155 comments on “Vote Labour

  1. Sam64 on said:

    Well I am still undecided: Labour, Green, TUSC…, my partner’s texting me saying Just vote Labour and have done with it, wouldn’t find it so difficult if it wasn’t the pro Israeli Louise Elllman as MP.

    Last ditch, Swap the Vote didn’t come up with anything: if there is a Green voter who happens to read this in Sheffield Hallam who is prepared to vote Labour to unseat Clegg, let me know here & now (I can supply an email address or whatever). In return I’ll Green in Liverpool Riverside – solid Labour but the Greens will get a sizeable vote.

  2. Vanya on said:

    #1 If people had refused to vote Labour in specific constituencies because of the reactionary nature of certain Labour candidates we would never have had a Labour government. Ever.

    I admit I would find it sick-making to have to vote for Ellman though. Were there any protests at her surgeries over her attitude to the last Israeli assault on Gaza btw?

  3. Jimmy Haddow on said:

    Well I went to Paisley today to campaign for the Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist candidate and I consider that more fruitful and democratic than voting for SNP or Labour in East Lothian as both are to a lesser degree implementers of the Tory austerity programme in East Lothian, a Labour Council, Dundee, a SNP council, and Edinburgh, a SNP/ Labour coalition, just to name a few councils in Scotland; let alone the SNP Scottish government who have implemented £3.5 billion worth of cuts since 2010.

  4. jim mclean on said:

    Gary,

    Scottish voters beginning to realise they may have stopped Labour winning the General Election by sending some of the countries biggest political numpties to Westminster.

  5. jim mclean on said:

    Lenny,

    Why, they are clearly have the support of the Working classes in England and the Scottish working class have made Rupert very happy. Ed Milliband was the Trade Unions choice, David was the Blairite choice.

  6. Vanya on said:

    #8 Hopefully the Held My Nose Party proves to have significant support. I’m a member myself 🙂

  7. jim mclean,

    If the predicted results are remotely accurate, then the decision is entirely in Labour’s hands. They have two, maybe three options:

    1) Accept the support that the SNP is offering them.
    2) LET the Tories win.
    3) Attempt to form a coalition with the LibDems.

    If you rule out 1) then Labour is basically fucked.

  8. Sam64 on said:

    Vanya,

    No. I think the local Friends of Palestine would have organised them last summer during the onslaught on Gaza, but after a Zionist speaking engagement or two she was on holiday. Guess where. A rhetorical question, hence the lack of a qui mark.

  9. jim mclean on said:

    JN,

    No because the only way out for the SNP to vote down a Labour Queens Speech and remove a minority Labour Government. Then the SNP will be destroyed. Labour will walk a second General Election in 2015 if they are forced into it by the SNP. Of course 15 -20 Scottish seats could give Ed a majority.

  10. anonymous on said:

    ‘1) Accept the support that the SNP is offering them.’

    ###

    What support is that then?

  11. Sam64 on said:

    Never has the expression ‘with a heavy heart’ been more apposite as I placed a cross next to Louise Ellman, Labour. Still, walking into the polling station in a school in South Liverpool, I kind of felt I was making common cause with my local community coming out to vote almost universally against austerity.

  12. Uncle Albert on said:

    Sam64,

    I hadn’t realised that a vote for the austerity-promising Labour Party was a vote against austerity.

  13. Omar on said:

    Exit polls suggest that it will be hung but The tories may have enough seats that if they form a coalition with UKIP and DUP then Labour/SNP/Green/Plaid still wouldn’t be enough. We are looking at a nightmare scenario here folks.

  14. jim mclean on said:

    DUP will probably not form an alliance with the tories plus one NI independent will suport Labour and there is a longshot that one SF member may take advantage of constitutional changes and attend Westminster.

  15. Jimmy Haddow on said:

    If the exits polls are true then what a condemnation of the Labour Party even after 5 years of Tory government they cannot win in England let alone Scotland. The point is a SNP/Labour form of coalition is now not even on the agenda. The Scottish election is going to interesting next year.

  16. Sam64 on said:

    Uncle Albert,

    Come now Albie, I think you take the point.

    If the exit polls are correct – and they’re contrary to the opinion polls as recently at midday – the Tories are very nearly going to win an outright majority. They may even scrape a tiny majority. It’s probable therefore that they’ll form a government. If that’s the case then we’re probably in for an unstable but vicious period of right wing governance with Cameron tacking further to right. A further and deeper round of austerity will, in all likelihood, reduce local government services in a city like Liverpool (as many others) to the statutory minimum. The people who were walking into the polling station with me this evening, young and old, white and black, working and more middle class, were voting against that. At least that was my impression.

    That’s all. Not much on one one level. But pretty bloody profound I think you’d agree.

  17. JOCK MCTROUSERS on said:

    Well, I held my nose too. Fortunately, my Labour candidate in Battersea seems roughly alright, so far – he’s a bit unproven. And my Green candidate just didn’t make the minimum effort to seem serious.

    But deep sympathies for those faced with nose-holding for Louise Ellman. That is indeed a hard call.

  18. jim mclean on said:

    Me. Am enjoying myself on twitter ripping the piss out of my party of choice in Scotland. The SSP. Liked a lot of people who were in it but party have been coming out with the most embarrising SNP supporting crawling tweets which abandoned any form of class politics. On the verge of rejoining Labour. Would rather read a Jimmy Haddow post than an SSP tweet.

  19. anonymous on said:

    jim mclean,

    The nats might (I’m assuming some posting are nats).

    We might end up with FFA a lot sooner than anticipated though, so it might not work out the way they’d hoped.

  20. Uncle Albert on said:

    Sam64,

    Come, come now, Sammie, pull yourself together. You can’t have the penny and the bun.

    You may have voted for Labour austerity but, even by the most fanciful interpretation, a vote for Labour austerity could not be admitted as a vote against austerity.

  21. sam64 on said:

    Uncle Albert,

    Absolutely Albie, and that 92 year old woman, a friend’s grandmother, I’ve just seen a pic of on FB going to the poll this evening, she was turning out as 10s of 1000s of other working class people in Liverpool (as elsewhere) to vote for….for austerity!

    It’s looking like a rotten night but strangely your silliness has cheered me up! So keep it up.

  22. JOCK MCTROUSERS on said:

    Aargh! My guy lost – 2% swing to the Tories in Battersea. Reminds me of what Max Hastings said about Ian Duncan Smith the night before the Tories sacked him as leader: ” This turnip makes Michael Foot look like Spartacus!” Miliband makes IDS look like Spartacus!

  23. John on said:

    Never mind Scotland, it’s been a disaster for Labour everywhere. George losing his seat in Bradford West has to be a major shock, while Esther McVey losing hers is great news for justice.

  24. John Grimshaw on said:

    Looks like a Tory majority folks. So this means..? EU referendum! Another Scottish one sometime down the road! a new Labour leader? a Blairite? fucking Clegg kept his seat on the back of Tory tactical voting.

  25. John on said:

    Scotland has swung behind an anti austerity message while England has gone with austerity. Another Yes campaign is headed down the track.

  26. jim mclean on said:

    Ed will probably resign today and we will probably have a civil war within Labour, think the Tories might be be inf letting Scotland go, not worth the hassle, must say nothing really unexpected.

  27. Uncle Albert on said:

    Congratulations to the anti-austerity Greens for increasing their vote in key seats and to the anti-austerity SNP for the stunning defeat inflicted on Murphy and Wee Dougie.

    The question now is this: Will Murphy and Wee Dougie continue voting Labour after Reeves made it clear* that the Labour Party is not the party for the unemployed?

    * http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/rachel-reeves-says-labour-does-not-want-to-represent-people-out-of-work-10114614.html

  28. Noah on said:

    John: England has gone with austerity

    I think analysis of the results will show that the key factor in Labour’s failure to do much better in England was nationalism rather than support for austerity. Two forms of nationalist identity politics featuring in this: the fear of ‘being run by Scotland’, whipped up by the Tory press and ably assisted by the SNP; and anti-immigrant sentiment resulting in abstention or drain of votes to UKIP.

    London being the exception which really does prove the rule (in the proper sense of the phrase).

    It should be added that the economic ‘success’ for the Tories (which has prevented the anti-austerity message gaining more traction) is produced not by the policy of austerity but by QE and ultra-low interest rates.

  29. Labour’s campaign of promising fiscal responsibility, further cuts and immigration controls has not worked. If Labour is telling people that Austerity is necessary, then they should
    not be surprised that some people voted for the real Tories, rather than the pale imitation.

  30. John on said:

    Noah: I think analysis of the results will show that the key factor in Labour’s failure to do much better in England was nationalism rather than support for austerity.

    Both are inextricably linked in England. I disagree that upsurge in support for the SNP has been driven by nationalism. It’s been driven by anti austerity and a Labour Party that has forgotten why it was founded?

  31. John Grimshaw on said:

    Uncle Albert:
    Congratulations to the anti-austerity Greens for increasing their vote in key seats and to the anti-austerity SNP for the stunning defeat inflicted on Murphy and Wee Dougie.

    The question now is this: Will Murphy and Wee Dougie continue voting Labour after Reeves made it clear* that the Labour Party is not the party for the unemployed?

    * http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/rachel-reeves-says-labour-does-not-want-to-represent-people-out-of-work-10114614.html

    Dressed in blue with a pale pink background. That about sums her up. A Tory really.

  32. jim mclean on said:

    Fuck austerity, this whole election was fought through the subtext of “racial division”. In the battle between “race” and class, class lost.

  33. John Grimshaw on said:

    Noah:
    amnon,

    How do you explain the London results then?

    Less than 50% of London’s population is white English? It’s a happening place where a lot of what the Tories say is irrelevant? People know there are more racists in the Tories than Labour? However you can’t keep trying to get Labour off the hook. I’d be interested to know how many of Labour’s potential supporters didn’t turn out because they thought Labour wasn’t speaking to them or because they thought they were more of the same? Of course the fall out has already started with prominent Labour politicians hinting at the need to re-position Labour in the centre. And we all know what that means. Which Blairite is prominent enough to be first to put their heads above the parapet? Chukka?

  34. John Grimshaw on said:

    jim mclean,

    I think the election was fought over austerity. It’s just that different types of people have a different view of what austerity means The rich don’t care. The self satisified middle classes think that balancing the books is a good idea even if someone has to suffer temporarily, especially if its not them, or even in some cases if it is them. The poor and working class don’t like austerity but even some of them may think it’s a ggod idea. Don’t forget one of Thatcher’s great tricks was to appeal to the middle classes over the heads of the usual Tory audience by convincing them that running a country was like running a corner shop. You only spend what you can afford. Labour’s mistake was to never adequately spell out an alternative to this imbecilic message.

  35. Jimmy Haddow on said:

    Labour only have themselves to blame; but it will be the British working class who will suffer the consequences of the majority Tory government. what needs to take place now is the all the Labour Councils in up in down the country in Britain along with the SNP councils in Scotland along with the Scottish Government to immediately set NO CUTS BUDGETS and build a mass campaign to win money from the government as a first step to fight the austerity programme. At the same time the trade unions should disaffiliate from the Labour Party and start to build a new working class party.

  36. John Grimshaw on said:

    The guardian is reporting that Ed Milliband will resign as leader later this morning.

  37. Lenny on said:

    As I said, Shameful Red Tories will have to change.

    However, sadly, they’ll probably move right instead of left.

  38. Andy Newman on said:

    Noah: I think analysis of the results will show that the key factor in Labour’s failure to do much better in England was nationalism rather than support for austerity. Two forms of nationalist identity politics featuring in this: the fear of ‘being run by Scotland’, whipped up by the Tory press and ably assisted by the SNP; and anti-immigrant sentiment resulting in abstention or drain of votes to UKIP.

    This is absolutely correct.

  39. Matty on said:

    Interesting comments, particularly those about an English nationalist backlash re the SNP. In Eltham, I heard ex-Labour voters telling me they were voting UKIP. Not enough to do damage but it seems that in places like Corby, Telford etc I guess that it was a stronger effect.

    Ed M has to go. Ed Balls made a great speech on the economy at Bloomberg but Ed M didn’t buy into it and instead Labour adopted austerity-lite http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/jun/16/austerity-uturn-ed-balls-mistake

    Having said that Labour credibility on the economy was always going to be a tough sell because the great financial crash happened under a Labour Govt (no matter that it would have been even worse under the Tories).

    Ed’s image was too geeky and he lacked charisma. Unfairly, he came across as weak even though he was brave enough to stand up to Murdoch.

    I also think Labour lost an important amount of votes to UKIP. The scapegoating of immigrants by the right-wing press worked.

    I’m still really shocked though by the result, all the pollsters failed to predict this. The last time this happened was 1992 but look what happened to the Tories then.
    All the best
    Matt Stiles

  40. Lenny on said:

    Andy Newman,

    So campaigning for the SNP by the SNP means ably assisting the Tories.

    Totally delusional Andy.

    Shameful Red Tories.

  41. Sam64 on said:

    Is 31% of the national vote Labour’s worst election performance since 1983, worse even than 1987?

    However poor, here’s another reason, a possible reason, it’s a bit impressionistic, but I’m sure there’s something to it: an entrenched and growing non-Labour grey vote in England. 10 million of the British population are over 65 and it’s going to rise substantially as a feature of (outside London) an ageing population. I say non-Labour rather than Tory but it’s really Tory as it seems that in parts of the country with a substantial retired population (the West Country for instance, the rural Welsh borders) the Lib Dem vote went very largely to the Conservatives.

    We’re all looking around for targets to blame today perhaps, so there’s a danger of going too far in stereotypes of retired voters – blue nosed old arses and the like. But we do know what we’re talking about: generally fairly comfortable, purposely removed from austerity, Daily Mail reading, Eurosceptic and susceptible to nationalist scare mongering over Scotland. In sum, highly unlikely to vote Labour under any circumstances in the foreseeable future.

    What about young voters? I think registration and turnout was significantly lower amongst this demographic and judging by conversations I’ve had with university students over the last couple of weeks, just not really inclined towards Labour. I was hoping Ed Miliband’s attempts to reach out to young voters through the emphasis on zero hours contracts and even hooking up with Russell Brand would gel. It didn’t so far as I could tell. This situation contrasts markedly with the way the SNP has captured the hearts and minds of 18-30 year olds in Scotland.

  42. Noah on said:

    John Grimshaw: Less than 50% of London’s population is white English?

    Yes, I think this is a key factor. And those working class people in ‘inner city’ areas of London who are of a white English background are used to living & sharing alongside the other ethnic groups, hence are less prone than other ‘indigenous’ people to be caught up in xenophobia.

    For example, in my local area- in the constituencies of Tottenham where I vote, and in Hornsey and Wood Green where I helped a bit with the Labour campaign, there were big swings to Labour- 8% and 16% respectively, and big swings against both the Liberals and the Tories.

    Very clearly, the inadequacy of Labour’s position on austerity (and other issues) didn’t put people near where I live off voting Labour.

  43. jim mclean on said:

    Judging what I have heard from unemployed and low waged I live my life with they cant stand the English, want tighter immigration in an independent Scotland and would not be adverse to the sending a few of the Poles back. Sturgeon created a situation where the only way for the English electorate could nullify the SNP block was to return a Tory majority that will defend their rights over the privelleged Scots who threatened to block the democratically elected Parties chosen by the English. The SNP came across as a bunch of Tartan Army louts coming down to London to steal the Wembly Goalposts.

  44. Jellytot on said:

    Andy Newman:
    For what it is worth:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/politics/constituencies/E14000635

    Labour vote in Chippenham up +1.3%

    Good effort Andy.

    I’m still really shocked though by the result, all the pollsters failed to predict this. The last time this happened was 1992 but look what happened to the Tories then.

    With their wafer thin majority I can well see this term being a repeat of the 1992 to 1997 for them. The Euro-sceptics will be emboldened especially with the impending referendum.

    While their may be dark clouds on the horizon for the Tories as a party, the wider Right (in England) have the wind in their sails. With the decline in the old style of class politics we are seeing a US style political balkanisation with progressive/Left redoubts in the big cities and deeply reactionary and nationalist rural and semi-rural areas.

  45. Robert p Williams on said:

    Any predictions on what direction the Labour Party will take after this? Might it move to the left or move right?

  46. Vanya on said:

    #56 I’m surprised you’re interested. Aren’t they as bad as the tories anyway as far as you’re concerned?

    The logic of your position is surely that this election result is an irrelevancy? One lot of tories won instead of another.

  47. jim mclean on said:

    Robert p Williams,

    Truth is it will be directionless for a while in England until the leadership is decided, in Scotland it will take a different form, maybe even a federal and automonous shape, still polling over 30 to 35% in the good areas. so may be a bounce for Holyrood.

  48. Lenny on said:

    jim mclean,

    £30 billion worth of cuts Labour voted through with the Tories.

    Should the SNP have stood aside and let Labour in Scotland have a free run?

  49. Vanya on said:

    #59 The SNP are a nationalist party who are committed to independence. Labour are not.

    Why would the SNP step aside for a party that opposes independence, whatever their respective positions (real or imaginary) on the question of austerity?

    The question is not what socialists should ask the SNP to do but rather the approach they should have to giving support to them.

  50. jim mclean on said:

    Lenny,

    Scottish Local Authoroties crippled through the SNP’s massive hidden subsidies to the middle classes and paid through cuts in local services and condemmed by the Rowntree Trust. I am not a member of a political party anymore but may join Scottish Labour, and at my age it is not a career move. To think that the political landscape in Britiain is now based on “race” creed and colour. The moment Nicola Sturgeon stated that she, unelected to Westminster, would block the Conservatives from becoming the elected government if the English people elected them as the largest party she undermined the basic tenet of the Nationalist cause, the right of nations to self determination. (Not something I actually accept myself) At the same time she poked the Hornets nest of English Nationalism.

  51. jim mclean on said:

    Lenny: Should the SNP have stood aside and let Labour in Scotland

    The SNP should never had taken their seats at Westminster, stand, yes, but do not go to Westminster. Sooner we have the second referendum the better,

  52. John on said:

    jim mclean: To think that the political landscape in Britiain is now based on “race” creed and colour.

    The population of Scotland comes in all of the above. It’s a national identity not racial, religious, or ethnic.

    The crisis within neoliberalism has not produced a class response but a nationalist response. This is down to the previous dismantling of the industrial working class and the emergence of identity politics in its stead. Nationality is merely the most powerful and compelling of identities.

    The rise of the SNP would and could not have taken place without the abandonment of core values by Labour. It comes as the culmination of a process lasting two decades. Willie Ross predicted that devolution would lead to the eventual break-up of the UK. He was right.

    jim mclean: I am not a member of a political party anymore but may join Scottish Labour,

    You will be joining a party that is currently led by a man who championed the most devastating imperialist war in modern history, is anti trade union, pro market, pro Israel, and a member of the neoconservative Henry Jackson Society.

    I sincerely wish you luck. I joined Labour in order to vote for Neil Findlay in the leadership election. They were sending me emails to campaign or a candidate who took to the local press to boast of why he was delighted to accept a campaign donation from Tony Blair.

    I’d rather quit politics altogether than do so.

  53. Roy on said:

    There are more pandas in Edinburgh zoo than there are Labour MPs in Scotland.

    Stunning result in Scotland. This may be about nationalism, but also class – the SNP wiped out Labour in Labour’s working class heartlands. To be Labour in Scotland is to be a reactionary.

    Scotland….goan yersel!!

  54. jim mclean on said:

    65#
    I think Willie Ross and Norman Buchan were my last Labour heroes, but I digress. I am thinking more of who is leading the largest parties, White CoE, White Ulster Presbyterian, White CoS middle class and upwards, not happy. Also as part of my “paranoia” I had a sensitivity toward Milliband as I saw him as a victim of a the neo-fascist aspects of the press. An oversensitivity on my part perhaps, for instance seeing Ed described as a North London Boy With Two Kitchens as an anti-semetic trope. I understand fully your feeling for the Labour Party, I left the second time over the war, but as you have pointed out a lot of deadwood has gone. Party Politics stink, but John, some of the best political movements these days work outside the system, never a need to give it up, just change tactics.

    Lenny,

    Labour, they will be back, and once they are I’ll probably resign, again.

  55. jim mclean: Judging what I have heard from unemployed and low waged I live my life with they cant stand the English, want tighter immigration in an independent Scotland and would not be adverse to the sending a few of the Poles back.

    So you know some bigoted fuckwits. So what? Every country has them. Are you implying that these views are representative of Scottish people generally? Or of those who voted for the SNP and/or independence perhaps? Because that would be pure slander, much like suggesting that the opinions of Nigel Farage are representative of English people generally, or that those of the Orange Order and SDL are representative of most opponents of Scottish independence. (To be absolutely clear I am not suggesting those things).

    As for anti-immigrant prejudice, Ed Miliband made a point of trying to appease it, promising to be “tough on immigration”, “control our borders”, etc. His rhetoric on the subject was virtually identical to that of the LibDems and the Tories (a mistake Labour keeps making). “Controls on immigration” was even point 4 of 6 on his big stone tablet. Incidentally, I thought there already were controls on immigration, which is why you need a passport to get on a plane, but apparently not!

    If Labour wants a future in Scotland (or England, for that matter) it’s going to have to face political reality. The turn from Labour to the SNP is not based on rabid nationalism or “hating the English”. Labour has spent the last few decades alienating the people who would once have been it’s core support. If the party wants to win them back then it’s going to have to seriously address their complaints rather than dismiss them as “irrelevant noise” (as Mr Newman put it the other day). Labour needs to drop this sense of entitlement and the belief that we HAVE to vote Labour (we clearly don’t) and that not being the Tories is good enough (it clearly isn’t).

    Labour did not just fail in Scotland. In fact, they failed so badly in England that even if the SNP didn’t exist and Labour had won every Scottish seat, they would still have lost the election.

  56. jim mclean on said:

    JN,

    The SNP is based on nothing, it may have left its fascist roots of the 30’s but it has not reached Salmonds Civic Nationalist aim. I know ignorant fuckwits, well they are Lumpen I do admit, and they are bloody good guys who lack our workplace experience that created our left wing concepts, but they are the product of the SNP’s education system, not Labours’, not Torys’, the SNP are the establishment. They support the SNP, they believe the bullshit they were told by this party of opportunists. Your last line is arse for elbow, Nicola Sturgeon handed Cameron the keys to Downing Street by threatening to block the choice of the English people, she created a situation where the only way the English people could be free of her threats was to elect an English majority via the Tories. This is how nationalism works. Two more things, why did Sturgeon think she could dictate to a Parliament she is not a member off, have you seen the quality of the SNP intake, they are already taking bets on the first one arrested although I am not participating in the pool although I have a choice.

  57. Robert p Williams,

    If Labour wants to survive long term, it should move left and be ready to fight the Tories (not just electorally but ideologically- don’t let the Tories define what is and isn’t acceptable), reconnect with its base, be unappologetically a party of the left.

    Of course, they’ll almost certainly do the exact opposite.

  58. Noah on said:

    JN: Labour did not just fail in Scotland. In fact, they failed so badly in England that even if the SNP didn’t exist and Labour had won every Scottish seat, they would still have lost the election.

    Not so. The SNP was identified by Cameron’s campaign strategist Linton Crosby as being key to defeating the Labour Party both in Scotland and England, and it did indeed play that role.

  59. jim mclean on said:

    JN,

    Half an apology, just done a bit of family research, would say 75% of the younger generation voted SNP no matter what social economic situation is. Lots of turning in graves.

  60. Noah on said:

    JN: Labour has spent the last few decades alienating the people who would once have been it’s core support.

    But in the multi-ethnic inner-city areas in England, the Labour vote increased very significantly in this election.

    Have you any idea why?

  61. Jellytot on said:

    John: The crisis within neoliberalism has not produced a class response but a nationalist response. This is down to the previous dismantling of the industrial working class and the emergence of identity politics in its stead. Nationality is merely the most powerful and compelling of identities.

    Spot on

  62. P Spence on said:

    The liberal and far Left carry a heavy responsibility for the SNP surge. Dreams of a Scandiwegen social democratic republic in Scotland are just that; the Scottish bourgeoisie who would call the shots are the archenemy of the working class and would impose neoliberalism with as much vigour as the Tories; the Irish and Baltic States are a more likely model.

  63. jqmark on said:

    labours main competition in liverpool riverside is the greens so i dont think lesser of two evilism applied in sams case. esp as greens want an extra 10bn for local government . people treat the general election as a national contest when its lots of local ones.
    jim mclean,

  64. Uncle Albert on said:

    Robert p Williams: Any predictions on what direction the Labour Party will take after this? Might it move to the left or move right?

    The election of Jim Murphy as leader in Scotland reflected membership opinion in the Labour Party – expect a similar figure to be elected in the UK.

    I’ll put my money on Dan Jarvis, he’s a Blairite and Progress big-shot and will receive considerable support from both the PLP and membership.

    Miliband, if he had won the election, would have prepared the way for state funding for political parties, hence the preliminary dumping of the trade union link after the cooked-up Falkirk crisis and subsequent Collins review. However, having ‘modernised’ by dumping the unions (and having lost the election) Labour is now in no position to engineer state funding.

    There is little point in the trade unions attempting to renew engagement with a Labour Party that doesn’t want them – particularly now that the anti-austerity SNP are victorious in Scotland and UKIP are rising in the north.

  65. John on said:

    Alan Johnson was on R4 this morning paving the way for the return of the Blairites and Blairism to prominence within Labour.

    He tried to maintain that Labour has lost its way on aspiration and other such bunkum. He neglected to explain the collapse of Labour in Scotland.

    The Labour left has a job now to organise against a Blairite being elected the new leader.

  66. jim mclean: The SNP is based on nothing

    What’s Labour based on, other than nostalgia for it’s idealised and long gone glory days?

    “it may have left its fascist roots of the 30’s”

    What “fascist roots” would those be? I mean I don’t know much about it, but the roots of the SNP would seem to be a merge between a centre-left party and a right-wing (as in like the Tories) party. If you’re referring to Douglas Young, then you’re aware he was also a member of Labour up until 1942, when he chose to leave due to becoming SNP leader.

    More importantly, the 30s?! As in 75+ years ago? As in before my father was born? As in the days when leading members of the Labour Party were still enthusiasticly advocating eugenics (and not just in terms of sterilisation, but also in terms of murdering people they thought were “defective”)? Labour’s history isn’t exactly spotless, especially not in relation to imperialism. But then if we’re talking about the Labour Party and mass-murder we don’t have to go that far back, do we? Just back to the last Labour governments of Blair/Brown.

  67. Noah on said:

    John: The Labour left has a job now to organise against a Blairite being elected the new leader.

    Yes, and to positively campaign for the left / centre-left candidate. It will be especially important also to mobilise the affiliated trade union vote.

  68. Noah on said:

    Uncle Albert: There is little point in the trade unions attempting to renew engagement with a Labour Party that doesn’t want them – particularly now that the anti-austerity SNP are victorious in Scotland and UKIP are rising in the north.

    No. The rise of nationalism and xenophobia are among the very good reasons for the unions to renew their engagement with the Labour Party.

  69. anonymous on said:

    Paul Mason is saying that Unite will break from the Labour Party if there’s a Blairite leader, something the Party could not afford.
    JN,

    There’s a lot of SNP members who ‘don’t know much about it’.

    Perhaps the SNP should explain their history to its members.

    Might be a suitable subject for their annual Arthur Donaldson lecture.

  70. Sam64 on said:

    Perhaps there does seem much room for schadenfreude right now given the blue grimness settling over Britain, (and the fact that senior Tories are apparently already mooting the Lords for McVey) but check the expression on her face and remember that this woman laughed during a debate on a food banks as you watch this. Genuine grass roots campaign to unseat her as well:

    http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/watch-moment-esther-mcvey-lost-9211009

  71. jim mclean: they are Lumpen I do admit

    Don’t give me that prolier than thou crap. I’m working class, and I’ve been unemployed before. It doesn’t excuse being an ignorant bigot, which is what someone who hates people based on where they come from is. If your friends are ignorant bigots, that’s your problem. It doesn’t reflect in any way on the issue of Scottish independence or the election.

    “but they are the product of the SNP’s education system, not Labours’, not Torys’,”

    Then they must be bloody young, because Labour were the first party at Holyrood and controlled most of the councils until 2007, in addition to being the UK government until 2010. And presumably you believe the education system was fine under Labour but has degenerated massively in the last few years? Are you sure these friends of yours actually exist? You didn’t imagine them to ‘prove’ a point?

    “the SNP are the establishment”

    More so than Labour? Labour has fucking barons and lords now.

    “Nicola Sturgeon handed Cameron the keys to Downing Street”

    Really? Then why did Ed Miliband accept responsibility for it and resign? Seriously, it is Labour’s failure. Labour needs to accept that and learn from it, not whine and try to dump the responsibility on someone else like you’re doing. And if Labour doesn’t learn from this, how is it going to do any better next time?

    “threatening to block the choice of the English people, she created a situation where the only way the English people could be free of her threats was to elect an English majority via the Tories.”

    You, as a Labour supporter, are seriously complaining that the SNP offered to support Labour against the Tories? How dare they stand for election and win! Don’t they know that Scotland BELONGS to Labour by divine right?

    The SNP could not possibly “block the choice of the English people”. Only the English electorate, by it’s superior size, has the ability to elect a government completely at odds with the wishes of the Scottish and/or Welsh electorates. It can’t happen the other way round; it is numerically impossible. All the SNP could potentially do, is provide the deciding seats in the event of a fairly close split between the Labour and the Tories. Which didn’t happen because LABOUR LOST IN ENGLAND by a margin bigger than the total number of Scottish MPs.

    Once again, is Scotland currently part of the UK or is it not? If it is, then the SNP MPs elected in Scotland in exactly the same way as MPs in other parts of the UK have exactly the same legitimacy and right to participate in parliament and if possible government as any of the other parties.

    “why did Sturgeon think she could dictate to a Parliament she is not a member off”

    Sturgeon is the leader of a party that won 56 seats in that Parliament. What part of that do you not understand? And what part of 9 > 1 (roughly the proportion of English constituencies to Scottish ones) or 9.5 > 1 (roughly the proportion of English MPs of all parties to SNP MPs) do you fail to grasp? The SNP is not in a position to “dictate”.

    “have you seen the quality of the SNP intake, they are already taking bets on the first one arrested”

    Would you like to clarify what it is that you’re implying?

    Have you seen the Labour Party’s leading members over the past 20 years? Aye, we can’t all be of the “quality” of Tony Blair or Jim Murphy. Any bets as to when they’ll be arrested? No, course not, because shoplifters get punished. War criminals don’t.

  72. anonymous,

    Perhaps you should look at Labour’s history while your at it. But then why bother when they’re so shit in the present.

  73. Andy Newman on said:

    P Spence,

    Yes, I have compared the SNP with Peronism, perhaps Fianna Fail (or even Fina Gael) might be better comparisons.

    The “progressive” illusion can be seen be the continued euphoria in the face of the Conservatives having won an overall majority

  74. Uncle Albert on said:

    Noah: The rise of nationalism and xenophobia are among the very good reasons for the unions to renew their engagement with the Labour Party.

    The Labour Party voted to end the engagement. Members, as individuals, are free to engage, as are individual members of the National Trust.

  75. Noah,

    Aye, keep telling yourself that Labour lost through no fault of their own but were stabbed in the back by those perfidious nationalists. Do that, learn nothing from this defeat, and you’ll lose the next one as well. Is that what you want?

    “But in the multi-ethnic inner-city areas in England, the Labour vote increased very significantly in this election.

    Have you any idea why?”

    Because unlike in Scotland, there wasn’t a well established centre-left (at least as left as Labour, anyway) alternative that was seen as having a credible chance of winning in a First-Past-the-Post contest. Seriously, it’s not difficult to figure out.

    Look, for decades Labour regarded Scotland’s cities as ‘safe seats’. If it can happen in Glasgow, it can and eventually will happen in Manchester, Liverpool, etc when a strong enough alternative eventually emerges.

    And just by the way, I’m not a member of the SNP or a long-term supporter, and I would have preferred a Labour victory to a Conservative one. In fact, I would love to see Labour and the SNP competing for left-wing and working class support the way Labour has competed with the Tories for right-wing and middle class support for as long as I can remember.

    But if you support Labour you need to stop deluding yourselves and refusing to deal with the reality. Labour did not lose to the SNP in Scotland because we’re all a bunch of rabid nationalists who “hate the English” (we aren’t), and Labour did not lose in England solely or primarily because the English electorate were terrified of the SNP.

    They lost because of poor leadership, failure to effectively dispute the Tories claims, memories of the last Labour government (Iraq, etc), and not being clear about who or what they’re meant to represent.

    The Blairite strategy could win a few elections in the short term by taking Labour’s core support for granted whilst chasing the votes of the centre and right-wing. The long term result is the accelerating collapse of the party’s base.

  76. Andy Newman: The “progressive” illusion can be seen be the continued euphoria in the face of the Conservatives having won an overall majority

    In Scotland we’re used to having Tory governments we didn’t vote for.

  77. George Hallam on said:

    JN: But if you support Labour you need to stop deluding yourselves and refusing to deal with the reality. Labour did not lose to the SNP in Scotland because we’re all a bunch of rabid nationalists who “hate the English” (we aren’t), and Labour did not lose in England solely or primarily because the English electorate were terrified of the SNP.

    I’ve talked to a lot of people in Lewisham Deptford and Lewisham East over the last few months. I’ve also been to five hustings. The attendance at two of these were over 200. The main issues people were interested in were (in no particular order): housing, the bedroom tax, the NHS, jobs, youth unemployment, education and student fees. Scotland and the SNP never came up, not once.

  78. John on said:

    JN: The Blairite strategy could win a few elections in the short term by taking Labour’s core support for granted whilst chasing the votes of the centre and right-wing. The long term result is the accelerating collapse of the party’s base.

    True words.

  79. anonymous on said:

    The problem remains, how do you combat populist nationalism, which by its very nature is immune to reason?

    I think it’s going to be a long hard slog.

    “Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.”

  80. Sam64 on said:

    George Hallam,

    I’m sure that’s so. They’re the same issues which gelled nationally on the ground in the campaign. And in some instances such issues had traction and success, and not always in the ‘Labour heartlands’. The bedroom tax in Wirral West in the defeat of McVey is a case in point. Obviously the area is a mixed one but It includes the Liverpool Royal Golf Club where the British Open is held from time to time if that conjures the south side of the Wirral for you.

    However, the key reason given by Prof John Curtis fella, Strathclyde University (who does know what he’s talking about) is that Labour was never trusted on the economy. His polling showed that on the eve of the election voters were still more likely to blame the last Labour government for cuts in public expenditure (austerity) than the Coalition. Never mind that this must be, pound for pound, close to the biggest lie in history, that’s what they thought (think). And that’s why millions of not particularly well off people in the public as well as the private sector turned out and voted Tory.

    In the context of the impending Labour leadership election, it had nothing to do with Labour becoming ‘tribal’ under Ed Miliband in the words of Lord John Hutton.

  81. George Hallam on said:

    Sam64: However, the key reason given by Prof John Curtis fella, Strathclyde University (who does know what he’s talking about) is that Labour was never trusted on the economy. His polling showed that on the eve of the election voters were still more likely to blame the last Labour government for cuts in public expenditure (austerity) than the Coalition. Never mind that this must be, pound for pound, close to the biggest lie in history, that’s what they thought (think). And that’s why millions of not particularly well off people in the public as well as the private sector turned out and voted Tory.

    I broadly agree. The persevered state of the economy is quite a reliable indicator of the outcome of elections.

    I’m not so sure about the last Labour government causing austerity being “the biggest lie in history”. A number of other candidates come to mind, including some that are dear to the ‘Left’.

    As regards blaming Labour, there is some basis for this. Labour’s reckless use of PFI’s increased public debt by the equivalent of something like 20 per cent of GDP in about five years. This was unsustainable. Currently, PFI payments are running at £11bn a year, of which £2bn are NHS projects. The latter have played a central role in the financial crisis of the NHS.

    Of course, PFIs weren’t a topic in the election debate. However, the Labour Party felt the need to avoid the issue of PFIs and this led to some remarkable contortions especially in regard to the NHS. The result was a Labour’s defence of the NHS was pitched in general terms and it was easy for the Conservatives to match their offer.

    The general public may not have noticed, but this pusillanimous approach caused considerable disruption in the various health campaigns.

  82. Noah on said:

    Andy Newman: The affiliates won’t have an electoral college vote post-Collins

    Uncle Albert: Members, as individuals, are free to engage, as are individual members of the National Trust.

    The process of converting from just being a member of an affiliated union to being a registered Labour supporter (and thus getting a vote in the leadership election) is very quick and easy. It took me about 30 seconds to complete the online form. Here it is:

    http://support.labour.org.uk/

    The trade unions have the machinery at hand to get their members to sign up and vote, and activists should start to promote and organise this without delay.

  83. Sam64 on said:

    George Hallam,

    I take the point about PFI and that. But surely the equation in the public mind so crucial to voting in 2015 as well as 2010 was Labour = reckless spending = national deficit = painful but necessary cuts? Now we all know that even in ‘bourgeois’ terms this is bullshit. Paul Krugman emphatically demonstrated in the Guardian last week that what recovery there has been since 2012 has been wrought by government stimulus to the economy through subsidies to the housing (mortgage) market etc. Had the Coalition government continued down the hard austerity road they began on there wouldn’t have even been the modest growth there has been. But the real issue, the big lie, is that the deficit was a product of Labour over spending on public services, rather than the billions given to financial capitalism in its gun against the collective head hour of need.

    Perhaps this lie pales beside the lies of distatorships in the 20th century, but in a supposedly unprecedented media savvy age, the ability of the ruling class to by turns deny, obfuscate, and redirect responsibility against their political enemies for national deficits is extraordinary. And 7 years on it’s basic to why Cameron is sipping tea in number 10 whilst he puts the final touches to his new unadulterated Tory cabinet.

  84. Noah on said:

    George Hallam: I’ve talked to a lot of people in Lewisham Deptford and Lewisham East over the last few months […] Scotland and the SNP never came up, not once.

    Neither anti-Scottish nationalism nor anti-immigrant sentiment had much or any impact on Labour voters / potential voters in London. That’s why Labour did so well in London compared to (most of) the rest of England.

    BTW I think an examination of the other constituencies where there was a good swing to Labour on Thursday will show that, like London, they contain a high proportion of voters who are not of indigenous white background, thus making them less susceptible to manipulation by the right wing on an ‘English’ ethno-nationalist basis.

  85. Noah on said:

    JN,

    In England, in mainly or virtually all-white constituencies, Labour failed to make much progress.

    But the Labour vote increased very substantially in London and other ethnically mixed areas.

    You haven’t yet accounted for that.

  86. Uncle Albert on said:

    Noah: The process of converting from just being a member of an affiliated union to being a registered Labour supporter (and thus getting a vote in the leadership election) is very quick and easy.

    But not many will bother. And why should they?

  87. Noah on said:

    Uncle Albert,

    How many will bother depends on the amount of organisation and encouragement for them to do so.

    Why should they? For one thing, to try to elect a Labour leader who will be closer to their own views and interests- rather than a Blairite.

  88. Uncle Albert on said:

    Noah: to try to elect a Labour leader who will be closer to their own views

    That didn’t happen in Scotland and it won’t happen anywhere else.

    I tried to engage with the LP myself, I rejoined after Ed became leader, but meaningful engagement is not an option. I even offered to help initiate the re-establishment of a moribund constituency party in a marginal seat but that was far too threatening for the elite.

    I now believe that the LP has become an obstacle to the development of a democratic organisation more suited to representing the interests of most people. My experiences when campaigning against austerity/for the NHS has indicated this: LP members/supporters opportunistically use such campaigns as a means to further their own party interests, i.e. Tory austerity is bad, Labour austerity is good/Tory privatisation of the NHS is bad, Labour privatisation of the NHS though regrettable is a necessary and therefore sensible measure.

  89. Noah on said:

    Uncle Albert,

    The problem with giving up on the Labour Party is that, in terms of electoral representation for the working class, there isn’t any viable alternative.

    Left wing people who hope for the demise of the Labour Party should be really, really careful what they wish for.

    Where would that support and votes go to? In the current & likely near future situation, not in a healthy direction. The fact that disgruntled (former) Labour voters have gone to the Nationalist party in Scotland and UKIP in England – not TUSC- should be enough of a reality check.

    Meanwhile, the issue of who will become the leader of the Labour Party is a matter that Trade Union activists and members should, and can, do something about.

  90. jim mclean on said:

    As the results are analysed two things are being reported.
    The Libdem vote switched to the Tories.
    UKIP gained more Labour supporters than it did Tory and LibDem.
    How does the left address this without shooting the messangers?

  91. Noah on said:

    From Independent article today: ‘UK election results: Lynton Crosby – the wizard from Oz who destroyed Labour’

    ***
    …with their two key pre-planned messages not working – and the polls remaining stubbornly drawn – Crosby and the Tory high command were forced to reassess. They noticed that the rise of the SNP in Scotland was resonating on the doorstep – particularly among potential Ukip/Tory waverers.

    So they devised a new strategy, to relentlessly and negatively exploit the dangers of a Labour Government propped up by the SNP. Every day the party wheeled out its new “SNP will hold Labour to ransom” rhetoric on posters, social media and press releases. At times during the campaign it has seemed like the only Tory message.

    But while the new strategy firmed up the Tory vote and squeezed Ukip in England, the messaging has had unintended and damaging consequences North of the border […]

    For Scottish voters it has heightened their sense of disillusionment with UK politics in general. By pushing Labour into ruling out any kind of post-election deal with the SNP the strategy has created the impression in Scotland that whatever the result Scottish MPs will be second-class citizens in Westminster.

    It is an irony that a party whose full name is the Conservative and Unionist Party should have run a campaign that has done such damage to the union they want to protect.
    ***

  92. jim mclean on said:

    Noah,

    Though if Cameron delivers Full Fiscal Automony and gives Scotland de facto Home Rule within the UK it might work. Main problems for the SNP will be the benefits bill, corporate and capital flight and the fact I have joined Labour. Good link though, thanks.

  93. Uncle Albert on said:

    Noah: there isn’t any viable alternative.

    You can repeat that as much as you like but the Labour Party has been all but wiped out in Scotland and UKIP came second in 118 constituencies in Labour’s northern heartlands.

    Like it or not, Labour’s traditional electorate, with very good reason, are beginning to move to an alternative. It may, at the moment, not be the alternative you or I would prefer but it is happening and no amount of wishful thinking can prevent this.

    The Labour Party will most likely opt for a Blairite as new leader. Dan Jarvis would be a good choice as he best reflects the LP as it is today – which is not the mythological LP many on this blog still have faith in. In my view a Blairite leader will, over time, deliver a result similar to that achieved by Labour in Scotland. That is not a viable alternative.

  94. John on said:

    Noah: The problem with giving up on the Labour Party is that, in terms of electoral representation for the working class, there isn’t any viable alternative.

    The electorate in Scotland disagree with you. This mantra no longer has any purchase. It is actually grotesque to expect them to have remained loyal to Labour given Labour’s record over the past two decades, Labour’s decision to join with the Tories in Better Together, followed by the election of Jim Murphy as leader of the party in Scotland.

    It appears that now we will have the internal struggle within Labour between right and left that is long overdue. And with Len McCluskey’s statement re the disaffiliation of Unite should a Blairite be elected as the next leader, I have more reason to hope than you and others.

    Labour in its present state is an impediment to the labour movement. This election result leaves no doubt of it.

  95. Noah on said:

    John: The electorate in Scotland disagree with you.

    The electorate in Scotland apparently believed that you could vote SNP and get a Labour government.

    While electors in England believed that if they voted Labour they would get an SNP-run government.

    Result = a Tory government.

    John: with Len McCluskey’s statement re the disaffiliation of Unite should a Blairite be elected as the next leader, I have more reason to hope than you and others.

    You are surely not hoping for a Blairite to win the election in order to speed the demise of the Labour Party?

  96. John on said:

    Noah: The electorate in Scotland apparently believed that you could vote SNP and get a Labour government.

    Yet again, you evidence an astounding lack of understanding of events in Scotland. Voters in Scotland were not hoping for anything other than an eradication of Red Tories from the electoral map, the party that joined forces with their class enemy during the referendum.

    Noah: You are surely not hoping for a Blairite to win the election in order to speed the demise of the Labour Party?

    No, but unlike you I do not support business as usual. I actually believe that the working class and labour movement are entitled to higher expectations. I don’t shy away from the coming struggle within Labour, a party I am a member of.

    Do you?

  97. Noah on said:

    Uncle Albert: the Labour Party has been all but wiped out in Scotland and UKIP came second in 118 constituencies in Labour’s northern heartlands.

    Like it or not, Labour’s traditional electorate, with very good reason, are beginning to move to an alternative. It may, at the moment, not be the alternative you or I would prefer but it is happening

    OK then, there is no viable alternative that isn’t based on nationalism / xenophobia. Is that better?

    Uncle Albert: The Labour Party will most likely opt for a Blairite as new leader.

    This is something which, as I pointed out before the election, would be a consequence of Labour not getting enough votes.

    However it is not an inevitability. The unions need to settle on a centre-left candidate and organise properly. This needs to be run as a serious election campaign, with committee rooms, meetings, leafletting and canvassing. The stakes are very high indeed.

  98. Noah on said:

    John: No, but unlike you I do not support business as usual.

    I’m for the Labour Party moving to the left. I suppose that could be called ‘business as usual’ given that this was happening- very falteringly and inconsistently- under Miliband.

    But I don’t believe that a Labour Party taking a more clear left direction would thereby make big advances electorally. That’s an illusion. Look at 1983.

  99. John on said:

    Noah: I suppose that could be called ‘business as usual’ given that this was happening- very falteringly and inconsistently- under Miliband.

    Yes, Better Together was a left wing united front. It really fired the imagination of the Scottish working class.

    Noah: But I don’t believe that a Labour Party taking a more clear left direction would thereby make big advances electorally. That’s an illusion. Look at 1983.

    I don’t believe that a Labour Party taking a more cautious, centrist direction can make big advances electorally. Look at 2015.

  100. Noah on said:

    John: an eradication of Red Tories from the electoral map, the party that joined forces with their class enemy

    Murdoch, Souter and Jim McColl not part of the class enemy, then?

  101. John on said:

    Noah: Murdoch, Souter and Jim McColl not part of the class enemy, then?

    As much as Progress, yes they are. You prefer Mandelson, Levi, Powell, and Blair? We live in a neoliberal society and world. All the mainstream parties reflect that world to some degree or other.

    The difference is that Labour was founded on core principles of working class representation. Those principles have been abandoned. Returning the party to those principles will determine the future not only of Labour but the UK.

  102. John on said:

    And as for flagging up the 1983 election as part of your argument against Labour taking a left turn, you conveniently omit a huge factor in the 83 election, which was the bounce Thatcher and the right enjoyed as a consequence of the Falklands War.

    Without this bounce in popularity as jingoism swept the land, Labour in my opinion would have won that election, given where Thatcher was in the polls prior to the war.

  103. Noah on said:

    John: I don’t believe that a Labour Party taking a more cautious, centrist direction can make big advances electorally.

    Yes, that may well be the case. Whatever direction the Labour Party takes, I don’t think that this direction, per se, will provide the solution to the Party’s electoral problems.

  104. Noah on said:

    John: As much as Progress, yes they are. You prefer Mandelson, Levi, Powell, and Blair?

    My point is about the irrational power of nationalism. The Labour Party is unforgiven for joining forces with the class enemy, while the SNP is backed by the worst elements of that same class enemy.

  105. Matty on said:

    Uncle Albert,

    Because Labour is the only leftissh alternative to the Tories (at least in England and Wales). How did your National Health Action Party get on? 0.!% of the vote. That’s just a pressure grouping.

  106. Doug on said:

    ‘In England, in mainly or virtually all-white constituencies, Labour failed to make much progress.

    But the Labour vote increased very substantially in London and other ethnically mixed areas.

    You haven’t yet accounted for that.’

    Have you ever been to Exeter, where the Labour vote increased? As it did – substantially – in my local constituency in North Devon (as did the Greens).

  107. Noah on said:

    Doug: Exeter, where the Labour vote increased? As it did – substantially – in my local constituency in North Devon (as did the Greens).

    Thanks for pointing that out. It’s good that there were improvements to the Labour vote in some other areas too.

  108. jim mclean on said:

    Doug,

    UKIP retained its working class support on election day, polling 25% of the vote in some Labour areas, the middle class vote returned to the Tories at a rate of knots, I have no idea how Labour can address this.

  109. jim mclean on said:

    Privy Councillor Alex Salmond bound for the Intelligence and Security Committee

  110. anonymous on said:

    jim mclean,

    Well you’d have to assume that there will be an EU referendum before the next GE so the issue will have been resolved one way or another. In or out will UKIP still have any reason to still exist?

  111. anonymous on said:

    Noah,

    Noah,

    Labour increased their share of the vote in England by 3.6%.

    Obviously not enough of an increase and probably spread to little electoral advantage but it’s worth bearing in mind given the narrative seems to be that the electorate rejected Labour for being too left wing.

  112. jim mclean on said:

    anonymous,

    The core vote of European Right Wing populist parties are the working classes who see these parties as representatives of their group, outside the unionised industrial aristocracy, trapped by poverty and stigmatised for being unable to survive within the globalised and casualised economy they seek to create an cultural identity only to be villified, the left in particular takes the rise out of their aspirations. For the left define culture by middle class standards. UKIP have worked their way into these guys lives and it will be hard to to edge the party out. You will have your racists and nutters but in the end it is just some English men and women looking for a place to belong.

  113. Noah,

    Take your head out the sand and stop deluding yourself. Labour’s collapse in Scotland and the victory of the SNP has little or nothing to do with kilt’s and haggis and Scots Wha Hae.

    “But the Labour vote increased very substantially in London and other ethnically mixed areas. You haven’t yet accounted for that.”

    I think you’ll find I did: lack of any alternative that had a credible chance of winning in a First-Past-the-Post election. Who else were left or centre-left people going to vote for? Tories, LibDems, or UKIP? There’s the Green Party (& TUSC, etc) but that brings us back to the FPTP issue.

    I’m not entirely sure why you keep going on about “ethnically mixed areas” but since you bring it up: would you like to account for why Glasgow South “and other ethnically mixed areas” voted SNP rather than Labour? That would be more relevant to your claim that the SNP vote can be attributed to “irrational nationalism” than talking about London which, as is well known, isn’t in Scotland and thus didn’t have any SNP candidates.

  114. Andy Newman on said:

    Doug: Have you ever been to Exeter, where the Labour vote increased?

    Yes, Ben did exceptionally well, against the run of play, and I will be very interested to look at the particularities of that campaign.

    Generally, in the SW, our vote increased in non target seats, but we went backwards in the targets, and of course we lost Alison Seabeck’s seat in Plymouth.

  115. John Grimshaw on said:

    Uncle Albert: Dan Jarvis would be a good choice as he best reflects the LP as it is today – which is not the mythological LP many on this blog still have faith in.

    Dan Jarvis has already ruled out standing. Umunna is almost undoubtedly going to stand and his mentor the Emperor of Darkness has appeared on Marr seeming to give his blessing.

  116. John Grimshaw on said:

    JN: “But the Labour vote increased very substantially in London and other ethnically mixed areas. You haven’t yet accounted for that.”
    I think you’ll find I did: lack of any alternative that had a credible chance of winning in a First-Past-the-Post election. Who else were left or centre-left people going to vote for? Tories, LibDems, or UKIP? There’s the Green Party (& TUSC, etc) but that brings us back to the FPTP issue.
    I’m not entirely sure why you keep going on about “ethnically mixed areas” but since you bring it up: would you like to account for why Glasgow South “and other ethnically mixed areas” voted SNP rather than Labour? That would be more relevant to your claim that the SNP vote can be attributed to “irrational nationalism” than talking about London which, as is well known, isn’t in Scotland and thus didn’t have any SNP candidates.

    I may have a certain amount of sympathy with what you’re saying JN but maybe you should try to stop being so “irritable”. On the London issue you did give a reason why you thought the Labour vote held up so well and maybe Noah missed it. The only trouble is I don’t understand your explanation. You seem to be saying that the vote went up simply because of statistical lack of alternative which I think is a bit dismissive. If the centrists/left centrists voted Labour in SUCH numbers then surely one explanation for Labour’s relative success is that London has larger numbers of such people than in the rest of the country? Maybe Labour in London was better at getting its message across than elsewhere? I did see a lot of Labour campaigning in Tower Hamlets for example where the sitting MP increased her share of the vote by nearly 19% (the most I believe). I do think the ethnicity question is important. In London (as I have said elsewhere) the proportion of white English people is now below 50%. Non white people have traditionally not voted Tory/Liberal and even though there is a change going on as some people become wealthier that pattern hasn’t changed. I do think Noah (?) is right to say that this has an effect on a lot (but not all) white people as they have become comfortable living alongside former immigrant communities. Therefore logically they are less likely to vote for the Tories who are seen as a party of the white home counties middle class. London for many younger people is an exciting happening place which doesn’t fit in with the ideas that the Tories put forwards.

    I’m sure you’re right that there are other ethnically mixed areas such as South Glasgow or in my case central Manchester, but are they quite the same and as heady as London? Scotland of course as you point out is a on a different trajectory at the moment. Your centre leftists seem to have voted on mass for SNP, something you couldn’t do in England. I think Noah should lose the word “irrational” but in amongst the mix in Scotland I think you’ll find it difficult to lose nationalism as one reason the SNP have been so successful and equally one reason why some white English voters chose the Tories.

  117. jim mclean on said:

    JN,

    You can say it but my statement is based on serious research done over the last decade on the phenomonim of the manual labouring social and economic groups moving to the right. We greyhairs first spotted it in France in the 70’s with a direct shift from CP to FN.
    Malone has done some serious research here.
    http://tinyurl.com/lwqrwhj

    Anf for a bit of fun, saw this on another forum the election results under a regional PR system.
    CON 235 (37%)
    LAB 201 (32%)
    LD 50 (8%)
    UKIP 82 (13%)
    GREEN 24 (4%)
    SNP 29 (4%)
    PC 5 (1%)
    OTH 6
    NI 18

  118. Sam64 on said:

    On ‘ethically mixed areas’, two seats local to me, Chester and Wirral West, that Labour took from the Tories are anything but. In fact, I think I saw some claim that Wirral has the smallest non-white population in the country. It’s a world away from North London or even parts of S Liverpool and Manchester.

  119. John Grimshaw on said:

    Sam64,

    Which I think tells us that ethnicity is not the only thing that matters, after all if it was the only thing then Clem Attlee would never have won in 1945. And Chester’s quite “posh” as well isn’t it?

  120. Sam64 on said:

    John Grimshaw,

    Well I suppose that Chester has a somewhat more middle than working class identity and generally fairly comfortable – my parents moved there when they retired. But a mixed constituency. Exactly the type of constituency that Labour needed to take up and down England but didn’t. Whether the student vote in Chester was significant in a very tight poll, I don’t know.

    In fact, that’s one of the things that would be worth knowing, how did students vote? Big numbers in many places. That article addressed to Tory voters on the other thread had it right about students living cheek by jowl with people in or near to poverty in many cities, but I haven’t seen any evidence on how they voted.

  121. Matty on said:

    JN,

    Who else were left or centre-left people going to vote for? Tories, LibDems, or UKIP?

    I don’t have hard figures but in Eltham at least I did meet quite a few ex-Labour voters who were going to vote UKIP.

  122. Noah on said:

    OK. There doesn’t seem to be any dispute that in London, where the majority of voters are not of white English background, there was a big increase in the Labour vote- much bigger than the average rise (of 3.5% I think, according to ‘anonymous’) in the Labour vote in England overall,

    Is this a purely or mainly London phenomenon, or is there also a pattern in this recent election of a substantial improvement in the Labour vote in the other areas (in England) where those who are not ethnically white English are a very significant proportion of the population?

    To help clarify this, I just now listed the English constituencies outside London where ‘non-whites’ are over 30% of the population according to the 2011 census. There are 25 of these.

    Including those who would consider themselves white but non-British or non-English in origin would give a better measure but I could not find this info. Nevertheless the ‘non-white’ figure is very useful. Data is from ONS:

    http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/regional-trends/area-based-analysis/statistics-for-parliamentary-constituencies–february-2015/how-do-parliamentary-constituencies-vary-.html

    Disregarding Bradford West for obvious reasons, I banded these constituencies into those with more than 50% non-whites, 40 to 50% non-whites, and 30 to 40% non whites. I then looked up the increase in the Labour vote in each of the constituencies and calculated a non-weighted average. Here are the results:-

    Over 50% non whites; 7 constituencies. Average increase in Labour vote: 13.32%

    40 to 50% non-whites; 6 constituencies. Average increase in Labour vote: 9.48%

    30 to 40% non whites; 11 constituencies. Average increase in Labour vote: 6.94%

    These are ‘rough & ready’ calculations but the trend is rather striking.

    Of course I am not at all arguing that ‘mixed ethnicity’ or otherwise was the only factor determining the local variations in the Labour vote in English constituencies. Obviously other aspects were involved, and in those ‘non-ethnically mixed’ areas where Labour made big gains in the vote it would be helpful to consider the factors there.

    However, the pattern shown above, alongside the overwhelming trend in the London constituencies, is consistent with the point about the very negative impact in this election of nationalism and xenophobia, to which the ethnically mixed areas are more resistant.

  123. John Grimshaw on said:

    Noah: is consistent with the point about the very negative impact in this election of nationalism and xenophobia, to which the ethnically mixed areas are more resistant.

    Noah this research is very helpful, although I have to say I’m not surprised. However whilst I do agree with your conclusion above it is only partial. The LP has to take responsibility for it’s own failings as well. The LP higher ups will of course come to the conclusion that the party needs to be more to the right. This will further alienate it from its base, and in the minds of many in Scotland temporarily at least reassure them that the SNP were right.

  124. Sam64 on said:

    Noah,

    Interesting and it may be that there is such a general trend.

    And as a statistical trend, it isn’t productive (or clever) to site individual instances to the contrary. But ‘a swing to Labour’ in areas of high non-white population doesn’t in itself obviate a swing to the Tories does it? I’ve just had a look at the swings to Labour in 2 London constituencies I know because I used to live there (Tooting) and work there (Battersea). I couldn’t find stats on ethnic breakdown specific to these parliamentary constituencies through a quick Google search. But going from those from Wikipedia for Wandsworth and personal knowledge – substantial Asian population in Tooting, big Afro-Caribbean community in Battersea, within the wider multi-ethnic kaleidoscope that is London -, I hazard that it’s 30-40% of the population. In both cases there were swings to Labour: Battersea 1.7% and Tooting 3.7%. But there were also swings to the Tories: 5% and 3.4% respectively. What’s obviously happened is that the Lib Dem vote collapsed and was shared by both Labour and Conservative. Lab held Tooting and the Tories held Battersea by the way, the latter being a seat they took in 1997 – remember David Mellor’s defeat speech and mad Jimmy Goldsmith clapping?

    I don’t demur from the finding that ethnicity played an important part in voting trends. But I am not convinced that it was the crucial variable. One would also have to factor in the socio-economic and the age profile of the constituency area. Further to that, research would have to be carried out on how national concerns – are we talking here Scotland, immigration or a combination thereof, in any research they’d need to separated? – ranked in voters decisions according to ethnic background.

    Mind you, according to one piece of statistical evidence, the Tories wouldn’t even have an overall majority and they wouldn’t be preparing for war this morning according to their press on, variously, the EU, Muslims, trade unions, Med migrants and the NHS (it provides treatment and pills for loads of people who don’t need it): http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/ampp3d/general-election-results-just-900-5682492

  125. Andrew Grace on said:

    Heard that a giant billboard came crashing down from a wall somewhere in Tottenham. Is this where they were trying to hide the Ed Stone? If so, a pretty crazy place to put it.

  126. John Grimshaw on said:

    Harriet Harman’s statement

    We have suffered a bad defeat — but we are not broken. The country needs us to form the most effective, determined opposition to this Tory government we possibly can. If you’re with us in that fight, join the opposition — click here to become a Labour Party member now.

    john,

    The last few days have been a time of reflection and soul-searching for everyone in the Labour family.

    Our defeat last week was deeply disappointing. Our opponents are hoping that we will feel absolutely crushed. But let me tell you this: we are not crushed. Yes, we have been defeated — but we are not defeatist.

    Because all the people that we represent in this country, everyone who has a progressive bone in their body, wants to know that we will hold this Tory government to account.

    They’ve made promises on the NHS — if they break them, we will call them out on it, and fight them every step of the way. They are threatening £12 billion of welfare cuts — we will do everything we can to protect those who will suffer the most.

    Their majority is greatly decreased, down from 78 to just 12. This means we can — and we must — be the most effective, determined voice of opposition to this government we possibly can be right from day one.

    We are the ones who have got to speak up and challenge the Tories at every turn. john — I hope you’ll join us in this difficult, but necessary, fight:

    Join the Labour Party

    Thank you.

    Harriet

    Harriet Harman
    Acting Leader of the Labour Party