I said then, labour got the wrong milliband.

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  11. ‘Those who fly with the crows get shot with the crows’ @UKLabour!

    William Shakespeare wrote:

    “But in these cases
    We still have judgment here; that we but teach
    Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return
    To plague the inventor: this even-handed justice
    Commends the ingredients of our poison’d chalice
    To our own lips.”

    Roll on Scottish Independence!

    Blue Tories, Red Tories, Yellow Tories: Three Peas in A Pod

    Vote #YesScotland for a just and fair future

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    • I so agree with you – I will vote Yes as it’s the only way we in Scotland can be rid of Westminster and can be counted as people in our own country. I think by going independent also brings a great opportunity to the rUK as they would have a great chance then to change the way that politics is run there as well as reforming parties and the way that they vote.
      Whatever happens in Scotland it will never, ever be the same again – this is going to be a whole new ball game.
      As for Labour, yes, they have just kicked themselves in the erse by voting alongside the ToryLibs – but I do think that they have a reason for it that we don’t yet know.
      People who vote for Ukip, the Greens, other small parties are throwing their vote towards the tories – it will be a wasted vote and it will do no-one any good at all. Try and think of what Labour could do/should do and hold onto that as voting them in is the best place to start the change in changing politics – if the tories get in then everyone is doomed, and that’s a fact!

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      • Funny labour claim that voting ukip and the greens will get the tories elected, the tories claim it will get labour elected, no one in their right mind would give cleggs bunch any chance at all, so as both sides think that all the ukip and green members are from their own side surely that gives you the sensible option that these parties are made up from disaffected groups from the old two big parties.

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  12. I too have always leaned toward Labour as the party of the people but this is no longer true, Labour as a party are in my opinion no longer viable as an alternative party. They have followed the conservative line and failed to represent the people they were first meant to serve.

    They were first brought into existence to represent the workforce and in this they have now walked away from that! make no mistake, with this present leadership and the fools that follow them, like the liberal democrats fawning over the conservatives, Labour is DEAD, no more than a moaning wraith, confused about why it’s existence continues.

    The present leadership lack the spherical fortitude and moral strength to be of any use to a TRUE labour follower. Labour is about INDUSTRY not corporatism. therefore this present representation of the Labour party by it’s tiny minded leaders is false, dishonest and dishourable, if they were otherwise they would step down and join their brothers and sisters in the Conservative party where they clearly wish they were already.

    Labour?… don’t make me laugh.. (more honestly i feel like throwing up) they are mindless followers of the conservatives,
    They have two choices as i see it, either disband the party and and become members of the conservatives they worship. or WAKE THE HELL UP show some spherical fortitude and stand for what the party was inaugurated for.

    It is corporations, banks, employers that have brought about the excessive costs on the welfare state NOT the bloody claimants.

    Workers who now find themselves subjected to ever decreasing living standards brought about by pathetically poor pay, then attacked by the government for being so, then said “government” decides it is safer to attack the Workers for “allowing” themelves to be victimised than it would be to attack the employers who, while bleating about not being able to pay better wages, continually report higher and higher profits each year.

    It was an error for government to EVER introduce benefits that supplemented low pay, government should have implemented taxes on businesses that offered low pay.

    Ed Balls? hardly living up to his family name now is he?.

    In short, the three main parties are all saying the same damned thing therefore why choose?, the present feeling of “what’s the point” is due to lack of difference between those parties.

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  13. But if Labour win a majority if more money needs to be spent on social security all it has to do is to put it to the vote in the Commons to make it so. I can’t believe that people – even ambitious, ruthless people like Ed Balls – would throw people under the bus in the way that the Coalition has been doing and is doing.

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      • Thing is that the next government will either be Labour or Conservative led, there is no other outcome possible. Labour have promised to get rid of the Bedroom Tax (which was always a money grab from housing benefit justified by claiming a lot of nonsense about “freeing up” under-occupied social housing and “fairness” to private tenants, which we now know, based on figures just released, was an abject failure since only 6% of those affected moved home) which in my view makes them more worth voting for than any of the other parties, and I genuinely believe that as bad, poll driven, and pathetic as Labour now is the party would be less cruel than the Conservatives given the same circumstances.

        I mean: What choice do we really have?

        Do any of us want another five years of ConDem coalition or, even worse, a four or five year Conservative government with a majority led by Cameron and Osborne?

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  14. Tim, if that was their intention/plan then NOW would have been the time to make a statement and OPPOSE the cap, i can understand the desire to believe they don’t intend such villiany but their condoning such a plan at this time does NOT bode well for their future intentions.
    If it is their intention to reverse the vote later would that not be hypocrisy on their part and is that what we should expect in our government leaders? granted it is “the norm” these days but should we hope it is for the better?. This would lead to another question… hypocricy for WHO’S betterment?.

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    • If it isn’t Labour it will be the Conservatives running a majority or minority government or ConDem coalition for five years. Am I happy with Labour? No. In fact I haven’t been happy with Labour from James Purnell onwards. But do I want to cut my nose off to spite my face and not vote Labour because I’m angry with the party and spend the next five years under a Tory ruled government. Good God above! NO!!!! So I have to vote Labour. There is no other choice.

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      • Sadly, this i agree with… better to get rid of the idiots now in power and see what the idiots who get in next do… maybe they’ll learn….maybe they won’t….but labour are the only alternative for now, desperate as that may be.

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  15. Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
    Jaynelinney explains why Labour voting for the Benefit Cap with the Tories effectively robbed her – and the rest of the country – of democratic representation. The only people, who come out of that shameful attempt to appeal to the middle classes are the 22 Labour MPs she lists here, who revolted.

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  16. I hate the Tories, despise the Lib Dems, don’t trust Labour, think UKIP is far right, and parties like the TUSC and Left Unity and even the Greens are too small and a waste of a vote. And of course the BNP are evil. Who to vote for I wonder?

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  17. Hi Jayne,

    I believe you’ve let your readers assume that all of those who voted against the benefit cap were Labour MPs. Whilst I’m sure you didn’t mean to do so, I’ve already seen several reblogs that incorrectly claim all who voted against were Labour members. Actually, all of the Plaid Cymru MPs voted against. And I believe all of the SNP members bar one also voted against.

    These points would obviously lead people in Scotland who support your position to vote for independence, and to support for similar ideas in Wales. People in England who want a left-wing candidate can support the Labour MPs you name, or a Class War candidate – or become one of the latter.

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    • Hi

      You’re completely correct – it was not my intention to do this at all – in fact when you remove the Plaid Cymru & SNP MPs – this shows Labour in an even worse light. If I hadn’t wrote this as a purely emotive post I would have made far more of the reality – SO FEW Labour MPs voted Noe.

      Thanks for the comment and for clarifying the matter xx

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  18. I was one of the first ones to comment here expressing my disgust at the Labour leadership’s decision in this case.I have also read all the other comments posted.

    Now as far as the Scottish angle,such as there is in this case,I will leave the matter of the Indepedence Referendum for now,it will be the subject of a rare blog post by yours truly nearer the event.

    However suffice from me to say to those who may be wavering,don’t flirt with any of the nationalist offerings for even a single second.To those who see it as an alternative I say this;If only like were that simple I would be calling for independence for the very bungalow I live in,for there would be a socialist paradise forever!

    Life isn’t like that though and this time is indeed the wrong one to be pulling up drawbridges of any kind.Don’t go looking for scapegoats of any kind,be they of another nationality or colour or religion.It is a time for knowing who the true enemy is if we are ever going to see justice and fairness for all.

    It is also a time for carrying the fight to the enemy;The enemy being the Tories and the class they represent!

    .

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    • In general I would agree with the thrust of your argument – but what does the behaviour of the labour party say because by not being a viable opposition and voting with the current (unelected) cabal again – just exactly are they representing – because it’s not me!

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    • Yep. Only 6% of people moved because of it. But we all knew that the Bedroom Tax wasn’t about making people downsize but a raid on housing benefit paid to poorer people in society. The welfare cap on housing benefit was also supposed to make rents fall and hasn’t; they have continued to rise exponentially. The government knew this too,

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  19. Well i’m damned….an MP actually said it!…. the problem is that the vast majority of MP’s seem to think it’s just a joke… it doesn’t matter, therefore just vote for what will give you a laugh, especially if it screws the “plebs” that keep expecting their MP’s to sort this crud out….do it right or do it wrong, they get paid well either way so what does it matter to them…who needs a conscience when there is more money to aquire?…. sorry went on a bit of a rant there…but……….

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  20. Shame Britain voted against MMP. It is not the perfect system but it keeps the politicians on their toes. In NZ no political party has an absolute majority, they must form coalitions. Here, Labour must form a coalition with the Greens next election, which we hope will have the effect of pulling Labour to the left. The Labour Party here is full of dead wood left over from the Roger Douglas days. Roger Douglas, a Labour minister of finance in the 1980’s, led a far right wing element in the Labour Party to persuade Labour to embrace the ‘Market Model’ of privatisation etc. This was before MMP. I can no longer bring myself to vote for the NZ Labour Party.

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  21. Pingback: Welfare Cap, Labour are crap | alittleecon

  22. TUSC (the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition) is standing around 500 candidates so far in the 2014 local elections – over 10% of the seats up for grabs. This is the biggest left-wing challenge to Labour since the Second World War. Anyone who cares about our NHS, the privatisation of our public services, or wants to stop cuts to and job losses should support a left alternative. There are other smaller forces – RESPECT, the National Health Action Party; the Democratic Labour Party in Walsall; the SLP and the CPB, which are also to the left of Labour.

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