Voting Labour?

127 posts / 0 new
Last post
Scallywag
Offline
Joined: 24-03-14
May 22 2017 17:52
Voting Labour?

Simple question I am not registered to vote yet (at least I don't think so) so is it worth me doing so and voting labour? I know anarchists who are voting for Corbyn and it doesn't even seem like a tactical decision their making, seems like they genuinely support him judging by the stuff their liking and sharing on facebook.

Steven.'s picture
Steven.
Offline
Joined: 27-06-06
May 22 2017 18:13

Spoiler alert: they aren't anarchists

Scallywag
Offline
Joined: 24-03-14
May 22 2017 18:20
Steven. wrote:
Spoiler alert: they aren't anarchists

They are I know them personally so they aren't like Marxists just pretending to be anarchists their opposition to hierarchy, capitalism and the state is genuine. Just so happens they also seem to support Scottish independence or labour or sometimes both for some reason - I don't know I don't get it.

radicalgraffiti
Offline
Joined: 4-11-07
May 22 2017 18:31

its a bit like signing a pertion, it has vary little impact, but it doesn't take much time either, the problem is when people invest it with to much importance and start thinking its going to solve all there problems. so people should vote or sign petitions if they want to, but just dont go thinking its a significant political action

Scallywag
Offline
Joined: 24-03-14
May 22 2017 18:47

Think I'll probably vote this time, one way or another some one is going to win and it may as well be the lesser of two evils I guess. Besides it means I can avoid the scolding I'll get from my family if I don't vote - that's probably the main reason I am doing it lol. Completely pointless though Theresa may predicted to win anyway.

Craftwork's picture
Craftwork
Offline
Joined: 26-12-15
May 22 2017 19:18
Scallywag wrote:
their opposition to hierarchy, capitalism and the state is genuine

>Opposed to the state.
>Want a Labour government.

Pick one.

patient Insurgency's picture
patient Insurgency
Offline
Joined: 10-05-15
May 22 2017 20:54

I said somewhere else on libcom the other day that although the actions of government are fundamentally driven by economic conditions, and that the political partiesystem are bassically just coalitions of interests that have different views on how to manage capitalism, it might still be worth casting a vote just for the small changes,made that can have a big impact on some people's lives.

I don't think corbyn will ever succeed on any scale if elected. The people who own the country have a bigger vote intrinsic to their day to day economic activities. If a policy is not in their economic interests then they will be compelled by the market to act im way that will ultimately undermine the government that has introduced such a policy in the first place, effectivly leaving the government with the choice of reduced growth or a U-turn.

That being said, I will cast a vote if I believe that there is even the slimist of chances of an improvment. It costs me nothing to do this, just a 15 minute walk to a polling station, so I may as well.

I am under no illusions here, the labour party are not going to liberate the working class. Corbyn may be a descent guy, but he will fail and go the same way as alexis tsipras or François miterend. He will Unable to fight the system that gives them their power I'm the first place, and will support it or go somehow.

ajjohnstone
Offline
Joined: 20-04-08
May 22 2017 23:27

And for those living in Scotland...what is the recommendation?

Scallywag
Offline
Joined: 24-03-14
May 23 2017 01:18
ajjohnstone wrote:
And for those living in Scotland...what is the recommendation?

I somehow managed to forget about the SNP!

I haven't been following the election, actually was doing my best to stay away from the farce until all the pro voting media and some anarchists also made me feel quilty for intending to not vote.

I am now convinced once again that the whole thing is an utter farce, I mean it seems like there is a few options greens, SNP, Scottish independence, labour - how is anyone supposed to interpret which option would be best for the working class, especially when it's all just speculation and no guarantee that anyone will hold up to their promises. What seems like a lot of choice isn't really any choice at all, and of course when we think of what's 'best' for the working class here we aren't thinking of what's really best for the working class, and in the case of Scottish independence we are then thinking of what's best for the Scottish working class as opposed to the working class.

It's ridiculous that people think they have power in elections when they are one voter amongst millions of others and when there are powerful corporate interests that hold sway over any elected government and would prevent any gains for the working class anyway.

Steven.'s picture
Steven.
Offline
Joined: 27-06-06
May 23 2017 10:55

Other reasons not to vote Labour:
- If you are in a safe Labour seat then there is no point
- if you are in a safe Tory/LibDem seat then there is no point
- if you are in a Tory/LibDem marginal seat, then voting Labour helps the Tories
- if you are in a Green/SNP seat then you could be helping the Tories
- finally and most importantly (regardless of that Corbyn will probably lose, or that even if he did win he would be unable to control his party, and probably wouldn't be able to implement most of his programme), if you do vote for them then you will be actively supporting the government and party which will be making austerity cuts, locking up young people for smoking cannabis, imprisoning and deporting migrants, sanctioning disabled people on benefits, sacking public sector workers etc

rat's picture
rat
Offline
Joined: 16-10-03
May 23 2017 13:05

I always spoil my ballot paper by slapping an Anarchist Federation sticker on it.

wojtek
Offline
Joined: 8-01-11
May 23 2017 14:07

You may still die horribly voting labour, but equally you may live longer.

Scallywag
Offline
Joined: 24-03-14
May 24 2017 21:35

I don't get this site sometimes, really what's with the flippant remarks, and downing posts just because I said I may vote this time round?

Also I can't defend my friends who either support labour or Scottish independence but also hold anarchist views - only they could.

But if we view voting as pointless anyway (as having no real impact), then I don't see why it really matters if an anarchists individually choses to back labour or Scottish independence believing that since we are stuck with statist politics for the time being its worth at least trying to minimise harm to the working class by backing the party which seems like the lesser evil.

Now I don't exactly agree with that, but I don't see why it matters if anarchists chose to do that on an individual basis, particularly if they still take part in direct action and still hold anarchist beliefs. Why should people like this be discounted as anarchists?

Khawaga's picture
Khawaga
Offline
Joined: 7-08-06
May 24 2017 22:24

Well, you did ask whether it would be worthwhile voting for labour, not whether it matters if anarchists chose to vote on an individual basis... In any case, the latter discussion has been had many times here and the generally accepted position is that it's ok to vote as long as anarchists don't advocate it. And then there are people who will be against voting period.

zugzwang
Offline
Joined: 25-11-16
May 24 2017 22:27

I believe some people here refrain/abstain from voting altogether. I got no problem with voting myself, trying to prevent certain outcomes. One shouldn't put too much trust in the institutions he/she ultimately seeks to abolish, however, as radicalgraffiti and others have pointed out (private power will always be there influencing government to get things to work in their favor). The goal, after all, is to move toward some meaningful form of participation on the decisions being made, and not just getting 'our guys' or this or that person in government.

Scallywag
Offline
Joined: 24-03-14
May 24 2017 22:44
Khawaga wrote:
Well, you did ask whether it would be worthwhile voting for labour, not whether it matters if anarchists chose to vote on an individual basis....

But the immediate response was that my friends voting labour aren't anarchists, and the post where I said I may vote this time was also downed presumably because of that - which I don't care about, but I just don't get why. So based on that it seems some do think anarchists point blank shouldn't vote. Which is fine if they do think that, but I don't think they should be down on anarchists that do choose to vote.

Khawaga's picture
Khawaga
Offline
Joined: 7-08-06
May 24 2017 23:51

Well, you wrote that your friends​ genuinely support Corbyn not that they were just voting for him because he's the lesser evil. Pretty sure Steven's comments were directed at them and I'm inclined to agree. If you are genuinely supporting a bourgeois politician your anarchism somewhere took a right turn.

ajjohnstone
Offline
Joined: 20-04-08
May 25 2017 01:31
Quote:
I always spoil my ballot paper by slapping an Anarchist Federation sticker on it - RAT#11

These stickers are now available

jondwhite's picture
jondwhite
Offline
Joined: 23-10-12
May 25 2017 04:44

In Islington North you could vote SPGB against Corbyn specifically. Also in Battersea and Swansea West you could vote SPGB against Labour.

Noah Fence's picture
Noah Fence
Offline
Joined: 18-12-12
May 25 2017 05:10

The argument would be that by voting we are perpetuating the lie that we have some sort of self determination through the ballot box. This false hope is a huge obstacle in the road towards a mass movement of the working class. I mean, there are many that genuinely care about liberty and equality that, after a lifetime of having it rammed down their throats that the only effective way to effect change is through voting are still entranced by the idea despite having witnessed its ineffectiveness many times. If these people woke up I guess we would have many more in our number.
Voting or note voting is really symbolic, a single vote makes no difference and whoever wins the difference for the working class ranges from infinitesimal to fuck all. The lesser of two evils argument still supports the idea that the ballot gives us some degree of power. So for me voting is a bad move.
There is also the matter of principle and integrity - I'm sure some will think it's a pompous notion but to me it's important, I am an anarchist, having no government is the most basic and important tenet of anarchism, for me to vote for one is surely a great hypocrisy?

Spikymike
Offline
Joined: 6-01-07
May 25 2017 08:59

I can understand why say someone in the UK currently suffering for example from the effects of the 'Bedroom Tax' might be tempted to vote for one of the parties promising to get rid of it either in the hope of their success or just out of protest - but that is the point - all the parties (bar the spgb who offer nothing and are a wasted vote anyway) come out with promises on a host of issues targeted at particular sections of the working class and might deliver just a few of those, but cannot, because they are unable (even if we suspend belief and assume they wanted to) deliver for the working class as a whole. Reforms in one area are often as not offset by reforms in other areas and certainly in the current global economic crisis any reforms of substance will be few and far between irrespective of which political party is in power. They are capitalist parties who have and always will seek to serve the needs of capitalism which cannot bring any lasting solutions to working class or indeed wider human needs. There are no class interests in voting for any of these parties.

Scallywag
Offline
Joined: 24-03-14
May 25 2017 10:02
Khawaga wrote:
Well, you wrote that your friends​ genuinely support Corbyn not that they were just voting for him because he's the lesser evil. Pretty sure Steven's comments were directed at them and I'm inclined to agree. If you are genuinely supporting a bourgeois politician your anarchism somewhere took a right turn.

They do seem to, I don't know how they justify doing so and also being anarchists, and it annoys me as well.

I imagine they do so because they still think its worth engaging with statist politics in some way since we are stuck with it for now and rooting for what is the best your going to get within it. Anarchism after all hasn't yet built any real alternative to this, it only offers people a dream of a better society but that's in the future. I imagine they like Corbyn because they probably think he is someone doing the best he can within a really flawed and unjust system and so is worth supporting. Either this or they just haven't fully worked out their politics yet.

I don't agree with them, but if an anarchist tends to somewhat support a party (so long as that's a leftist party) I guess as a sort of 'back up' to their anarchism then it doesn't bother me too much so long as they don't have any illusions about them.

Scallywag
Offline
Joined: 24-03-14
May 25 2017 09:36
Noah Fence wrote:
There is also the matter of principle and integrity - I'm sure some will think it's a pompous notion but to me it's important, I am an anarchist, having no government is the most basic and important tenet of anarchism, for me to vote for one is surely a great hypocrisy?

I am a bit uncomfortable justifying things like not voting based upon 'my own' anarchist principles - it just seems a bit individualist. Much better if decisions or standpoints are justified based upon well thought through argument from an anarchist perspective. Either way I agree with what you've said here.

Craftwork's picture
Craftwork
Offline
Joined: 26-12-15
May 25 2017 10:01

Just because someone identifies as something, doesn't mean they actually are that thing.

I'm sure we've all met quite a few [self-identified] anarchists over the years, through campaigns, occupations, demos who were nothing of the sort, more like direct-action liberals and lifestylists.

Scallywag
Offline
Joined: 24-03-14
May 25 2017 10:07
Craftwork wrote:
Just because someone identifies as something, doesn't mean they actually are that thing.

I'm sure we've all met quite a few [self-identified] anarchists over the years, through campaigns, occupations, demos who were nothing of the sort, more like direct-action liberals and lifestylists.

Know what you mean that's somewhat the case here with my friends although I would not describe them as liberals at all.

potrokin
Offline
Joined: 28-05-16
May 27 2017 06:41

We can all pat ourselves on the back about how radical we are but meanwhile the NHS is fucked if the Tories get in, as is everything else and more people will suffer and die. As a person with a long term health condition, the last people I trust with our NHS are the Tories and probably won't be able to afford healthcare thats not free.. I don't see any harm in voting for the less anti-working class party-the anarchist 'movement' sure as hell is going to do fuck all in a significant way, it's too small. I know that ultimately capitalism needs to go but when the fuck is that going to happen? Meanwhile school kids get their free meals taken away and all kinds of other heinous structural violence is being inflicted upon us as working class people.

potrokin
Offline
Joined: 28-05-16
May 25 2017 10:34

Basically I want to lessen the harm being inflicted on those around me. How many more people have to suffer and die before the revolution arrives?

potrokin
Offline
Joined: 28-05-16
May 25 2017 11:08
radicalgraffiti wrote:
its a bit like signing a pertion, it has vary little impact, but it doesn't take much time either, the problem is when people invest it with to much importance and start thinking its going to solve all there problems. so people should vote or sign petitions if they want to, but just dont go thinking its a significant political action

I agree that it shouldn't be the be all and end all of political struggle. I think it's also important for me mentioning that where I live, the anarchist movement doesn't exist.

rat's picture
rat
Offline
Joined: 16-10-03
May 25 2017 14:48

Good posts by Spikeymike and Craftwork!

And well said about the 'activist' type anarchist scene in the UK:

Craftwork wrote:
I'm sure we've all met quite a few [self-identified] anarchists over the years, through campaigns, occupations, demos who were nothing of the sort, more like direct-action liberals and lifestylists.

It is not that much of a surprise that there are anarchists out there who believe that the class struggle can be represented by a leadership figure as embodied in the Leftist saviour of JC; the Messiah, the Redeemer.

Also it is completely naive to think that the Labour Party are the 'lesser of two evils'. The same party that sponsored the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan resulting in the mass slaughter and mutilation of untold amounts of workers in those countries.

Aside from that little blot; the real role of the Labour Party is to demobilise, divert, disarm, distract and defeat any real working class antagonism to the capitalist order.
In power, either as central government or as the local state, the Labour Party has to act as Left-wing managers of capitalism.

Spikymike
Offline
Joined: 6-01-07
May 25 2017 11:32

Where is ''the less anti-working class party'' - has it just arrived this election? In this discussion I presume that to mean the so-called Labour Party. Judged purely by the current LP manifesto's promise to roll back some of the more recent austerity measures that might appear to be the case, but if (unlikely though it seems) they were to become the next majority government they will be ruled by the economy not rule it and any gains in one area will surely be losses elsewhere in practice. I was brought up in a Labour voting household and I hate the arrogance of the Tories as much as anyone but can't bring myself to vote Labour simply on some misplaced emotional grounds. We should do nothing to encourage people to think there is an easy way to roll back austerity simply by voting Labour and our own political practice should reflect that in a consistent manner. Protest votes are exactly that a cry in the wilderness - an expression of our defeat not the beginning of any fight back.

Serge Forward's picture
Serge Forward
Offline
Joined: 14-01-04
May 25 2017 15:18

Waste of time voting Labour (or anyone else) though I totally understand anarchists/communists voting Labour as a lesser evil to the Tories. It's misguided though as politicians don't really run things but are more of a front for decisions made on trading floors, by boards of directors, multinational corporations, in Whitehall back rooms, etc.

It's very long odds for those who like a punt though - Labour would have to win currently at 8/1 (Tories odds on at 1/20 for fuck sake). And if Labour by some outside chance did win it, then the odds on them being able to do anything remotely "socialisticky" rather than just managing capitalism... well, you'd have more chance of winning the big payout in the national lottery than that happening - and that's currently around 45,000,000/1!