Why Labour deserved to lose

It has grown to loathe the people it is supposed to represent.

Tom Slater

Tom Slater
Deputy Editor

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Topics Brexit Politics UK

On the night of 23 June 2016, an early result from the north-east of England let us know that we were in for an extraordinary night, when Leave triumphed in Sunderland, way beyond expectations. So it was again last night, when Blyth Valley, an old coalmining town that has been Labour since 1950, fell to the Tories, in the first big result of last night’s historic election.

Then the other dominoes began to fall. Bishop Auckland. Wrexham. Great Grimsby. Leigh. Sedgefield. Workington. As the night went on, the ‘red wall’ continued to crumble. The Tories even took Labour Leave seats that were some way down their target list. In North West Durham – the seat previously occupied by Corbynista Laura Pidcock – the Tories came from 8,000 votes behind to claim one of the biggest scalps of the night.

But Blyth Valley felt particularly symbolic – not least because of some Labourites’ shameful treatment of the former MP for the seat, Ronnie Campbell. Campbell – an outspoken socialist and veteran of the Miners’ Strike – represented the seat from 1987 to 2019. (He stepped down before the election.) But he was also a committed Leaver. And when he was mulling over backing Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal, to uphold the will of his constituents (60 per cent of whom voted Leave), he was attacked.

Guardian columnist Zoe Williams called Campbell, who was leading picket lines while Williams was still at private school, a ‘scab’. Corbynite keyboard warrior Paul Mason accused him of ‘lacking moral fibre’. Mason has long argued that working-class northern Leavers are basically a lost cause. He said at an event in May that Labour should ignore those who he caricatured as the ‘ex-miner sitting in the pub calling migrants cockroaches’.

This – in a nutshell – is why Labour was defeated last night, and defeated so badly. Its betrayal of its millions of Brexit voters, its embrace of a second referendum, proved decisive. It was strategically stupid (401 seats voted Leave in the referendum, including most Labour seats). But it was also shameful: the party that was founded to give the working class a voice set out to silence that voice. At their most charitable, Labourites saw Brexit as a cry for help from the left behind. And in place of political power – over the laws and people who govern them – all Labour offered voters at this election were handouts.

In this colossal miscalculation, both the right and left of the party are culpable. In the hours since that exit poll, Corbynistas have tried to blame their failures on their Brexit policy as if they had nothing to do with it, as if it was forced on them by recalcitrant Europhile Blairites. But they were in control of the party. They chose this path. They decided that chasing middle-class Remainers was more important than holding on to working-class Leavers. They assumed the plebs either wouldn’t notice or wouldn’t care.

What this tells us is that Labour no longer takes ordinary people seriously. At best, it pities them. And what we’ve seen so vividly since 2016 is that pity is often the flipside of hate. Labourites’ detachment from their heartland voters has bred a remarkable contempt for them, which takes various unseemly forms – whether it is faux-sympathetic MPs telling Brexit voters they got it wrong and must vote again, or their more excitable outriders smearing voters as racists and insisting they should just be dispensed with.

One of the tragedies of last night is that those in Labour who stood against this bourgeois, anti-democratic drift reaped the whirlwind that their colleagues had created. Caroline Flint lost her seat in the Don Valley, despite fighting tooth and nail for her Leave-voting constituents. Dennis Skinner, another Brexit-backing ex-miner, lost his seat in Bolsover, which he had held since 1970. What is left is a party that is a shell of what it once was, its numbers depleted and its moral authority shot.

This is why Labour deserved to lose last night. It has grown to loathe the very people it is supposed to represent. Just ask Ronnie Campbell, and his former constituents – who for the first time ever will now be represented by a man in a blue rosette.

Tom Slater is deputy editor at spiked. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Slater_

Picture by: Getty

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Mike Dorey

18th December 2019 at 8:04 pm

This is a good article and just about sums it up. However to say that leave Labour voters were treated with deliberate contempt or even hatred by the party I think is a bit strong. Remember that earlier in the year the received wisdom and general media commentary was that everyone was now better informed about Brexit and a large proportion, if not the majority of leave voters had switched to remain. So for Labour to try to represent their views with a second referendum and to give them more say, not less doesn’t seem unreasonable. You say that this was interpreted as an affront to democracy with Labour arrogantly telling voters they had got it wrong first time round. Yet many voters were admitting themselves they had got it wrong and would vote remain if they could do so. Others were saying that “Labour would walk the election if it fully backed remain”. So If events had taken a different turn, Labour would have been accused of not listening. As it turned out, they probably did too much listening and should simply have said they will honour the referendum and leave it at that which is probably why they did better in the 2017 general election.

Your article stops short of considering why so many people wanted leave. What do they expect from it? I can accept that on one level it doesn’t matter. They got what they voted for – Leave. We don’t need to ask anything further. On the other hand, though, did they vote leave because they don’t like the customs union? Did they vote leave because they want out of the environmental protections and workers rights? Did they vote leave because the EU banned formaldehyde in shampoo which causes cancer? The motivations are important and what comes after is important. Or is Brexit all “On principle” – like refusing to watch certain sports even though you might turn out to like them? Could it be people saw “Get Brexit done” as just an advertising campaign to get behind? I’m reminded of “The futures bright, the futures Orange” which became a talking point and generated interest long before it was revealed what it actually related to. It could have been anything. Is that what people voted for ? “Anything” ? The shocks are yet to come and they won’t be pleasant.

Ann Ceely

20th December 2019 at 4:08 pm

A couple of major things are:-
(i) Being able to vote for (or against) the people who make up your government. I, for one, had too much of my Ministers – including PMs, regretfully saying they could nothing to change xxxx. Unfortunately, the bartering between EU Commissioners had changed things.

(ii) EU committees discussing future regulations are a magnet for lobbying by global corporates which gives smaller companies an unacceptable overhead of red-tape thus reducing competition and slowing growth.

Gerard Barry

18th December 2019 at 11:04 am

Can anyone tell me why there are two people in what appears to be fancy dress behind Corbyn in the picture above?

George Orwell

16th December 2019 at 1:08 pm

It looks like it was the Brexit Party splitting the Labour vote that allowed the Conservatives to win so many Labour seats
Conservatives up by less than 2% whilst Labour dropped by about 10% on average.
That balance of 8% went to the Brexit Party.
In some cases, the reduction of the Labour vote was not quite enough to let the Conservatives win and on first glance it looks like the Brexit Party kept them out but on closer inspection one can see that if the Brexit Party had drawn off a few more Labour votes the Conservatives would have won those seats as well.
There is no guarantee that if the Brexit Party had not been standing that the dissatisfied Labour voters would have voted Conservative. Many might well have simply not voted at all.
Farage made decisions in the National Interest that won the election for the Conservatives. He insisted that he would draw votes away from Labour and that would help the Conservatives.
And so it was. Boris owes him as do we all.

Phil Ford

16th December 2019 at 11:00 am

No sympathy for Corbyn, McDonnell or the whole rotten lot of them. The point of a political party is to make itself electable so that it can win power and enact the change it wishes to make. Unfortunately, what was once the Labour Party allowed itself to be rendered impotent and ultimately irrelevant. It did this by naively (and with cowardice) inviting in Momentum. Talk about administering the poison to yourself.

It’s not as if alarm bells didn’t start ringing almost immediately. Over the past few years, Labour has seen some of its best talent excluded or defect from the Party as Momentum’s student radicalism has toxified the entire Party, leading to in-fighting and factionalism. This idiocy culminated in what is now considered Labour’s biggest electoral defeat since 1935 on a manifesto filled with magical thinking and fantasy economics.

The reason Corbyn is hanging around is that for him and his fellow-travellers, the project is not over. He knows he must go, but before that happens the priority is to ensure that the Party remains, under new leadership, as determinedly hard-left as he (and Momentum) have made it. No lessons will have been learned and with the leadership election in the hands of the same radical extremists and fantasists as those who put Corbyn in place, to begin with, the Labour Party is willing itself into 10 years (minimum) lost in the political wilderness.

If political power is the prize, Labour Momentum doesn’t seem to be interested in winning.

Marvin Jones

16th December 2019 at 3:16 pm

Could it be another “shook up the world” event, if, for sheer numbers, the labour (momentum) members voted overwhelmingly for this jackass Steptoe to remain as leader? never say never?

Jill W

16th December 2019 at 9:48 am

Within a framework where the self- appointed distance themselves from the crowd, the general public, we inevitably find elevated, patronising – you have no idea what you really think – I know what you really think and indeed why you think it and I feel I have to let you know your attitudes are unsophisticated -whereas enlightened, edgy me- let me put you straight…..
Everyone acquires expertise during their lives, equally valuable. People do not knee- jerk react to a ‘get brexit done’ slogan any more than inspiration to take to the streets should be seen as a Pavlovian response to the ‘stop the coup’ or ‘people’s vote’ brand.
As for my protest is bigger than your protest, turns out, feet on the ground did not translate into votes.

michael savell

15th December 2019 at 6:20 pm

Yes,Ho Leephuc,there are far too many problems in british politics and no way out.Things will continue the same simply because nobody can do anything about them.I read Hitchens this am.and he seems convinced that Boris is the new Blair,adopting policies from Cameron who was steadfast in his belief that HE was the new Blair until his bluff was called.Expect to see all the woke people retain their influence and marxist policies to continue under the guise of new “radical”thinking ,not radical enough of course to do anything about the economy,challenging those who sit upon their corporate interests borrowing money at negative interest rates and then
sitting on their illicit profits until the next radical idea about how they can induce the poor to part with their hard earned cash on properties which they have bought for a song with the cash they have borrowed for nothing.There are so many wrongs to put right,so many people that must be
kept contented less the edifice collapses that it is impossible to see any honesty of any kind prevailing.

Jim Lawrie

15th December 2019 at 9:54 pm

” … induce the poor to part with their hard earned cash on properties which they have bought for a song with the cash they have borrowed for nothing … ” Can you give a few examples?

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

15th December 2019 at 5:37 pm

Spiked was supposed to be an organ acting in defence of ‘free speech’ but it appears to have morphed into the Spectator. Where are the alternative views we were promised? I have no problem with any view whatsoever but where are the ‘left wing’ views in this forum?

jan mozelewski

16th December 2019 at 3:09 pm

Not Spiked’s fault if they are all on Twitter venting spleen and dripping poison instead of engaged in more reasoned debate, is it?

Neil McCaughan

16th December 2019 at 9:34 pm

There’s poor daft Jonnie Henly clucking away. What more do you want?

Mike Ellwood

15th December 2019 at 3:43 pm

This article is, of course, about the Labour Party, and therefore Corbyn.

But I also wonder how long Johnson will survive as PM. I don’t mean the Tory government – the chances of a snap election leading to a Labour Victory (especially with people like Jess Phillips being talked about as a possible leader), are microscopic, no matter how horrible Tory government becomes (and it probably will become horrible, even more horrible, that is).

What I mean is that Johnson is not exactly universally popular within his own party, or among Tory voters (from what I hear of canvassing reports). And political egos being what they are, I can well imagine some sort of coup at some point, especially if there is a scandal. (We could have some fun imagining what it might be: I’d favour Johnson getting one of the female domestics at Chequers pregnant. Not funny for the poor young lady, of course. Suggestions welcome).

I think I’d give him about 2½ years.

Melissa Jackson

15th December 2019 at 9:04 pm

I wouldn’t be so sure about Boris’ popularity now he’s won the election. Sure, back before he was leader and even before the election was called this was a genuine concern. But we have now gotten to the point where just disliking him isn’t enough.

Boris is a proven winner. The Tories will be happy to follow him until that changes. Sure a big scandal could change that, and bring back some old grudges. But I doubt many Tories are secretly hoping Boris gets struck by lightning.

Jerry Owen

15th December 2019 at 10:30 pm

Two and a half years ! Is that a guess , wishful thinking , insider knowledge ?
Based on what logic ?

Mark Houghton

16th December 2019 at 9:38 am

No logic, just wishful thinking

Mike Ellwood

15th December 2019 at 2:20 pm

Great article. Couldn’t agree more.

I do feel somewhat sorry for Corbyn, but really, he only has himself to blame.

I wanted Brexit, but not under a right-wing government. But I didn’t have the option of voting both for Brexit, and for a left-wing government. If Labour had won, Brexit would have been gone for ever. Maybe the Johnson version of Brexit won’t be proper Brexit, but it’s something to work with.

My hope is that we get some version of Brexit, life then settles down, and though it will be rough under the Tories for a while, but then we will get rid of them, and elect a more humane, leftward-looking government. The risk is that what replaces Corbyn’s Labour will look a lot like Blairism, and will be clamouring to get back into the EU asap. We must avoid that at all costs.

Michael Lynch

15th December 2019 at 11:14 pm

Good luck with that, Mike. I very much fear that Labour will go down the same path the American Democrat Party did after their disastrous election. The LP will choose another Remainer, most likely a Corbyn acolyte, and will sit on the opposition benches throwing stones and playing sixth form politics for the next five years. The problem is that they have no access to an impeachment process like their American counterparts. Boris will not been keen to give up his new northern seats simply because the Tories have lost London; he’ll keep them sweet in order to win a further term. Labour, I’m afraid, are finished and have no one else except themselves to blame.

Melissa Jackson

16th December 2019 at 9:21 am

The modern left doesn’t have the courage of it’s convictions, and that’s why they are Remain. Because they don’t believe that the British public would ever vote for their own domestic laws on the various subjects they are concerned about.

They see the EU imposing these things on Britain as inherently good, and simply don’t believe they can be democratically achieved in the UK. This shows exactly who they are. They are not democrats, they are tyrants.

If they had faith in their own arguments, they would leave then campaign for the laws they want.

Graham Woodford

15th December 2019 at 1:39 pm

It’s odd how the universal line from (allegedly free thinking) Spiked contributors is that Labour ‘hates’ the working class from it bourgeois, snobby ‘metropolitan’ ivory tower. The evidence? Zoe Williams and the ‘identity’ politics that ‘Spikers’ also hate – all those effete metro folks and their effete gay wedding – when did Williams get appointed to the PR department, and when did ten million labour voters all suddenly become ‘the elite’ and bourgeois?

For people supposedly interested in ‘changing society’ you take very little interest in the actual real elites that are running the country – you know, the people who own newspapers, who run news based websites on (apparently) thin air, who even might appear regularly as commentators in the media.

What about unsticking the needle and considering some other things? Like the Tories winning a landslide on a very small percentage increase in their support, while Labour did indeed lose support from leavers who formerly supported them, but just about equally from remainers, too. As for the unexamined claim often made on Spiked that it’s in the interest of working class people to support leave with a Tory Government;well I live in Newcastle in the north east, let’s see how that plays out in the next few years. Working class people in Scotland don’t seem to share the narrative.

Nothing either in the analysis about Leadership, and why that might have played just about the biggest part in influencing the working class vote – you know that stuff you continually heard that people couldn’t put a (Marxist) terrorist sympathiser in office. Wonder why Spiked never refers to that.

Geoff Cox

15th December 2019 at 10:33 am

Can I say something in defence of Jeremy Corbyn?

Corbyn is a tragic figure to me, rather more than a hate figure. I don’t agree with his politics, but the character assassination that dogged him from the day he was elected Labour leader to the deliberate misrepresentation of his policies left him short of friends prepared to stand up to him. Then the internal war within the Labour Party – unusually bare-knuckled even by the standards of the left – reduced him to simply holding on.

But undoubtedly his big mistake was not to allow the Labour Party a free vote at the EU Referendum which would have allowed him to campaign for leave. Instead, his Party have pulled him (against his better judgement, I suspect) towards an anti-leave, therefore anti-worker stance.

With all this against him – the pressure and the hate from within and without – who could have survived better than he did. I certainly couldn’t.

Geoff Cox

15th December 2019 at 10:54 am

Should read “prepared to stand up FOR him”. Oh dear!

jan mozelewski

15th December 2019 at 11:29 am

i have always seen him as a stooge, Mcdonnell is the puppeteer.

In Negative

15th December 2019 at 5:59 pm

@Geoff
A good and sympathetic write up that. “Tragic” is indeed the word.

Jerry Owen

15th December 2019 at 10:37 pm

Geoff Cox
Yes poor Corbyn how tragic for him.. he still thinks he is right by the way.
This is Corbyn , a terrorist supporting anti Semite scum bag you feel sorry for.
Speaks volumes about you doesn’t it ?

In Negative

16th December 2019 at 10:09 am

“This is Corbyn , a terrorist supporting anti Semite scum bag you feel sorry for”

A thoughtful analysis that. Glad to see such a deep and rigorous understanding of the various histories involved. You’ve persuaded me!

steve moxon

15th December 2019 at 9:02 am

At long last people en mass have woken up to the fact that the Metropolitan elite ‘identity politics’ ‘PC’-fascists hate them.
Now wait until ordinary folk understand why: that’s when the poo will really hit the fan.
THE ORIGIN OF ‘IDENTITY POLITICS’ & ‘POLITICAL CORRECTNESS’: Not Consideration for Minorities but Hatred Towards the Mass of Ordinary People; Specifically ‘the Workers’ — Tracing the Roots of Why and How it Arose and Developed Reveals the Greatest Political Fraud in History.
SUMMARY
‘Identity politics’ (often or even usually dubbed ‘political correctness’) is the result of a political-Left major backlash against the mass of ordinary people (in Europe and ‘the West’), beginning in the 1920s/30s, in the wake of the persistent failure of Marxist theory to be realised in European ‘revolution’ or any real change through democracy. In shifting the blame away from Marxist theory and its adherents, and on to those the theory had prescribed and predicted would have been the beneficiaries — the workers — if only they had responded accordingly; then the cognitive-dissonance within the political-left mindset caused by this crisis to an extent was salved. [It is NOT at all the same as what the Left mistakenly term ‘the politics of identity’ to tag the new movements against the elite, on the false assumption that they are essentially nationalistic and ‘white backlash’. Trump and Brexit triumphed because the general populace have come to realise that the government-media-education uber-class has an unwarranted profound contempt for and visceral hatred towards them; and, therefore hardly is liable to act in their interests.]
The intellectual rationalisation was first by invoking Freud’s now comprehensively discredited notion of ‘repression’ to attempt to explain a supposed impact on ‘the workers’ of ‘capitalism’ acting within the context of the family. With most workers (the group considered the principal ‘agents of social change’ in a ‘revolution’) being male, then the theoreticians had in mind the male as ‘head’ of the family. It was a simple extension in political-Left imagination for ‘the worker’ to change from being the putative conduit of the impact of ‘capitalism’ to its embodiment, leaving women to be deemed a replacement supposed ‘oppressed’ and ‘disadvantaged’ ‘group’.
This implausible and unfalsifiable non-scientific nonsense mainly festered within academia until the co-option after 1968 by the political-Left of a movement which appeared to be akin to the revolutionary activity predicted by Marxism: the US ‘civil rights’ movement. This added to the ‘new oppressed’ the category ‘non-white’, which like that of women could be envisaged as an inversion of a retrospective stereotype of ‘the worker’. In the wake of the similarly seeming revolutionary Stonewall riots of 1969, the ‘gay rights’ lobby was also co-opted to further add to the abstract demonised aspects of ‘the worker’, thereafter retrospectively stereotyped as male plus ‘white’ plus heterosexual.
The strands of the ‘new oppressed’ combined in a new (neo-Marxist) conceptualisation to account for these political shifts after the fact, which came to be termed ‘identity politics’ (or more pejoratively but accurately, ‘cultural Marxism’, and latterly dubbed ‘modernising’ [sic] in political parties). The deemed ‘groups’ replacing ‘the workers’ – subsequently expanded to embrace the disabled, the elderly, trans-sexuals and the obese – are abstractions rather than groups per se, and in any case far too heterogeneous to be in reality ‘oppressed’ or ‘disadvantaged’; providing a window on the sophistry and origin of this politics as other than it purports.
This absurd situation arose through the political-Left’s forcing of specific conflicts to be considered as emblematic of Marxist struggle, rendering them as generalisable, with their participants abstractions. US Afro-Americans became generic ‘ethnic minorities’, and ‘gays’ became ‘homosexuals’. The history of feminism — not just of the ‘third wave’ — is of upper-class or upper-middle-class women demanding to somehow to be the same as their very high-status husbands and males within their rarefied social milieu; which even if it could make any sense given profound sex difference, hardly was a basis of anything comparable for the great majority of either women or men. The upshot is that ‘identity politics’ is a ‘gravy train’ for the already privileged. Worse, it is an instrument of oppression against the very ‘group’ perennially disadvantaged and the victim of prejudice, which formerly had been identified as worthy of the liberation Marxism promised: the vast majority of (necessarily lower-status) men.
The pretence to egalitarianism is perfect cover for what ‘identity politics’ actually is: the very perennial and ubiquitous elitist-separatism the political-Left ethos attacks and denies; rendered a quasi-religion, being an ideology in the wake of the Christian notion of ‘the promised land’ in the utopia/dystopia of equality-of-outcome.

Hugh Bryant

14th December 2019 at 10:06 am

Paul Mason, eh? Probably the most hideously pompous and self-regarding of all the hideously pompous and self-regarding bigots who’ve caused Labour’s downfall. Let’s never mention him again.

Gee Jaybee

15th December 2019 at 2:13 pm

Wonderfully apt description. I’m stealing that for future use.

Mike Stallard

14th December 2019 at 7:23 am

The Labour Party was once the party of the patriotiic working man; now only middle aged schoolmistresses support the Labour Party.

K Tojo

14th December 2019 at 2:52 pm

Middle aged schoolmistresses – really? Where to you get that odd notion?

Have you taken a good look at the people who rally round for Corbynite Labour? You will see all the usual minority identity groups are well represented along with eco-fanatics, assorted angry fringe groups and ageing 68ers. In short, all the people who have a strong distaste for ordinary conventional society and believe a social revolution is needed to transorm it into something more in line with their moral sensibilities. Most of all, they want a bigger state sector to take care of them from cradle to grave.

Labour should have changed their slogan to something more honest: “For the minorities not for the many”. Judging by the election result most people have now realised that.

Jerry Owen

14th December 2019 at 6:54 pm

Also a good smattering of very fat ugly girls with weird coloured hair.

Linda Payne

16th December 2019 at 2:47 pm

And it was very much expected that you voted for Labour if you were working class; it took a brave person to admit to voting Tory in the early seventies, you were termed dumb or greedy even in those days

Steve Gray

13th December 2019 at 10:40 pm

Socialism (like it or what-have-you) is a natural kind of working-class politics – you can’t be surprised or angry that working-class folk want socialism. But – in living memory, Labour have always been angry angry about socialism – they’ve hated it more than Tortyism. So it has died away because who wants to be marginalised?

Labour’s people, today, seem to forget their many, many years of hating Socialism.I wouldn’t give today’s Labour an ‘F’ in Lenin. They know sod-all about Socialism.

Phil Ford

14th December 2019 at 3:34 pm

I’m not really sure they’ve ever been taught anything about actual socialism that wasn’t framed in glowing, aspirational terms. When has socialism’s repeated failures and catastrophes ever been taught honestly, free of bias in any of our universities? We all know that in the academy ‘capitalism’ is the Great Enemy, the Destroyer of Worlds. Socialism? Well, it’s been much-maligned, misunderstood…and, besides, it’s hardly as if anyone has actually attempted real socialism anywhere, ever.

And this is why the Labour Party ended up letting radical socialism, in the form of Momentum, back into the party. For three years it grew strong and eventually held its host hostage to fortune until, just a few days ago, it almost killed it off when its bad ideas were at last exposed to a democratic test.

In Negative

14th December 2019 at 5:54 pm

“Socialism” is essentially the anguished shadow of Capitalism. As long as you have Capitalism, you will have Socialism. They are aspects of one and the same mind. Socialism is a dream within capitalism – a dream of a better system.

The Tories are the defacto party of Capital. They do what it takes to ensure the interests of the wealth holders are served. In many ways, the Tories should be understood as expressing wealth.

Because of the way people are used in producing profit, there is an aspect of suffering to capitalism. Socialism and the Labour party were born to mitigate that suffering. Socialism puts ‘society’ and ‘people’ at the heart of its thinking, not the interests of the richest and most powerful. The interests of the richest and most powerful are quite naturally expressed in the social structure, as the social structure is made and directed by their wealth.

Social democracy was born as a compromise between the interests of capital and the people. It was born from capitalism’s inherent instability and the ways in which its sufferings created social unrest. When a people became discontent enough, they had a habit of waging war on their rulers. Social democracy and the LP defuse this tension with a cycle of public spending followed by slash and burn austerity.

The idea that capitalism has no body count, no slaughterhouse is utterly absurd. From the end of feudalism, through the enclosures and the industrial revolution, through the workhouses and child labour, through all the foreign wars that have been fought in its name – the system we currently live under has plenty of associated death and suffering. Everytime the business cycle drags us through another recession, the associated emmiseration, cutbacks, health deaths, suicides etc. This is not to mention the failures of capitalism in its nascent stages – back in times where it tried to emerge under aristocratic systems. To create modern capitalism, the middle classes first had to neuter and execute the feudal aristocrats.

So no, socialism is not the devil. It’s simply the better side of capitalism’s imagination. It’s a struggle to manifest the best solution to the problems of capitalism.

jan mozelewski

15th December 2019 at 11:12 am

I thought the same as you about Socialism not being really tried…until I moved to France. i am amazed that France hasn’t been studied more in this regard. It has been said that France is the only place on earth where Communism actually worked. It may have done for a while but it certainly doesn’t work now (neither do many of the French).
Macron may be labelled a centrist, the French Blair etc…but the framework and society he is working within is very much modelled on socialism. Hence the continued violent opposition to his attempted ‘reforms’.

Hugh Bryant

15th December 2019 at 6:44 pm

I’ve always thought the great irony about socialists is that they propose co-operation above competition but are themselves the most over-competitive, testosterone (even the women) and faction-driven people in politics.

Michael Lynch

13th December 2019 at 7:37 pm

Cummings is a genius. His strategy was perfect. Never mind Farage, Trump ought to throw Dom a few million to go over and win the election for him next year! It’s no wonder the LP hate his guts. Unbelievable performance and Boris was right to stick with him all the way.

In Negative

14th December 2019 at 9:16 pm

Cummings is a genius? You sure? I thought the campaign proved the old adage that if you stuck a “Get Brexit done!” sticker on a donkey, you could get it elected…

jan mozelewski

15th December 2019 at 11:15 am

that is an example of the denial and doubling down he was talking about and which he exploited so much.
I imagine, Neg, you were OK with the donkey when it was wearing a red rosette?

Michael Lynch

15th December 2019 at 11:43 pm

If I may say, without trying to cause any offense, but you are taking a very ‘face value’ simplistic view of Cummings. You obviously haven’t watched the Channel 4 drama/documentary they did about Cummings and how he engineered the Leave campaign. Why do you think the LP and the Tory Remainers were braying for his blood? It’s the same simplistic view the media had of Boris during his Tory leadership campaign. They portrayed him as some sort of bumbling, likeable fool failing to realize just how ruthless an operator he really is underneath. Cummings was behind the prorogation; a carefully executed plan to oust the Remainers from behind their masks for all to see. The court case that followed played perfectly for them. He was also behind the expulsion of the Tory rebel MPs. It all worked perfectly hence the devastating tectonic shift in the political landscape. These people aren’t fools and nothing in Politics at that level is by accident. To say that it was merely a simple slogan that drove millions of ‘died in the wool’ hardened Labour voters to endorse a posh Tory is naive beyond belief. It’s also a patronizing take on the electorate. The people are not stupid, deaf, dumb or blind.

In Negative

15th December 2019 at 6:16 pm

@Jan
My point wasn’t to criticise the donkey. I was more criticising the idea that that campaign exemplified any genius in Cummings. The campaign was diabolical. It literally was a donkey braying “Get Brexit done” repeatedly. And that was literally all it took.

Seriously, I went into it expecting Boris to be pretty good and at least entertaining. I was quite shocked at how little there was. (Aside him hiding in a fridge that is, that was golden. Not to mention the panic in his eyes when he realised he’d just put that reporter’s phone in his pocket. Actually, there were some great Boris moments).

There may have been some genius in knowing that was all it took, perhaps, but I expect no one behind the scenes is thinking “Well, that went superbly”. More likely is “Thank God. How the hell did we get away with that?”.

In Negative

15th December 2019 at 6:21 pm

@Jan

So no Jan, don’t get me wrong. I reckon the Tories winning was the right result for obvious democratic reasons. But the very fact someone like me is saying that goes to show just how little Cummings had to do. That campaign was a total mess.

jan mozelewski

15th December 2019 at 9:32 pm

Fair enough. Can’t argue with that.

In Negative

16th December 2019 at 10:25 am

@Michael
First up, I don’t think the slogan “Get Brexit done” persuaded anyone. It was more that he had to just keep reminding everyone of the shambles we were in the middle of and to not get distracted by domestic issues. I don’t think a stupid voting public were persuaded by a soundbyte, I rather think the public knew what they needed to do and the Cummings team just kept reminding them. There was no genius in that. The righteous anger of the public overwhelmed what was a really weak and shambolic campaign. Boris won because of the public anger, not because he persuaded the public to be angry.

On Cummings’ overall intelligence, my jury is still out. Reading him, he seems quite bright. I did think the reckless bravery of their appearance in Downing St. was a bold effort. However, to say that went well I think is a stretch. I don’t think they saw it coming when the prorogation was overturned and the Benn Act got passed. I also don’t think the election campaign went particularly well. If anything, following the election campaign, I think a lot less of them. They’ve got quite a lot to prove from here on in, but I’m open to persuasion.

Michael Lynch

16th December 2019 at 1:23 pm

Firstly, my initial comment was a little tongue in cheek and was not intended to glorify Cummings. Having said that, I also understand, but only partly agree, with you. Of course no politician has a crystal ball. But just think back a moment at how Boris handled Brexit from the day after the referendum. Don’t forget he also had a close involvement with Cummings during the Leave campaign; in fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were starting to cook up a long range strategy even then. Both of them knew that in spite of the result that Parliament was essentially Remain. Boris stood down from the leadership on purpose because he knew this would be a long drawn out war and the first wave in would be faced with an impossible task. May tried, her best no doubt, to offer compromise with her BRINO deal, but even this wasn’t good enough for the hardcore Remainers. Something that they will all regret as it will be viewed as the halcyon days of Remain compromise. When Boris finally got his hands on control, he was determined to expose and rattle this anti Leave Parliament. Up to this point, don’t forget, the Remainers had all hidden under the guise of people who said that they wanted to respect the result. We all now know that the Lab/Lib Dems manifesto promises simply weren’t true. The prorogation, therefore, was an attempt to poke the wasp nest and expose them. Out they came stinging away indiscriminately at everyone. All that Cummings and Boris had to do then was sit tight, stand firm and let the Remainers do the rest. The Benn Act, the court case, the Tory rebels consorting with the Labour front bench, the outrageous and naked attempts to thwart Brexit; these were played out in front of the public on the TV night after night. The more this continued, the more it suited Boris/Cummings. In fact, you’d have had to be completely stupid to believe that the majority of Parliament was going to respect the public vote after all that. Yes, it was a gamble, yes it was a risk, but their goal always remained the same; let the public, who in main are not extreme Remain or Leave fanatics, see the truth. Then let them decide in a GE that neatly negated a second referendum. To be fair to Cummings, he even warned the London bubble and told them to get out of London and go experience the rage and fury of the electorate at their broken Parliament. I totally agree that they had not expected such a landslide and were shocked by the resounding victory, as am I, but it’s all worked out rather nicely for them. The Leave War has been finally won. There’s still a long way to go, but at least there’s no going back now.

Michael Lynch

13th December 2019 at 6:40 pm

Mason is nothing more than a smart fool; anything coming out of a mouth that constantly drips irony can be safely ignored from now on. He’s gone down with the ship along with his mate, Owen. No one is going to take a blind bit of notice of these idiots from now on.
It’s a very long and hard climb back for Labour now, but if they keep pandering to a metropolitan elite and minorities then they are finished. Let’s just see if Starmer, Thornberry and their Remainer mates have the gumption to realize this. It make even have to take a split so the sensible half can try to reconnect with their traditional voters. It’s so sad to see the potential rescuers loose seats or leave if this proves to be the case. I’m thinking here of the likes of Caroline Flint and Kate Hoey.
As far as the period of reflection is concerned, this really just a time for recriminations and backstabbing. Followed quickly, I suspect, by a vicious civil war within the Labour back-benches. At least watching them will provide plenty of entertainment instead of alarm from now on.
Well done the British people, my faith in ‘the wisdom of the crowd’ has been fully restored. Also well done to the team at Spiked for not faltering, and in providing hope, during the debacle of the last three years – particularly Brendan.

Brandy Cluster

15th December 2019 at 6:01 pm

Absolutely have to agree with you there!! Brendan had his finger on the pulse at all times; he leaves all the Guardianista types dead in the water (where they belong).

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Major Bonkers

14th December 2019 at 10:42 am

Show off.

And you’ll be very pleased that Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell didn’t get in, then.

Jonathan Andrews

14th December 2019 at 11:54 am

Major, you are a great man.

In Negative

13th December 2019 at 5:47 pm

Gutted about old Dennis. The very year he’d have been Father of the House.

Linda Payne

13th December 2019 at 6:25 pm

He should have stood as an independent, he is a leaver at heart

Bridget Jones

14th December 2019 at 5:35 am

Dennis Skinner was a leaver all his life and campaigned to leave in the referendum but then voted against Brexit and for extensions and ultimately for the EU to decide whether we should remain by way of another extension. He put party before his own principles, democracy and his own electorate and paid the price. It’s his actions that I find sad not him losing his seat. That was well deserved.

jan mozelewski

13th December 2019 at 7:36 pm

In reality think a big problem was Mr Skinner’s failing health. he is getting on and didn’t manage to attend many events, and was absent from the count as well. Probably for the best.

Mike Ellwood

15th December 2019 at 2:36 pm

Re: Dennis Skinner’s health: I didn’t know for sure, but was surprised how quiet (or absent) he had been in some of the debates relating to Brexit, and wondered if he was ill or something. And then the only time I actually saw him in parliament, he seemed a shadow of his former self, and I suspected that he was indeed, unwell.

He perhaps would have been wiser to stand down, and give a younger person the chance. It is very sad that we won’t see him in parliament again, at least not in the immediate future, and perhaps not ever.

Michael Lynch

14th December 2019 at 2:01 pm

I do and don’t have sympathy. He should have been far more vocal during the last three years, but, like many others, he was more frightened by the threat of deselection. He ought to have garnered enough political experience to have realized where this was all going. He has witnessed how the middle classes have come to dominate the party over the last few decades and how they have twisted socialist ideology out of shape to suit their own daft ideals. During this process they have actively chosen to abandon the white working classes. A move so stupid as to defy belief; to abandon the major demographic and pander to minorities , such as the metropolitan elite, is the strategy of idiots and blind fools. It is a great irony that the great champion of the left, Orwell, pointed this out to the fledgling movement way back in 1930s in his Road to Wigan Pier. The only former Labour MPs who I have full sympathy for are Caroline Flint and Kate Hoey, because they were the hope for the future revival of the Party.

Dominic Straiton

13th December 2019 at 5:25 pm

Zoe Williams that Godolphin and Latymer and Oxford (where else)”educated” woman of the people.Perfect, Labour, upper middle class voter. There will never be enough of them.

In Negative

13th December 2019 at 5:48 pm

I’d happily hang out with Zoe Williams.

Eric Praline

13th December 2019 at 7:46 pm

Is that a euphemism for something?

I enjoyed the line about ZW but in truth it’s a cheap shot.

Ven Oods

13th December 2019 at 11:54 pm

She is all froth, though, as a journalist. Perfect for her ‘Fit in my 40s’ pieces, but too woke to matter.

In Negative

14th December 2019 at 11:36 am

@Eric
“Was that a euphemism for something”

… Was just saying…

Neil McCaughan

15th December 2019 at 6:35 pm

The words “out” and “with” seem entirely superfluous in that sentence.

Jim Lawrie

13th December 2019 at 4:43 pm

All Labour has left is the committee room politicking that they put on full display in Parliament and expected us to impressed by their achievements in that department.

Gareth Edward KING

13th December 2019 at 4:38 pm

So, Labour have deservedly lost and have taken two of their party: Skinner and Flint with them, who should’ve stood as ‘independents’, perhaps in order to have distanced themselves from their anti-working class ‘allies’ in middle-class London seats. The Tories now have to be seen to be able to take in such disparate (new) Tory MPs in northern England and to be seen to be able to deal with working class demands which must be many. First Brexit has to be delivered, and then what?

Jim Lawrie

13th December 2019 at 6:32 pm

1.) Leave the ECHR.

2.) Abolish The Supreme Court.

3.) Referendum on the death penalty.

4.) Abolish judicial review.

5.) Repeal all legislation based on identity or choice thereof.

In short, freedom, and the rule of the people.

Michael Lynch

13th December 2019 at 7:40 pm

Hear! Hear!

Eric Praline

13th December 2019 at 7:44 pm

I’m surprised people still believe in the death penalty if for no other reason than the many “murderers” have been released over the last few decades after having ben stitched up.

Jim Lawrie

13th December 2019 at 10:55 pm

I have in mind murders Lee Rigby and Stephen Cameron, with the jury able to recommend against the death sentence so that they are not afraid to convict.

jan mozelewski

15th December 2019 at 11:23 am

Agree with all that apart from the death penalty. First, we have have seen only too clearly how divisive any referendum is. And this subject simply isn’t worth the angst. Instead i would like to see a tightening up of sentencing for serious crimes. less early release and more stringent parole boards. Together with a less tolerant view to people who repeatedly continue to commit minor to middling offences. (To many of these type make a mockery of the law).
In tandem with that, more (much more) has to be done to deal with scammers and fraudsters within the financial services sector. I have first-hand experience of these crooks and they are getting away with theft on a huge scale with very little chance of being brought to book. (The people they steal from no longer have any assets to fight an action against them)
The law and the legal profession in general needs a massive over-haul and re-think. Otherwise it will continue to be a source of irritation and anger for ordinary citizens….and that will bite the Tories if they are not seen to at least attempt to redress it.

Neil McCaughan

15th December 2019 at 6:36 pm

And close our borders. Permanently.

Jim Lawrie

13th December 2019 at 7:50 pm

At least in dealing with these new MP’s The Conservatives will not be handicapped by the stuck up attitudes that come so naturally to their sadly fewer Labour opposite numbers.

Ven Oods

13th December 2019 at 4:36 pm

I hadn’t heard of the Paul Mason comments before, but they rather typify the nub of this article.
As for Zoe Williams: being called a ‘scab’ by a Grauniad fluff-piece hack is more a badge of honour, than an insult.

Mike Ellwood

15th December 2019 at 2:24 pm

Absolutely.

As for Mason, I stopped reading him. He must think his scowling, unshaven face makes him look like a scion of the workers. Instead of what he actually looks like: a dozy toss-pot, scrabbling in the bathroom cabinet for the Alka-Seltzers after a heavy night out.

Neil McCaughan

15th December 2019 at 6:37 pm

Apparently he got the push from the Guardian because the wimmin complained about his B.O.

Ho Leephuc

13th December 2019 at 4:26 pm

Labour’s parting with the British working class has been the worlds slowest divorce since the first world war when the cheeky proles did not follow Marx’s plan and slaughtered each other along cultural and ethnic lines rather than Marx’s hoped for class lines. Realising that Classism took them down a dead end, Marxists now use the tool of Cultural Marxism to destroy its original victim’s ethnicity and culture.
Cultural Marxism is a favourite of the collective, “Thought Hate” group that I label as “The Parasite Class”, comprising but not limited to the BBC, Media Elites Pseudo Intellectuals, Commentariat and the Labour Party. Members of this group are primarily defined by the weak minded degrees that they hold from minor institutions, the pointless “non work” that they do and their love of new media and virtue signalling.
Historically Politicians came from wealth and got into politics to exercise power. The new parasite class comes armed with their low quality degree, pseudo intellectual arrogance combined with a hatred of “real work” looking for power in order to gain wealth. They have seen the Blairs and Kinnocks enrich themselves by every means (apart from offer useful service to fellow man) and want to get their noses firmly in that trough.

Since that initial Marxian slip, Labour, as a parasitic cult and like a cheap street walking prostitute has been for ever looking for a new host to suck the blood from/Punter to ride, with each disparate, antagonistic minority it latches onto and promotes in a bid to achieve the power that it so lusts after.
Like throwing mud at a wall, the antagonisms push the previous mud off. Some of the dried husks that Labour have sucked dry and cast aside are in no particular order The British Working Class, especially unionised ones, (ongoing), The Jews, The Irish, Afro Caribbeans, Ugandan Asians, Gays, Women, Elderly, Unemployed, Disabled, LGBT.
Labours latest bet and newest free ride is a special case because it has the most problems with the largest number of previous interest groups. And that is; – Working class parents do not want their underage age daughters raped because they are white. LGBT people do not want to be attacked because of their sexuality, Jews and Christians do not want to have themselves and their places of worship attacked, Western Women have fought long and hard to be seen as equal and not to have their genitals mutilated, be treated as chattels or have their dress code dictated, and EVERYONE does want to be stabbed or blown up going about their daily business. If I have not included your interest group I apologise, the list is vast and growing and the only group that Labour’s new and improved flavour of the month get along with is themselves unless of course you are from another sect.
The Parasite Class, some members of which have found a home in the Labour party have an enthusiasm for its new punter/donkey to ride, only matched by its distain for the old ones especially everyone’s favourite “Racist Bigot” good old “Boxer” the strong horse of the British Working class who was told by Labour’s Jack Straw who wanted to teach the uppity indigenous peasants about unregulated immigration that he wanted to “rub their faces in it.”

The Conservative party are not innocent, brown enveloped by big business they want cheap, union busting workers as much as Labour want dumb voters. The Conservative unspoken message to the British Workers pay packet is “Treat them mean, Keep them Keen”. Or more specifically, if you won’t do the job for the money a million eastern Europeans will and they are coming through our open door as we speak.
The immediate beneficiaries of cheap workers are the Parasite Class. Who clean their houses, make their lattés and wipe their progeny’s asses. After all, who wants confident expensive Brits who answer back when you can have two for one johnny foreigners who will do what he is told at half the price. And don’t forget the knackered old trope, “who is going to pick vegetables because those lazy Brits won’t do it for a shilling a day and a bag of hay!
It’s nice to see the peasants revolt, but I read the first time round it did not end well then!
Do I know where this is going, Sorry No, I am just clarifying where we are at.

jan mozelewski

15th December 2019 at 11:13 am

excellent post.

Willie Penwright

15th December 2019 at 11:51 am

Excellent post. I really enjoyed your anger, which is something we have hidden for too long.

Brandy Cluster

15th December 2019 at 6:05 pm

You’ve absolutely nailed it!!

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