Labour Looking Ahead. I'm Not Ashamed!
Its also easy to fall into believing that it is now an automatic guarantee that the Conservatives will be in power at the next general election with a comfortable majority and indeed its easy to forgive many who now not only believe that is inevitable, but that trying to preserve the Old Order is pointless, and that rather than humiliate oneself it is better to stand back and accept the kicking!
No, that won't do! For the one and simple reason that whilst many of us have joined Labour for a variety of reasons and are from various wings of the Party, we must never forget why we joined and what horrors are in the alternatives! A great many in the Labour Party have joined for the simple reason of wanting to not only help make this a better country to live in, but also to protect the vulnerable.
Admittedly as a Party in government we have sometimes failed in that, the issue over Gurkhas being allowed into the UK has shown how out of touch the government is, but a lot of times Labour does get it right! Not just in the halcyon days of the past, but in the past twelve years and it is twelve years today that Labour was elected to power after eighteen years of Conservative rule. The past twelve years have seen the creation of the National Minimum Wage (opposed at the time by Conservatives and Liberal Democrats), the New Deal, growth in International Development (opposed by one Conservative Parliamentary Candidate), paternity leave of two weeks, raising child benefit, following Environmental targets set by Kyoto, and many more. Are these things to be ashamed of? No! But bear in mind that whilst the Conservatives talk about thrift and cuts, they don't give details, I wonder why?
Being a member of the Labour Party does not just mean disagreeing on occasion whilst remaining loyal, it means being unafraid to tackle where we are going wrong and to bring forward new ideas. I have said it before, but a political party in government, if it is to survive for very long periods of time, needs constant evolution and change whilst keeping it's core values. That is exactly what Labour has done as a Party for over 100 years, we need to learn the art of that in government too!
So I don't know if Labour will win the next election (to take anything for granted is foolish), but I am not ashamed to be a member of the Labour Party (I sometimes get annoyed with the government, thats something else) and when the government gets it wrong, we should be friendly critics and always be unafraid to state where we get it right and where we are proud to support the government and where the Conservatives, who expect to win the next election, are woefully lacking!