I voted Labour in the General Election at the start of this month. And I’m getting annoyed by the people who claim they know what that vote meant.
It wasn’t about the local candidates in this constituency. Both the (almost inevitable) Tory victor and the closest (Labour) challenger are good people. I would have been happy with either of them as my MP.
It wasn’t an endorsement of the Labour manifesto. And it certainly wasn’t a vote for Jeremy Corbyn’s position on Brexit.
Brexit was above all else why I couldn’t bring myself to vote for the Tories. I believe that in putting careless party management before wise leadership of the country, Cameron betrayed his office and the nation, and Theresa May has chosen to follow suit for reasons of personal ambition.
The polls leading up to the election were all over the place. I hoped on the basis of some outlying polling (and the conversations I was having gave me some reason for this hope) that the Tory lead would be smaller than it looked when the election was called. I voted, somewhat quixotically, in the hope of keeping the margin of May’s victory down. The best I thought I could hope for was that her majority barely changed, and she would have no mandate for Brexit on any terms.
The result was better than that. She lost ground. In my view, this genuinely ought to give space for parliamentary sovereignty in place of prime-ministerial dictatorship, and the possibility of rational debate leading to a second referendum on a rather more realistic proposition than an in/out question onto which everyone could project their fantasies and lies.
Unfortunately, the Tory and Labour leaderships are colluding in the pretence that the majority voted for parties that were in favour of Brexit. Unless I’m unique, they’re wrong. Unless no-one else has said what I’m saying, they’re lying.
And I want to stay up and say: Not in my name.
I did not vote for Corbyn. I voted to hobble May. I did not vote for Brexit, I voted to give sanity a chance.
Please, MPs, stand up for your consciences. Engage in a reasonable debate. Put the lies of Dacre and Murdoch behind you. Draw the poison of Farage’s fascist fantasies.. Stop pretending Jacob Rees-Mogg lives in the real world. Remember IDS stands for Irritable Demagogue Syndrome, and Gove is a four-letter word.
Resist the whips. Take responsibility, instead of abdicating it. Don’t leave it to the Lords to show you how to do democracy.
Lead the people instead of following them.