X Close

Labour is still losing Reports of a resurgence are greatly exaggerated

What hope for Sir Keir? Credit: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty


January 10, 2022   5 mins

It has been a torrid three months for Boris Johnson’s Government, having to fend off accusations of serious hypocrisy and impropriety — two sins always sure to rouse the ire of the electorate.

Perhaps inevitably, subsequent polling has shown Labour moving ahead of the Tories. This has been seized on by some within the ranks as evidence that the Party is heading in the right direction and actually reconnecting with millions of lost voters.

We would do well to exercise some caution before assuming that any sort of decisive shift is occurring. A statement of intent made to a pollster at a time when one’s dander is up is one thing; following through with it in the privacy of the ballot box another. History tells us that.

I immodestly lay claim to having been one of a small number inside the labour movement who — often to the derision or fury of comrades — publicly predicted in advance of the 2019 general election that the Red Wall would crumble. My political antennae tell me now that, while fortunes have improved marginally for the party since that calamity, reports of an incipient Labour resurgence are greatly exaggerated.

For one thing, any opposition party that can truly be seen as standing a decent chance of heading for power needs to have enjoyed reasonably consistent poll leads far out from, and right up to, a general election. A clutch of favourable polls when the sitting administration is navigating choppy waters does not a government-in-waiting make.

It is barely-remembered that Labour, under Michael Foot, polled consistently higher than the Tories throughout the first half of Margaret Thatcher’s premiership. And we all know what happened, in 1983, when it really mattered.

Though it pains me to say it, I see no compelling evidence that the political realignment which has taken hold in British politics over recent years is about to fracture. The Labour party, as with all opposition parties, must, if it is to win power, rely on something more than the ephemeral bouts of unpopularity experienced by all governments.

And while Sir Keir Starmer has gone some way to positioning Labour on territory that will afford it wider appeal, the party remains a million miles from sealing the deal with the electorate — especially those once loyal voters who jumped ship to the Tories in 2019. Refocusing the party’s messaging on themes such as family, community, patriotism, security, prosperity and respect is unquestionably the right thing to do, as is pledging to make Brexit work, rather than continuing to allow that particular sore to run. But the fine words need to be anchored in hard policy, and that is where Labour must be more audacious.

Never was it more necessary, as we (hopefully) emerge from the pandemic, and with a general election perhaps a little over a year away, for Labour to set out a bold, though coherent, economic narrative. It must resist all calls for the literally counter-productive measures of retrenchment and constraint. Starmer must ensure the party does not strap itself back into the intellectual straitjacket that restrained it during the new Labour years, eschewing its own tradition of economic radicalism to make its peace with neoliberal orthodoxy.

Rather, he would do well to emulate one of his predecessors, Clement Attlee, who, upon assuming power in a nation ravaged by war, gave no quarter to those agitating for deeper austerity and embarked instead on an ambitious programme of economic justice and reform.

Similarly today, tinkering at the edges won’t do. Instead of limiting itself to arguing about the odd tax rise or benefit cut, Labour must champion a profound reordering of the economy. Yes, it must present itself as the party of business — in fact, it needs to do far more to show that it understands the private sector and those who work in it — but it should also be prepared to challenge vested interests and what has become the conventional economic wisdom.

Why, for example, should Labour, with its radical tradition, be shy about advocating full employment over price stability as the prime goal of economic policy? Let’s hear what the party has to say about reviving our industrial base. Where is the clear-eyed industrial strategy for a post-Brexit Britain? What about some ideas for closing the gap between rich and poor or rebalancing the economy away from the interests of finance capital and towards those who work in the productive sector? And instead of placing undue faith in the “wisdom” of bankers, how about tackling the virtual monopoly of the banks over the creation of new money — a state of affairs that has seen an explosion in mortgage lending and contributed significantly to the housing crisis? It’s about time Labour put the case for ending the overvaluation of sterling, which has caused untold damage to our manufacturing sector over recent decades, made British goods fundamentally uncompetitive in the international marketplace, retarded productivity and seen thousands of blue-collar jobs vanish overseas.

This kind of programme — call it “credible radicalism” — would befit any party of the mainstream Left serious about economic reform. It would also be well-received across the hard-pressed, post-industrial areas of the country that Labour needs desperately to win back.

But as we saw in 2017 and 2019, promises of economic justice are not enough for voters in these places. For Labour to even begin to reconnect with this cohort, it must recognise the obvious truth that the hyper-liberalism and globalism it and the wider Left embraced so enthusiastically and saw as the end point of all human progress has been rejected emphatically across much of provincial Britain. Instead, the party must readopt the politics of place and belonging — a politics that recognises that most humans are social and parochial beings who value cultural attachment and desire something that transcends money and individual rights.

That means ditching for good free movement, ending the obsession with ID politics and multiculturalism, and crafting in their place a programme that, while defending resolutely the equal worth of all humans regardless of race or background, seeks to address the profound loss of meaning and community experienced throughout so much of post-industrial, blue-collar, small-town Britain. It means fostering the common bonds, reciprocity and shared citizenship that is the essence of nation building. It means promoting unashamedly a pro-family agenda — why not a “family wage” to supersede the living wage? — and relearning the concepts of vocation and the dignity of labour.

The key question confronting all parties of the mainstream western Left is how, in an age of liberal globalisation, and with all that means in the way of societal atomisation and fragmentation, we maintain the maximum possible social solidarity. Most have no answers. Some haven’t even recognised it as a challenge, less still a priority. Little wonder that so many of these parties have seen their support plummet in recent years.

It is ultimately the question that the British Labour party must start addressing over the coming months. It’s future viability as an electoral force — and, in particular, its ability to win back the hearts and minds of voters who have abandoned it — will depend on its coming up with the right answers.


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

PaulEmbery

Join the discussion


Join like minded readers that support our journalism by becoming a paid subscriber


To join the discussion in the comments, become a paid subscriber.

Join like minded readers that support our journalism, read unlimited articles and enjoy other subscriber-only benefits.

Subscribe
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

65 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Matt M
Matt M
2 years ago

In recent years the Labour Party – who I voted for in 4 elections until 2010 – seems to care more about foreigners than the British.

They love the EU and take the EU’s or Macron’s side against us in any dispute; their prominent supporters say they would rather live in Ireland or Italy than England; they sneer at the cross of St George; they badmouth our history and heroes; they get more excited about Palestine than any British issue; they never stop talking about global warming (which will have a trivial effect on the UK and towards which the UK is a trivial contributor); they want to increase foreign aid against the wishes of the public; they want to issue 100k visas to foreign HGV drivers rather than recruiting and supporting British drivers; they fight to stop the deportation of foreign criminals; their shadow Home Secretary says #refugees welcome!; their last leader supported Islamic terrorists and the IRA and they are currently led by a man who made his name as a QC overturning restrictions on illegal immigration and bogus asylum applications.

Buying a couple of Union Jacks is hardly likely convince many voters that they have their interests at heart.

Last edited 2 years ago by Matt M
Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
2 years ago
Reply to  Matt M

And they have abandoned the working class in favour of woke culture and ethnic minority rights – as the worst performing cohort in education has been the white working class boys for some years.
The working class know they’ve been abandoned too.

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
2 years ago

Refocusing the party’s messaging on themes such as family, community, patriotism, security, prosperity and respect is unquestionably the right thing to do 

Unquestionably. However, there’s a small problem – no one believes that messaging to be sincere.
Last year, Labour’s woeful media advisors let it be known that, among their attempts at rebranding would be, â€œThe use of the flag, veterans, dressing smartly at the war memorial etc give voters a sense of authentic values alignment.”
Seriously, how tin-eared do you have to be to imagine you can win round Red Wall voters, just by cynically draping Starmer in the flag- just because a focus group told Labour (much to their surprise) that most people don’t actually despise Britain, or wish to see the monarchy abolished. And do they honestly believe that Starmer’s newly professed love of democracy will convince all those who watched his 4 year campaign to thwart Brexit?
The still-faithful Starmtrooper cheerleaders over at the Guardian have suggested he needs to “Re-connect” with voters.
Re-connect?
That implies that he previously HAS connected with voters.
He hasn’t
Brown, Miliband, Corbyn & Starmer.
None have connected with voters. Blair only connected with those who weren’t paying attention. He pretended to be all things to all men and promised whatever his audience wanted to hear.
Labour stopped being the party of the working man many years ago.
It took a while for the realisation to dawn on those who choose not to follow politics too closely and merely voted for the red rosetted candidate as a reflex action, but the secret is out now. The “habit” of voting Labour is broken.
As is now the case with every party after a big defeat, there was talk of post-mortems, talk of learning lessons and the need to understand the feelings and frustrations of the many lifelong Labour voters who deserted them.
But, for all the talk, what honest, soul-searching appraisal has there been?
Rather than accepting that some of their ideas were poisonous, rather than accepting that their leader was a liability, rather than accepting that misanthropic, hectoring miserabilism couldn’t win support, rather than accepting that the Islington / Guardian / Twitter bubble REALLY doesn’t represent the country at large, instead they tried to pin the blame for their historic defeat on poor media coverage and the Brexit debate.
It was not just Corbyn, either. In the weeks of jockeying for who took over the party after their historic defeat, listening to each of the leadership candidate’s excuses and explanations for the 2019 election it was evident they had learned precisely nothing. Flailing around as they tried to make sense of how Boris Johnson (Eton & Balliol) proved to be more in touch with the views of the electorate and was better able to tap into the national mood, than those who simply imagined that the working class vote is theirs to command, by right.
I see in the weekend papers that Corbyn acolytes are urging the former dear leader to form his own party. Good.
Frankly, Labour has long needed to split into three parties. One can retain the leftist ideological purity beloved of Corbynites – and have so few MPs they can hold meetings in Jeremy’s allotment shed. The second can dance in the streets and celebrate winning seats like Putney, whilst looking down their noses at all those ghastly Brexity untermensch “Red Wall” voters. 
. And then there can be a third party, perhaps they could be called,…. oh I don’t know, The Labour Party?….. who can ditch the anti-British stance and all the identity-politics rubbish and maybe try to champion the needs of traditional Labour supporters.
It’s a given that none of those 3 parties has a chance of winning a General Election any time soon, but it would be nice if we had a functioning opposition in the meantime.
For the Govt, over the last few years, it has been like playing tennis without the net, ……
against a man without a racket

. who insists your Ace is merely a social construct.
 

Last edited 2 years ago by Paddy Taylor
Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

As I keep saying, Boris actually won two elections in 2019: that year’s, and also the 2024 election. For the Conservatives to be displaced in 2029, two things have to happen.
First, Labour has to reconfigure itself into a plausible alternative government. It is absolutely nowhere near doing so. The fundamental problem here is that Labour hates the voters, Britain, and Jews, and we can all tell. Blair only stood a chance once the entire previous clique had been cleared out. Starmer is tainted by his Britain-hating obsession with thwarting Brexit so he and every familiar Labour name first has to go.
Second, the Conservatives must utterly, and in the full view of the electorate, mess up something that is both central to their programme, and epochal. Conservative governments are usually removed from office not by any public longing for Labourism, but by some self-inflicted total calamity: World War Two, mishandling Profumo, the ERM. Long before the snake oil salesman was Labour leader, Black Wednesday annihilated them, and it availed John Major not one whit that everyone else had agreed with them at the time that joining the ERM had been the right thing to do. On this one, the obvious looming self-inflicted calamity is the ecofascist agenda that Johnson has idiotically embraced. When the lights go out because there’s not enough electricity, when the heating is switched off because there’s no more gas and nobody can afford or physically fit a heat pump, when nobody can afford to fuel their old car or buy a new one, the Conservatives will be blamed, and that “everyone” agrees with this policy will not make any more difference than it did 30 years ago.
Labour will still need to look credible, of course, and this is why the poll tax fiasco did not cost the Conservatives the 1992 election. But by say 2028, as the prices of second-hand petrol cars rise to the price of a new EV, and as petrol goes to ÂŁ20 a gallon, and as you can’t charge your EV because of power rationing, and as your aged parents die of the cold in a house they can’t afford to heat, that’s when the Conservatives lose. Labour doesn’t need to have opposed any of it; they just need not to have been in power when it all fell apart.

Howard Gleave
Howard Gleave
2 years ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Paddy. Have you considered writing articles for UnHerd? If not, perhaps you should.

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
2 years ago
Reply to  Howard Gleave

Few things I’d like to do more, frankly, though I’ve never really considered submitting an article.
But thank you for your very generous encomium, you’ve brightened my day.

Zorro Tomorrow
Zorro Tomorrow
2 years ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Quite. For every photo of Starmer draped in the UJ there’s one of him and Rayner kneeling.

Will R
Will R
2 years ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Sums up Labour perfectly,

David McDowell
David McDowell
2 years ago

But how? The party’s leadership at all levels dispises the cultural positions that Paul advocates. Emily Thornberry gave the game away and it won’t come back until the leadership, from activist to shadow cabinet member, espouse love of country in the way they currently regard ‘Palestine’.

Zorro Tomorrow
Zorro Tomorrow
2 years ago
Reply to  David McDowell

You can’t change your mind about your country until you admit you were wrong. Not a Labour or left wing characteristic.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
2 years ago

I suspect the pragmatic nature of the Conservatives mean they will quietly dump Net Zero before Labour develop any policy alternative.

Carol Forshaw
Carol Forshaw
2 years ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

I certainly hope so.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 years ago
Reply to  Carol Forshaw

I certainly hope not.

Simon Diggins
Simon Diggins
2 years ago

I think the challenge on ‘net zero’ is not the value of it as a goal but how do we get there, and over what timescale, without crashing the economy. The current approach, legislate the targets, and leave it up to the Civil Service to deliver, will crash the economy. They will find a way, whether by offshoring our energy costs and then virtue-signalling like mad, or by simply making fossil fuels impossibly expensive, to reach the set targets but it will destroy us.

It does not need to be like that. I support tackling Climate Change but I also want my children to be able to switch the lights on; on the current ‘plan’ that is not going to happen.

AC Harper
AC Harper
2 years ago

Yes, it must present itself as the party of business — in fact, it needs to do far more to show that it understands the private sector and those who work in it —

But Labour are actually unable to do this. It’s not that they are unwilling to understand the private sector, it’s that the private sector doesn’t form part of their worldview. You could even argue that there big empty spaces in Labour’s psyche where ordinary life should exist, not just the ‘private sector’.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  AC Harper

That’s an interesting way to look at it; it’s as though Labour has a form of psychopathy that affects bodies rather than individuals.
Psychopaths typically evince poor judgment, failure to learn from experience, egocentricity, lack of remorse, excessive self-regard, absence of empathy, pathological lying, manipulative behavior, and so on. These very much describe Labour. Depending on your political standpoint, you would perhaps claim it describes other parties as well, but at the moment Labour has the worst problem because the people with whom it’s failing to empathise are the ones it needs to win over to get back into power.

Sharon Overy
Sharon Overy
2 years ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Yes, it seems that when Labourites hear the word “businessman”, they ignore the fact that the majority of them have businesses that are small/medium-sized concerns and live in very ordinary houses. Instead, they imagine the little fellow on the Monopoly box, living in a mansion and swimming in gold coins like Scrooge McDuck.

It’s a straw man idea of the private sector.

Gavin Stewart-Mills
Gavin Stewart-Mills
2 years ago

This is the problem. Labour could decide to take heart from the way that Boris has accidentally exposed a certain public fondness for Big Government intervention. But to capitalise would involve such a massive u-turn in everything they – or more to the point, their supporters, really believe in.

That means ditching for good free movement, ending the obsession with ID politics and multiculturalism, and

Literally every Labour supporter I know is completely behind all of the above. Plus, they adore the pseudo greenwashing, and are a million miles from “moving on” with Brexit. In a sense, whatever Starmer concocts and tries to sell to the people of Hartlepool, it just doesn’t align with the reality of the Labour movement and its supporters. The required U-turn is bigger even than Paul Embery imagines.

Howard Gleave
Howard Gleave
2 years ago

Agree. If you want the policies Embery advocates, and which I could support, you’d have to vote SDP

Zorro Tomorrow
Zorro Tomorrow
2 years ago

All of them peer at the country like it was a Monopoly board. Through a reversed telescope. It’s called London. I’d advise Risk for a start.

Adrian Maxwell
Adrian Maxwell
2 years ago
Reply to  Zorro Tomorrow

Over the Xmas period family and friends decided, with loud uninamity, that Risk constituted a far greater threat to family harmony, friendship and world peace than the kindly if irritating Monopoly. My charity shop bought copy was not allowed near the table.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
2 years ago

I was thinking exactly the same. Labor’s most ardent supporters are the party’s worst enemies.

Ian McKinney
Ian McKinney
2 years ago

If Paul Embery was leading Labour, I am sure I would agree with everything he did and said, but I still wouldn’t vote for Labour, because I would know that the activists and people on the ground are composed largely of cranks and maniacs who would happily destroy everything we have and cheer about it.

I would suggest to Paul and others that it is time for the great realignment to become real. Join the SDP who surely reflect the majority of opinion across the nation and don’t have the baggage of the two main parties. Leave the rotten mess of Labour (and indeed the Conservatives for Red Tories) and give the nation what they are crying out for – a party that actually reflects, dare I say it, normal opinion.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  Ian McKinney

Labour’s unique problem is that where most MPs are more moderate than their constituency parties, and hence are ideologically much closer to Joe and Jane Voter than is the typical activist, with Labour it’s the opposite. Its directly-elected leader is whoever’s closest to the loony activists’ view of the world, which is how they ended up with a Marxist anti-Semite on 60% of the member vote.
As a result, when Starmer loses in 2024, there’s a strong chance that they’ll conclude the party wasn’t left-wing enough and elect another fringe nutter to lead them, because look how well that worked in 2017.

Zorro Tomorrow
Zorro Tomorrow
2 years ago
Reply to  Ian McKinney

The only reason I knew the SDP existed is Rod Liddle. They do nowhere near enough to promote themselves or attract the millions they need to put up a fight.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
2 years ago

“The key question confronting all parties of the mainstream western Left is how, in an age of liberal globalisation, and with all that means in the way of societal atomisation and fragmentation, we maintain the maximum possible social solidarity”.
Yes, this certainly is one of the burning questions in politics in 2021. However, maintaining socil solidarity isn’t just something for politicians…a large part of it depends on individuals themselves. Social solidarity isn’t something pulled out of a hat by a Boris Johnson or a Keir Starmer. It requires active participation by people themselves – in their private and public lives.
How people manage their private lives is largely no concern of the state. However, certain incentives could be offered by the state for civic participation. Perhaps civics classes could be (re-)introduced in school?
I also don’t quite buy into the “tide is turning for Labour” narrative. Starmer might be mouthing the right words about patriotism etc., but at the moment it has about as much credibility as Trump saying he’s going to take a vow of silence.

Dean G
Dean G
2 years ago

They don’t have a snowball chance in hell , starmer is about as charismatic as wet loo roll and he could not lead a lemming off a cliff , in some respects its not his fault he is being held hostage to the left and the remainers who just will not shut up , his front bench included only this morning adonis launching a get back in Europe group which will be all over the press and media and labour will be tarred and feathered with that , plus their insistence that men are women which does not wash out here in normal land , nor does brainwashing our children in schools , their stupidity has laid the ground for massive right wing backlash here and in America we have all lost sight of the fact that in life , the truth always lies somewhere in the middle, which is why for good reason elected centre right or centre left governments, sadly I think that could well be ending

Hosias Kermode
Hosias Kermode
2 years ago

The Erdington by election is going to be an interesting test. Jack Dromey’s majority was less than 4,000 in 2019, with the Tories in a strong second place. Normally mid term Labour’s share should rise substantially making this a pretty safe seat. But my sense is that, if Covid restrictions are gradually lifted, if the vote can be put off till the spring, if life can feel like it’s going back to normal and if Johnson makes at least one concession to the cost of living crisis – either scaling back the NI rise or reducing VAT on fuel – then the Tories could take it. I can’t see a London-based lawyer who thinks it’s wrong to say only women have a cervix ever winning popular support.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
2 years ago

As ever, wise words. With the Un Tory Boris parking his tanks on so much of Old Labour territory – Big State/ Big tax/NHS – the only distinctive and different planks of policy after their Brexit nightmare are identitarianism and open border philosophy – the highly contentious stuff. Worse still, Labour’s advocacy of more aggressive ‘hard lock’ Covid policies will in time come to haunt them once its impact on the SME enterprise sector, the poor, children in state education and the non Covid sick are all fully revealed in a year or two. Labour have shown zero real compassion for and understanding of these groups needs in this crisis. It has reinforced its image as the party of the Big State and an enlarged public sector. The Un Tory Boris will go as the Reckoning bites. Then images of Drayford and memories of Labours Zero Covid policies will hit home.

John K
John K
2 years ago

The current Labour Party hierarchy actively despise and patronise working people. Why should anyone vote for them?
I used to be a member, years ago, but became disenchanted with them under Blair and Brown then last GE actually (and with grave misgivings) spoilt my ballot paper, as I couldn’t bring myself to vote for any of the options and there is no “none of the above” box.
I am now cast into the wilderness. I could never vote for the Tories or idiotic Greens and now can’t see myself voting Labour again, unless they change radically and drop all the “wokery” to become the party of working people. I may find myself driven into the arms of the Limp Dumbs as the least-worst option.

Ian McKinney
Ian McKinney
2 years ago
Reply to  John K

sdp.org.uk

D Ward
D Ward
2 years ago
Reply to  John K

Please don’t vote for the non-Lib non-Dems for that reason. It’s what they rely in but they are as anti-democratic as they cone, green to the core and sanctimonious to boot. You would be better off spoiling your vote.

JulieT Boddington
JulieT Boddington
2 years ago
Reply to  John K

You said it all! However the Lib Dems won’t ‘cut the mustard’ either. I’m in the Alliance For Green Socialism but we are too small – and we aren’t idiotic, I promise.

Terry Needham
Terry Needham
2 years ago

You’re in a particularly acid mood today my dear.

jill dowling
jill dowling
2 years ago

Labour is now the party for civil servants and illiberal elites. Maybe there are enough of them now to vote Labour in – God help us.

Caroline Watson
Caroline Watson
2 years ago
Reply to  jill dowling

I was a civil servant for 40 years. I was a Labour councillor for six. It is no longer my party.

Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
2 years ago

Labour has always been the fusion of two groupings, and the weld has always been under pressure. On one side, the people who actually founded the party were essentially patriotic traditionalists, influenced by the non-conformist Christian tradition, people like Keir Hardie and Nye Bevan. These people merely wanted a few reasonable changes to the existing system: a very basic welfare net, some health care and maybe a little education for their children.

On the other side, you had those who were essentially Marxists, or at least Marxian in their outlook, the likes of George Bernard Shaw and those two Olympic grade liars, the Webbs. The last assertion of the founding group was back in the eighties when Kinnock threw out Militant. Since then, crickets. Labour is Marxist today.

Chris England
Chris England
2 years ago

Sadly for me it’s become a culture war- which I never thought would happen. So regardless of how bad the current party are I couldn’t bring myself to vote for the other party that appears to want to inhibit our ability to express our natural divergence of views- agree or disagree nobody should be pressured to conform to a particular view of the world- Stock, Rowling etc etc would be swept away by any alternative which doesn’t defend their right to express themselves.

Douglas H
Douglas H
2 years ago

How about Labour committing to a major programme of social housing building, and abolishing the right to asset strip ( oops I mean the right to buy). How about restricting access to people who’ve lived and worked here for 10 years or more, making social housing part of a two-way social contract

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
2 years ago

And yet here she is, complaining every day about the quality and character of commenters. Talk about tripe.

Simon Diggins
Simon Diggins
2 years ago

Great article, Paul, thank you.

Roger Sponge
Roger Sponge
2 years ago

Thank you for living and moving among us.

Al M
Al M
2 years ago
Reply to  Roger Sponge

Don’t know about an app, but you may be a bot that does a remarkable impression of an @r$e.

Last edited 2 years ago by Al M
Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
2 years ago

B Wallis said the the English genius for innovation was due to our individuality. Labour hates the individual, especially if successful.

  1. Labour has pushed up the price of energy.
  2. Got rid of evening study whereby people can obtain professional qualifications- Chartered Engineer – Camm, Mitchell, J Smith, Chadwick , B Wallis, de Haviland.
  3. Got rid of grammar schools and most of our engineers came from them. Hardly any comprehensive school offers the high stan dards of Manchester GS or King Edward VIth where maths was taught by Cambridge Wranglers.
  4. Undertook strikes in the late 1960s which made low and medium value industry over priced.
  5. Lowered the standards of education. Pre 1970s, the university scholarship exams meant like of Lord William Penney could obyain a doctorate at 23 years of age.
  6. Switzerland has the Swiss Franc which is the hardest currency in the World but because it produces high value goods such as watches it does not matter.
  7. Germany moved all of it’s of low and medium value manufacturing into high value in the 1990s.
  8. Technology moves on. Sail making was well paid, not any more.
  9. Switzerland a population of 8.5m supports ETH Zurich which us up with Imperial and MIT. Labour is financed by vast numbers of teachers and academics with poor arts degrees from poor universities. The idea that an arts degree is as much use as an engineering degree from a top 10 university is laughable.
  10. If Britain copies where needed, from Switzerland, Singapore, S Korea and Japan we can solve our problems but this means taking money from unproductive middle class public sector arts graduates and putting it into craft/applied science/engineering and demanding that the highest standards in the world are achieved.
Terry Needham
Terry Needham
2 years ago

I’m up for it.

Peter Mott
Peter Mott
2 years ago

Red Wall voters may simply stay at home allowing Labour to benefit from a much reduced turnout.

jonathan carter-meggs
jonathan carter-meggs
2 years ago

Trust and credibility operate at the human interface and underpin all relationships and transactions. The past decade (perhaps since the implementation of “nudging”) and certainly since social media has overgrown, has seen trust and credibility (and independence) evaporate. Politicians, experts and the media are now despised and viewed as charlatans, fraudsters or traitors to our society and its values. Its a bit like the middle ages again when it was best if everyone distrusted all strangers. The wisdom of crowds is all we have left.

Frederick B
Frederick B
2 years ago

At the beginning of 2021 the Tories new open borders immigration policy (deceitfully called a “points based” policy) came into effect. For a Labour Party which wished to recover the red wall, the open goal was obvious BUT they just couldn’t see it. So the policy sailed through Parliament with barely a squeak from any side, and none at all from Labour.

Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
2 years ago

I have time to comment during the day because I work a split shift. What’s your excuse?

Zorro Tomorrow
Zorro Tomorrow
2 years ago

Paul Embery speaks and writes elsewhere and is generally well thought of. Clearly Labour are not listening to him but I wish he’d keep quiet nonetheless. Clearly the Red Wall agonised over betraying grandad who is rapidly being proved right but Labour still seems worse. I think the polls are a warning to Boris to prove grandad wrong. Amusing to see that Corbyn may split the party forever. How timely. Time is running out all the same.

Alison Wren
Alison Wren
2 years ago

Not too keen on the “family wage” comment at the end, Paul……shoving (mostly) women at home or part-time looking after kids into dependence on the main (usually male) breadwinner. And for a single parent..assuming there are two adults to support??? No, same type of wage for all and big tax allowances for kids, like there used to be. More benefits in kind for kids (free bus fares and entry to museums maybe??) and a better child benefit system.

Caroline Watson
Caroline Watson
2 years ago
Reply to  Alison Wren

Totally agree. An extremely regressive view which is more akin to ‘gender’ ideology than its adherents would like to admit.
The aim should be for all working adults to earn a living wage and for childcare and part time working to be available for all parents, so that responsibility for childcare can be shared. There should also be the option for grandparents who, for working class families are the first choice for childcare, to work part time too.

Caroline Watson
Caroline Watson
2 years ago

Exactly. Labour can win by being economically social democratic and socially conservative.
It can start by declaring its support for women as members of the female sex and stopping the absurd pandering to the ‘gender’ ideology and its freakish adherents. It must then make clear that, whilst the environment is important, jobs, comfortable homes, living standards and energy and food security must come first.

Jim Richards
Jim Richards
2 years ago

The danger for the Tories is not mass enthusiasm for Starmer, it’s mass abstention. Johnson’s government stinks so much even holding your nose while voting may not be enough

Kathy Bushell
Kathy Bushell
2 years ago

You are in the wrong party; the SDP is talking about all the things you stand for.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 years ago

I very much like Paul Embery’s articles, but here he seems to go full on for high-spending socialism and government direction as the cure-all for our woes. I don’t know whether he has noticed we already have the highest peace-time taxes for 70 years and we haven’t been following the (boo-hiss) neoliberal economic policies since at least 2008.
Attlee’s government went into for high levels of spending on the NHS and public services at a time when the country could not really afford it. These policies ultimately led to decades of stagnation, low productivity, poor industrial relations etc. Germany notably did not, followed austere and orthodox economic policies, issued a new stable currency, invested in modern industrial plant (helped of course by the devastated state of their industry and by debt forgiveness) – and thereby achieved impressive rates of growth and a thriving economy. The East Asian nations are similar today.

Last edited 2 years ago by Andrew Fisher
Matty D
Matty D
2 years ago

Paul Embery, who supported Michael Foot and Jeremy Corbyn, Labour’s two worst ever leaders, has the answers on how to get Labour elected. No thanks.

Julie Blinde
Julie Blinde
2 years ago

Who cares which party is in governemnt !?
Its the policies and competence that matters not whether you are on the ‘winning side’ FFS

Last edited 2 years ago by Julie Blinde
Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
2 years ago

Mr Emberey has burned his boats with Labour and now earns his money with articles saying, “I believe in the Labour Party as long as they change their policies to what I think.” His book was excellent but his articles are now becoming predictable.

There are two main reasons why peoole won’t vote for the Labour Party, – Brexit and their leader. They need first for their existing leader to say, “We guarantee that there will not be another referendum.” Then they need to find a charismatic leader.

In my experience, young people would vote for a charismatic leader, not a policy. The Labour Party needs someone who is about 40 years old and is not a stuffed shirt, someone who can appeal to young people and not frighten old people, someone who would talk about ‘more government jobs’ instead of ‘more unionised jobs’, someone who would talk about ‘taxing the rich’ without defining the word, someone who would ‘fight for the environment’, who would ‘defend the rights of old people’, who would reduce the voting age to 16 immediately.

In short, they need someone who is more presidential in character, not a career politician.Then they would get in.

Last edited 2 years ago by Chris Wheatley
Terry Needham
Terry Needham
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

If you are 16 then a 40 year old is very, very old indeed. Older than your mum in fact.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

It’s more than just Brexit, ot even Mr. Starmer himself. I know a number of people who have always voted Labour, even voted Labour last time round, actually liked Corbin, but say that they will not vote Labour at the moment (although they won’t vote Tory or LibDem either. The reasons that they all give are trans issues and “cancel culture”, they believe that Labour will make it worse and this trumps all other considerations

Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

You sound like a focus group.

Zorro Tomorrow
Zorro Tomorrow
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Sounds like Andy Burnham, without his cupboard full of skeletons.

Roger Sponge
Roger Sponge
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

I won’t vote for Starmer because he said he’d respect the Referendum then tried to overthrow it before it was enacted.
Mute about antisemitism, he worked to put Corbyn into power. He knelt.
Then I look at Starmer’s front bench. I’m utterly sick of their identity politics, Palestine obsession and haut en bas Mrs Jellaby smugness. That any who disagree with them aren’t mistaken but bad people who should lose any right to speak.
With its emphasis on differences, Labour is incapable of building social cohesion.
They’ve been a truly terrible opposition.
But then, who would I vote for? Partygate reveals an arrogance and cruelty that repels me.

Last edited 2 years ago by Roger Sponge
JulieT Boddington
JulieT Boddington
2 years ago
Reply to  Roger Sponge

You are right. They have been a terrible opposition. In fact their position seemed to be worse than the Tories. Help!