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Labour could lose Hartlepool The party's choice of candidate suggests it has learned nothing

Safe? Hartlepool is emblematic of blue-collar Britain. Credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty

Safe? Hartlepool is emblematic of blue-collar Britain. Credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty


March 19, 2021   5 mins

“Elections are won in years, not weeks”. That was the message that newly-elected Labour leader Neil Kinnock handed down to his party’s dazed and disconsolate foot soldiers four months after it had suffered annihilation at the hands of Margaret Thatcher back in 1983. Then, as now, Labour had haemorrhaged support among its base and faced a long road back to electoral credibility.

Kinnock’s words were true, of course. The trust of the electorate is secured not by gimmickry, soundbite or hoping the other lot mess up, but ultimately through the demonstration of competence and the methodical process of crafting a cogent policy programme that appeals to sufficient numbers of voters.

So I’m not convinced that the forthcoming by-election in Hartlepool will be quite the litmus test for Labour that some are suggesting. It is, let us not forget, only a little over a year since the party suffered its worst general election defeat since the 1930s. Hammered in many of its heartlands and abandoned by huge swathes of once-loyal voters, the task of reconstruction was always going to be slow and painstaking. And potentially more than three years out from the next election, the result in Hartlepool, whatever it be, is unlikely to alter the broader electoral landscape in any profound way.

But modern politics has little time for such nuance. Whether the party likes it or not, the by-election will be seen as an interim assessment of Sir Keir Starmer — both the man and his leadership. And while Hartlepool may not prove pivotal to the party’s longer-term electoral prospects, it is undeniable that the “direction of travel” is important. Labour must be able to demonstrate that progress is at least being made in the job of reconnecting with its core vote, that it understands it cannot be an organisation only for student radicals, social activists and middle-class liberals living in our fashionable cities, but must also be seen by those in working-class, post-industrial Britain as their natural home. If that is the mountain to be climbed — and it surely is — then the party is barely beyond the foothills.

A by-election in a Red Wall constituency such as Hartlepool at a time when the Tories are in government would once have been a walk in the park for the Labour Party. Since its creation in 1974, the seat has returned a Labour MP at every general election. But now things are far less certain.

Last time out, Labour held on — but with a much-reduced share of the vote. Unsurprisingly, given that the place voted heavily in favour of leaving the EU, Brexit Party heavyweight Richard Tice swept up support from over a quarter of the electorate, eating into the vote of both Labour and the Tories. Tice has hinted that he may stand in the by-election under the banner of the Brexit Party’s new incarnation, Reform UK — though, with the flames of the whole Brexit debate somewhat dampened, it is doubtful he will secure the same level of backing this time round. How those Brexit Party votes from 2019 are divided may therefore prove decisive.

The ideal candidate for Labour would have been a local person who, while imbued with Labour values and passionate about challenging economic and social inequality, understood working-class Britain and spoke its language, voted to leave the EU, perhaps — God forbid — had a job in the private sector and knew what it was like to take a shower after work rather than before, didn’t obsess about trans rights and wasn’t ashamed of the national flag. Finding such a person would have been something of a fool’s errand, mind. Those matching these criteria are these days in short supply within the party’s ranks — and that fact alone stands as testament to all that has gone wrong.

So Labour has plumped instead — following a process that some are calling a stitch-up — for what appears to be an identikit candidate: Dr Paul Williams, a Remain-voting, university-educated member of the professional and managerial classes who banged the drum very loudly for a second referendum and subscribes to a liberal-progressive worldview. And a budding retread MP to boot. The very opposite, in other words, to what is needed.

The problem for Labour is that it has stopped looking and sounding like a large chunk of those it was created to represent. A survey of the party membership carried out in 2017 found that 77% fell within the ABC1 grade (occupational middle-class), with nearly half of all members living in London or southern England. Fifty-seven per cent were graduates.

For all his creditable efforts to reconnect the party with its old base — accepting the Brexit war as over, and focusing his messaging on the value of family, community and nation — Sir Keir is shackled by a party that, in the main, doesn’t want to go where he is trying to take it. The mix of globalist liberal progressives and toytown revolutionaries that still holds so much sway in Labour’s ranks view any expression of patriotism or the politics of place and belonging as unenlightened and reactionary. Witness, for example, the slings and arrows some among these groups hurled at the leader for his terrible crime of having given some speeches in front of the union flag. On the continent, to give a speech in front of the national flag is, even for politicians of the Left, viewed as an entirely normal thing. To many on the British Left, it is a harbinger of the new fascism. And then they wonder why they lost the working-class.

With the acute impact of the economic crisis triggered by Covid beginning to be felt, and with the likelihood that the working class will, in the end, take the biggest hit, Labour should be Hoovering up the support of hard-pressed Britain. But from the Red Wall, the Labour Party still looks like that unappealing blend of 1960s hyper-liberal and far-Left ideologue that actively despises working-class values and culture. Those residing there continue to see an organisation dominated by middle-class activists preaching the gospels of cosmopolitan liberalism and social revolution. And the selection of Dr Williams as the by-election candidate in Hartlepool will not do much to disabuse them of that view.

Hartlepool is emblematic of blue-collar Britain. It should be safe territory for Labour. But instead the by-election could turn out to be a knife-edge battle against the Tories. The era when Labour could expect anyone wearing a red rosette to win in this type of working-class constituency is gone. Peter Mandelson was three times returned by the voters of Hartlepool. But that was in the days before the acute effects of globalisation – in the form of widespread deindustrialisation and intense demographic change – started to be felt in such places.

Mandelson and his New Labour chums were the cheerleaders for the new global market and all that came with it. They lectured provincial Britain about the benefits to be gained through improved GDP and cultural enrichment. But the people in these communities felt no better for it financially, culturally or spiritually. They yearned for something different – something that went beyond economic justice and was rooted in the concepts of place, stability and social solidarity. And when Labour showed itself unwilling to provide it, they began to look elsewhere.

To win back these places, Labour needs a radical overhaul. It must start focusing on the things that people want to talk about on the doorsteps in working-class communities — not only economic betterment, but law and order, immigration, national security and family.

I argue in Despised: Why the Modern Left Loathes the Working Class that, at its best, Labour is an electoral compromise between (coincidentally) Hartlepool and Hampstead – a coalition that fused the party’s traditional working-class base with a layer of more middle-class liberals who were attracted to its vision of a fairer society. But that coalition has become seriously unbalanced: Hampstead has come to dominate while Hartlepool has been sidelined and taken for granted.

This by-election presents an opportunity for Labour to demonstrate how serious it is about pushing the pendulum back the other way. I fear the party is nowhere near ready to seize it.


Paul Embery is a firefighter, trade union activist, pro-Brexit campaigner and ‘Blue Labour’ thinker

PaulEmbery

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Andrew Best
Andrew Best
3 years ago

The Labour party are anti working class, anti English, anti British, pro EU, want open borders, trans rights above all others, demanding all the time for 1 justice or another, racial, climate etc etc
You no longer speak like us or are us.
not interested in the hard part of politics, crime, employment, housing etc unless of course you believe in their version of it which is toe the line you white working class scum.
The party of the abc1 and who cares about you dirty c2de
Labour, every working class person I know despises you, even the ones who voted for you for 40 years.
The true nasty party

clem alford
clem alford
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

Or are an exotic immigrant who will do what they are told as their every need is met if they give the ‘right’ politician their vote.

Last edited 3 years ago by clem alford
Andrew Best
Andrew Best
3 years ago
Reply to  clem alford

I am exotic
I am poor, working class, white, English, a man, straight, middle aged, voted leave and born, raised and still live in London.
That’s exotic

Mike Boosh
Mike Boosh
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

You’re exotic now, you (and I) will be pretty much extinct in 50 years

Mud Hopper
Mud Hopper
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Boosh

Your not convinced about the future Sharia Paradise are you? I can tell.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

Those who built and battled for Britain.
Labour is the modern version of the Trahison des Clercs.

Mud Hopper
Mud Hopper
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

To the Gulag with you!

Eddie Martyn
Eddie Martyn
3 years ago
Reply to  clem alford

Exactly mate . But I can’t understand why the Tory party are still allowing millions of immigrants to come here knowing they are allowing future labour supporters to milk our benefits system dry ?

M Spahn
M Spahn
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

It’s a strange situation now, where “Labour” depises the working class and “Conservatives” conserve nothing.

Peter Scott
Peter Scott
3 years ago
Reply to  M Spahn

That’s only the half of it.
The Nationalists (Irish, Scottish, Welsh) strive with might and main to throw off the yoke of England and become county boroughs of the new dictatorial undemocratic European Empire.
The Greens, when they were in government (city of Brighton), had uncollected refuse all along the streets and LOADS of homeless people living in doorways.
Most of us could never have made up this scenario.
Perhaps the only wit who might have done so was that of W S Gilbert.
Our politics are now so worn out, they have emerged as from a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta.

Frederick B
Frederick B
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter Scott

Speaking of Scottish etc nationalists I very recently saw a post somewhere – it might even have been on here – which went like this:
Welsh nationalism, good
Scottish nationalism, better
Irish nationalism, best
English nationalism, bad

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Frederick B

Yet it is England that pays the bills for these petty nationalistic pygmies !
They ‘rise above their station’ as we used to say.

Eddie Martyn
Eddie Martyn
3 years ago
Reply to  Frederick B

Well you can always depend on the Celts to backstab the Anglo-Saxon’s can’t you ?

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
3 years ago
Reply to  Frederick B

Welsh nationalism can be sensible when limited to maintaining a rather lovely language, when teaching the English how to speak their own language and being better at rugby.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter Scott

Greens dump their ‘Homeless’ On Eastbourne and Other Near boroughs..

Eddie Martyn
Eddie Martyn
3 years ago
Reply to  M Spahn

Labour and Tories don’t Rule Britain they Ruin it

Dominic S
Dominic S
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

My grandfather was a councillor in Portsmouth for the labour party, back in the 60s, he’d not even be a member today.

Eddie Martyn
Eddie Martyn
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

Labour has ruined Britain . Under Tony Blair we have seen mass immigration ‘ freedom of speech ruined ‘ terrorists let out of jail ‘ the once great nation is now a Anglophobic ‘ heterophobic ‘ disability hating place .
It’s now a crime to be patriotic in your own country without being branded a Racist .
This country has become a prison state under the leftwing cancer of labour .
You can’t even dislike somebody for any reason .
It’s a shame that full grown adults are offended by the truth in today’s society especially when they hear the truth .
The last 20 + years since Tony Blair was voted in we have seen Britain since like a sinking ship .
You go to an NHS hospital and you don’t even know where you are / what country you are in .
And it’s all down to labour .
Everything that’s bad for Britain / has destroyed Britain is all down to the Labour party and their extreme leftwing policies .
But saying that ….. The Tories are just as bad

Mike Boosh
Mike Boosh
3 years ago
Reply to  Eddie Martyn

I don’t think you can say “it’s all down to Labour”. It certainly got much worse under Labour, but the tories have been in power over 10 years now and everything you mention is still getting worse.

bsema
bsema
3 years ago

I’m a cisgender, heterosexual, white, working-class man and the message I’m hearing louder and louder from Labour is, ‘we despise you’. The irony is that I hold some quite left-wing views, even bordering on radical. That counts for nothing though, as I refuse to toe the virtue-signalling line and chant the correct mantras.
For instance, I’m broadly in favour of redistribution of wealth through taxation. I’m on board with BLMs (widely misunderstood) ideas about defunding the police and deconstructing of the nuclear family. I believe that protecting the environment is critical (though how that has become politically polarised I don’t know). I believe that every British citizen should have the same rights and opportunities regardless of immutable characteristics.
However – I refuse to renounce my whiteness. I feel no guilt over anything Britain did in the nineteenth century. I didn’t vote Remain (I abstained but that’s not good enough). I question the veracity of Meghan Markle’s truth. I’m against immigration. I don’t think all men are effectively culpable for violence against women. I find it incredible that women of colour, working-class women and women not blessed with conventional good looks (not to mention men) get murdered and we hear nothing but when a young, attractive woman who, crucially, is upper middle-class gets murdered; suddenly left-wing activists are interested.
So I’m an evil deplorable with no intention of changing and I might just vote Conservative out of devilment. Anyone else feel like me?

Andrew Best
Andrew Best
3 years ago
Reply to  bsema

Not when it comes to the racism of BLM.
We are not America and blm are a racist organisation that have taking us backwards in relation to each other in this country.

bsema
bsema
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

I agree. The point of my post is that failure to toe the line on every dictat from the loony left makes me a far-right fascist bigot etc. And it’s ironic that most of the ‘progressives’ have no concept of life outside their upper middle-class bubble, as recently exemplified by an archetypal case of Missing White Woman Syndrome.

Norm Haug
Norm Haug
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

Totally agree!

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
3 years ago
Reply to  bsema

Everything except the BLM stuff. How about another Reply to explain your thinking on that a bit.

bsema
bsema
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

See my reply to Andrew Best.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
3 years ago
Reply to  bsema

You haven’t explained this:-
 “I’m on board with BLMs (widely misunderstood) ideas about defunding the police and deconstructing of the nuclear family.”

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Yes please!

Lee Floyd
Lee Floyd
3 years ago
Reply to  bsema

I already have, but disagree fundamentally with your characterisation of BLM. They are a racist, anarchic organisation. Divisive, and deeply dangerous.

Kerryj J
Kerryj J
3 years ago
Reply to  bsema

‘Cisgender’ people ACTUALLY use that word? Off Twitter? In real life? Lol. It’s funny ‘misgendering’ someone (even unintentionally) is a hate crime, yet ‘cisgender’ implies that everyone has a gender identity, they don’t. The vast majority are men or women and then they have a sexuality. Gender identity kind of like a sexual personality doesn’t come into it, so the word kind of ‘misgenders’ the majority. Using it, like announcing pronouns, when they’re self evident signals belief in the ideology. I’m not having a pop at you by the way, what words you choose to use in entirely your concern just surprises me to see it. It does help illustrate your point.
I do question the blind spot you have that BLM is actually about helping black people in any way, even in the US, you may want to look at how Tamir Rice’s mum have disavowed BLM recently because they took money raised for Tamir’s funeral, in fact despite all monies raised she didn’t receive a single penny, she says they “monopolised the fight for racial justice” and exploit black pain. In response to the allegations, against BLM (Country Wide) activists and lawyers, Tamika Mallory (co founder BLMLA) went on TV and basically called the grieving mother ‘egotistical’ and well frankly called her a fed, implied she was working for the state. Shocking display that will leave you speechless, it did me. BLM are advocating an Equality of outcome, based on race philosophy that is being aggressively pushed and has its roots as CRT.(’Q***r Theory’ -gender ideology- Critical Race Theory’ -racial ideology- do you see the pattern yet?) Anyone who doesn’t agree, no matter their colour, is in their way and against them. It’s hurting everyone, especially working class people who are losing jobs or having to compromise their beliefs to keep them. It’s Racism, repackaged and sold for big money in the US and has made its way over here. In fact if we had an honest media in any way at all, the scales would have fallen off most eyes by the end of last year. BLM are not continuing the Civil rights movement they are trashing it. If you won’t renounce your ‘whiteness’ you’re against them. Police reform? Yes. Village to raise the children? Yes. As long as the nuclear family is at the core of that village, (by nuclear family I mean the child’s parents or people the child looks to as parental figures, it may not be traditional man/women but functions as such for parenting in the child’s eyes) That isn’t what they want, they want to restrict parental influence on children. . .
I agree with you on everything else except I will vote SDP. Take a look at them.

Last edited 3 years ago by Kerryj J
David J
David J
3 years ago
Reply to  Kerryj J

Except that the SDP insist on taking a subterranean view of their requirement as a political party to be visible to the public at large.

David Crowther
David Crowther
3 years ago
Reply to  David J

I’m a member of the SDP in Wales. Unfortunately we’re a small party with few resources and it will take a long time to build our public profile. This is acknowledged by the current party leader William Clouston. It will be a long hard slog to get the party in a position to challenge the mainstream parties. The FPTP voting system also makes it difficult for small parties like the SDP to break through with any electoral success. Little by little though, people are starting to take notice. Take a look at our policies. I think they would appeal to most people who consider themselves to be centre left on economics but socially and culturally conservative and are sick to the back teeth of Labour. We need more people to join and build the party.

Last edited 3 years ago by David Crowther
Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  David Crowther

Do you have a manifesto for the election?

David Crowther
David Crowther
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Not in the Wales area. We’re still very small and being unable to campaign due to lockdown restrictions in Wales makes things extremely difficult. For now I recommend visiting the national party’s website https://sdp.org.uk/. Have a look at the policies and new declaration and see what you think.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  David Crowther

SDP is on mike Graham after 10am TALKRADION regularly..They have sensible policies in most Areas They are Left Moderate on Economics ,Moderate right on Social policy…Reform a Moderate Right party look set to do Well in May 6 Council elections,,

beancounting42
beancounting42
3 years ago
Reply to  David J

Join them and help raise the profile. Doing nothing will not help

bsema
bsema
3 years ago
Reply to  Kerryj J

Where have I said that BLM is about helping black people? It’s their approach to tackling racism that I take issue with.

Anna Rye
Anna Rye
3 years ago
Reply to  bsema

I take issue with being referred to as a snow roach.

Dominic S
Dominic S
3 years ago
Reply to  Kerryj J

Well, thank you for this post. Most heartening to see someone not simply taking the knee before some of the nonsense foisted upon us by people who deny facts and science.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
3 years ago
Reply to  Kerryj J

” If you won’t renounce your ‘whiteness’ you’re against them. Police reform?”
I am proud to be numbered amongst those who are against BLM.

Anna Rye
Anna Rye
3 years ago
Reply to  Kerryj J

Same here will be voting SDP and I don’t think they are hiding as much as they are being hidden.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Anna Rye

Listen to Talkradio ..

David Brown
David Brown
3 years ago
Reply to  Kerryj J

“It’s funny ‘misgendering’ someone (even unintentionally) is a hate crime…”
I think you misunderstand how hate crimes, and “non-crime hate incidents”, work. Your intention is totally immaterial; what matters is the perception of “the victim or any other person…” however irrational. The fine old legal concept of the “reasonable person” test is not a part of it.
Thus, suppose you have known John for many years. Eventually, John decides that he is really a woman, and wishes to be known as Joanna. You have a slip of the tongue and address Joanna as “John”. Joanna understands that this is not malicious, and corrects you with a laugh, but a third party is offended on Joanna’s behalf, and reports you to the police.
The next thing you know, PC Plod is visiting you at home or at work “to check your thinking” (this phrase has been used in such situations), and a PNC record is created with a non-crime hate incident against your name. In fact, there is no requirement for the hard-pressed force to bother with the visit, or even to inform you of the record, should they feel that they have not the time to do so: they simply create the entry against you.
There are many things that that might be called, but “funny” is not a word I would use.

Last edited 3 years ago by David Brown
Bertie B
Bertie B
3 years ago
Reply to  bsema

As others have said, you might need to explain this:

I’m on board with BLMs (widely misunderstood) ideas about defunding the police and deconstructing of the nuclear family.

They are truly insane suggestions. Police reform is needed (more in America than here – but for some reason many UK people seem to think that we are the same), but defunding them would be counter productive.
deconstruction of the nuclear family is already happening, and generally from simpley observing those children from what we used to call “broken homes”, indicates that it on the whole isn’t generally benificial.
As for voting Conservative, then you probably should given your views.

bsema
bsema
3 years ago
Reply to  Bertie B

The point of my post was not to debate specific issues, it was to point out that a working class man like me with some quite left-wing views couldn’t contemplate voting Labour.

Chris Mackay
Chris Mackay
3 years ago
Reply to  bsema

That was clear. What wasn’t clear is that you either don’t know, or do not wish to declare, that you hold communist views.

David Stanley
David Stanley
3 years ago
Reply to  bsema

I find it incredible that women of colour, working-class women and women not blessed with conventional good looks (not to mention men) get murdered and we hear nothing but when a young, attractive woman who, crucially, is upper middle-class gets murdered; suddenly left-wing activists are interested.
I think this is a crucial point that gets very often overlooked. It’s also important to note that it seems to matter who did the killing. Three gay men were murdered last June by a Muslim fanatic. Where were the mass protests? Were are the mass protests when a black man is killed by another black man?
People on the left use certain crimes to claim that western civilisation is an evil, racist patriarchy. If you disagree then you must be evil too.
I feel exactly the same as you that I have been pushed out of the left despite being pretty left wing on many issues. Views I had less than a generation ago that were seen at the time as being progressive are now seen as racist/sexist/Islamophobic/etc. I was in a relationship with a black woman for many years and my wife and I have fostered a mixed race child but I was recently accused of racism by some demented lefty.
I don’t know what the answer is because I can’t see these people changing their minds about identity issues any time soon. They are so influential in academia, education, social services and the media that many of them see no reason to change.
It’s such a shame because I think we’ve arrived at a situation that no one really wants. The left obsesses over issues that most people either don’t care about (such as the trans issue) or do care about (such as racism) but not in the crazy, extremist way that the left does. As a result, we have an incompetent government that has a free pass because the opposition is unelectable. We can all see the cronyism involved in the PPE contracts during covid and 99% of people want something to be done about it. However, if the choice is between that and having a load of blue haired loonies screaming at me about pronouns I end up being forced into a choice that I’m not really happy about.

Simon Baggley
Simon Baggley
3 years ago
Reply to  David Stanley

It has got to a point in USA that if you’re falsely accused of being a racist and protest about it then it follows that you must be a racist – because wide spread racism is the real issue not your minor concern that you were falsely accused

David Brown
David Brown
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Baggley

What do you mean “in USA”? It’s happening in the UK, too.

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  David Stanley

I do think the genuinely privileged tiny minority is fairly happy with it. Like how Christianity was captured and perverted by the wealthy and powerful, Leftism/Social Justice now serves them too. Instead of being vilified for their unearned status, they instead get to play at being priests or/and victims.

bsema
bsema
3 years ago
Reply to  David Stanley

Hallelujah! Somebody hasn’t misinterpreted my post.

Dominic S
Dominic S
3 years ago
Reply to  David Stanley

There is also silence from the left about the candidate for Hartlepool’s tweets about ‘certain subjects’.

Aidan Trimble
Aidan Trimble
3 years ago
Reply to  Dominic S

Do you mean the tweets and social media posts where he was firmly against Brexit and in favour of a second referendum, all of which he’s now deleting ?

Jerry Smith
Jerry Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  David Stanley

Perfectly expressed!

Simon Baggley
Simon Baggley
3 years ago
Reply to  bsema

WTF is “cisgender ” you mean you’re a man – it’s that kind of language Embrey is talking about- that ultimately alienates ordinary people

Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Baggley

True. I was filling in a health questionnaire when registering at the dentist, and one of the questions was not the explainable ‘Are you: Male or Female’, but ‘With what gender do you identify?’.

Er … what?

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
3 years ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

When I get asked those sorts of questions, I always answer “I’m not woke”.

Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

Depends on the time of day if they’re gender fluid. They can switch genders almost at will (though they say its involuntary apparently) I think we used to call people like this schizophrenic or rather people with ‘split personality disorders’ Not any more though; calling them that is not only rude but indeed a hate crime!

clem alford
clem alford
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Baggley

Just call it ‘it!!!!! HE, SHE and IT.

Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  clem alford

What’s it got between its legs?

bsema
bsema
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Baggley

It was kinda tongue in cheek.

William Murphy
William Murphy
3 years ago
Reply to  bsema

In an earlier post on another article. I pointed out the features which a murder victim needs to get maximum media attention. After a solid week of Woman’s Hour droning on about poor Sarah Everard (she looks suspiciously like someone who might work at the BBC), a speaker on WH on Friday 19th March pointed out the lack of frenzy surrounding the two half-sisters murdered in Wembley in 2020. But then they were not white and their Dads were not professors at a Russell Group university.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
3 years ago
Reply to  bsema

Please please eliminate the pseudo-word “cisgender” from your vocabulary. You mean you are a normal man. You are not a woman who pretends to be one.
Other than that (and your comments on BLM) I tend to share your views.

Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  Joe Blow

Ha ha ‘normal man’? You’ll get strung up speaking like that Joe!

Steve Hill
Steve Hill
3 years ago
Reply to  bsema

In a word, yes

Jean Calder
Jean Calder
3 years ago
Reply to  bsema

I am concerned that so many comments appear to support (or leave unchallenged) your views on the Sarah Everard vigils. These vigils for Sarah Everard have been led by women, mostly survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, who have been appalled by the collapse in rape charging, the increase in domestic violence and homicide during lockdown and above all the fact that a police officer, employed to protect them, has been charged with Sarah’s murder. These women have been let down time and again by the police and the criminal justice system. Many of the older women have been campaigning for years to raise awareness of sexist violence and homicide. The activists you refer to, who dominate left protests and demonstrations, have no real interest in women’s safety and women’s rights, hence their ongoing collusion with Islamism and the misogynist wing of trans activism and their failure to acknowledge the systematic sexual abuse of vulnerable teenagers in Rotherham and elsewhere. A few of these activists have become involved with recent vigils, but only to attack the police not defend women’s rights. Wherever possible, the women have seen them off. These women need support and respect not sarcasm and mockery.

bsema
bsema
3 years ago
Reply to  Jean Calder

My point was that leftists only seem to care when it’s an upper middle-class white woman and I find that inconsistent with their supposed support for the oppressed.

rickinnercirclebet
rickinnercirclebet
3 years ago
Reply to  bsema

Yes it seemns they couldn’t a monkeys about 19,000 under age girls groomed, drugged and repeatedly raped

No VIGILS for them!!

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
3 years ago
Reply to  bsema

As a white female from a working class background, I understand exactly where you are coming from and broadly support the same values.I did vote Remain but only because I believed it would be best for economic stability and jobs rather than being an ardent internationalist. I also accepted the majority vote for Brexit. Ironically, I would probably have abstained if there had been a 2nd referendum as I feel Remain vs Brexit was really a fight between 2 different branches of the elite.
Above all, I despise the progressive middle class activists that dominate Labour. Especially the ones that accused me of being ‘Islamophobic’ [code for racist] when I expressed the view that the niqab and burkha ought to be banned in the UK as they are in some other countries.
I can see why so many working class folks voted for the Tories in 2019, and might be tempted to vote for them, like you say, out of devilment. It’s more likely however that I’ll abstain as I can’t bear ideology and people who slavishly follow it – whether of the left or right wing type.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
3 years ago
Reply to  Eleanor Barlow

I won’t be voting Tory because of slavish devotion to ideology, but simply because at least they are not the Labour Party. I used to be Labour, I now despise them. No prime minister in the past 100 years did as much damage to this country as Blair – but if they get back into power they might well be even worse.

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
3 years ago
Reply to  Joe Blow

The problem is that the Tories are ruled by slavish ideologues just as much as Labour is. The Tory party has been driven to the right just as Labour is being driven by the liberal progressives – so there really is nowhere to go for people who just want a government that manages the economy, immigration and public services efficiently and aren’t interested in slick 3 word slogans, grand visions or abstract concepts. That’s people like me, and I suspect we are the real silent majority.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
3 years ago
Reply to  Eleanor Barlow

That’s strange, Eleanor, the Tories I know are crying out for some ideological Conservatism from this Government. They, and I, see the Tory Party moving evermore leftwards until they are indistinguishable from Blairites. The most frequent criticism of Boris is that he doesn’t have any principles, let alone an ideology.
I’d be interested if you would name some of these slavish idealogues who are moving the Tory Party to the right.

Jonathan Marshall
Jonathan Marshall
3 years ago

I agree with you, Dougie. I wish there really were some people moving the Tory Party to the right. At the moment it’s squishy sort of centre party, and the influence of the “green” ideas of Princess Nut Nut is becoming more pronounced.

Stuart Y
Stuart Y
3 years ago

Yeah I too am perplexed by a Conservative government that has a 80 seat majority, and yet could guarantee this for ever more, if only they reflected what the majority think instead of the tyrannical minority who’ll never vote for them anyway!!!

I suspect its the old bubble thing again. As for Labour would suggest if Boris hadn’t made so many “mistakes” during the pandemic and T least some opposition to the Green nonsense that seems to effect him, they’d be in single fiigures voting intention wise

Last edited 3 years ago by Stuart Y
Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
3 years ago

Ian Duncan Smith and Rees-Moggs – and all those who were part of Britannia Unchained. They want to see off any kind of welfare state and allow wild west capitalism to dominate – even though it’s just as inefficient as the socialism they oppose.
I haven’t seen any signs of leaning to the left. The Tories are only spending public money to mitigate the worst effects of the pandemic because they have been under pressure to do so. The minute the pandemic has abated,it will be back to austerity – and as usual it will be benefit claimants, the poor bloody tax payer and users of public services who will be expected to bear the cost of it all.
And as if that weren’t enough, they plan on nuclear weapons expansion to try and pretend that the UK can play with the big boys.
And in addition, there are the transfers of public services to be totally mismanaged by the private sector such as the probation service and test and trace – because its Tory ideology that the private sector is always more efficient than the public sector.

Daniel Goldstein
Daniel Goldstein
3 years ago
Reply to  Eleanor Barlow

They always strike me as soulless corporate drones who struggle to compute ideas outside their dogmatic rule book.

Andy Yorks
Andy Yorks
3 years ago
Reply to  Eleanor Barlow

The Tory party has been driven to the right just as Labour is being driven by the liberal progressives”
The reality is the exact opposite: the intolerance of the liberal progressives has driven the Tory Party to the left. Cameron wasn’t a Conservative: he was a liberal, and that’s the problem.  

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
3 years ago
Reply to  Andy Yorks

Cameron wasn’t liberal when it came down to brass tacks. He allowed Osborne to force austerity on all of us, so ordinary people were made to pay for the financial crisis laid on us by the banks. And he allowed Ian Duncan Shite to implement state sanctioned bullying of sick and disabled people via the welfare benefit system – which still continues to kill people by stopping their benefits for no good reason.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Eleanor Barlow

Cameron was A C****** he Called All Ukip ”racist” and Little Englanders..A complete pratt who believed Focus Groups and Yougov .”Remain” would win 67% to 33% A referendum ..his wife spent ÂŁ65,000 on A number 11 Kitchen (Carrie spent ÂŁ200,000 on’redecoration”) I have reason to despise Camoron…His Father in law Gets ÂŁ10,,000 per month for Windfarms in lincolnshire

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Eleanor Barlow

Boris is A Davos liberal ‘Woke’ Green obsessed Pm, he is scared by his ”science” Advisors even Discredited ‘modelists’ like ferguson ..his Partner is ‘Green’ driven/drivel her father is editor of ;;The Independent”

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
3 years ago
Reply to  Eleanor Barlow

Eleanor what would improve the public sector would if the same levels of responsibility were imposed upon managers as Captains of ships in the RN.

Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  Joe Blow

You and many more too my friend.

Daniel Shaw
Daniel Shaw
3 years ago
Reply to  bsema

Hi Besma. Can you elaborate on your support of the BLM policies re: defunding the police and nuclear family please. I’m genuinely interested. Please note I’m not being facetious , Im interested to hear a cogent argument from someone who seems pretty rational. Thanks

Graeme Laws
Graeme Laws
3 years ago
Reply to  bsema

Precisely how will the nuclear family be deconstructed? If you are in favour of it, you had better explain. Ban monogamy? Ban cohabitation? Take all newborns into the care of the state?

And this will lead to what desired outcomes?

David Lawler
David Lawler
3 years ago

We voted Conservative less than a year ago, and look at what we got. Woke extremism, and a totalitarian socialist police state.
There is noone who represents me or millions of others

Last edited 3 years ago by David Lawler
Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  David Lawler

This is not so important because…
Think of politicians as pet animals. They don’t do what you want until you train them. So, if everyone votes for a silly party (Monster Raving Loony) the politicians in the main parties will realise that they need to change. They need to be held by the hand and guided to what the electorate really wants. It obviously can’t be done in the first election but it can in the second.

Stephen Griffiths
Stephen Griffiths
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

This sounds like what Nigel Farage and the Brexit Party did over Brexit. I’d like to see the Reform Party exert a similar pressure on the Conservatives.

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
3 years ago

It would be better if we had a different electoral system such as PR or similar. Then people could vote for the Brexit Party or any other party that is currently on the fringes, and their votes would count. It’s nothing short of scandalous that UKIP won 4 million votes in the 2015 election but only gained 1 parliamentary seat.

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  Eleanor Barlow

It’s difficult, I used to like PR until I understood party lists.

I rather like the idea of the current MPs who distinct geographical areas, plus direct elected leaders, plus the house of Lords being replaced by juror service style citizens. 1000 would give a great collection of normal cronyless views. And more referendum, using tech.

This could stiffle any change, but definitely also stop idiotic bubble policy.

Daniel Goldstein
Daniel Goldstein
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

It’s not as if the current selections of candidates aren’t like party lists. Look up STV – it allows for MPs to represent a distinct geographical area and is proportional.

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

Party lists are a disaster, taking power from the people and their representatives and giving it to the parties. I suppose you could have bigger constituencies each electing 2 or more MPs. Or even a transfer vote system in single member constituencies. Unfortunately there is no perfect system.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Eleanor Barlow

Until You see what PR has done to SNP ,nutty ”Hate” legislation which has spread to England .You CAN have incompetent,Lying(Ignoring Inquiry) dictatorships with PR!

Daniel Goldstein
Daniel Goldstein
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin Lambert

They still have some non-PR seats though.

Chris Mackay
Chris Mackay
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin Lambert

PR only works with compulsory voting. Australia is an example.

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Mackay

It works without compulsory voting – see parts of the UK for examples.

William Murphy
William Murphy
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

As one who treasures the memory of the glorious day that the Monster Raving Loonies scored twice as many votes as an allegedly “real” political party, I can only say “Vote MRL – you know it makes nonsense”. Given the streams of nonsense from the “real” parties, who would notice the difference?

Stephen Griffiths
Stephen Griffiths
3 years ago
Reply to  David Lawler

The Heritage Party looks interesting, but is largely unknown.

Simon Baggley
Simon Baggley
3 years ago

Pointless unless we get PR

Daniel Goldstein
Daniel Goldstein
3 years ago

No. Read up on David Kurten. The guy is nuts.

Monty Marsh
Monty Marsh
3 years ago
Reply to  David Lawler

You got rid of that headbanger Corbyn. That alone was worth the vote for the Conservatives.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago

The biggest danger of all is if ordinary, working class people decide not to vote. After all those years fighting for universal suffrage, everybody needs to vote.

Why? Because if ordinary people don’t vote, the vote of each woke will count double. Each activist and extremist will realise this and the movement will get stronger.

I am working class and live in a working class, ex-mining area. People around me voted Labour automatically for about 30 years. Now they think that Labour has lost the plot – so they don’t vote.

Mike Boosh
Mike Boosh
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

I understand what you’re saying, but do you think the tories are any less woke? They make the right noises before elections then once they win they act exactly the same way as Labour would have. I’m not sure that voting makes any difference. If there was an alternative I’d vote for them in a trice.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Boosh

No. See my note above. Where I live, about 40% vote in an election. The main parties see this as apathetic and generally to mean that they are going in the right direction. The smaller the percentage voting, the more the politicians believe that they have support.
If everybody votes, perhaps for a silly party or an independent, this gives a different message – that the main parties are being rejected and are doing something wrong. Then they have to change their ideas. They have to be trained like pets.

Mike Boosh
Mike Boosh
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Fair point.

Mark H
Mark H
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

I don’t like the fact that we’re at a point where we have to hold our noses to vote for either of the main parties. And I’m worried that the Tories have been in government for so long that they are taking the electorate for granted*. We need a viable alternative and while KS is definitely fit to be PM the idea of the Labour _party_ running the country fills me with dread. Maybe over time there will be an increasing pool of competent shadow ministers, more Ashworths.
* there is an irony here, I think Boris has a desperate need to be liked and so he is more responsive to the electorate than one would expect of a PM whose party has been running the show for 12 years – even though it leads to flip-flops and u-turns. But hey, better a PM who changes his mind on a daily basis than Labour’s offering at the last election, a man who has never, ever, changed his mind.

Mike Boosh
Mike Boosh
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark H

Re. Your point on holding your nose to vote… I don’t think I’ve voted “for” a party in my life… Its only ever been a case of voting against the party that would cause the most damage to the country. After the last year I’m not even sure which one that is now.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark H

Re your *: don’t forget that the Tory Party that you refer to hates Boris and did everything they could to prevent him becoming leader. Fortunately, the grass roots membership held their nerve.
Boris’s Greenwich speech in Feb last year was genuinely inspiring and had a clear vision for the future. Of course, Covid has taken up almost all the Government’s bandwidth, and money, since then, so the vision has been forgotten.
As Ian says below, there are some tentative moves in the right direction but the pool of talent on the Tory benches from which to select ministers is very limited, once you exclude people like Jeremy Hunt, who are just the sort of Tories you describe and could not be trusted to support Boris’s direction of travel in Cabinet.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Boosh

Stuff is starting to happen, including slowing of Unconscious bias training, stopping kids getting irreversible Trans medication, monitoring cancel culture in universities, stiffer sentences for statue destroyers.

Neil Papadeli
Neil Papadeli
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

That’s a hopeful message and I agree. All things must pass, and the current tide of woke will too. It is quite possible we have, over the last couple of weeks, witnessed the high tide of woke. That means a while to go whilst it recedes and even longer until another tide flows in and washes away the detritus left on the beach. I have enormous faith in the people of this country to reject extremism both of this wave and the next…

Mud Hopper
Mud Hopper
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

You are perfectly correct: that’s how dictators gain power.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

‘But from the Red Wall, the Labour Party still looks like that unappealing blend of 1960s hyper-liberal and far-Left ideologue that actively despises working-class values and culture.’
The Labour Party doesn’t look like that, it is that. And the candidate they are putting forward embodies all that. I find it hard to understand how any member of the working classes could vote for a party that despises them, but I guess there are a few who still haven’t woken up yet.
Moreover, I’m not sure that Hampstead and Hartlepool can ever again be reconciled. Their interests are simply too divergent.
If you ask me, Labour’s best hope would be to put that monkey guy forward as a candidate. Apparently he did a good job as a mayor and was reelected. However, he doesn’t have a degree and he has probably done some useful work in his life, so Labour would never touch him.

Last edited 3 years ago by Fraser Bailey
Andrew Best
Andrew Best
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I am working class and was born in Hampstead, we don’t all think like them.
There are still working class people in London who can’t stand the labour party.
Lots of us in fact, we are now just a minority.
Where’s my special interest group?

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

The SDP maybe….

Mike Boosh
Mike Boosh
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

Unless you belong to an alphabet group you can forget about anyone representing you mate, they’re not interested. Have you thought about putting on a dress and changing your name to Andrea? They’ll build you your own toilet.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Boosh

Maybe he has one already and he’s not saying.

Mark Knight
Mark Knight
3 years ago

“Knew what it was like to take a shower after work rather than before”. Brilliant!

Last edited 3 years ago by Mark Knight
stephen.osmond
stephen.osmond
3 years ago

I’m from South Shields. I remember the talk at the time of David Milliband being parachuted in that he couldn’t point to South Shields on a map.

It honestly wouldn’t surprise me if he still can’t now, considering how little time he spent in the constituency, how few questions he raised in parliament about the constituency and generally how little he seemed to care about his constituents.

The likes of Milliband and Mandelson are exactly where the rot started in the red wall areas. People correctly realise that the MPs don’t care about them. Then they stop voting. Then they vote Tory.

William Murphy
William Murphy
3 years ago

I suspect that many people made up their minds instantly at the sight of Sir Kneel’s knee-jerk response to Black Lives Matter. It was even more toe curling than the infamous Edstone. No need to wait for a by election. Next!

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  William Murphy

Yes, the opposition parties should print flyers etc with that image of Kneeler Starmer.

clem alford
clem alford
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Starmer = Blair.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
3 years ago
Reply to  clem alford

I disagree. While he works hard at concealing it, my belief is that he’s much closer to Corbyn than Blair.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  clem alford

Far from it. Blair was, essentially, a Tory. Moreover, he was far more charismatic than Kneeler, a much better communicator, and more in tune with the shifting currents of public and media opinion. Not that this did anything for the people of Iraq or, indeed, Hartlepool.

Last edited 3 years ago by Fraser Bailey
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Didn’t Hartlepool get Baron Mandeldson for their troubles?

Christopher Gage
Christopher Gage
3 years ago

“We must be careful to see that the Labour party, at this stage in development, doesn’t so excite middle-class radicals that they come in and swamp our basic working-class support.”
— Tony Benn, 1980

Ian Wigg
Ian Wigg
3 years ago

Said the titled radical who wanted to be the only one in the village

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Wigg

Come off it, he renounced that title as you well know.

Otherwise I agree he was a deluded nutter.

Victor Newman
Victor Newman
3 years ago

Labour has socially-distanced itself from reality, its activists are locked into a reality-free zone, hostages of obsolete narratives which they polish in the hope that something magical will appear. Like the BBC, they serve only themselves and the voices of secular clerisy are becoming more shrill and discordant as they notice that people no longer even laugh at their absurd, subsidised pretensions. We are just not interested.

Last edited 3 years ago by Victor Newman
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago

Hartlepool has the privilege of possessing one of perhaps the most beautiful and historic ships in the world, H.M.S Trincomalee. Built of teak in Bombay in 1817 she is the epitome of a ‘ Master and Commander’ Frigate of the Napoleonic Wars.

She is also the sister ship of the late
H.M.S. Shannon, the ship that won what has been described as “the greatest single ship action in the age of sail”, when she pummelled the
U.S.S. Chesapeake to death in a mere eleven minutes in 1814.

So I trust that all Parliamentary candidates for Hartlepool are aware of these facts and will celebrate them accordingly. Rule Britannia!

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago

Hang The ;;Monkey!”…or Elect him ?

David Stanley
David Stanley
3 years ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

That sums up the whole situation perfectly.

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
3 years ago
Reply to  David Stanley

I’m not on twitter, but someone sent me the link. I couldn’t help chuckling for a couple of minutes.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

Very good. Very true. Sadly, I suspect Labour might hold on to this seat due to the rest of the vote being split between the Tories and Reform UK.

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I think Labour will lose Hartlepool, and it will be the trigger for another bout of internecine warfare between the party’s various factions. Popcorn?

Aidan Trimble
Aidan Trimble
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

As a Hartlepool resident, I think its highly unlikely we will repeat that error of judgement.

Peter Scott
Peter Scott
3 years ago

“And when Labour showed itself unwilling to provide it, they began to look elsewhere.”
Much depends on what the Reform Party (whether or not with Richard Tice as its candidate) offers by way of policy, doesn’t it?
Consider how little areas like Hartlepool are now represented by either the Labour Party or the Tories.
Both the above love/allow mass immigration, legal and illegal (in practice).
Both the above have no interest in putting bobbies on beats – a sure way of making the public feel more protected and filtering out careers in crime at the early stage before they get underway.
Both the above have nothing to say about getting proper full-time properly paid jobs for the millions now grubbing about in the ‘gig’ economy on low wages and with grim prospects.
Both the above glibly announce green agenda across the board, which most working and lower-middle class people cannot afford: e.g. electric cars, high energy bills.
We do need a Spring Clean of the NHS, if it is to function well; we need a a national debate about cutting back regulation so that capital investment stops sending jobs abroad in order to avoid ruinous high costs over here (maternity leave, paternity leave, Sue Grabbit and Runne on scores of scores); and these things are probably not easy for either main political party to engage in.
Yet on so many counts the Disconnection between the public mind and that of the worn-out legacy parties is like the Berlin Wall; all-obstructing.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter Scott

Exactly. Labour and the Tories are, for the most part, both as bad as each other.

rickinnercirclebet
rickinnercirclebet
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter Scott

Policy, policy, policy…. that’s all I hear
but people want to hear, as Embery says, about culture, identity, nation, togetherness and belonging.. things that are so far out of the imagination of Labour that n’er the twain shall meet
Labour are quite happy to allow towns like Rotherham to change their demographic rapidly and puzzled why local people object to finding 30% of their population are now 1st generation immigrants and some schools are 100% ESL pupils
Instead of recognising the legitimate concerns of the people they need to vote for them, they scorn them, label them (racist, gammon etc) and dismiss them.
Long may it continue because Labour deserves to remain in opposition permanently.

Mud Hopper
Mud Hopper
3 years ago

Having just viewed the alleged Twatter Account of this man on the Guido web site, if true and accurate, I can only express my utter despair at what passes for the so called aspiring ‘political class’ in the UK. The fact that he is also (supposedly) a serving G.P. is troubling.

Last edited 3 years ago by Mud Hopper
Steve J
Steve J
3 years ago

Paul, Your Labour Party no longer exists. You need to move on.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve J

The SDP, perhaps. They are probably the closest thing to Old Labour right now.

Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

It is interesting looking the SDP website .In terms of policy they appear to be well to the right of the modern Tory Party.
I think this is indicative of how far Labour and the Tories have abandoned their core constituency and embraced Leftist/”Progressive” ideology, rather than a major shift to the right by the SDP

Last edited 3 years ago by Marcus Leach
Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

Rod Liddle is now a supporter and, I think, member. of the SDP, having been a Labour supporter all his life.

David Crowther
David Crowther
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Yes, he is a member of the SDP.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Rod Liddle (Of what you fancy) has been SDP since 2017?…as is Daily Express Columnist & ex uKIP MEP Paul O’Flynn

Steve J
Steve J
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve J

Of the current parties, I would say the SDP.

Gareth R Edwards
Gareth R Edwards
3 years ago

Cracking article from an intelligent author who more or less exactly states my own views on the present Labour Party.
Sad though it may be I correspond with a number of friends of differing political persuasions to stimulate good hearted friendly and open debate, and yesterday sent out an offering that seems (to me at least) to be prescient and from which I now quote –

“Permit me to look into my crystal ball.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/labour-mp-hartlepool-byelection-mike-hill-b1817871.html
The Labour party candidate will probably be some female (women only shortlist of course) from the Home Counties who obtained her degree in Lesbian Studies at the University of Middle Wallop, after which a brief career in the media thoroughly prepared her for the challenges of fighting an essentially working class seat in the North of England.
She will believe in trans rights, woke issues, BLM and, naturally, Britain rejoining the EU under the next Labour Government.
She will hope to “educate” the ignorant voters on these important topics when they will want her to discuss with them issues over jobs, the NHS, schooling for their kids, crime and perhaps immigration.
Walworth Road and Starmer will support her by sending Lammy, Diane Abbott and Emily Thornberry along to show diversity and sell the candidate to the voters who should feel privileged to have the chance of electing someone like her to represent them in Parliament.
WHAT DO YOU THINK THE RESULT OF THE BY ELECTION WILL BE?”

Got the sex wrong, but how much else?
I am a proud member on both sides of South Wales Valleys mining families (the majority of whose male members were also volunteer servicemen in two world wars); a lifelong Real Labour supporter and voter who will at the next election not be bothering to vote for our current Labour MP whose respect for the views of the traditional local voter manifests itself in her signing a Parliamentary petition against the deportation of a convicted foreign criminal.

Saul D
Saul D
3 years ago

I quite like the idea of “Real Labour” – it would fill a gapping hole in current politics.

Peter Mott
Peter Mott
3 years ago
Reply to  Saul D

It’s called “Blue Labour” I think – perhaps Paul Embery belongs to it.

Last edited 3 years ago by Peter Mott
Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago

its A Doctor history? Male, A remainer in a constituency which Voted 70% leave, …The Labour Party Supine Support for Even more draconian laws then hopeless Fib-dems and The Tories looks beyond the Pale ,sinking in a Sea of mediocrity & Dictatorial thought Police Legislation?..

David Waring
David Waring
3 years ago

Could we persuade the Labour Party to select a Candidate who vaguely approximates one of the voters who are being asked to gift a princely lifestyle on its candidate? As Mr Best suggests Labour is now seen as the party which hates our nation and its people.

Dominic S
Dominic S
3 years ago

A couple of elections ago Labour sent us a candidate in our constituency who had been (was?) the senior lawyer at Sainsbury’s, even though there he had fought off considerable opposition from local people against a Sainsbury store opening here.
For the by-election in Richmond Park & North Kingston in 2016 (in which I stood) they sent a man whose claim to fame was his opposition to the use of toilet paper, and his interest in steam railways.
This choice is no different, utterly daft.

Richard Brown
Richard Brown
3 years ago

White lives matter. Fairly obviously they do, because a highly educated white woman is murdered on our streets, and all hell breaks loose. Significant enough hell to attract apparent Government action and finance.
Where were all these people when, in June 2020, two sisters, daughters of the first black female archdeacon in the Church of England, were murdered in the Borough of Brent? Perhaps not enough lockdown frustration then?
This has nothing to do with the Labour Party – it has to do with all politicians. Violence has, regrettably, become the only thing to commit if you want to get your minority interest acted upon.
I tick no minority box. I am white, middle-class and male. More and more I feel affinity with the voters of the Red Wall who tick no minority boxes either, and are thus marginalised by Labour.
But Boris has shown increasing signs that he isn’t interested in his core vote, either. More and more loopy legislation seems to be emerging at a time when he hopes we won’t notice it. Misogyny is just about to be demonised in law, apparently.

John Urwin
John Urwin
3 years ago

In the 7th paragraph Paul Embery sets out his requirements for the Hartlepool Labour candidate. I suspect such a person would also be welcome by many in other parties. To his list I would add – determined to sort the housing scandal that is damaging so many of those in their 20s and 30s, and somebody with ideas about how the formation of decent jobs can be encouraged.Someone to give people hope…
I worked in industry all my life and was struck by the wide range of people and skills required. Is it likely that many workers in Nissan’s Sunderland plant are pretty happy with their lot in comparison with others who have more tedious work such as in warehouses? Upgrading the northern railways might be another example. I just don’t know how that kind of work can be brought back. If a region can be lifted economically that also creates a lot of service jobs looking after the needs of the newly prosperous.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  John Urwin

Apparently GE is opening a factory making the blades for wind turbines in the region. 3,000 jobs. They chose the Never France because of Rishi’s Free Ports. Of course, wine turbines and climate change are a giant racket, but it’s an ill racket that blow nobody any good.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

It’s our money they’re spaffing on this rubbish.
Might as well get some of it while it’s going.

Malcolm Davies
Malcolm Davies
3 years ago

Mr Embry you say things millions of ordinary working people think and say. Perhaps you could stand for parliment at some time in the future !
And yes i do feel the midlle class liberal left hate and despise the working class…… i

Mark M
Mark M
3 years ago

I feel sorry for the people of Hartlepool (and similar places). The Labour, Tory and LibDem parties are all out-of-touch with them, don’t really care and won’t do much for them when in power. There hardly seems any point in them bothering to vote.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago

Reform stands a Great chance since Labour under Starmers guidance HAs picked A ”Rejoiner” to stand When A Pro-brexit Labour candidate like Paul Embery(The Author) or Mark Chilton (Labour leave) moderates were called for….The Hampsteed,or Islingtonians with their Woke credentials NEVER learn… Labour like Lib-dems are declining relevance, only shabby PR can only briefly redeem them from oblivion.

Corrie Mooney
Corrie Mooney
3 years ago

It’s not that some of them haven’t learned anything, it’s that the Left, broadly across the west, has a deep cultural problem that can’t be ‘solved’.
Mary Harrington’s article a day or two ago touched upon this indirectly.

Chris Hopwood
Chris Hopwood
3 years ago

Sure this article is about Labour but the challenge outlined in the penultimate paragraph (Hampstead/Halifax) will be the same for the Tories as they try to reconcile the interests of the red wall and their traditional blue wall.

rickinnercirclebet
rickinnercirclebet
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Hopwood

But the REAL interests are the same… home, family, community, identity, nation, security
Tories are doing a miserable job on immigration.
But the common link between Hampstead and hartlepool is social conservatism and that’s how the Tories can appeal to both

Daniel Goldstein
Daniel Goldstein
3 years ago

Is Hampstead socially conservative? Maybe some are… in secret. Whispering in hushed tones amongst their white wine and crisps.

Rob Mcneill-wilson
Rob Mcneill-wilson
3 years ago

It is not time for Labour to have a radical overhaul or to try to start pushing back the pendulum. It is far better if for them to remain true to themselves: pseudo-sophisticated, anti-British, cultural-Marxists. Then the electorate knows the nature of the beast and can avoid it.

Mud Hopper
Mud Hopper
3 years ago

‘Could’ lose Hartlepool, or ‘will’ lose Hartlepool? Just a glance at the track record of the Liebour candidate would convince me where not to place my money. Seems a rather revolting gentleman, and certainly not a G.P. I would want to be alone with in a consulting room.

davidneiltaylor
davidneiltaylor
3 years ago

I’m not convinced that a GP who has worked in the area most of his career is quite the elitist snob you think he is. Sure he is no blue collar miner, I can’t imagine the working class rolling their eye’s at a GP. I think they would respect his profession.

Simon Baggley
Simon Baggley
3 years ago

When MP for Stockton – which overwhelmingly voted to leave EU – he consistently defied Whip and called for a ” people’s vote ” – he’s no man of the people – your job is to represent your constituent’s on that score he failed miserably.

Simon Baseley
Simon Baseley
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Baggley

Here, here, but Hartlepool voters will have got used to not being represented properly. One of his predecessors, Ted Leadbitter, argued against the criminalisation of marital rape and as for Mandelson he only ever represented himself. 

Gareth R Edwards
Gareth R Edwards
3 years ago

Perhaps, provided he wasn’t as arrogant as Dr David Owen and a rabid Rejoiner.

Daniel Goldstein
Daniel Goldstein
3 years ago

Well that’s the thing, when Tories do it they’re not elitist. It’s not his profession though, it’s his views that probably won’t chime with Hartlepool. Of course, many may not even be aware of his views.

Gareth R Edwards
Gareth R Edwards
3 years ago

….but the Tories will make sure they’re fully aware of them during the campaign.

Sean L
Sean L
3 years ago

Why: for whom outside the bubble does it matter which uniparty or LibLabCon faction wins? British state and populace are better understood as political rivals: civil society in service of bureaucratic state in alliance with global plutocrats aka communism. I use that term as closest model. We don’t yet have a word for where state is ‘privatised’: doing the bidding of international finance to this extent. According to WHO whistleblower reporting to Reiner Fuellmich’s Corona Investigative Committee Bill Gates has diplomatic immunity not as a person but a *country*.

Last edited 3 years ago by Sean L
David Tothill
David Tothill
3 years ago

I lapped this article UP … Most of the way through I was thinking I know who would make a kick arse candidate, the nice ginger fireman … DOOH!
I’m OLD it’s not easy.

Daniel Goldstein
Daniel Goldstein
3 years ago
Reply to  David Tothill

Aye, he is a sexy beast, and probably wouldn’t complain about being described as such.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
3 years ago

Good essay, but your main worry seems to be the Labour Party rather than Hartlepool.

Wulvis Perveravsson
Wulvis Perveravsson
3 years ago

If that is the mountain to be climbed — and it surely is — then the party is barely beyond the foothills.

A generous assessment Paul; I’d say it hasn’t even got out of the car and put its boots on yet.

Stensh-Brown
Stensh-Brown
3 years ago

Reading in bed this morning an Edwardian biography of Peter III of Russia, a tragic figure because of his pro-Prussian obsession (he was also Duke of Holstein), I came upon a sentence describing him which struck me as applying to Nicola Sturgeon: “No stubbornness is so stubborn as that of a feeble mind under the domination of a fixed idea.” (Nisbet Bain, Peter III, 1902, p. 43; to Bain and his contemporaries, “feeble” implied “narrow”)
I wish I had conveyed that point as clearly in my own book which, though not on Sturgeon specifically, mentions her a lot and is, in the second half, substantially about the SNP stubborn obsession with a fixed idea. To me the same applies to new-new Labour in England. In both cases the modern idea was born in the seventies, nourished in the eighties by Margaret Thatcher, and given an opportunity to come to fruition by Blair, Dewar and the Labour gang who thought it would make them friends in Scotland. Then – horror of horrors – it was rejected by the Scottish people, rather as the Russian nobility rejected the Prussianism of Peter.
Nonetheless, the circumstances have something in common. Let us hope that Sturgeon and the pilot fish that swim about her, catering to her every obsession, come to as abrupt an end as Peter (though not in the same way: he was beaten to death by Count Orlov in his palace and the rumour put about that he had died of “haemorrhoidal colic”).
My description of the “court” surrounding Sturgeon, and the obsequiousness of its members, which reminds me of the eighteenth-century Russian court, with all the corruption but without the talent, can be read here: “THE JUSTICE FACTORY: CAN THE RULE OF LAW SURVIVE IN 21st CENTURY SCOTLAND?” (Ian Mitchell, 2020)
It is not a party-political screed. It has been endorsed by both ends of the political spectrum here: Ian (“Stone of Destiny”) Hamilton QC, the renegade nationalist, and Adam Tomkins, who is both an MSP (Tory) and Professor of Constitutional Law in the University of Glasgow. The Foreword is written by Lord Hope of Craighead, ex-Deputy President of the UK Supreme Court and Alan Page, Professor of Public Law at Dundee, who is the author “Constitutional Law of Scotland”, the main reference work, has written an Introduction to Part II.
Details of the book here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1981993401?ref_=pe_3052080_397514860

Last edited 3 years ago by Stensh-Brown
spennynic64
spennynic64
3 years ago

The Labour Party hierarchy has been the same for generations a very accurate description of them is in The Road to Wigan Pier describes the superior attitude towards the uneducated working class

eugene power
eugene power
3 years ago

I’ve been to Hartlepool . Dunno If Rich Tice ever has. they think Teessiders are all french spies so he would most likely be lynched if he ever did.
Non Labour hope is that the public sector vote will not turn out… but they will have postals ?