My membership of the Labour Party lapsed in March. I’d decided months before that I wasn’t going to be caught out by an automatic renewal and cancelled my direct debit.
I might still have voted Labour, and the choice not to would have been harder in Wales if Derek Vaughan had stood for re-election or one or two of the other Labour candidates like Mary Wimbury, whom I’ve known for years, had been top of the Labour list.
But ultimately I decided not to vote for the pro-Brexit anti-Semitic shambles that the Labour leadership has allowed the party to become. In 2017 I voted Labour, and my vote has been waved around with that of millions of others as an endorsement of the leadership’s plans for a better Brexit. Well, stuff that. We won’t get fooled again.
When my postal ballot arrived two weeks ago, I returned it immediately with a cross against the Greens. Caroline Lucas has been the outstanding Parliamentary leader for a People’s Vote that I’ve now marched for several times in London. Green MEP Molly Scott Cato has done great work on the regulation of Facebook in the European Parliament, and I’ve just finished writing a book on this subject.*
There’s a bigger reason for voting Green of course, and that’s to do with the ceaseless drive of capitalist consumption that threatens our planet and human and other life on it. I’m voting for my grand-daughters and their future.
I know others will have made different choices, and there are good people standing for a number of the other anti-Brexit parties. I’m not saying the Greens are perfect, but strategically I’d like to see them to do well in these elections and in 2021 see them sitting in our National Assembly.
I’d like to come home, Labour friends, but hey, have you got work to do. If Labour enables Brexit I won’t be back. If Brexit happens, and we end up in Ukania, then I’m not sure what future the unionist parties have in any case. The Leavers don’t care for the Union, after all. If we have to face life after Brexit, then other political choices may have to be made.
There’s no joy in this, by the way. Only sadness.
Ukania beckons, and the far-right is on the march. Labour leadership could have pointed the way to a progressive alternative. Instead, it ducks the key decision of our time.*For Labour, both Jo Stevens and Ian Lucas have also done brilliant work on this subject in the U.K. Parliament, let me say, in the most exceptional Parliamentary Select Committee inquiry I have ever seen. But that’s another story.