Why I’m Voting Labour
What a carry on. As soon as the announcement of the snap election was made, all parties began to run around in a semi-state of shock trying to get their ducks in a row, their manifestos written and their campaigns launched.
We're now in full swing and there is a gleeful unpicking of every statement, every blunder, U-turn, unverified 'fact' and every stumble, looking for flaws in the two main party leader's utterances. "Oh look, Mrs May had to backtrack on her social care manifesto pledge." "Oh look, Mr Corbyn got his child services figures all in a muddle." "Oh look, she's hard on this and he's soft on that and no one's numbers make any sense."
Blah blah blah is what I say.
The media can parse all the words it wants to and paint one leader more fit than the other, more capable, more dynamic, more trustworthy.
I take the media with a giant dose of salt because each and every one of them has a bias and chooses what it prints or broadcasts or posts dependent on that bias. Newspapers, news bulletins, newsy websites, social media, etc. are all vying for our attention and thus they create drama, overblown rhetoric, hysterical pronouncements of doom if one or the other party wins the election.
Then there are the Manifestos which are like sales brochures: part truth, part aspirational and part not worth the paper they are written on. However, it is important to note that what goes into a manifesto reflects a party’s values and this is where the two parties radically differ.
When it comes to politics, values matter enormously to me. This means that even if I don’t agree with everything a political party pronounces, if their values are in alignment with mine, then they are the party for me.
Labour’s values are clear and unambiguous; those that are most congruent with my own personal values are fairness and equality; that all members of society are of equal value; that it is the responsibility of society to take care of its most vulnerable; that it truly is the party of the many.
Do I agree with everything the Labour Party espouses? No, I do not.
Do I agree with everything Mr Corbyn says? No, I do not.
I don’t agree with everything my nearest and dearest say, so it is unlikely I will agree with everything a politician says.
However, we can live side by side with our differences if we share common values about the world we want to live in.
I support the Labour Party because it believes in tolerance, in full support for our health, fire, police and education services, in care for those who need it most and who are in danger of falling through the social safety net. They do not want to penalise people who have longterm illness or disability. They believe in a world where differences in race, gender, religion, sexual orientation etc. enhance society rather than diminish it.
I do not want to live in a world that encourages ‘me and mine first’, that ignores the holes in the social safety net, that has increased numbers of food banks, that has rising levels of homelessness; that cuts benefits, that has young people full of despair about their futures; that has a trickle-down mentality where the trickle dries up before it reaches those who need it most.
I trust Mr Corbyn to do what he says he will do. I trust someone who lives by his word, who has true conviction and a passion for his beliefs, even if I don’t agree with everything he believes or says.
I do not trust Mrs May, who sways with the wind and changes tack when it suits rather than because she is driven by clear and firm principles. I do not trust her to do what she says she will do as the evidence so plainly indicates otherwise.
This is why I will be voting for Emma Bishton, the Labour Parliamentary candidate for South Suffolk on 8th June 2017.
Jo Ellen Gryzb