by Dean Quick
Few things signal what has gone wrong with the Labour party than its MPs voting time and again for policies that they know their working class supporters detest but which are celebrated by professional liberals who would never dream of renting a council house but are the first to condemn those who want to exercise their right to buy.
It is time that Labour’s moderates broke with this metropolitan elitism and actually started listening to their voters. No more of the politics of endless repetition of facts and figures which comes across to so many working class voters as just more patronising prattle from the folks who live at the ends of houses with drive-ways.
One does not have to agree with Michael Gove on everything to acknowledge that he hit the nail on the head when he said the people of this country have had enough of experts: for ordinary voters their everyday experience trumps any facts, research or evidence.
So it is time Labour brought back capital punishment.
After all, the Attlee government executed people – even innocent people like Timothy Evans. If such judicial killing was good enough for Clem then it is about time we returned to the Spirit of 45 and got the gallows going.
One huge advantage of this proposal to respond to working class concerns is that, unlike the other idea that has been floated in this regard – leaving the European single market so that we can restrict immigration into Britain – the net economic impacts of my proposal are likely to be positive.
For while further restricting immigration would stunt economic growth, limit tax revenues and thus damage public services, a good round of hangings would actually increase growth – think of the jobs needed to construct the gallows and carry out the killings – and would free up public money currently spent unproductively in keeping murderers in jail.
Where the two proposals similar, of course, is that they won’t actually solve any of the social problems that many voters think they address. Stopping free movement will not increase wages, in fact it is more likely to see them fall as the economy slows. Similarly, of course, the evidence shows that judicial executions of murderers has little impact on the murder rate.
This moderate proposal is designed to give those trying to save Labour some edge and definition. Though it does not have to be seen as in any way divisive. Jeremy Corbyn plainly has no fundamental problem with working with those who support judicial executions or even torture to extract a confession, but I am not proposing we follow his friends in the Iranian regime and hang people for being gay.
But it certainly would make life easier for some Labour MPs who would no longer have to offer leadership of the debate by relying on facts and evidence. Instead they could just get down to pandering to people’s fears. Unless, of course, someone tried to fit them up for a murder. But that is a risk we will just have to take.
Dean Quick is a pseudonym