Politics in the UK is still mostly viewed in terms of left and right and the baggage that comes with them. I don’t subscribe to any strong views on either; good politics should pull ideas from across the spectrum and so I naturally gravitate to parties than govern from the centre. New Labour, under Tony Blair, was probably the closest that there has been to my ideal. It embraced capitalism and globalisation, but also enacted transformative social programs that improved the lives of the poor and vulnerable. It embraced Europe and was confident on the national and world stage.
I have voted in every single one of the four general elections that have taken place since I became eligible to vote. Labour has had my vote in all but the 2010 election, when I voted Conservative and helped to bring in the first Coalition government since the Second World War. The reasoning behind this vote was simple - the scale of government debt following the financial crash scared me, and they were they only party advocating significant reductions in government spending.
I voted Labour again in 2015 and was rewarded with a Conservative majority in Parliament. I joined the Labour party, the first time that I have ever been a member of a political party, and began to campaign for them. I delivered thousands of leaflets. I attended branch and constituency meetings. I even, albeit briefly, served as Chairman for my local branch. I sold the Labour message wherever I went - but then Jeremy Corbyn happened.
The Labour Party has now been out of power for seven years, having struggled to shake of the demons of the past or find a message that resonates with the electorate. It elected Jeremy Corbyn, a left-wing outlier who had never held or even sought high office as its leader. His MPs tried to overthrow him when it became clear that he was incapable of any form of leadership, only to bungle it and have him elected again under an even bigger majority. The Party now finds itself a perpetual and maddening turmoil. I cannot vote for Jeremy Corbyn to be our Prime Minister because he simply is not fit to hold that, or any other office of government. He is a third rate politician, of little genuine intellect but narcissism by the bucket load - buoyed by the cheers of his enthusiastic & devoted supporters to continue his bungled experiments with power. I cannot forgive him for the last eighteen months, where he has time and time again failed to hold the government to account while they succeeded in tearing up our membership of the EU. All of the evidence would suggest that the Labour Party is facing annihilation in this coming general election - and I whilst I genuinely grieve at that prospect - something good will have come of it if this maddening experiment is brought to an end.