Who’s a Jew to vote for?
With 4 weeks and 1 day until we vote in the general election this might be a bit premature, but it is something I’ve been thinking about for a while, especially since the snap election was called.
You see, I’ll go either way. I’m not a die hard Labour or Conservative voter. I’ve voted each way in previous elections. Heck, I voted for Burnham last week in the Manchester mayoral election. More pragmatic than dogmatic.
Except this time I’m resolutely voting Conservative. I live in a pretty safe seat, and I agree with my MP on a bunch of things. He’s always replied to my letters agreeably especially on Israel. I would be very surprised if it changes this month, however the Conservatives picked up some wins in places you wouldn’t have expected in last weeks local and mayoral elections, so one can only hope.
Since Corbyn was elected leader there has been anti-semitic scandal after scandal. From the Councillors and MPs having their anti-semitic rhetoric uncovered, to the Chakrabarti whitewash, sorry Chakrabarti report, to the suspension and not expulsion of Ken Livingstone recently, I feel as if the Jewish community has been held in contempt. The fact it took Corbyn so long to get his act together on this, only really committing to any action after an outcry, rang the alarm bells. We don’t know this for sure, but I seriously doubt they would have done the same with uncovering any other racism in the party.
Let’s not forget how he acted, or failed to act when Ruth Smeeth, a Jewish MP, was reduced to tears at the actual anti-semitism inquiry press conference. You know, the same one when he pretty much equated Israel to ISIS.
No thank you.
That’s where he lost me.
He’s got to go.
And this is without the fact that he has run Labour into the ground. He has faced MPs quitting his shadow cabinet and doing terribly at the local elections in opposition. He is promising the world, but hasn’t explained how he is going to pay for it. In fact the one time someone did try to explain it, she ended up saying the police they were going to hire would be paid £30. It’s half baked. It’s cookie dough. Yummy in ice cream, not in government.
Labour need to rebuild. They need to be able challenge at elections or at least provide a stable opposition. They haven’t been able to do so thus far, and don’t look like they well.
Corbyn and his team need to go, and only then can we rebuild.
But he’s not going to go. He’s going to stay because of his precious mandate.
The far left have hijacked the Labour party, thus disabling it.
If they lose, they will hold on. If they win, heaven help us, because that lot can’t run a bath, let alone a country.
The only chance we have is if they lose badly. There can’t be any running from it. It has to be historic. Only then can Labour get rid of him and elect a leader with a clue, a leader who can get elected.
But it’s hard.
Because in the meantime, the Tories will have a stonking majority able to do what they want, and it won’t bring cheer to everyone. Some of their policies aren’t great, some are bad. Disability allowances for example. the direction of the NHS. These things need to be opposed, and slowed down or stopped, but it won’t be happening any time soon.
And just as many Jews identify with the anti-semitism concerns, many Jews are concerned with the social-welfare concerns too. It’s it part of our Jewish identity. The British Jewish community is made up of loads of organisations to deal with the poor, the needy and the disadvantaged, which is why Labour is such a natural fit for many people. Which is why I will vote for them when they have their act together.
I can vote for the Tories though. Theresa May’s first speech as Prime Minister gave an indication of where she was headed, firmly in a one nation direction. The Financial Times reported how Nick Timothy has met former Ed Miliband aide Maurice Glasman in the run up to the release of their manifesto next week. The energy prices cap could be a sign that May is looking for opportunities to fill Labour ground abandoned by Corbyn. A strong majority for her would mean she would be able to do so without being held hostage by the more right wing element of the party. My belief (from here) is that May wants to go
to the right on Brexit and immigration and to the left on the economy and public services. This is pretty much where May has taken the party since becoming leader.
Which is why it’s going to be painful for many people. Which is why Jewish Labour MP’s, candidates, members and supporters will still vote for Labour. They hope they will be able to change things, from within, not from without.
I don’t begrudge them that, but I don’t agree.
I feel the Labour party has been hijacked. I agree with Daniel Finkelstein on this and not Jeremy Newmark. I think it’s too late, we need to send a message, loud and clear.
I’m not going to tell you who to vote for (Conservatives), but do get out and vote next month (Conversatives)!