Our current system is broken, in that it is essentially designed to make votes a choice between two major parties in charge of the country. In fact, this goes so far as to name the leader of the Labour party “the leader of the Opposition” – the assumption is that the Government and the Opposition are basically going to swap control of the country periodically, with no real prospect of third parties ever getting into power. In my mind, this system needs a major reform, but in the interim many people might say that the Labour party is better than the Conservatives. In one sense I agree, in another I wholly disagree. In this article I will talk about some of the problems with the Labour Party (ignoring the claims of antisemitism and focusing solely on their policies).
It is pretty clear at this point that Brexit was a mistake. We have not gained any economic benefit, nor are we expected to for decades, if at all. We have not gained any sovereignty that we didn’t already have. We have not freed up £350m a week for the NHS. In short, all the benefits of Brexit were lies touted by the likes of Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg.
Our missing EU Star
It is vital to improve our relationship with the EU to secure our economic future and allow us to have influence over one of the largest political blocs in the world. In likelihood, this means undoing the disaster that was the 2016 referendum, whether that needs another referendum or not. I believe it is also necessary to hold the originator of these lies to account, as a lie to influence a referendum is tantamount to election-tampering.
I strongly argue that the insistence on making Brexit work is one of the major Labour Party problems, as it is a wholly unachievable goal based largely on the wishful thinking of the rabid fringes of the Tory party and backed up by lies.
A ballot box
As I have previously written, a vote for Labour while they do not support a change to Proportional Representation is a deferred vote for the Conservatives. Changing the way that votes are run to a more proportional system will almost guarantee that no party ever gets to form a majority government again, and unfortunately Labour’s leadership have shown themselves unwilling to take this step. For this reason, I do not believe that they are working in the interests of the country, but instead are focusing on short-term gains for individuals at the top of the party.
In short, a major change to the way that elections are run is vital if we want to ensure that the Conservatives never get to do what they have done to the country again.
Coupled with the refusal to get behind electoral reform, Labour has aided the Tories in restricting the access to votes that we mostly take for granted by abstaining in the Lords on the fatal motion introduced by the Liberal Democrats to forestall the introduction of ID requirements that will likely restrict minority groups disproportionately. Ultimately it was extremely disappointing to see Labour peers refusing to do the right thing here.
A UK Driving Licence, which will be accepted as ID if the current Bill goes into law.
Elected Second House
The Houses of Parliament
I believe Kier Starmer is right to state that abolishing the House of Lords as it currently stands is a good idea, but replacing it with an elected second chamber seems pointless, as we already have one elected chamber which should represent the whole of the UK. Instead, I believe it is vital to change the mandate of the second house to one of an advisory role filled with genuine experts in their field and tasked with reviewing the actions of the main House and publishing their findings.
Having two Houses with separate roles makes sense. Having two that are essentially elected in the same way seems pointless.
If you are interested in my views on the aristocracy as a whole, I have written a piece on that.
Sadly strikes have become a necessity for many workers to negotiate even reasonable terms. Nurses, for example. Labour have said many of the right things, but their insistence that their politicians do not join the picket lines is appalling. The Labour party should be completely on the side of workers, and while this may be a political game to win more votes from the Tories, it is purely a consequence of our broken electoral system, which the Labour leadership also oppose reforming.
I think the most powerful point I can make here is that a vote for the Labour Party and all their problems is merely deferring the time until the Conservatives get into power again. I see a lot of #GTTO hashtags these days, but if the goal is to get them out for good, a vote for Labour now won’t do it.
Instead I would argue that the Liberal Democrats make the most persuasive case, in that we are open to the same fairness that Labour espouse, but we accept that the system needs to be changed to make the UK a better, fairer and more welcoming place.