Dear Labour Party,

Dear Labour Party,

I’m sorry to trouble you but I thought I should pass on a comment my 92 year old Dad made today. I know, you’re busy coming up with policies to appease potential UKIP voters, sorting out which safe seats to secure and the marginals to concentrate on. And there’s all that maths to do- how to get to Power with the minimum amount of votes required. In fact it is probably wrong of me to even mention how he feels given that he lives in a safe Tory constituency and would never vote ukip anyway…. But just for the record, here was the comment he made today:

“I returned from the war and came home to vote in a Labour Government and build our National Health Service. I wake up today to hear a labour politician not only call for a teachers’ oath but fail to undertake to undo the damage Gove has done to education.”

Yes, not worth bothering about I know……

My Dad had an unheroic part to play in WW2- the only story he relishes is when he “liberated” a Christmas tree. (Story told here.) Actually, the reason he told so few stories is that he suffered from ptsd but it went undiagnosed. But he still came back and believed that being part of a movement that created the NHS was worthwhile, gave him pride. But then, he believed in some values which are very old fashioned now but you might have heard of- the dignity of labour (that used to mean work),  a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay, education for all not just to provide skilled workers but to create active and engaged citizens. (My Dad went to university thanks to an NUM scholarship. My Dad saw a party, with a name very similar to yours, build the NHS, create the Open University and create an education system which, whilst flawed in its implementation, offered the hope of opportunity for all.

I am pretty sure that my Dad will still vote “labour” next time round even though he knows his vote won’t count in a voting system that has little to do with democracy but with a chance of offering you Power. So no need to worry there. Just a thought though… perhaps, just perhaps, you could give some thought to principles and beliefs? Hard I know. But just try it. Instead of thinking “Oops, that belief isn’t very popular, let’s get a focus group together”, you could try; ” We think we are right on this. If we stick to our beliefs we might be proved right.”

You react to the accepted narrative as though it is all true. Your History Man has effectedly said that Academy chains provide more choice,which of course they do. For commercial providers of one size fits all packages. You do not challenge perceptions of immigration. You do not consider the public ownership of services, which you created, which many people want, but which your business and media friends don’t like.

Dear Labour, this is a long shot. Why not look back to the forward, compassionate views of those old people who were, like my Dad, proud to come back from the war and hoped and dreamt of a better society?

Of course you will ignore the views of an elderly man living in an unwinnable seat. You might like to consider however that he has influenced the views of our children, living in Scotland, who see that a radical alternative is possible.

Anyway, I’ll let you get on with your speech making, your pandering, your accommodating , your hesitations and your stuff about a fairer society for your mates, and your welfare cutting and your privatising and your PFIing………..

Sorry if I troubled you.


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