In response to former Labour councillor Denis Bown (Mailbox, December 18) I agree that 24% of the British electorate have given “the Conservatives a working majority with policies which include more cuts in pubic expenditure.”
But this is where my agreement ends. Ed Miliband similarly also offered up more cuts in public expenditure; hardly a stunning alternative to the Tories.
UKIP was the only political party that offered to punish the majority of the electorate more than the Tories. Nothing new here given that UKIP represents nothing less than a right-wing breakaway from the Tories.
In Scotland, aided by Labour’s anti-worker stance in respect to the massively popular political Referendum, the Labour Party’s vote was decimated by the SNP.
The previous year, the same had happened in Ireland: Labour’s vote imploded and Sinn Fein gained power. Like the SNP, Sinn Fein rose to power by marketing themselves as an anti-austerity alternative to Labour.
Yet once elected, both the SNP and Sinn Fein have embraced austerity and public sectors cuts.
The same is not true for the four members of the Irish Parliament who were elected to represent the Anti Austerity Alliance–People Before Profit. Likewise the same fighting spirit has been shown by the small number of Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) councillors here in England.
But unfortunately, given the mainstream media’s lack of interest in talking to TUSC, most people did not even know that the sixth biggest political party in the country existed.
Finally, Denis blames the youth for the problems of political disengagement that the Labour Party has contributed so much to in recent decades: not least because the Labour Party has chosen (prior to Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership) to willingly adapt their spending priorities to the poltics of austerity.
Instead of understanding why the youth might become alienated by the politics of lies, with utter disdain, Denis says the youth are “hypnotised” by social media, such that “the word community appears to be alien to a good many of them.”
Here Denis would do well to remember that it was Corbyn’s open advocacy of meaningful socialist policies that has succeeded in bringing tens of thousands of new young members into the Labour Party’s swelling ranks. Corbyn is promoting anti-austerity ideas that are considered anathema by the majority of Labour’s current batch of soon to be de-selected representatives.
This letter was emailed to the Leicester Mercury on December 18.