Monday, 28 September 2009

A Major Tri-Party Disconnect

Obo pointed out a rather satisfying piece of Lefty exasperation today.

Labour has lost a generation

Love it yet? Cos I bloody well did. I want Labour to suffer very greatly for what they have done to our liberties and general way of life. A generation may be long enough for the calming to take effect ... perhaps. OK, maybe not. But onwards etc.

To be fair to Dave's Part, he appears to be very level-headed about it all.

LISTENING to a group of young people shouting ‘Labour, Labour, Labour; out, out, out’ while marching past Brighton’s conference centre yesterday took me back to when I was the same sort of age. We had a similar chant, you see. But back in the 1980s, the slogan was aimed at Maggie.

Instantly recognisable was the intensity of the hate on display, which was clearly of the kind that will last a lifetime. My twentysomething animosity to the Conservatives has been enough to secure decades of commitment to the far left, and I don’t doubt that a whole layer of students, young workers and a million or so NEETs in 2009 are in pretty much the same frame of mind about the party of which I am a member.

I’m assuming, if only from what I overhear apolitical workmates in a similar age bracket say, that this mood is generalised and not confined to the radical elements that each successive decade inevitably throws up.

Well spotted. Add circumspect and astute to my summation of Dave's article.

And frankly, New Labour might just as well have striven actively to cultivate the contempt of the young, as evidenced by everything imaginable from tuition fees to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the parliamentary expenses scandal.

It's not just the young, though. No-one but the terminally deluded can stomach Labour at the moment. Mandelson's boast of a 100% record in knowing future Labour election results (like your Gran who always knew the Grand National winner after the event, but would never tell you prior to the race) is a nonsensical piece of grandstanding. He knows full well that Labour are screwed in 2010.

If he felt Labour were going to lose in 1992, he must surely see the writing on the wall now that their chances are rapidly approaching nil. That would, of course, mean he was lying but, being a Labour politician, that doesn't surprise. Much as the few Labour faithful who bothered to stretch themselves out in the expanse of empty seats in Brighton wouldn't care if he was.

Dave's denouement told of a more encompassing malaise which is affecting Labour.

In recent posts I have detailed how New Labour has lost the north, and pointed to analysis that suggests it will be wiped out in Wales. For good measure, let me highlight this Evening Standard poll, which indicates that 17 of its 44 seats in London are set to go.

To lose regions such as this – the historic cradles of Labourism – is of course calamitous ...

And you know that this isn't just the loss of the young we are talking about. This is happening now. The future will hopefully be worse.

Perusing the comments of the lefties who contributed to Dave's recent articles, they were mostly of the same opinion. That of Labour shifting to the centre and forgetting the working man/woman/hermaphrodite. And THAT is entirely the problem.

The 'Tories will be bad for you' line doesn't work when you've told a road worker from Coventry that bitumen fumes are acceptable, but a fag in his working men's club isn't, so he must stop, and his club must close. 'Life will be worse under the Tories' isn't alluring to a banksman who saw his take home pay screwed by the withdrawal of the 10% band. Those evil Tories aren't so evil anymore when the party of the working man {pfft} have been spending their last few years in office attacking every meagre enjoyment that the working man holds dear.

Especially when they see huge sums being directed at office wallahs and pen-pushers, both local and national, on an increasing scale.

Believe me. Working people don't like bankers, but they hate the local council suits more heavily. Plastic plod, enviro-loons with a badge, clipboard-carrying jobsworths. These are easily-accessible hate figures for the working man.

Exactly the people Labour have been shovelling money towards while hammering the average Joe who just wants to do his job, have a pint without hassle, and relax.

And don't even get 'em started on diversity, immigration and all that guff.

How do I know this? Well, I'm one of them. A lucky one who can articulate and express my opinion, yes, but still basically from the same mould. I talk a lot, I get angry, but I am a product of a London Labour heartland. I still socialise with the people who Labour wish to target. I employ them. I see and hear their hissing hatred of New Labour. They are never asked for their opinion, and if they are, they would first have to find where to express it (a bloody difficult task in itself) before being drowned out by the stifling web of Labour-funded yes-men who are paid to spout exactly what Labour wish to hear.

Yet still the same mantra is churned out.

Jackie Ashley in the Guardian says yes, Labour are poor, but think of the alternative.

There are a few crooks and plenty of outsized egos, politicians who have forgotten what it's like outside the Whitehall bubble, but this remains a party with the right instincts.

Instincts are useless when all Labour voters see is bullying.

Like Dave, Jackie realises that Labour have lost their way, and they are all just crossing their fingers and hoping that someone at the top may notice it soon.

It's not going to happen, which is why former Labour voters won't be voting Labour next year. Sorry Mandy, but you're onto a right loser this time. If you want to take me on, though, I will beat the bookies' best current price of 13/2 and offer you 10/1 on Labour gaining most seats at the next election, no limit. Can't say fairer than that.

This is another example of a huge disconnect in British politics. I feel that I may have been overly harsh now when I pointed out the difference between the Lib Dem membership and the parliamentary party. The Tories are equally out of touch with their party members. In a recent poll on Conservative Home, 58% reckoned the smoking ban required another look, and we have known for years that a majority of Tory party members wish that the EU would go jump in the Mediterranean. Yet all of that is ignored by a hierarchy who think they know better.

The result is three parties entirely divorced from their electorate. Which is why Labour voters are bleeding profusely to the BNP, why Tory voters are turning to UKIP, and why the Lib Dems are doing ... well ... not a lot, really.

If an incumbent or PPC wishes to succeed in 2010, all they have to do is listen to their core vote. It really shouldn't be that difficult. Just ignore focus groups and single interest lobbyists. Take your eyes away from the Marsellus Wallace briefcase-like glowing light of overarching glory.

And do the job as democracy intended. How hard can that be?


banned said...

This election will, among other things, be decided by the revenge of Bingo Woman.
The Mecca Bingo National prize has gone down by two-thirds since the smoking ban.

JuliaM said...

"Like Dave, Jackie realises that Labour have lost their way, and they are all just crossing their fingers and hoping that someone at the top may notice it soon."

Check out the comments to that piece. I don't think I've seen a CiF columnist roasted like that before.

Well, whose name wasn't 'Bidisha', anyway...

Chris: said...

I read with interest Jackie Ashley’s piece in the Guardian and thought it a bit rich when she refers to (I’m sure with a smirk), the Tory’s buzz phrase “They didn’t fix the roof while the sun was shining” as if Labour had never done the same in the past. Weren’t Labour the originators of the buzz tag, coated with lots of spin under Blair?

She has always been a dyed-in-the-wool middle class socialist (contradiction in terms?) and would never see how rotten Labour have behaved with regard to civil liberties i.e., the smoking ban. I think it’s called ‘selective amnesia!’

I’m hope those of her ilk will bear in mind that several million decent honourable people have been ostracised from social society because of this witless legislation…and will make their voices heard at the next election.

You are right to point out that the conservatives too, do not listen to their potential voters and are only hell bent on delivering policies that THEY believe the voters should HAVE.

UKIP will be the main beneficiaries of this tacit cross-party renunciation of the nation’s voice.

Sam Duncan said...

Very good piece.

I don't really remember 1979 beyond the basic events but, although the country was arguably in an even worse state than it is now, Labour's support would have returned to some extent in '83 if it hadn't written its “suicide note” manifesto. I get the impression that anti-Labour feeling is even stronger - and more importantly, more deeply-felt - than it was then, perhaps because it's been in power for so long. It's the same phenomenon as hit the Tories in '97, when they were almost wiped out during an economic recovery. The electorate's memory is longer than it's often given credit for, I think.

And Jackie Ashley is simply wrong. Labour's whole problem is that it no longer has “the right instincts” (assuming you ever thought it had). As you say, it's the party of the smoking ban, the bullying over alcohol, indeed the bullying and interfering over everything. It has, as the Tories did before it, and the Liberals long before them, completely lost touch with Britain.

The most interesting figures to come out of the next election will be the turnout, closely followed by the popular vote for each party, rather than share. It was the collapse in popular vote that really did for the Tories in 1997, and they've done little to entice those people back. So it'll be fascinating to see what happens when both major parties have alienated their “natural” vote.

banned said...

So right Sam, Labour have driven their own people into the arms of the BNP but what has Dave and his chums done to invite me back ?

Dick Puddlecote said...

Quality comment Sam.

We are indeed living in interesting political times.

Junican said...

Reading the comments, I sort of lost the direction of Dick's post! But I do like the thought of 'Bingo Woman's' vote. It is not often that the Labour party manage to screw up their female vote, but I think that they have managed it this time. I wonder if the Health Sec who introduced the smoking ban, Patricia Hewitt, built into her calculations of the effects of the smoking ban, the discontent of 'Bingo Woman'? One tends to think only of smokers in pubs and clubs. One tends to forget the smokers in Bingo Halls, etc. All the better! Another tranche of the population alienated.

Back to the main point.

Labour have managed to alienate so many sectors of the population that their fate is sealed. Many Labour politicians seem think that this is somehow a fault of Gordon Brown's, but it isn't. It is a fault of ALL Labour politicians (especially Government Ministers) because they passed laws (or did not pass laws - immigration) without thinking of the wider consequences. They allowed themselves to be unduly influenced by Special Interest Groups, such as the missionaries of the new religion, HEALTHISM.

In general terms, there are a few things that the incoming Tory government could do to improve matters.

1. They need to produce a plan (say a 5 year plan - important because what needs to be done will take time) to reduce the interference in our lives of the state.

2. They need to put the local authorities back in their place. For example, stop persecution individuals for dropping fag ends. Do away with the army of 'enforcers' fining people for dropping a fag end and, instead, have an army of cleaners in the streets. I noticed in Malaga, Spain, just such a process in action. Little groups of young men and women, wearing green jackets and wheeling bins and brushes, roamed the streets cleaning up. They went about their jobs, smiling at passers by, chatting and generally enjoying themselves. (Persons who think that this work is demeaning ought to think again).

3. Stop funding semi-quangos. By that I mean, by all means fund Cancer Research in the actual, physical research of cancer. Do not fund publicity and propaganda.

4. Promote and provide work for young men as they leave school. Not CV tutors and such. CV tutors can tutor until they are blue in the face, but if there are no jobs for these young people, the (very expensive) efforts of these tutors are a waste of time and money.
The object of the exercise should be to create MORE jobs than are strictly necessary in order to ensure that all youths leaving school have a job. The job may be part-time and not pay much, but it would alleviate despair and educate.

I have only mentioned a few things which are at the lower end of the cost savings that the government could achieve. Other really, really expensive things could be ADVICE and Legal Advice in particular.

Ah, one may say, such a pursuit of cost saving could result in more unemployment! Yes, I say. But the unemployment will be in the ranks of the well-off who can stand it. The YOUTH of the country cannot. There are enormous knock on effects to a mass on unemployed youths.

The sooner the General Election comes around the better. The Parliamentary Labour Party at the moment is full of people who can talk the talk. People who cannot or will not think in depth. They need to be cleared out.

BTS said...

I sincerely hope to see some of you standing (or at the very least campaigning for another candidate) at the next election. It's the only way to actually make something happen and I haven't read a single thing here that I would disagree with.

(I am still in shock from that alcohol pricing thing though. I've barely managed to consume more than my recommended daily units so far..)

w/v: domendi - very close Dick..