Sutton was originally a highly conservative area of East Surrey, until 1964 when the then Conservative Local Council voted to take Sutton into London. This was primarily for the financial incentives offered by the London County Council to any areas which wanted to become part of what is today known as ‘Greater London’ (due to tremendous opposition within the Sutton at the time, homeowners were allowed to keep ‘Surrey’ as part of their postal address in the hope that it would secure the highest possible market price for their homes). As a Borough of Greater London, Sutton currently has a population of around 202,200 people, with 70.9% describing themelves as ‘White’ British. From 1964 to 1986, the Tories controlled the Local Council, but in 1986 this switched to ‘no other all contril. In 1990, the Libdems took control of the Local Council, and have held it ever since. The Libdems, of course, started as soft Tories, but have moved ever further to the right as time as gone on. Voting Libdems is simply a viable alternative for naturally Tory-minded voters.
Liberal democracy is presented as the ‘fairest’ way for a country or region to decide who holds political power. Today, May 4th, 2018, it was announced that with a 41.16% turn-out, (that is to say that 58.84% of those eligible to vote either did not vote, or did not register to vote), the rightwing Liberal Democrats retained over-all control of Sutton Council with 33 seats, with the Conservatives securing 18 seats, and 3 seats held by Independents. Labour has only held a handful of seats in the Borough in 2002, and this result shows that with nearly 60% of the population of Sutton not voting, a minority of centre right and right of centre voters have elected a neo-liberal Council that will continue to implement Tory ‘Austerity’, privatize the education system, sell-off Council Housing and close NHS Hospitals. This voter apathy means that the majority of working class people living in the Borough of Sutton will continue to face a hostile and indifferent Local Council, DWP, Police Force and failing NHS, and will also be subjected to an increased use of ‘Foodbanks’. Those who have not voted have allowed the System to retain its status quo, and have missed an opportunity to make real change through a Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn.
This must come down to working class alienation, lack of political education and a sense of pointlessness. The middle class know the value of a vote, and in areas like Sutton use that power to devastating effect. A whole new generation of working class children, disabled the vulnerable and the elderly will now be subjected to a continued LibDems-Tory discrimination and callousness. Undoubtedly, people will continue to suffer due to the closing down of the NHS, and a lack of proper Social Services and community care. Of course, the 41.16% that voted are middle class and can afford private healthcare and to pay for any other services they may need. It is a strange society indeed, where it is considered an achievement when a minority of just 41.16% of the voters choose how the other 58.84% of the people have to live! For the time being, the political power within Sutton remains in the hands of the bigoted minority, but just consider what could have happened if the silent 58.84% had voted Labour! There would have been a ‘true’ democratic result, with the majority deciding the future of the place they live in, nolonger subjected to the rightwing tyranny of the minority.