Monday, May 30, 2011

The post referendum letter that didn't get published

with Labour MP Malcolm Wicks - one of the small minority of Croydon Labour politicians that voted 'YES'.

Campaigning with former Conservative MP, now Labour activist, Andrew Pelling

I sent this letter (below) to the local papers but annoyingly it wasn't published.


Dear Editor,

May I take this opportunity to thank all those who voted ‘Yes’ in the recent referendum. I would also like to offer thanks to Labour MP Malcolm Wicks for supporting AV. He took a principled position on voting reform, whereas all bar two Labour councillors (Watson and Fitzsimmons) rejected this opportunity to introduce a fairer, more progressive brand of politics in Croydon. In doing so, these same Labour councillors showed their true colours. They sided with a ‘No’ campaign that was endorsed and paid for by the Conservative party; a campaign that said a vote for ‘Yes’ would lead to babies dying and soldiers being killed.

If Labour in Croydon were genuinely progressive in nature they would have voted ‘Yes’. AV would have been the step change to build a politics founded on fairness and not fear. I am sure this progression would have eventually filtered down to local level too. Instead, Labour chose their safe seats and salaries, and to preserve the twin kingdom scenario, where one group governs alone leaving the other group to wait for their opportunity to fight on the battlegrounds at the centre at the end of the reign; in Croydon’s case, the marginal wards of Addiscombe, Waddon, South Norwood. It all sounds like a tale from ancient times.

It is the only system the councillors know. They inherited it and they will preserve it for the next intake. It is important to remember, if all politicians thought like this, the vote would still be the restricted to landowners and men.

Yours sincerely

Shasha Khan

Croydon Green Party

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