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Labour isn’t working Getting rid of Keir won't solve the party's structural, cultural and existential problems

All at sea. Keir visits Hartlepool. tefan Rousseau-WPA Pool/Getty

All at sea. Keir visits Hartlepool. tefan Rousseau-WPA Pool/Getty


May 8, 2021   7 mins

It has long been evident to me, as someone involved in the Labour movement for over a quarter of a century, that many of my colleagues on the Left have no comprehension of what is going on. They have no idea about the extent to which traditional political tribalism has broken down in our country and the old certainties no longer apply.

This conviction struck me most forcibly during a pivotal debate on Brexit at the Labour Party’s annual conference in Liverpool in 2018. Before the discussion, I had wandered around the city’s pubs and conference fringe speaking to delegates and visitors. There was an undue chirpiness in the air. Labour was now the largest political party in western Europe, people would remind me. The glorious leader was playing to packed houses everywhere. Ergo, we stood every chance of forming the next government.

Then, during the Brexit debate itself, the conference rallied enthusiastically behind a motion explicitly putting a second EU referendum on the table. I remember gazing around the hall in despair as speaker after speaker pledged support for the motion, each drawing wild cheers and applause from delegates. That the adoption of this policy was almost certain to result in electoral oblivion seemed lost on virtually everyone present.

At that moment, I tweeted that the conference was effectively handing a P45 to every Labour MP in the North and Midlands. I knew then that this self-inflicted wound would take years — possibly a generation — to heal. Images from the debate would that evening be beamed into the homes of loyal Labour voters across the party’s pro-Brexit heartlands, and millions among them would perceive the outcome as the ultimate kick in the teeth. Labour had betrayed its already-diminishing traditional working-class base and would pay a heavy price.

Nearly three years and one general election annihilation later, and the relationship remains in a serious state of disrepair. That point is proved by what we know so far of Thursday’s election results, and what we may reasonably predict will unfold in the coming days. That Labour, in a set of ballots two years into a parliament, appears to have lost so much ground in working-class communities against a Tory Party that has been in power for over a decade — and during that time imposed a programme of economic austerity which inflicted financial adversity on many of the nation’s poorest — speaks to the magnitude of the former’s estrangement from its one-time core vote.

That Labour’s losing Hartlepool — a seat which, since its creation in 1974, it has held at every general election — came in the end as no great surprise, itself speaks volumes. What was striking, though, was the plunge in the party’s share of the vote there by nine percentage points, and the increase in the Tory share by a remarkable 23 points.

At the time of writing, the picture looks bleak for Labour in the local authority elections, too, with the party in retreat in many areas. Heavy damage was sustained in the Midlands and North-East, and the party has lost control of at least four councils — including Harlow in Essex, a 1960s new town often described as the home of White Van Man.

The mistake — and some among Labour’s ranks are already making it — would be to lay the blame solely at the door of Sir Keir Starmer. The devastating results are attributable to the leader’s attempts to shift the party to the “centre” ground, argues the radical Left, adducing, among other things, the fact that Labour held Hartlepool under Jeremy Corbyn in 2019 (though ignoring the inconvenient truth that it did so only as a consequence of thousands of would-be Tory votes being redirected to the Brexit Party).

For their part, the Starmerites blame the Corbyn legacy, as though the rot set in only with the latter’s elevation as leader in 2015.

Both camps are profoundly wrong. The schism between the party and the working class began to materialise as long as three decades ago. The historical coalition in which Hartlepool had for generations rubbed along contentedly with Hampstead — blue collar and white collar united in the struggle for social and economic justice — started to fall apart as Labour began to be dominated by the latter, transforming itself into a party of the managerial and professional classes, graduates and urban liberals. Not only was the party abandoning those in provincial and post-industrial Britain, it started to privately — and sometimes publicly — scorn them.

The inevitable result was the steady flow of working-class votes away from Labour. Some were swept up by the likes of Ukip and even the BNP; millions more from that point simply went uncast.

For a long time, disillusioned working-class voters in the Labour heartlands were reluctant to throw in their lot with the Tories, conscious of the stigma that often came with voting for the traditional enemy. It was only in 2019 that these voters, still brimming with anger over attempts to reverse the referendum result, decided in huge numbers to back a Conservative Party that had pledged to “Get Brexit Done”. The taboo had been broken. Having voted Tory once, these voters would — as we have seen — have no hesitation in doing the same again.

All of this means that Labour faces the prospect of being out of power for another decade or more — perhaps forever. That’s why the battle that currently rages for control of the party, between its liberal and radical wings, is the proverbial two bald men fighting over a comb. If either side wins, it will find that the instrument over which it had struggled for possession turns out to be of little practical use — at least as far as forming a government is concerned.

That is because Labour’s problems are structural, cultural and elemental. They run far deeper than questions of party management and whether or not free broadband is a vote winner. If the objective is to win back the Red Wall, then neither the liberal nor radical Left has the correct prescription.

In fact, the war between the two camps is, in many respects, a phoney one. There is far more that unites them than either would care to admit — or even seem to comprehend. Both are imbued with the same bourgeois, metropolitan, globalist worldview. Both aim their pitch at the student, the social activist, the fellow middle-class progressive, at Twitter. Both obsess about identity politics and “diversity”. Both hitch their wagon to every minority crusade and then afford to it an undue level of prominence. Both are largely ignorant — and often contemptuous — of the lives and priorities of those in small-town Britain, of their communitarian impulse, traditional values, desire for belonging and sense of national pride.

For these reasons, changing the face at the top would be pointless. In fact, given that Sir Keir has personally shown signs of understanding what needs to be done to win back the Red Wall — focusing much of his language since ascending to the leadership on the themes of family, community and nation — his defenestration would, if anything, prove counter-productive. What Labour needs is a root and branch ideological overhaul, not regicide. As matters currently lie, any leader attempting to take the party in the right direction would find himself or herself shackled by a membership and activist base — as well as the greater part of a parliamentary cohort — which simply has no intention of going there.

In the more fashionable cities and the university towns, Labour continues to thrive. Witness, for example, Sadiq Khan’s predicted comfortable victory in London. And therein lies the party’s dilemma. Any organisation seeking to hold together a coalition of interest groups must be wary about indulging one part of it to such a degree that its other elements begin to feel neglected. The greater the success of Labour in the citadels of cosmopolitan liberalism, the more likely it is that the old industrial heartlands will become fretful. That is precisely what has happened.

In the way that the working-class component of Labour’s coalition was expected to — and did — make concessions in the 1990s to enable the party to broaden its appeal among the upwardly mobile middle classes, so the obligation falls today on the latter to compromise so that the party stands at least a chance of recovering the support of the former. That doesn’t necessarily mean abandoning any commitment to a radical (but nonetheless credible) economic programme: there are deep wells of support in working-class communities for a more egalitarian economy, a higher minimum wage, investment in public services, reductions in income and wealth inequality, and so on. But it does mean understanding the small-“c” conservatism and proclivity for social solidarity and cultural attachment that exists across large parts of provincial and post-industrial Britain.

It also means being prepared to put front and centre the doorstep issues — law and order, immigration, national security — which Labour activists are usually uncomfortable discussing. If that means that topics such as LGBT rights, climate change, gender identity, Palestine and the next woke cause that comes along must take more of a back seat, so be it. The party must begin to look and sound again like those who have abandoned it and reflect their priorities. Until that happens, it will be relegated to the status of a middle-class pressure group.

I have heard some inside Labour’s ranks argue that the old blue-collar vote has gone for good, and the party must now throw everything at consolidating and widening its new young, liberal, metropolitan, university-educated, pro-EU base. But so far as such a strategy would be electorally viable — and that is doubtful — what would be the point of it? If Labour could not bring itself to speak for its old working-class base living in some of the country’s most disadvantaged communities, it would have betrayed its very reason for existing. The objective — and it may never be realised — must be to win back the hearts and minds of those whose votes it must recover if it is to win power and fulfil its historical mission once more — not to write those voters off as a lost cause.

While polls are rarely useful as tools for predicting the outcome of general elections three years into the future, these latest results will prove valuable for revealing just how bad things have become for Labour. The party’s banishment from large swathes of its former strongholds, and the dogged resistance of voters in those places to all attempts at reconciliation, cannot be attributed to the standard ups and downs of electoral fortune or a desire on the part of those voters to deliver a well-deserved warning shot across Labour’s bows before returning to its fold in due course.

This is much more. The entire axis of British politics has moved. Even in 1983, when under Michael Foot it suffered a crushing election defeat at the hands of Margaret Thatcher, Labour managed to retain much of its working-class base. What we are witnessing today, by contrast, is a paradigm shift. Thursday’s elections were the latest evidence of it. The rules have been rewritten, the landscape has changed utterly. For Labour, this may yet prove terminal — only most of the party still doesn’t realise it.


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

PaulEmbery

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Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago

Good article.

What Labour needs is a root and branch ideological overhaul, not regicide.

It also means being prepared to put front and centre the doorstep issues — law and order, immigration, national security

In a nutshell. But will that ever happen?
There’s the usual flurry of postmortems in the Guardian, each one (including the comment sections) chewing the same cud: Corbyn vs Starmer, turkeys4xmas (“it’s the economy, stupid“), “thick northerners”, and, more to the point, that the whole “culture war” is (1) instigated by the tories (“setting traps for Labour”), and (2) is a marginal, insignificant, isolated sideshow invented to deflect attention from [covid deaths, wallpaper, insert any Labour hobby horse here]. AND at the same time, on the same page, they have yet another opinion piece titled “Decolonising museums isn’t part of a ‘culture war’.” Astonishing amount of self-unawareness.
The problem with ‘culture’ is that it’s often upstream from things like law, policy, the economy, and such. Yesterday’s ridiculously absurd slogan is tomorrow’s legislation, school curriculum, quota system, immigration/asylum / housing / healthcare / welfare / etc. policy. With all the requisite departments, offices, taskforces, focus groups, thinktanks, whathaveyou attached. The Civil Service redistributing taxpayer’s money into its own pockets via the medium of the “vulnerable marginalised communities“. And you, parent or student-to-be, are left to figure out which university (secondary / primary school, kindergarten) has not been decolonised yet into the mud, if you want to get at least a modicum of decent education in return for your expenses.
What the left staunchly refuses to accept is that quality of life is not dependent upon a few pounds tacked onto your paycheque if your living environment falls off a cliff. If your school is a “decolonised” rubbish, if you have to travel twice as far to get out of the town for fresh air, if your neighbourhood becomes truly unpleasant, etc. then your life is devalued and you’ll need a LOT more than a few quids to get away from that.

Last edited 3 years ago by Johannes Kreisler
George Glashan
George Glashan
3 years ago

The Guardianland circular firing squad is in full effect today ( and its glorious to behold) everything is everyone else’s fault, conveniently, so no lessons need to be learned, especially since they already knew all the correct answers from every single other time this happened before.
Has none of them the sense to ask; if the Tories are unmitigated evil and the people of Hartlepool choose unmitigated evil over Labour. Are Labour in fact the bad guys, and even worse than unmitigated evil?

Last edited 3 years ago by George Glashan
Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  George Glashan

I actually dared to go to the Guardian Opinion page yesterday. It hasn’t changed since I was last there, would have been the day after the 2019 elecion. Same old frauds spouting the same old garbage.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

They are tied into the Labour party. Some political parties seem to naturally fade-the Liberal Party a century ago & others come in their place. You vote for who you identify with & obviously a lot of people don’t identify with the present Labour Party.

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I used to belong to a book club whose members were all of the middle class trendy lefty Guardianista Labour supporter ilk. All of them worked in the public sector. I remember them discussing the plight of someone they knew whose job role had changed,and they were required to do outreach work on council estates.They were full of horror at what they saw as a grave injustice and the prospect of having to mix with those whom they clearly despised.
I finally left the group after I voiced the opinion that the burkha and other forms of full face and body cover should be banned as it is in France and some other countries. It was though I had suddenly grown two horns and become the devil incarnate by daring to be critical of their precious top priority ‘victims’. That was the point at which I decided I’d had enough of their hypocrisy and left the group. I also then stopped being a Labour Party member.
I would never vote Tory but I can understand why they did in Hartlepool and other ‘red wall’ constituencies.

Dawne Swift
Dawne Swift
3 years ago
Reply to  Eleanor Barlow

Well the Tories aren’t addressing the issue of full body/face coverings either. In fact no political party in the UK is addressing this affront to our national security, feminist rights and our national identity.

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
3 years ago
Reply to  Dawne Swift

Very true. I certainly have nowhere to go as regards voting. In my area it’s a straight fight between Labour and Tory, nobody else gets a look-in.
The Tories have nothing to offer to people like me. They’re only interested in their donors and passing juicy contracts to their friends in the private sector. Once the pandemic is over, it will be basic rate taxpayers like me that have to foot the bill. Tories look after their own.

Lee Floyd
Lee Floyd
3 years ago
Reply to  Eleanor Barlow

Don’t forget, you are still breathing. If it were Labour in charge, or the LibDems, you’d still be waiting for the vaccine, as we’d be back in the EU. So maybe not as awful as you think.

Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
3 years ago
Reply to  Lee Floyd

The U.K. is 15th in the world for deaths ahead of most EU countries. Labour would have exited as well. Perhaps faster without the DUP attached.

Duncan Hunter
Duncan Hunter
3 years ago

Rubbish. No two countries, including within the EU, have the same methodology for recording or counting deaths. Our skewed system, or excessive zeal – take your pick – makes us look far worse than we actually are. According to the ONS, we have overcounted by 23-33%.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
3 years ago

I don’t understand your comment. ‘Labour would have exited…’ what? The EU? What is the link to the DUP?

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
3 years ago
Reply to  Lee Floyd

It was the NHS which has organised and delivered the mass vaccinations in the UK. If it had been left to Serco or another of the Tory Party’s favourite private sector chums, we’d still be waiting for our vaccines.

Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin
3 years ago
Reply to  Eleanor Barlow

Er…It was Kate Bingham a Venture Capitalist who secured our Vaccines. Johnson knew she had the right talent for this task rather than relying on the bureaucracy of the Civil Service that would have taken forever. I hope she was well rewarded.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Martin

In other words, it actually was “left to Serco or another of the Tory Party’s favourite private sector chums”. And Eleanor agrees it worked beautifully.

Rosie Franczak
Rosie Franczak
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Yes it was the NHS who distributed, and a competent Kate Bingham who was put in charge of securing vaccines. A nice compromise. No one can say labour would not have delivered as well and they certainly would ahve listened to WHO, and organised test and trace early and better, and would thus not have been responsible for as many deaths Johson I recall, denied Covid was a problem for weeks. “I shook hands with everybody” said he proudly. Man’s a twa and a liar.

Last edited 3 years ago by Rosie Franczak
Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Eleanor Barlow

it Was Retired GPs ,Army logistics which delivered Vaccines roll out, NHS is going to be unforgiven,for Many Cancer patients or other maladies like Liver,Kidney failures on 4.7million on Waiting list..

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Eleanor Barlow

Greens are Eating into Labour territory & Sweeping up Lunatic Marxist fring..SDP seems to be decent left of Centre ..Even UKiP started out being derided,as did The Brexit Party & look how they did!

Last edited 3 years ago by Robin Lambert
andrew harman
andrew harman
3 years ago
Reply to  Dawne Swift

The Tories found an original way to solve the issue – they made us all wear face coverings. Is that what they mean by levelling up?

Kremlington Swan
Kremlington Swan
3 years ago
Reply to  Dawne Swift

It is also an affront to our national sensibilities. In short, wearing these cloths is a direct insult to the British people. It is extremely bad manners – quite the equivalent of walking down the streets of Tehran dressed only in a thong.

The difference, of course, is that here an entire political class will stamp on anyone who dares criticise your bad manners, whereas in Tehran you will be facing the inside of a prison for years, even assuming you get to keep your head attached to your neck.

David J
David J
3 years ago

The face mask has been a tool, no more. Like Zoom for meetings, it will fade as the need diminishes.

Ann Ceely
Ann Ceely
3 years ago
Reply to  Dawne Swift

Boris has. The Burka emulates a letter-box, but if folk wish to dress like that, they can!

Lee Floyd
Lee Floyd
3 years ago
Reply to  Eleanor Barlow

I voted tory. No problem. The alternative was anti semitism, racism and fascism dressed up as ‘progressive woke’ and the gift of whatever nutjob had wandered off the streets and into my party. I voted tory again this local election. No problem. The alternative – nutjobs.

Kremlington Swan
Kremlington Swan
3 years ago
Reply to  Eleanor Barlow

They are fundamentally dishonest, these people of whom you speak. They defend the indefensible (the burkah) merely as a consequence of an adopted attitude. They have as much depth as a sheet of A4 paper.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
3 years ago

Why are we discussing the burkah? What’s that got to do with the subject?

While we are on it, finding it an appalling garment, as I do, is one thing, legally banning it and getting into endless conflicts with individual women, some of whom say they wish to wear one, is another. It would be an utterly illiberal and counter-productive move.

(Sorry, I joined in….!!)

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Thank you. These libertarians get very illiberal at times. Usually when it comes to people they perceive as ‘others’.

Rosie Franczak
Rosie Franczak
3 years ago
Reply to  Eleanor Barlow

Interesting.I’m Labour and my circle of labour friends would welcome such discussion. i.e. We had a local Trans woman who everyone in the local Party leadership cow-towed to. and yet this trans woman had no interest in other women, only in power. The so called facts about trans suffering that she used to support her arguments were often distorted and exagerrated. I support trans rights but not to the detriment of feminism. But nobody in the leadership dared say boo to this goose. The single issue ‘woke’ stuff is fine if honest, but it is often not honest. Other trans people in the area wouldn’t come to labour meetings because of this trans women. Then local feminists stopped coming too.
The Burkha is obviously a religious mark of female oppression. I would like to ban it, but I think we are way off that. The day we could is the day that that Islam treats women as equals.
Other stages of integration and free expression come first. You shou’d be allowed to talk about it.
Like Jewish women in Orthodox families being made to feel unclean at menstruation. All aspects of religious hypocrisy towards women is loathesome. Of course, where do you start and where do you stop? Women feeling they have to look a certain way to suit men and go out to get lips puffed up making them look like bloated trout. Then there is the issue of women’s pay for the same job, often being lower.

Last edited 3 years ago by Rosie Franczak
kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Are they still allowing comments? They had to close them off one by one as ‘wrong-speak’ crept in-now you can probably only say how lovely the recipe for lentil ice cream is. Someone listed the main journalists and they are very posh-some with titles -so obviously have their ‘pulse on the nation’ , ‘concerns of the average person’ etc.Apparently the BBC thought that Labour won but the Conservatives got more votes.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I went to the Guardian and went one step further… I dared to read some of the comments and was simply astounded at how little has been learned, how little self-awareness there is and how deep the well of disdain is for the thick, racist, bigoted Northerners that are just too stupid to understand that our opinion is the only one which is right and true, peasants!
Maybe that isn’t representative of any larger grouping but I felt so appalled I left again.
Best regards, your resident Northerner

Last edited 3 years ago by Katharine Eyre
Steve Wesley
Steve Wesley
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

There are a few of us ‘up norf’ Katherine. I live in the blasted wastes of Stockport,* and it seems that Manchester ** is destined to remain Labour for ever more. With a huge student population which is clearly leftist, the more affluent areas of Didsbury and Chorlton are infested with people who wish they actually lived in Islington or Camden. I don’t think the rest of Manchester gives a toss, but votes Labour anyway.
* Actually my part of Stockport is rather pleasant, after all it produced a amenable young chap who writes nicely for the Guardian. He must hate the fact that his original home has a Conservative MP

** For those unaware of the geography, Manchester and Stockport are melded into one urban mass with only signs to define where one ends and the next begins. Stockport is however, much more diverse *** when it comes to political representation.

**** Do I get any brownie points for including the word diverse?

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Wesley

This student vote is affecting the vote & most of them are only there for a while. The same thing is happening in America it seems. These student cities are Labour’s new voters

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

It first showed up in the 2017 election where Conservative MPs lost their safe seats & though people said there were some irregularities* ( sort of trial run for 2020 America) I don’t think there were any court cases.
*a person gathering up student voting cards & voting multiple times-allegedly.

Mark Gourley
Mark Gourley
3 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

Or, in the case of central Brighton, not Labour but Green – where you have to genuflect to S Caroline (Lucas).

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Gourley

A party with only one MP which suggests their policies aren’t that popular, yet both other parties are falling over themselves to see who can be judged most green

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Wesley

Good innit? All the kids from North London are picking Liverpool and Manchester and Bristol as the places to go. Many will stay. All the places with large immigrant populations, energy, excitement and open minds.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Wesley

I grew up in Yorkshire – I’ve been away over half of my life and to be honest I’d probably fit into the category “urban liberal”. Being middle class, university educated and (quite) comfortably off – if you ignore the temporary trashing of my business by the pandemic, that is! But I’ve found that no amount of time away can make you forget your roots or how your fellow Northerners tick.

Yorkshire. It’s a state of mind, love.

Last edited 3 years ago by Katharine Eyre
ben sheldrake
ben sheldrake
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Yep, reading the comments on the Guardian does provide insight to their audience’s thinking. Occasionally I scan through the click bait articles as I find the comments hilarious. But sometimes, sometimes it can be quite chilling. They have a cultivated ignorance they are entirely unaware of.
Its certainly safe to say Guardianistas aren’t learning anything and I see no reason to suggest that will change.
Rgds- Equally bemused Southerner

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  ben sheldrake

In guardianland people are allowed to ‘express’ themselves. They don’t seem to realise that people just want to appoint someone on a professional basis. They can identify as a goldfish every Wednesday if they want (perfectly happy for them) -so long as they don’t need the day off to swim about in a tank & so are unavailable for work that day.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

This is exactly the point I do not get about wokeist obsession with transsexuals.
If your mental illness led you to believe that you became a goldfish once a week, so you had to swim around in a big bowl for a day, we wouldn’t reconfigure the entire world – including pronouns – around your psychosis. But if your delusion instead takes the form of thinking that you have changed sex by wanting to, well then, apparently we must reconfigure the world around you. Everybody must include your delusion into their daily worldview. Why does this type of mental case attract treatment different to that received by those who imagine they are the Emperor of Mexico?

Pete Kreff
Pete Kreff
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Does anyone know of any mental disorders other than gender dysphoria that are treated by indulging and affirming them?

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete Kreff

It’s a very good question Pete. Had Norman Bates consulted a woke psychiatrist, he’d no doubt have been encouraged to proceed exactly as he did.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete Kreff

Well Macron thinks hes Napolean

Charles Walker
Charles Walker
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete Kreff

Yes. People can now be diagnosed as suffering from “climate anxiety”. Clearly nuts; but the treatment is for the rest of us to meet the preposterous demands of the greens.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Charles Walker

be Afraid be Very afraid Green Boris Likes A ”Staycation in Caribbean”…Electric cars 34million aint gonna happen by 2035,maybe 2050…No nuclear power!…etc..etc..

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Nobody mentioned transsexuals…

Pete Kreff
Pete Kreff
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

They have too much personally invested in identity politics. For them, identity politics tells them that they are virtuous and others are wicked.
When you go full woke, you burn your bridges, so you’re at risk of painting yourself into a corner (to mix metaphors).
How can they drop identity politics, when in their minds it is literally a fight between good and evil?
All they have left is to spew bile and spite: a common reaction amongst the entitled and the spoilt when they are spurned and don’t get what they want.
I love the fact they have the gall and lack of self-awareness to call others “thick”, though.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete Kreff

‘ Identity politics’? What do you think flying the flag and bemoaning the decline of the ‘white working class’ is? Non-identity politics?

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I too go on the G opinion pages on a daily basis to see what more balderdash the ‘woke’ come up with. I occasionally indulge in a little mild trolling of the most irritating commenters, but it’s like taking candy from a baby. They are floundering when someone disagrees with what they think is the truth so you can’t have a good discussion with them. Then you get the ones that act like spoilt brats. They are the ones that tend to report you for not following the party line.
It is encouraging though to see more readers disagreeing with the G world view.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

That berkley character so lacks self-awareness he strikes me as quite unhinged.

Elise Davies
Elise Davies
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

I’m afraid he sees himself as quite the Left wing intellectual. Although quite predictably he has nothing intelligent to say.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I was banned from there too a few years ago for linking to a paper written by a detransitioned researcher on the damage trans ideology has caused in his and others’ lives. My comment was polite and well-intended, and in no way was I rude or offensive. It was the first time I’d ever been banned from anything. It opened my eyes to cancel culture long before it the term became mainstream.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Actually, I checked. Comments are more diverse than you portray. Tiny bit of Hartlepool people are thick, bit of MSM is Tory but lots of argument about what to do next. Less offensive than DT which is currently revelling in all Scots are drunken junkie scroungers led by a cross-dressing short arse.

Elise Davies
Elise Davies
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

You need to adjust your Labour tinted spectacles, my friend. There’s a huge amount of btl abuse in the Guardian. I’ve never read an abuse free article. Northerners are all thick, Brexiteers are ignorant. Those who immigration immigration are racist, those opposed to open borders are racist. Boris is all sorts of bad, Tories themselves are inherently evil etc etc.

In contrast, Labour voters are virtuous, moral and most importantly never, never wrong.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Elise Davies

Fair enough. Would you do the same for DT? The Guardian doesn’t have comments on majority of articles. Mainly on opinion pieces, I think.
The DT BTL stuff on Scots is beyond the Pale.

Andrew D
Andrew D
3 years ago
Reply to  George Glashan

I think you’ll find it’s the people of Hartlepool who are worse than unmitigated evil

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew D

The Labour Party has been getting away with doing nothing in their ‘heartlands’ and finally the worm has turned. Whether the Conservatives will be any better , remains to be seen

Aidan Trimble
Aidan Trimble
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew D

I’m assuming that’s satire ?

Andrew D
Andrew D
3 years ago
Reply to  Aidan Trimble

Yes, of a sort, in reply to Mr Glashan’s point. Apparently lost on 14 readers (and counting)

Last edited 3 years ago by Andrew D
Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew D

To be fair, it is hard to identify irony in written comments. I had to read it a couple of times before I got the point.

Fiona Walker
Fiona Walker
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew D

Have an uptick.

Andrew D
Andrew D
3 years ago
Reply to  Fiona Walker

Thank you!

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew D

Just like the people of Stoke-on-Trent.
Tell people repeatedly that their values, concerns and aspirations mark them as fascist/racist an them expect them to vote for you.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew D

Are you serious?

Last edited 3 years ago by Brian Dorsley
Kremlington Swan
Kremlington Swan
3 years ago
Reply to  George Glashan

That’s an easy one. The Tories are unmitigated evil and being evil have ‘powers’ at their disposal, and these ‘powers’ they use to brainwash the poor unsuspecting electorate. If they did not have these ‘powers’, Labour would win easily.
I jest, but now I think a bit about it, that may not be so far from what they actually believe.

Last edited 3 years ago by Kremlington Swan
dgp.inman
dgp.inman
3 years ago

Such a belief about the Tories is surprisingly close to the truth: it’s a bit like accepting what scientists are telling us about the planet but still being slow to do anything about it (humans are the a nasty virus to the planet, etc…) The trouble is that things aren’t that simple: if the Tories can convince the majority that their policies are in the national interest, even at the relative expense of those at the bottom, then the majority can rationally be persuaded to vote for them. A way people can be persuaded to do this is by encouraging them to ASPIRE to better things… A major reason why the Tories are the oldest party is because they are “confined” by the freedoms espoused by Adam Smith, Edmund Burke or Milton Friedman, rather than by the little questions of society or the environment when they are not in their interest. This isn’t evil, exactly; more human nature, learnt over a considerable period of time.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  George Glashan

Even the more nominally sane Labour supporters are completely delusional about Labour.
Here, for example, is a comment from politicalbettling about what Labour should do next:

Labour needs a really smart politician to force the political debate back onto much, much more favourable grounds…I would get rid of Disaster Starmer and appoint a young (40s), articulate leader as a standard bearer for a younger-generation. The leader should be some [sic] of the people that Starmer is busy sacking like Rayner (age 41) or Nandy (41). Labour could build an election-winning coalition by trying to get the votes of almost everyone under 50.

Where do you start with “thinking” like that, really? Labour needs “a really smart politician” – so send for Lisa Nandy? All they have to do to win is “get the votes of almost everyone under 50”? Angela Rayner’s going to do that, is she?
The more immediate problem Labour has is that none of the names being talked about as potentially better leaders than Starmer is even an MP. Butcher Burnham, Drakeford, Khan are not therefore candidates. So if they boot Starmer, there’s a very high risk they end up not with the Messiah, but with another very naughty boy, like Burgon or Long-Bailey.

Last edited 3 years ago by Jon Redman
dgp.inman
dgp.inman
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

You give one example of a Labour supporter talking drivel. I could do the same about a Tory supporter, but won’t bother: one swallow does not make a summer.

nick miller
nick miller
3 years ago

Precisely.

Ben
Ben
3 years ago

Quite right Johannes – one might actually say both main parties have a great deal more in common with one another than they do with the Cultural Marxists who run so much of the country!

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 years ago

For the sake of this country the labour party needs to wither and die. For too long it has been the Trojan Horse of British politics smuggling its own agenda and pet projects past the electorate aided by their allies in the press. Also its MP, members and even supporters are largely reprehensible individuals motivated by loathing, vindictiveness and malice so they should not be part of the future.
What we need is a party that humbly represents the interests of the people who vote for it rather than attempting to fashion Britain in accordance with their vision of what they want the country to be, which vision seemingly motivated by a desire to destroy the country and it people as they currently exist in order to stick it to their political enemies.
The author cannot be trusted a Tory Party that has been in power for over a decade — and during that time imposed a programme of economic austerity which inflicted financial adversity on many of the nation’s poorest”...utter tosh. There was no such thing as austerity. The coalition government merely reduced spending from the hopelessly unaffordably profligate to the unaffordably profligate. In the words of a departing Labour Minister “Dear Chief Secretary, I’m afraid there is no money. Kind regards – and good luck! Liam.”

James Chater
James Chater
3 years ago

t.

Last edited 3 years ago by James Chater
Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago

Don’t other parties also smuggle pet projects past the electorate? I don’t recall the Conservative manifesto featuring a VIP lane for contracts so they could give contracts for mates. Or scrapping the cabinet pandemic committee. Or ten year prison sentences for filling in your landing card wrong.
I see that you like to label lots of your opponents as “reprehensible individuals motivated by loathing, vindictiveness and malice“. That sort of rhetoric didn’t go well for Hilary’s Democrats in the USA. And as for claiming that these enemies of yours “should not be part of the future” – what are you suggesting? Is your username a clue? It sounds like something that was tried in Germany in the 40s – which also ended badly.

dgp.inman
dgp.inman
3 years ago

Someone who denies that austerity exists in this country needs to get a reality check! [And don’t try any of that “In the past…” or, “In other countries…” rubbish: such comparisons may be erroneous, but certainly do not preclude the existence of Tory austerity in the UK] Try telling those whose benefits were stopped (myself included) under the Cameron/Osborne austerity measures which, according to you, did not exist. Try telling those who have forced to use food banks during the past ten years as a result, or those who killed themselves subsequently (oh, wait a minute, you can’t!). Look at the subsequent, non-existent, reduction in the deficit and other ways government borrowing (mendaciously exaggerated by Cameron) COULD have been reduced and conclude that this was either a programme of Tory ignorance, or malice or both.
As far as breaking up the country is concerned, look where Scotland has stood ever since Cameron’s referendum on EU membership.
It would be far better for all of us if the Tory party withered and died, but they have always been adaptable, chamelion-like, creatures of the jungle. For the sake of this country’s civilisation, the electorate needs a party to counter un-bridled Toryism. For the sake of our country, either we need a new, electable, socially progressive party, or the Labour party needs to get its act together.

Last edited 3 years ago by dgp.inman
Kremlington Swan
Kremlington Swan
3 years ago

The Guardian used to be a paper for the thinking man or woman, now it is just an echo chamber for grudge-bearers, whiners and the loose coalition of all the minority groups that loathe Britain and want to see it changed into a country 90 percent of whose citizens would be seeking to flee.

Susan Mills
Susan Mills
3 years ago

Same stuff going on in the US an here in Canada – come to think of it AU and NZ too. 5 Eyes blind.

Rosie Franczak
Rosie Franczak
3 years ago

Your analysis has little resonance for me in fact, but it does in terms of perceptions, which are often based on falsehoods perceptions are reality. It does not mean they are correct. Perceptions need to becountered. So here goes. The ‘left’ do not “staunchly refuse to accept that the quality of life is not dependent upon the few pounds tacked onto your paycheque” as you say. People who have decent pay cheques might not understand what a very low paycheque can mean. Paycheques matter. But as a means to a better and healthier future for you and your family and yes, to breathe that cleaner air. The shibboleths and generalisations in your response, are understandable if your milieu is not daily associated with someone of the left. Half my family votes Tory. I talk with them about politics because they we can manage without gettign angry. . But I never speak to my Tory neighbours about politics, not any more because it so aggressive and nasty. They hate black people but won’t say why. They don’t loathe gay people any more but don’t know any. They are tribal Tories. They hate incomers, and all foreigners who come to the UK. They hate Europe, but go to Menorca every year. They only ever mingle with English people there. Their own grown up child, a teacher, can’t stand them and is estranged. They hate all animals, dogs cats and wild animals, except birds. We get on when we talk about gardening and the weather and we give each other small Christmas presents each year. They think the BBC is run by Trotskyites (including the Chairman (who is a known Tory donor) and they read the Daily mail and the Telegraph. The milieu and those who own and mediate political narratives on our behalf, will help shape views. But I found I could not change theirs. They are fixed in their views and ow in their 70s.
When one statue was toppled in Bristol during the BLM protest after stop and search and racial profiling cases here and the death of George Flloyd in the US, the toppling was countered with a lie. It was the lie that Churchill’s statue was being toppled -a confabulation based on a Britain First troll’s tweet. It was taken up by the Daily Mail, then all the other rightwing media as a cause celebre.Personally, I am a huge admirer of Churchill’s WW2 leadership. The Churchill toppling was not true. The statue that was toppled in Bristol was of a slave owner and the labour Mayor Marvin Rees, of mixed race himself, had it dredged and restored and taken to the local museum to be preserved as an historical monument with a revised biography: a local philanthropist who made his money from slave trading and plantations, that resulted in vast profit.This money was then used for personal aggrandissment locally, both in property and position, and then later bought the man a legacy from some generous charity donations. i know that as slave trader he would have been responsible for causing incalculable human suffering.That’s the truth.

Last edited 3 years ago by Rosie Franczak
Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

Good stuff from Paul, as ever, but we have known much of this for some time. The fact is that Labour cares more about terrorists in NI and Palestine than it does about the victims of grooming gangs in Rochdale. Indeed, it cares more about the perpetrators of the grooming than it does about the victims. It is utterly evil and has been for many years.
And even London now looks close. Without the – essentially fraudulent – bloc vote of those that Labour deliberately imported in order to rub our noses in FGM, grooming, halal slaughter, stabbings and many other delights, it would lose there as well. That is what this once great party has come to – turning a blind eye to grooming gangs and third world voting practices in order to retain its power here and there. As I said, utterly evil.

mike otter
mike otter
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I think the mendacity of Labour is at last bleeding through. Their value offering from 1945-79 is dead and instead of updating the offering they’ve turned into a caricature of student leftism c 1980.

Neil John
Neil John
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Though revising the time-line “The schism between the party and the working class began to materialise as long as three decades ago.” needs doing to. As Dominic Sandbrook has recently pointed out 1968 and Powell’s ‘ROB’ speech was the start of a lot of Labour’s problems.

Dawne Swift
Dawne Swift
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Unfortunately this is spot on.

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Do you have any evidence that the Labour Party actually supports grooming or FGM? On here, people have been blaming social services and the police for failing to investigate, rather than some sort of political coverup.
Is Halal slaughter worse than Kosher slaughter (just asking – I’m not an expert)?
Could a breakdown in law and order, and an increase in youth crime, be related to savage cuts in policing and in youth services over the past decade or so?
And aren’t changes to election law to correct abuses (like ignoring spending limits, or addressing voter fraud) currently the responsibility of the Conservative government, rather than the Labour opposition?

Leon Wivlow
Leon Wivlow
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul N

Is halal slaughter worse than kosher slaughter? Neither should be allowed in this country.
Labour supports the grooming gangs? Of course they do, otherwise Corbyn wouldn’t have sacked Sarah Champion.

Phil Aterly
Phil Aterly
3 years ago

Outstanding analysis. As a union member and local authority worker for over 40 years, I don’t think that my values and aspirations have changed much at all. It’s the Labour Party that has changed, not me.
I’ve gone from indifferent, to frustrated, to now down right angry at what Labour has become, like going through a painful divorce, I now loathe that which I once loved.
I don’t see how they can get my vote back unless they turn away from sucking up to the minority, gender focused clique that now seems to control it.

Last edited 3 years ago by Phil Aterly
Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  Phil Aterly

You shot that hope with your last paragraph.

Adam Kennedy
Adam Kennedy
3 years ago
Reply to  Phil Aterly

I now loathe that which I once loved

That’s my feeling exactly

Steve Edwards
Steve Edwards
3 years ago
Reply to  Phil Aterly

Phil’s experience exactly mirrors my own. It was exemplified for me in 2019 when I asked my Corbynista sister why the red wall fell; the response: “Well, a Polish family open a corner shop and they all turn racist”. There is no arguing or debating with that mindset!

David Brown
David Brown
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Edwards

Does she think they catch racism from the Poles? I have a lot of time for the people of Poland, but even I have to admit that if you look at attitude surveys, they tend to be far less open to people of other races and cultures than the subjects of Her Majesty are.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  David Brown

if you look at attitude surveys, they tend to be far less open to people of other races and cultures than the subjects of Her Majesty are.

Those attitude surveys conveniently omit which other races are the Poles (Czechs, Hungarians etc.) less open to. It’s certainly not the East Asians, as there are lots of Chinese, Vietnamese etc. living in those countries, perfectly well integrated. Nor the indigenous people of the Americas, or Pacific Islanders, etc. It’s only two particular “races and cultures” the Poles etc. are averse of, and for a valid good reason.

Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Edwards

Perhaps that is the real reason of the fall of the red Wall. Wasn’t it a Blair Labour Government that opened up this Country to 5 million EU citizens and the same Government that wanted to “rub the right’s nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date”? Followed not long after by Brown’s “that bigoted Woman”

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Edwards

So are you saying people didn’t feel threatened by immigration?

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Phil Aterly

People change. Cultures change. Issues change. Sorry you feel left behind. I’ve also been TU member 40 years and LP member. I don’t feel left behind. I’m pleased the party is still moving and thinking and still learning. That’s what the Tories do. The difference is Labour, however much they get things wrong, still do it because they want to improve things for those not well served by exploitative capitalism. The Tories do it to stay in power and reward themselves through exploitative capitalism. Not all Tories, not all Labour. When a Conservative can explain the underlying principle of their party I may reconsider my view. Meanwhile, I’ll stick with the people who on the face of it believe all people are born equal and deserve the best life they can have and that we can collectively organise.

jonbarrow
jonbarrow
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Read Roger Scruton.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  jonbarrow

I have. I’ll read more. I so far haven’t found principles expressed cohesively, though. I’ll keep on.

jonbarrow
jonbarrow
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

ok. one basic tenet is the idea that its easier to destroy an existing and at least somewhat successful system than to create a new and somewhat successful one. also (as per Burke and contrary to many Enlightenment ideas) that things like societies are too complex to formulate from ‘blank slate’ or first principle ideals – that the past formed us through evolutionary process and it’s hubristic to mess too much (rather than tweak or evolve) things we imperfectly comprehend or control. also read yoram hozany on flaws in Enlightenment thought (which have lead into modern woke-think).

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  jonbarrow

Thanks. Interesting stuff.

Meghan Kathleen Jamieson
Meghan Kathleen Jamieson
3 years ago
Reply to  jonbarrow

Chesterton’s Fence is a good example of this thinking. If you acquire a new piece of land, you shouldn’t remove and fences until you’ve figured out what they are there for.
Societies are complex and full of fences we don’t really understand. Sometimes we need to move one, for urgent reasons, and then we should really try to make sure we understand what the consequences might be. Without an urgent reason it’s often best to leave well enough alone.
Understanding political conservatism is complicated though by the fact that it has been colonised by neoliberalism for the past forty years or so. Much as leftism has, in it’s own way.

Mike Boosh
Mike Boosh
3 years ago

Good riddance. Hopefully the labour party will one day be replaced by a party which understands, respects, and represents the British people. Won’t that be a novelty?

steve horsley
steve horsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Boosh

it would indeed be a novelty but it s the only way there can ever be a caring socialist party.the bourgeosie,london elite mob have to be cast adrift,let them have the labour party and get some forward thinking folk to form a breakaway party.don t call it new labour though.

Fennie Strange
Fennie Strange
3 years ago
Reply to  steve horsley

A ‘caring socialist party’? I’m not sure that is possible. Socialism will only fully work if it is totalitarian, and it is logically impossible for totalitarianism to be caring.

Last edited 3 years ago by Fennie Strange
Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
3 years ago
Reply to  Fennie Strange

The US has more people in prison than Norway. Facts. More people than China even. Not per capita.

Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin
3 years ago

Not surprising considering they live in a gung ho society.

Pete Kreff
Pete Kreff
3 years ago

Do you think anyone outside some obscure CCP committee knows the exact figures for China?

hugh bennett
hugh bennett
3 years ago
Reply to  Fennie Strange

to put it plainer – socialism never works!

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  steve horsley

Call it the SNP (English branch).

Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin
3 years ago
Reply to  steve horsley

Or cast them adrift to the Socialist Workers Party which should have been done a long time ago

dgp.inman
dgp.inman
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Boosh

Don’t we have that already in the Conservative party, then?

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago

the party must now throw everything at consolidating and widening its new young, liberal, metropolitan, university-educated, pro-EU base.

You’re quite right, it wouldn’t work. Remain lost in 70% of constituencies. The most such a strategy would deliver is 30% of the non-Scottish seats: about 180. That’s actually worse than now.
On the bright side, the BBC is utterly despondent. Good!  

Andrew D
Andrew D
3 years ago

Labour is ideologically, intellectually and morally bankrupt, incapable of reform. Let it die.
Curiously however they still seem to be quite popular in Wales, even under the unspeakably dreary Drakeford, explain that if you will. Meanwhile in England we’ll have the Tories for ever, while the Scots seem content to rest eternally in the not-very-ample bosom of Nicola. Thank you Mr Blair, for bequeathing us three one-party states.

Last edited 3 years ago by Andrew D
Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew D

I’m sure he loved us really……

Steve Moxon
Steve Moxon
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew D

They’re popular in Wales only because lots of folk voted against Plaid, given the non-viablity of Welsh independence.

Claire Olszanska
Claire Olszanska
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Moxon

No no no. You’re over estimating the Welsh people’s call for independence. In fact you’re fear mongering.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago

We have talked before. Back in November Mr Drakeford said that Labour intended to include indepence in its manifesto. Then came the EU vaccine thing and indepence was omitted.

It seems to me that indepence in the future is the only way to go because London will continue to turn its back on Wales.
When is the future? 10 years?

But, as I said before, the idea that independence should be tied to the language is stupid, sentimental and downright dangerous. Independence can only be tied to the economy and the escape from handouts from Wesminster.

Claire Olszanska
Claire Olszanska
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Oh I agree it shouldn’t be tied to the language. The language should be a separate issue. I’m ambivalent about independence although I agree London will ignore Wales. I actually believe in a UK, one where we can all celebrate our differences and see ourselves as a united people – I daresay I’m being sentimental.

Jon Read
Jon Read
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

If it ever is tied to the language then parts of Birmingham, Leicester, Manchester, Bradford and Dewsbury should have a crack at independence as well. (I expect something similar will manifest anyway).

Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Moxon

Steve… I hadn’t thought of it like that considering the incompetence of Labour’s NHS in Wales.

Marie Morton
Marie Morton
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew D

Remember in both Wales and Scotland these latest elections were for those aged 16 and over – that would explain a lot.

Claire Olszanska
Claire Olszanska
3 years ago
Reply to  Marie Morton

Not that many signed up to vote – well in Wales anyway.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago

Recently, I was in a get-together in a carpark in lieu of an 18th birthday party and I asked 6 of the youngsters how they intended to vote. I could have been an alien.

Claire Olszanska
Claire Olszanska
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

I’m reading from your text that they didn’t intend voting? Or was it your political view they found strange?

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago

They had not even thought about voting.

Claire Olszanska
Claire Olszanska
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Ah yes that was what I was thinking. I just didn’t want to assume.

hugh bennett
hugh bennett
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew D

So to explain – here in Wales we have had two decades of Welsh Labour, they totally lack ambition for the country e.g after cogitating for a decade or more they rejected sorting out the M4 links into England and securing an future proof artery upon which to build a stronger Welsh economy on spurious environmental reasons. . They are a “Taffia of Socialists”, … but they are even more dangerous to Wale`s future as they now have a strong and unhealthy nationalistic streak ( that one day the Welsh People will hopefully wake up to). Welsh Labour would rather see 2 million Welsh Speakers living in an Eastern European Economy than aspire to and develop a vibrate and strong Modern Welsh Economy that lifts us out of the relegation zone of almost every economic, social, and health indicator you could shake a stick at.
Our Fuhrer Dripford, ( we are effectively a one party state) has taken the opportunity of the Pandemic to create a border where none exists and should never ever exist.
To the Crux – The Confidence Trick — The reason why Welsh Labour holds on is simply this – it has kept throwing billions at the South Wales Valleys while ignoring rural and provincial Wales. However, if you look deeper into the last few election results there are seeds of pro-conservatism sowed ,a few germinating, but it will take a few more elections in Wales before traditional labour voters have the guts and savvy to follow those English Red-Wallers.
Meanwhile, our education system suffers under quasi-apartheid type policies where Welsh and English speaking schooling is developed separately. The Welsh NHS is a shadow of what most English regions enjoy, and our economy has condemned the people to living in one of the poorest, unhealthiest and deprived nations in Northern Europe.

Last edited 3 years ago by hugh bennett
Andrew D
Andrew D
3 years ago
Reply to  hugh bennett

Thank you, Hugh, for answering in some detail my largely rhetorical question. Interesting – I don’t know Wales well, but such experience I have had travelling around the country has been overwhelmingly pleasant – maybe I’ve been lucky, but I haven’t encountered the snarling hostility to be found north of Hadrian’s Wall. The Welsh seem to me living disproof of the cliche that you get the govt you deserve.

hugh bennett
hugh bennett
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew D

yes i know, but it just felt good to get it off my chest!
nos da

Duncan Hunter
Duncan Hunter
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew D

I sadly think you must have been unlucky, although that isn’t to deny the possibility. But Hugh’s eloquent words could easily have described the sordid, lamentable state of play in Scotland.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  hugh bennett

A few weeks ago I was watching First Minister’s Question Time and Drakeford was asked about the loss of the new British Volt factory destined for Newport.

This company was to be the first in the UK to make car batteries and planned to employ 3000 people in skilled jobs. After dealing with Drakeford they decided to go to Durham instead.

Drakeford just shrugged and said, “There’ll be others”.

Claire Olszanska
Claire Olszanska
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Sad isn’t it. We can’t afford to shrug in these times.

Stephen Rose
Stephen Rose
3 years ago

Well said Paul.
The Labour Party’s immediate hope might be coalition with the other graduates :Greens and Dems.
I can sense amongst the Labour/Zermat holidaying class a swing to those nice Greens, so Labour may find itself squeezed on two fronts, if it doubles down on “progressive” politics.
They can still rely on Wales, still loyal to the memory of Glynis and Neil and the glory days of Welsh Labour.
There seems to be a myth abroad, that the Working class don’t really exist, now that they are shopping at IKEA . Those men and women who remove “fat mountains” from sewers, dig ditches, install cables, wipe bottoms, deliver goods, fish, go up ladders, empty bins, etc, have become invisible unter mensch. The working class exist, even in a world of zoom meetings. We couldn’t function without them,they have proved that, Conservatives take note.

Claire Olszanska
Claire Olszanska
3 years ago
Reply to  Stephen Rose

Glynis and Neil are not and never have been popular in Wales, apart from that you are correct.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

They are both very popular in Brussels, apparently.

Claire Olszanska
Claire Olszanska
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Aren’t they just!

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago

But Kinnock junior is quite popular.

Claire Olszanska
Claire Olszanska
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Yes I am a little surprised by that to be honest.

Andrew D
Andrew D
3 years ago

Kinnock junior is a lot smarter than either of his parents. And although his snout is firmly in the Euro-trough, both by birth and by marriage, to his credit he at least ‘gets’ Brexit (I think)

hugh bennett
hugh bennett
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

yes nice but dim personified!
did he have a helping hand i wonder? i think he makes Dripford look dynamic.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

When he isn’t Photographed breaking the lockdown on Same day, Dominic Cummings Was off to castle barnard with his Autistic Child?…..

Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  Stephen Rose

The same Glinis and Neil of the ÂŁmultimillion EU pension pot you mean?

Last edited 3 years ago by Andrew Thompson
Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin
3 years ago

And yet he had to the cheek to berate nearly naked protesters on Brighton Beach after complaining that their pensions had been stolen I’ll never forget that. He was attending the Labour Party conference at the time.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Stephen Rose

‘I can sense amongst the Labour/Zermat holidaying class a swing to those nice Greens,..’
Because flying to Zermatt and hurling yourself down a mountain is such an environmentally-conscious act. Really, these people are revolting.

Last edited 3 years ago by Fraser Bailey
Wil Harper
Wil Harper
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Because flying to Zermatt and hurling yourself down a mountain is such an environmentally-conscious act. Really, these people are revolting.

They truly are, the blatent hypocrisy of the lovely little “telling off” I got for turning up to work (early morning shift in front line healthcare) with a disposable coffee cup. Delivered from someone earning approximately twice my zero hours wage, who then went on to talk at length about how awful it was that her regular week abroad to ‘relax’ had to be cancelled this year.

My pointing out that the car, aeroplane, hire car etc that she was no longer using were probably equivalent to more coffee cups than I could use in a lifetime went down like a lead balloon.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  Stephen Rose

You must be thinking of Poles and Romanians.

Mike Smith
Mike Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Stephen Rose

Interesting that you mention the invisible underclass. I had an encounter with a German-accented woman in an innovation centre in Cambridge. I was watching the news on the TV of Boris going to the queen in Dec 2019. She asked what I thought. I said it would be nice if Labour got back to serving the interests of the working class. She then announce there wasn’t a working class any more. I had to ask what class the man who empties her bins belongs to! I had never realised these champagne-socialists (a lot in Cambridge) were so stupid.

Jon Read
Jon Read
3 years ago
Reply to  Stephen Rose

They still have rights at the ballot box, mercifully.

George Glashan
George Glashan
3 years ago

Paul Embery is the last man left alive in the Labour Party, the rest are zombies infected by Ophiocordyceps style mental parasites, but its not too late for Paul, light the match burn it all to the ground and build something better atop its ashes.

Last edited 3 years ago by George Glashan
Ian nclfuzzy
Ian nclfuzzy
3 years ago
Reply to  George Glashan

Shout out for the estimable Graham Stringer MP. The last sensible voice in the entire PLP.

Last edited 3 years ago by Ian nclfuzzy
Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian nclfuzzy

I met Kate hoey..she is sensible but at 74, Possibly to Old to lead Labour..

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  George Glashan

Brendan Chilton (Talkradio0 ) i think talks A lot of Sense,but he is shouting in A Vacuum?….Patriotic,Pro-Brexit,Like Uk entrepreneurs,Uk Manufacturing, I advised him to join SDP rather than go down with the ship!

Ben
Ben
3 years ago

The author correctly identifies the hostage situation the Labour party finds itself in – by hard-left northern militants (Rebecca Long-Bailey, Angela Rayner, Richard Burgon) and the Marxist/Maoist cultural woke warriors controlling The Unelected State down in London – BBC/Guardian/Channel 4/School-College-University tripod/Advertising Industry/Church of England/BAFTA/National Trust/British Museum/British Library/Judiciary , the politicisation of healthcare etc etc.
These people are, well-paid, well-connected and extremely powerful – they manage to project their messages into our homes via the evening news every night, and into childrens’ heads through induction and inculcation at school. This Unelected State (Blob) progresses its own agenda at the expense of everyone else.
Both parties need to break free of their tyranny and defeat them head-on because they are actively destroying the country. Both Thatcher and Kinnock in their respective ways had a go in the 1980’s – the virus has since mutated but remains lethal and needs to be wiped out again.

Last edited 3 years ago by Ben
Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin
3 years ago
Reply to  Ben

Couldn’t have said it better Ben

Saul D
Saul D
3 years ago

Now is the time for penance from the Labour party. Go and pick up litter. Clean some graffiti off the schools walls. Clear the scrub at the back of the playing fields. Fix the fence of your elderly neighbour. Make the party activists actually do physical work for the community, and clear out any who refuse or complain.

Andrew D
Andrew D
3 years ago
Reply to  Saul D

A very good idea. Starmer should follow the example of King Henry II, who after the murder of Thomas Becket went to Canterbury, publicly confessed his sins, and allowed each bishop present to strike him five times with a rod, and then each monk (80 of them) to strike him three times. I’m sure there would be plenty of volunteers in Hartlepool.

Last edited 3 years ago by Andrew D
Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew D

Some Profumo Era(1960-63) MPs paid for that!

Gudrun Melinski
Gudrun Melinski
3 years ago
Reply to  Saul D

I think the article overestimates the importance of the Brexit issue’s part in Labour’s downfall. It may have been a trigger issue but it was happening way before that.
Most British people are socially conservative. Economically, they can be tempted by social democracy or liberalism. It’s about jobs, hearth and home. Labour weren’t addressing these issues with the weight they deserved. All the people saw was gradual change for the worse: society, schools, job security, NHS whilst Labour muttered interminably on about race, gender, multiculturalism but then adopted a globalist position on economics. The genuine honesty of Corbyn’s position enticed some back into the fold. But the people then had time to look at those around him: and see the same old concerns and tendencies.
There doesn’t appear to be any party in the UK at the moment that stands for social conservatism: society identified by who we are, of law and order, discipline in schools, job security, health and pensions. And importantly, the backlash against the diminution of our customs and identity due to mass immigration and globalist agendas. People want security and custom, not rapid and continuous change. Those people don’t vote anymore because there is no one to vote for. They see that their lives don’t matter to politicians and treat them all with the same contempt.

Last edited 3 years ago by Gudrun Melinski
David Brown
David Brown
3 years ago

I think Brexit crystallised the problem in many people’s minds. They might have known, deep down, that they were being taken for granted by a party leadership that despised them and all they believed in, but it took the “kick in the teeth”, as Mr Embery puts it, of having their vote to leave the EU not merely ignored, but traduced, and the attempt made to overturn it with a “People’s Vote”.
It was no longer “I’m not sure our party’s for people like us any more,” because when it behaves like that, you know it’s moved away from you.
The whole “woke” business will just have accelerated the process. When the product of a private education tells a warehouseman who went to a school, and was friends, with people of all colours, that he is a racist, and the beneficiary of “white privilege” which is not available to his schoolfriends of Indian heritage who are now doctors and teachers, it is hardly surprising if that warehouseman concludes that the privately educated Labourite is living on another planet, and probably one inside his own head.

Adam Kennedy
Adam Kennedy
3 years ago

Great article. To be honest, I would not be able to say what the Labour Party stands for these days or who they are trying to represent. At the moment, all they seem to be achieving is splitting the Lib-Dem vote, with predictable results.

James Slade
James Slade
3 years ago
Reply to  Adam Kennedy

What all four of them

Adam Kennedy
Adam Kennedy
3 years ago
Reply to  James Slade

Exactly

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Adam Kennedy

The party does not know what it stands for so the only people who vote for it are those who think they can make it stand for them and those with too little imagination to do anything else (mainly the Welsh).
Too much analysis goes into left Vs centre Vs right. The paradigm has been shifting so those things no longer exist. If indeed they ever really did exist. The Tories have always been better at adapting themselves to the way the world changes, until their own fairly major character flaws show through and make enough people sick enough of them to give something else a try.

Terry Needham
Terry Needham
3 years ago

“The historical coalition in which Hartlepool had for generations rubbed along contentedly with Hampstead — blue collar and white collar united in the struggle for social and economic justice — started to fall apart as Labour began to be dominated by the latter, transforming itself into a party of the managerial and professional classes, graduates and urban liberals. Not only was the party abandoning those in provincial and post-industrial Britain, it started to privately — and sometimes publicly — scorn them.”
The key point. There can be no coming back from this – It is surely fatal.

Rhys D
Rhys D
3 years ago

Great article, one that Matt Zarb-Cousin should read and understand, but won’t (see his other article on Unherd).

Mike Boosh
Mike Boosh
3 years ago
Reply to  Rhys D

Bizarre that 2 people can see the same event and draw such different conclusions. Matt z must be living in a parallel universe.

Nigel SPRINGHALL
Nigel SPRINGHALL
3 years ago

I was a Labour Party member fir many rears and a Labour Party agent in 1997. Already in in 97 it was clear that many people on the door step were unsure who Labour represented but preceding years of Tory government had destroyed their credibility.

Unfortunately the Blair years showed that increasingly Labour was only about protecting the self interest of a small group of people in the party, and today Labour is really about the infighting of a small faction of rather well off individuals, often hereditary Labour aristocracy, each trying to out virtue signal the other. As far as I can see the party has abandoned any attempts to solve the problems of the people that provide their cleaning, deliver their goods and actually do the grunt work in society.and unlike the Guardian writers didn’t get into Oxford through various schemes for the children of the wealthy with two e s at a level. .

Martin Woodford
Martin Woodford
3 years ago

Interesting article. I’d been thinking this a while, but, we are witnessing the not so slow death of the Labour party. There’s nothing they can do to stop the rot. Gimmicks and warm words have failed. The simple fact is that the Tories are camped on New Labour’s turf and form the centre left. No party has a divine right to exist, just as the liberals disappeared, so will Labour. The same is happening in Europe. The old socialist parties are disappearing.
The left threat does not come from the death twitches of dinosaur socialist parties but from the Green parties. These are more rightly eco-socialists, since they have the same destructive anti-economy policies of the old socialists – just more so, since they wrap their propganda up in green-wash to appeal to middle class metro-lefties. You can see this happening in Germany, and it’s beginning here too. The old socialist policies of poverty and economic misery are still there, just wrapped up in nice green wool.
Given where the Tories are now, a new UK party may well come not from the left – that’s the Greens, who may yet absorb what’s left of Labour, but from the right. There is an exception of course – Scotland – where socialist policies are wrapped in nationalism – but the nationalists may yet have to rely on green nationalists.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

The Reform UK party under Richard Tice is positioning itself as a right-of-centre alternative to the big state, big spending, authoritarian Tories and Labour. I wish them well but it will take some time to have any impact.

Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

As long as politics is viewed as a means to procuring ‘good’ things, rather than preventing obviously bad ones, this will not change.

Last edited 3 years ago by Arnold Grutt
Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Why are the anti woke always anti the state. That’s not going to take Hartlepool. The Tories realised they had to print money during the recession and spend money, or promise to, up north to solidify their gains past the red wall.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Yep I also wish SDP well,yes they are left of centre Economically but right of centre on Social issues ie They both hate ”Woke” PC, virtue signalling..

Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
3 years ago

“The left threat does not come from the death twitches of dinosaur socialist parties but from the Green parties. These are more rightly eco-socialists, since they have the same destructive anti-economy policies of the old socialists”

I disagree. ‘environmentalism’ is ‘conservative’ in origin, and has always been. It is not naturally a socialst, left-wing position (which was always, historically, pro-economic growth, development and ‘redistribution’ of wealth gained), and a flight from the predominantly rural economies of the 18th C. What current left ‘environmentalism’ is really about is NIMBYism, which treats the ‘countryside’ not as a ‘working’ environment, but an ‘aesthetic’ one, hence current ‘birdwatching’ (wholly politicised), animal rights, a ‘nature’ seen as something to be ‘looked at’, and never changed, at least not much much (well, OK, a few ‘reserves’ and car parks for the Range Rovers or Beemers, of course). In April 2005 one was treated to the phenomenon of birdwatchers (all tormented usually by thoughts of excessive ’emissions’) driving overnight from S. England to Aberdeenshire in the snow to see one bird. Trans-continental aeroplane expeditions to watch birds were, until Covid struck, not at all rare.

Last edited 3 years ago by Arnold Grutt
Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin
3 years ago
Reply to  Arnold Grutt

It will be interesting to see how the Greens rise in Germany plays out with the Country being a major manufacturing power and becoming reliant on Russian Gas. Perhaps they will usurp the UK in producing the most expensive electricity in Europe?

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Arnold Grutt

You’re talking Nonsense.. Concreting over Countryside .leads to Flooding ”Run off” in Cities hence Nottingham ,Worcesteretc.. City centres flood Every year.Not Climate change, but Simple No respect for floodplains,,drainage & Dredging rivers,when do you see Rivers dredged i haven’t seen any since 1960s?…

Wil Harper
Wil Harper
3 years ago

speaker after speaker pledged support for the motion, each drawing wild cheers and applause from delegates. That the adoption of this policy was almost certain to result in electoral oblivion seemed lost on virtually everyone present”

Exactly. I grew up in a staunchly socialist Labour household, I absorbed my father’s views on the class struggle as a child and then saw it played out in my own adult life working as a community worker in some of the most deprived areas of England. For twenty or so years I never doubted that Labour was the party that supported and spoke on behalf of the working class.
That has changed, for the past ten or more years I’ve been unable to stomach discussions of politics with my parents as I’ve watched them move further and further away from their roots and beliefs. Growing up we were poor, dad was a postman, mam worked as a cleaner for a while. Then both of my parents became teachers, and in the age of decent salaries and final pension schemes they moved from our cramped terraced home in an old pit village to a spacious detached property in rural idyll. This was long after I’d left home however. I’ve spent much of my adullt life living in a ex-council house, (which I was proud to be able to buy with some scrimping) and working a series of jobs around single parenthood that kept me below the national poverty line 10/16 years.
I know how my neighbours, work colleagues and friends felt about brexit and I know how they feel about Labour.
The upper middle class chattering liberals that now make up the party not only despise most of us, they also have developed that ugliest of beliefs. That they know best, that because many of the working class hold different views to them, that they are not only wrong, but lesser people.
I am still not sure I can vote tory, a childhood of miners marches, the legacy of pit closures, working with isolated people on council estates with no hope, no money, means that it sticks in my craw to tick the blue box.

But I can change, I’ve always believed that although community loyalty is important, it is idiotic to continue to vote for ‘leaders’ or representatives who don’t actually represent your views. I may not support all of the tory policies, but at least they don’t despise and belittle the working class in quite the same way.

For the first time in my adult voting life (over 20yrs) I didn’t vote in the elections on Thursday. Ironically, (or not) this was at least in part because I was too busy working the two jobs I juggle to try and keep a decent income coming in.

I wonder if Labour has the humility to listen to the populace, to change, to recognise that as MPs they are not better than the people who vote them into power, that their job is not to push their own agenda but to honestly and steadfastly represent the views of their constituents.

Servants of the people not masters.

Last edited 3 years ago by Wil Harper
Margaret Donaldson
Margaret Donaldson
3 years ago
Reply to  Wil Harper

A great comment. Labour as a movement is dead because what it was based upon is also dead. We are no longer an industrial nation with immensely powerful trade unions who told Labour what to do and started the rot in the first place in the 1970s. The ex labour voter is a capitalist who needs a home. He/she does not need to be told what to do or how to think. I hope a political party develops in which you can feel at home and for whom you can vote.

caro
caro
3 years ago
Reply to  Wil Harper

Well said. Like you, for the first time in 40 years I didn’t vote. I feel politically homeless.

Fennie Strange
Fennie Strange
3 years ago
Reply to  Wil Harper

An outstanding contribution to the debate. But excuse me, you really should exercise your franchise. I’ve never had to do this but know that the day may come when I have to write “None of them!” across my ballot paper.

Last edited 3 years ago by Fennie Strange
Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Wil Harper

Try SDP for Moderate Left or Greens for loony environmemtalism & Marxism -Lite

Julian Rigg
Julian Rigg
3 years ago

Labour, “a party of the managerial and professional classes, graduates and urban liberals” are too arrogant, selfish, or maybe stupid, to recognise the issues facing the Labour Party. All the years being told the Conservatives should split over the “Europe Issue”, it was Labour who had the issue of two totally different creeds of people trying to go in the same direction. It is unworkable and Labour should split. One would be a London centric uber liberal group focusing on minority issues that would never win a general election and the other a “classic” Labour party covering the rest of the UK that would stand a chance. Paul should lead it! He is my only reminder of the labour party I grew up with in 1970’s. Pre Michael Foot it was not perfect by any means but looked patriotic, conservative with a small “c” and believable!

David K. Warner
David K. Warner
3 years ago

I look at the county council results in my south coast market town – the borough results are to be announced later – and not only is it remarkable that in a borough of 126,000 people the Conservatives have won all the seats once again, but that they have done so with over 50% of the vote in all the wards, including those like my own made up entirely of housing estates, and this in a borough with the lowest university uptake in the country (only 17% of 18 year-olds are offered places at university).
When I moved here in July 2000, both the borough councillors were Labour, as was one of the county councillors. At this election, not only were Labour not in with a chance of winning county council seats, but on a borough council of 28 seats they only held one (the Tories held 24).
Many working class voters of this town feels abandoned by Labour and no longer look to Labour to represent them, regarding them as out of touch with the cultural and social mores they believe in. In 1997, the very good Tory MP was re-elected with a majority of 3,729; in 2019, his frankly useless, absentee successor was returned with a majority of 21,792, with the Labour vote falling from 15,479 to 8,25, while the LibDem vote has collapsed.
It is noticeable that while there used to be a political divide in the town between the older, more prosperous south and the northern areas where the large, postwar housing estates are situated, the whole borough now votes strongly Tory, with no borough ward not being represented by at least one Conservative councillor, even those with the highest percentage of housing association tenants.
The borough voted 62% Leave, which might explain much, but Labour’s decline started long before, and the Conservatives have run the borough council continually since gaining it from a Lab-Lib coalition in 2002, over time strengthening their hold upon both wards and the constituency, with the result that Labour has almost been obliterated. And yet, the town still faces huge social and economic problems, exacerbated by lockdowns, with high levels of pensioner poverty and poor educational attainment in some of the worst schools in the county, problems that might better be addressed by a Labour Party attuned to the wants and hopes of working class voters in close-knit, provincial communities. However, that is clearly not the case with the modern Labour Party, which seems to have abandoned towns like this and which doesn’t seem to care about those who live in them, or even know they exist.
Labour can argue about its leader or its message or its communications strategy as much as it likes but it will not even begin to rebuild in communities like my own until it starts listening to, understanding, and representing the views of my neighbours, who until they do, will continue to ignore a Labour Party that so contemptuously ignores them. Labour currently needs no end of a lesson until it learns that much of England is more like Hartlepool politically than it realises.

David K. Warner
David K. Warner
3 years ago

In the borough elections, all fourteen seats up for election were won by the Conservatives, as well as all the county council seats, so in this market town of large housing estates and five industrial estates, with the largest industrial base of any constituency on the south coast outside of Portsmouth and Southampton, there has been a total electoral shutout by the Tories.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago

Yes but in Chipping norton (Oxon) Bristol Tories lost Control over their obsession with build over green fields &Farmland…& certain areas, Big Winners were Greens eating into Labour,lib-dem votes 123 councillors up 70. independents unfrtunately lost 169, 304 councillors. Lib-dum 541 councillors down 4 labour 1,289 councillors down 255 tories 2,249 seats up 297..

Simon Neale
Simon Neale
3 years ago

The old blue-collar electorate has indeed gone forever. We will not see coal and steel and manufacturing on anything like the same scale. There will of course be swathes of poorer workers, but they are not working in large factories, do not live in the same neighbourhood, will have significant numbers of immigrants, and will have lost the crucially important links with Labour via the unions.

Can the solidarity be re-established through a coalition of student radicals, immigrants, sexual identity groups and middle class wokies? Doubtful, as these groups tend to be fissiparous and competitive (the “oppression olympics”) and they are too widely dispersed to be electorally viable.

The best Labour can hope for is a minority showing in the Commons. A few cities and university towns. Writing the manifesto will be fun; will the gays and the Pakistanis get on? Will Polish Catholics think that it’s a woman’s right to choose?

Sorry, into the dustbin of history with you. As they used to say in the Labour Party, back in the 1970s.

Last edited 3 years ago by Simon Neale
Walter Lantz
Walter Lantz
3 years ago

Speaking from the other side of the pond I will say that the Left in Canada and the US have embraced to varying degrees the same ideology as Labour. IMO. the issue is decades old and is rooted in Globalism. We all know about the ‘evil’ corporate globalist kleptocracy, usually in the form of the tax-avoiding demon Amazon. What the Left doesn’t talk much about is how they’ve embraced Benevolent Globalism – basically adopting the lyrics of Imagine as a policy blueprint for world governance.
This kind of globalism will, according to the song, eliminate borders, destructive nationalistic squabbling and allow the world’s unfortunates unfettered access to greener pastures. This sort of globalism will also fast-track the desperate battle to save the planet from climate Armageddon.
However, there are problems with Benevolent Globalism. Firstly it is not universally accessible. It is an ideological accoutrement – a luxury item for those that have access to the proverbial iron rice bowl. One can get fat and feel virtuous while doing it. Heaven.
Of course globalism also has created losers which is evidenced by the erosion of traditional ‘rust belt’ economies. The Dems turned their backs on the Deplorables simply because the implementation of “America First” economic reforms would make Benevolent Globalism awkward if not impossible.
As part of their Great Reset, Canada’s left-leaning Liberals are in the process of turning their backs on our oil and gas industry and the hundreds of thousands of mostly western Canadians that depend on it. The New Green Deal and multicultural and gender-neutral We are the World sing-a-longs are the way forward!.
From what I’ve read and heard of Labour Party politics (much more entertaining than our own) it seems obvious to me that, despite the faux angst, Labour isn’t much bothered about losing the Hartlepool deplorables because helping them would only stand in the way of more virtuous endeavours. As far as I can see the biggest failure is Labour’s reluctance to be honest about it.

Andrew Harvey
Andrew Harvey
3 years ago
Reply to  Walter Lantz

Benevolent Globalism is not an ideological accoutrement to right-thinking liberal urbanites — it’s economically fundamental to their position in society. Without access to cheap, migrant labour working as cleaners, nannies, nurses, restaurant workers, builders, etc. the bobos would see their standard of living decimated. The Left has made the decision (whether they want to acknowledge it or not) to chose cheap restaurant meals over a society with economic equality.

Colin Haller
Colin Haller
3 years ago
Reply to  Walter Lantz

The Clinton Democrats and Blairite Labour both swallowed the neoliberal poison. Their heirs are reaping a bitter harvest.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Colin Haller

”The Third way” but I aint enamoured with vulture Capitalism either…which some tories want

James Rowlands
James Rowlands
3 years ago

I have thought for a while that the Mars One project perfect for disaffected Labour supporters, who are fed up with Woke and want their old party back. And look here. Mars is already nothing but dirt and rock and poisonous air so it’s already 80% along the way to becoming the traditional Socialist Paradise. They don’t call it the Red Planet for nothing.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

For 50 or 60 years Labour has been a giant Jenga of mad, bad or evil ideas. Each new mad, bad or evil idea is added to the other mad, bad, or evil ideas, always with the aim of attracting or retaining the support of mad, bad or evil people. Eventually it had to collapse in spectacular fashion and it is finally doing so, although of course they did incalculable damage in the meantime.
The sad fact is that there remain plenty of people out there will pick up the pieces and start all over again…

T J Putnam
T J Putnam
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

What mad, bad or evil ideas are you talking about?

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  T J Putnam

The abolition of grammar schools, mass immigration, endless welfare, tax credits, invading Iraq and Afghanistan, turning a blind eye to the grooming gangs, disastrous devolution, mass postal voting, financial deregulation, insane spending on unreformed public sector organisations, destroying private pensions, green lunacy….one could go on and on.

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

In other words the existence of Tony Blair

John Chestwig
John Chestwig
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

That’s a really interesting description – I think their crazed Jenga-type approach of adopting individual, but completely unconnected political positions, overlays Paul Embery’s analysis of their main problem, which seems on the nail.
Both points mean that it’s impossible to understand what Labour stands for, but they certainly don’t stand for the working class.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  John Chestwig

They don’t stand, they kneel.

Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
3 years ago

The far left simply do not learn, do they? Sure, they learn tactically, in the sense that they say to themselves, “well, we weren’t able to shove our garbage down peoples’ throats doing X, but maybe we can shove our garbage down their throats doing Y, instead.” But they never learn enough to say, “Actually, this IS garbage, maybe we shouldn’t be trying to shove it down peoples’ throats at all”.

Peter Scott
Peter Scott
3 years ago

Quite.
Yet if they perceived that it IS garbage, they would not be Far-Lefties.

andrew harman
andrew harman
3 years ago

I think it goes back over decades. Marxism failed so completely that leftism as a whole was entirely discredited with the stage left to the seemingly triumphant and vindicated neo-liberal model, which blinded many to the defects of that dogma. The hubris of the Reagan / Thatcher consensus was never more amply displayed than in Fukuyama’s ” The End of History”
The crash of 2007-8 was far more complex than simply being about the failings of capitalism of course (sub – prime mortgages were about positive discrimination as much as anything and both Clinton and Bush 43 need to take responsibility there) or about a profligate Labour government but its impact played a major role in undermining the consensus of the previous 30 years. It seems to me as if the governing elites everywhere failed to learn their lesson including those on the unreconstructed left.
So, after the Blair years, where many of Labour’s membership only tolerated him at best because he delivered victories and after Iraq, the crash etc, the old leftist certainties suddenly appeared attractive again, enhanced by more modern identity preoccupation so in a massive act of self indulgence, they elected Corbyn as leader.. The result is Labour has become an amorphous blob of wokism, ostentatious virtue signalling, identity politics, toytown revolutionaries, middle class brats, obsessiveness over perceived injustice across the world and the more politically active public sector employees.
Very little of these shibboleths of the new left mean much to most people and the shrill way many of them react if you dare to question them only makes it worse. I see no sign of them starting to get it any time soon.

Peter Scott
Peter Scott
3 years ago
Reply to  andrew harman

Magnificent analysis.
My only modification would be of your relatively tentative phrase ‘It seems to me as if the governing elites everywhere failed to learn their lesson….’
It is as certain that very few persons among the governing elites everywhere in the western world have failed to learn their lesson, as that the temperatures are rather cold at both the Earth’s poles.
Proof is on every hand and irresistible.
From June 2016-Present one electoral contest after another – in the UK, the USA, across Europe (in national elections) – has offered the governing elites a raspberry; and hardly anybody among them has yet bothered to notice the writing on the wall or attempted to interpret it.
The only reactions from the meritless ‘meritocrats’ to the Leave vote victory in our 2016 Referendum and to Donald Trump’s winning the US presidential contest that year, and to the rise and relative success of populist parties in Europe, has been to whine that it’s largely been the doing of Vladimir Putin (his propagandists in the Kremlin working to pervert our choices); an excuse so childishly absurd that it hardly deserves the dignity of refutation.
Alternatively they complain that ‘people are angry’ but then studiously fail to ask themselves, ‘In that case what are they angry about, and does their wrath have any justification?’
So that nothing be left undone on the margin of impossibility, here is a Refutation. – If Russia has been concerned to divide and rule the NATO alliance and Europe’s various nation-states, and gone to the lengths of influencing opinion when we cast our suffrages, how do the Occidental all-incompetent elites explain the results of elections in the western democracies 1945-2015?
When Mrs Thatcher won three successive General Election victories, was that the Kremlin’s doing? In 2016 Donald Trump gained votes in the swing states (Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin) from people who had voted for Barack Obama not once but twice: in 2008 and 2012. How do the ‘meritocrat’ wiseacres explain those discrepancies?
The failure of nearly all politicians and most journalists to address the concerns that have led to all these ever-accumulating electoral shock outcomes is a spectacular abdication of sense and responsibility.
It is as if a man is entering the street where he resides, and at that momnent his house falls down, yet he carries on behaving as if nothing is untoward or out of the ordinary. It is Proof Absolute that the politicians and most journalists are now part of a (worthless) aristocracy with nothing to offer, nowhere to go, and in complete denial about the failure of their policies and worldview.

andrew harman
andrew harman
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter Scott

Many thanks. I get the strong feeling that whilst we may largely agree on the malady, we may part company when it comes to the remedy. I feel our institutions are still strong but the party system is broken. I fear that it may not be confined to that in the US.

Peter Scott
Peter Scott
3 years ago

Perhaps ALL the legacy parties are on their way out (I hope so). –
First the LibDems (previously Liberals), then the Labour Party, next the Conservative Party, next the Nationalists – and, I hope, the awful Greens.
In the past 30 years we have had government in this country (as through much of the western democracies) which has done the following Totally Insane Things for the advantage of vested interests.-
* Mass immigration, legal and illegal.  How does this make sense in a world where more and more jobs disappear into automation?
* The islamization of the United Kingdom.
* Sending proper jobs with proper pay abroad.
* Degrading education so that its students now are neither trained to think critically – i.e. to do real thinking at all – nor have useful skills.
All the parties currently represented in the House of Commons have been equally guilty and complicit in these grotesque achievements.
Institutions so perverse and lunatic surely have short futures ahead of them.
A doctor who kills his patients (deliberately and without justification) is on a limited fuse. Even Harold Shipman was eventually found out, expelled from medical practice and imprisoned for life.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter Scott

Unfortunately the Loony Greens &their obsession with 0.04% of Carbon (Reason for Life on Earth,Plant,Crop growth etc) are making headway in London, and in EU they are The ”New Left” pseudo marxists..I certainly have said many times on other threads…SDP could be Moderate Labour, Reform Moderate Tories..Boris Cronyism & Davos Garbage could yet be found out..

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
3 years ago

How extraordinary! A Labour-supporting commentator has actually said something sensible.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

Paul has been saying these things for some years.

L Paw
L Paw
3 years ago

That is my concern too. Would not argue with PE about the reasons for Labours decline, but part of the reason the Tories have grabbed votes is because they have moved to the centre, while also quietly accepting the woke values that have seeped in through our education system over many years. To me the Tories have part abandoned the free market and strengthened the centralised, public sector economy that we increasingly have.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  L Paw

Exactly. The Tories are no different than Labour in many respects: authoritarian, spendthrift, addicted to big govt, and woke. The Reform UK hopes to act as an alternative to this, but it will take a long time.

Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

True and PM Carrie leads the way

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  L Paw

And ”dishy Rishi” Wouldn’t help 3 million self Employed ,An open goal missed by ”Mr Forensic” Starmer!!

ralph bell
ralph bell
3 years ago

A recent Unheard article described how Hartlepool over recent decades has been totally neglected by their previously elected ‘New Labour’ and Remain Labour MP’s paying little interest or attention to the needs of constituents. Its hardly surprising that experience resulted in a feeling of abandonment and a resolve for change. The life quality and health outcomes for many of the people of Hartlepool are truly awful.

The Liberal Democrats and Labour both face extinction so its surprising they cannot see how closely they both align and the voters they want to represent.

mikechaffin
mikechaffin
3 years ago

Labour hates men.
The problem for the labour party is that people increasingly understand this.

Peter Scott
Peter Scott
3 years ago
Reply to  mikechaffin

“Labour hates men.”
Amendment: they, and the whole of the Far Left hate everyone.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago
Reply to  mikechaffin

Yes, it’s also the reason I voted for Trump. I would much rather vote for a man everybody hates than for a party that hates me.

Claire Olszanska
Claire Olszanska
3 years ago

Paul has hit the nail on the head again. It seems though to only apply to England. Labour have been dead in Scotland for a long time and in Wales Labour have matched their best ever performance with their traditional working class areas holding firm to Labour, and believe me wokery is not big in the valleys or indeed most of Wales.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

Paul consistently hitting the nail on the head makes him the only manual worker who still supports Labour.

Claire Olszanska
Claire Olszanska
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Nice one.

Steve Moxon
Steve Moxon
3 years ago

The Labour vote in Wales is simply anti-Plaid. Nobody thinks Welsh independence is viable: never mind its small size in every respect (bar hills), every Welsh individual is subsidised by the English taxpayer at twice the rate even than are the Scots under the Barnet Formula. [If I recall accurately] roughly ÂŁ4,000 per annum per Welsh person.

Claire Olszanska
Claire Olszanska
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Moxon

Well Drakeford has put independence on the table. They could have voted anti PC by voting Con, LD etc. It’s not down to anti PC vote.

Steve Moxon
Steve Moxon
3 years ago

Yes. In Wales the situation is a special one. If you want to vote anti-Plaid, in most parts of Wales this means tactically voting Labour rather than risk splitting the anti-Plaid vote as would be the case in voting Con or LD (albeit with the exceptions where it’s more a Lab-Con battle, of course).

Claire Olszanska
Claire Olszanska
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Moxon

Still doesn’t explain the swathe of red in the traditional Labour heartlands. Plaid was never really an option there. In 59 years I’ve never heard a South Walian say I’m voting Labour to stop Plaid.

Steve Moxon
Steve Moxon
3 years ago

Well there is a new situation, given the lead from the Scot Nats, of Welsh nationalism. Anti-English feeling as manifest not least in animosity at a personal level is well entenched over many decades in Wales (as my dad found on holiday there in the mid-1960s); more than in Scotland. So anti-independence by realists must be a big issue in Wales. This anti-Englishness must have a lot to do with why the Conservative Party is still not doing well in Welsh ‘red wall’ territory compared to the English counterparts. So in Wales much more of the UKIP vote just goes back to Labour.

Last edited 3 years ago by Steve Moxon
Claire Olszanska
Claire Olszanska
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Moxon

I think you’ll find in the Labour heartlands anti-Englishness is not the overpowering feeling. I think they still adhere to traditional labour values even if the HQ doesn’t seem to be endorsing them. South Wales was a huge melting point of all nationalities. The anti-Englishness there came more from the fact that most industrialists were wealthy English – a class issue really. Yes there is anti-English feeling in parts of Wales but I think you’ll find it is reciprocated in parts of England. But I really do think you are obsessing with this nationality issue. It is, you know , quite feasible that people still believe in traditional labour values.

Steve Moxon
Steve Moxon
3 years ago

My point is that they’re inter-related. And anti-Englishness is quite strong in Wales and cannot be accounted for by some class animosity. [And no, there is no anti-Welsh feeling anywhere in England.]

Claire Olszanska
Claire Olszanska
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Moxon

I was referring to South industrial Wales. I don’t dispute for one minute there is anti English feeling in Wales but it is pointless getting into a debate about that. As regards your bracketed comment you obviously haven’t been on Unherd for long. I don’t want a nationalism debate otherwise we’d be here all week. I’ve lived all my adult life in England so I am qualified to speak as I find. Anyway the S Wales Labour vote was not an anti English vote or an anti independence one. At least I don’t believe it to be.

Steve Moxon
Steve Moxon
3 years ago

Well I’d agree it’s unlikely to be directly anti-, or at any rate not mainly so, but it’s surely background, with Welsh Labour being WELSH