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Why I am voting Labour on June 8

By Comrade Darren Atwater | Friday 2 June 2017


 


To say that ShareProphets readers are right wing is to say that WG Grace is the greatest sportsman of all time. Yet, in a blatent scheme to rig the election in favour of the Tories, Tom has arranged for various patsies to argue in favour of the lesser parties. Yesterday Jonathan Price batted for team Lib Dem.  Although Tom expects today's offering to be a token paen to Labour. I say, prepare to be shocked: you're going to be voting Labour. 

The main reason that I am voting Labour is that I want the economy to grow and prosper

I have known some true British people, so British that if you cut them they’d bleed Victoria sponge, who are wistful for the Great Britain of their childhoods. Those days before every high street in the UK had the same stores as every other country, with goods that every other country has, and the shows in the cinema and the telly weren’t American and the music was good ol’ Britpop. (Or classical - whatever floats your boat.)

Unfailingly, these rememberers of times past are pro-Margaret Thatcher. “She made the hard decisions that had to be made.” She also destroyed whatever Britain was and created what we have today. I would have loved to see that Britain that you remember—but the first time I ever set foot in this country was 1999. It was all gone by then.

Morons argue that the government should run like a household and live like annual taxes are the equivalent of an annual wage. Which is a great argument if your household members can print their own wages, buy nuclear weapons, and will never, ever die. 

A better metaphor, if you’re the type that doesn’t think a government should be run like a government, is that a government is like a bank. It can put money out there to create positive acts, it can call in loans to reel in enthusiasm, and it’s generally closed on a Sunday and Bank Holidays.

Private capital doesn’t put high speed Internet to every single home in the country. If it did, we’d already have it. Private capital doesn’t provide quality health care to every citizen, although it does like cashing the cheques from the NHS. Private capital doesn’t give everyone who wishes it a university education, although they do ensure that their own children get one.

For a 21st century economy  to thrive, we need high quality education to the university level, we need people to be in good health, and we need great infrastructure.

Labour is going to do that.* 

Here are a few highlights from their manifesto:

  • High speed Internet for everyone, free wifi in the cities and on public transport. Oh, you think that the future of the economy is not on the Internet? Good luck in your investments, CloudTag holder.
     
  • Rail across the UK will be electrified, and Crossrail 2, Electric Boogaloo, will be started.
     
  • Renewable energy sources will be funded, which again is absolutely necessary unless you think that oil has a future. The private sector has already spoken: it's electric cars, solar roofs, and windmills from here on in. In hindsight, the subsidies to oil companies and the cost of keeping the oil flowing from the middle east is going to seem as crazy as the Beeching Report.

In fact, the manifesto says that the UK will put £250 billion into infrastructure over ten years, which should put the old economic mixmaster on fire.

Anyone who lives in London loves the tubes and buses run by Transport for London (although, if asked, we’ll say we hate it) but we know how well they are run compared to the private railways. They are all terrible. Yet, the few times in the past decade where the Department of Transport has run the trains directly due to franchisee bankruptcy or general incompetence, the routes have made money. German, French, and Dutch state railways all run UK rail franchises to subsidise their own passengers fares. 

Viddy this: Northern Ireland railways are owned by the province and make a profit. ScotRail, farmed out to Dutch State Railways, sends £1 million a month in profits to the tulip growers. 

Labour will take each franchise back into pubic ownership as each franchise comes up for renewal, at no cost, and we’ll once again have a unified system. And by we, I mean you, because I never saw such a thing in my lifetime.

They will also create a publicly owned utility company as a stalking horse against rapacious energy companies. This is a sensible and cost effective thing to do, and as such, has obviously never been tried by any previous government.

I won’t deal with the NHS, because you already know that Labour will run it properly and largely drama free. Secretly, you were already kind of scared about what the Tories are doing with it. Not you personally, of course, you have Bupa or something, but your snowboarding-champ-wannabee son and your daughter with her degree in macrame-and-folk-art (Oxon), what will they do? Really, what are you going to do about them? The Tories will say they need to work - but what useful skill do they have? Labour will at least not sell them for pet food like some political parties I could mention.

Labour promises that the day-to-day business of government and entitlements will be paid completely by taxes and the like: no borrowing. Borrowing will only be for infrastructure investments, which is reasonable and good policy. And centre-left politicians would never, ever overspend when they make a promise like that. Former prime ministers Brown and Blair agree, a Labour promise means something. 

What it comes down to is: do you think the past seven years have set this country on the road for the future, or do you believe that major investments in the Internet, railways, renewable energy, the NHS, and education is what it will take?

I believe it’s the latter, and I want to a vote for a party that is cohesive, supported by the nation, and has the competence to carry out its agenda.

That means that I support the Scottish National Party.  But since I can’t vote for them here in England, I’m voting Labour.  

* Fine. They promise this. Who knows what will actually happen.


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