Since 1984 I’ve voted Labour. In fact, I couldn’t wait to turn 18 so I could vote Labour and do my bit in evicting the vampire known as Margaret Thatcher.
In the mid-’80s, I used to be chairman of the local Labour Party Young Socialists. I campaigned for Labour, went door-to-door. I was a delegate at many conferences and rallies, speaking on the same platforms as Pat Wall, Tony Benn, Keith Vaz and many other Labour MPs and activists. In Walworth Road, I even got to meet Roy Hattersley, just after Neil Kinnock had been haranguing me and my comrades outside, blaming the troubles of Labour on us “hardline Leninists.”
But even when Kinnock spent more time expelling socialists from his party than fighting the Tories, I kept voting Labour. I never thought I’d see a Labour Party leadership that would make me miss Kinnock and Hattersley. How wrong I was.
Today, I’m voting Lib-Dem.
I cannot vote for a party lead by a liar, a war criminal, a murderer. A man who’s killed more people than Mugabe or Milosevic.
I also cannot vote for a party that supported his war crimes. The whole top layer of the Labour party is complicit in Blair’s crimes. My local MP, Bob Laxton, voted for the illegal invasion of Iraq. He’s an accessory to murder in my eyes.
I want to see the “New” snipped from New Labour. I want a Labour Party that believes in socialism, that is proud of our socialist healthcare system, something so far advanced beyond anything in the United States, where they check your wallet before they check your pulse.
I’m not deceived by the Lib-Dems: I know they’re not the party for me. All they believe in is efficient management of capitalism rather than its dismantling. The trouble is, that’s exactly what Blair’s New Labour believes too.
Do you remember Ice Pops? I used to skive off school and buy them from Blenheim Parade shops. I loved crunching their hyper-sweet iciness, the cold making my teeth wail. Some of my mates preferred sucking the flavour out of the Ice Pop, leaving a husk of tasteless, pointless ice.
That’s what Blair and his cronies have done to the Labour Party. They’ve sucked all the blood out of it, removed any nasty taint of socialism wherever their withered lips found it. What’s left now? An empty shell, the People’s Flag replaced by a ragged rose, meaningless platitudes about “justice” and “progress” covering over yet another capitalist party.
Presiding over it all is Tony Blair. A man who can personally take part in killing over 100,000 Iraqis and yet feels he did nothing wrong. What does that say about his character?
I’m voting today to get rid of Blair. And Brown, and Alistair Campbell, Geoff Hoon, David Blunkett, the whole stinking heap of ordure that calls itself New Labour.