The election happened last week, the Conservatives were elected, and people are angry. I know this not just because people are taking to the streets, but because I wrote a letter. It’s nearly on 300,000 views. The most views I’d had on anything before that was two and I’m pretty sure they were both from my mum. But this time people read it, and people agreed with it. And their voices need to be heard. A shift to the right disregards all those who voted for Labour because they were the closest they could get to left wing. And a shift to the right takes away any possibility of real change. The middle ground is not some promised land, it’s the barren wasteland that politics has become, full of spin doctors, marketing and personality politics.
If Labour ever want to win they have to stop being ‘not the conservatives’ and start forwarding their own morals. People are losing faith in politics and they need something to believe in. We need politics based on people and not profit. We need politicians who are working towards something not just working towards a pay check. A lot of people have called me an idealist for writing what I did, but I am not offended. We need more idealists in politics, or disillusionment will continue to grow. Left wing arguments are not about individual economic gain because that is not their aim. They are about being moral.
So the debate has got to change. When we talk about immigration it cannot solely be focused on economic impact, we must also talk about people. And the left should not be ashamed to do so. It does not make you naiive or childish to think about people not as just an economic process. To talk about how much immigration brings to our society culturally and socially. The left have to address what the right does not, which is the value of things based not wholly on their economic input. When we talk about education it is not immature to talk about benefits of education which do not focus on league tables, but interest and passion. Talking about people as people is where the left differs from the right. While the debate centres solely on how much profit our country and business can make, the left will never succeed.
And even if the argument must be centred on economics, the left must show that economically the country would benefit from left wing policy. Far too often, the left are criticized for not understanding the economy. But I understand the economy very well and that’s why I know it has to change. I understand that a higher GDP does not mean more jobs, it does not mean better pay, it means more profit. And I understand quite clearly that profit just does not trickle down. I understand that free reign for the banks leads to economic crashes as I’m sure you’re all very aware. A lack of business regulation does not mean more jobs it means a lack of job stability and desolate working conditions. It means wages being subsidised by the government ultimately losing money for the tax payer and not the business which continues to profit. I understand that in the biggest economic booms we still see poverty, people are still left homeless. So I understand that what we are doing doesn’t work.
And I also understand that there is an alternative. Tax is not a dirty word. Welfare policies require funding and this is how it is achieved. But we need a fair tax system. One which does not allow those who can afford to manipulate it to avoid paying, and one which ensures everyone pays what they can. If we want services and to protect those in need we have to tax and that is not something to be ashamed of. Investment in job creation in the state sector is profitable in the long run. Short term job creation in the private sector is not sustainable or stable. Fairer, more even wages would stimulate the economy as more people would have the capacity to spend more. There is so much that would benefit this country and the arguments have to start being made.
It is not childish to have morals. It is not idealistic to think we can work for something better. And most of all it is not embarrassing to be left wing. Our election system is flawed and undemocratic, our options were limited and our media dominated by business. We cannot let an unrepresentative vote be the only time our voices are heard. We cannot allow the next 5 years to be wasted. So let’s actually propose a positive alternative on the left and create real positive change.