Monday, 20 October 2014
The Left has no realistic Kip-like alternative
The idea of UKIP's ghastly representatives being electable is repugnant but nonetheless appears to be growing in reality. Tories in particular, frustrated that their party is not quite unpleasant enough, can now see an alternative to entrust with their votes. This has been available for years but has only now become a real option because it is conceivable that their chosen Kipper could actually be elected.
True, some disenchanted Labour voters may go the same way; but for those on the left this option should not be conceivable. For disenchanted lefties, a close examination of alternative manifestos should lead to a mass exodus towards the Greens. Their current policy list is as close to an ideal socialist prospectus as you could realistically wish. So why not vote for them? They do, after all, have an MP and other elected representatives.
The answer I would offer is that they lack that likelihood of victory which the Kippers have discovered. The Greens have yet to build the bandwagon effect that Farage has created around UKIP. With little prospect of influence in the lobbies, a vote for Green still looks like a wasted one, no matter how sensible their policies. I wish it were otherwise. For now, the recourse for those who would like a more socialist country and government must remain to work on Labour from the inside, to persuade the leadership that it is more important to grasp the opportunity to set the country on a new course than to lose mass support and stay in opposition by presenting themselves as slightly nicer managers of the country's resources than Tories.