A novice’s thoughts on British political parties on the day before the GE
Well, tomorrow is the British General Elections, and yes, I’ll be voting.
I don’t take the responsibility of voting lightly - especially in a state where we do certainly have a choice between fascist and non-fascist parties, egalitarian and non-egalitarian parties, etc. But how do we distinguish between one that is and isn’t?
Well, to very briefly consider various parties, Labour/Conservative and Lib-Dem, I consider to be ‘bourgeois socialist’. In other words, parties that seek to incorporate the masses into the capitalist ethos by softening the blow of life within a capitalist milieu. As Marx would put it, they are little more than ‘the executive arm of the bourgeoisie’. I view the change in clause 4, from Sidney Webb’s version of it in the early 1900s, to Blair’s redrafting of it in the 90s as a decisive reorientation of ‘labour’ to ‘labor’ - as in the american spelling of ‘labour’, that is an apt description of ‘labour’s’ true nature. So pooh! with an expired cherry on top.
As for the UKIP. Any party that states that it is against multiculturalism and seeks to assimilate all into the ‘British way of life’ demonises difference and the value of varying perspectives in contributing to the realisation of democracy. It is but a short trudge from such a view to one that says ‘Britain for the British’, and from there, ‘Britain for the whites’, and from there, ‘Britain for whites of British heritage’. Hence, the UKIP comes across as nothing short of a complementary or ‘soft’ version of the British National Party. A ‘prep school’ that prepares one to be desensitised to the postulations and posturing of the BNP. They are nothing more than varying schools of thought of the selfsame school of thoughtlessness.
It seems that other parties, such as the Green Party, the Pirate Party, amongst others, are, on the one hand, a result of the diminution of the socialist/egalitarian spirit of the ‘Labour’ party. But in an effort to make-up for the right-skewed vision of ‘Labour’, I have to wonder if they too are, unwittingly, serving to soften the impact of life within an elitist milieu by serving as pressure groups on the parties in prominence to make life more bearable within an overarching ‘that’s the way it is’ situation. This does not have to be so in intent for it to be so in consequence. But it’s certainly good to see such parties emerging in response to ‘labour’ mutating into ‘labor’ as it indicates that the underlying British spirit is still relatively egalitarian in nature. Contrast it to states like Singapore, where the party in power and oppositional ones are, generally, little more than variants of the same school of thought, and one can extrapolate from this the probability that egalitarianism might never have been a natural corollary of the common practiced culture or a significant portion of its history.
Well, one final thought. It is important, in deciding which party to vote for, that we resist the call by parties to ‘minoritise the electorate’ by appealing to our personal interests. In other words, we have to resist the urge to consider the viability of a party purely on the basis of it pandering to our personal interests. The ploy of most parties is to appeal to what’s of common concern. In that, they goad us to care for little other than ourselves whilst slipping in policies and perspectives that may be negative for others. For instance, ‘no fees for university and out with foreigners’. Once, we fall for this, it would not be long before ‘minorities’ of all sorts, be they the elderly (whom are minorities in economic viability), the physically/mentally/etc challenged, the homeless, the unemployed, etc, can be marginalised whilst the ‘majority’ are satiated to some degree. All of us become ‘minorities’ at some stage of our lives in this sense. When we allow the marginalisation of minorities in one respect, we validate the generic idea of the devaluation of minorities. In truth, we can fool all of the people all of the time if we can bring in and validate the idea of ‘the minority’. In that, it is just a matter of time before we take our place amongst the ‘minority’ at some point of our lives. So, in my choice of party, I will vote for they whom do not appeal to my self-interests, but those whom are empathetic despite it.
But, unfortunately, there are precious few parties that exist that are highly egalitarian - save the SWP, Respect, TUSC, CPB, amongst others - and if they do, they aren’t standing for elections in Harlow, Essex. So i’m wondering, should I vote for a ‘hung parliament’ by going Lib-Dem and hope for major screw-ups that might in turn lead to people considering alternatives? - When i was a student here in the 90s, I voted for labour. Well, that’s what I thought a couple of weeks ago. But now, I’m wondering if this might not give all 3 parties the opportunity to further validate their own significance by stating that the ‘majority’ weren’t catered to because they were held back by the other prominent parties comprising said ‘hung parliament’. Previously, they wouldn’t be able to say that they could have made a difference as they did not make up the majority in parliament. But if they are a significant enough number in a ‘hung parliament’, then they could. Or perhaps, I should just draw out an additional box in the ballot paper and slot in the aforementioned relatively egalitarian parties. It will be considered a ‘spoilt vote’, but at least the principle of egalitarianism is validated, if not counted.
I’ve got 18 hours to decide.