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Labour needs to be humiliated The seismic defeat in Hartlepool should provoke a reckoning

A couple of padded blows to the head might be good for the Labour Party.

A couple of padded blows to the head might be good for the Labour Party.


May 6, 2021   5 mins

To face humiliation is one thing. To need humiliation — for your own good — is quite another. And what Labour needs from the voters today is a truly terrifying result. A threat of extinction, in fact. Losing Hartlepool would be an excellent start.

If Peter Mandelson’s old stamping ground turns blue then seats like Doncaster North (held by Ed Miliband) and Normanton (held by Yvette Cooper) will be next. That should concentrate minds.

Yet with the Downing Street clown show doing its best to sabotage the Conservative campaign, it could still be Boris on the ropes by Monday, not Sir Keir, and that would be an absolute disaster… for the Labour Party. If voters deliver a mixed message, then Labour won’t understand it.

Mind you, it might not understand an unmixed message. Just look at 2019. No fewer than 50 Red Wall seats turned blue at the General Election, but who did Labour replace Jeremy Corbyn with? A middle-class, southern Remainer who devised the party’s disastrous second referendum policy. Brilliant.

So don’t blame the voters if they have to repeat themselves. The first home truth that needs to get through loud and clear is the most obvious: Labour is useless at picking leaders.

A party leader has to satisfy two fundamental tests — one positive, the other negative. He (and with Labour it always is a he) has to be sufficiently attractive while also not excessively repulsive. No Labour leader has passed both tests since Tony Blair was elected 27 years ago; none of them have won a general election.

While Sir Keir passes the negative test, it’s increasingly clear that he fails the positive test. With Jeremy Corbyn it was the other way round, hugely loveable to a core of voters and extremely off-putting to the rest. Ed Miliband satisfied neither test and nor, by the end, did Gordon Brown.

So the most immediate way in which an electoral calamity would be good for Labour is forcing a choice of new leader on the basis of electability and electability alone. The membership might just be up for that, the favourite now being Andy Burnham — the former Cabinet minister and current Mayor of Greater Manchester.

In 2015, Burnham was decisively rejected by Labour members in favour of Jeremy Corbyn, who outpolled him three-to-one; if he’s now the front runner that’s quite the turnaround. Then again, if party members are willing to go back the future they might as well go the extra mile — and consider a candidate like Dan Jarvis.

A former British Army officer, Jarvis is the current Mayor of the Sheffield City Region. Unlike Burnham, he’s also a sitting MP — for Barnsley Central, a surviving chunk of the Red Wall. This is a constituency where the Brexit Party took 30% of the vote in 2019, less than four thousand votes behind Labour.

How on Earth did that happen?

Labour won’t find the answers until they accept a second home truth, which is that Jeremy Corbyn and Keir Starmer are equal co-authors of the party’s misfortune.

The heated debate between the Corbynites and Starmerites as to which side is to blame overlooks the possibility that they both are. Labour is polarised between two kinds of wrong and unelectable — the tendencies represented by Momentum on the one hand and the People’s Vote campaign on the other. Both are failed projects, and they’ve left Labour revolving uselessly around an axis of feeble. The party cannot make progress until it declares both groups a busted flush and moves on.

Dan Jarvis hinted at just such a need in a recent essay for the Fabian Society pamphlet, Hearts and Minds: Winning the working-class vote:

“We would be naïve to think that changes at the top of the party and an end to the Brexit wars mean an automatic return to business as usual,” he wrote: “The political landscape has shifted, we must adapt or risk fading into obscurity like some of our sister parties on the continent.”

But what would that require? Jarvis pleads with his party to “better understand how notions such as patriotism, sovereignty and national security relate to people’s lived experiences.” He also observes that “local and regional pride is accepted, celebrated, even encouraged, but when the discussion moves to national pride, many in our party begin to feel uneasy.”

That’s putting it mildly. When Starmer tried to wrap himself in the Union Jack, parts of his party freaked out. It could have been his opportunity to face down those who see our national flag as symbol of hate and racism, but he clearly doesn’t have the stomach for a fight.

The Jarvis solution is to acknowledge the bad parts of our national history — “the Britain of empire and conquest”, as he puts it, while celebrating “the Britain of the Tolpuddle Martyrs, the Chartists and the miners’ strike.” But are enough voters interested in this brand of Old Labour nostalgia?

Matthew Parris has dismissed the Labour movement as “a gluey, opaque, illiberal freemasonry of bonkers activists, passive supporters, historical resentments, myths and legend.” Labour, he feels, is an impediment to change: “21st-century Britain will never warm to this 20th-century dinosaur, waving its banners of extinct mining unions.”

Labour’s predicament is that Jarvis and Parris are equally right and wrong. Much of the middle-class Left has no interest in Jarvis’s patriotic socialism and much of the working class has no interest in what Parris stands for. Without both sets of voters there is no path to power for the Left, yet Labour is clearly incapable of bringing them together in sufficient numbers.

And that leads us to the third, and most difficult, home truth that the party has to accept: it can’t defeat the Tories alone.

Britain today has only one major party — the Conservatives. They can be beaten, but only by an alliance of smaller parties, of which Labour would be the obviously leading member. Not splitting the non-Tory vote is hardly a new idea, but this latest incarnation of the “progressive alliance” would also serve a more radical purpose: the unbundling of the Labour Party.

It’s clear that Labour will never retake the Red Wall unless its leadership is free to develop a moderate and patriotic platform – and this can’t be done with either the Corbynites or the hardcore Remainers on board.

In order to persuade them to leave, the Labour leader needs make them an offer they can’t refuse — an electorally viable future outside Labour. Under our current voting system, Labour would stand aside to give other progressive parties a free run in a defined number of constituencies, concentrated in the big cities and university towns.

If this works — if Labour retakes the Red Wall and a progressive alliance gains a majority — then that still leaves the problem of reconciling the difference stripes of leftish opinion. But this would be less painful as part of a negotiation to form a government than as a bitter factional struggle within one party.

Denmark provides an example of how it can work. There, the main centre-left party are the Social Democrats, who govern with the support of several smaller progressive groups. Under Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, the Danish Social Democrats have gained support by combining welfarist policies with a tough line on immigration and national security. Whatever one might think of these policies, they’re electorally successful — and the rest of the Left goes along with it. Indeed Denmark is one of the last places in western European with a significant centre-left to speak of.

But can we really imagine Labour embarking upon such a radically different future? Yes — but only if it has no other option, and knows it faces oblivion. Given a choice between seizing the day or clutching at straws, it will always go for the straws. It’s easier, it’s less painful, and it’s ultimately disastrous. If Labour are humiliated today, it will be the wake-up call they need.


Peter Franklin is Associate Editor of UnHerd. He was previously a policy advisor and speechwriter on environmental and social issues.

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Vikram Sharma
Vikram Sharma
3 years ago

Humiliation is like shame. It is internally generated. Hence it requires insight, self-awareness and recognition of minimum standards below which one has fallen. People whose entire world view is built upon sanctimonious superiority over tabloid reading oiks cannot be humiliated. The more they lose, the greater their conviction that the world is indeed wrong. Go woke, go broke and lose votes.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

That’s a really good point. If you regard yourself as ineffably virtuous and everyone else as just ignorant, nasty and wrong, you’re really going to struggle to accept that everyone else is in fact right.
The living manifestation of this is that tool Neil Kinnock. After he lost in 1992, and again when Labour lost in 2015, he actually had the effrontery to sniff contemptuously at the disgraceful electorate, that had spitefully, selfishly and nastily elected the Conservatives. Labour hadn’t lost because it was inept, nasty and wrong. It had lost because the voters were a disgrace.

Last edited 3 years ago by Jon Redman
steve horsley
steve horsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

oh yes,kinnock seemed to be particularly smug and entitled and then showed what a money grabbing hypocrite he was at the european parliament.

T J Putnam
T J Putnam
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

You’re going to be surprised how many voters up their expectations of the parties in the next eighteen months. The Leave Campaign style race to the bottom doesn’t deliver anything people can build better lives with and the repitition of populist guff exposes its lack of substance.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  T J Putnam

The Tories will be re-elected in 2024 regardless. The only question is the size of the majority. If the government goes into an election with a majority they get re-elected. If they’re a minority they can lose, as in 1979 and 1997.

Quentin Vole
Quentin Vole
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

The next GE will be held on revised boundaries that should (at last!) reverse some of the Blair era passive gerrymandering. So the current 80-seat majority is really a 100-seat majority. When was the last time such a large majority was overturned?

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Quentin Vole

New Zealand &Japan in 1995/97 Turfed out their labour,Liberal Government by massive landslides, I believe Lib-Lab-Cons-Greens have rn their Course, its INDEPENDENT, SDP or reform Now

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
3 years ago
Reply to  T J Putnam

A prime example of the fingers in the ears ‘I am right and virtuous and anti populist (whatever that means) and you lot are not’ – that the article is taking aim at!

We have left the EU – move on from the Leave campaign were horrible (while Remain were virtuous, wise, etc) simplistic nonsense!

John K
John K
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

re. “sanctimonious superiority” etc. Yes. Metropolitan Labour no longer even attempts to be a broad church and cannot fathom that calling people “gammons” or “chavs” is not calculated to get them to support you.
It’s the same with the professional “anti-racist” lobby, another millstone round the neck of the Labour Party I voted for most of my adult life. You cannot debate with them. If you point out that white working class boys are now the most disadvantaged group in the UK, they say that proves you are racist.
And “First Past the Post”, which Labour supported when it worked in their favour 1997- late 2000s, means we will have an elected Tory dictatorship for at least a decade.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  John K

If you point out that white working class boys are now the most disadvantaged group in the UK, they say that proves you are racist.
That’s clearly not a racist position and shouldn’t be called one. But neither would it be unreasonable to point out that the reason they are the most disadvantaged is not because they are white but because they are working class.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

But the grievance industry won’t have that. If you say blacks do badly at school because they’re working class, the race hucksters will insist it’s always white racism that’s the cause. We saw exactly this with Tony Sewell’s report last month.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

The objection to Sewell’s report was that it didn’t take the next step in the analysis which is to ask why black people of certain backgrounds are more likely to be working class.

Joffre Woods
Joffre Woods
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Why is anyone working class? That’s the line Labour need to win, not why are black people working class. Skin needs removing from the discussion. Whether you like it or not, our capitalist system does very much allow for clever, lucky, hard working and ambitious people to achieve social mobility. It’s all around us. It doesn’t guarantee it but it provides the possibility. There is no alternative to that currently, and nor should there be. You cannot force equality of outcome. What you can do is treat housing and employment as 2 halves of the same coin and run it properly, so clever, lucky, hard working and ambitious people can have a go. That’s the trick Labour have to pull off nationwide.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Joffre Woods

However, our capitalist system also makes it much easier for people with high status, wealthy parents to maintain that inherited social status, wealth and income. Historically, by the very nature of there being many more generations living in a country during which wealth and status can be built up it is on aggregate harder for those of some immigrant backgrounds to inherit that social currency.
Housing and good employment are crucial – and you are more likely to have access to them if your parents did because their parents did and so on back for generations. Before going back too many generations you are comparing equality of opportunity between descendants of emancipated slaves (1834) in the West Indies to descendants of tradespeople, artisans, farmers, shopkeepers and labourers and factory workers in the UK. I’m not saying that it was easy for UK born people and families in the generations since 1834 to gain or maintain that social currency but the odds of it happening were much greater than for those generations born to slaves in the West Indies and whose descendants then moved to a country where they were denied good housing and good employment because of racism.
You can’t force equality of outcome but you can recognise that there is a historical aspect to racial advantage and disadvantage that plays out in the inequality of opportunity and outcome of today.

R S Foster
R S Foster
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Black Caribbean arrivals were no worse off than those from the Sub-Continent, nor indeed Hong Kong (many early arrivals from there were refugees from the CCP who passed through the Crown Colony on the way here)…and in some ways better off…same education, language and religion…how do you explain their success, which is quite marked?

Marie Morton
Marie Morton
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

I think you probably come from middle class origins. Most UK white people only need to go back one or two generations to find their ancestors living in absolute poverty.
Research what it was like for most in the hungry 30s. My dad born in 1927 learnt to go rabbiting when really young as that was the only meat he ever had. His mom died when he was 10 as the family could not afford a doctor. He actually got a scholarship the following year – but as they could not afford the uniform he could not go. He worked in factories for 52 years , from 14 to 66. Like many working class men he died at 68. Go and look in pit village cemeteries – most men died in their 50s and 60s – however they at least have headstones – probably the first in their families to do so – most working class people would have been buried in unmarked graves. The old headstones you see today come from the wealthy.
Go back even further and you see what working class people in the UK had to endure – Chadwick 1842 found that in Manchester 57% of working class children died before their 5th birthday. Remember 6 yr olds were working in factories and mines then.
By the way working class men did not get the vote till 1918, but their was no colour bar in the UK on voting – Charles Sancho was the first black man to vote in UK in 1774

R S Foster
R S Foster
3 years ago
Reply to  Marie Morton

…our first non-White MPs were Indians, elected in the East End in the 1890’s…we had Black Naval Officers in the Napoleonic Wars, and I believe a Welsh Squire of mixed race was an MFH sometime in the C19th…and stories of local folk in the UK kicking off in support of Black GIs against White Ones in WW2 are pretty numerous, the “Battle of Bamber” being the most celebrated example…and you might take a look at the Trial Scenes in a “A Matter of Life and Death” to get some understanding of the popular British view of our Non-White Comrades in Arms in that conflict.
Attitudes that influenced the Civil Rights Movement in the US.
All for our History in this area being taught…provided it doesn’t neglect these elements…and indeed our moral crusade against Slavery, which did much to put that noxious trade down at a great cost in blood and treasure…as well as partially explaining our involvement with Africa…

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Historically, by the very nature of there being many more generations living in a country during which wealth and status can be built up it is on aggregate harder for those of some immigrant backgrounds to inherit that social currency.

Bollox. Look at all those who fled the French revolution, fled the soviet “revolution”, fled the soviet colonisation of European countries, etc. – all penniless and devoid of any status. Still they found their footing as soon as they landed in their new countries. “Social currency” is culture, not wealth. No matter how much money you throw at the “communities” (bames), they still won’t miraculously exchange it to “social currency”. Because they lack the requisite cultural capital.

Last edited 3 years ago by Johannes Kreisler
Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago

Marks &Spencer, John Cohen, etc all East European made Millions in ”racist” Britain..Wake up Wokes

Kremlington Swan
Kremlington Swan
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

On the other hand, there are a sufficient number of immigrant descendants in the UK who have done very well indeed for the argument that racism is the cause of lack of social mobility to be less than convincing.
Once, perhaps, but now? What if, instead of that, the lack of social mobility is down to an unwillingness to adapt to the requirements of the labor market, to prefer instead to be cloaked in a sub culture defined by its hostility to the mainstream?

People do not fear racial difference, they fear cultural intolerance – specifically the intolerance the minority sometimes has for the majority’s sensibilities, and the insistence that its own sensibilities be defended at all times.

Last edited 3 years ago by Kremlington Swan
Colin Haller
Colin Haller
3 years ago
Reply to  Joffre Woods

The data clearly demonstrates that social mobility has been declining now for 40+ years. Thanks, neoliberals!

Tom Graham
Tom Graham
3 years ago
Reply to  Colin Haller

Thanks champagne socialists who have worked tirelessly to ensure that smart kids from poor families have no chance to compete with their own dimwitted but privileged offspring.

rapl1046
rapl1046
3 years ago
Reply to  Colin Haller

The data? Quote your source.

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  Joffre Woods

What is this meant to say about housing?

“treat housing and employment as 2 halves of the same coin and run it properly, so clever, lucky, hard working and ambitious people can have a go?”

Presumably not that you can only have a house if you’re lucky (as well as being clever, hard working and ambitious). What is this trick Labour need to learn?

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Why is never asked. On any issue. Instead, the political calculus is to assume the worst motives of anyone who is not on board with the accepted talking point. Yelling “racism” is easy, it’s political fast food. Discover “why” and doing something to address it takes work and it does not happen quickly.

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

You may be onto something.
But it’s unfortunate that many of the people who are saying “it’s not racism” seem supremely uninterested in solving the problem, once they’ve aquitted themselves (and the country at large) of the racist charge.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul N

Uninterested? Not at all. It’s that the perfectly good rational and workable solutions they present are shouted down with even louder, more hysterical shrieks of “racism”.

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago

I’m interested – how should it be solved?

Hilary Easton
Hilary Easton
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

I think we know the answer to that.

It’s simple. In this country the most important indicator of a child’s future status is that of their parents. The majority of non white people entered this country with very little and so their children and their children’s children have suffered the same fate as the indigenous working class.

There was some research recently that showed that having a French surname, linking you with our Norman overlords of the 12th century, is still an indicator of high earnings and status!

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  Hilary Easton

If that was the case, then all the East Asian, Indian etc. immigrants would perform as badly as the blacks, which they don’t.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

No it wasn’t. It was that he failed to agree that racism was the cause of everything, as the woke left was demanding.
For example,

Michael Marmot, director of the Institute of Health Equity at University College London, said that the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities,1 chaired by Tony Sewell, failed to acknowledge that racism could account for the “adverse distribution of socioeconomic characteristics”

(BMJ)
and

Ignoring the evidence that institutional racism plays a key role in the education of Black and minority pupils is nonsensical. There is a mass of evidence showing how racism operates through policy and practice at national, local and classroom levels. Black and minority ethnic teachers report experiencing systemic and overt racism 

(some huckster in the Guardian)
and

 dozens of equality campaigners calls on the government to reject the report and instead implement the recommendations of long-standing reviews into racial injustice.

some other race huckster.
In short, these parti pris grievance industry cranks all objected to its evidence-based conclusions being preferred over their own anecdotes and racist prejudice. Most did so before they had read it.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Not one of those quotes states racism was the cause of everything. The objection was to sections of the report that appeared to deny racism played any role.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

You need to reread them properly – “racism could account for the “adverse distribution of socioeconomic characteristics”; “institutional racism plays a key role in the education of Black and minority pupils”; “Black and minority ethnic teachers report experiencing systemic and overt racism”; “the recommendations of long-standing reviews into racial injustice” – which starts out by assuming there is some.
Every single one takes him to task for failing to agree with the left’s prejudice that it’s all about racism. Any conclusion that departs from the left’s bigotry and anecdata is intolerable, impermissible and wrong.
Labour’s associated with that and that’s why they’re scr3wed.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Sorry, Jon – I did read them carefully. Your interpretation of them might be that they are saying it’s all about racism but they are not saying that in the quotes.
‘racism could account for the “adverse distribution of socioeconomic characteristics” – this does not exclude other factors
“institutional racism plays a key role in the education of Black and minority pupils” a key role, not the only role
“the recommendations of long-standing reviews into racial injustice” – this is just saying there have been other reviews. It doesn’t say anything about there not being other factors that lead to social injustice.
ï»ż

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

All those reactions are founded on a racist assumption that there is “racial injustice” in favour of whites at the expense of “Blacks”. No distinction is drawn between “Blacks” of different origins (more racism). All insist that racism is to blame here, which is debunked in the report they object to, and supported only by anecdote or by grievance industry wibblings that toe the expected line.
There is no evidence of your claim that the objection was about why “black people of certain backgrounds are more likely to be working class” or to “sections of the report that appeared to deny racism”. In any case, if the report denies racism it did so off the evidence, not the nasty little preoccupations of race hucksters, grievance merchants and white-hating racists.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

I don’t think we’ll agree substantively.
But I do agree that talking about Whites and Blacks, or BAME, is reductive and that was a point Sewell’s report made and critics of the report agreed with. The report then went on to use those very terms to explain why racism was not the problem.
Racism isn’t always between blacks and whites – it varies depending on the society it’s operating in.
None of the above makes it racist to believe racial injustice exists.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

why black people of certain backgrounds are more likely to be working class.

More likely to be nonworking underclass, you mean.
That aside, the simple explanation is merit. Statistically, they don’t merit much. Of course there are always the outliers and atypicals, but as a demographic mass they don’t merit much on average compared to other demographics.

Last edited 3 years ago by Johannes Kreisler
Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago

That’s as clear a definition of a racist view point as one could ask for. Unless I’m misunderstanding you you’re saying black people of certain backgrounds have inherently less merit than people from other demographics. As you can’t decide which demographic you are born into I can only assume you think people in some demographics are born with intrinsically less merit than others. They are born to be inferior.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

That’s as clear a definition of a racist view point as one could ask for.

And? So what?

Unless I’m misunderstanding you you’re saying black people of certain backgrounds have inherently less merit than people from other demographics. 

Indeed you are misunderstanding, as i did not say ‘inherently’ anywhere. The fact is that blacks have less merit on statistical average. The reasons for that are manifold, including cultural / environmental factors (i.e. prenatal / infant malnutrition due to high birthrates, the practice of cosanguinity etc.) – not some mythical predestined inferiority.

As you can’t decide which demographic you are born into

Oh, the old canard of “birthplace lottery”. People are not born to where they are born due to lucky draw or accident. People are born to where they are born due to their parents copulating, and their parents are the results of the sets of grandparents copulating, and so forth and so forth down the millennia. And that continuum is why there’s such diversity (disparity) between cultures / subcontinents / continents etc. That’s why Africa is by-and-large still a sche¡ßehole in the 21st century.

Last edited 3 years ago by Johannes Kreisler
G Harris
G Harris
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

That might be a fair point if the colour of someone’s skin or identifiably different ethnicity was the only issue at play here, but there seems to be this rather convenient sidestepping of the fact that black African boys do markedly better than their black Afro-Carribean counterparts.

And that’s never mind the widely recognised fact that the most advantaged in the apparently irredeemably ‘systemically racist’ UK, certainly in terms of income potential, aren’t ‘ethnic, indigenous whites’, but ethnic Indians and Chinese.

Clem Alford
Clem Alford
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

But the left call him an Uncle Tom for telling the truth.

JP Martin
JP Martin
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Because little things like facts have no impact on members of the progressive cult. Their positions are based on ideology not reality.

Clem Alford
Clem Alford
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Working class and white.

Hilary Easton
Hilary Easton
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Absolutely, and that is the problem with the current way of looking at everything through the lens of race. Black, white and brown working class people should make common cause. Only when they decisively emphasize solidarity will there be any hope of reform to the ‘system’.

Divide and rule suits the ruling class very well, that’s why they don’t make much effort to oppose the ‘woke’ agenda, even though they know very well that the majority of voters would agree.

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  Hilary Easton

Left wing politics, it is true, used to be more about solidarity. There is now more rhetoric about rights for individual groups seen as disadvantaged, although the Labour Party still seems to advocate for health and welfare, for example, which would benefit all groups.
While the extent of the shift towards “identity politics” may be exaggerated by those who oppose Labour on other grounds, there is a shift. And sometimes the identity groups manifest a distinct lack of concern for other disadvantaged people or other sorts of disadvantage. At times there can be alarming demands for “purity” of thought, or complete agreement. Both are damaging.
One example is an ongoing campaign about “trans rights”, much of it driven by what seems like a lobby group that has little interest in overall inadequacies in health or welfare. It’s sometimes coupled with an alarmingly rigid orthodoxy, and an all-or-nothing “with us or against us” mindset (even JK Rowling has become a victim). Though perhaps the loudest voices are not representative, they do create a view of how things are.
Another example was a recent surge in anti-semitism complaints – some from genuine campaigners for solidarity, but some from people only interested in that single issue, and some whose interest in that issue was driven by the prospect of getting rid of the previous Labour leader, or even a principled opposition to the Labour Party as such.
Largely outside of Labour, a similar rigidity and demand for purity was seen in parts of the Brexit campaign, and after the referendum, with anyone who advocated an insufficiently hard Brexit (even Mrs May was branded a remainer).
This narrow focus, and related demand for “political correctness”, may be a weakness of internet-enabled communities of interest – or of popular/populist campaign groups like momentum or leave.eu – but it shows a weakness of rhetoric on the left, that needs to be addressed.
There may be an opportunity for reflection after the dust settles on the current elections.

Last edited 3 years ago by Paul N
Simon Newman
Simon Newman
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

But white working class do worse than most non-white working class. And there are a lot of education & employment opportunities whites (of all classes) are excluded from due to Diversity ideology. There is discrimination.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

So, if you are white and working class, you are disadvantaged, tbecause you are working class. But if you are black and working class, you are disadvantaged because you are black. Does that sound logical to you?

Lee Floyd
Lee Floyd
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Probably both. They fail the class tst and the ethnicity test, both. The first because- “well, who cares?” and the second because “well, who cares- they’re not oppressed “.

Betty Fyffe
Betty Fyffe
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Last edited 3 years ago by Betty Fyffe
Eddie Johnson
Eddie Johnson
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Good luck with that in an increasingly racialised society.

Clem Alford
Clem Alford
3 years ago
Reply to  John K

Yes correct, and how does it feel to be an ‘ethnic minority’ in your own capital city?
I am just waiting for the figures at the recent census to see how much change upwards those figures will be. Last time it was 54 non white Londoners, not counting ‘other’ to 46 white indigenous Londoners. And that’s not counting those who are illegal here. It’s overload. Except for the bosses who love all that cheap labour and the landlords who don’t mind them sleeping 6 or 7 in a room!

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Clem Alford

It feels fine to me.

Peter Dunn
Peter Dunn
3 years ago
Reply to  John K

We need an elected dictatorship for at least ten years to undo the harm the left has done to every important institution of this country..especially in the public sector.

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter Dunn

We’ve had ten years since anything even faintly left was in power. And we seem to have an elected dictatorship right now. So why are we still blaming the country’s problems on “the left”?

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul N

It is Extreme Left Blair & most of his cabinet were trotskyists of the Frankfurt school, They Politised The Police, Police &crime commissioners, Judiciary ,Supreme Court, BBC,media etc..that is not to Say liberals are illiberal conservatives dont conserve (Countryside),Massive housing to mostly wealthy Couples,etc…Old Political parties have outlived their validity.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul N

Because the civil service, the education system, the media, the justice system, and even the nominally “conservative” government are all stuffed with the ideological left. That’s why.

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago

Our government is on the ideological left? I haven’t seen much worker-ownership of the means of production on their watch. Not a lot of redistributive taxation (but a copious cut in corporation tax and higher-rate income tax). And cuts in policing and health over the decade.
At least we get flags everywhere, and self-appointed commissars on the alert for signs of ideological impurities like wokeness – was that what you were thinking of?

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul N

Because they joined with the right to subjugate the poor.

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

What would you suggest as an alternative, to remove this subjugation of the poor?

Gavin Stewart-Mills
Gavin Stewart-Mills
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

Entirely so. Check out the comments on the Labour Party Facebook’s posts about Hartlepool. Labour members cheerfully and unironically building on the turkeys-vote-for-Christmas trope : “northerners are thick”, “why would you vote against your class” etc. It’s an astonishing lack of self-awareness but more seriously, I think electoral failure is what makes them happy.

Mike Perkin
Mike Perkin
3 years ago

Yes, because activism and criticism are far easier than governing. They haven’t the basic intellect, worldly wisdom and strength of character on the front bench to run a bath, let alone a country.

Paul N
Paul N
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Perkin

Sorry – which of the parliamentary front benches are we talking about again?

Clem Alford
Clem Alford
3 years ago

Death wish??? Protest party?

Darren Turner
Darren Turner
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

You’ve summed Labour up in a nutshell Vikram

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

Humiliation is like shame. It is internally generated. Hence it requires insight, self-awareness and recognition of minimum standards below which one has fallen.People whose entire world view is built upon sanctimonious superiority over Guardian reading wokes cannot be humiliated.
The assertion is well written but involves no attempt to engage with the thoughts or beliefs of those it attacks or to provide any evidence or reasoning to support itself.

James Rowlands
James Rowlands
3 years ago

No working class family will vote for taking the knee, brainwashing kids to say that boys can be girls or that drugs, crime, crap schools and hospitals should be tolerated.
The only truly Wokist I know, works for the state (as does his wife and daughter) has an income of £85k and ( family income £200k) and lives in a new £million house a long way from any working class districts in his city. He completely lives and works in his own bubble and I don’t think he talks to anyone outside of it from one week to the next

Last edited 3 years ago by James Rowlands
Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  James Rowlands

No working class family will vote for taking the knee, brainwashing kids to say that boys can be girls or that drugs, crime, crap schools and hospitals should be tolerated.
I would rephrase that. “No working class family will vote.” The people I’ve talked to have no intention of voting because they have lost faith in all politicians. Therefore, middle class votes will win the day. Therefore, the woke movement will continue to progress and take over our lives. Older people who intend to vote say things like, “I’ve always voted Labour so I’ll carry on voting Labour.”
I live in an area which is strongly working class. People have given up trying to believe in a better future. The area candidate for the Assembly is 23 years old, trans, with bright red hair, the mayor of the city of Bangor. He will win.

Last edited 3 years ago by Chris Wheatley
Martin Price
Martin Price
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

The deputy mayor of Bangor has withdrawn their candidacy because someone has upset their feelings. Now guaranteed to win.

Mike Boosh
Mike Boosh
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

I don’t want to upvote this, because its quite depressing, but I think you’re right.

Hilary Easton
Hilary Easton
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Boosh

My feelings exactly

Josie Bowen
Josie Bowen
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Boosh

Same here.

Paul Blakemore
Paul Blakemore
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

I think this comment speaks very accurately about the current political scene: that the ability of the Tories to lose an upcoming election (at some point) will be more significant than Labour’s ability to win. I don’t disagree with what Franklin says, or with the other comments on here, but the current Tory government owes much more to Brexit and the popularity of Boris than to any innate competence or attractiveness to voters. It seemed easy to believe in the days of the Cameron coalition that the Tories could never again enjoy a majority: primarily because of the demographics of high housing costs. Cameron inadvertently created Brexit; which has won-over the votes of many former Labour supporters, for now, but this will wear off. When the more traditional Tories stab Boris in the back; when (if) levelling up fails to materialise; when millions of voters stay at home because no party represents them; Labour will return to power.
The only alternative is for the Conservatives to succeed in re-forging an economy that works for the many. What is the likelihood of that?

James Chater
James Chater
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Blakemore

As irritating as it may seem, a functioning adversarial-based liberal democracy ensures civic engagement and freedom. Only tyrants like chronically dysfunctional oppositions.
Correct analysis of the Tory government, Boris Johnson and Brexit, which without Johnson campaigning to leave in the first place, would not have happened.
Johnson should not be surprised to be ‘stabbed in the back’, as all Tories appear to carry swords, to live or die by. After all, he did a pretty good job on Theresa May.
Yes, it would be extraordinary and fly in the face of conservative capitalist orthodoxy if the Tories re-forged the economy to work for the ‘many’. Trifles for Tory-supporting towns will not be enough.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

It was Farage who got rid of Theresa May. And the fact is that she did a great deal to stab herself, presumably with those kitten heels.

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Supposedly Barnier liked those kitten heels. Couldn‘t take his eyes off the “elegant“ Theresa May… 🙂

Phil Mac
Phil Mac
3 years ago

As she signed every document he passed across the table for her.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Her ”Mum” Dance at Tory Conference in 2016? deservedly sealed her fate,her poisonous ”Surrender treaty” and Coup d’etat attempt to derail brexit coupled with nincompoops ”Rejoiners” including Sir Kneeler helped Tubby Boris to 2019 Landslide, Post SARS2 Boris is globalist, Devios,, Green obsessed ,if He dips in polls,The Tory Rejoin grandees will Replace him…

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Blakemore

I’m afraid Labour,Lib-dems,Tories,SNP Plaid, are ALL equally unattractive, A Moderate Left of Centre SDP may well surge in the future,but those correspondents,who say people have No faith in our decrepid 3 political is on the Money,from Voters I recently met

Last edited 3 years ago by Robin Lambert
Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Plenty of working class Londoners will be voting.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
3 years ago
Reply to  James Rowlands

Good comment, but “taking the knee” inside quote marks, please.

Last edited 3 years ago by Drahcir Nevarc
David Boulding
David Boulding
3 years ago
Reply to  James Rowlands

Every day I drive through rural Kent taking my child to school and back through a forst of Vote Conservative signs. There’s also a beautiful Tudor mansion I pass which is the only Vote Labour sign I ever see. Clearly this is some overpaid public sector worker rich enough to want socialism.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  David Boulding

Indeed. I have never been rich enough to be able to afford a Labour government.

Clem Alford
Clem Alford
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Tony Blair comes to mind. Expensive war in Iraq. Blair’s personal wealth is currently estimated at ÂŁ150,000,000. He owns dozens of houses which he rents out. Remember that story years ago about his son studying in Bristol living rent free in one of his houses and all his student mates paying high rents!!!?

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Clem Alford

Funniest thing Was Cherie(Blair) Pleading at Press conference,to leave her Son alone,as he had left ”Home” at 18 the first time! He also was found drunk in Streatham,and Police Officer Moved on after reporting it!!

Clem Alford
Clem Alford
3 years ago
Reply to  David Boulding

No the owner probably rents it out and the tenant is hoping Labour will rehouse!!!!!!dream on.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  David Boulding

You are Lucky to have ‘rural Kent’ In East Midlands,Tories are busy buying up Farmland,to destroy Countryside,with massive housing,with No Schools,A&E Units,Parks or thought for drainage or House prices …

Vivek Rajkhowa
Vivek Rajkhowa
3 years ago

Don’t quite get why the British empire must be confronted as if it’s some sort of ugly beast. It’s a part of our history, yes, but we’re not living it now. My life hasn’t been impacted by it, nor have most people’s

David J
David J
3 years ago
Reply to  Vivek Rajkhowa

And there is a lot of the Empire’s story to be proud of, not least the years spent by HMS Trincomalee on anti-slavery patrol.
It’s a ship that’s been beautifully preserved, and is currently on public display in… Hartlepool.

Vivek Rajkhowa
Vivek Rajkhowa
3 years ago
Reply to  David J

Definitely, the West Africa Squadron, the development of proper legal codes, a development of infrastructure.

Phil Mac
Phil Mac
3 years ago
Reply to  David J

And the small matter that everywhere we went we appear to have left behind a Parliamentary democracy they didn’t have before. And cricket, obviously.
Meanwhile, Spain left behind nothing but a pile of dictators.

Mark H
Mark H
3 years ago
Reply to  Vivek Rajkhowa

In Africa at least the British empire waded into areas that were frequently at war, basically replacing tribal war with colonial war. But once its hegemony had been established that enabled people to live in relative peace. While they were certainly under-privileged compared to the new colonial rulers, they were just as powerless as under the previous tribal rulers.
That doesn’t excuse individual British commanders who ordered massacres, but on the whole the British empire’s involvement in Africa was a Good Thing.
(good read on this topic: “The Scramble for Africa” by Thomas Pakenham)

Vivek Rajkhowa
Vivek Rajkhowa
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark H

I’d agree with you. And in India (where I originate from), they removed the corrupt and stagnant bureaucracy of the Mughal Empire and brought in new innovations. Yes, there were harsh measures and harsh impacts of the Empire, such as the famines and the plunder of India’s resources, but there were also benefits. A proper legal code-replacing an out of date legal code from Alamgir I’s time-, railways, transport, proper roads etc.

James Chater
James Chater
3 years ago
Reply to  Vivek Rajkhowa

Vivek, I think we can confront and acknowledge the bad things about Empire – slavery and indenture – certainly not equivocate on them; at the same time work for a truly inclusive culture, acknowledging where this is happening now.

Last edited 3 years ago by James Chater
Clem Alford
Clem Alford
3 years ago
Reply to  Vivek Rajkhowa

A lot of nations have had empires in history. The British one was the biggest in recent history. It bankrupted itself fighting German fascism that also wanted a piece of the empire action as did Japan. Italy had a big one in the past and didn’t really have the stomach to fight for another one.
America after WW2 took on the mantle of the new world order and global policeman. Spain and Portugal were in on the game too. It just so happened the Brits were better at it. Russia really didn’t need an empire as it has the biggest land mass on the planet. Be interesting to see what happens with China.

Vivek Rajkhowa
Vivek Rajkhowa
3 years ago
Reply to  Clem Alford

Very true.

Colin Haller
Colin Haller
3 years ago
Reply to  Clem Alford

The US is smarter — they rule via debt. See Michael Hudson’s “Superimperialism”

Last edited 3 years ago by Colin Haller
Paul Blakemore
Paul Blakemore
3 years ago
Reply to  Clem Alford

Russia is the most successful European imperial power in history: look at a map of ‘Russia’/Muskovy in the 16th century as it embarked on its great expansion eastwards, and most of which it has retained…

CL van Beek
CL van Beek
3 years ago

I am not from England and did not know about these local elections, but now I understand why the media was suddenly trying to create scandals around Boris Johnson. It was just feeding the narrative* in an attempt to influence voters.

  • todays media does not bring you the news, they bring fictional stories intended to herd the sheeple who read / watch them.
Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
3 years ago
Reply to  CL van Beek

Well spotted.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  CL van Beek

No. The media has been exposing examples of Tory corruption, incompetence, cronyism and Johnson’s inability to be honest or transparent for years.
And on this election morning, Johnson got to send in the gunboats to stand up to the perfidious French. He’s a lucky blighter.

Last edited 3 years ago by Last Jacobin
Brian Burnell
Brian Burnell
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

I’d be very surprised if Boris had’nt slipped a backhander to that French Fisheries Minister who gave Boris his opportunity to send a gunboat one day before polling day. To much of a coincidence for me.

Mark H
Mark H
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

He is exceptionally lucky because no matter how bad the Tories get Labour always manage to go one better (well, worse).
That thumping majority was as much gifted by Labour as won by the Tories.

Peter Dunn
Peter Dunn
3 years ago
Reply to  CL van Beek

You should be granted citizenship on that observation alone.
(If you want it..i.e.)

Niobe Hunter
Niobe Hunter
3 years ago
Reply to  CL van Beek

I think they got it wrong about the wallpaper. Here in B&Q land, we admire anyone who can someone else to pay for their decorating.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago

Unless Labor renounce wokism they will continue to lose voters. Ordinary people are frightened by it.

David J
David J
3 years ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

Not so much frightened, as weary of being browbeaten constantly by minority harridans, with voices amplified beyond reason by social media.

Steve Wesley
Steve Wesley
3 years ago
Reply to  David J

To say nothing of our state funded media.

Gavin Stewart-Mills
Gavin Stewart-Mills
3 years ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

The article posits that Starmer is doomed because of his association with Brexit. But I suspect Starmer ‘taking the knee’ had a far bigger negative impact amongst the red wall / heartland type voter under discussion.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

I think they’re actually quite insulted by it, and are right to feel thus, because insult is intended. Payback happens in the polling booth.

Last edited 3 years ago by Jon Redman
Alex Wilkinson
Alex Wilkinson
3 years ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

Let’s hope Labour don’t catch on. A lot of the woke stuff is founded on denial anyway, so there’s a good chance they’re going to ‘woke’ themselves out of existence, and good riddance.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

Not much frightened but disgusted, repulsed, sickened.

Dave Bradley
Dave Bradley
3 years ago

I don’t think it matters either way whether Labour is humiliated as the author points out there are two factions in the Labour party and already the Corbynites are pointing the fact that under Corbyn Hartlepool was won in 2015 and 2017 (it doesn’t matter about the The Brexit Party as they right wing in the Corbynites eyes it’s easy to pretend they don’t exist ) so if Starmer is humiliated then the left wing will take over then every time they lose an election i can guarantee it won’t be their fault it will be
1 We weren’t radical enough
2 A hostile right wing media
3 The voters were at fault for being to stupid to vote the right way
4 asteroid strike or similar
The point i’m making is this Labour as a working class party is gone and it won’t be coming back why because no one in the Labour party knows or understands what the working class are they any more they are just a group of people that they did research on to get their PHD when at uni

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave Bradley

The left sees many things that simply don’t exist. The existence of a working class; racism; the concept of “government money”; the idea that taxing people creates jobs; all these are totally false, yet central to the leftist mindset.

Barry Wetherilt
Barry Wetherilt
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave Bradley

Even with the lowering of education standards resulting in a plethora of ‘social science’ PhD’s there aren’t many in the Labour Party that can even manage that – more likely a degree at the University of Wherever in some crap subject or, of course, a law degree/PPE.

Last edited 3 years ago by Barry Wetherilt
Peter Dunn
Peter Dunn
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave Bradley

I resent Labour&its public sector/charity employees deeply because they are payed via our taxes and do absolutely NOTHING to deserve it.

Clem Alford
Clem Alford
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave Bradley

There is still a working class. Problem is there is no solidarity and no honest leadership, as they all compete with one another to get on or in the case of the average wage earner, survive.
The left have always been divided. It is just that the recent history of Labour has it has been hijacked by people like Blair , Brown and Mandelson. And others before that like Kinnock.now politics is a career and family inheritance. Kinnocks son is an MP and his wife was until recently an MEP. Bet they were pissed off with a big salary leaving the household. Labour is full of opportunists.
Before that Gaitskill and others like George Brown and on and on.

Robin Banks
Robin Banks
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave Bradley

Your post would be a lot clearer if you used punctuation.

John Chestwig
John Chestwig
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave Bradley

Absolutely right. It doesn’t matter who their leader is, too many in the party despise the working class and are willing to sacrifice them to achieve aims which actively damage their former voting base, like the desire for mass immigration, which drives down working class wages.
Current Labour are one of the least pro-working class main parties out there. The other ones are all the other main parties.
This country needs a new party, holding many of the beliefs of the Brexit Party, but without the baggage of Brexit, which would hold it back in the eyes of some of its potential supporters.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

So many articles and podcasts about the collapse or death of the Labour Party this week. I love it! Peter’s suggestions for their route back to power are probably sensible, but let’s enjoy this while we can. And don’t forget they will still have a free run at turning London into even more of a blood soaked dystopia for the next few years.

James Chater
James Chater
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

With respect, I have voted for Sadiq Khan and for Labour London Assembly members. I did not have in mind ‘a blood-soaked dystopia for the next few years’ when I voted.

David Boulding
David Boulding
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

Maybe that was not what you had in mind when you voted for Labour in London but that “blood-soaked dystopia” is what you have thanks to Khan and your vote.

James Chater
James Chater
3 years ago
Reply to  David Boulding

With respect, I think you need to examine your comment. It’s quite a gratuitous slur. My vote has no bearing on the situation. It’s undeniable knife-crime is a major problem in London and Sadiq Khan could be more aggressive in his responses and ways of dealing with it as his predicted lower vote share should hopefully communicate to him.

Last edited 3 years ago by James Chater
Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

And to be fair, James, it will be black and Asian youths who continue to stab each other to death on Khan’s watch. This won’t affect you at all.
I shall vote for Count Binface.

John Rodger
John Rodger
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

Well, that’s what you got.

Mike Boosh
Mike Boosh
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

I voted for a libertarian Conservative government and got placed under house arrest, subjected to endless state propaganda to induce mindless fear in the population and now face the prospect of a “passport” to go to the pub or a football match. What you vote for almost never matches up to what you get.

James Chater
James Chater
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Boosh

Nice one 🙂
I am OK with limited house arrest and a bit of ‘mindless fear’ if it keeps the hospitals clear and working.
Pub passports are unlikely to happen – we are used to distancing. We will no doubt have to book a table 4 weeks in advance though. Booking a pub table…? What?

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

Are you unaware of the killing of a young an outside Brent Cross a couple of days ago, and the killing of a father in east London last weekend? As I’m sure you know, these are not isolated incidents.

Terry Needham
Terry Needham
3 years ago

“….Labour would stand aside to give other progressive parties a free run in a defined number of constituencies,…”
This is desperate stuff. What makes the author think that I, as a voter, would go along with being manipulated in this way? He is making the age-old mistake of believing that votes belong to parties, and that these votes may be disposed of as party leaders think most profitable.

Last edited 3 years ago by Terry Needham
Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Terry Needham

And he’s also assuming that the voting system doesn’t alter how people vote.
I have voted Labour in the past. I despise the Labour Party to the utmost, but living as I then did in a LibDem:Lab marginal, doing so was the most damaging way to cast my vote. It helped to ensure both leftist parties fought each other, thus diverting resources away from Tory marginals they might otherwise have won. Of course this would mistakenly be regarded as support for Labour.

David J
David J
3 years ago

Starmer lost any possibility of my respect when he became the knee-bender – and in public, too.

keith Smith
keith Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  David J

Starmer is best referred to as Sir Kneel in my view.

Niobe Hunter
Niobe Hunter
3 years ago
Reply to  David J

Considering that the terrible twins Dawn and Diane can presumably get past his security……

andrew harman
andrew harman
3 years ago

A friend of mine joined the Labour Party a few years back. She is left of centre but moderately so and could not stand the whole Corbyn thing. She wanted to see if getting involved could draw Labour back from the abyss but was askance at what was discussed in local party meetings: Palestine, Cuba, trans / minority stuff.

Peter Dunn
Peter Dunn
3 years ago
Reply to  andrew harman

There you have it..

Richard Starkey
Richard Starkey
3 years ago
Reply to  andrew harman

Too many on Labour’s left despise the British flag but are happy to fly the Palestian one.

daniel Earley
daniel Earley
3 years ago

Could you please define what you mean by ‘progressive’ as many policies espoused by these left-wing parties will not lead to societies progress, they are regressive.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
3 years ago
Reply to  daniel Earley

“Progressive” abbreviates “so-called progressive”.

daniel Earley
daniel Earley
3 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

Could I further abbreviate it to ‘idiot’?

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
3 years ago
Reply to  daniel Earley

I certainly won’t stand in your way.

David Boulding
David Boulding
3 years ago
Reply to  daniel Earley

Quite! A much abused word in the hands of the Left.

Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
3 years ago

The history of the Labour Party is a fascinating example of an utterly contemptuous left parasiting itself on to the back of working people. The likes of Keir Hardie (a Methodist lay preacher) were not motivated by political dogma or the Communist Manifesto. They were loyal to their country and wanted merely to make some much needed reforms, not to burn it to the ground and start all over again. It’s often forgotten that it wasn’t until 1918 that the party even declared itself socialist under the malign influence of those two industrial strength liars, Sydney and Beatrice Webb. Even then, “socialist” had a uniquely British definition which, as the saying goes, owed much more to Methodism than Marxism. Labour won the battle it was set up to fight decades ago. What’s left now are the commissars and the microaggressors.

mike otter
mike otter
3 years ago

The current Labour Party sound and dress like the younger members of the 1950s Politburo as showcased in Armando Ianucci’s film “The death of Stalin”. They adopt modern “street” fashion the way Mikoyan and Kruschev wear US/Italian style mobster suits in the film. Most Labour members are faux gangsters like rap artists but some are genuinely dark characters. If they ever got a sniff of power you’d see a gangster regime modelled on Stalin or Castro but a lot less competent.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago

The fact that the Labour Party and the left generally are so splintered is because they’re founded on hate. If you think it’s fine to hate Conservatives – and they do – then obviously you’re a short step away from hating enablers of it, such as other leftists who don’t agree with your every hatred.
Hence you have soft, medium and hard left, and they’re all riven with hatred not just for each other, but among themselves.
About the only thing that unites them is their belief in similar myths; in things everyone else knows don’t exist. They think there’s still a cloth-capped working class. They think there’s a “Sikh vote”. They think there’s a class struggle. They think that all black people are identical whether from west Africa or the Caribbean. They think you can generalise about people based on gross characteristics.
Perhaps the most fatal myth they buy into is that anyone needs them.

George Glashan
George Glashan
3 years ago

coffin nail, meet hammer. Labour needs to die so that something better can take its place. Its a zombie coalition of the separately unelectable.

hugh bennett
hugh bennett
3 years ago
Reply to  George Glashan

yep…Labour is slowly, excruciatingly, publicly becoming unconnected and of no real raison d`etre. Cracks are appearing everywhere along its hull and the ship is falling apart and weighted down by its mouldy cargo of olde dated/olde fashioned ideas it will sink the quicker ( but can I hear the band still playing the “red flag” though ??). Reaching for life boats like wokeism is a sticking plaster over a sabre slash for it is devoid of forgiveness or redemption and not the current piquant of the ex-redwallers !

Last edited 3 years ago by hugh bennett
Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

It’s hard to see a route back to power for Labour when the current govt is about as left-wing/socialist as you can get i.e authoritarian, corrupt, throwing extraordinary amounts of money we don’t have at people and things we don’t need, open door immigration, persecuting small businesses. How do you get to the left of all that?

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I wouldn’t put it exactly that way but agree the most of the Tory Party is motivated by nothing more ideological than staying in power.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

I don’t think left/wing socialist necessarily equates to being corrupt, authoritarian, or persecuting small businesses.
I’d like to see the sort of government that recognised we live in a grossly unequal society and used democratic means to implement humane measures such as income, wealth and power redistribution to reduce that inequality.
I think our best chance of getting a government committed to that in the short term is through the Labour Party.

Peter Dunn
Peter Dunn
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Get past Labour =Rotherham first.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Do you not recognise that the root cause of gross inequality is the large number of bame mass-immigrants imported into the country by leftwing immigration policies?

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago

No, I don’t. That grossly unequal society isn’t restricted to being within any one country. The inequality (between and within countries) is everywhere. It’s inequality driving mass migration not the other way round.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Are you aware at all of the disproportionately large costs thirdworld mass-immigration incurs in any country?

Chris Hopwood
Chris Hopwood
3 years ago

But Bojo has given residence rights to three million Hong Kong citizens and if he wants to get a trade deal with India – very important for the UK – that country will demand immigration rights for its citizens. As Annuntziata Rees Mogg (Jacob’s sister)said when she was BXP MEP people will have to get use to immigrants coming from different places.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Hopwood

Personally, i’m fine with the Hong Kongers. They flee a horrid communist regime. They are intelligent, civilised, hardworking people. They don’t breed like rabbits. In an ideal world we would be repatriating the equivalent number of thirdworlders to Africa & M.E. to make room for the Hong Kong refugees.

mike otter
mike otter
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

I think we can all agree that whatever government we want to see there needs to be a lot less of it?

Colin Haller
Colin Haller
3 years ago
Reply to  mike otter

This “the solution is always and everywhere less government” narrative is childish. The decision about what is and is not provided by government is properly the sphere of political economy and requires at minimum an understanding of the concept of natural monopoly.

Malcolm Powell
Malcolm Powell
3 years ago

Lets forget personalities and Leaders for a minute.
The Labour Party is now dominated by the middle class Liberal Left in the London Labour Partty. The policies needed to gain working class voters (e.g. jobs, houses) clash with the interests of the London Labour members (LGBT, BLM, Palestine Liberation etc).
There is no way that Labour can adopt the policies needed to be elected because of the power of the Liberal Left.
I cant see a way out

David Bell
David Bell
3 years ago

No, destruction of the Labour Party today will not wake it’s core vote up to reality. The real problem is Labour’s core vote is built around a city and large town metropolitan left who think Corbyn was the answer and see Starmer as the next best thing. They want taxes raised on the “rich” but don’t understand that under our tax law they are “rich” and they would end up much worse of. But the biggest problem Labour has is that core vote is hard core remian/rejoin and they believe that policy is a massive vote winner so will fight tooth and nail to keep it.
One of the outstanding features of the Eu Referendum result was the spread of the vote. Remain votes were concentrated in the middle class metropolitan left area (where Labour dominate now) while the leave vote was spread throughout the country. That means many remain voters don’t know any leave voters (or if they do the leave voter won’t admit or debate it knowing they will be ostracised by their former friends) so they can’t understand why someone wanted to leave the EU. These hard core Remain voters think they are the most open minded people out there but in reality are very narrow minded. They will not let Labour change because they think the world will change to meet them because, in their eyes, they are right.
The only way Labour can emerge from the mess Starmer help put them in is to first accept the world has moved on and they haven’t. That is impossible for an organisation that believes no one else has a right to an opinion they disagree with.

Gareth Young
Gareth Young
3 years ago

Labour can’t do Englishness.
I’ve seen two of videos promoted by Keir Starmer today. One mentions Britain, Scotland and Wales but not England; the other also refuses to mention England but mentions Britain and tells us that the Conservatives are letting the West Midlands down.
Labour seem to be comfortable telling us that so-and-so is letting Britain down, or Scotland down, or the North East down but uncomfortable about even mentioning England (unless it’s in the context of St George’s Day or sport).
Well, if you want English votes, tell us how the Conservatives are letting England down; tell us your vision for England (if you have one); tell us how you will make England a better, fairer, more prosperous country.
Jarvis is correct that Labour can’t do patriotism. But at least they try to speak for Britain and evoke an idea of Britain. To England, they have nothing to say. They have policies on Health, Education, Social Care, etc. that are policies for England (rather than Britain) but they refuse to couch them as such.
72% of the people of Hartlepool identify as English; 50% as British (according to ONS, 2020).

Andy Paul
Andy Paul
3 years ago
Reply to  Gareth Young

The Labour Party has had a record of late of denying the English even exist as a people and a culture, so it is hardly a surprise that they “can’t do Englishness”.

Mike Boosh
Mike Boosh
3 years ago

The idea of a wolf in sheep’s clothing “pretend patriotic” labour party gaining power with the support of nutcase leftist parties in University towns and London is worrying. Imagine the nonsense they’ll have to implement to keep the greens and momentum types on board. Let’s hope the electorate would be smart enough to see through such a ploy… Though I’m not holding my breath

Neil Wilson
Neil Wilson
3 years ago

“They can be beaten, but only by an alliance of smaller parties, of which Labour would be the obviously leading member.”
Which would be a complete misunderstanding of the way that the British constitution works.
In the UK the political parties form their coalitions *before* the election, not afterwards. That way voters know what they are voting for – rather than ending up with an unholy mess like the 2010 coalition (where eliminating student fees, which the voters wanted, was dumped in favour of a pointless PR referendum, which the political wonks wanted. Which incidentally is also why PR doesn’t work. It puts the policy choices in the hands of politicians, not the people).
The British first past the post system politely reminds minor parties that they need to be part of a bigger coalition or they, and their supporters, will be completely ignored for failing to do what the British constitution requires them to do.
Compromise.

Last edited 3 years ago by Neil Wilson
Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Neil Wilson

But surely with the current British system the policy choices aren’t in the hands of the electorate as the majority of the electorate vote for different policies than the Government’s? And after a Government is formed with a majority they are under no obligation to do what they said they would do until the next election when they can again get elected on the basis of policies most people did not vote for.
I agree the 2010 coalition was an unholy mess. Essentially a coalition formed around the Lib Dem’s personal dislike of Gordon Brown and adoption of a fake austerity agenda which has since been disowned by all involved. I don’t think you can underestimate the sheer political incompetence of the coalition players, either. Nobody involved in it got what they wanted. Cameron lost on the EU, Clegg lost PR and any possible Lib Dem credibility for years and British politics became (and to some extent still is) a single issue affair.
I also agree with you on the need for compromise (which is presumably possible in Denmark because of, rather than despite, its PR electoral system).
The Labour Party has a split personality because its members actually care about politics and ideals and it has democratic processes for its internal management. The Tory Party maintains its relative apparent unity because its main concern is retaining power and it doesn’t let internal democracy get in the way of that.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

The Labour Party has a split personality because its members actually care about politics and ideals

LOL, coffee snort moment. You want to put more water in it, mate.
The Labour hates almost literally everybody, and wants to take everything they own off them because 1/ they’re all gammon racists anyway, and 2/ the Parteh can spend your money better than you can.

Peter Dunn
Peter Dunn
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

“because its members actually care about politics and ideals”…correction “because its members SAY they care about politics and ideals..”
Where was the uproar when Sarah Champion got the boot? (Taking into account just WHY she got the boot)

Tom Graham
Tom Graham
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

The Labour Party has a split personality because its members actually care about politics and ideals and it has democratic processes for its internal management.

Wrong, the “split personality” is because people on the left hate everybody, including each other. It is their one constant characteristic. Like in the Monty Python sketch.
Their “democracy” is in fact a system where the most fanatical, obsessive and extremist gain power in the party simply by wearing everyone else down: people with lives and families and real jobs just don’t have the time to compete in the politicking.

Michael Joseph
Michael Joseph
3 years ago

Labour would stand aside to give other progressive parties a free run in a defined number of constituencies, concentrated in the big cities and university towns.
That would be a sensible way forward for the centre left. But I can predict with near certainty that something along those lines will never, ever happen here. The Labour Party will never willingly stand aside for anybody. Have you met Labour Party members? Tribalistic to the point of insanity, morally superior and profoundly uninterested in meeting people halfway. They could lose 3/4 of the seats they currently hold and it wouldn’t make a blind bit of difference to their approach.

Nick Taylor
Nick Taylor
3 years ago

Every week I participate in a Zoom call with 10 blokes who are all from traditional Labour constituencies. All are early retired, all worked in the water industry, all bought shares, and all when asked about which party they support still spit venom about Corbyn and haven’t got a clue what Starmer stands for. They also use their second names whereas with the PM its always Boris. They don’t lack intelligence but they seem to be able to drift by corruption, failings, chumocracy, buffoonry etc BUT can ascribe total credit for say the vaccine programme to our bumbling PM. It beggars belief but Labour are dead in the water at present and I actually think they will never regain trust. I am very pessimistic and having lived through Thatcher in a mining town and in Little Moscow as she dubbed my home city I still cannot forgive Labour for letting us down as follows (1) militant and the corruption of Hatton and his current mates who are still at it, (2) Blair for power and religion going to his head, (3) Brown because you were never ever a leader, (4) Milliband likewise (5) Corbyn a man who has never led anything in his life who felt he could be a world leader – joke – so, they are a complete shambles and joke and have left us in this Tory hell.

Last edited 3 years ago by Nick Taylor
Jez O'Meara
Jez O'Meara
3 years ago

I used to be a labour voter in my younger years, I suspect many here could say the same. As you grow older the “realities” both good and bad, of life and family and society become far more apparent.

Labour as a party lose people to conservatism as they grow older because the whole message they give is not based in a reality experienced by the vast majority of people in the west.

Labour in Hartlepool and other red wall towns in the past rely upon what I’d call “inherited” support. I remember a common saying Liverpool amongst very ordinary people “Red in Football, Red in Politics” for instance.

But people are waking up and growing up, ESPECIALLY to this labour of knee bending, identity pigeon holers. The conservatives would also do well not to tip toe that line as time goes on. I suspect they will.

I will never again vote for a party that takes knees to group politics or teaches my young primary children that they ought to feel ashamed of the Britain they live in.

I’m not even “British” I’m southern Irish, I love this country and it breaks my heart to see parties and individuals and “identity groups” tear at its soul and decency. They wouldnt know decency if it started a riot in their yoghurt knitting, kale sandwich eating lunchtimes.

Last edited 3 years ago by Jez O'Meara
William Murphy
William Murphy
3 years ago

Starmer is not “excessively repulsive”?? One photograph (Sir Kneel paying craven tribute to Black Lives Matter) tells us all we need to know. Next useless leader, please.

keith Smith
keith Smith
3 years ago

I have always wondered what progressives are progressing towards? Social Justice? What does that mean in practical terms? No one ever defines it, well not that I have heard or seen.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  keith Smith

That’s the point. If you define something, then there is a goal at which success can be recognized. But activism has no time for goals. It is a racket, an industry wherein the grievance must be perpetually stoked. There is no winning as sane people define it, just a perpetual reframing of the issue.

Peter Dunn
Peter Dunn
3 years ago
Reply to  keith Smith

The word was probably found in the waste-bin of a Robin Di Angelo type but has since been given dead sea scroll status..

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  keith Smith

‘justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society’
Justice is trickier to define but here’s one ‘Justice is a concept in ethics and law that means that people behave in a way that is fair, equal and balanced for everyone.’

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  keith Smith

Social Justice? What does that mean in practical terms? 

In short? Injustice. When they tack such a qualifier to a term, it negates (inverts) the meaning. Same as “political correctness” means historical incorrectness, geographical~, biological ~, ethical~, medical~, etc. incorrectness. Social Justice is the very opposite of natural justice.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago
Reply to  keith Smith

Social justice is just the modern-day version of medieval justice.

mike otter
mike otter
3 years ago

I think the wokist left has already set the course of events with their unbending fascist will: If you do not support their pure ideology 100% you an enemy of the movement. So if you are pro welfare, pro restraining the worst excesses of the free market, more focused on equal outcome than opportunity you are not welcome on the British/US/Anzac left. You need to be pro FGM, pro ISIS and accept their is no such thing as a woman to be one of the chosen. Its good news (though a surprise) that the Danish left is still relatively normal. I think thats the case in much of Central, East and Southern Europe and beyond.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  mike otter

Yes. The no true Scotsman fallacy writ large. The right has its own issues with it, at least in the US. But it is less a group think chamber than the left, as cancel culture demonstrates. Leftists in otherwise good standing are treated like heretics if they dare deviate from any aspect of the dogma.

Clem Alford
Clem Alford
3 years ago

My lord I really hope that Islamic Trojan Horse, Saddiq Khan London’s mayor does not get another 4 years of our taxes to waste on the promotion of Sharia and get hold of a firmer grip over us all.
The Labour Party in their naivity think he is their token ethnic represntative but in reality it is the other way round. Lutfer Rahman and Tower Hamlets should have shown that.
As a white ethnic minority in London, he will no doubt get back in again and then all the street names will be changed and London history will be destroyed both good and bad. My uncle who fought and got injured in Normandy in WW2 fighting fascism, will be turning in his grave!!

Last edited 3 years ago by Clem Alford
andrew harman
andrew harman
3 years ago

I hold no candle for the Labour Party at all – although I was once a supporter – but we have been here before. In the 1980s, Labour was obliterated in the south of England and after the 1992 election it was being asked whether they could ever win an election by themselves again. Five years later they won in a landslide. It is a question as to whether Labour can turn it around this time but it does seem to take repeated defeats for them to learn their lesson. Blair did establish a conversation with Ashdown in the mid 1990s but of course jettisoned him when it became apparent he did not need him.
There is a precedent for a Lib-Lab Pact and not the one many may be thinking of.. Rather it was the agreement of 1903 which was a factor in the 1906 Liberal victory. However Labour appears to be more tribal than ever now so am not sure they would do that. Added to this, the still very much present Corbyn / Momentum element is ideologically inflexible.
The question of ideology and just how socialist they should be has always been the faultline within the Labour movement, going right back to their genesis in 1900 when the SDF refused to compromise and walked.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  andrew harman

In 1906, mercifully only 60% of male householders over the age of 21 had the vote.

andrew harman
andrew harman
3 years ago

True enough. In the days I used to canvas for a friend (former Lib Dem MP) I used to come home thinking universal suffrage was a bad idea.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  andrew harman

In the fabled days of the Roman Republic the Candidates* themselves remained remote from voters and refrained from public presentations/rallies.
In fact formal speech-making was at one point forbidden in an effort to focus on the policies rather than the charisma of the Candidate himself.

Perhaps ‘we’ could learn from this?

(*Candidus = brilliant white, describing the Toga they wore for Elections)

andrew harman
andrew harman
3 years ago

But the Republic eventually collapsed under its own weight.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  andrew harman

Attempted to reply, but felled by the Censor!

Peter Dunn
Peter Dunn
3 years ago

Woops though that said “felled by Caesar..”

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter Dunn

Very good!

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago

Commodus did for Rome…..Russell Crowe couldn’t turn it around from the grave!

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  andrew harman

Only to be succeeded by a decided improvement, the Empire!

David Boulding
David Boulding
3 years ago
Reply to  andrew harman

But when there is no universal sufferage anti-democratic monsters like the EU come into being.

James Slade
James Slade
3 years ago
Reply to  andrew harman

A progressive alliance is easily defeated by the simple slogan of vote lib dem and get Labour. The Liberals in the last 40 years only do well when it’s safe to let Labour into government. The first target of Tories wasn’t the Red Wall but the Liberal stamping grounds of the South West. Frome used to be a tory/ld marginal now it has a 25,000 tory majority.

Any government elected with support of the SNP wins once. Labour has only achieved a victory that hasn’t relied on Scottish seats twice. A much more realistic policy is for Labour to recognise that the next election is gone and spend their energy and money and breaking the SNP’s hold on Scotland. 40 seats back means they have to win less seats in England.

Steve Wesley
Steve Wesley
3 years ago
Reply to  andrew harman

‘Lib-Lab pact’ ….?? Oh, the Lib Dems. I’d forgotten about them, as indeed has most of the country. They’re even more strung out on insane woke agendas than are the Labour Party.
What will be interesting to see is what, if any, gains are made by The Reform Party. Obviously none in London, ( sorry Laurence ) however their performance in the Red Wall constituencies now that their figurehead has exited the stage.

andrew harman
andrew harman
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Wesley

Was actually the Liberal Party then. The Liberals only came into being in 1859 but were themselves beset by faultlines and only held together by the glue that Gladstone’s personality. By 1916, effectively, they had ceased to be a party of government.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Wesley

Reform Could Mopp up disastified Tories,;.SDP likewise Labour voters,but Mainstream media,Likes Boring 3 ring Circus we have now ,with its ”Climate Change” Nonsense

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago

The problem with implementing this strategy for Labour is that it doesn’t notice, much less take into account, the fundamental difference between the left and right mindsets.
For the left there is one acceptable view on anything. If you hold any other view whatsoever, you are a racist, a fascist, a Tory, a transphobe and a blackleg. That’s why they are splintered. They’re structurally fragmented, even within separate slices – so you have Leninists versus Stalinists versus Maoist versus Trotskyites within the hard left, just as you have SDP versus LibDem versus moderate Labour nearer the middle. These people are intoxicated with righteous self-regard and mutual loathing. Whenever one hears any of these clowns appealing for “unity”, what they’re actually appealing for is conformity – to their own narrow views.
The right, on the other hand, is tolerant, welcoming and inclusive, and hence finds no difficulty accommodating David Davis, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Dominic Grieve within the same party. To the extent these people do disagree, the factions – most obviously Europhile versus Europhobe – are found in most other parties too.
The type of electoral alliance proposed above is simply unworkable given this. If the factions of the left were capable of overlooking each other’s racism and class treachery in the way necessary, they wouldn’t be separate smithereens in the first place.

mike otter
mike otter
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Absolutely – because the “pure ideology” does not really exist: there is no test to prove the members’ purity. Therefore all members of the cult can be measured against it and found wanting. Which they do, constantly, to each other at the expense of electoral success. That explains why much of the Left favours electoral fraud and violence over democracy. They realise their are few voters left daft enough to fall for their lies, envy and spite not just in UK but over much of the world.

William Murphy
William Murphy
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

I recall a small “party” in Reading in the 1980s. This Marxist group had around 20 members. Then there was an internal dispute and there were two micro parties, one with 13, the other with 7 members. It was a living example of the Monty Python Judean Liberation Front (No!! The Liberation Front of Judea!!).

Steve Gwynne
Steve Gwynne
3 years ago

Clearly the British Left in general and The Woke Party in particular have absolutely no practical idea of what a sustainable, resilient and sufficient future for Britain is beyond the rhetoric of the Green Industrial Revolution.

They do not wish to acknowledge the hard choices in relation to national ecological, economic and cultural sustainability and instead default to abstract globalist solutions without explaining how these create ecological, economic and cultural sustainability at the national level.

Their crisis is a crisis of knowledge and a crisis of scale and whilst a heavy defeat might be a wake-up call, they will still nevertheless wait for the eureka moment that all globalists are dogmatically waiting for.

David K. Warner
David K. Warner
3 years ago

Roll up, roll up, it’s time for that perennial metropolitan pastime brought about by the electoral cycle, in which middle class politicians and journalists discuss the working class in the manner of colonial magistrates worrying why the natives are so uppity, but without having to bother to talk to, or, far worse, actually listen to the poor benighted proles.
And how nice to see Dan Jarvis once more, Ă  la Johnny Mercer for the Blues, providing evidence of the Marshal Ney standard that bravery rarely correlates with intelligence.
For my part, once (if ever again) they reopen, I cannot wait to chat in pubs with like-minded fellows about how today’s working class was forged by Tolpuddle, Chartism, and Arthur Scargill, that is if I can ever get the barflies to stop talking about Net Zero Carbon, the Green New Deal, transgenderism, structural inequalities, and intersectionality.
We can be proud today that in a society where working class people have carried most of the burden of the costs of lockdown in terms of reduced incomes, lost jobs, reduced access to health care, greater social exclusion and isolation, and diminished educational opportunities, that the concerns of ordinary hardworking people, as politicians so unpatronisingly describe them, are understood by the leaders of our three major national political parties, an Old Etonian, a Knight Commander of the Bath and Queen’s Counsel, and a Knight Bachelor.
Whereat Vox Populi, Vox Dei, as we Whiggishly wag in ‘The Dog and Duck’?

Huw Hannigan Popp
Huw Hannigan Popp
3 years ago

That taking the knee photo was a big mistake. One of the underexposed things about identity politics is right can use it to their own advantage as wedge issues. I expect to see that shared again and again if starmer leads Labour into an election.

Malcolm Powell
Malcolm Powell
3 years ago

From what I see and hear, traditional Labour voters in the North and elsewhere have no appetite for (and are often strongly opposed to) policies allowing trans-women to use womens toilets and participate in womens sports. However, this seems to be the most important policy of all for many Labour Party members. Lisa Nandy even talked about expelling party members who didnt support such policies

Hugh R
Hugh R
3 years ago

I can see the logic of the header, but it is just stating the blëÚding obvious.

They still won’t get it. Has Clive Lewis learned a single objective lesson since the ‘worst defeat since the mid- thirties’, for instance?!!

The party is run for and by the bourgeoisie, and the working classes have rejected that group’s wokery and open-borders/globalist narrative.

Its finished, and it isn’t pretty.

Last edited 3 years ago by Hugh R
Peter Scott
Peter Scott
3 years ago

Mr Franklin writes “the Danish Social Democrats have gained support by combining welfarist policies with a tough line on immigration and national security”.
Quite.
Nearly all the 650 seats in the House of Commons are available to a party – almost inevitably a NEW party – which is roundly opposed to the following:
Legal and illegal mass immigration
The islamization of the United Kingdom
Years of lawfare (hyper-demanding regulation and employment-legislation+lawyers-in-Sue-Grabbit-and-Runne-mode) and sheer capitalist greed sending jobs abroad, leaving ever more people here who don’t start life with money or privilege having to scratch around the bottom of the barrel for employments in the gig economy – jobs which pay little, have no prospects and usually confer little sense of human worth on those who do them.
All the political parties currently in the House of Commons have been complicit, actively and by default, in permitting these horrors over the course of the past 24 years.
By these means they all keep selling the British people down the river, towards the extinction of their country, their culture, their future on all counts (inc. their economic subsistence, let alone prosperity).
In consequence the 5 parties currently in the HoC are swinging around like gibbeted corpses in a void of meaninglessness for most ordinary citizens: the ‘Conservatives’ (who never conserve anything), ‘Labour’ (who don’t seem ever to have perceived that their name signifies ‘work’ and if that is not for people not well-off, what work IS in question?), the ‘Nationalists’ (who want to leave the British Union and become county boroughs of the new undemocratic dictatorial bullying protectionist and economically declining European Empire), the LibDems (whose furious treatment of the Referendum result in 2016 exposed their rejection of the principles both of liberty and democracy), and the Greens (who, in addition to their wild far loony left manifesto, produced in government – the City of Brighton – garbage piled high on the streets and vagrants sleeping in a multitude of doorways; so much for their environmental stewardship).
They should all be swept away and replaced by sane human beings with agendas that offer our nation hope and sanity.
Why the electorate carries on voting for any of them is above my understanding. Please will anybody explain this bizarre habit of the electorate to me?

Last edited 3 years ago by Peter Scott
Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

Few things are more difficult than convincing politicians of any stripe that they’re wrong. The party does not matter. There is a genetic inability on the part of the political class to acknowledge its shortcomings. Today, it’s Labor; in the future, it will be the right in need of a reckoning that will not come. Some of it is voters. We get so caught up in the tribal aspect – our team is superior. Because reasons. – that noticing results over rhetoric becomes difficult.

Hilary Easton
Hilary Easton
3 years ago

‘Labour is polarised between two kinds of wrong and unelectable’ spot on!

AC Harper
AC Harper
3 years ago

First they abandoned the working man, and I did not speak out—
   Because I was not a working man.
Then they abandoned feminism, and I did not speak out—
   Because I was not a feminist.
Then they abandoned the Jews, and I did not speak out—
   Because I was not a Jew.
Then they abandoned the Red Wall—and there was no one left for Labour to speak for.

Duncan Jones
Duncan Jones
3 years ago

Have Labour passed their sell by date? Originally conceived in 1900 to represent the working class
and protect their interests against their employers.
A much needed function at the time but now workers rights are firmly enshrined in law. Beyond implementing the NHS after the war there is no notable achievement you can attribute to Labour. Whereas failings would take more space than is available here! The intellectual deficit evident in today’s Labour Party frighten many voters. Many MPs seem even unhinged. Starmer had an opportunity to remedy this with party discipline but he soon realised he would be laughed at. Got heavy with RL-B yet supported Dawn Butler ripping into the Met! Add Khan’s disastrous tenure as Mayor and what have you got?
Labour and disaster are ready bedfellows!

John Riordan
John Riordan
3 years ago

The progressive alliance idea surely can’t work, for the simple reason that the Red Wall voters won’t fall for voting for a labour candidate if it means empowering the Europhile and Woke minority in the other parts of the alliance. A similar problem presumably exists for the minority metropolitan voters who would have to accept being part of, as they see it, a coalition dominated by working class racism and cultural conservatism (although frankly, since their own views are anti-English racist anyway, I can see them learning to live with it).

Last edited 3 years ago by John Riordan
Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago

“Butcher” Burnham will lose to Khan.

daniel Earley
daniel Earley
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

If Kahn decides to go for the Labour leadership then that will be another shoe-in for the Conservatives.

Peter Dunn
Peter Dunn
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

They should run on a joint ticket as they both disapprove of PREVENT.

Mike Perkin
Mike Perkin
3 years ago

We already have a Social Democrat party in the @SDP. Although I wouldn’t be a supporter, the blind faith of Labour, Green and LibDem supporters in their wilting parties never ceases to amaze me.

Caroline Galwey
Caroline Galwey
3 years ago

How ironic that word ‘progressive’ has become.

Robin Banks
Robin Banks
3 years ago

The same applies to the use of Democrat, whether in UK or USA.

Albireo Double
Albireo Double
3 years ago

The article reads like yet another Left-of-centre “progressive” journalist trying to keep their hope alive. These people seem not to have grasped that the public now realise that “progressivism” and “wokery” are one and the same horrible thing, and that both are no more than the sneering of an arrogant, self-styled elite.
That elite, from both sides of politics, and throughout the media, has entirely lost the plot, and with it, has lost the trust of the electorate, this time, finally I think, for good.
I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not and I suppose we’ll find out over the next few years. But the next election looks like being fought between the successors to Boris and Nigel Farage – whoever those two may be. I don’t think that the “progressives” will get a look-in, frankly.

Steve Moxon
Steve Moxon
3 years ago
Reply to  Albireo Double

Yes. The scene is set for a new set of political parties. This would have happened some time ago were it not for Nigel Farage keeping what could have been a reform party restricted to a single issue. All three major parties are 50 years out of date and irredeemably ‘identity politics’ totalitarian (PC fascist). Labour is a dead as a dodo and looks set to be replaced..

Quentin Vole
Quentin Vole
3 years ago

Andy Burnham, let us never forget, was Health Minister during the Mid-Staffs scandal. If he’s the last, best hope for Labour …

Christopher Chantrill
Christopher Chantrill
3 years ago

Back in the day educated rich kids (think Marx, Engels, “son of a wealthy London solicitor” Attlee) proposed an over-under politics of class. They had a good innings. They exploited the working class into irrelevance. Thanks, fellahs.
Today the educated rich kids — uni types with gubmint jobs — have switched to an over-under politics of race. They put the old white working class out in the cold.
I guess there aren’t enough non-whites in the UK yet for the educated rich kids to have a majority party based on race.

Last edited 3 years ago by Christopher Chantrill
Steve Moxon
Steve Moxon
3 years ago

Liebore is beyond any pale and beyond any redemption. The party vehemently hates the mass of ordinary people, having completely adopted the Left backlash of ‘identity politics’, that began about a century ago with deeming ‘the workers’ supposedly ‘repressed’ by ‘capitalism’. This utter bunkum was a dumb plot to try to explain away why Marxist prediction was hopelessly awry — the workers in ‘advanced capitalist’ countries didn’t revolt yet feudal Ruskies did. This has developed into man-hating extreme feminism, and (through the Left in the USA co-opting the civil rights and Stonewall movements), white-hating and heterosexual-hating. ‘The worker’ has been ludicrously retrospectively stereotyped as having three dimensions of oppressiveness (sexism, racism and homophobia), to make them a replacement for ‘the boiss’ as the new hate target of the Left, which has also completely changed its notion of the state from ‘the boss’ friend’ to ‘agent of social change’. It’s the biggest political fraud in history. Liebore does not need merely to be humiliated. It needs to be annihilated.

Cant Bile
Cant Bile
3 years ago

Half sensible, half crazy. And we know the point at which one turned into the latter..
“But this would be less painful as part of a negotiation to form a government than as a bitter factional struggle within one party.”
Followed by an even more silly comparison with Denmark. Yeah, right. Because a proportional representation-powered, Euro-style, horse-trading politics is exactly what we have here, so if it works in Denmark…
As ever, commentators are quick on the diagnosis but none that I have seen actually have the faintest clue as to what the answer is, if indeed there is an answer.

Kevin Thomas
Kevin Thomas
3 years ago

There I was thinking maybe I was wrong that Labour had no one electable to high office and Dan Jarvis might be a good choice… until you got to the part where he wants to rebrand patriotism as only liking the things about Britain that Labour did or approve of. So bye bye Churchill for starters. I remember when Billy Bragg was proposing this years ago. If that’s as far as Labour will go to win back the working class, it may as well fold up its tents. As for Andy Burnham, the one thing Labour could do to make things worse is elect a self-promoting spiv like Burnham or Sadiq Khan leader.
Labour’s problem is very simple. Its members are overwhelmingly woke middle class graduates while the electoral demographic it most needs to win are working class people. There is a massive gulf between these two groups, more of a gap than exists between the working class and the Tories. I don’t see how they get past this.

Chris Hopwood
Chris Hopwood
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Thomas

But the working class put a self-promoting spiv – Bojo – into power!

Benaut Benaut
Benaut Benaut
3 years ago

It’s not just Labour that are useless at picking leaders, it seems to be a problem common to all our political parties. The problem started with the idea that members should select leaders. Go back to the days when elected Members of Parliament selected the leader.

Richard Taylor
Richard Taylor
3 years ago

I wish the Labour Party a slow demise. It is entertainment watching them perform.
I’ve always thought that the idea of a “Progressive Alliance” or a push to PR by those advocating such, was a cheat. The left are far from progressive and their biggest problem is they fall out with themselves, hence the many factions.
But I think the writer has made a major error in his assessment.
“Under our current voting system, Labour would stand aside to give other progressive parties a free run in a defined number of constituencies, concentrated in the big cities and university towns.”
This is the only