For a Better Britain, Vote Labour

VICE UK urges voters to oust the Conservative government and start moving the country forward.

by VICE Staff
11 December 2019, 4:45pm

Illustration: Dan Evans

Tomorrow, the UK has a choice: submit to the chaos of a Boris Brexit and another destructive Conservative government, or choose a party whose stated aim is to improve the quality of life for all.

To us, the answer is obvious.

As Laura Kuenssberg has been falling over herself to remind you, the Labour Party is not perfect. But neither is a situation in which the world's fifth largest economy is the setting for soaring rates of homelessness, children being forced to use food banks, ever-worsening inequality, crumbling public services and a heartless campaign of austerity, blamed for 120,000 preventable deaths.

Over nearly ten years of Tory rule, earnings of the UK's wealthiest fifth have risen by 4.7 percent, while those of the poorest fifth have fallen by 1.6 percent. The richest got demonstrably richer, while the poorest got poorer. As they got poorer, the government set about taking a scythe to the country's safety net, slashing funding to social welfare, women's refuge centres and youth services, and neglecting the NHS to the point that it is now stretched to its absolute limit and struggling to meet demand.

The government would have you believe this was a necessary inevitability. But it wasn't: there's plenty of money to go around, it's just that Tories don't believe those with more of it should ease the burden on those with less of it. Which is a shame, because an equal society is a happier society.

Much has been made of how, under Labour, lots of that money would be wrenched from the hands of the average working man to pay for the party's many manifesto pledges. But quick fact check: the UK's median salary is £28,677. Labour's tax hike doesn't kick in until you start earning over £80,000, meaning it will affect only the top 3 to 4 percent of earners. Even then, relative to the amount of money those people are making, the tax increase is negligible; if you're on £90,000 a year, you'd be paying an extra £9.62 – or two pints – per week.

On to those manifesto pledges – transformative, optimistic ideas that could make life tangibly better for much of the UK's population. While the Tories want to maintain the status quo – which, as described above, is not exactly in great health – Labour pledge to: properly fund the NHS, raise the minimum wage, introduce a raft of policies we desperately need to properly tackle the climate crisis, build 100,000 council houses a year and improve public services, among a bunch of other stuff you'd have to have an empathy deficit disorder not to support.

Even if you don't like Jeremy Corbyn – which: fine! I can't tell you who to like! – don't let that blinker you to the decency and dignity of what his party is offering the UK.

Finally, Brexit. If you voted to leave the EU, that was your decision – but I'd wager you didn't vote for us to crash out of the world's most powerful trading bloc with no deal, leaving us prone to American interference in the NHS and the standard of our food imports. Vote for Boris and we'll be at the mercy of Trump, for the sake of a ceremonial exit in a month's time that really means nothing when you consider we're going to spend at least another decade extricating ourselves from this mess.

Ignore the Tories' rallying cry of "Get Brexit Done" – it's a bullshit platitude designed to obstruct the fact they have absolutely nothing material to offer beyond a step in the wrong direction.

Instead of all that, we could go back to the drawing board, decide on a deal that actually works for the country and its citizens, then put that to a final vote, giving the UK control over its destiny, rather than leaving it in the hands of a privileged few – a privileged few who were so averse to the machinations of democracy that they tried to shut down Parliament to avoid being held to account.

For all of the above – for a brighter, better future – we urge you to vote Labour in tomorrow's general election.

General Election 2019