Sunday, 27 July 2008

It was God wot won it

At least, that is the gist of this post by Cranmer on the Glasgow East by-election.

There is much to be said for this. John Mason, the successful candidate, was the only candidate to identify themselves as a practising Christian. Opposed to the Fertilisation & Embryology Bill. Cranmer is right to point out that New Labour is keen to suck up to every minority apart from those who profess the Christian faith.

Even more significant on the moral front is the exposing of Labour's 'dirty little secret' in Glasgow East. Broon is fond of quoting statistics to claim that Labour has been active in tackling poverty, yet the state of so many in the east end of Glasgow demonstrates how utterly bogus this is. Labour has represented at least parts of that constituency continuously for well over 80 years, yet it is still one of the most deprived parts of the western world.

A year ago, I questioned what the point of the Labour Party was. A Tory voting great aunt of mine had witnessed at first hand the poverty of Springburn in the 1920s, where she started her working life. She left school shortly before her 14th birthday, but was no fool. She could see that Labour was, as it still is, owned, bought and paid for by powerful unions. Its only purpose was and is to look after these interest groups and to hell with everyone else. Voters in places like Glasgow East were and are taken for granted: their votes electing people who aspire (like Margaret Curran) to live elsewhere. At least, hopefully, until now. I hope and pray that John Mason will be an effective constituency MP, who will indeed promote aspiration among his constituents. This should not necessarily, however, involve the aspiration to move elsewhere. It must include the aspiration to improve their community as it is. To make life safer, healthier and generally better for those who can never afford to move out or do not wish to move out, as well as for those who do.

Back in December, I pointed out a great great great aunt of mine who remained on the electoral register for Bridgeton years after she had emigrated to New Zealand. I have no way of knowing the reason for this, nor whether the Labour MP of the time benefited. Where she lived in Bridgeton is now part of the Glasgow East constituency: no one lives there now, because the land has never been redeveloped after the slum clearances. The derelict land speaks volumes for the failure of socialism and the failure of the Labour Party. If Labour does not stand for improving the lot of the poor, it stands for nothing. Perhaps the kindest thing to do would be for its creditors to call in the party's astronomical debts and wind the whole thing up.

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