Yes I’ve changed my views since the election


10:28 am - July 23rd 2015

by Sunny Hundal    


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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. I’ve written several articles on how we are out of touch, out of focus and repeating the same mistakes. And I’m sick of going along with this farce. I want to see a left that isn’t dogmatic, is full of new ideas and not constantly harking back to the 50s, wants to win and is willing to build wide coalitions to crush the Tories.

None of that is going to happen with silly sloganeering about “the politics of hope” – especially if the only people being preached to are the already converted. I don’t want to provide false hope with my articles, I want to point out that the world is a complicated place and not everything is as clear-cut as people assume. I want to challenge the the groupthink and narrow focus because that’s why the left keeps losing. I want us to think more about tactics and strategy not just repeating slogans that make us feel like we have principles.

Labour’s “greatest hits” are a list of things it has done while in power, not a record of principles held while in opposition.

We lost the election in May so badly that I felt intellectually jarred. The assumptions I had made about voters reacting to Labour policies and ideas came crashing down. The Tories totally outclassed us and many of us still don’t know why. But the last five years have been futile not just for Labour, but even leftwing activism. Most of the big movements quickly fizzled out due to lack of focus, lack of strategy and infighting. Isn’t it time to wake up to this?

As Gerry Hassan points out:

The left barely understands how it comes over to people not inside its constituency and fully signed up. ‘The world is wrong’ is self-evident; ‘why are you not one of us?’ runs the logic. The next step is to embrace resistance and defensive, oppositional language, invoking ‘austerity’ and ‘Tory cuts’ and feeling self-justification and self-satisfaction. Do people not stop to think that these comfort zones are a substitute for thinking about issues?

The Tory party thinks about winning power first, then implementing their agenda; the Labour party wants to have a massive fight over its principles first, and it doesn’t even get near power.

If some lefties just want to just shout slogans and express their principles, that’s fine. They have a right to. Though they’d be better off joining a protest group or single-issue campaign. But if they want to win campaigns, to win political power and affect change, that requires a very different way of thinking. It requires building electoral coalitions and speaking to people who aren’t convinced by us. It require saying things that not everyone will find palatable at all times.

This is the kind of left I want to see. That’s why I’m no longer willing to go along with the group-think and purity tests. If you want that too, come with me. If you want to carry on as before, feel free to ignore me from now on.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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February 2020. President Assad has gone on trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court in the Netherlands, and leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn is being interviewed by the ever-smarmy Andrew Neil for the Daily Politics, just as the date of the General Election is due to be announced.
“Mr. Corbyn, President Assad has gone on trial for the most appalling crimes, documented in detail by members of his now fallen régime. You, as chair of the Stop The War Coalition, have denied his responsibility for those crimes, instead blaming Western intervention, and have even called friend his accomplices in Hezbollah. Why should the British people trust the Neville Chamberlain of our day, who would let the worst genocidal maniacs have their way, if he could only claim ‘Peace in our time’?”
Syria is not Germany in 1939, the answer is not world war but to support those Syrians fighting Assad, but once Jeremy Corbyn and his friends in the Stop The War Coalition are finished destroying the credibility of left-wing politics for a generation, you would not know the difference.
[http://notris.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/where-do-you-go-to-my-lovely.html]

Explain Scotland Sunny

Here is your starter

1. A sense off entitlement

[Even with your caveat ] I do agree with Chris Dillow’s comment on this, that maybe you’re underestimating how closely *some* of Corbyn’s stated positions match *some* of the discontents UKIP/similar voters have with the current system. Particularly as some of those voters switched from Labour. But in general, what you’ve said here chimes with me.

[NOTE anecdotal (& obvious)]
I belong to/interact with some groups (social media + real life) with a high proportion of left-wing members. Corbyn seems to have very sharply focused their fury (Greece as well). [i.e.] Anyone who fails to to match pure left wing ideals is stupid and/or evil*, and Corbyn is the only truthful and real left wing figure available. There is no compromise, no real effort to understand and test opposition arguments, no plan, just blind attack. They seem to be signing up in fair numbers to vote for him**, and their hatred seems directed at others in Labour more than the opposition. A purge if he wins, split the party if not.

* I realise these groups are echo chambers, and that they have mirror images.

** I lack objectivity though, so can’t tell whether they are representative or just an angry fringe of no real import.

Sunny,

The Labour Party have always wanted to win elections it’s just that they have got it wrong on so many occasions. They didn’t lose because the left is broken, they lost because The Labour Party are broken.

It’s absolutely amazing how everybody espousing the longevity of the Labour party are millionaires who have failed, or are about to fail the people they made their millions misrepresenting.
Does that not say we’ve been taken for mugs.
It also speaks volumes for the mugs that believe them

6. Steve Armourae

I agree with Dick’s point on the importance of supporting anti-Assad forces. However there was such a delay whilst politicians did their had wringing and prevarication, that ISIL & other extremist groups joined in the war and now there has been a problem of who is receiving armaments.

Far worse than Corbyn’s (who I will be voting for)position is George Galloway who is in an apologist for Assad and Gaddafi. He condemns all popular indigenous resistance to the dictators.

I think there’s some misrepresenting of Corbyn supporters here that are coming from the Guardian/Independent/New Statesman

1) This isn’t a case of ideological purity, a meme or buzzword if ever I heard one. Or a case of retreating to a comfort zone. I supported Blair pre-1997, I want a leader who offers a clear alternative to the Tories and to what Labour offered at the last election. Ed Milliband’s pledge to have the minimum wage at £8 by 2020 was even outflanked by Osborne. Only two recognise this, Kendall and Corbyn. If Kendall had a bit more about her, I’d back her – but she seems to have forgotten, at the moment she isn’t pitching to the whole electorate yet, she’s pitching to the Labour party. I liked Blair up until Iraq and still appreciate a lot of what he did.

2) This isn’t about the next election. 2020 is lost. Boundary changes and the loss of Scotland (it’s gone, get over it) leave Labour needing to take something like 94 seats from the Tories. This won’t happen. When Foot stepped down and Kinnock took over, kicked out the militants he still only gained 20 seats in the 87 election. This isn’t defeatism, this is what has happened in every election barring 1945 and 1997.

3) I don’t particularly think ANY of the candidates are great, but as with a lot of friends, if we’re going to lose (and we are going to lose 2020) then I’d rather at least back a candidate who had a set of ideas and beliefs that a) I could explain and defend b) at least partially matched my own. I’m not radical, the extremes have always worried me. But nationalisation of railways, scrapping of Trident, and a defence of society’s poorest in clear, unambiguous language – and not – “we oppose welfare cuts, but we can’t vote against them because blah di blah di blah” aren’t too much to ask for surely??? And after the humiliation of Milliband, I’d rather go out and lose backing a leader whose views partially matched mine, rather than one who made blunder after blunder and offered little alternative to the status quo, other than some tinkering at the margins.

4) I don’t believe my principles are superior to anyone else’s. I don’t think Tories are evil. However by principles I do expect a political party once they’ve made a pledge to stick to it, unless there are very good reasons to change. The Lib Dems and the Scottish Labour party have found out this to their cost and this is why they are being punished.

5) “Shy Tories” is another London/urban buzzword. Come and live in the South West for a few months. Tories are out and proud here and always have been. Britain First posts on Facebook and poems about illegal immigrants are the common currency. The shy ones are the Labour supporters. This idea that the left live in some reinforcing echo chamber of Twitter and Facebook. Well maybe in London, but not in the shires! This “shy Tories” is not the world most outside the large cities experience. Espouse as slightly anti-militaristic view? No thank you, I value my teeth and face.

6) The political class (and I include journalists) seem incapable of creative thought. Unfortunately (for them) Corbyn has shown the most
interesting of ideas, like abolishing tuition fees. Gut reaction? It won’t work, can’t be funded. BUT wait, at least go back and kick this idea around and see what might be done to make it work? I have 3 kids, if they all go to uni, that is a collective debt of 150,000. That is obviously wrong. So to make it work, what needs to be compromised? If we were to ditch Trident and HS2 for starters? If a “right wing” candidate were to propose this, I’d listen equally. If they said, ok we’d have to make deeper cuts to welfare to make it work, I wouldn’t shoo them out of the room, I’d be listening. Things like negative income tax/ citizen’s income – these are being looked at by the right as well as the left. Why not consider? In all Amber Rudd’s complete nonsensical bluster today about climate change, she makes one strong point, environment policies are not solely the preserve of the left. I’ve seen tens, perhaps hundreds of interesting ideas that no-one is talking about. Participatory democracy instead of representative – getting the public to vote digitally on far more issues to re-engage them – those without access could vote via libraries? A House of Lords peopled by the public selected in a way similar to jury service? Why are the only things that come out of Westminster for the left, mansion tax, subsidies for solar panels, extra childcare and a slightly better minimum wage? This is not an alternative.

7) Ed Milliband didn’t lose because he was too right wing, left wing, not strong enough a leader or didn’t rebut the Tories. He polled 200,000 less than Blair did in 2005, which is enough in the right circumstances to win an election. He lost because 1) Scotland and 2) the collapse of the Lib Dem vote which automatically benefited the Tories (because they were the 2nd place party in most of those constituencies – certainly in the South West). You cannot give away 40 seats and expect to win a general election under first past the post. Has NEVER happened. You can argue David Milliband might have meant a greater proportion of Lib Dem voters went Labour instead of Tory, but it would have made little difference. ANY Labour leader would have lost this year.

8) I don’t think the majority of the country is left wing or is crying out for a new Syriza or PODemos. I think “left” and “right” are lazy buzzwords paraded by journalists to help frame the past. What about the rise of the libertarian brigade spearheaded by the likes of Spiked and Brendan O’Neill, and at times includes journalists from Nick Cohn to Fraser Nelson? Are they left, right middle or what? I don’t particularly have an affinity with them, but occasionally when not red baiting, they talk a lot of sense. Why is automatic support of the EU a common tenet of all left wingers? Why can’t we critique it any more? Why can’t we suggest a Brexit without being lumped in Nigel Farage or Tony Benn? Aren’t TTIP, the treatment and political humiliation of Greece, the forced privatisation of Scottish ferries, the browbeating of Ireland for daring to reject Nice and the replacement of democratically elected governments with technocratic ones (as happened in Italy) reasons enough to say, we want no part of that kind of EU? And I still might vote to stay in anyway…

9) We are being told what to do, how to vote like naughty school children, “yes you can have Jeremy on your ballot paper, but don’t you dare vote for him…” What happens when people are told not to do something by their “olders and betters”? If you don’t want Corbyn elected offer some ideas and principles that make me think – well actually I like what you have to offer, and that will make me look at Corbyn’s weak areas (not convinced economically he can back his ideas, support of some unsavoury organisations, support of homeopathy) and say you know what I will back Kendall (who isnt a Tory and I suspect has some good “left wing” policies, just hasn’t got around to mentioning them) or Burnham (and it’s funny how people think Burnham might be more electable than Corbyn, he will never win an election, Labour need the Midlands and the two words “North Staffs” means that Burnham will not win there – but Labour treat Birmingham and the Midlands with suspicion and sometimes outright hostility because they backed Thatcher).

I’m not shouting slogans or principles, I want to be convinced, and Corbyn for all his weaknesses and flaws is at least offering the vestiges of an alternative, and clearly stating what he offers.

8. douglas clark

Sunny,

You say:

This is the kind of left I want to see. That’s why I’m no longer willing to go along with the group-think and purity tests. If you want that too, come with me. If you want to carry on as before, feel free to ignore me from now on.

You are not ‘ignorabe’.

I think you are the future of the left.

Although I am not entirely sure that you know what ‘left’ actually means any more.

If it is ‘just right of the Tories’ then you have lost me and, probably, most people that comment here.

Tho, I count you as a mate, friend, etc. etc.

Not sure where you are going anymore, but love you to bits anyway.

ChrisU

Very well said.

Sunny

Labour need to get a grip on what is does and does not stand for. This was missing in Scotland and they paid the same price as the Tories did about two political generations ago. Labour seem to be imploding, as someone who has watched this about four or even five times in the past, it looks depressingly familiar.

Only this time it is different, because the Tories are ready for the kill. The post war settlement is in tatters all around our ankles, the final nails in the coffins of a hamstrung BBC unable to hold the government of the day to account and boundary changes will mean the left will never be in power again. However, given the sheer fucking stupidity of the Labour Party they are not exactly making it hard for the Tories

For gawd sake SOMEONE tell the Labour Party that bad mouthing Jeremy Corbyn and hysterical predictions of doom will be an a spectacular own goal: and I mean an bicycle kick from the edge of the box into the top corner of an own goal if Jermeny wins. The same people who predict the end of the Party will have that same statement rammed down her throat at every interview from now and till doomsday.

If you are given lemons, make lemonade. I understood harmens tactics at the welfare vote, I really do. She is right that being seen to oppose a popular move is political suicide. Welfare has been turned into a toxic issue by the Right and limiting child credits is a cynical move from a cynical party designed to appease the nasty and the halfwits. The real damage will to be seen for ten years, by that time the welfare state will be a memory. Labour lost the election, the welfare state is hated among great swathes of the population, right reason or none. If no one is will to defend the welfare state in real life, Labour cannot expect to be understood voting against a move with such popular support. However, some people in the Labour Party understand the reasons we built the welfare state in the first place and fully understand the consequences of such a move. Child poverty looks horrible in real life. There was little point in calling for labour to abstain in vote to limit child credits as too many labour party MPs would never support the move. Given that these fifty or so MPs are going to cause you to be unpopular and are going to to used as a weapon, surely it would have been better to bite the bullet and vote against the bill end masse anyway? In the eyes of the daily main, you are going to be the party of welfare irrespective of what you do, so instead of denying it you may as well embrace it.

Defend your man/woman and policies and get out there and engage the public.

Remember who the real enemy is and look at what they are trying to do.

Oh, and do not keep harping on about the Iraq war, the public know what they think, there is no milage for the left raking over the coals on this, you are not winning votes by combing through every line written about WMDs.

If Labour won’t defend the welfare state it won’t deserve to win elections. I’ve no obsession with Labour being in power. If most people oppose our principles we shouldn’t be in power. Let the Lib Dems be the main opposition, but someone out there has to be speaking up for social democracy.

we all cant be stuck in the 70s and 80s student hippie beard politics,that i think sunny hundal is trying nicely to explain to you corbyn loving out of touch dinosaurs.

13. Donald Smith

I’m not a Labour supporter, so not your main audience. But, allow me to compliment you on your honesty. The left has been outmanoeuvered and rendered impotent. It needs to rethink its tribalism, and its adherence to a now vanished 20th century world. Being open to new ideas and other traditions must be part of its future. Dialogue is a way forward, not a sign of weakness. One of the Labour left’s problems has always been a arrogance born of tribal identity and ‘near religious’ fervour about the rightness of their beliefs. This blinds them to cooperation and leads to a nasty aggressiveness towards others, e.g. the sheer visceral hatred and nastiness shown towards Lib Dems. The left needs a rethink. What does being left actually mean? What is social justice in a post-capitalist, globalised, technological world? I wish you luck in your endeavours to find a way forward.

The problem for labour is the Tories have now sat down and said look Thatcher is dead, we need to be in power so we need to get around the leaders, Cameron and Osborne and we need to beat the labour party, end of.

labour on the other hand are now in the same situation the Tories were, labour has lost Blair and they are in mourning and they need him they want him, but he’s gone or course he did say I want back and I have unfinished business. But then Burnham and Cooper and Kendall would not get a look in.

So today the question is do we need a right wing labour party when the Tories have Cameron a Blair-rite in power, Osborne who seems to be doing what people want, and IDS who is a far better risk then Reeves who would hammer down or worse.

Corbyn is giving the people a choice of sadly Tory lite and I’ve no interest in seeing another right wing labour party who gave us a living-wage to lift a million people out of poor wages but also drag down millions more into the low wage traps, we needed a living-wage to lift people out of that poverty trap, and what did Miliband do once he said we would have it he dropped it offering us £8 in five years time pathetic.

Labour is back into the era of not being needed until the Tories run out of steam, run out of ideas, or they have a major recession and then labour can come in give them a rest and then go back out or if it that seriously bad can have two terms.

Blair has attacked Corbyn and he actually gave him more supporters and because of this now labour want to stop the leadership contest so the right wingers can start again, talk about pathetic they are saying many communists are now joining to vote for Corbyn but it’s OK if they vote in a general election so long as it’s not a leadership.

We all said the £3 to vote would leave the party open to people coming in for three quid and voting for the left or the right, but is that not what it was supposed to do for god sake.

I give up Progress is panicking.

‘If you want that too, come with me.’

Where are you going?

16. Frank Butcher

…probably thinks he’s being pragmatic…

…just comes across as an opportunist…

…or just a little confused…

Anyway, you keep reaching for that rainbow Sunny.

17. Tim McLoughlin

I couldn’t agree more. I’ve always thought this. Principle without power is total nonsense because it achieves nothing.

Hmm. Slogans and narrow thinking?

Andy Burnham has said he is against the welfare bill but abstained because he didn’t want to be divisive.

Liz Kendall has said vote for her because she isn’t left wing and is from Watford.

Yvette Cooper has said she wants a strong economy and a digital revolution.

Jeremy Corbyn has published an economic plan, an education plan, and a plan for gender equality.

I’m not arguing he could win an election. I understand the issues with that. But come on, he’s not just repeating empty slogans.

Also, some people value opposition and activism and practical impact over winning elections for the sake of it. People keep making comparisons with Tony Benn as if he isn’t the best example you could think of to show why winning elections isn’t the only way to exercise influence and have an impact.

It’s fine if you want to argue that the Labour Party should as a party put elections first but don’t insult and dismiss and patronise all the people who put practical impact, and original policy ideas first.

What do protest groups and single-issue campaigns do, if it isn’t “building electoral coalitions and speaking to people who aren’t convinced by us”? Are protest groups incapable of any kind of effective intervention in politics, or of changing minds, or of learning from experience? And if you’ve never been in a political group where somebody was “saying things that not everyone will find palatable”, you’ve never been in a political group full stop.

Yes, we’ve all had a bad five years. Yes, groupthink is bad. What else? What’s the substance – what are you actually saying here?

(Obviously this entire post isn’t just an exercise in positioning & self-presentation, because only lefties do that. Oops, sarcasm klaxon.)

What Chris U said. You don’t want to be ignored Sunny. Come on mate, its time to push. Sure it may go all tits up but it might be fun no? This sort of politics hasn’t had an airing in years and the years might be different now, as The Telegraph are saying, a lot of “old left” actually appeals to right wingers now.

21. John P Reid

Chris when was it ever the job of labour to just speak up for social democracy, rather than trying to govern, unless we present policies for government, then.we Can’t be taking serious,

SteveB, it was the left of the Labour Party running it, possibly with the exception of 2010 when we lost

I have to say, I agree whole heartedly. You know how they say ‘You don’t leave Labour, Labour leaves you’? Well, it already feels that way.

I joined a modern centre left party, whose focus was really on opportunity, stability, and a better future for everyone. It seems, no matter who wins, members that were once constructive are now militant, and the priorities have changed.

It may be out of desperation people have gone militant, but now people want to purge the party of the right, they want a radically left wing future, and they want to shout within their little bubble until they feel happy again.

I wrote an article on why Corbyn won’t win back UKIP or non-voters a few days ago (i think you beat me to it) & the amount of abuse I got was incredible. Its becoming Corbyn’s little cult. I mean, the article ( http://www.greatbritishpolitics.co.uk/magazine/256-why-non-voters-would-not-flock-to-corbyn.html ) wasn’t actually that extreme, but thinking the wider public wouldn’t agree with Corbyn makes you a Tory now.

Hundal:

It require saying things that not everyone will find palatable at all times.

True. However, right now, that seems to consist of telling Corbyn supporters that they can’t – or shouldn’t – have Corbyn, or what he represents, and that they should take all that energy, commitment, and – dare one say it, hope – and vote for one of the other candidates instead.

What it is unlikely to consist of is telling the voters the equivalent.

I don’t say this as a Corbyn supporter, more as an observation that ‘the left’ is being told (again) that it can’t have nice things, and that what’s needed is a new and different left with a winning strategy and (maybe) some policies to go with that once Labour win. Last time, the result was New Labour (rather than ‘New Times’?). It’s unclear what it’ll be next time, but it’ll be needed, and it might take a while, because simply trying to win in 2020 won’t be enough.

by corbyn this week not condemming ira violence should bury him forever in his quest to leader of the labour party,or should it,why the hell are cooper,burham and co not attacking corbyn over these comments he made,this is there chance to rid this dinosaur corbyn out of the labour party leadership.

25. douglas clark

By corbyn this week not condemming ira violence should bury him forever in his quest to leader of the labour party,or should it,why the hell are cooper,burham and co not attacking corbyn over these comments he made,this is there chance to rid this dinosaur corbyn out of the labour party leadership.

Perhaps you are right. Perhaps loosening up on imperial strings is a ridiculous position for anyone to take. You, it seems to me, are incredibly keen on state instigated violence, and are not, really, about democracy. Could I remind you of India or the USA? Perhaps not. The empire is big in you.

Thanks for your idiocy on here.

23 stewart

People are not attacking Corbyn about insignificant historical events because they like what they are hearing, his ideas and proposed policies.

It’s got to a point where people are attacking those they don’t like for things like the way they eat a bacon sandwich.

And the term ‘dinosaur’ is being bandied about because of Corbyn’s view about nationalization, these same people who label him by that term, are talking about less state intervention, something which prevailed in the 19th century. Funny old world.

I started off at the point of view of “I want Labour to win in 2020, Corbyn aint gonna do it”.

But over the weeks my view has changed – partly because of the sheer arrogance, entitlement and blind vitriol being levelled at Corbyn by the Labour centrists. Where are these washed up Labourite dinosaurs of the past when it comes to dismantling the NHS, emasculating the BBC, destroying social mobility, selling off RBS at a loss, indifference about corporate tax dodging… the list goes on and on. These people expend all this energy attacking their own party and not the opposition? That aint gonna win any elections. They – not Corbyn – have reduced the party to a joke. 2020 is probably lost just through this ill-considered display of political self-destruction.

I’ve also realised that Labour has to let go of the Blair/Brown era. The “continuity Blairite” approach might have worked in 2010 with David Milliband but the party squandered the opportunity by losing the narrative in the months after May 2010 and choosing hapless Ed with an incoherent smorgasbord of policies no doubt derived from endless focus groups. It didn’t wash with natural Labour supporters – most of whom were lukewarm at best, and it certainly didn’t wash with the wider electorate.

Corbyn has got ahead by offering authenticity and vision. To ordinary voters the left/right/centre stuff is politico rhetoric. Voters of all political colours want to see excessive corporate power addressed, they want immigration, or at least the problems it’s seen to cause, addressed. Then there’s the sense that Westminster still has its head in the sand about the expenses scandal, the phone hacking scandal and the ongoing child abuse scandal. Massive cuts to the Lords would go down well.

Centrist Labour’s orthodoxy is that they just need to get into power with whatever it takes then they can do good stuff. But what good stuff is that? Some people call the Tories “the nasty party”; the Labour establishment seems to have styled itself as “the nice party” – just elect us and we’ll do the supposedly necessary stuff the Tories tell you you need, but we’ll be more apologetic while we do it.

Corbyn probably won’t be the eventual answer, but right now, contrary to much of the shouty rhetoric, he’s the only candidate who understands that the Labour party has a problem – it has focus grouped itself to meaninglessness and needs an authentic renewal of values before it can ever hope to win again. Why would anyone vote Tory lite when they can just vote Tory?

The debate should not be about the ‘electability’ of Jeremy Corbyn, but the ludicrous bias of the British press and the fact that so many people are gullible enough to be told what to think by billionaires.

@ Jim #9.

“Oh, and do not keep harping on about the Iraq war, the public know what they think, there is no milage for the left raking over the coals on this,”

This is a good point. It may satisfy many in the Labour Party to carry on dissecting it, but the message it is giving to the wider public is simply to say “the last Labour government made a colossal blunder, and the Labour prime minister who won three elections is a war criminal” – which regardless of anyone’s take on it is hardly, logically, likely to incentivise most people to vote for another Labour government.

At the last election, the public was fairly obviously more put off by Miliband’s refusal to admit any fault by Labour regarding the economy than regarding the Iraq War. Again, it doesn’t matter whether that attitude towards Labour is objectively fair or not, it’s simply how things are, and you have to start your calculations from how the public perceive things now rather than from what you wish they would think.

30. Chris Marshall

Doesn’t particularly matter what you think (it rarely does), we more or less know Corbyn will win.

Saying the Tories “totally outclassed us” just isn’t true. 24% of the electorate, with massive financial and right wing media support, is pretty dire. Labour’s 20% is dire too, but the press influence can’t be underestimated; even on May 7th The Telegraph sent a scare e-mail exhorting people to vote Tory.

I hope that the Corbyn factor will invigorate people. Not everyone will agree with him but at least nobody can say “They’re all the same” as they did on the Witney streets in Winter and Spring 2015.

32. emma072012Emma

I live in a working class white elderly northern constituency – David Blunkett’s old constituency. The Labour party was abandoned in droves for UKIP. For a multitude of reasons this group have been fed anti immigration propaganda and have fallen for it lock stock and barrel. I spent the last months of the election trying to defend the Labour Party’s position on immigration. Unfortunately for many people here, immigration is all they are interested in. They all want immigrants to go home, won’t sit next to them on buses, won’t talk to them in shops, make rude gestures when travelling past Mosques or Asian owned shops. It proved impossible to engage, because many people showed a wilful ignorance of any subject other than immigration. Indeed I had people telling me that they thought Nigel Farage wasn’t tough enough on immigration. Please bear in mind that many of these people freely admitted to being Labour supporters who felt let down by Labour because they saw them as educated, middle class London based Liberals who weren’t addressing the issue. Sadly, in my opinion the Labour Party is never going to win these people back because of the institutional racism that pervades in this community. I think the left would be better focussing on younger, disenfranchised, voters which is I think why Jeremy Corbyn is proving so popular with young people. Politics has moved on. I think may be we need to accept that and move on ourselves.


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    […] plc. There is no vision of what they’ll do when they actually get there. And Sunny Hundal, in his article on this, misses one crucial point. He posits that Corbyn’s way is a losing one because voters […]





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