Okay so the Labour conference is going on in my hometown as we speak and it has simply led me to question everything they claim to stand for.
A person who I work with is quite ignorant to politics, however week in, week out I hear a story about his father and a phone call he had with a cold caller who was trying to buy his vote for the labour party. The story goes that by the end of the conversation he had convinced this particular person that they should start their own party as ‘labour doesn’t support labour’. Being brought up by the daughter of a labour unionist, my life has has swung towards labour and support of the labour party. On the other side although a lot quieter about his political affiliations, my dad is your typical guardian reader. Because of this socialisation, I’ve always laughed off the story my work friend told me.
However the other day, I was sitting down and The Sun; an openly right wing paper, was sitting in front of me and so I read it. It was actually refreshing hearing a newspaper which criticised a party I found it hard to see the dark side of. The tradition of the Labour party is to support the working class and the unionists whose everyday life can be a struggle and equality is paramount to their lifestyle. However this said article outlined the ‘millionaires club’ within Ed Miliband’s cabinet which includes all the most important POLICY CHANGING people. Don’t get me wrong, I am completely aware of the wealth of politicians but I suppose I had always turned a blind eye to it.
Now when I open the Labour conference 2013 magazine and see Miliband quoted saying ‘we know that times are going to be hard’ and Harriet Harman saying ‘prices are rising faster than wages. Families are worse off. Long-term unemployment is up.’ I almost laugh and think how can these two incredibly wealthy people on 6 figure+ salaries be used to represent those on and below the poverty line, who actually need help?
I am in absolutely no way a conservative voter and still affiliate much more with Labour then I could ever imagine with any right wing party, however coming up to the much needed next election; the first election I can vote in, I am weighing up my options logically. I’ve always been encouraged to vote labour and although on paper they seem good, in reality I cannot agree. Driving along the seafront today, past the 5 star hotels the conference is being held in and past the blacked out, chauffeur driven porsches and mercedes, at the men in the posh suits who went to private school I can no longer see the Labour party as being any different to the people who sadly currently run our country.
I guess the term we have to give to Labour today is New New New Labour and people like my grandfather who constantly provide a vote for this party remember them, with the likes of actual working class people such as Neil Kinock in charge. How can we call a party that would cap tuition fees at £6,000; double what they used to be (6 times more than when my parents went to university) and still only a third less of what they are now, a party in support of the poor; a party that provides oppurtunities? A man came into the typically Brighton Cafe that I work in today with a labour pass on round his neck. He had a london accent, dressed in normal clothes, with an old face as though he had experienced things in life. Until the party is taken back by the people actually know what it’s like to struggle, Labour cannot exist seriously.