THE BLOG

I Voted Tory and I Want a Strong Labour Party

10/08/2015 16:10 BST | Updated 07/08/2016 10:59 BST

I voted Blue and I want to see Red.

I want to see red with Tory policies I disagree with, namely fox hunting and the exclusion of under-25s from the Living Wage. I do not want to be a "yes woman" and blindly follow what I don't view as right.

I want to see red when the opposition disagree. I want to see passion from both sides of the front bench, but I also want honesty. The opposition are not there to be "no people" and the government are not there to taunt. The public do not want sit front row in a wrestling ring.

Most of all, I want future with red behind the dispatch box. I voted Tory, yet I seek a constructive opposition. I voted Tory, but I am not a Tory. I did not vote Labour in 2015, but I desire a future where I would. This is why I am furious with the latest Corbyn voting Coup, where Conservative voters hope to lock Labour out of Number 10.

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Love or hate him, vote for Corbyn if you agree with his principles; Labour or Tory, he is not a target board. He represents a voice for thousands of people in this country. His corner is no less credible than Burnham, Cooper and Kendall. His lead in the polls is not down to sabotage.

In terms of Liz Kendall, it is regretful that Tory voters are responding upon calls to press the destruct button. She combines the economical head of capitalism with the compassion of the left; she could offer something better, yet her prospects diminish with every protest vote.

Tories voting for Jeremy Corbyn, purely to shoot Labour in the foot, are displaying cowardice. What does it say about their confidence in the Conservatives, if they believe "destroying" the opposition is the surest path to victory? They are also shelling democracy. They overlook the fact that the opposition might have something to say.

When I read the manifestos for the General Election, it was not through a black and white lens. I agreed with points from virtually all parties, including ones I could geographically not vote for. I woke up on Election morning still undecided. My ideal front bench is more rainbow than colour block, and I believe that this is true for many people.

I weighed up the pros and cons of not two, but three or four candidates. I have followed the Liberal Democrat leadership election with as much attention as Labour; unlike many around me, I have not condemned them to the Political wilderness. I still credit their voice in the Commons.

Political blinkers are creating a politics of destruction. The opposition decries "no" to the governing party; party followers declare "yes" to those they follow, but show this by lambasting any threat to this. All parties are equally culpable of this.

I am the first to sceptically regard the Living Wage as a political move. The SNP's Angus Robertson admitted that his party's unexpected stand against fox hunting was designed to "remind an arrogant UK government just how slender their majority is". Meanwhile, the tactic of attack has prevailed throughout the "soul searching" Labour Leadership contest.

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I am tired of the political scoreboard; Harriet Harmon admonishing the "swarm of immigrants" remark by Cameron, meanwhile her own party are comparing Kendall to a virus. The boyish heckles in Wesminster make a mockery of UK politics; to quote Branson from Downton Abbey: "do any of you ever leave school?" I am doubtful.

Last month, Liz Kendall commented that "Labour has no God-given right to exist". Politicians from across all parties should learn from this. Elections are not won on arrogance or destruction. Voting Tory doesn't instantly make you heartless, just as a Labour vote doesn't decree you off your head. If anything does, it is the Corbyn voting coup, ridiculing a colleague in The Commons or taking cheap shots at policies you might actually agree with.

You can place one party on a pedestal, but what if the foundation stone cracks? I know someone who voted Labour every election of his life and was a member of the Party. Until the age of 92, when he voted UKIP. He was loyal to this party for over half a century; I never believed he could vote for anyone else, but he did.

The trap of blind backing is easy to fall into, for politicians and public alike, yet it does neither side any favours. It loses credibility and raises the question of political point scoring. We do not have a black and white political wheel, or an absolute line between Red and Blue.

If we remove the blindfold, we may learn that the Commons doesn't need to be a battleground, and that sabotage is not the road to success.

Stop pulling the trigger.