Guest contributor John Blundell suggests things voters might want to consider

In his own words, the Labour Councillor for Rochdale offers his advice about tactical voting for people heading to the polling booths.

Looking backward is what this election is about. Looking backwards to a time when corporation pop was a thing, the Commonwealth was more important than the Common Market and Britain was a maritime state whose empire never saw the sun set. But looking backwards isn’t always a good thing. 

2019 09 26 Boris Blimp

Boris is a tool and not a man of the people 

I came across one of my uncle’s Roy Chubby Brown DVDs and what immediately sprang to mind was Boris. The mental image I have of our Prime Minister is an eighties’ slapstick comedian plucked from Blackpool’s North Pier Saturday night circuit. 

Indeed, Mr Johnson thinks it’s okay to make racist jibes likening women in burqas to bank robbers, calling homosexual men tank-topped bum boys and commonwealth citizens flag waving pickaninnys with watermelon smiles.

But here’s the thing, everybody has said things they feel a fool for and that they don’t condone but he didn’t do it drunk in pub or because of youthful naivety. The notion him using language like this makes him a man of the people is nonsense given the common person has never been given thousands of pounds to write it in a national newspaper.  

For this reason, likening him to the common man is a poor comparison for old Etonian Boris; he is far more like Chubby Brown who has also sought to make money out of spreading bile. 

This is all down to how the Prime Minister views us mere mortals - as punters for his outdated jokes. He looks back to the eighties and nineties' infantile comedy and, instead of seeing horror, sees a means of collecting votes for himself; assuming people in Rochdale and Bolton are going to eat it up. 

Corbyn Victory

Love or hate Corbyn, is Labour is promising something different?

Labour is on trend to talk about new ways of structuring companies, common ownership and decrying aggressive capitalism. 

As a proud Rochdalian I would like to point out that the Co-operative is one of the finest examples of socialism in its raw form. This is for two reasons: (1) that workers and consumers controlled the company but (2) that the focus was on the consumer not the producer. 

Selling quality reasonably priced groceries while still being commercially viable was the aim. Not letting fat cat mill owners or the landed gentry exploit their position. What is more is they didn’t see the state as the vehicle to solve their society’s ills but their own hard work, co-operation and innovation. The Co-operative hasn’t had its day it was actually well before its time.

Labour’s plans, like those to renationalise our railways and put workers on boards, will shake up the work place beyond recognition and switch decision making away from short-termism and toward investment and people. 

Furthermore, our city’s roots in being the cradle of trade-unionism is another example of when people have taken control of their own lives. The General Strike (Salford 1911 that is) and the like were real attempts to tip the balance from the few to the many. 

These were bottom up forms of socialism, that happened right here in this great city, that put the people at the heart of industry and commerce far from the nationalisations that took place born out of war and depression.

Many on the left, longing for a socialist Labour Party, believe Corbyn will build New Jerusalem but in all reality the public want a mixed economy. It is becoming trendy to start up ‘non-profits’ and companies with alternative ownership structures as younger entrepreneurs via away from traditional ways of doing things. 

2019 11 26 Manifestos

History tells us the left vote always splits

Those on the progressive wing of politics heed my warning: vote Brexit Party (Lexiteers), Liberal Democrat or Green and watch Boris march in to Downing Street claiming victory for his pompous bigotry. Labour can win but we need your support. 

In the 2017 general election the wounds of the coalition still blistered the Lib Dems, everyone thought Brexit was happening - and soon so no point voting UKIP - and Blue Planet 2 hadn’t aired so the Greens weren’t really a thing. In other words Labour was the only opposition.

In this election Boris’ showmanship isn’t actually appealing but the polling trends are showing that if too many people who oppose Brexit and/or Tory rule vote randomly between Brexit Party, Liberal Democrat and Green, while the right vote narrows behind Boris, Tories will slip through in more seats than you will care for and it will be nobody’s fault but your own. 

Read: The simplified guide to political promises for the North

Read: Can Labour keep marginal Bury South red?

Read: 'I still think Brexit is ridiculous' - Interview: John Leech