Having written off the current Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn and the useless cabal with which he surrounds himself, the question is where do I go now? For reasons I don’t quite understand, I have retained membership of a political party I’m not sure I could even vote for at the next general election if this bunch of deadweights are still in charge.
There is nothing to the left of Labour, barring the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) which is essentially another wing of the Socialist Party AKA Militant, so there’s nothing for me there and the Greens will never be an option for so long as they want to stop me driving my car or charging me even more to drive it. So then what?
The Lib Dems, perhaps? It will take more than Nick Clegg’s half-hearted apology for tripling tuition fees to convince me to vote for them, even if they are the only party to have a coherent line on Europe. I’d want not just a full and sincere apology from Tim Farron, I’d want a promise that they would never break in any future coalition that tuition fees be reduced to the previous level or even abolished altogether. There is no getting round the fact that these fees are a tax on the brightest youngsters in the land and a curse on working class children who do not have wealthy parents to cushion the blow by paying them off. And Farron has history with other serious matters.
Farron abstained in the parliamentary vote for equal marriage on the basis of his religious fanaticism (my words). He later expressed his regret but that’s not good enough for me. To be a true libertarian, one must also set aside religious prejudice and, frankly, bigotry, because that’s what it is. In other ways, Farron seems to be a good bloke and far more trustworthy and competent than the out of their depth leaders of HM’s government and opposition respectively. I need convincing that he’ll keep his God to himself.
Then there is nothing. The gap from the Lib Dems, who I would place as just left of centre, to the Tories, who now occupy the hard right, along with Ukip, is more of a chasm than a gap. I suspect that the vast majority of people in this country would regard themselves of the centre ground, even if many of them voted to support the hard right Brexit. I do not know if the leavers are thrilled with the divisions their decision has caused the country and the damage it will cause in the years ahead, but I am hopeful that now they can leave Nigel Farage alone to spend more time with his mistress.
I do not want to see a new party of the left because, for much of its life, the party of the centre left has been Labour. That it has been hijacked by the basket case left takes Labour away from its core voters who, like me, don’t know what to do now.
I supposed the reason I choose to stay in Labour is because I want to fight to take it back from the middle class, grammar school chattering classes and return it to the party of the working woman and man. My patience will only last so long but I am hanging in there for the time being. When it becomes simply too much, I’ll take a walk into the political wilderness and keep my head down. No room for a centre left socialist in this land.