UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Thursday, 31 March 2011

AV - the case against

Rather patronising the ‘Liberals’ within Compass wrote a report just before the last election claiming that unless Labour supported a move to some form of voting reform it would be dead in the water.

They used rather hyped up figures based on previous electoral losses (under Blair and post Iraq) and predicted in numerous fringe meeting around the party political circuit – alongside Caroline Lucas invited rather naively onto Labour platforms by compass (why not bring a fox into your child’s cot?) that without reform there would be no future for any centre left progressive government. They were simply wrong.

The last election results did not provide a mandate for any party to govern but most certainly did not prove the case that labour was dead in the water. Whether you love or loathe labour is not however really the point. The type of ‘consensus’ politics trumpeted by the coalition as a tardy excuse for a rabid attack on public services is not about consensus at all . It is simple about power and greed.

The Liberal ministers, one in four of all their MPs, now enjoy a ministerial salary, the cars and others perks of office. Are they likely to give this up to stand firm on any issue of principles that would truly represent ‘new politics’? There would be more chance of Simon Cowell giving up his electric toothbrush. It isn’t going to happen.

Far from this being new politics it is old politics, dealing not on the basis of any political commitment to a cause (whether left or right) but breaking and making promised with ease because that will allow minority parties to cling onto power. And it is not just the liberals we need to worry about. Hello to UKIP and BNP.

But even if these reasons were not enough to reject AV tactically Ed Miliband has the brains of a rocking horse on this issue. Why would Labour, thrown from office by the duplicitous tactics of the Liberals now want to give them any credibility by voting yes to AV?

Clegg is already teetering on the brink with many within his party. A resounding defeat on AV will expose him for the Cameron puppet that he really is. If for no other reasons why would any one on the left want to provide Clegg with any shred of credibility that he simply does not deserve?

Anna Rose