Posts Tagged ‘Labour left’

Starmer crushed the Labour Left. That is why he won.

09/07/2024, 10:50:39 PM

by Sam Dale

You may think it would provoke a moment of introspection. A shred of humility, perhaps? Maybe, even, a half-hearted congratulations to the new prime minister.

But no. The far-left, who left Labour on the brink of extinction just five years ago, are doing their most ungracious best to dismiss the most astonishing electoral turnaround in British history.

Jeremy Corbyn won in Islington North. A few independent wins. The Greens are second in a few dozen seats to Labour. Something about vote share. And just you wait for next time in….. 2029!

It’s always next time, isn’t it?

Such are the scraps the Left are left to feed off in the wake of Starmer’s swaggering, all conquering win.

So, let us stop and take a moment to savour this delicious victory.

In December 2019, just four and a half years ago, Trots and Marxists were running the Labour party.

Inevitably and predictably, it was handed its worst general election result in 100 years with 191 seats.

Keir Starmer took over a party on its knees. He had to be Neil Kinnock and Tony Blair rolled into one.

He made two big, necessary changes.

Firstly, he has crushed the Labour Left. Corbyn was booted out, Owen Jones left the party and a series of candidates ruthlessly dismissed.


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The problem with the Labour Left…

06/03/2017, 11:03:48 PM

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.


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Labour cannot return to the days of “no compromise with the electorate”

11/08/2015, 10:04:27 PM

by Tal Michael

A winning slogan? You wouldn’t think so, but it seems many in the Labour party have decided that this is the approach they want to take. Twenty five years ago, in the piece of academic work I took most seriously during my time at Oxford, I wrote an essay on the rise and fall of the Labour left. Conventional wisdom was that “the left” was at an all-time low as Neil Kinnock and Roy Hattersley crushed a challenge from Tony Benn and Eric Heffer.

My analysis was slightly different. I argued that following defeat in 1987, most of the left had concluded that it is far better to propose a modest programme of reform, and when in government to put it into practice, than to go into an election and either lose, allowing the Tories to make things worse rather than better, or to win power, but discover that the economic situation makes it too difficult to deliver on the promises made.

When Neil Kinnock lost in 1992, most of the Labour party agreed to accept the leadership of John Smith and then Tony Blair not because those of us on the left had redefined our own personal views of utopia, but because we recognised that a moderate platform of reform was more likely to secure electoral success.

Whether the 1997 Labour platform was moderate is a matter of contention. A national minimum wage, devolution, investing in health and education, getting young people into jobs, halving child poverty and tackling poverty in old age were all a radical departure from the previous Tory government. The introduction of a minimum wage was going to bankrupt the country according to the Tories – yet now they are pretending they are going to raise it to a living wage.


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Labour has stepped through the looking glass

14/07/2015, 07:00:34 PM

by John Slinger

Imagine if David Miliband had won the Labour leadership on 2010 and had taken the party to the right of Tony Blair, or even just continued where Blair left off in 2007.

Imagine if he’d led a centralised operation focused on the theorising and advice of a small group of advisers.

Imagine if he’d turned out to be an unpopular leader who had stuck to his central message that Labour needed to move to the right, entertain radical reform of public services, tackle the deficit through cuts and be avowedly pro-business, even though many commentators and many in his party thought that the cost of living crisis and pre-distribution were more important themes.

Imagine if he’d made some major tactical and PR blunders but that he managed to keep the party united and left-wingers had remained supportive and loyal (if ultimately unconvinced).

Imagine if he had stuck to his key narrative on the deficit and business before switching to the cost of living crisis with just a month to go to polling day and put it on page one of the manifesto.

Imagine he’d been level pegging in the polls for a year but in the end, led the party to a crushing and surprise defeat.

Imagine if, in the aftermath, rich backers from the right of the party were saying threatening things about leading left-wingers and spending their money to sign-up non-members to sway the next leadership race.

Imagine if his supporters, the so-called “Blairites”, argued that we lost because David hadn’t been allowed to be “Blairite” or right-wing enough and had been prevented from doing so by the lefties even though the lefties had been loyal.

Imagine if the right foisted an extreme right-wing candidate on the ballot and coalesced around him or her?

Imagine if silky voiced right-wingers took to the airwaves and spoke with utter confidence about the rectitude of their cause as if they’d won the election.

It’s hard to imagine but if you switch “right-winger” for “left-winger” then this is the Alice in Wonderland world being constructed by some in the Labour party now.

Sadly, it’s not fiction.

John Slinger is a strategic communications consultant and Chair of Pragmatic Radicalism. He blogs here

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The Milibelievers are back to finish the job of destroying the Labour party

10/06/2015, 08:05:15 PM

by Renie Anjeh

It’s been over a month since Labour’s devastating, but entirely avoidable, election defeat. Ed Milband’s leadership ended in abject failure.  David Cameron is the first prime minister since 1900 to increase his party’s share of the vote and number of seats after a full parliamentary term. There are voices in the Labour party who understand the gravity of the situation.  Jon Cruddas warned that this is the greatest crisis that the Labour party has ever faced.

Alastair Campbell reiterated Cruddas’s warnings when he told Andrew Marr that the party is in “big trouble” and “may not be at the bottom”. Unfortunately, their political sagacity is not shared by a lot of the party especially the Milibelievers. Yes, the Milibelievers are not dead. They are not even sleeping. They are alive and well and finding their voice again.

Over the last five years, the Milibelievers have given us a litany of excuses to prove that Ed Miliband was destined for Number 10. “2015 was going to be a ‘change election’”, they told us. This meant that the rules of politics no longer applied. They even said that Ed was the Left’s answer to Margaret Thatcher and he was going to reshape the political consensus.

As we learned last month, the messianic prophecies of the Milibelievers turned out to be complete and utter rubbish.

But here they come again.


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The power of Labour’s left means Ed Miliband’s speech on public service reform has already been neutered

10/02/2014, 04:43:34 PM

by Atul Hatwal

This evening Ed Miliband will make speech mentioning Labour’s great unmentionable, a policy area that has been mothballed since Tony Blair’s departure from Number 10: public service reform.

The new left inquisition which dominates much of today’s Labour party views Blairism as the most egregious of all the possible heresies. To openly suggest our public services are in need of reform is dangerously Blairite.

It virtually invites the type of twitter auto-da-fé experienced by those hardy Labour souls who have had the temerity to call for a tougher line on welfare or public spending.

The only criticism of public services permissible in the current orthodoxy is funding: everything would be better if there was more money and the Tory cuts were reversed. All else is doctrinally suspect.

As a result there is some excitement in anticipation of what Labour’s leader will say.

It is also why we know that Ed Miliband’s foray into new territory will only advance Labour’s thinking in the most nugatory manner.

Public service reform has always had two inextricably linked aspects: shifting power from providers to service users and improving efficiency. One leads to another: as power is shifted, and resources allocated to better reflect demand, so cost is driven down and quality, up.


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