jump to navigation

How Labour lost, and the hope that endures | Anywhere but Westminster December 13, 2019

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.
trackback

The Guardians Anywhere But Westminster series has been excellent.
John Harris and John Domokos finish their election road trip with a rain-sodden journey to Milton Keynes alongside enthusiastic young Labour activists, followed by a repeat visit to Stoke-on-Trent – where they watch the party’s working class vote collapse, the endpoint of a story Anywhere But Westminster has been tracing for 10 years. But in among the electoral rubble, they find overlooked signs of a better future

Comments»

1. Tomboktu - December 14, 2019

Did they make a mistake not putting John McDinnell up for the leadership as the left candidate in 2015?

Like

WorldbyStorm - December 14, 2019

I think so!

Liked by 1 person

2. Brian Hanley - December 14, 2019

An earlier part of that series examined the Edinburgh Helping Hands project, the kind of work that might be worth exploring for those serious about building from the ground up in Johnson’s Britain

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/video/2019/dec/10/anywhere-but-westminster-scotland-fear-and-lothian-on-the-campaign-trail-video

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - December 14, 2019

+1 As a friend of both of ours has said key to have structures and orgs outside the state because what the state gives the state can take away.

Like

3. GearóidGaillimh - December 15, 2019

Worth digging out this prescient profile from 2017 of a Labour seat which was ultimately lost to the Tories in that election. As Brian noted in another thread, the signs were there in 2017 but were obscured by the gains elsewhere. https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/ev445j/how-labour-lost-the-working-class?fbclid=IwAR0XhOs0v8OR8xAUvq3U604FDigjyzGBuscFFuAlbmUPINTLxHluzkhwmvY

Like

4. roddy - December 15, 2019

I never thought I’d say this but the North is now well to the left of Britain.Only for the compulsory power sharing arrangements ,a “centre left” government could be established in the North tomorrow morning ie SF,SDLP,Alliance,Green would have a majority.

Liked by 1 person

5. ar scáth a chéile - December 15, 2019

Not sure if these figures below have been mentioned here yet ( im dizzy keeping up with the post election CLR ferment) but if they are right comrades, our day will surely come. Molaimis an óige!

“The demographics
Labour won more than half the vote among those turning out aged 18-24 (57%) and 25-34 (55%), with the Conservatives second in both groups. The Conservatives were ahead among those aged 45-54 (with 43%), 55-64 (with 49%) and 65+ (with 62%).”
https://lordashcroftpolls.com

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - December 15, 2019

+1. And was it you or someone else (I can’t keep up either!) who was saying that a key aspect of the Corbyn era (odd to phase it like that) was the return of stronger left approaches like nationalisation etc which had been lost for a very long time in the UK political discourse. This may seem a real stretch, but… I wonder if in focusing so heavily on Corbyn, as against the LP programme, the Tories made a strategic mistake, because you can change the person but the policy… if that sticks then things will get better.

Like

ar scáth a chéile - December 15, 2019

Wasnt me but the same thought gives me hope ..notwithstanding previous cutting ” Great Manifesto though” comment here by Brian Hanley.
And come to think of it shouldnt Tories be a littke concerned that 33% ( and 56% of 18-34 year olds) voted for a Provo Marxist programme!

Liked by 1 person

CL - December 15, 2019

The problem was not the manifesto.

“A poll by Opinium, a research group, found the biggest reason given by former Labour voters for deserting the party were leadership (37 per cent), Brexit (21 per cent) and economic policies (6 per cent).”
https://www.ft.com/content/64c783d4-1dc2-11ea-9186-7348c2f183af

“Labour knew Brexit would dominate and aimed to shift the conversation to public services and the environment. It failed there too. The problem was not the manifesto. Labour’s plans for nationalisation, public spending and wealth redistribution were popular, achievable, and would not have left Britain in a radically different place from many other European nations.”
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/dec/13/labour-why-lost-jeremy-corbyn-brexit-media

” A minority of Britons—roughly a third, who will now see themselves as effectively disenfranchised—voted for a radical expansion of the public sector, a great leap forward toward a socialist Britain. But the plurality chose a party that, while promising more spending, has actually recomposed itself around a reanimated Thatcherite vision of exclusionary, anti-egalitarian, moralizing social Darwinism….
Parts of Labour’s manifesto program were undoubtedly appealing to many voters, but in this electoral cycle the Tories’ crude but effective message on Brexit trumped anything Labour had to offer—and Corbyn’s negatives were even higher than Johnson’s”
https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2019/12/12/the-strange-death-of-social-democratic-england/

In the U.S. Biden is using the BLP defeat to promote his ‘centrist’ position versus Warren and Sanders. More nonsense.

Liked by 1 person

6. ar scáth a chéile - December 15, 2019

Apparently Rebecca Long Bailey has said she’d be willing to press the button. The left candidate seeking to distance herself from Corbyn and prove her credibility by a wllingness to obliterate millions ?

Like

Paul Culloty - December 15, 2019

Her various media appearances have seen her pilloried by the general public, to the extent that she has earned the unenviable nickname of “Wrong-Daily” .

Like

7. Stan - December 15, 2019

I’d put my money on Jess Phillips for leadership, with ‘Sir’Keir Starmer flouncing off to a UN/EU job D-Miliband style quite soon after.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - December 15, 2019

What’s your feeling about her, good, bad, indifferent?

Like

Stan - December 15, 2019

She overdoes the ‘just an ordinary Brummie me’, thing, but she’s a good performer and might be just the anti-Boris device they need for the time being. Kinnock might be the best comparison?

Like

WorldbyStorm - December 15, 2019

Yeah, that makes sense. They certainly need some sort of anti-Boris device.

Like

Miguel62 - December 16, 2019

I like her. She’s a plain speaker, no airs and graces, and not a programmed robot focus-grouped to parrot a packaged sterile party line. And she’s funny. She’s also a Remainer who made no secret of it and yet managed to hold her seat and only dropped a percent or so when Remain Labour MPs were dropping 10% nationally. Neither Blairite nor Corbynite, she has a realistic chance of reuniting the coalition of traditional industrial Labour heartlands and the urban metropolitans.

Liked by 1 person

8. Brian Hanley - December 15, 2019

Long Bailey seems to be the Corbynite choice. She’s a Manc and a United fan, so that’s a big plus. (That ‘Wrong-Daily’ is a fantastic negative nickname though).
Interesting that McDonnell seems to be content to take the blame, (unfairly) while Corbyn waffles about his legacy (what a surprise).

Like

WorldbyStorm - December 15, 2019

If she is big on the bomb that’s very Paul Mason.

Like

Liberius - December 16, 2019

Strikes me that McDonnell taking the blaming publicly is very dangerous as considering he is the shadow chancellor it legitimises the notion that a shift to the right economically is what labour needs which risks throwing away any gains that have been made on pushing labour leftward (to little more than advocating mixed market and Keynesianism) on that front.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - December 16, 2019

+1

Like

WorldbyStorm - December 16, 2019

Indeed the more I think about it the more I agree with your point, that’s a very bad approach from the LP.

Like

tafkaGW - December 16, 2019

Well at least it isn’t ‘Old-Bailey’, or ‘Male-Bailey’. That party could do with a younger woman with brains and backbone as a public face.

Better would be a system of joint leadership, one identifying as a woman one as a man, that most parties here in Germany (apart from the CDU/CSU) have adopted.

Having two people at the head / as spokespeople makes the monstering harder. Plus it means that they can both don’t risk getting burned out so much.

Like

9. Brian Hanley - December 15, 2019

Or very ‘old Labour’; it was the Atlee government that made Britain a nuclear power.
Actually the discussion on Blair and Iraq made me think about the foreign policy of the most successful Labour government in history, though that’s another day’s discussion.

Liked by 1 person

10. CL - December 16, 2019

“Jeremy Corbyn … ended the neoliberal grip on party policy decisively, to the point where even his enemies realise there is no going back. He dragged the party enthusiastically towards a radical green agenda. And on 32 per cent last night, Labour is still one of the most successful social democratic parties in Europe.”-Paul Mason
https://www.newstatesman.com/2019/12/corbynism-over-labour-s-next-leader-must-unite-centre-and-left

Like

11. tafkaGW - December 16, 2019

My meta-take is that, once Brexit was out of the bag after the referendum, then class politics would get overshadowed. Combined with the UK’s unrepresentative election system that’s absolute poison.

Despite the BLP’s best efforts, Brexit determined the election. Once you play along with right-wing identity-based projects like Brexit, you’ve already lost.

Brexitania now has has a massive ‘looser’s consent’ problem now.

‘Looser’s consent’ is the mechanism by which a minority which looses consents to accept the majority decision.

Because a majority of about 17.0 million voted for parties that wanted at least a third referendum on Brexit, as against about 14.9 million who believed the big like of ‘getting Brexit done’.

This disenfranchisement over a decision that is irreversible, will lead to long-lasting disillusion with the political process.

Which itself plays into the hands of the old Etonian Trump mini-me, who will have enormous executive power, thanks the the UK non-constitution, and will increase that power.

When Brexit goes sour, the enemy will continue to be the EU, who won’t give the UK the trade deal they think they deserve, the Irish who insist on implementation of the Good Friday Agreement, and assorted internal enemies, including an independent judiciary, the remaining oppositional journalists, foreigners and ethnic minorities.

Like

tafkaGW - December 16, 2019

like->lie

Like

Alibaba - December 16, 2019

‘When Brexit goes sour, the enemy will continue to be the EU’. That’s well noted.

The Conservative Party politicians who started the whole Brexit drive could not even agree among themselves on terms for leaving Europe and when the minutiae kicks in who knows what will happen? Most of them know Brexit is problematic but leaders like Johnson don’t care and will push ahead regardless.

At the start of 2020 watch political leaders trying to work out some system to avoid any checks on the island of Ireland (as well as on trucks at Dover and Calais). They hope to create a so-called soft border. But this is probably impossible.
 
Disaster is looming. Trade will decline. Many jobs may disappear. Prices of foods will rise. Things may even be worse because there are now thousands of rules across Europe to control driving licences, working hours, flying, banking, police cooperation, food standards etc. Disentangling these arrangements isn’t easy. Business will suffer and so will workers conditions too.

Then any Brexit imposed restored border checks could cause an end to the twenty years of ceasefire that operated in the North.

And this is only the beginning. UK attempts to get trade deals around the world could take years and look bleak.

The UK got polarised around Brexit. For Corbyn to go fence-sitting and then to become “neutral” spelt his demise. Any new Labour Party leadership that doesn’t come hollering defiantly about Brexit dealings and tackling the misinformation can kiss goodbye to getting back to power.

Like

12. tafkaGW - December 16, 2019

Lexiteers have one analysis of what went wrong, numerate people have another.

Whoever is ‘right’ in this game of counterfactuals: the fact is that the British Labour Party is now politically irrelevant, on a parliamentary level and for a while on an extra-parliamentary level, for the next five years at least.

I hope Long-Bailey gets the job. That the monstering has already begun, is unsurprising.

Liked by 1 person


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: