Northernheckler's Blog

A Yorkshireman's adventures in the big Smoke

I tell them “I’m voting Labour”

I tell them “I’m voting Labour”

There was some celebration amongst the Labour Twitterati last Saturday evening / Sunday morning after the latest poll showed a narrowing of the Conservative lead.

Whilst Tories and the more sensible Labour people will point out that sometimes you get a rogue poll, and that one poll certainly is certainly no reliable indicator of election outcomes, it was at least encouraging to have even a rogue poll going more in Labour’s direction – and I’d have to say that this one felt more in tune with what I’ve encountered talking to non-political friends and colleagues at home and at work.

Some time ago I blogged about the way that the polls didn’t seem to be reflecting the mood which I was encountering (The bitterest Poll ?) – and I’m prompted once again to comment on opinions encountered in day to day life – but perhaps a bit more positively this time :

I’ve noticed in many conversations over the past months people throwing into conversations things like “Well when the Conservatives get in this will all change” or “Of course there’s no telling what a Tory government will do” – this from people who aren’t especially politically minded – but lead you to believe that much as they don’t particularly want it – the Consevative victory at the General Election is inevitable.  My response, sadly was to shrug and sigh.

But since that last blog I’ve noticed a subtle difference. People haven’t been saying  “When the Conservatives get in” they’re now saying “Of course we’ll probably have a Conservative government by then” – Probably – not definitely.

Which has prompted me to make a different response. Now if I hear something like that I challenge it – I say “Not if I have anything to do with it !” or “They’ll only be elected if we vote for them” and most of all I say “I’m voting Labour !”

The effect of this is quite dramatic. I find it gives the outsiders in the conversation the courage to speak up. Instead of just nodding and accepting the received wisdom, instead they express how they’re not sure about the conservatives, they discuss their worries about the election, and quite a lot of them – certainly more than you’d imagine from looking at opinion polls or reading the Sun –  say “I’m voting Labour too !”.

So my thought for the day. If you get caught in a conversation with friends, or work colleagues, or even total strangers about politics and people make comments that suggests that the election is a foregone conclusion, – don’t accept it !

Challenge it – tell them it’s not a foregone conclusion. Tell them anyone can win the election.

Tell them that the election will only be a foregone conclusion if people don’t think about who they’re voting for.

Tell them every vote counts.

And tell them “I’m voting  Labour  !”

Because if you don’t tell them, who will ?

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November 28, 2009 - Posted by | politics | , , ,

8 Comments »

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tim Phillips-White, Lawrence Mills. Lawrence Mills said: RT @T_P_W RT @northernheckler: My latest blog : I tell them "I'm voting Labour": http://wp.me/pycui-bk <Great blog – read & RT!> [...]

    Pingback by Tweets that mention I tell them “I’m voting Labour” « Northernheckler's Blog -- Topsy.com | November 28, 2009 | Reply

  2. Two polls (at least) recently have shown Labour closing and the Tories falling back proportionately: Ipsos/MORI & YouGov. The USA/Canada based Angus internet poll was rushed out within a couple of hours to counter the MORI one – just look at its effect on even Tom Harris MP on his blog

    http://www.tomharris.org.uk/2009/11/23/of-false-dawns-and-dashed-hopes/

    It is a sad fact that there is a tendency for many people to support whomever they expect to win, which is why the bIllionaires (such as the Barclays who own the Dully Tele) insist on accentuating the positive for the tories when it is a choice between them and Labour. (They do also try to drag the tories rightwards)

    Tell ‘em We’re voting Labour, and there’s lots more joining The Party . . .

    Comment by Quietzapple | November 28, 2009 | Reply

  3. Perhaps if people twittered less (why are some Labour apparatchiks obesessed by this twitter nonsense??) and spent more time conversing with people who actually vote (like older people)then we might not be in the hole we are in. We are going down the pan big time.

    Comment by Chris | November 28, 2009 | Reply

    • Well maybe they tweet because you get to communicate with more people more easily that way – and not just with people who live in marginal seats. I was drawn into Labour by Twitter – I joined the party on June of this year, and I’m 48 years old. Hardly in the first flush of youth !

      I know of at least 2 Ministers who’ve read my blog, and 5 Members of parliament – if that’s not conversing with the electorate I don’t know what on earth is. If “we” are going down the pan then “we” weill have to do something about it – and that’s all of us – taking responsibility and not looking to ‘apparatchiks’ to solve our problems for us.

      Thanks for dropping by

      Comment by northernheckler | November 28, 2009 | Reply

      • I think the problem is not that we tweet, but that tweeting has replaced more substantive forms of engagement like the branch meeting debate (not in all circumstances obviously) because it’s recognised that branch resolutions and even GC resolutions or CLP suggestions to conference are by and large ignored and suppressed by leadership if they trip the alarm marked “socialism”.

        So instead we have the branch love-in with ex-councillors and a few dottery, if well meaning, old timers.

        Comment by Dave Semple | December 3, 2009

      • I’ll have to take your word for it to some extent on the branch meetings having attended a grand total of two since joining in June of this year. (That’s all the ones I’ve been made aware of mind !) I do recognise the dottery if well meaning old timers. Actually more than well meaning – some pretty solid people – but not what I’d call activists. In the safe Tory seat where I live, it gives a sense of shrugging acceptance of the status quo – which I feel is at odds with the very idea of the Labour party – although I can understand that perspective.

        It seems to me that we’re moving towards a different model of membership and involvement which is being driven to some extent by new technologies – and manifests itself in (for instance) the calls for open primary elections to select candidates for election to parliament – which to some extent negates the point of becoming a member. I support the direction of this – but feel alot needs to happen before a workable and fully accepted model is arrived at. I’m still not fully convinced

        Twitter shows me that there are lot of people who are interested in playing a role in politics – but not the traditional kind of turn up at the meetings or knock on doors type of role – that interest and support needs to be harnessed and transformed into a an electorally viable (“electorally viable” ? – where did that come from ?) force. It seems to me that there are more people who are prepared to put a red rose Twibbon on their Twitter avatar than there are prepared to turn up at branch meetings.

        (It might be worth bearing in mind today’s tweets revealing (and I can’t verify this) that there are more people playing Farmville on Facebook, than the entire number of Twitterers)

        Love your blog by the way – more left wing than I am, but you make a persuasive case.

        Comment by northernheckler | December 3, 2009

  4. In the circles I move support for Labour is a matter of deep personal shame. File under has-been w4nkers.

    Comment by Praguetory | November 28, 2009 | Reply

    • That’s certainly what I’ll file your comment under. My advice : Tell ‘em your voting Labour, and move in some different circles !

      Comment by northernheckler | November 28, 2009 | Reply


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