I resigned from the Labour Party today:
I wish to resign from the Labour party. I joined the party because I was desperate to see some opposition to the Conservative party’s ideological programme of political change. But Labour – and in particular, the weak and ineffectual Ed Miliband – has failed to meaningfully challenge Tory policies.
The Labour party is either running scared of the financial sector’s ruthless exploitation of the poorest or worse, running alongside it. Where is the policy to ban outright the payday lenders? Why hasn’t Miliband promised that no bank will ever be bailed out by a Labour government; or that there will be a legal cap on executive salaries and bonuses proportional to average company pay; or that the ridiculous vanity project Trident programme will be scrapped at last?
Labour has a few socialist MPs left: Tom Watson, Dennis Skinner and Glenda Jackson, for instance; but the shadow cabinet is dominated by apparatchiks, all too comfortable in the halls of Westminster and completely disconnected from the lives of real people. I don’t want the next election to offer me a spurious choice between Coke & Pepsi political parties. I want to vote for powerful, substantive policies that will seek to redress the yawning chasm of inequality that has grown during the tenures of successive governments – Labour as much as Tory – over the last 35 years.
The reason that the repugnant UKIP has grown exponentially in popularity isn’t simply the exploitation of people’s fears and bald, unrealisable lies (though they have done both): it’s also an outright rejection of the cosy Westminster coterie and their intimate, more-or-less corrupt relationship with big business. If Labour is to reconnect with the people (and to win the next election, it absolutely has to), then the Pepsi politicians of the shadow cabinet have to leave the leather benches and the subsidised cafes and bars of Westminster and spend the next six months in their constituencies, rediscovering what real life is like for the people they are meant to represent.