As is common these days, I get abused on Twitter by some lefties outraged that I’ve not fallen in line with popular opinion on the left.
In my latest column for LabourList I show why the assumption that Jeremy Corbyn will appeal to non-voters or UKIPers with his ‘clear principles’ or economic populism seem wildly optimistic. Britons who don’t vote or opt for UKIP are largely culturally conservative Britons who prefer the Daily Mail and Express over the Mirror, and value policies that the left would not want to sign up to (patriotism, low immigration, cutting welfare). Their biggest gripes are about immigration and welfare benefits, and in favour of reducing them not increasing them.
When you know Corbyn is a bit radical, why the shock when someone points out he may only appeal to other radicals?
Anyway, my point is this: yes, I’ve changed my opinions views the election.
I haven’t changed what I believe in. I still believe in economic and social equality, I believe in an economy that doesn’t unfairly reward the already rich and privileged, I believe in the free provision of education and other public goods like health. I believe the railways should be nationalised and that large parts of the banking sector have become a parasite on our economy. I still believe that climate change, sustainability, clean energy and ending waste are among the biggest challenges of our time.
But the British left is broken.
Hindu charity that broke Charity Commission rules by supporting Tories before election does it again
A few weeks before the General Election in May, I found that the National Council of Hindu Temples – a registered charity – posted a message calling on British Hindus to vote Conservative. It was clearly in violation of the Charity Commission rules, which state that charities cannot be politically aligned, and I complained. The […]
“The revolution doesn’t start a thousand miles away, it starts with you.”
It could be a statement put out by ISIS, the group that has encouraged its sympathisers all over the world to take action in defense of the Caliphate. But actually that’s the strapline on the front page of National Action, a neo-Nazi group in the UK that is committed to “fighting to recapture our country in an increasingly hostile and foreign environment”.
Yesterday, Zack Davies was sentenced for the attempted murder of Dr Sarandar Bhambra, a man who was assaulted because he “looked Asian” according to Davies.
So why weren’t the actions of Zack Davies seen as an act of terrorism, when a similar attack by a Muslim man would have been?
Seamus Milne says:
I know some people will not want to hear this but this is a ridiculous argument.
This came to my inbox last night, and I think the findings are worth sharing in full. Important to note, this was commissioned by a centre-right group, not a leftwing group.
Survation, on behalf of Bright Blue the independent think tank & pressure group for liberal conservatism, conducted an in-depth study of ethnic minority voter’s attitudes to immigration to inform their new report: A balanced centre-right agenda on immigration: Understanding how ethnic minorities think about immigration.
The report has six main findings:
This week I was kindly invited by the Cambridge Universities Labour Club for a talk on where Labour goes from here.
A lot of people made mistakes in predicting outcomes in the 2015 General Election, mostly because the polling was so out of sync with the eventual result. I made predictions based on polling too, and it was embarrassing enough when they turned out to be very wrong.
But I made other assumptions in the last election cycle and its only right to own up to them. Partly, I feel its important for my readers, but partly I think its worth articulating them so I can learn from my mistakes.
Despite losing his seat in Westminster, Jim Murphy is trying to hang on as leader of Scottish Labour. I find this astonishing. Late last year, when he became leader, he said they could hang on to most seats in Scotland. He said he was “astonished” at how “easy it’s been to outwit the SNP“. Yup, […]
Tony Blair writes today: “the route to the summit lies through the centre ground”. We expected this right? Tony Blair is becoming famous for repeating himself all the time. There’s also one glaring problem with this cliche: Cameron didn’t win from the centre ground. In fact he moved further away from the electorate and voters […]
The Labour leadership have finally settled on a clear line on the SNP.
Let’s start by assuming Cameron cannot cobble together a majority in the Commons on May 8th and has to resign. That gives Ed Miliband his shot at forming a government.
Miliband says he won’t do a formal coalition with the SNP (Nicola Sturgeon ruled that out ages ago anyway), nor will there be an informal ‘Confidence & Supply’ agreement with them. Instead, they either do a deal with the Lib Dems to get a working majority, or they work as a minority government.
The Labour leadership are confident they can work as a minority government because the SNP and other minor left parties won’t vote down their Queen’s Speech and trigger a second election. In effect they are calling Nicola Sturgeon’s bluff because she has already committed to voting down a Tory Queen’s Speech.
So the Labour leadership are pleased because they think Sturgeon has little leverage. But can this strategy be sustained for long?
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