Friday, 31 December 2010

Dinosaurs vote for asteroids

From the Indie:
Britain's biggest union is in talks to form an "unholy alliance" with rightwing Conservatives to oppose next year's referendum on electoral reform, The Independent has learnt.

Unite, which has more than 2 million members and is the largest funder of the Labour Party, is expected to throw its weight behind the No2AV campaign early in the New Year. It will commit funding to the campaign and mail anti-AV literature to members.

The decision raises the prospect of union officials campaigning side by side with local Tory party associations to oppose electoral reform. The move also puts Unite at odds with Labour leader Ed Miliband, who announced earlier this month that he would campaign in favour of changing the voting system.

.oO SNIP Oo.

However the other big union, Unison, which represents the majority of public-sector workers, is likely to abstain from taking sides in the vote. The decision by Unite and the GMB is a boost to the No camp, which yesterday revealed the names of 114 Labour MPs who have pledged their support in May's referendum. These include Hazel Blears, Jim Fitzpatrick, Keith Vaz and Margaret Hodge. In contrast around 60 Labour MPs, including most of the Shadow Cabinet, have said they will campaign for a Yes vote. (1)
The idea that a trade union would ally with the Tories to prevent progress marks a new low in intelligence among the forces of social democracy. It shows that, in fact, the tradde unions can be every bit as reactionary, stupid, and anti-democratic as the forces they are supposed to be opposing, and that they are more interested in maintaining a two team stranglehold on power, content to take their turn in charge every decade or so, rather than advance the ideals they are supposed to represent.

Proportional representation will entrench the social democratic majority in power, and allow meaningful long term reform. It will mean the Tories never again enjoy the disporportionate sway they held in the 80s, which effectively broke the Labour party and allowed the Tories to implant their corrosive ideals and policies for a generation.

I just can't get my head around the imbecile tendency in some parts of the Labour party, as shown by their opposition to proportional representation AV. Surely, the strategic benefits of it are obvious to anyone other than the dimmest tribal warrior. Yeah, it might mean coalition with centrist parties, but it will mean the Tories are far hobbled far more effectively. If Unite really had the interests of its members at heart, rather than just getting its paws on power every now and again, it would be campaigning for a 'Yes' vote - and demanding the Labour party support real proportionaal representation, not the feeble halfway house of the Alternative Vote.

Voting to keep first past the post is like dinosaurs voting for asteroids, because it will mean whatever Labour manage to accomplish while they're in power will be obliterated whenever the Tories get back in.
1 - "Labour split as 114 MPs say 'no' to voting reform," by Oliver Wright. Published by the Independent, 30th of December, 2010. (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/labour-split-as-114-mps-say-no-to-voting-reform-2171786.html)

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