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The Blue Wall won’t save Labour It will take more than a few Tory marginals to change the Left's fortunes

Johnson's voters are giving up on politics. Credit: Getty

Johnson's voters are giving up on politics. Credit: Getty


April 20, 2021   6 mins

Labour’s Red Wall has been blown apart and its bond with the working-class is in tatters. As another potentially symbolic defeat in the Labour fiefdom of Hartlepool looms, many in the party are clutching at straws.

Hartlepool, Labour since 1964, is one of the most significant by-elections for years. If Labour loses, the pressure on an already wobbly Sir Keir Starmer will be immense. It will give his Left-wing critics ammunition and his Right-wing critics yet more evidence that the broader realignment of British politics is only just getting started.

So, it’s no wonder that a new idea about Labour’s future has been embraced so keenly. Labour, it is argued, should turn to the ‘Blue Wall’; it is not a wall per se, more a sprinkling of liberalising, suburban hotspots across the country which the Conservatives have held for a while, and which are trending towards Labour.

Credit: Steve Akehurst / Strong Message Here Blog

In his insightful blog, political analyst Steve Akehurst identifies 41 seats which have been held by the Conservatives since at least 2010, where Labour or the Liberal Democrats have overperformed their national swing in 2017 and 2019 and where the Conservative majority is below 10,000. Seats causing particular excitement include those of big-name Tories like Steve Baker in Wycombe, Iain Duncan Smith in Chingford and Wood Green, and Graham Brady in Altrincham – and even Uxbridge, Boris Johnson’s seat.

“They largely lean Remain”, writes Akehurst, “and so have larger numbers of the demographics that have turned against the Tories since 2016: under 40s, university educated, more socially liberal. More likely to prioritise issues like climate or housing.”

On a good day, assuming a swing of between 3.75 and 5.75 points, and with Labour over-performing in these “Blue Wall” areas, Akehurst estimates that Labour could win anywhere between 15 and 26 of these seats. Assuming the Conservatives lost some other marginal seats, the collapse of the Blue Wall could demolish Boris Johnson’s majority, put Labour back in power and give journalists one hell of a revenge story.

It is an appealing thesis, not least for political analysts who desperately want it to happen. It is no secret that many of the people who write about politics also tend to be graduates who lean to the Left and want the pendulum to swing back in their direction. Many spent 2019 urging Labour to swing behind a second referendum, while downplaying the disastrous impact this would have in its heartlands and ignoring the fact that Johnson could easily offset losses to liberals by invading the Red Wall, where workers had been drifting away from Labour for 20 years.

Which is exactly what happened. Of the 57 seats the Conservatives gained in 2019, all but three came directly from Labour — and of those 54 seats, 50 voted Leave. While the Conservative vote increased by 1.2 points nationally, it surged by 10.2 points in the Red Wall. The Tories not only massively overperformed in these seats, they reshaped their party around a Leave vote that is more geographically efficient than the liberal vote: spread out enough to have more electoral impact.

And this is why I do not find the Blue Wall thesis convincing. The numbers. It is simply not big enough to bring down Boris Johnson’s majority. Even if Labour were to overperform here, it still needs to find significant gains elsewhere. This is what happens when you double down on liberals in a first-past-the-post system. While your analysts might tell you that you are putting a bet on the future, liberals are often too strongly concentrated in the big cities and university towns to deliver the broad support that you need for a stomping majority in an electoral system like Britain’s. Liberals are increasingly flocking to the big cities and university towns, where Labour is already dominant. This is why Sadiq Khan does not need to worry about his re-election next month.

The Blue Wall strategy also relies on Labour doing a far better job of unifying the liberal factions, which it failed to do in 2019, when only half of Remainers voted Labour and one in eight voted Green or Liberal Democrat. Even today, the latter still hold 12% of the vote while disillusionment with Keir Starmer’s leadership appears to be strengthening rather than weakening, especially among the young graduates who loved Jeremy Corbyn and whose strong turnout is a prerequisite to making any Blue Wall strategy effective. With the Brexit Party resting in peace, the risk of internecine rivalry is greater on the Left than the Right.

More fundamentally, the Blue Wall thesis ignores the fact that the Red Wall has only been partially dismantled. There are still many, many more seats that could easily fall to the Conservatives, so long as Boris Johnson stays committed to the deeper transformation of British politics that is underway — a transformation that is seeing his party rally a cross-class coalition of blue-collar and affluent cultural conservatives.

Here is just one statistic to keep in mind. Of the 44 most marginal Labour seats today, 39 are outside of London and the South. I call this the “Red Wall 2.0”. These are seats that have small majorities of 4,000 votes or less, are filled with pro-Brexit, cultural conservative workers who lean Left on the economy and Right on culture, and which have been trending Conservative.

More than a dozen are scattered across the North West and North East while another 13 are in the once reliable People’s Republic of South Yorkshire. These are places that are filled with hard-working, patriotic Brits who want the Government to reform an economy rigged against them while preserving a culture they see as being under threat from increasingly illiberal “woke” activists.

One of those seats, Wentworth and Dearne, is currently represented by Labour MP John Healey, who grasps the fact that across a large swathe of the Midlands, Yorkshire and North the collapse of Labour’s Red Wall was only just starting in 2019. As recently as 2017, Healey’s majority was 15,000 votes. Today, it is 2,165.

It is just a small swing from joining neighbouring Don Valley, which was held by Labour from 1922 until 2019, in the Conservative camp. This is perhaps why Healey has just released a collection of essays by Labour MPs who, like him, have seen their once solid majorities crumble from over 10,000 votes to less than 4,000.

They represent the “new Labour marginals” — the seats that New Labour types once said had nowhere else to go but which ever since then have been trending Conservative. Healey points to people “who feel Labour left them before they left Labour”.

“Those who feel let down by Labour describe at best an unwillingness to listen, with no respect for their experience, and at worst a rejection of their views as ignorant or backward”, he goes on.

These areas exhibit all of the features that now define the new Conservative Party electorate; blue-collar, pro-Brexit, culturally conservative and hacked off. They are the people who Toby Perkins, Labour MP for Chesterfield, describes as being denied thousands of new factory jobs by Sports Direct which instead gave them to migrants from Eastern Europe, “while voters felt progressive opinion refused even to consider the problem, much less propose solutions”.

Labour MPs who represent newly marginal seats include Yvette Cooper, whose majority crashed from over 15,000 votes in 2015 to just 1,276 today, Dan Jarvis, whose majority has fallen from over 15,000 votes to just 3,571 and Jonathan Reynolds whose majority has been cut in half, falling to just 2,946 votes. Labour strongholds have become redoubts.

At the core of this is who Healey calls the “real middle”, which is “not the middle-class that became New Labour’s fixation”. The real middle, he argues, are the “ten million aspirational workers who live on ordinary incomes around the average of ÂŁ24,908. They often live in one of the 14 English towns that cover 16 constituencies like Stevenage, Crawley and Harlow. In 1997, New Labour won all but one of them. By 2015, they represented none of them.”

If we take an even looser definition of “marginal” and look, like Akehurst, at seats with (Labour) majorities of less than 10,000 votes then there are 105 seats where the Brexit Party or Conservative Party are second, 82 of which lie outside of London and southeastern England. They include Doncaster Central, Doncaster North, Halifax, Kingston-upon Hull West and Hessle, Rotherham, Barnsley East, Batley and Spen and Barnsley Central. And they include Hartlepool, which is why the forthcoming by-election on May 6 is so important.

If the Conservatives take Hartlepool or come close to doing so, then the implication is not just that Johnson will defend his existing Red Wall at the next election but could easily add another 40 or so seats to it. That would tilt British politics into a much deeper realignment that sees the Tories sink even longer roots into northern, working-class heartlands and Labour increasingly retreat to liberal enclaves.

This is ultimately why the reshaping of British politics is so traumatic for Labour, especially in England. In Healey’s essays you can detect a real fear among some in Labour that the party could soon be breathing its last breath across a large swathe of its oldest and most cherished territory. We could well be on the cusp of an even greater shock. And this is why I for one shall not be holding my breath when it comes to tales about the imminent revenge of the Blue Wall.


Matthew Goodwin is Professor of Politics at the University of Kent. His new book, Values, Voice and Virtue: The New British Politics, is out on March 30.

GoodwinMJ

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Vikram Sharma
Vikram Sharma
3 years ago

The article assumes that the proportion of remainders has stayed constant. I suspect that the EU’s response to the vaccine debate has changed a few minds as the sheer nastiness and pettiness of its leaders was on such glaring display. Remain may have a less strong pull for the sensible few in the Blue wall.
To win voters back, Labour leadership needs to accept that

  • Twitter is not the real world
  • Wokery is not popular
  • Ethnic minorities are not a passive lump with a hive mind.
  • Many English love their country, its history and its achievements.
  • Envy is unpleasant and toxic. Don’t sell envy, sell dreams and aspirations.
  • love the country and the people you seek to rule. Or live in mutual contempt.

hard to see it happening though

Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

Couldn’t agree more Vikram.

Last edited 3 years ago by Andrew Thompson
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

There are many parallels with what you say and this country between 1919-1939.
In the event “War, the father of all things” solved many of them, but now we seem to have come full circle.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago

You are right, the expansion of the welfare state post 1945 also eased the pressure.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Yes indeed, those were Utopian days, and about time for many, it must be said.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

Brilliant. Perhaps the the most precise and accurate comment I have seen written on the issue.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

Labour uses identity politics as a way of avoiding thought. Shouting slogans and cliches is so much easier. Labour trying genuinely to think about anything, without its usual preoccupations with race, sex, and envy stands no more chance of success than a goldfish trying to live without water.
I’ve long felt that Labour simply meets a political market need. Think of the Seven Deadly Sins, and there’s a gap in the political market for the votes of those who practice them, but who object to their personality defects being classified as sins. Small, envious, preachy, sanctimonious, slothful, smug, holier-than-thou nobodies want their shortcomings and their moral incompetence reclassified as virtues. That’s who Labour pitches to. Their USP is that they will agree with you. Vote Labour for it to be respectable to be repellent.
That franchise will always exist, but it needn’t belong to Labour in perpetuity, any more than the crown belongs to the Windsors.

mike otter
mike otter
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Wise words. They say patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel, but even that can’t work for Labour. They seek to stir up ethnic and religious hatred in the perverse belief they can somehow leverage this into votes. This would only work if enough Britons were repellent nobodies obsessed with skin color etc to deliver Labour a majority. It never worked for the NF, BNP etc so why Labour think it’ll work for them is beyond me….

Tom Graham
Tom Graham
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

Brilliantly put.
Although I would make the last point a bit more strongly:

  • Don’t openly display your hatred and contempt for the electorate while assuming their votes are yours by right.

…Maybe yours is better.

Roy Gundavda
Roy Gundavda
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

Succinct, eloquent, and elegant! – Excellent!

Martin Terrell
Martin Terrell
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

You are right but these values are anathema to the progressives that run the Labour Party. I expect they would prefer to stick to their guns and wait for the mood to change.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
3 years ago
Reply to  Martin Terrell

The use of the word progressive in that context is a bit adventurous, isn’t it?!?

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Martin Terrell

They are regressive blairites, SDP are the only Democratic left,Patriotic leave..I have time for Bernard Chilton,Paul Embery &similar left ”Patriots” &anti-eU

Maureen Newman
Maureen Newman
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

Great comment Vikram, you’ve hit the nail on the head. Your points should be displayed in prominent positions around the country for they echo the thoughts and feelings of millions of the ‘common people’. Ever thought of entering politics? You would get my support! Best wishes. Maureen Newman.

Steven Farrall
Steven Farrall
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

Except, socialism is envy in action.

mike otter
mike otter
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

great comment thanks

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

And blocking of Northern Irish Exports,Imports, courtesy Thereason May & Ursula van der lying .Stopping uk shellfish exporting to EU…Vaccines is the Confirmation of mendacious eU politicians..

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

Labour do not win by being a lighter version of the Conservative Party. Woke is a word that is losing meaning. Many people and I would suggest it is a large section of British society are keen to learn more about Britain’s past and do feel that social issues should be taken seriously. People who broadly support gender, sexual and racial equality are not all pantomime woke cultists, just as all Tory supporters aren’t ethno-nationalists demandind that we deport people just because they have foreign sounding names. The writing is on the wall for Labour regarding many of their traditional heartlands. They should recognise the realignment going on and focus on winning Tory seats in more diverse and educated towns and cities across Britain. Most Brits already vote for left of centre political parties. It’s only our gerrymandered electoral system facilitating minority party rule that keeps the Tories in power.

William Harvey
William Harvey
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

I think you are dreaming. The gerrymandered electoral system worked perfectly ok for Tony Blair. Its the Labour Party that is wrong not the voters or the system.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

Excellent comment.

Michael L
Michael L
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

Amen to that!

Damian Grant
Damian Grant
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

…and truly and sincerely concentrate on managing the economy for the benefit of the many and not just an elite few…..

David Waring
David Waring
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

Cant be having working people thinking for themselves.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

Do you, by chance, follow or even play Cricket Vikram?

Last edited 3 years ago by Charles Stanhope
Vikram Sharma
Vikram Sharma
3 years ago

I follow it Charles
and support England

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

Good man!

Sarah Atkin
Sarah Atkin
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

There are few signs that Labour has even begun to grasp – let alone ‘process’ – why it lost so catastrophically in 2019. So, it’s very hard to see the above happening. Starmer was perhaps just too obvious a choice for leader. Of course he may surprise us (unlikely) but seems to me he’s not really a politician – not deep in his bones. More a manager.

Jeff Butcher
Jeff Butcher
3 years ago
Reply to  Sarah Atkin

Very mordant point. He doesn’t seem to really want to win does he?

John Wilkes
John Wilkes
3 years ago
Reply to  Sarah Atkin

Whilst I do not like Starmer, as a general rule, I think that politics should have far more people who are not politicians.
People who have done a real job and have some understanding of what life is like for real working people.

William Harvey
William Harvey
3 years ago
Reply to  John Wilkes

I’d like to see term limits for all politicians 8 or even 12 years maximum. You do your best in your time slowed and then go back to real world. Professional politicians are the ruination of the nation and its culture

krsudworth
krsudworth
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

Well said. I’ve often said that Twitter is just a new left leaning mouthpiece and the rest of the population just remain silent. There is definitely some truth to the new left shouting the loudest. I say new left because there’s a marked difference between them and the old left, who primarily appealed to the working classes. The new left primarily appeals to middle class identity politics supporters who believe in critical race theory. I live in the North West and no longer support Labour. They have become the party of middle class liberal whites and ethnic minorities, and don’t care about working class whites like myself. Corbyn accelerated that trend. We’ve kind of been pushed towards the Conservative Party because there’s no realistic alternative. While I think many of the new working class Tory voters are probably centre to centre-left on the economy, they are primarily centre-right to right leaning on many social issues, such as patriotism and so on. Labour didn’t have a single patriotic bone in its body under Corbyn, and it’s only improved a little since Starmer taken over. I suppose he can’t rock the boat too much as those new leftists will get rid of him in an instant.

William Harvey
William Harvey
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

Vikram… I always like reading your contribution to these comment sections. Yet again you have hit the nail on the head with this one. Labour should offer you a strategy job… though I fear your insight and plain speaking may not go down well with the “Wokeists”

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago

“Saving Labour” isn’t something what should be pursued with conservationist zeal. Some things – like brutalist architecture or disco music – are better left to pass away without much ado, after the course of their natural lifespan. Labour seems to be way past that sell-by date, more zombified than Leonid Breznhev’s corpse circa 1978. No amount of Union Flags will cover up the kneeled-out holes on Keir Starmer’s trousers.
Let it go – they can splinter to the Young Antisemites Party (YAP), the Old Trots Party, the London Muslim Party, the West Midlands Muslim Party, the Bristol Looting Party, the Civil Servants Self-Enrichment Party, the Marginalised Vulnerable Communities Party, the Militant Genderconfuseds Party and so forth – a personalised, tailor-fitted particle for every individual leftwinger to identify with.
Frankly, i’m a bit more concerned about the working people, they don’t seem to have much choice on offer.

Tim Bartlett
Tim Bartlett
3 years ago

Working people get to choose between being forced to their knees with eye contact, or forced to their knees with a knife in their back. Fertile ground for men with funny moustaches.

Stewart Ware
Stewart Ware
3 years ago

You omitted the Tooting Marxists Workers Revolutionary Party.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Stewart Ware

And the ‘Judean People’s Front’, and their associated brothers, ‘The People’s Front of Judea’.

Mel Shaw
Mel Shaw
3 years ago

Splitters!

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Stewart Ware

Tooting Liberation Front..Wolfie?…

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  Stewart Ware

Woops, my bad! Heard they did a strategic merger with the Mooning Farxist Farkers Revulsionary Party, not sure if that rumour is true though…

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago

The left vote will find a new repository, probably the Greens.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Golly gosh, don’t you want to save the Planet?

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago

If I thought it needed saving, I would not take advice from ecofascists on how to do so. They are people it needs saving from.

Robert Forde
Robert Forde
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Yes, they are well-known for their industrial pollution, clearance of rain forest, pouring sewage into rivers, etc.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Robert Forde

Demonising Life Giving Carbon ..No Carbon No food,no Forests,No humans..

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Only joking!

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

That happened already, under Blair. The miffed Labour Left invaded the Greens, turning them into the monstrosity they are today. (I wasn’t around here thenadays, but heard it from my other half who used to be quite into the Environmental Party – as they were called back then -, before it was ran over by the commies.)

Vic Timov
Vic Timov
3 years ago

Ecology Party.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  Vic Timov

Thanks, Vic! Yep, Ecology Party.

Aden Wellsmith
Aden Wellsmith
3 years ago

When are they going to stop single-use plastics in the contraceptive department?

William Harvey
William Harvey
3 years ago

Watermelons. Green outside but very Red inside

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Already happened in lambeth they won 5 labour seats out of 59 .,when I last stood As Independent in may 2018, labour candidates still put eU rejoin on ballot paper..Greens are nicknamed ”Melons” Green outside,red inside..With Curfew anti-male Lady Jenny Jones in Lords & Greta thunburke Non-scientific ”research ”they to hopefully ,Like cults or religious Zealots,they will also disappear..

Last edited 3 years ago by Robin Lambert
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin Lambert

Lambert of Lambeth: Has a good ring to it. Thank you.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago

When Is tood in Hendon 2010 GE Council Electoral Officer Was a Mrs Burnett of Barnet!

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin Lambert

You couldn’t ‘make it up’, as they say!

mike otter
mike otter
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

The Greens were birthed in the eugenicist mob rule of the USSR, NSDAP etc. They have much in common with the US preppers, militias etc, with whom they openly share a belief in “ZOG”. (the world is controlled by a Zionist Occupational Government) That’s just the place for Labour types now. Unable to persuade voters to elect them they have three choices: Atrophy with their mad beliefs like Greens, NF, BNP etc, take up arms like the Red Army Faction, Baader Meinhof, or build an electable broad church like the Rev ARP Blair so their less objectionable policies have a chance to take root.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  mike otter

The Greens were birthed in the eugenicist mob rule of the USSR

Don’t know about that. What i do know is that “greens” in the state-communist times of the eastern-bloc were emphatically anti-left, anti-communist outfits back in the day, and persecuted as such. Being associated with a green organisation got you fired, expelled from university, even landed you in prison & such. Communism inflicted more environmental damage on the planet than the “industrial West” can even dream of.
I know that because i grew up there and used to be green. Imagine the massive culture shock i had here upon finding out that “green” means the polar opposite of what i was used to over there.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
3 years ago

Johannes, do you mind me asking where exactly it is you are from? I remember from a previous exchange that you are Hungarian – but which part do you come from? I’m guessing from your name that you hail from western Hungary. Sopron? Gyor?

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Hungary, yes – my name is a fictional character from ETA Hoffmann’s Tomcat Murr (good book), in real life i’m a middle-aged woman. I hail from the southwest corner (Zala) but lived / worked in Moson and KomĂĄrom- Esztergom counties (and briefly in ZemplĂ©n, my favourite place.)

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
3 years ago

Oh yes, I know Moson. Mosonmagyarovar = dentist capital of Central Europe. General population 34,000 – probably swells to 50,000 during the day at the weekend when the Austrians all pop over the border to get affordable fillings done 😉

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Yep, that’s where i worked in the local museum back in the ’80s! Lovely town.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
3 years ago

Gyor is also a great little place. All the tourists that go straight from Vienna to Budapest on the train are missing out!

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Yes! Also Sopron, one of the nicest towns we have. And Tata where i lived – i hear the lake has cleared up enough to bathe in it. Now you made me all homesick!

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
3 years ago

I know whom to consult when we can eventually travel again. Closest I’ve been to Hungary, is Prague. Would love to go to Hungary and Austria.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago

Prague is wonderful! Mind you, the Czechs have an immense number of even better smaller towns (Czesky Krumlov, Jindrichuv Hradec, Tabor, Kutna Hora, Prahatice, Slavonice, Telc – just to name a few i’ve seen, but the list is endless); wish i could be lost in them for a lifetime. In comparison we Hungarians are pretty poorly off, in terms of mediaeval towns. But there’s still some good stuff left – also the landscapes.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
3 years ago

Thanks for the tips! Oh to travel again.

Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
3 years ago

Kreisleriana (Schumann) – one of my favourite piano works.

Aden Wellsmith
Aden Wellsmith
3 years ago
Reply to  mike otter

So was labour. Look up Beveridge.

Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

I doubt it. ‘Green’ is really fundamentally ‘conservative’ of a particular kind, namely middle-class NIMBY. The environmentalist movement actually started in that class at the end of the 19th C. and has largely stayed there ever since. The attempts of the Green Party’s current leader to link it to woke lefty causes will have the opposite effect to that intended. A large part of ‘green’ is simply ruralist snobbery of the wood-burning stove/William Morris/Arts and Crafts-ish gardening and floral skirt types, who despite going on about ’emissions’, don’t seem to be able to leave the Range Rovers behind. XR are exactly the same. A fair proportion of the beliefs they hold derive from old-fashioned Christianity (‘man as steward of the earth’ etc.. Even Owen Jones has expressed this kind of opinion, a fact I gleefully pointed out to the ‘atheist’ thinker in the Guardian comments section a year or two ago).

Last edited 3 years ago by Arnold Grutt
Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  Arnold Grutt

ruralist snobbery of the wood-burning stove/William Morris/Arts and Crafts-ish gardening and floral skirt types

Guilty as charged of all that. Well, except the floral skirts perhaps, i prefer plain or striped skirts and floral William Morris print trousers (of which i have a few). Oh, and i don’t have a Range Rover, because i’m a poor bvgger. I live in the Cotswolds though, does that make up for the lack of the Range Rover? I have a pond with newts in it, and i salute to magpies. Also a fair proportion of the infinitesimally small number of beliefs i hold derive from old-fashioned Christianity. I celebrate Oak Apple Day, even though i’m not English (just some sort of anarchomonarchist with a grudge against Cromwell).

Last edited 3 years ago by Johannes Kreisler
Damian Grant
Damian Grant
3 years ago

A humourous take on the very worst aspects of identitarianism but, nevertheless, absolutely spot on!

Paul Goodman
Paul Goodman
3 years ago

Don’t be silly Disco will never die.

Aden Wellsmith
Aden Wellsmith
3 years ago

Correct. What Labour hasn’t worked out is that insulting the voter loses you votes. The xenophobic stupid, ignorant brexit voters should just do what they are ordered to do. And be grateful in the process.
Identity politics means you target the majority, insult them.
Why are they surprised that they are going down the toilet.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

One could argue that Labour first betrayed its core vote in the late 80s when Kinnock pivoted and began to support membership of the EU. Certainly it has been betraying that core vote in terms of markets, immigration and culture since Blair took control. All of this and various other factors have chipped away at its traditional support since the 2001 election, until a huge chunk of that support simply fell away in 2019.
Another factor rarely mentioned by the MSM, but sometimes in the comments sections by northern voters, is the grooming gangs. Labour’s core support could always cling to the belief that however dumb, hypocritical, incompetent or spendthrift Labour were, they were at least morally superior to the Tories. ‘Labour is nothing if not a moral crusade’ as somebody once said.
But the grooming gangs issue provided a clear, black and white instance of good v evil. And Labour, in order to prop up its vote in many places, chose the side of evil.

Vivek Rajkhowa
Vivek Rajkhowa
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Grooming gangs and general crime committed by some groups will do for the tories soon as well unless they pull the finger out. There are a few well known cases in birmingham, of people being wanted by the cops but flying to Pakistan to wait for everything to blow over. They then come back maybe four or five months later, and keep causing havoc.

Richard Starkey
Richard Starkey
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Corbyn’s sacking of Sarah Champion demonstrated in spades the utterly bizzare stance too many on the “progressive”/hard left adopt towards the grooming gang issue.

Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

To paraphrase Basil Fawlty: Do not mention the grooming gangs

wendyb027594
wendyb027594
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Not only did Labour sack Sarah Champion, but they continue to promote Naz Shah. As long as she remains in the Labour Party, they are toast.

Maureen Newman
Maureen Newman
3 years ago
Reply to  wendyb027594

Dawn Butler and her lies re being supposedly “racially profiled” when stopped in her car (in error) by a very polite young policeman. I wrote to Starmer about the incident but my email wasn’t even acknowledge. Labour is only interested in BAME and ‘woke’ votes.

Angus J
Angus J
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Indeed, it has been alleged that in 2008, when Jacqui Smith was Home Secretary in the Brown government, the Home Office instructed police forces not to get involved in investigating or prosecuting the grooming gangs. (See Wiki.)

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Angus J

I hear Jacqui &her husband Enjoy Blue Movie DVDS?…

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Angus J

Yes, I am well aware of that. I have even heard that the order to not to proceed with investigations came from Brown. Allegedly.

Maureen Newman
Maureen Newman
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

It’s so counter-intuitive to hate one’s own that Labour and the Liberals must have a deeply spiritual problem and I really mean that. They seem to stand for most, if not all, of the things that decent people repudiate and in turn, revile the very things decent people cherish. I believe there is a spiritual force behind this way of thinking and it isn’t a force of goodness. Maureen Newman.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Maureen Newman

The Tories are Far from Perfect. 1) Lockdown too long 2) Track &trace ÂŁ37 billion to their mates for nowt 3) Concreting over East midlands etc…4) Call me Dave Lobbying etc..

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin Lambert

The Tories are indeed reprehensible, corrupt, authoritarian tyrants. And still Labour and most of the others manage to be even more unelectable.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  Maureen Newman

They seem to stand for most, if not all, of the things that decent people repudiate and in turn, revile the very things decent people cherish.

Yes, very much this.
While they are thoroughly convinced of their absolute righteous moral superiority.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Yes, but ALL established political Parties are corrupt,useless,Vacuous ..etc..No backbone or Logic?.. ,Only Wave flags as PR exercise ”Blair in May 1997 ” Although Majors corrupt Europhiles deserved defeat…

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago

Thank you for that excellent synopsis on the forthcoming death of the Labour Party Mr Goodwin.

Frankly it has been a long time coming.
Under two outstanding Englishman, Clement Attlee and Ernest Bevin, the Labour Government of 1945-50 achieved all that was necessary to make Britain a more equitable society. It also rid us of Empire and gave us the Atomic Bomb.

In fact it is astonishing that so much was achieved in such a short time, and this was primarily due to Attlee’s remarkable command of the facts, coupled with his ability to make decisions…….quickly, and stick by them.

The Labour Governments that followed brought little to the country, bar ideological socialist nonsense, mainly dreamt up by self styled intellectuals living in Quislington and its satellites. They also infested and continue to infest nearly all our ‘revered’ Universities.
Labour no longer represents the working class. They are inherently treacherous, ideologically unhinged, and despise the very working class they claim to represent. They should be consigned to the dustbin of history forthwith.

Steven Farrall
Steven Farrall
3 years ago

Or, you could consider Attlee and Bevin as undermining the foundations of the free society hence enabling the rot that was to follow?
But I do agree that both were serious men.

Last edited 3 years ago by Steven Farrall
Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Steven Farrall

Ernest bevin help Found NATO…Aneurin bevan Founded NHS..they were patriots, in 1960s,1970s Anti-common market..so they were proper parties,with gravitas

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Steven Farrall

Given the fact that ‘we’ were bankrupt in 1945 and Truman had ended Lend Lease, they did rather well under the circumstances.
Attlee was not that impressed by his would be successors, particularly the loathsome Richard Crossman as I recall, but nor was Augustus with Tiberius.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
3 years ago

We were bankrupt by 1942 and the Fall of Singapore was the end of Empire. The end of all Empires. I consider that because Attlee was Haileybury who provided most of the ICS/Indian army Officers and many of the Collonial officers, he better understood Empire was finished, than Churchill. Churchill never served in the ICS/Army and did not speak the languages.
Bevin respected courage but had no time for universuty waffle, which is why he was happy for Etonians and Harrovians to be in the FO but not Laski’s grduates.
Bevan was concerned that the welfare state would undermine the resilience of the British people. Bevan said if we do not build enough houses we will be criticised in two years time and if not good enough quality; in ten years time.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

Yes they were a remarkable trio.
Attlee of course had served on the Simon Commission to India in 1930, however there is as you say, a delicious irony that a Haileybury boy should be the one to jettison India.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
3 years ago

Many ICS officers knew it was untenable from the late 1920s. We promised independence for military support. Britain could not rule 400M. Once Gandhi gained support of utouchable game over.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

Thanks for that. I didn’t realise that the ICS had realised it was ‘untenable’ so early. I suppose Amritsar and poor old Dyer were the catalyst.
Still, we had, as Attlee might have said , a ‘damned good innings’.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
3 years ago

Nehrus Father was a Lawyer and PC earned sufficient money to send him to Harrow in 1905.
The setting up of universities in India from 1820s, entrance and promotion exams for ICS, Army , The Law etc enabled a large professional middle comprising Hindu, Sikhs and Parsis to develop but the Muslims were slow to take advantage of these opportunities.Also business families such as Tata and Petit grew.
After 1919, entry to the middle classes greatly increased. Those who could look at the numbers in about 1930, were guessing at about 1950 for Independence.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 years ago

You have plainly taken leave of you senses. Attlee and Bevin imposed on us the NHS that has been a milestone round the neck of this country for the last 70 years, an unfunded welfare state, an ever expanding public sector, a command economy modeled on the hugely successful Soviet model and the British Nationality Act. Not even Blair was able to do that much damage in 3 parliaments.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago

We shall have to differ on this.
Incidentally it was Bevan who set up the NHS, not Bevin.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 years ago

We shall. I respect you view but I still maintain that what we are reaping now can all be traced back to the Attlee government.
I read Bevin and saw Bevan.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago

You have to ask why Attlee, far more of a quintessential Englishman than say Churchill, acted as he did.

After all, with Haileybury and Oxford behind him you would have expected him go to the ICS.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
3 years ago

In the 1940s, slums still existed and people had gone through two world wars. People did not burden the NHS and most of sisters, matrons and doctors had served in two world wars, were Queens Alexander or RN .
Sisters In Arms by Nicola Tyrer | Waterstones
Those entering nursing in the 1950s were trained by such Sisters and Matrons. The attitude to the welfare state changed in the late 1960s, as those who had lived through wars died out and the Left Wing Middle class encouraged Rights over Duty.

Richard E
Richard E
3 years ago

This is what has happened in the USA.
The Democrats chase the woke vote, the ethnic minorities, the indoctrinated university educated while playing divide and rule with identity politics, while Trump and the Republicans chase the working and traditional middle class.
It’s why the left is so keen to import votes from the third world, even though it has a negative impact on the rest of the population.

Leon Wivlow
Leon Wivlow
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard E

The unintended consequence of importing the Labour voting third world is that it alienates Labour’s core voters as Tony Blair and Gordon ‘that bigoted’woman Brown found to their cost.
There was a recent clip on CNN with a reporter chatting to a black man about all the wonderful things the Democrats are going to do for the ‘refugees’ presently flooding the US’s southern border. As the interviewee said – that’s all very nice but what are they going to do for me? Indeed.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Leon Wivlow

Did it occur to this chap that he might do something for himself?

Leon Wivlow
Leon Wivlow
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Exactly.
However, I’m not sure if it is a conservative (with a capital or small c) or a Northern value, but I was taught and do believe we should look after our own first.

D Ward
D Ward
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Fraser, I normally agree with you 100% but on this one I think you are spectacularly missing the point.

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard E

Identity politics is being played by both sides. In the UK the Tory Government has made the ex-Daily Mail editor chairman of Ofcom. Can you imagine if a Fox News anchor was in charge of media regulation in the US? If that’s not blatant identity politics I don’t know what is. Our Government just criminalised peaceful protests with The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill 2021. Any protest that has ‘impact’ or causes excess noise for organisations can be deemed illegal and broken up. There’ll be no safety valve for people’s frustrations. I don’t know what the trigger will be over the next few years but Britain’s right-wing are leading us down a very dangerous path. The idiocy of some woke leftists is scant justification and is merely a casus belli.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

Have they actually appointed Dacre as Head of Ofcom? If so, good. Every other position of authority in the land is occupied by woke lefties and we need to start redressing the balance.
I agree with you that the criminalisation of peaceful protests is an appalling scandal and a disgusting attack on our liberties.

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

“Every other position of authority in the land is occupied by woke lefties”
Our press is mostly owned by right-wing billionaire oligarchs. Lord Rothermere, Barclay Brothers and Rupert Murdoch et al.
The UK government is a sharply right-wing, Brexit supporting with a dash of chest beating jingoism.
Boris Johnson’s rampant cronyism suggests that for all the supposed domination of public institutions by ‘woke’ civil servants, real power is still in the hands of a ruling class that has little desire to redress the chronic inequalities troubling our country.

Chris Hopwood
Chris Hopwood
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

Any danger of the aforementioned press oligarchs paying their taxes in the UK?

Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

“Our press is mostly owned by right-wing billionaire oligarchs”

Odd, then, that the majority of British newspapers and magazines are left-liberal.

Last edited 3 years ago by Arnold Grutt
Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago
Reply to  Arnold Grutt

It’s also not true.

David Lazar
David Lazar
3 years ago
Reply to  Arnold Grutt

I suggest that you buy every daily paper and every Sunday paper this week and reconsider. Do you think the Sun is left-liberal, for instance? It has the biggest circulation of any UK newspaper.. You must have an extraordinarily wide definition of “left-liberal” to hold the view you espouse.

David Lazar
David Lazar
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

Well said. I joined UnHerd today. I cannot believe how much anger and grievance is on display in most comments. Intolerance and sanctimony are obviously not a monopoly of the hard left.
Democracy will become impossible if the overwhelming majority of citizens refuse to respect those who hold different positions on social, economic or other issues. The impression I get from reading many comments on the article is that the nationalist English right is close to boiling point. Time for them to calm down and accept that their self-righteous simplicities are no better than those held by the “wokeist” opponents they so despise and detest.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

There have been left wing riots and violent demos since the 1960s,trespass on private land, raves, people camping etc, etc which have not been stopped. Football hooliganism was a problem for decades.
Why have those who have caused damage and cost people money, not been prosecuted, fined heavily and ordered to repair the damage, before the news laws were introduced ?

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

Raves aren’t left-wing nor is camping. What on earth are you talking about?

hugh bennett
hugh bennett
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

well cycling certainly is… get them all registered and paying road tax and an environmental levy for all that polluting aluminium, rubber and lycra manufactured to feed their insane death wish to ride on British A roads… that would win my vote blue wall or red wall or no wall at all wall…

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago
Reply to  hugh bennett

The combustion engine has been a terrible blight on our countryside in the form of M and A roads, fumes from exhausts kill thousands every year, over 3,000 people die every year just in traffic collisions and many more endure life changing injuries. The notion that cycling is a problem that needs to be cracked down on is hysterical. Quite literally any form of transport whether train, e-scooter or bicycle that gets people out of a car is a net benefit for us all. Only an idealogue would believe this is a left vs right issue.

David Lazar
David Lazar
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

Hear, hear. Please keep this up. Well argued riposte. Why are cyclists so often a target of such fury?They are merely getting from A to B in a socially and environmentally responsible way. I suppose this should be put a stop to in a timely fashion.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

Farmers have had problems with raves, travellers, hare coursing . etc and the Police have done nothing. These activities damage the grass, metal objects are left which animals eat and cause them injury and dog faeces spread disease. The field is unusable for animals until it has been cleaned up.

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

Police break up raves all the time. I could cite hundreds of instances where raves were broken up using force. There’s even legislation allowing police to ban events where repetitive music is played. Yes, you read that right. The Crime and Justice Public Order Act 1994 allows police to disperse events where “music includes sounds wholly or predominantly characterised by the emission of a succession of repetitive beats.” in some of the most draconian legislation of the last 30 years. The idea that police have not policed raves is a bare faced lie.

Last edited 3 years ago by Zach Thornton
Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

Just look at rural crime; flytipping( cost ÂŁ0.5, B/yr),hare coursing and illegal Traveller sites – see recent case at Worthing.
Farmers are not compensated to damage to fields and loss of income.
Women on their own have been told it would take the police 1.5 hrs to arrive to arrest hare courses who also do much damage to gates, fences

David Lazar
David Lazar
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

Obviously, Mr Hedges thinks the left can be equated with criminality. What a simple world of contrasts.

David Lazar
David Lazar
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

Indeed, what is he talking about?

Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
3 years ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

“There have been left wing riots and violent demos since the 1960s,trespass on private land”

The first mass trepass by socialists (‘ramblers’) was in the 1930s, the same decade that saw the left warmly support Fascism in Germany (Oswald Mosley was an ex-Labour minister).

Last edited 3 years ago by Arnold Grutt
Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago
Reply to  Arnold Grutt

What a load of codswallop! It was socialist men and women fighting Mosley’s blackshirts in the Battle of Cable Street in East London. It was Britain’s imperialists and royalists that warmed to fascism. They would rather fascism than communism, after all. This revisionist history whereby socialists in Europe were supposedly arm in arm with the NSDAP is rubbish of the highest order. Uneducated propaganda.

Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

So he is an example of ‘identity politics’ simply because they know him and agree largely with him? But that is not what ‘identity’ politics is. It is the specific claim that people are duty bound by the fact of being who they are to hold certain views, to be regarded as identical in their station in life, and to be required to hold identical opinions as a matter of determinist fate, arising solely from them being who they are (in terms of a selectively described ‘identity’ mainly attributed to them by others). The two cases are in no way the same.

Last edited 3 years ago by Arnold Grutt
Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago
Reply to  Arnold Grutt

Identity politics of the type propagated by Mr Dacre during his tenure at the Daily Mail. An insidious ethno-nationalism. A britishness rooted in the way we look rather than what we believe. The followers of Unherd are pretty poor at recognising the identity politics of the right as it’s much easier to condemn the left. The essentialism of identity politics played by both sides is ultimately reductive and unhelpful.

Last edited 3 years ago by Zach Thornton
Chris Hopwood
Chris Hopwood
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard E

Isn’t Boris trying to import votes from Hong Kong?

Frederick B
Frederick B
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Hopwood

Yes, at the present rate of visas granted it’s about 4,500 per week, or rather more than 200,000 per annum. That’s more than east Europeans at the peak of their influx. If Ukip or one of its fragments was able to get its act together Boris might find his red wall being eroded from the Right.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago

I will only believe the end of Labour is within grasp when we see the fascists of the left switching their infiltration efforts to the Greens instead. When even the Marxist riffraff have given up on Labour, that’s how we’ll know it’s curtains for them.
At the same time, this welcome and overdue extinction carries huge risks. The electoral appeal of an apparently “new” party of government, ostensibly warm and cuddly and tree-huggy but in fact riddled with Marxists and woke sociopaths and bent on perpetual class war, recession, race baiting and expropriation, could be significant and hard to combat by about 2035.
The suckers who switched to Labour in 1997 were largely callow, younger suckers who could not personally remember the chaos, corruption, and cronyism of Labour misrule twenty years before. They believed the smooth Blair lies and voted accordingly. As a result, we had to have unfettered immigration, the destruction of pensions, the global crash etc, all because every generation has to learn for itself about Labour.
It is deeply worrying to think that in about 2035, buffoons and children who can’t remember what happens when you let in the left may gormlessly think after 25 years of Tory rule that, to coin a phrase, things can only get better. We then find ourselves with a racist woke government voted in by a new generation of dupes who think Green is automatically good, as opposed to being dictatorial, oppressive, authoritarian, thoroughly malevolent and crypto-Marxist.

Last edited 3 years ago by Jon Redman
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Spot on.

Jake C
Jake C
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

The tories aren’t much better, the pushed austerity, policies which exacerbated the housing crisis and didn’t do enough to address the banking sectors culpability in the Global financial crisis.and still aren’t doing enough industrial policy and enough to address the lop-sided nature of the economy (being concentrated in finance and the South east)

I’m only concerned with the woke anti white and open borders nonsense on the left; otherwise I’m not that impressed with the Tories.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Jake C

The GFC was the fault of the Labour government. They dismantled an effective regulatory regime and ignorantly replaced it with an ineffective one. Business flooded to London because the regulatory regime here was so inept and gameable. This kept the taxes flowing in to be pi55ed away as Labour always does. To defend their own financial industry, the USA weakened their regulation as well. The result was the GFC.
Labour was warned in 1997 by Peter Lilley about what would happen and arrogantly ignored him. The reason banks have not been held to blame is because under the regulations in place at the time, they were doing nothing wrong. Or rather, given the cretinous box-ticky regulation Labour introduced, they were ticking all the boxes, which however were all entirely irrelevant to the stability of the financial system.
Regulation under Labour was a man with a clipboard outside the house ticking a box to confirm that all the rubbish is sorted into the right bins. He fails to notice that the house is a bawdy house and is on fire, because it’s not on his list that he has to notice that.
The FCA is even worse than the FSA – more indolent, more incompetent, more ignorant – but at least the Bank’s in charge of the banks again.

Steven Farrall
Steven Farrall
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Oh, I think that New Labour were far more sly than that. I think that deep down the fully knew the end game of the financial profligacy and economic illiteracy but thought they could buy off the voter and then blame the banks whilst bringing about the Marxist revolution they have so very nearly achieved. The malign legacy of New Labour will haunt us for decade. Especially as Doris seems to have no clue what to do about it.

D Ward
D Ward
3 years ago
Reply to  Steven Farrall

And the worst thing is, they got away with it.

the bankers did not cover themselves in glory. But neither were they 100% responsible for the crisis (as the man on the Clapham omnibus has been duped into believing)

David Lazar
David Lazar
3 years ago
Reply to  Steven Farrall

You really need to calm down. To describe your comments as caricature would be kind. Blair and Brown as Marxist revolutionaries? As my late mother in law would say, ‘Really!’’ and she was a very right wing Conservative councillor.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Jake C

Yes you are so depressingly correct. The Tories, to lapse into the vernacular are ‘crap’.
So where are we to go?

Jon Read
Jon Read
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

“Things can only get better”
I recall watching Messrs Bliar, Brown, Mandelson and Robin Cook bopping away to this on victory night and I swear to God I said “We shall see”

Steven Farrall
Steven Farrall
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Read

I swear to God that I said ‘no it won’t be cos you’ll eff it up, again, as you always do’. And ‘better than what, exactly?’

Chris Hopwood
Chris Hopwood
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

So why were Labour twice re-elected, once with a huge majority??

Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Hopwood

Blair then looked like (at least could be roughly taken for) a ‘nice young boy’, that’ why. How wrong could you be? He was the first real made-for-TV PM. A walking, grinning purveyor of ‘sincere’ soundbites and clone followers (‘Blair’s Babes’).

Last edited 3 years ago by Arnold Grutt
Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Hopwood

Because it took them three terms to wreck utterly the fabulous economy they inherited.

hugh bennett
hugh bennett
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

“Experience is the teacher of all things.”…. In Wales,very soon, we have the brilliant left inspired idea of 16 year olds voting for the first time in a national election… god help us i first thought . then i became reassured as most of them would need an app to boil an egg…and sure enough the numbers registering are low…As to red walls i think Welsh Labour (Mark Dripford is really a rabid Welsh Nationalist who would bring in prohibition permanently if he could) are in for a shock.

Mark Preston
Mark Preston
3 years ago

Perhaps labour candidates would do better if they engaged with local publicans?

Mike Boosh
Mike Boosh
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Preston

That would be fun to watch. Sir Keir’s man of the people act didn’t go down to well when he actually got to meet the people did it?

It’d be interesting to see that landlord’s reaction if matt Hanc*ck or Boris popped in for a quick pint… I suspect no minister will be going out to the pub with a camera crew any time soon.

Last edited 3 years ago by Mike Boosh
Simric Yarrow
Simric Yarrow
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Boosh

He already said anyone who’d voted for lockdown would get the same treatment.

Mike Boosh
Mike Boosh
3 years ago
Reply to  Simric Yarrow

Sounds like there’s a joke in there somewhere… A Conservative, a Labour and a libdem MP go into a pub… The landlord tells them to p*ss off.

daniel Earley
daniel Earley
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Boosh

He was interviewed on a few radio stations, on talk radio with JHB he said that Boris would get the same treatment but curiously, politicians who would be invited in would be ones like Mark Harper and Graham Brady who have questioned the lockdown policy. Even more curious is that both are Conservatives and the pub landlord was a liberal/labour voter.

Mike Boosh
Mike Boosh
3 years ago
Reply to  daniel Earley

Good for him. Tribal loyalty to parties that consistently betray your interests is insane.

daniel Earley
daniel Earley
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Boosh

I doubt that means the landlord will become a conservative voter, it just means he will have nowhere to vote. Where would you go under such circumstances?

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  daniel Earley

Landord Was A Labour Voter…I think Tories like John Redman & other Lockdown backbenchers ….Dr Karol Sikora …Prof Sunetra Gupta would also be Welcome

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Preston

;););0 Absolutely Comedy Gold….The publican WAS assaulted getting back into his Own public house .Like Woman in 2010 general election,dismissed by gorgon Broon could be Costly in Hartlepool &bath on May 6?

google
google
3 years ago

With the left getting whatever they want nowadays, there isn’t really a need for Labour any more. What I personally think we could do with, is a proper conservative party.

Weyland Smith
Weyland Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  google

A strong government, and a credible, strong opposition. We have neither.

Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
3 years ago
Reply to  google

I note the use of the lower case “c” in conservative. You are correct, but remember, an actual social conservative party would look something like Marine Le Pen’s National Rally in France. That means that whatever sneering assumptions the media make about the Tories now, it would be as nothing to the avalanche of hate that would come crashing down on anyone who actually advocated proper conservative values. That means it would take decades of relentless effort on the part of anyone standing up for them to even begin making headway. It has in France, and, with all due respect, the duff English aren’t known for their passionate social activism, at least not on the right of the aisle.

google
google
3 years ago

Yes, I suppose I ought to have said ‘properly conservative party,’ or something like that 🙂 WRT activism on ‘the right side of the aisle,’ such people as may be minded to express their feelings know that they won’t get the same kind of adulation from the media and the authorities as do those of the left, who seem to be able to do whatever they flipping well like.

John Riordan
John Riordan
3 years ago

There is one further problem for Labour not mentioned in the article, and it’s this: by the next election, Project Fear will have been proven beyond doubt to have been the most ambitious lie ever rammed down the throats of the electorate. That does not mean that Brexit needs to be a barnstorming success (though it can be in principle, it just looks increasingly likely that the present government will fail to take advantage of the prospects). All that is required is that the economy does not collapse, trade with the Continent does not disappear entirely, and that whatever modest increases in costs result from being outside the Single Market are compensated for by improved trade with the rest of the world. Even this government isn’t so useless as to fail to reach at least this modest position.

Further to that, there’s the obvious political fallout from the EU’s ongoing and increasingly irrational behaviour towards the UK. At this stage most people are convinced of a set of EU characteristics that we used to only hear from a minority of hardline Eurosceptics on the fringe of UK politics. Now though, instead of these things being the preserve of a small minority, most people accept that it’s a protection racket, that it’s corrupt, that it is alternatively dishonest then incompetent, that it very obviously does have ambitions to the nationhood that were strenuously denied by Remain before, during and after the Brexit vote in 2016 etc.

Why is this important? Well, because Labour is still not only holding back from its traditional support base, it’s also wholly invested in the shrinking pool of metropolitan activist voters who still would have the UK back in the EU if they could, and that means Labour won’t be running a convincing make-Brexit-work manifesto next election: it’s instead going to be trying to not talk about its intentions to draw the UK back as close as it can to Brussels. This won’t work, because the media won’t let Labour get away with it. Last time this was an electoral question the polls put the pro/anti EU split at approximately half and half with a small lean to anti, but by next election that will be more like 40/60 or even worse, and Labour will have to commit to losing millions more votes in order to accommodate the priorities of it’s own activists.

Last edited 3 years ago by John Riordan
Chris Hopwood
Chris Hopwood
3 years ago
Reply to  John Riordan

The media didn’t let Corbyn nearly win the 2017 election

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago

Yesterday’s Times carries a column by Mark Littlewood of the economically hard-right Institute of Economic Affairs. Yes, the IEA which has its own people (like Dominic Raab) in the Cabinet. Yes, the IEA which crafted much of Thatcherism, including deindustrialisation and the Poll Tax. Yes, the IEA which backed Brexit.
Littlewood is calling for the forthcoming trade deal with India to include much easier immigration by Indians to contribute to the UK labour market (aka taking jobs at lower pay rates than the British).
It’s interesting to see the Singapore-on-Thames double-down-on-globalisation policies of real Conservatives. I say “real Conservatives” because anyone who imagines that Conservatism is about blue collar workers in the North, rather than millionaire-funded (often dark money from the US) self-styled think tanks based in Westminster, doesn’t know the Conservative party very well.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Allowing easier immigration from India would indeed be a betrayal of Brexit. But the politicians will always betray the people. That is their job.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Absolutely spot on.
We need a better system, A1 perhaps?

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

A very detailed and rational analysis from Matthew, who is always one of the most thoughtful and accurate voices on these subjects. One can only hope that he is, as is so often the case, correct.
He predicted some years ago that Labour’s traditional support in the north and midlands would evaporate overnight when it woke up to what Labour had done to it. Of course, it did not quite happen overnight, and has been instead been a slow process going back to 2001. Let’s hope that Hartlepool is another significant staging post.

Jim le Messurier
Jim le Messurier
3 years ago

This article makes a valid point that is often ignored: Labour’s immediate and medium-term challenge, far from trying to win back will the Red Wall seats it lost in 2019, will be to keep hold of those seats of its traditional heartlands which it still controls.
It’s going to get worse for them – a lot worse – before it gets better. Assuming it will ever get better for Labour, of course.

Last edited 3 years ago by Jim le Messurier
Niobe Hunter
Niobe Hunter
3 years ago

I’m not sure that ‘liberal voters’ are the group ensuring Sadiq Khans success in London.

Mel Shaw
Mel Shaw
3 years ago

I was pleased to see Sports Direct get a mention in this article. It has been a hobby horse of mine for a while. Towns like Chesterfield and nearby Mansfield have lost their traditional industries and precious little has been done to replace them. And what happened when an employer came along with a few thousand new jobs? They went to Eastern Europeans on the minimum wage. No wonder brexit was a vote winner. In twenty years Mansfield went from a twenty thousand Labour majority to a sixteen thousand majority for the Conservatives. The people didn’t change. Labour deserted them. I am only surprised Chesterfield still has a Labour MP. But even the Spireites will catch up eventually.

David Waring
David Waring
3 years ago

Labour continued infatuation with minorities whether ethnic, sexual or deviant does not bode well for its continued survival.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  David Waring

Hopefully they will become very much a minority themselves, and one that we can disparage to our heart’s content.

Robert Forde
Robert Forde
3 years ago

I agree with a lot of this, but it ignores one very important point: Brexit is now done. It isn’t going to change, and most Remainers like myself accept that.
In my opinion, the Tories ran with a catchy 3-word slogan “Get Brexit Done” because they knew it was a vote-winner in Labour heartlands. But the Tories can’t keep those seats without adopting policies which benefit them. As we are already seeing, when government funds are made available, it tends to be to the already-rich Tory constituencies in the middle-class suburbs. There is the vaccine bounce (happening across the world, not just here), but that can only be temporary.
If the Tories are prepared to adopt Labour economics and genuinely “level up” and benefit those “just about managing”, and all the other catchphrases, they’ll have to become the Labour party, and to hell with their donors.
Can’t see that happening any time soon.

David Simpson
David Simpson
3 years ago

But how impressed will these potential conservatives be by Johnson’s greenery? He appears to be sliding left while these putative new conservatives are thinking right. Or does he just think a bit of green icing on his cake will tip them over? I’d rather he focused on real jobs and the real economy (ie small / medium businesses)

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  David Simpson

I agree.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  David Simpson

He is in thrall to Princess Nut Nut, in both body and soul.
God help us.

Last edited 3 years ago by Charles Stanhope
David Bettney
David Bettney
3 years ago

I find it a bit rich that Healey ponders the down fall of the red wall in his Wentworth and Dearne seat (BTW I’m standing 8 local councillor candidates from the re-launched SDP against him in his constituency on May the 6th) as he is extremely woke himself and nobody in our area, likes his personal views. He is complaining about people like himself in his own essay!
We are a new party, so it will take time to bed-in, but the true test here in the Wentworth and Dearne, will be to see how many local councillor seats the Tories win (despite them throwing the kitchen sink at it, and fielding a record number of candidates) and how a fresh party like the SDP with zero coverage or resources gets on. It is no secret in this constituency, that most have turned away from Labour, but it still doesn’t mean they want Tories, as UKIP was always second in this area…..Who will fill the vacuum ….The 6th of May will be very interesting 🙂 ?

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  David Bettney

What’s “fresh” about the SDP? They were a party of delusional self-important losers in the 80s and your post is like a blast of stale air.

David Bettney
David Bettney
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Haaaa…. calm down princess 😉

David K. Warner
David K. Warner
3 years ago

So, our future electoral choice will be between Right-wing authoritarian technocracy and Left-wing authoritarian technocracy.
I think I shall pass, and, following on from Gorgeous George’s ‘cheeks’ analogy, hope to disappear up the hole in the middle.

David Bettney
David Bettney
3 years ago

The re-launched SDP are hoping to fill this void …. we shall see

hugh bennett
hugh bennett
3 years ago
Reply to  David Bettney

that made me smile!

Mike Spoors
Mike Spoors
3 years ago

It seems to me the Tories are coasting and the Labour Party are sinking. Johnson will get a Vaccine bounce next month which will bolster his bumptiousness and further bewilder his opponents who will continue their rats in a sack routine. Once things settle down, if in fact they ever do, Labour will be hoping that the electorate will see through Boris and see Keir as the safe pair of hands that is currently giving him so much grief amongst the fraternal comrades of ‘Oh Jeremy Corbyn’.
But all this is about fighting battles that have been lost. Battles with Boris the seemingly invincible, battles about who does Labour represent and not least battles amongst its own membership. And all the time, the electorate see Labour as an irrelevance and vote accordingly.
The latest tome from the Fabian Society makes pretty depressing reading for Labour supporters like me as it is just another in a long line of analyses of what went wrong without having much idea of what to do about it that can be embraced by the party as a whole. Yes, we all get that Labour has the Cities and the University Towns sown up and that this is not nearly enough but to prominent voices within the Labour Left it almost appears that it should be and it is the Blairites (boo hiss) who are holding back the inevitable victory denied them in 2019.
And so, rather like this comment, it goes on and on and just as most readers will have given up by now so will the electorate at the polling booth. Johnson has something that I can’t fathom, sadly Labour is just too predictable for words and the voters appear to see through them much more easily than they do him.

Niobe Hunter
Niobe Hunter
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Spoors

many people think that Boris is a bit of an idiot. They quite like that, it makes him less ‘superior’ ( though Carrie , fast becoming the Tories very own answer to MM might put the knockers on that).

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago

Tories got 43% the vote in 2020, the other parties (DUP aside) all in opposition to Tories got 53% of the vote. The voting system favors 2 big parties but let’s not pretend that Tories are very popular. No, I am not arguing for or against any electoral system.
Part of the Tory victory can be explained by “levelling up agenda”…ok but how is going UK GOV to pay for it?
I know that facts are not welcome here but German Unification has cost c2 trillion. That was achieved through taxation (5% solidarity tax) and doubling of the Gov Debt during the 90s.
Let’s say that “levelling up ” is going to cost ÂŁ900b over the next 30 years. That comes to ÂŁ30b a year. Who/what is going to get taxed? Is UK GOV going to increase its debt by 50% of GDP by 2030?
Right now UK GOV is spending (borrowed) money like a pimp with a week to live. But soon enough the bill will come due – it always does – and the Tories will have to make a choice between affluent Home Counties economic needs (low taxes) and the Red Wall (higher spending).

Julian Newman
Julian Newman
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

OK there has been great disillusion with Starmer, but most people who supported Boris for PM must now be kicking themselves. It seems pretty hard to imagine the red wall being retained by a Tory government that has gone over to a combination of wokery, greenery and dictatorship.

Leon Wivlow
Leon Wivlow
3 years ago
Reply to  Julian Newman

And the alternative is? Even more wokery, greenery and dictatorship from Labour or the Greens?

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

To put your first point another way, in 2019

  • 56% didn’t vote Conservative
  • 68% didn’t vote Labour
  • 88% didn’t vote LibDem
  • 97% didn’t vote Green
  • 98% didn’t vote Brexit

and so on.
I first heard this “most people voted against Fatcha” argument in 1983. Then as now, those advancing it have no answer to the equally valid list of parties the electors also “voted against”, and quite a bit more emphatically.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

I agree that within the current thought-systems the whole thing is preposterously unaffordable and will only lead to hugely more unaffordable debt and/or higher taxes. But this applies to the West in general.
Thus the thought-systems have to change. Government has to be massively scaled back, and taxes reduced. Above all, the education system, particularly in the UK, needs to be transformed.
Of course, none of this will happen and we will continue merrily along towards Paper Money Collapse or whatever fate awaits us.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

DONT worry Our ”Masters &betters” will control uk climate…So if you get Poor Weather on your hols ,Sue Boris,Keir,Ed,Caroline,Nicola,Mark ..??

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago

As an Independent Candidate on May 6 .I hope hopeless inane Lib_Lab-Cons-Green-Snp-Plaid axis of mediocrity.. Have signed their Own Death warrants…hopefully Reform &SDP upset the predictable Applecart the way UKIP & brexit party used to.??.Keir Kneeler Starmertrooper thinks he Can enter A pub owned by Landlord &Labour Voter in bath,What an Arrogant smarm merchant..

Last edited 3 years ago by Robin Lambert
David Bettney
David Bettney
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin Lambert

Good luck for the 6th sir

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
3 years ago

The people the author refers to as Liberals are anything but liberal these days. Only one view of the world is permissible.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago

Yes Dougie, you’re absolutely right in my view. That is exactly the hallmark of the left: there is one acceptable opinion on anything, and if you don’t share it, you’re a thought criminal. It’s why the left is fractured and the right isn’t.

Kevin Thomas
Kevin Thomas
3 years ago

You are correct. Mathematically, Labour cannot win an election without the white working class vote. This is not America where a coalition of suburban liberals and minorities can get the Democrats in. There are simply not enough minorities here and the liberals are too spread out, save for a few cities and university towns. Going for that vote would also likely alienate the working class, who already see Labour as too much of a party of well off graduates, and that would be suicidal. Labour’s obvious task is to reconnect with the working class but the question is how and under whose leadership? Starmer I think understands what needs to be done but doesn’t grasp he is not the person who can do it. I can’t think of a single current Labour figure who could though.
And it’s worth noting the Red Wall will simply take away the Tories’ majority. The last time Labour actually governed, it controlled swathes of Kent and Essex, seats that are now 10,000+ Tory safe seats in many cases.

Last edited 3 years ago by Kevin Thomas
David Bettney
David Bettney
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Thomas

I just don’t see how Labour can be reformed.
75% of the current Labour Party membership is urban Middle Class.
95% of all MPs and activists are 100% woke or socialist.
Labour would have to sack itself !
Then recruit from scratch.
Not many MPs will sack themselves and all their members.
It is lost

Clare Haven
Clare Haven
3 years ago

IDS’s constituency is Chingford and Woodford Green, not Wood Green which is in Haringey.

Richard Starkey
Richard Starkey
3 years ago

During Labour’s last leadership election, I felt that Starmer was Labour’s last chance. If Rebecca Long-Bailey or Lisa Nandy had won, I think Labour would have been finished.
On the one hand, Starmer comes across as statesmanlike, doesn’t drop his t’s, has taken a firm line on anti-semitism in the Party, sacked Long-Bailey, has previously said that immigration is too high and has made preliminary noises about patriotism being a good thing.
But on the other, he was a remainer, called for a second referendum, took the knee, signed the LGBT+ Labour pledges, and has undergone unconscious bias training. So he’s fairly saturated with wokery and leads a party with a significant and vocal woke sector.
If the Blue Wall strategy isn’t an option, then is Labour’s only hope to attempt to credibly move sufficiently far in a culturally conservative direction to appeal to voters in northern consituencies without losing metropolitan voters to the Greens or Lib Dems? And if it is, then given his woke tendencies, would Starmer being sufficiently comforatble with the move to be able to pull it off?

Last edited 3 years ago by Richard Starkey
Jake C
Jake C
3 years ago

Personally when starmer first showed up I thought he looked like a light weight centrist.

And wasn’t surprised at all that he took a knee.

I was pleased when he seemed pro patriotism.

Mike Boosh
Mike Boosh
3 years ago
Reply to  Jake C

Seemed being the key word… I don’t believe it for a second. And the CONservatives are no better.

John Cole
John Cole
3 years ago

The author seems to have missed Wansbeck, formerly the heart of the NE mining industry, where the former deputy leader of Labour just scraped a win and would have lost handsomely if UKIP hadn’t stood.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  John Cole

That’s a shame. I have suspected all along that the same will happen in Hartlepool, although Reform UK don’t seem to be making much progress there.

Howard Medwell
Howard Medwell
3 years ago

It’s not about woke versus unwoke; it’s about homeowners versus renters. After 1979, people bought homes not because they were “aspirational” (isn’t everybody in some sense aspirational?) but because property ownership was felt to be the surest way of guaranteeing long-term economic security for yourself and your children.
Social housing, the great achievement of both Labour and Tory governments in the years before1979, was sold off and was never replaced. As a consequence, the great majority of today’s younger generation are forced to rent from private landlords.
The Labour Party will never dare to adopt a policy of council house building, because to do so would lose them votes, not in the imaginary Red or Blue or Sky-Blue-Pink Wall, but in the very real bricks-and-mortar wall.
Matthew Goodwin is welcome to regard this prospect with equanimity; let’s see whether future generations will feel so intensely relaxed about it.

D Ward
D Ward
3 years ago
Reply to  Howard Medwell

There is insufficient housing because of mass immigration (and possibly the demise of traditional couple/children households).
This has led to an explosion in house prices/rents. This is why youngsters feel they cannot get on the housing ladder.

taxes such as stamp duty do not help (in certain parts of the country) and act as a barrier to movement.
having said that, houses were always expensive and I could tell you a story about my grandfather in the 30s that would make even today’s youngsters (who think they are the worst-done-to generation) weep.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  D Ward

houses were always expensive
They really weren’t. I am currently handling the probate of an estate whose main asset is a family house in the south-east, now valued at ÂŁ1,900,000. It was last sold, exactly 50 years ago, for 1% of that: ÂŁ19,000. Its price has gone up by a factor of 100.
People today don’t make 100 times what they did then.

E E
E E
3 years ago

‘Carry on England’ while the rest of the UK yearn for independence.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  E E

‘They’ can’t afford it, sadly.

E E
E E
3 years ago

What price freedom?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  E E

I think you might have to ask Pontius Pilate that one.

Martin Terrell
Martin Terrell
3 years ago

Excellent analysis, as always. I expect Labour will double-down on their new core values, like America’s Democrats – what else can they do? They can then wait for a younger and re-educated electorate, supported by much of the media to combine with the Tories’ complacency and perceived venality and incompetence to do their work for them.

Damian Grant
Damian Grant
3 years ago

Just to clarify – it’s the parliamentary constituency of Chingford and Woodford Green, not ‘Wood Green’ which is a Labour-held constituency further west (in London).

Last edited 3 years ago by Damian Grant
Quentin Vole
Quentin Vole
3 years ago

By the time of the next election, the boundary changes will have been implemented, reversing Blair’s passive gerrymandering. The result will be an effective Conservative majority of ~100 – when was the last time such a majority was overturned? (Not since the Wilson-Heath era.)

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago
Reply to  Quentin Vole

Massive parliamentary majorities based on a minority of the electorate voting for a political party is a recipe for chaos given the sharp political divisions in our society. It’s made all the worse because our disagreements are largely ones of identity so it’s difficult to imagine meaningful reconciliation. It’s more likely that a new British identity will take hold but they may well be a slow and painful process. At any rate, it’s not hard foresee serious public disorder erupting as patriotism becomes tied to a political party and other citizens are effectively excluded from Britishness. The fact the Government will have soon criminalised peaceful protests is surely a sign of the trouble not far down the road. The chronic inequalities that beset our country, especially for young people have me extremely worried. The triumphant attitudes expressed here even more so.

David Lazar
David Lazar
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

Spot on.

eugene power
eugene power
3 years ago

Disagree. look at the facts of red wall voting.
Not that labour will nor win back the votes.
So can I get the job and pay of Hm loyal opposition? it cant go to I Dunc Smith

Graeme Laws
Graeme Laws
3 years ago

Short memories. Boris couldn’t win the leadership. Boris couldn’t force an election to get Brexit done. A week is a long time in politics, and Labour has been written off before.

There’s a fair few pretty decent Labour MPs. They don’t much care for Momentum or wokedom. But they stay put. And as long as they do, and their associations support them, Labour will remain a force.

mike otter
mike otter
3 years ago

UK Labour Party are the people Carla Bruni was talking about this morning: “[… people without culture, without experience and without courage are trying to impose their narrow-minded ideas on us. Their sterile, uniform and puerile ideas are seeking to invade humanity”. Boris’ policies, IMO left of Edward Heath, are the best option for Hartlepool now. The predicament for post Blair Labour is summed up by the leaflet that came through our door last week: Their hate sheet found it necessary to talk about “travellers” – by which i think they mean Irish travellers rather than people on a journey. Anyway Labour doesn’t want them in our local park. If you changed the word “traveller” to “black”, “Sinti”, “Calo” or “Roma” it would better show Labour for what they are: racists. Thankfully the vast majority of people in Britain are not racist. IMO there is a need for a left of centre option to balance the worst instincts of the Hayek end of the Tories. Widely read in UK leftist literature as i am i cannot find a single thinker who advocates persecution of people on grounds of race. Even the 19th & early 20th century eugenicist lot were paternalist in their racism, not persecutory. Lets kick racism out of UK politics. The people that made that leaflet need to be prosecuted, and parties like Labour, BNP, National Action Loonies etc need tofeel the full force of the law.