Sunday Blog 21. June 21 2020: Labour’s Soul Searching

A new Report sets out out in pretty forensic detail the many reasons why Labour lost in the general Election of 2019. A central theme is that, starting from the early Blair Government years, the bedrock working class base in the crumbling former industrial heartlands, was drifting away, often towards a sullen refusal to come out and vote. These communities, without which Labour cannot again govern at a national level, felt Labour had lost its connection with them and was no longer their champion. I have been arguing this for years and the evidence is that the Corbyn leadership understood it. The huge increase in the Labour vote in 2015 underscored that.

Since then the party became ambiguous and quarrelsome. The leadership was isolated and weak. Anti-Semitism appeared beyond solution. The 2019 manifesto was just too good to be true and few believed it could be delivered. Corbyn, once the darling of the young, seemed to them to have become scratchy, old and out of touch. On Brexit the position was impossible to explain, such were its many faces, so that it became derision on the doorstep.

Now we find ourselves in the Covid 19 crisis, with the reform potential of the post pandemic new world. This should be Labour’s golden moment. We will have to see if it can grasp it.



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