In the past we’ve given subliminal messages to suggest how you might want to vote, but after five years of cruel Tory mismanagement – and with all three constituencies too close for pollsters to call – we’re going to be explicit. If you’re registered in Brighton Pavilion you need to vote Green, otherwise the only right vote is for Labour. Here’s why we think that.
Starting with the easy one, Brighton Pavilion. Caroline Lucas has been an excellent MP, both for the city and for the country. It’s not just that she’s intelligent, driven and caring, she’s also good at putting ideas that are not often heard in Westminster into the debate (not least No More Page Three). It’s not just us that thinks that. The Spectator named her the Best Newcomer, while Total Politics magazine called her Best All Rounder. These are not leftie loonies.
Her voice is an important one to have in Parliament and it would be a shame to lose it. And that’s a possibility. She leads in the polls, but it’s officially “too close to call”. The bin strike wasn’t her fault or her responsibility – in fact she came out against the green council on the issue, a bravery that also saw her arrested in the anti-fracking protests.
Now to Labour. There have been many times when we’ve felt that Labour have refused to shoot at an open goal. Their unwillingness to put up their hands and say, “You know what, the recession wasn’t our fault” has been maddening. Ed Miliband has been awkward and missed opportunities, but he’s also had the balls to stand up to Murdoch and keep us from sending troops to Syria. He’s had such a kicking from the press who are so worried that he’s actually going to push through the Leveson Inquiry findings that he will come to the role of Prime Minister owing no one any favours. Wouldn’t that be refreshing after the Chipping Norton Set?
His apparent enthusiasm to tackle the horrors that so many of us face renting our homes is enough to make us want to vote for him. He’s also serious about confronting inequality and tax avoidance. Call us ideological, but that’s music to our ears. Is he as charming and statesmanlike as Cameron? No, but look where that got us. But more than any other leader recently, it seems like he might listen. As Owen Jones says, let’s protest against Labour in the next Parliament, because they’re more likely to listen than the Conservatives.
The Tories have opportunistically pushed through an ideology with little regard to whether it works. Austerity is the worst thing to happen to, not just the most vulnerable people in Britain, but also to the British economy. You don’t have to be John Maynard Keynes or Robert B Reich to know that you spend you way out of a recession. It’s basic economics, and you’d struggle to find an economist that thinks austerity was or is the right way. But that’s falling on deaf ears at Tory party HQ – they’re planning £12bn more in cuts and more tax cuts. That simply won’t work and they’re painting us all into a corner.
If you’re thinking of not voting we simply have this to say: even Russell Brand has realised how important it is to get into the polling booth. Every missed vote from Labour is two votes for the Tories, because you know their supporters aren’t going to wake up and say, “I can’t be arsed.” In fact, we’d rather you voted for the Conservatives or UKIP than throw away this hard won privilege.
So vote, vote against the Tories if you agree with us, but make sure you make your voice heard. It could honestly come down to the cross you put in the box this Thursday.