Following on from my last post, I just need to check that I’ve got the thinking right. The nightmare scenario is that the Tories win the election1. That’s a given, right? OK then. The merely a bad dream scenario is that Labour win the election without losing loads of seats. This is bad because we’re all pissed off with them about Iraq. Yes?
The problem is then how to bash Labour a bit without letting the Tories win. There are a great many good people in the Labour party. The party’s heart is in the right place. Unlike the Tories, they feel at least slightly uneasy about living in a society where the rich take far more than their share while throwing a bone to the rest of us from time to time. There are also quite a lot of decent people in the Lib Dems who feel uneasy about the same things that the good Labour people do but also feel a bit queasy about too much state control. The Tory party, of course, has a few reasonable people but on the whole they’re just a bunch of bastards who like kicking people when they’re down and rewarding people when they’re up2. That’s more or less right too isn’t it?
It’s not that we don’t like Labour but loathe the Tories. We do quite like Labour but dislike their leadership. So, voting to stop the Tories from winning is not a cop out. A lot of our votes are wasted because the votes that really matter are not evenly spread but are, instead, concentrated in a few two-way marginals. This means we can kick Labour a bit, send a message to its leadership if you like, without risking the nightmare of a Tory government.
If you live in a marginal you have to act differently depending on what sort it is but, in essence, if you live in a marginal seat you vote for whichever party is most likely to beat the Tories. In other seats you vote the same way as you did last time. The object of the game is to keep the Tories out at all costs. Whatever you do, you must not vote Lib Dem in what appear to be safe Labour seats.3
Is that more or less right or have I got it completely screwed?
1 OK, an even bigger nightmare is that they do it because some bunch of crazies goes and blows up a train or something, as happened in Spain last year.
2 It’s much easier to do well if you’re already doing well. So why reward people who are doing well so that they do even more well? With a few exceptions, most people who are doing well are doing it for themselves alone but like to fool the rest of us into thinking that they’re doing well in order to help us to do well too.
4 Done that. Phew! It’s pretty safe Labour with a majority of more than 10,000 over the Lib Dems. No thinking required: vote Labour
Posted 15 April 2005, 00:54 BST