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So Now Who Do We Vote For? [Paperback]

John Harris
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

20 Jan 2005

'We didn't want the world. We understood the need for caution and compromise. But really: what was all this?'

War in Iraq. Top-up fees. Blair in bed with Bush. Private companies continuing to buy into schools and hospitals. You wouldn't be alone in feeling unable to rush down to the polling station and vote Labour on election day.

John Harris travels up and down the country to talk to MPs, health workers, teachers and policy-makers to find the answers to some key questions: Is there any chance of a swing back to a recognisable Labour Party? What does a Liberal Democrat actually believe in? Who on earth are the Respect Coalition? And can you risk a protest vote now that Michael Howard has restored some credibility to the Tories?

With characteristic humour and an ability to cut through the double-speak of party politics, John Harris has written a book for the thousands of people asking themselves: so now who we vote for?



Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Faber and Faber (20 Jan 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571224229
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571224227
  • Product Dimensions: 18.6 x 12.6 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 732,196 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Harris has brought to the theme plenty of fine journalistic legwork and analysis. -- GQ, February 2005

John Harris has done Labour voters a great service with this timely book. -- Billy Bragg, The Guardian, 22 January 2005

From the Inside Flap

You wouldn't be alone in feeling unable to rush down to the polling station and vote Labour on election day. John Harris travels up and down the country to talk to MPs, health workers, teachers and policy-makers to find answers to some key questions: Is there any chance of a swing back to a recognisable Labour Party? What does a Liberal Democrat actually believe in? Who on earh are the Respect Coalition? And can you risk a protest vote now that Michael Howard has restored some credibility to the Tories?

With characteristic humour and an ability to cut through the double-speak of party politics, John Harris has written a book for the thousands of people asking themselves:

SO NOW WHO DO WE VOTE FOR?


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 15 Feb 2005
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I read John Harris's first book THE LAST PARTY which is, in my opinion, one of the greatest music books ever written. He touches on politics in it but I didn't really think of him as a political journalist. Perhaps this is the reason why this new book is so unputdownable. Unsullied by political hackery, Harris meets politicians with an open mind and the interviews with the politicians are hilarious and very revealing. Also, he totally explains PFI in the book and persuaded me of the pernicious end result of this scheme.
Basically, Harris is a brilliant writer who makes you think while making you laugh and holding your interest on every page.
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13 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Lament for Old Labour 12 Feb 2005
Format:Paperback
John Harris would clearly like the "reforms" of the Thatcher era rolled back.
His agenda is one of higher progressive taxation, the separation of the public and private sectors, the abolition of the
Private Finance Initiative (with its 25/50 percent rates of return!), and a return to the "bog standard" comprehensive school.
It's very hard not to empathize: Britain is a much tougher society than it was fifty years ago, when full-time jobs
were available for all, and unemployment - as then defined - was usually less then 400,000.
Harris looks round for hope, and finds them in Wales and Scotland: "Socialism is alive and well in Scotland and Wales,"
Roy Hattersley tells him.
He cites two instances of Scotland's more leftist government: lack of tuition fees, and free long-term care for the elderly.
Now there can be no doubt that (a) students who finish their education should not be saddled with five figure debts -
to which the mortgage will have to be added later - and, (b) the current system of "caring" for the elderly in England
is a scandal. (Indeed fully-fledged euthansia would be more humane than the present refuse heaps, oops sorry, "care homes"
where the elderly are left to rot.)
There is, however, a road block in the way of a return to world as it was before May 1979, and Globalisation is its name.
Read more ›
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18 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A guide for those in the political wilderness 5 Jun 2005
By russell clarke TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
While this is a very slim volume (170 pages to be precise) so much so it feels more like a pamphlet when you first pick it up, it neatly and eruditely sums up why so many of us "Old Labour" supporters feel we can no longer support Blair's vision for New Labour and the struggle we have had to come to terms with that.
Like so many working class people I watched with frustration and anger as Thatcher tore apart the country's industrial base and nurtured an insidious culture of avarice and selfishness. I left school in 1980 with 8 O, Levels, after being told all through my scholastic tenure how vitally important qualifications were only to realise it doesn't matter how many exams you've passed if there are no prospective employers to impress. The political dividing lines were always clear to me. Working class vote, or should vote Labour, everyone else would vote Conservative or Liberal depending on their social consciousness. So in 1997 I truly believed that "Things could only get better" and what's more I believed they would.....WRONG. In 2001 as John Harris points out I like many thousands of traditional Labour supporters the penny having dropped about Blair's Labour "Sat on my hands " and didn't vote , unable to bring myself to vote against them .
2005 and I could stand aside no more. In the absence of any candidate in my Constituency who really represented my political views and creed I put my X next to the Liberal Democrats with a heavy heart and a sigh filled pause.( So long did I take I think the Returning Officer thought I had passed out in the booth and was ready for ringing 999.) I would rather lick vomit off the pavement than vote Tory so what choice did I really face. The B.N.P.? The Green Party?. I don't think so.
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22 of 46 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Lament for Old Labour 11 Feb 2005
Format:Paperback
John Harris would clearly like the "reforms" of the Thatcher era rolled back.
His agenda is one of higher progressive taxation, the separation of the public and private sectors, the abolition of the
Private Finance Initiative (with its 25/50 percent rates of return!), and a return to the "bog standard" comprehensive school.
It's very hard not to empathize: Britain is a much tougher society than it was fifty years ago, when full-time jobs
were available for all, and unemployment - as then defined - was usually less then 400,000.
Harris looks round for hope, and finds them in Wales and Scotland: "Socialism is alive and well in Scotland and Wales,"
Roy Hattersley tells him.
He cites two instances of Scotland's more leftist government: lack of tuition fees, and free long-term care for the elderly.
Now there can be no doubt that (a) students who finish their education should not be saddled with five figure debts -
to which the mortgage will have to be added later - and, (b) the current system of "caring" for the elderly in England
is a scandal. (Indeed fully-fledged euthansia would be more humane than the present refuse heaps, oops sorry, "care homes"
where the elderly are left to rot.)
There is, however, a road block in the way of a return to world as it was before May 1979, and Globalisation is its name.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
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