LABCON: The Transmogrification of the Labour Party

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Labour: We are backing the government!

If Labour aren’t willing to openly fight against parking charges imposed on our heroic NHS workers then we have seriously lost our way! On the Andrew Marr Show, 12th July 2020, Rachel Reeves refused to say that the wealthiest 5% in the country should pay a little more tax to help pay for the COVID-19 crisis. We are back to robbing pensioners of free TV licences, hammering the poorest via DWP sanctions and cuts to our already vandalised public services!

The Labour leak report proves the right the Labour Party fear an anti system movement more than losing an election. Most are wealthy, Oxford PPE graduates. The PLP no longer reflects the power base or constituency that puts them in their privileged positions. They pursue economic & industrial policies that work against the daily needs of their traditional voter base. It’s a cycle that will see the end of the party.

There is no reciprocity in terms of payback for their support in our traditional heartlands from the party.

Until people trust that the party is willing to provide real change and give the people the power to take back control of the economy so it works for ordinary people, we have no legitimate offer. Therefore, we can expect no unconditional support. Scotland & the north of England prove that.

Now some of the party’s traditional base have voted Tory and have seen that the sky didn’t fall in or that they weren’t struck down by a bolt of lightning, the loyalty spell is broken. The emotional attachment to Labour built from one generation to the next is gone & may never return.

The working class have been the victim in an abusive relationship with Labour for too long. Brexit was the straw that broke the camels back. You can analyse all you want but living amongst the people of the ‘red wall’ it was obvious from as early as 2018 what would happen if Labour abandoned their 2017 pledge to honour the referendum result.

As democrats, it was a betrayal of democracy as well as a betrayal of the majority of our traditional electoral base. You betray the working class at your peril. They showed solidarity with each other and gave Labour a kicking at the ballot box in 2019 for not listening or honouring their democratic voice. For the majority of those who voted Tory for the first time, it was more about expressing anger at Labour pivoting to a remain position than anything else.

What about the future? If you look at the response Labour received in Scotland after joining forces with Tories in the Independence Referendum you’d have seen the writing on the wall for Labour in their ‘RED WALL’ heartlands. Again the evidence and warnings were ignored. The ‘we know better than the working class’ attitude from the centrists won the day!

The Transmogrification of the Labour Party

In 2017 the economic message was well received. The majority of working people were, and still are, desperate for systemic change in economic and industrial strategy.

Labour’s cultural message was in touch with the many too. The party seemed to be ‘getting’ the angst in working class communities for the first time in decades. Under Corbyn they saw an authentic politician, a man of moral conviction and honesty. His record speaks for itself.

When he was forced to change position on Brexit (ironically by those who sought to remove him from leadership position) he became perceived as ‘just like all the others.’ Moving away from the 2017 promise of honouring the result of the EU referendum, it was easy to attack the honesty, integrity & the image of one of the most honest, conviction politicians of our time.

The party was easily portrayed as betraying its previous promises on the referendum and the bond of trust was broken, the culture war was lost.

Lack of trust then became a wider issue. The lack of belief in Labour being able to deliver policies wasn’t so much about affordability, it was much more about a lack of trust and belief that the party would carry out its manifesto promises. At the moment Labour put out their Brexit position the election was lost People had become deaf to the party’s messaging. They’d already given up caring what the party had to say. It had let them down, again!.

The future under the current leadership looks bleak. The trend from 2001 shows a decline in the Labour vote (discounting 2017). Current polling shows no real change even after six months of Kier Starmer’s leadership. Sadly, evidence shows those responsible for Labour’s pivot to remain have now successfully moved the direction of economic strategy away from systemic change too.

Labour are fast moving to the right or at least inline with most Tory policy on the economy. This presents no hope for the majority of voters. We have an economic and industrial strategy that doesn’t work for millions of ordinary people and Labour offer business as usual. So, we are losing the war on both fronts, the economic and cultural battles. Without Scotland and the ‘red wall’ seats in the north of England Starmer will fail. It’s further proof that the right wing of Labour prefer to lose than engage in system change – it suits their own living standards.

Andy Searson from the Red Wall.

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