The actor Sam Coleman, best known for playing the young Hodor in HBO’s Game of Thrones this week published a blog via The Huffington Post, you can read it here.
I’d like to address this blog to him.
Sam, there’s a lot I disagree with in your blog, but a much of it could be said to be subjective. This, however, is just straight up wrong.
Yes, party membership has increased, but that doesn’t correspond to increase in support for the party in the wider electorate. Polling shows the exact opposite, Labour is haemorrhaging support. It may have attracted new supporters from the non-voting disenfranchised or the ranks of the Greens or the smaller hard-left parties, but it has lost many, many more from the centre ground, which is where the majority of the electorate lie.
Yes, polls can be wrong, but when all of the polls are saying the same thing, and they’re all showing Labour tanking then simply hoping that they’re wrong, and wrong in a way that favours you, isn’t a sensible political strategy.
At the ballot box Labour, for decades the dominant party in Scottish politics, have fallen to be the third party in the Scottish Parliament. There’s no simple “the SNP are more left-wing than Scottish Labour” narrative (they’re not), because Scottish politics are tightly wrapped around the central-pillar of nationalism, and we should be very cautious of trying to unwind them into a simplistic left/right story-line. However, as at the time of writing, polls are showing that traditionally Tory-hating Scotland views Teresa May massively more favourably than Jeremy Corbyn.
I can’t speak for J K Rowling, but the problem that I have with Corbyn isn’t with his policies, but with the absolute fact that if he’s not electable then it doesn’t matter what his policies are. A general election tomorrow would see a vastly increased Tory majority in parliament, enough to force through any changes they wanted to make.
This is the scenario that we’re trying to avoid, a strong Tory party and Labour relegated to a political sideshow, a party of student demonstrations, ineffectual marches and anti-government memes. We’re trying to stop the next government being a Conservative one, because we’ve seen the power that a Labour government has to improve lives.
If you didn’t see J K Rowling’s Twitter-storm on Friday evening, where she lists the achievements of New Labour, the party that you carelessly branded ‘centre-right’ then go and have a look. We traitors, we Blairites, we red Tories, we Zionists, we scum, we want that level of social change again, we just recognise that a level of compromise is necessary to get it.
Labour right now is like a toddler, having a tantrum because it wants the whole cake, not just a slice now and a slice later, if we’re good. The longer we shout and wail the greater the chance that we’re going to get no cake at all.
You’re young and it is the prerogative of the young to be idealistic, but sooner or later the young must learn that the real world isn’t Harry Potter, where the righteous inevitably triumph over evil, but Game of Thrones, where any day could be Labour’s red wedding.