Labour must start being a genuine “opposition”

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair is interviewed by political journalist John Rentoul to mark the one-hundredth Mile End group at Queen Mary University of London.

Written by Luna Webster

I think the word “opposition” is quite clear really. There’s not much room for interpretation there. It’s almost as if it was meant to sound similar to opponents, or opposite, or oppose. Incredibly all of these words carry a similar implication of not agreeing with something, can you believe it?!

So it’s kind of like Labour’s job, as opposition, is to disagree with the government and fight against it. Parliament is only just starting to enjoy its first recess of its session and already Labour have proved multiple times that they are quite literally unaware of what their purpose is in the House of Commons. ‘Shall we vote against this welfare bill that will plunge many vulnerable British people into further poverty???’ ‘No actually, although we have the power to potentially prevent this from happening we should let the electorate know that we are like sensible and agree with austerity and all that shit by abstaining. Fancy a pint???’ There’s also the embarrassment of Tony Blair popping up and expecting everybody to take his advice (why is he not like, in prison or something). The party needs somebody like me guys. A media hungry war mongerer!!! I wasn’t that bad lol!!!

It’s actually amazing that almost three months after the election Labour haven’t sat down and sort of had a little chat about why their campaign failed. Without any real proof they just go about telling everyone they were too left-wing. They alienated their key voters with socialism!! Sorry that Ed was too much like Chairman Mao with those policies about needing controls on immigration guys.

This wasn’t the case at all. Labour lost the election largely because of Rupert Murdoch’s anti Ed media, but also because of a directionless, seemingly desperate campaign. They made no effort to appeal to life long Scottish voters who were drifting towards the SNP other than to attack the SNP. This made Labour seem vicious, cruel and stubborn which only served in the favour of Sturgeon and her party. If anything, people felt Labour were not left enough.

This leads me on the current Labour leadership contest. The question is not whether the party should go left or right – it is as the opposition, should they not be fighting against the Tories, rather than supporting them or mimicking them? A Blairite becoming leader will not improve Labour’s chances in 2020. If the public want austerity and individualism they will vote for the Conservatives, not Tory-lite.

Would I trust Labour again if Jeremy Corbyn was leader? Yes, I think I would. I’d give them another chance. As a Scot who only last year felt Labour had completely abandoned their principles during the independence campaign I didn’t think I would be able to put faith in them again for a long time. But Corbyn seems to care about genuine progression for all of the UK unlike his contenders.

Labour even needing to discuss which direction they should go in is enough to tell you that the party is largely dominated by power hungry centrists with no genuine to desire to serve the public, only themselves. It is a good thing to want power if you want change – but Labour aren’t even sure what kind of change they want. Jeremy Corbyn, however, is. Even if he doesn’t win the leadership contest, I will remember him as an honest, genuine socialist who was the only one of the contenders to vote against a welfare bill that will ruin the livelihoods of hundreds and thousands of poor British people.


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