I’m not good with political parties. I think I’m fairly politically aware and I think I’m wakeful of the issues with a pragmatic viewpoint. Possibly because of this I don’t do well with actually political parties. For years I refused to engage beyond the matter of voting, which I have always believed is a social responsibility (and should be made legally compulsory). Then, perhaps with an understanding of how things can work based on my ongoing voluntary tenure in local government, I started to look into the “game” of politics.
I started with the Green Party, because for all the bloody big motorbike and the background in industrial infrastructure my perceptions and preferences are for the environmental, for the larger-than-human and for the quest toward equity in relationships. After a year that fell away in the awareness of the madness that revolves within the members areas of the party, and the impossibility of making ones voice heard or effecting change.
Really, my only other possible position was with Labour. Bliar’s illegal war had tainted the party for me, but here we were with an “old” socialist making the distance. Corbyn ticked an awful lot of boxes, albeit he was unlikely to actually become prime minister based on an apparent hard ethical stance which was hard even for his own team. But still, if we are not to have single party politics we need a different voice, perhaps Corbyn is it.
But now I find myself struggling. MP’s are the representatives of the people in their constituency, and when the constituency has plainly made a majority call on a decision those MP’s are honour bound to reflect that in the way they speak and vote in Parliament. To do otherwise would disenfranchise the electorate at a time when it already feels distant from government and disconnected from the electoral system.
If Jeremy Corbyn forces a three-line-whip on his MP’s, to vote with the Tory government in support of Brexit, no matter the feelings of the constituency membership, he is no longer purporting to be a democratic socialist but is just another politician, doing politicking.
I’m not going to let it go. I’ve said so before. A national vote (where those who bothered to vote) where the outcome was so very closely won is not a vote which presents the unified voice of the country. I’m not saying that Brexit ought not to happen; that would be daft in the face of “a win for Brexit”. I am saying that the return was de facto undecided, because for such a move with such consequences a simple majority was and is insufficient.
There should be another referendum.
But to whip his MP’s into voting against potentially the majority view of their constituency, and at least in opposition to perhaps almost half of it, is not something I can stick with. If Corbyn whips for Article 50, he’s lost a member. And once this is online, I’ll tell him so to his Twitter account.
And then I’ll stick to voting for words and deeds, not parties.