Its going to be impossible to envisage Labour doing well at this election on 4th June.The last year has seen a sharp decline in support as evidenced by many of the polls that are released on a weekly basis. The expenses row , while hitting the Tories especially hard, will also be expressed by an anti vote for Labour.
It will be interesting to see the turn out come the 6th or 7th when the results are announced. I think we could be in for a surprise with a higher than normal turnout due to the slagging off all politicians have been getting in the press. I fear though we could also see a sharp rise in support for the 'minority' parties such as the UKIP and the increasingly barmy BNP. A vote to look out for will be the NO2EU candidates (I can really call it a party, more an electoral front) I am sure they will pick up disaffected Labour voters who would otherwise go to the right wing nationalist parties. Out of interest I know a number of Labour Party members who have expressed support for NO2EU on 4th June.
The real issue I see for voters is to give the Government a drubbing. Together with the Council Elections on the day the question will have to be asked, would the results be enough to make the Government change course?
I doubt it. They seem to be deliberately preparing the way for Cameron's lot to continue where New Labours brand of Neo Liberalism leaves off, in a years time at the General Election. No amount of posturing and pontificating around Obama's victory in the US will dig up the required support needed to keep the Tory wreckers out.
Its the economy stupid is a refrain I hear from some quarters of the LP. Yes quite true and it is for that reason that many workers at the sharp end of the recession are going to give Labour a kicking. Unfortunately New Labour just don't see it. Now it is all too late and cries of 'it can only get better' will be a thing of the past.
The only choice at the GE will be to vote Labour despite the fact that New Labour have wrecked things. I'm not talking about the minimum wage and the other minimally pro workers policies the government have introduced in the last 12 years. NL have wrecked things by the way they cling on to this perception of middle ground which is a throwback from the mid 90s. This has made them make huge cock ups (10p tax rate, dithering over an election and Northern Rock etc)which have drowned the important gains. Unfortunately the leading lights are so blind the cant see it.
Alternatives to Labour coming from the Left have been dismal failures. In main this is because most left groups have an inherent inability to unite around issues which clearly matter to working people. At a time when the best opportunities for the left are out there to be taken, working people clearly have no one to represent them. Working people deserve much better.
The key to change comes definitely from the Trade Unions. They have the power and resources to organise around the issues affecting working people and are clearly in a position to take advantage. But they need to be fit for purpose and have a clear organising agenda. There is still some work to be done here. My union, Unite are beginning to take advantage but have clearly a long way to go. Others such as the GMB and the smaller unions such as the RMT have shown that organising to fight back benefits members. (Its a shame that the left still cherry pick unions to work in while ignoring the principle to organise where they are. I am also still surprised by the size able group of lefts still not involved in any union and fail to see the importance of organising in their own workplaces)
With the very real prospect of Cameron coming to power the Unions clearly need to look at organising. How the unions behaved in the 90s around servicing clearly doesn't work and we cant go along again with New Labour telling us to keep quiet and wait for Labour to get back to power.
That is not an option and should be held up by the TUs to the Labour Party in how not to do things. The next period will see fundamental changes in the relationship between the TUs and the Labour Party. Principles of power for working people should and must take over from the principle of power just to be in power.