by Will Lloyd
Sunday, 25
September 2022
Dispatch
15:52

Angela Rayner: the class warrior Labour doesn’t need

Her undiluted hatred for the Tories may cause problems for Keir Starmer
by Will Lloyd
ICYMI: Angela Rayner hates Tories. Credit: Getty

ACC Liverpool

Angela Rayner hates Tories. The deputy leader opened Labour Conference with her speech yesterday, and told us what we already know. Angela Rayner hates Tories.


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How much? Convert her hatred into pure wattage and you could end the energy crisis with a flicked switch. Listen to the language. The Tories are “sleaze merchants”. Tory donors are “cronies”. Their record in government is a “catalogue of sleaze, waste, and lies”. They turned Downing Street into a “crime scene”. They watch “tractor porn”. And now Liz Truss is “enriching bankers while families are starving”.

Oh, she hates them. Her politics is all us and them, friends and enemies, bankers and working families. In Rayner’s Britain the divide is between “nurses wearing bin bags” and a shower of purring fat cats enriched by dodgy pandemic contracts. “Whose side are you on?” she repeatedly asked Truss. 

In terms of policy announcements, mainly there were “plans” — a word she used eight times. A five-point national procurement plan, so local businesses can compete with “giant corporations” for government contracts on an equal footing. A “green prosperity plan”. A “plan to rebuild trust in public office”.

They are spending plans, basically. Rayner will “pump” money into “pockets” around the country. But a responsible, transparent, well-costed pumping. A value for money-pumping. A pumping for “the good of the nation”. Rayner “promised to keep the receipts” of government spending.

When she vowed to defend people’s rights, “including the right to strike”, I watched Keir Starmer’s face attempt to make peace between a smile and a grimace. Starmer is not a class warrior. He says far too little, and thinks it a strategy. Rayner says far too much, and thinks she is laying down the truth. Between them the Labour Party is pulled between trying not to scare voters and its most atavistic enmities. Win over the grandmothers who read the Mail? Or call the Tories scum.

“It’s going to be about policies, and there’s clear dividing lines on that,” Rayner told the Guardian over the weekend. Well, not on this evidence. The dividing lines are psychological and historical. Politics is a battle, and the Conservatives are the enemies. See scum? Call them scum. When she promised the Tories would be getting their “marching orders” very soon, the auditorium whooped and chortled. “Hatred alone”, wrote William Hazlitt in 1826, “is immortal”. Plus ça change.

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Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
2 months ago

Lets be fair. Her job was to rouse the rabble in the way Will so well describes. But Lordy – on the week where a new Tory leadership declare full radical ideological war on ‘The Orthodoxy’ and the stale declinism of Blair2Bojo Statism – one could expect SOME cogent response. But no. There is a deep dark void within Labour where policy should be. It is more of the Same Old. Starmer was praying he could do a Joe Biden. Shout – ‘Trump/Boris is a CRIMINAL!!!!!’ and then hide in his dark basement. But Boris has gone and with him the grip of the Blairite Way on the lame Tories. Till last week they have been as Socialist as Corbyn . Bent the knee to the broken NHS. It had stolen ALL Labours clothes. All that was left was toxic identitarianism. Now what?? If the MSM properly described the energy crisis as being triggered as much by the xriminal negligence of the EU and Miliband, the lunatic anti fossil fuellers like Greta and May as by Putin, and described the so called ‘cost of living crisis’ as the Economic Reckoning For the Lockdown Mania – something Labour espoused harder than the idiot Tories- then Labour would just wilt, wither and die under the full glare of the truth. We open the box. There still is NOTHING there.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
2 months ago

I’ve been critical of Will Lloyd’s pieces on here of late, but i can forgive him a great deal for penning the line:
“… I watched Keir Starmer’s face attempt to make peace between a smile and a grimace…”
Oddly enough, i like Angela Rayner. She’s proper Labour and you get what it says on the tin. It’s not her words that would lead to another potential defeat for Labour at the next election, but the non-words of Keir Starmer. I can see Rayner positioning herself as the leader-in-waiting already.

polidori redux
polidori redux
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I don’t really understand why she hates Tories. Most of the policies that they practice are similar to those that she espouses.

Stephen Follows
Stephen Follows
2 months ago
Reply to  polidori redux

Not any more, thank goodness.

polidori redux
polidori redux
2 months ago

Most of it. Mass immigration, Net Zero and woke policing are all still in operation.

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
2 months ago

I feel sorry for Angela Rayner in the way that I feel sorry for the likes of Klaus Schwab. She has a worldview in which she’s trapped, just as he does. They both think they are acting for the greater good. They only really engage with people who think like them – if other people can’t be convinced to take the righteous path they are the enemy, to be defeated and outmanoeuvred. They can’t see the woods for the trees.

It takes patience, restraint, and discipline not to meet hatred like this with vituperation and condemnation. But that only fuels the fire. Perhaps a better way through is to listen, to acknowledge their grievances and their aims, to do our very utmost to try and see the very best in each of them and to think – how might their passion and knowledge and (in Schwab’s case, at least) that devious ingenuity to get what he wants be, with some encouragement, turned around to face a different direction?

Essentially, that is, to meet hate with love, and offence with forgiveness. Maybe this is totally idealistic. But ask yourself – has anyone, in the case either of Rayner or Schwab (or the people like each of them) ever, really, tried to reach out to them in this way?

David Bell
David Bell
2 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

Thanks for the sermon, vicar.

Brett H
Brett H
2 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

“has anyone, in the case either of Rayner or Schwab (or the people like each of them) ever, really, tried to reach out to them in this way?”
Hilarious.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
2 months ago

Every time she opens her mouth another ‘ n’ people vote…. anything but Labour.. fantastic! Keep at it Ange.. one of the shining glories of free speech!

Stephen Follows
Stephen Follows
2 months ago

‘Her undiluted hatred for the Tories may cause problems for Keir Starmer’
Well, let’s hope, eh?

Aaron James
Aaron James
2 months ago

”’ Convert her hatred into pure wattage and you could end the energy crisis with a flicked switch. Listen to the language. The Tories are “sleaze merchants”. Tory donors are “cronies”. Their record in government is a “catalogue of sleaze, waste, and lies”. They turned Downing Street into a “crime scene”. They watch “tractor porn”. And now Liz Truss is “enriching bankers while families are starving”.”’

Every single word 100% true! (assuming the tractor porn means something pretty bad) as well as intentionally destroying Uk with their covid plandemic, and their Neo-Con war…..The Tories under Boris have damaged UK More than any government in History!

That she is 100% as bad, just a different flavor, is the problem.

Glyn R
Glyn R
2 months ago
Reply to  Aaron James

‘….. intentionally destroying Uk with their covid plandemic, and their Neo-Con war…..The Tories under Boris have damaged UK More than any government in History!’
They couldn’t have got away with it without the Labour Party cheering them on and begging for even more.

James Kirk
James Kirk
2 months ago

Why give her the credit of being taken seriously? She’s a joke like the rest of her Party.

j watson
j watson
2 months ago

One thing is for sure – she’s authentic. Not a bad starting point vis a vis Truss’s flipflops of last 20yrs.
It’s not entirely inconceivable she grabs the zeitgeist given some of the anger that may materialise in coming months. Boris cut through in the Redwall because of an intangible, and just might be that she does too as the mood swings.
Whether she then has the political ‘smarts’ to make the most of it is perhaps uncertain.

David Bell
David Bell
2 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Authentic? In what way?

Julian Pellatt
Julian Pellatt
2 months ago

She is a bigot … vulgar in manner and deportment.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
2 months ago

she is gorgeous…

allan morris
allan morris
2 months ago

It’s not as you call it , it’s the fact that all conservative government go out of their way to profit Thier doners, and the rich, the it’s f the rest of the UK.

polidori redux
polidori redux
2 months ago
Reply to  allan morris

And yet, oddly, their policies are, in the main, no different from those of the opposition. What we are witnessing is a phony contest between a fake worker’s party and a fake conservative party. Take “sides” if you wish Allan, and wave your little banner, but don’t expect me to take it seriously – because I can’t.

Stephen Follows
Stephen Follows
2 months ago
Reply to  allan morris

I expect they can type, though.

David Bell
David Bell
2 months ago
Reply to  allan morris

Anyone fancy a doner kebab?