The ripples from the US election and its aftermath could profoundly affect Labour’s journey from here

by Rob Marchant

It should be uncontroversial at this point, for any (small-“d”) democrat, to say that the election of Joe Biden is immensely good news for the world in general. Following the final debacle of Trump’s disastrous presidency, the Capitol insurrection, the alternative in retrospect seems ever more unthinkable, because it is now clear that his open contempt for democracy could easily have led the US to a much, much darker place than happened on the 6th of January.

We are now at least in the happy position of going back to something resembling politics-as-usual. We can finally start to critique the new presidency as we would have done any other and, for us on the left, things mostly look very promising. But there are also some flaws, as we shall see.

But, at the risk of seeming a little parochial, what’s in it for us? What difference does it make to us, the Labour party, in its struggle to clean itself up and get back into power?

The good news is that, obviously, we will have an occupant of the White House who might be reasonably expected to prefer a Starmer-led government to a Johnson-led one (as indeed he would prefer an anyone-led government, if insider accounts of Biden’s dislike for our current PM is to be believed. One thing is clear: there will be a serviceable working relationship between the two leaders – there always is – but it will not be a chummy, personal one, like Clinton-Blair or Bush-Blair).

There are two caveats to this positive: first, Starmer needs not to do anything ill-advised. For example, this effect didn’t work so well with Ed Miliband, who was reportedly persona non grata in the Obama White House for some time, following his disastrous handling of the Syria vote in the Commons. Second, that this kind of “left-left” alignment is not usually much direct help anyway, although some occasional supportive noises from the president might help a little to build Starmer’s desired image as a PM-in-waiting.

And now to the bad news.

First, there will be things Starmer will want just as much as Johnson, which Biden may not help with, or even actively work against. On a post-Brexit trade deal, for example, all the signs are that Biden may well opt for Obama’s celebrated “back of the queue” position. Or that from this, the first president with Irish roots to win office in twenty-eight years, help in resisting what is likely to be increasing pressure towards Irish reunification seems unlikely to be forthcoming. These issues need to be handled with care.

Second, and perhaps more concerning, there are concrete things Biden has already done, and others he might do very soon, which can create a negative knock-on for Starmer. Why so?

US commentator Andrew Sullivan’s perceptive piece on the immediate aftermath of the inauguration is instructive: it makes the point that, for all his talk of unity, Biden is not exactly going out of his way to avoid culture wars, either. The Democrats’ progressive wing has been exacting its demands on Biden – whose deputy, let us not forget, belongs to said wing – since the day the election was called for him.

And the Progressives are big – very big – on identity politics, arguably one of their more successful exports to the European left, despite the fact that, for example, the history of race relactions in the UK is markedly different from the US. And that leads us to a couple of areas in which their policies get a little, well radical.

Among others, VP Kamala Harris has very much bought into the modern concept of “equity over equality” – this may sound high-faluting but, as Sully points out, it’s merely what previous generations called “equality of outcome over equality of opportunity”. That is, tinkering with labour market operation or public services access for different “identities”, in a way which is intended to promote fairness but which ultimately often results in perverse incentives in practice..

This is a major change in thinking. It’s useful to note that, for that very reason, the accepted position for years in both the US and UK has been that equality of opportunity is the only desirable way forward. For example, Britain has not had a government which seriously subscribed to equality of outcome since Jim Callaghan left office in 1979 and ushered in eighteen years of Tory government.

Now, perhaps this is all just talk on the part of Harris and co., but what if it’s not? To reopen those debates long held to be closed on the sensible British left, because they can see American thought leaders promoting those ideas, is not helpful, to say the least, at a time when Labour is trying hard to get back to common sense. It is no secret that the Corbynite commentariat are keen to reach out to the Progressives as like-minded souls – and perhaps they are, to an extent.

That’s just one example which will likely surface slowly, over the course of the coming presidential term. And note that we can mostly assume that the “identities” involved will refer to a characteristic with relatively clear and firm boundaries, like race, sex or geography. The trouble is, when you start making special cases for a long list of minorities, you end up with an unworkable patchwork of exceptions, and those who are not a special case feeling resentful.

Now imagine a case which is still more problematic: where the boundaries are blurry. The most immediate example, which many have pointed out in the last few days, is that the initial batch of Executive Orders contained a provision which effectively enshrines self-id for anyone identifying as transgender in federal law. In short, this means that any man who “feels” they are a woman has a right, without being required to pass any evidencial test, to women-only spaces in federal buildings, women’s sport, women’s federal prisons and so on. As numbers of people identifying as transgender skyrocket, it is not difficult to see how this idea is likely to cause enormous problems in practice.

So this is clearly a big deal. In itself, this change provides a precedent in US law, which is likely to be used as an argument for self-id over here (in my view, inappropriately, given the big differences in existing protections for women and the fact that further change is opposed by activists across the political spectrum, by no means just the right) by the Trans Rights Activist (TRA) lobby. And this is an area where Starmer already has a serious fight on his hands, between those same TRAs on the one hand, and feminists concerned at the erosion of women’s rights on the other.

For the moment, Starmer has kept his head down and largely avoided that fight; but it is coming, and this move by the Biden administration will surely accelerate it.

It seems fair to argue that, given the awfulness of the alternative, many centrist electors will have voted for Biden without taking much time to mull over the detail of his policy programme. If you believe in sensible government and democracy first, the rest would understandably seem irrelevant on polling day. But that also implies that, perhaps, ex-post scrutiny of that programme now needs to be a lot stronger. And we need, as Biden himself ought, to avoid the culture wars.

In short: it’s great that Biden’s in power and we cannot diminish the greatness of his achievement. But now he is there, we are allowed to restart the process of critical thought.

As we do, it is right to be aware of how the message of his progressive wing, if heeded by those leftists who see them as the “cool left”, could well end up prolonging Labour’s return to the electable centre, not shortening it.

That is, we should engage with the arguments of the Biden Democrats, but we do not need to swallow them whole.

Rob Marchant is an activist and former Labour party manager who blogs at The Centre Left

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42 Responses to “The ripples from the US election and its aftermath could profoundly affect Labour’s journey from here”

  1. Matt C says:

    A good, well-reasoned piece, to which I’d add one observation. Biden’s willingness to go along with the progressive wing of his party on “culture wars” issues may not do him much good with the US electorate, either. We can all celebrate that Trump has gone (and it feels lovely to write that), but the sense of disillusionment and disenchantment from many traditional Democrat voters that got him elected in the first place has gone nowhere. Some of them held their noses and voted for Democrats because Trump was so far beyond the pale, but that may not last.

    It might sound odd to say this with the Republicans in the middle of a civil war over how to adapt to Trump’s legacy, but if Biden and Harris choose to exacerbate the culture wars, there’s every chance the GOP could retake the Senate and even the House at midterms and then be highly competitive in 2024.

    So Starmer has a tough line to tread here. Of course he’ll want good links with the Biden administration. But should he manage to form a Government after the next UK election, in 2023 if Johnson feels confident and in 2024 if he doesn’t, there’s every chance that he’ll only cross-over with Biden for 6 months or so before a new Republican administration arrives. Picking sides in US politics too blatantly while in opposition could be poor statesmanship in the long run.

    None of which should matter if the GOP decides to double down hard on Trumpism’s lack of respect for deceny and the law. If they do that, then screw ’em.

  2. A.J. says:

    What function does a Labour Party ‘manager’ actually perform? My grandfather was a Co-Op manager. He sold tins of treacle, ounces of cheese, you know, that sort of thing.
    As to Trump/Biden, I expect someone must have asked themselves the question, how was it the Republican Party allowed The Donald to get anywhere within spitting distance of power?
    I thought Lord Ashcroft wrote sense (some time last week) when he said that people who had voted for Biden didn’t want radical change, just a bit of peace and quiet.
    They are scarcely likely to get it. It is in the nature of political parties/movements -particularly those on the Left – never to let a sleeping dog lie if they imagine it will benefit from a kick up the backside. How else can they justify their miserable existence?
    As for the radical trans nonsense, look no further than the likes of the absurd Lisa Nandy, carrying on the long-standing tradition of brainlessness within the Labour Movement since the era of Wilson and Callaghan.
    Someone needs to dig deeper when it comes to the Trump phenomenon. But don’t hold your breath when it comes to Biden pouring oil on troubled waters. Worse things may be waiting. And, should they appear, nothing any serious-minded little fart who takes ‘The Guardian’ says or does will make the blindest bit of difference.

  3. Alf says:

    It’s a little known fact that Keir Starmer lives in Peter Kay’s doll’s house. He’s actually a very small midget. That’s why you have never ever seen him being interviewed standing next to a box of matches.

  4. A.J. says:

    Just for the record, the Left in Britain have always hated the Republican Party. A significant number with only vague political affiliations have always hated Republican Presidents in particular. One only has to recall the cheap abuse that was dished out to Ronald Reagan and to George W.Bush. Call me a liar if you will, but if the GOP nominated Martin Luther King and the Democrats a KKK Grand Dragon the Left – not only here but across the world – would rush to dress up in snazzy white costumes featuring pointy-headed hoods. Because that’s how stupid and blinkered they are. I was amazed to read that Callaghan actually got on rather well with Gerald Ford. So, if Biden is caught with his hand in some White House staffers knickers, remember this: Lisa Nandy and the left-wing newspapers will dream up some plausible excuse – such as pressure of work.

  5. A.J. says:

    I see those nice, gentle people who call themselves ‘antifa’ (doubtless without recognising the irony of their stance) have been out and about, performing random good deeds such as smashing up a Democratic Party HQ. Biden, it appears, is not ‘left-wing’ enough for them. Besides, like the anti-Brexiteers and Scottish Nationalists that infest our green and pleasant land, they want everything done in a hurry: preferably by tea-time tomorrow, so that they can get back to their computer games, buttered scones or whatever fancy takes them. ‘What do we want?’ ‘Wads more cash’. ‘When do we want it?’ ‘Now!!’ It all has a familiar ring, does it not? And where is a Mayor Daley when the Democratic Party need him most? God help Kamala Harris when these delightful young people decide she isn’t quite ‘Woke’ enough (but, then, who would be?) and drag her screaming by her designer clothing to the nearest bonfire… Give him a year or so and poor George Floyd will be seen as an icon of the ‘far right’…
    As Bernard Levin once said of British politics, the SWP were simply the mirror image of the National Front. So ‘antifa’ are the mirror image of the kind of cavemen we all saw swarming around the Capitol. Or perhaps Biden or Harris supposes that ‘antifa’ represent ‘the best of our movement’, a la John McDonnell. It’s perhaps too early to tell.
    I would suggest that the ‘Bank Of Mom And Pop’ have a serious think about junior’s bedtime and his/her/its trust fund.

  6. A.J. says:

    Are ‘identity politics’ a successful export into Europe? It seems a curious way of putting it. I would happily settle for half a dozen tins of the delicious nutty popcorn my late father would sometimes bring back from his trips Stateside. Other than that, I can think of very little else that ought to be imported from the USA into Europe. I suppose ‘chlorinated chicken’ is now off the menu?
    When will people in what remains of the ‘United’ Kingdom get it into their heads that anything emanating from the US of A is worthless rubbish, whether it happens to be the novels of John Updike or cheeseburgers, the last crop of Brooks Brothers clothing or aggressive feminism? It’s culture became bankrupt years ago: quite possibly before Lee Harvey Oswald began asking directions in downtown Dallas.
    Poor Europe. With so much to offer in the way of excellent food and sunshine, my EU-loving next-door neighbours (not to mention sundry members of my own family) thrive on the tawdry products of California and dream of holidays in Las Vegas.
    Who ponders the pages of ‘Labour Uncut’ who still regards himself (all right, herself) an ‘Atlanticist’ like, say, Denis Healey? Don’t all rush to put up your hands at once.
    Douglas Murray made me smile in the ‘Daily Telegraph’ this morning, telling their rather dim readership that liberals are no longer liberal. A distinguished academic, the late Professor David Adams, told me that the better part of thirty years ago. Come along, Douglas, do try to keep up.
    Perhaps, though, we should apply to the US Treasury for a new loan to ‘reflate’ (or something) the NHS. They did, after all, cough up for it in the first place.

  7. John P Reid says:

    Does equality of income mean that having to work as hard or as king hour. Gif the sand pat, what if people who want to do more taxing jobs or out the hours in as want to earn more

    As For Democrats would prefer Labour than Tory
    I can’t see Obama preferring brown iver cameron( or Ed Miliband gif that matter had he won) I can see LBJ preferring A Tory, when Wilton was PM
    Or Carter preferring Maggie to Callaghan

    Starmer avoiding the fight in the trans issue apart from David evans meeting labour women’s declaration , has seen mps like Rosie Duffield he can’t avoid the bullying thr TRA’s do

  8. Tafia says:

    Well within a couple of days of taking Office, 30,000 pipeline workers were issued redundancy notices and will lose their jobs at the end of this month along with several small enterprise support companies going into liquidation.

    And the effects of one of Biden’s decrees has been to remove the restreaints on US domestic insulin prices, leading to a 25% increase in price at a stroke (in a countrey with only limited public health assistance).

    So that’s heavy manual workers losing jobs and poorer diabetics facing increased costs. These are both black and white, yes or no issues. Is Labour in favour or against?

  9. A.J. says:

    So, according to the obnoxious Piers Morgan, Biden is already doing what all politicians seem to do best: telling lies – or ‘spinning’ as the likes of Alistair Campbell (actually, he makes Morgan seem almost acceptable) would call it. No wonder those lovely people from ‘antifa’ are grumbling. I wonder if lies went over on the Mayflower or George Washington made up some of his own – in spite of the stories one hears to the contrary. Perhaps Tony Blair could hold seminars in Washington on lying through your teeth on every possible occasion. It would be a surefire moneyspinner.
    Just getting back to the radical trans side of life, now that we know, via the BBC, that there are over a hundred genders to choose from – just as if they’re bags of sweeties – would someone mind telling me which Nicola Sturgeon is alleged to be?

  10. Ann Onnimus says:

    Is there anything you won’t use as an excuse to wallow in your irrational hatred of trans people?

  11. Anne says:

    On a positive note, it really is a good win for both America and the whole world that Biden has been elected. The alternative of having Trump for a further 4 years would have been disastrous. Biden and his team certainly have their work cut out and most of their focus will be on home soil – vaccination programme, and ‘the economy stupid’ – foreign affairs will not be his priority. What does this mean for the UK and Labour. Well firstly, in four years time Biden will be 81 years old when he goes for a second term while 2024 when Starmer becomes PM – this is one year later. At present, it is probable that Biden will go for a second term – his team will be more established. Secondly, Biden is a professional- he has been in politics for a long period of time – yes he will have established views – his affinity with Ireland and he will not be that enamoured with Russia. Don’t think there will be any rush for him to do a trade deal with the UK. Harris, at the moment, is the new girl on the block, regarding world affairs, but she appears to have ability. Merkel, is retiring from world politics- she has been an influential character- a vacancy for a prominent women in world affairs – could Harris fill this position. Many uncertainties, but more positives than negatives.

  12. Mike says:

    Labour is buying into identity politics as Butler and Abbott show. The Conservatives represent the mainstream of British society in this and will win in 2024 in part based on this. As Professor Goodwin, and the Brexit vote showed, culture trumps economics at the moment

  13. A.J. says:

    I suppose anyone currently contemplating ‘Labour’s journey’, as Mr. Marchant so fatuously puts it (being married to a senior adoption social worker, I hear a good deal about the Instagram generation being on their so-called ‘journey’; as she was expected to be during her cancer treatment, such is the infantile nature of the NHS), one might do worse than take a (probably brief) look/glance at Mark Drakeford, who would once have been cast as a VAT inspector/minor Nazi official in Occupied France/child-molester school-master in scores of low-budget British movies and TV programmes. A glowing ad for devolution – or further devolution – his administration does not appear to be; rather less so, in fact, than Less-Than-Bonnie-Scotland (now suffering from a devastating combination of Sturgeon, Johnson and Gordon Brown, when I expect most of them, being quite sensible people, just want to be left alone).
    Does Starmer really have to depend upon an absurd former Prime Minister to get his message across? Let’s hope no-one in Glasgow wants to ask awkward questions about Eastern European immigration, eh?

  14. richard mackinnon says:

    I think I must have had a stroke during the night. I got up, made a cup of tea and switched on the lap top as usual and read this article. Dont understand what the fuxit about. Thought of reading it again and then, why bother, Guido here we come.

  15. A.J. says:

    Another perspective on Labour’s ‘journey’ is provided by Simon Jenkins in ‘The Guardian’ today (26th January): a blistering, same-old, same-old attack on those who have the acumen to become very rich, accompanied by a multitude of comments praising Corbyn and insulting the ‘thick racists’ who decided to reject their hero at the ballot box. I wonder how Peter Mandelson or Tony Blair would respond to Jenkins’ comments – or don’t they count?
    It all reminds me of a school friend of mine who professes ‘socialism’ whilst cutting for himself the biggest slice of pie he can: a complete product of the politics of envy. Possibly he’d like to pay a bit more income tax. Then again, possibly not. I’m afraid it’s inequality that makes the world spin on its axis – as Mr. Biden doubtless knows but refuses to admit as he signs off his mundane, meaningless ‘presidential orders’ like a small boy in a cake shop. Perhaps every American woman – black, white, brown, whatever – ought to be dressed in the kind of finery Ms. Harris seems to favour. I’d like to experience the vice-presidential hissy fit that would quickly erupt.
    But who cares whether or not Biden has a bust of Churchill at his shoulder or a signed photo of Elvis? Only slightly related but isn’t it about time the ‘Daily Mail’ began laying off Lisa Nandy? Of course she’s stupid – what do they expect? – but raking up old footage of her on ‘Question Time’ is simply not playing the game. Odd, all the same, that she does the job Starmer gave her. I’d think twice about getting her to cut the ribbon at the school summer fete. Mind you, just look at that Coffey woman…

  16. When Rob’s biggest worry is that the US Democrats are to the left of the present Labour leadership says quite a bit about the New Labour project believers.

  17. A.J. says:

    Would a state visit by Joseph Biden to these shores be at all necessary? Would it be at all – as Derbyshire police might phrase it – ‘in the spirit of lockdown’? One can well understand, however, why the Scots are so reluctant to have Boris Johnson touring their shortbread and Irn Bru outlets at this moment in time – although it could be far worse: the First Minister could be bored to death by the Labour leader else find herself outdone in fatuous stupidity by the likes of Angela Rayner or Lisa Nandy. A nice comment in the ‘Glasgow Herald’, though, from someone who blames/praises Nicola (as my sister-in-law insists on calling her) for the sharp increase in urban Scotsmen seeking refuge in cheap alcohol.
    Meanwhile, Labour continues its journey into ‘hindsight’, its spokesmen trying to convince a sceptical nation just how better we’d have all been if Jeremy had been Prime Minister. Covid-19 would have been defeated in its earliest stages by the likes of Susan Michie then Jeremy could have continued with his mission of eradicating all traces of poverty (of any description whatever) on Planet Earth.

  18. John P reid says:

    Labour voter I’m defriending on Facebook someone who didn’t support Labour at the election to show I’m in touch with normal people and the non-Corbynite’s are out of touch,
    no Tory ever defended A Labour Party supporting friend on Facebook. Due to their views
    it shows Facebook views don’t represent the views of the public but Labour Corbynites think in defriending non-Labour voters off of Facebook they are in touch with the public,

  19. A.J. says:

    Oh, ‘Anonymous’, yes, I get it, rather good. One does not ‘wallow’ in anything much these days, not even a hot tub, and much of what I write is purely in the spirit of complete disbelief. Like the late Auberon Waugh, something of a hero of mine (if not to Polly Toynbee) I hold all politicians in contempt whether they are grandstanding or point-scoring.

  20. A.J. says:

    How can anyone take seriously a country, whether it be run by a Trump or a Biden, where virtually everything (or so my younger daughter assures me) is owned by Disney? Come to think of it, though, a little Kamala Harris doll, perhaps spouting pious platitudes about equality of outcome, could become an international best-seller, fit to be placed alongside Peter Kay’s dolls-house in any go-ahead child’s bedroom. There might even be a ‘radical trans’ model made available.
    For those of you stuck inside ‘Little England’, though, tiring of Netflix and alcohol abuse, you might try reading Paul Johnson’s ‘The Recovery Of Freedom’, which I first read, as a young Leftie fascinated by the concept of Thatcherism, some thirty-five odd years ago. Even by the 1970s, according to Johnson, former editor of the ‘New Statesman’, the working class had rejected socialism/the Labour Party. Should, then, be required reading for Paul Emberey, the current go-to bore for our right-leaning ‘newspapers’. Every time I see him I think it’s Prince Harry.
    Will Trump be impeached, I wonder? Never mind. It didn’t seem to do Bill Clinton any harm. We all saw him, dozing away at the inauguration, perhaps dreaming of days gone by before his fateful encounter with the lovely Lewinsky. She once came signing autographs at a bookshop in my hometown. One was tempted to go and have a look, but the moment passed.

  21. wg says:

    And on, and on…

    “Trump’s disastrous presidency”, “the Capitol insurrection”, “his open contempt for democracy” – as if nothing else happened.

    American troops coming home – how that must irk our Rob: much better when he and his idol, Blair, were inflicting their murderous ‘progressive interventionism’ on brown skinned people in muslim countries.
    Rob’s comment on Ed Miliband’s handling of the Syria issue – at a time when the person-on-the-street was heartily ashamed to be British – no doubt reflects Blair’s views that the UK should still be invading other countries.
    I see that Biden is making moves to restart the progressive invasion model.

    And the “Capitol insurrection” – as though we hadn’t just been through six months of Burn, Loot, and Murder: whipped up by Pelosi, Omar, Ocasio-Cortez et al.
    With Democrats now proposing to seek out and de-radicalise people who had the audacity to vote for Trump: is Rob proposing that model in a future UK if/when Labour ever form a government again.

    As for Trump’s “contempt for democracy” – I was one of the fools who stood in the rain outside our Parliament – begging for a vote on the Lisbon Treaty; with Labour politicians openly laughing in our faces.

    If it doesn’t take a Conservative government with an 80 seat majority – and polls, that despite an incompetent government led by a bumbling clown, not shifting in any convincing way – I don’t know what it takes.

    The chasm is widening and Rob still has D:Ream on loop.

  22. A.J. says:

    I’m just waiting for Biden to pivot to a position whereby he can double down. Where might this kind of absurd jargon originate? ‘Uptick’ is another currently doing the rounds. I suppose this is why one of the few journalists I ever read with pleasure nowadays is the saintly Charles Moore in the (admittedly sick-making) ‘Daily Telegraph’, Saturday edition, taken with my lunchtime pint and pastie. Michael Gove is an ‘uptick’ sort of chap: hardly surprising. I used to be married to a female who liked saying ‘No way, Jose’. Can you imagine?
    Of course, one of the more amusing aspects of the ongoing pandemic has been reading – and trying to make sense of – the scientific drivel. There must be an awful lot of previously unknown woodwork for these types to come crawling out of. As for ‘following the science’, couldn’t the makers of phosgene gas, napalm and those who spit the atom have made the same excuses?
    Just asking.
    Meanwhile, nothing from ‘Labour Uncut’ – or Labour – about the monstrous intrusion into civil liberties by an overmighty, power-crazed State. I’m sure a Tony Benn or a Michael Foot would have had something to say about it.

  23. A.J. says:

    Once the excitement about the rather horrible Trump, Joseph Biden, Anita Harris, ‘antifa’ and some clown who goes around wearing horns on his head fades from the popular consciousness (by the weekend, I should imagine) it will be time to return to the vexed question of Europe, the EU or what-have-you. I can scarcely conjure up a vision of either Lord Adonis or Rosie Duffield taking pleasure in the return of M.Le Pen (a woman I have adored for several years now) as a possible (but improbable) threat to the nasty Macron. The fact remains, though, that these people live within swimming distance and we must work out some relationship with them.
    Perhaps the time has come for the EU to be broken up, with the Balkans, Poland and the Baltic states being handed to Putin as a possible bulwark against the Chinese. We might even add Sweden to the list. Even Portugal is looking dodgy at the moment, and surely Germany never really belonged (other than the areas to which France might fancy having back).
    Less facetiously, the time might be approaching when something more like the old Common Market is once more acceptable to broad opinion. Wouldn’t some kind of peaceful horse-trading be preferable to the bloc simply squabbling and falling apart? As for the departure of ‘Mutti’ perhaps Nicola Sturgeon could be persuaded to take her place. There might be a few problems of communication to begin with but most teething problems can be overcome with tact and patience.
    No, come to think of it, ‘Nicola’ does not match the job criteria one little bit.

  24. John P Reid says:

    Anne – while 2024 when Starmer becomes PM

    current opinion polls

    LAB: 41% (+4)
    CON: 37% (-2)
    LDEM: 6% (+1)
    GRN: 4% (-2)
    REFUK: 3% (-1)

    its 414 days after the last election(December 2019) and here’s a poll 414 days after the 1992 election, as a comparison

    Conservative 28
    Labour 46
    LibDem 23

  25. A.J. says:

    I would imagine, after reading today’s ‘Guardian’, that President Biden and Vice-President Harris will find a warm welcome in Edinburgh – after lockdown ends, of course, otherwise they might find themselves having to answer awkward questions on their real reason for being there. Yes, better they find common cause with the SNP and their trendy ‘zero-tolerance’ approach to ‘racism’ and ‘homophobia’ (not to mention the ongoing spat over ‘trans issues’) than they come bothering nice, mild, indecisive people like Sir Keir Starmer. Mind you, Angela Rayner always looks ready for a totally serious discussion on any subject guaranteed to lose the next election. Eddie Izzard could be around to fill in those embarrassing moments when conversation flags.

  26. John P Reid says:

    Also the idea that green would stand down in seats for labour is daft and everyone I know who votes Libdem including former labour members have said through gritted teeth in 2019 their second choice was Tory
    And they’re not impressed enough with Starmer to change that now
    Contrary to what Alastair Campbell says there’s no progressive majority

  27. A.J. says:

    Just as you thought it couldn’t get any worse, up pops Owen Jones to teach us all a lesson from his usual complacent, homosexual perspective. So, a boost for Joseph Biden, combined with a message to Keir Starmer: get groovy on trans issues and you will sweep the left-behind, rust-belt areas of formerly industrial Britain. Got that?

  28. A.J. says:

    I read somewhere that when President Biden (before he was President Biden) was asked by some cheeky so-and-so how many genders there are he replied three, but then refused to be drawn any further. I suspect he is too busy signing his fatuous ‘executive orders’ to tune into ‘educational’ programmes on the BBC, but that must be accounted his loss. Fortunately my own TV has been saying ‘Weak Or No Signal’ for most of the past year, so the current delights the BBC has on offer have entirely passed me by. Just to think, I don’t even know how sultry a voice Vice-President Harris might or might not possess!
    I expect ‘Joe’ or ‘Kamala’ will sooner or later get round to holding high-level talks with our own Lisa Nandy about the ethnic-gender-trans balance within NATO. That ought to give the Russians and Chinese something to think about.

  29. A.J. says:

    John, Labour activists always used to treat Liberal Democrats they might whilst on the knocker with undisguised hatred, whereas ‘Conservatives’ simply shrugged and giggled. Still, if I was Starmer I might be holding conversations on a fairly regular basis with the likes of Moran and Lucas: nice, rather goofy, obviously ‘progressive’ ladies, extraordinarly sound on the EU (come on, Keir, be a man, you still believe in it really), with the vague idea of launching some kind of SDP Mark Two (which could still be called something amusing and catchy like ‘The Labour Party’). Campbell, Mandelson, Cable and Adonis might all be tempted to climb aboard and the media would just adore it. It might even give Sir Starmer the excuse he must be looking for to avoid any meeting with President Joe and his rather eye-catching First Lady, leaving the really serious work (on ‘Woke’) to the voluptuous Ms. Rayner.

  30. A.J. says:

    I suppose Joe will fancy a trip to Dublin before bothering much with Londonistan. I’m afraid Dublin struck me as both overpriced and crummy when I last visited, with Temple Bar tarted up and a nice place where I enjoyed a decent Irish breakfast turned into a bar for lager louts grown tired of infesting Prague.
    The question is, if Joe should perform a ‘walkabout’, will anyone recognise him? Jeremy Corbyn walked up and down our main street a couple of years ago and I think someone gave him fifty pence for a cup of Bovril. That was about all.
    Still, it’s nice to think that the go-ahead Mayor of London might go to the expense of floating a radical trans activist over Parliament Square.

  31. john P reid says:

    A.J you’re right there’s no comparison Clinton wont he popular vote in 2016 on a low turnout and labour got 12% less than Bojo in 2019

  32. steve says:


  33. John P Reid says:

    This time last year the Labour party members would have voted Corbyn in again
    had he put himself up for re-election as leader,
    that is how far they are out of touch with normal people
    late 2014 it looked like it Miliband could lose there was an attempt to oust him ,replacing him with Alan Johnson Andy Burnham saved his Neck ,asked about this a year later in the leadership election Andy Burnham was asked if you were leader and it looks like Labour is coming up to a election and about to lose , would you feel it acceptable if someone tried to oust you ,An Andy said yes,
    if Labour loses its counsellors in the Medway Kent, Havering Essex ,Clacton ,Chelmsford Stoke-on-Trent in 2022
    Then come late 2023 if it’s the close to a election and the Tories are ahead in the opinion polls as they are now, I wonder if they’ll be an attempt to oust Starmer and replace him with someone who understands the red wall
    Of silk the party just think there’s more mythical green voters who’ll come over if they have meetings just discussing the joining the EU

  34. Tafia says:

    “It is of vital importance that we are signed-up to the EU vaccination scheme” – sir Keir Mackerel.

    The UKs decision to opt-out of the scheme was “dumber and dumber” – Labour front-bencher Catherine West.

    “By refusing to join the EUs vaccine scheme, the government is yet again putting ideology before saving lives” – Bell Ribeiro-Addy, Labour

    Bizarrely, Labour are denying they ever called for this, despite the TV clip of Starmer saying it at interview being plastered all over social media.

    Bloody good job nobody pays any attention to Labour.

  35. A.J. says:

    I’m sure Lord Hattersley is a dedicated reader of ‘Labour Uncut’, whilst not feasting on roast suckling pig. But, if his piece in ‘The Observer’ (January 31st) is to go by, he ought to find an eating-place that is to his liking (having probably been taken there in the first instance by the late Roy Jenkins) as soon as lockdown is over and fill his boots anew. That might send him off to sleep and thus prevent him from airing the same waffle he treated Brian Walden to back in the days when the red rose was still seen as a sure-fire election winner.
    To put it bluntly, Hattersley is a liar and a fantasist, like all his kind. Waving the flag of ‘equality’ and making reference to Tawney is now dishonest hot air and nothing more. Of course he has to say these things every thirty years or so, simply to justify his podgy existence; but, as usual, the electorate is too canny to buy into it all. Anyway, why blether to the quorn-sausage brigade who read ‘The Observer’? That’s as effective as allowing Nigel Farage to write a regular column in the ‘Daily Express’.
    It’s when the ‘Daily Telegraph’ allows him space to blow this froth that we might begin to take the spitting frog at face value. Additionally, where does it differ that much from what Corbyn was saying?
    Might as well get Jay Rayner to talk about foodbanks. And I speak as one who once accepted charity parcels with sincere gratitude.
    Hatterseley, go back to writing your silly, unreadable books. Leave the Sundays to Blunkett.

  36. A.J. says:

    I suppose we ought also to ask – if Mr.Marchant will indulge such a whim – exactly where the ‘Conservative Party’s’ journey might be taking it, especially now that its horrible leader has, at least in the eyes of a large section of the media, gone from zero to hero in a matter of days; thus giving some the opportunity to gloat over our less fortunate friends in the EU (but excepting the Irish Republic for some reason). That aside, the prospects are far from encouraging. Several leading members of the Cabinet seem to be teetering on the edge of insanity. Unelected doom-mongers of whom we’d – thankfully – never heard are given air-time and column-inches to spout their doomsday scenario gibberish. As for the forces of ‘law and order’, they’re still having a lovely time bullying the public for sitting on park benches else dreaming about a pint of beer and a haircut.
    Then there is the absurd Gove and his idiot wife to consider. He helps create the problems to begin with then she gets to carp about them in the ‘Mail On Sunday’. Oh, and even their delightful daughter has managed to get in on the act.
    Perhaps – if it can overcome its wetness, inclination to spiteful bossiness, general lack of originality and intelligence – Labour can propel nice, quiet, thoughtful Sir Keir into Downing Street after all.

  37. A.J. says:

    Of course, this article might find a larger readership if it was retitled ‘nipples from the American election’.

  38. John P Reid says:

    A.J I see

    Owen Jones says – The job of the left is to make sure the leadership sticks to its word.

    Not winning general elections then

  39. Jojn p Reid says:

    Ah,it depends if the libdems you talk 0f, are the libdems now ,or the libdems of 15 years ago most of The latter joined labour wanted to turn it into a Tory town champagne socialist revolutionary party

  40. A.J. says:

    I’m looking forward to seeing Owen Jones and Eddie Izzard touring northern council estates.

    The party is well and truly over.

  41. Carol says:

    Trump started no wars. Biden sent some troops into Syria after inauguration. I have no great hopes of this administration. China will likely do alright for itself whatever happens.

  42. Tafia says:

    Anne Biden and his team certainly have their work cut out and most of their focus will be on home soil

    Anne talking her usual mickey mouse drivel, as Biden immediately goes into overdrive with regards Iran over nuclear weapons & China over expansionism, and significantly ramps up the trade war with the EU, while at the same time telling Germany to scrap it’s gas pipeline (nord stream) plans with the Russians.

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