In the second of a pair of short essays on the state of the party, Kevin Meagher casts a critical eye over the state of the Labour Left.
When did unpopularity and electoral failure become synonymous with the Left? On the face of it, seeking to level-up the world for those who get a rough deal should commend left-wing solutions to millions – tens of millions – of voters who, well, get a rough deal.
So why does it never turn out that way? Why is Labour languishing at 24 per cent in the polls? Why is Jeremy Corbyn less popular than the Black Death? Or Leicester City’s board?
The Labour Leader’s relaunch, much talked about at the start of the year, came to a juddering halt in the cold, wintry lanes of Copeland last week. A Labour seat, made up of workers in a heavily-unionised industry, left Jeremy Corbyn high and dry.
Of course, it was the nuclear industry, so it didn’t help that he’s implacably opposed to how so many of the voters there make a living.
Ah, but what about Stoke? Labour held on there.
Fair enough, Labour is still capable of holding some of its safest seats. But what Stoke showed is that White working-class voters in ‘drive past’ towns are loyal in their bones and will not readily abandon Labour, despite the endless provocations from the liberal-left that they are all ignorant, Brexit-voting racists.