Thursday, December 24, 2009

Labour councillor defects to the Tories in Croydon

My letter was a response to this news story in the Croydon Guardian.


Dear Editor,

I find it hard to believe that Bensham Manor Councillor Greta Sohoye’s reason for switching to the Tories is down to the local Labour leader’s treatment of ethnic minority councillors. Whatever the real reason, it does draw attention to the fact that the lines of distinction between Labour and the Conservatives are marginal, and how easy it is for one to defect to the other. Their ideas and policies are practically the same. That’s why some Conservatives regard Tony Blair as the greatest Tory leader they never had. Yet, voters who traditionally stick with Labour through custom and habit would never consider voting Conservative and vice-versa. Hence, these two parties have made politics not a battle of ideas, but a battle of personalities and presentation. Is it any wonder that people are turning off politics in droves? In fact, as the Green Party candidate in the Bensham Manor by-election in 2007, I recall how Labour shored up their core vote by urging their supporters to come out on polling day because there was a risk the Tories would sneak in. Yet through unbelievable circumstances, Bensham Manor has now ended up with a Conservative councillor. I could almost hear the collective sigh those voters let out when they read the news.

Yours sincerely

Shasha Khan

Croydon Green Party

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