Why St Andrews students should vote for: the Labour Party


The question of why people should vote Labour nowadays is a question that is becoming harder to answer. Jeremy Corbyn, to put it politely, is not a good leader, and his alarming rise to power has paralysed the party. We’re in the midst of (another) civil war that could very well destroy the party electorally. We don’t have a ‘Brexit’ plan or anything close to one, and coherent, well-argued policies elude us at the moment. We have a Shadow Cabinet with the combined talent of a second-rate school debating society, and a Parliamentary Labour Party that hates the membership almost as much as the membership detests Tony Blair. (Almost.)

So, with this in mind, why should you vote Labour, especially with such a certain outcome? I can see the map of the results already: England transformed into a blue sea dotted by red islands that will be significantly smaller than they were in 2015, and Scotland still shaded in sickly yellow. I know as well as anyone the temptation to give Jeremy, his comrades, and the increasingly intransigent membership some shock therapy, in the vain hope that being reduced to less than 200 seats for the first time since 1935 might sober them up and shake them out of their stupor. However, such a result would be catastrophic for Labour, our democracy, and the United Kingdom as a whole.

To the fabled, core Labour vote of 35 per cent (who I am assured do actually exist), I ask you to vote Labour on 8 June in spite of Corbyn, not because of him. Whilst Jeremy is a nice man he is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the worst mouthpieces for left-of-centre policies in the Party’s history, but not voting Labour won’t necessarily oust him, or loosen the grip that the loonies have on the Party. We have already seen an exodus of talent from the parliamentary Party, with both Andy Burnham and Sadiq Khan preferring mayoralties to the Commons, and a punishment vote on 8 June would likely exacerbate this problem, with talented MPs like Clive Lewis predicted to lose their seats. If such a retreat of the moderates occurs, I wouldn’t be surprised if we got stuck with Corbyn or someone worse for the foreseeable future.

We also cannot afford to give Theresa May a blank cheque for a ‘Tory Brexit’. We should not allow a Conservative government with no effective opposition to impose their method of exiting from the European Union upon the people of the United Kingdom. (Nearly half of which did not want to leave, we must remember.)

We also cannot afford to give Theresa May a blank cheque for a ‘Tory Brexit’

If we grant the Conservatives the overwhelming majority they’ve been promised, we run the risk of Theresa May force-feeding her idea of a good withdrawal plan to the electorate, with no way of holding her to account. But this problem transcends our withdrawal negotiations- May and her government have to be scrutinised in all aspects of their governance, and this simply cannot be done if the official opposition is quite literally annihilated at the polls.

Whilst it might not seem it at the moment, Labour is the most viable opposition to the Conservatives in parliament, and it is critical to our parliamentary democracy that Labour does not, because of one man and his disciples, get beaten beyond recovery.

Finally, and in my opinion, most importantly, I truly believe that another Conservative government would be terrible for the United Kingdom. The Tory-headed coalition and the majority government we have now have presided over some of the worst times for Britain’s working people. Real wages are falling, the NHS is at breaking point, and affordable housing is only becoming scarcer. For all of Corbyn’s (many) failings, he and the Party do have policies to effectively combat the problems that the UK currently faces- Jeremy’s “10 pledges to transform Britain” directly address the issues of housing, healthcare, and employment, without the cringe-worthiness of the ‘Edstone’. As far as I’m aware, mindlessly repeating “strong and stable leadership” does not build homes or feed families, and there’s not a doubt in my mind that another Conservative government will only make the manifold problems the UK faces worse.

Labour is the most viable opposition to the Conservatives in parliament

So, why vote Labour on 8 June? I’ll be the first to admit that there are plenty of reasons not to. I too don’t like Corbyn’s sympathy for the IRA, his media incompetency, or even the people the surrounds himself with (and yes, I’m looking directly at you, Diane Abbott), but there are glimmers of red hope in the dark.

Voting for the Conservatives to spite Jeremy Corbyn would legitimise their atrocious record in government and coalition for the past seven years, and gives May a mandate she doesn’t deserve to continue with Tory mismanagement of the country. I’m voting Labour, not because I like Corbyn, but to ensure the survival of my Party, to safeguard our democracy, and to resist another Conservative government: I would urge you to do the same.


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