This post originally appeared on my old WordPress blog. I am deleting that old blog so I have reprinted it here, today.]
I’ve always voted Labour, probably because I was born, brought up and still live in the Black Country, once the industrial heartland of Great Britain. My granddad was a coal miner, and my father a factory worker. So, you could say I was born into Labour. Conservatives, especially the conservative middle-class, always seemed like the ‘other’, a strange alien race with their own places, language and customs.
Later I took John Fowles’ claim (I think it is in The Aristos, but I can’t be sure) that ‘the intelligent person must be of the left’ almost on faith. Especially when faced with the dread Thatcher – her despicable small-mindedness that made even the almost obscene Daily Mail seem intellectual and cosmopolitan. As far as I am concerned, to paraphrase Johnson ‘A man who is tired of life, tired of thinking, will take the Daily Mail‘.
So, I continued to vote Labour, despite rather than because of the loathsome Blair. Ideally then, Brown and his studiousness, his dour anti-celebrity, disinterested in fashion and the fashionable style over substance should then always more my kind of person.
That is, except for my big problem with the whole New Laborg project. Its control freakery, its spin over substance, its clumsy attempts at social engineering, its enthralled beguilement with managerialism and so on, that makes me feel I could never contemplate voting Labour again… ever.
And, as for Gordon Brown, as Simon Jenkins says here ‘ the chancellor who has spent nine years, as Charles Clarke attested, as patron saint of control freaks?’
Sorry, Gordon, but Labour have gone too far down the authoritarian, social engineering path too far for me ever to trust them with my vote, risk my vote for them, ever again, even with you in charge.
So, as I said, I voted Labour despite Blair, not because of him. Consequently the question now is: can I force myself – against everything I used to hold dear – to vote Conservative this time, and – again – despite the Blair clone Cameron, not because of him? And, if I did, would I be making the same mistake again?