For some reason I feel like confessing. So, here we go:
Political Mistakes I Have Made: A History
In the 1997 general election when I was 15 years old, I argued strongly for the tories. In my defense, I was extremely politically unaware at this point and all I really had to go on is a deep instinctual mistrust of Tony Blair which I feel actually turned out to be justified. But the memory of me spouting off at how people should vote Tory when I didn’t know what the fuck I was talking about haunts me to this day.
I once voted Boris Johnson for mayor of London. I didn’t like him or the other candidates, but in the case of Boris I thought ‘hey, what harm could he possibly do as Mayor of London, better there than in some really crucial cabinet role’. At the time I didn’t recognise it as a stepping stone to greater prominence. This was an error.
I backed the Lib Dems in the 2010 election. I quite liked what Clegg had to say, I still mistrusted Labour from the Blair years, and I didn’t expect him to go into coalition with the Tories. They turned out to be worse than useless in power, squandering an opportunity to transform our electoral system forever and failing students with their compromises.
Having joined the Labour Party in the hopes of getting it to align with its stated core principles for the first time since I’ve had the right to vote, I left the Labour Party in the middle of the post-referendum leadership squabble. I was disappointed with Corbyn’s reaction to Brexit and lack of opposition and I was disappointed with the PLP for initiating a leadership squabble at a time when it was crucial to be united. I don’t regret leaving, I think in that moment they didn’t deserve my membership.
My mistake was in joining the Liberal Democrats. It made sense to me at the time, even though I’d told myself never again to trust them. I had some hope that they would be able to put forward the anti-Brexit argument in Labour’s relative absence, and that the social democratic wing of the party would inflate to fill the vaccuum created by Labour’s squabbling. They were far from perfect - still far too happy to defend their record, and far too centrist over all, and I disliked their leader, but with help, I thought, maybe there was common cause there.
They disappointed, of course. Not as unified against brexit as they would claim, refusing to work with Labour in a progressive alliance or coalition, and oddly defensive of a leader who… nobody really seems to think is any good, I started to see them as this kind of useless blob in the middle of British politics. So I gave up on them and on reflection they hadn’t done nearly enough to earn a second chance. I just wanted something to hope for.
I believe that’s all