petej + ge2019   317

Reflections from the doorstep - Dan Evans- Kanu - Medium
Whilst many former middle class professions such as teaching, HE, nursing have become obviously proletarianised and precarious, many working class people, particularly tradesmen, have thrived. In regional towns, it is now not uncommon to see people with degrees living at home with their parents working in coffee shops or in retail, whilst lads who did apprenticeships at 16 are materially far better off, regularly owning their own property. Just as Thatcher had Essex Man, Johnson perhaps has younger ‘Bridgend man’ on top of the older ‘Workington man’.

Equally, many of the white collar working classes are sacrificing their rights at work and job security for the chance to be lucky enough to one day join the hallowed ranks of the ‘homeowners’, all the while being relentlessly bombarded by media narratives which encourage people to aspire to the petit- bourgeois lifestyles promoted by shows like TOWIE and Love Island; the flip side of which is defining themselves against those unlucky enough to not be in work.
UK  politics  generalElection  ge2019  Bridgend  Wales  LabourParty  propaganda  media  CorbynJeremy  Facebook  socialMedia  neoliberalism  post-industrialism  work  labour  flexibility  self-employment  entrepreneurship  class  precarity  zeroHours  rights  tradeUnions  housing  homeOwnership  aspiration  solidarity  community  individualism 
20 hours ago by petej
I heard the line that Corbyn is a traitor and a terrorist sympathiser on the doorstep, in one of the most deprived wards in Yorkshire. And when I asked why, I was told to my face that "he's letting those Muslims and foreigners take over."
I heard the line that Corbyn is a traitor and a terrorist sympathiser on the doorstep, in one of the most deprived wards in Yorkshire. And when I asked why, I was told to my face that "he's letting those Muslims and foreigners take over."
UK  politics  generalElection  ge2019  LabourParty  CorbynJeremy  Islamophobia  xenophobia  racism  Muslims  dctagged  dc:creator=SarkarAsh 
yesterday by petej
Thoughtful thread about the need to build bridges between disparate parts of Labour's coalition. But a few things usually get missed in this...
Thoughtful thread about the need to build bridges between disparate parts of Labour's coalition. But a few things usually get missed in this...
UK  politics  generalElection  ge2019  LabourParty  Brexit  racism  immigration  borders  TheLeft  dctagged  dc:creator=TrillingDaniel 
yesterday by petej
Denial is an understandable reaction to shock but it is still depressing to see many Labour supporters reacting to their party's worst defeat since 1935 by portraying the voters who rejected them as stupid or bigoted. Insulting voters is no route to recov
Denial is an understandable reaction to shock but it is still depressing to see many Labour supporters reacting to their party's worst defeat since 1935 by portraying the voters who rejected them as stupid or bigoted. Insulting voters is no route to recovery
UK  politics  generalElection  ge2019  LabourParty  CorbynJeremy  Brexit  immigration  socialConservatism  racism  workingClass  middleClass  dctagged  dc:creator=FordRob 
yesterday by petej
Peterborough voters cite 'Brexit, Brexit, Brexit' as reason they turned blue | UK news | The Guardian
But even the homeless were not paying attention to Labour’s proposal to build a million council houses. Paul Pluck, 47, until recently homeless, said he voted Labour at every other general election but this time abstained, suspecting a Labour government would not leave the EU.
UK  politics  ge2019  generalElection  Peterborough  Brexit  ToryParty  JohnsonBoris  LabourParty  CorbynJeremy  migrants 
yesterday by petej
For Johnson’s Tories, the collapse of public trust isn’t a problem – it’s an opportunity | William Davies | Opinion | The Guardian
A combination of Brexit, decades of neglect and political alienation in Labour’s heartlands, the new digital media ecology, and hints of frightening illiberalism could conspire to produce a form of democracy that looks more like Hungary or even Russia than the checks-and-balances system of liberal ideals. It’s not that democracy will end, but that it will be reduced to a set of spectacles that the government is ultimately in command of, which everyone realises are “fake” but that are sufficiently funny or soothing as to be tolerated.

This may sound paranoid, but it is merely an extrapolation from the trends that are already in full sway. Just like Trump, Johnson’s capacity to make headlines and change the subject means we can quickly forget how much damage he has already done, in less than six months – instead we are locked in a perpetual present, squabbling over the details of what he’s doing right now. It’s important to keep track. Challenging this juggernaut will be a far larger and more complex project than anything Her Majesty’s opposition can do alone.
UK  politics  generalElection  ge2019  JohnsonBoris  ToryParty  Brexit  campaigning  policy  constitution  CummingsDominic  deregulation  scrutiny  opposition  dctagged  dc:creator=DaviesWill 
yesterday by petej
Labour’s Defeat · LRB
Anyone who claims that Labour’s leftward shift was the product of a cultish devotion to one man, and will disappear on his departure, doesn’t understand its origins or its implications. The party now has a campaigning left-wing membership that’s serious about climate change, public ownership and defending migration; no successor to Corbyn will be able to abstain on welfare bills, or promise to cut ‘harder and deeper than Thatcher’. Many who have always opposed such politics will declare it toxic, and inimical to victory ‘from the centre’. But the electoral wasteland confronting the avowed centrist parties in this election suggests that wasn’t where Labour’s lost vote went.

There are many lessons for the Labour left to learn from this election: five weeks’ enthusiasm cannot make up for decades of neglect; campaigning is about listening as much as listing policies; the conventional political virtues – presentation, messaging, and ruthless attacks on one’s opponents – can’t be circumvented by a surfeit of positivity. But without intransigent principle they are barren. All of these questions – how to blend movement and machine – will bear down on whoever is elected as Corbyn’s successor, but they are also questions the party must ask itself.
UK  politics  generalElection  ge2019  LabourParty  CorbynJeremy  defeat  TheLeft  dctagged  dc:creator=ButlerJames 
yesterday by petej
I did around 120 hours of canvassing in London, Bedford and Milton Keynes. I didn’t expect this result but here’s how I can make sense of it from what I encountered on the doorstep. 1/
I did around 120 hours of canvassing in London, Bedford and Milton Keynes. I didn’t expect this result but here’s how I can make sense of it from what I encountered on the doorstep. 1/
UK  politics  generalElection  ge2019  LabourParty  CorbynJeremy  racism  xenophobia  patriotism  authoritarianism 
yesterday by petej
Labour won’t win again until it works out why it lost | Gary Younge | Opinion | The Guardian
Those who think that Labour’s leftward shift was just about Corbyn frankly never understood it. Corbyn was simply the unlikely, unprepared and in many ways inadequate vessel for a political moment that is not yet over. He emerged in the wake of wars and at a time of austerity when social democratic parties across the western world were failing and flailing. His election did not produce the crisis in the Labour party; it was the product of it, and this election result has now exacerbated it. His strong performance in 2017 is why we are not further down the Brexit path already, and why the Tories have promised to increase public spending and effectively end austerity.

There are ways of contextualising this result that could provide solace in a moment of despair. Labour, under Corbyn, won a higher vote share than both Miliband and Brown. He lost fewer seats than Brown and has more than the Tories did in 2005, from which they bounced back to form a coalition government in 2010. Such rationalisations should be avoided. We lost, and lost badly. Self–criticism does not come easy from a defensive crouch. In the words of the great African-American writer and activist WEB Du Bois: “Our worst side has been so shamelessly emphasised that we are denying we have or ever had a worst side. In all sorts of ways we are hemmed in.”

Corbyn is right to announce his departure. His decision to stay and lead a discussion about the future of the party makes no sense. He cannot lead a conversation that is in no small part about him. His presence will be a diversion from the task at hand. The left should not fetishise this position. It matters who runs the Labour party, but it’s not the only thing that matters. For the last four years nearly all of the left’s energy has been poured into defending it. Given Johnson’s majority, many of the key struggles to come will take place outside parliament.

Corbyn’s departure creates a problem for centrists. They have been predicting this moment since before he was elected leader. When events failed to comply – when the party reelected him with a greater majority or the country gave him more seats and votes – they waited for the next event. Even a broken clock is right twice a day. The trouble is, with him leaving they will now have to produce an agenda and a candidate of their own, and then offer those up to a party that has grown in size, even if it is momentarily diminished in confidence.

They will have to face the fact that the electorate did not abandon Labour for the centre. They went either to the far right, in England and Wales, or to the social democratic nationalist alternative, in Scotland. They did not go to the Liberal Democrats or back Change. Chuka Umunna, Dominic Grieve, David Gauke, Anna Soubry, Jo Swinson and Luciana Berger all lost.

I did not hear a single voter ask about Owen Smith or pine for Yvette Cooper. Whatever comes next, it won’t be a return to abstaining on the welfare bill or backing the hostile environment policy. They will want Labour to be more effective in opposition, but they will want it to mount an opposition.

The centrists will have to face the fact that the thousands of people who travelled the country during these past few weeks to canvass in the cold and rain are not about to abandon their ideals or the party. And those who invested so heavily in this particular iteration of Labour will have to face the fact that their conviction alone was not enough to convince others of their ideals.
UK  politics  generalElection  ge2019  JohnsonBoris  ToryParty  LabourParty  CorbynJeremy  Brexit  manifesto  publicServices  campaigning  anti-Semitism  leadership  TheLeft  centrism  farRight  dctagged  dc:creator=YoungeGary 
2 days ago by petej
General election: How Labour really lost seats in Leave-voting areas | The Independent
There are some implications of this. One is that the idea that voters have somehow historically “abandoned Labour” in its traditional heartlands – any more than they did in 2005, 2010, or 2015 –is not really correct. Rather, in most cases, a temporary boost that Jeremy Corbyn won in 2017 has unwound. More research will be needed to understand better why this happened in 2019 compared to 2017 – it may have been that negative stories about Jeremy Corbyn stuck more. But the fact that these losses are overwhelmingly in Leave areas, while Remain areas stood firm or even were added to Labour’s collection, suggests there is some kind of Brexit connection. Labour went into the election promising another referendum and the Tories hammered home the message that the party wanted to “block Brexit”.

There’s also a longer-term question – the Tories are clearly a huge force in these areas now. Can the party sustain this presence and mobilisation when Brexit isn’t an issue? If the answer is no, there may not be as much of a problem for Labour if the next election is fought in different circumstances, without Europe as the central question. If the answer is yes, then the party is in big trouble, because it will have to win volumes of voters that it hasn’t been able to count on before.
UK  politics  generalElection  ge2019  Brexit  Leave  LabourParty  ToryParty  CorbynJeremy  ge2017 
2 days ago by petej
Labour defeated. Brexit certain.
Detailed analysis of the results will show Labour in England and Wales is still the party of those who work, of ethnic minorities, of young people and precarious workers. It is also the greenest of all parties when it comes to fighting climate change. But it has lost the elderly former industrial workforce to a toxic offering of nativism, nationalism and selfishness.
UK  politics  generalElection  ge2019  LabourParty  CorbynJeremy  Brexit  youth  diversity  leadership  nationalism  internationalism  dctagged  dc:creator=MasonPaul 
2 days ago by petej
To people I quite like who are now busy blaming Jeremy Corbyn: short thread Let me preface what I am going to say by noting that I've never stinted on criticism at expense of solidarity. But I also didn't withhold solidarity in favour of criticism at this
To people I quite like who are now busy blaming Jeremy Corbyn: short thread

Let me preface what I am going to say by noting that I've never stinted on criticism at expense of solidarity. But I also didn't withhold solidarity in favour of criticism at this crunch time as you did.
UK  politics  generalElection  ge2019  CorbynJeremy  LabourParty  media  misinformation  criticism  solidarity  TheLeft 
2 days ago by petej
3 Labour leaders - Brown, Miliband, Corbyn - have lost 4 elections in a row. Their politics were different from each other’s. The political contexts were different. But they all lost. There are deeper questions here beyond Brexit.
3 Labour leaders - Brown, Miliband, Corbyn - have lost 4 elections in a row. Their politics were different from each other’s. The political contexts were different. But they all lost.

There are deeper questions here beyond Brexit.
UK  politics  generalElection  ge2019  LabourParty  Brexit  deindustrialisation  nationalism  cities  dctagged  dc:creator=SarkarAsh 
2 days ago by petej
Broader Horizons · LRB
In any case, the question of how to fund social security is not simply the domain of the abacus or spreadsheet: it is also a matter of political values and priorities. Richard Titmuss once remarked that the sustainability of a welfare state will always depend, in part, on the political commitment of those who are rich enough not to need it; rebuilding that attenuated commitment will require both a full-throated dedication to universalism and a practical demonstration of the role that social security plays in a truly flourishing society.

One of the problems facing Labour is the number of people who don’t believe that such a reconstruction is possible. Canvassers report that the coalition’s portrait of the country as a household teetering on the verge of bankruptcy has sunk deep into the souls of many voters, not least because it mirrors their personal circumstances. Take Labour’s longer-term goal of a shorter working week: people worry that it would mean a concomitant cut in wages. Yet a reduction in working time was historically a key goal of the workers’ movement, driven from below; with trade union density and power diluted by more than a generation of restrictive labour laws, ideas for radical change now tend to come from the top, to uncertain diffusion below. All the party’s powers of persuasion are needed to make its ideas seem halfway plausible to the people who would most benefit from them.
UK  politics  generalElection  ge2019  LabourParty  welfareState  socialSecurity  work  labour  hours  dctagged  dc:creator=ButlerJames 
3 days ago by petej
As some know, I'm an anarchist. I am voting Labour tomorrow. On Friday I will still be an anarchist. Governments won't save the planet, only we can do that, but whilst I respect my comrades abstentionist views, i can't stand aside in this election. /1
As some know, I'm an anarchist. I am voting Labour tomorrow. On Friday I will still be an anarchist. Governments won't save the planet, only we can do that, but whilst I respect my comrades abstentionist views, i can't stand aside in this election. /1
UK  politics  generalElection  ge2019  LabourParty  anarchism  abstentionism  voting 
3 days ago by petej
Whoever wins this week, the Tories should worry about their future | John Harris | Opinion | The Guardian
It is nearly 40 years since the advent of the last genuinely transformative Tory idea, which was actually borrowed from a reluctant Labour party: enabling people to buy their council houses. This policy, aptly enough, now sits at the heart of the shortage of homes and defines so many of the country’s current furies. The supposed natural party of government now hides from scrutiny, anxiously hanging on to Brexit while knowing it has almost nothing else to say. The Tories may be about to win, but if they do, it looks set to be the most pyrrhic of victories. This is what may yet be known as Johnsonism: a mixture of populist authoritarianism and unseriousness that refuses to think about the future, but stumbles on regardless, as the English ruling class so often does.
UK  politics  generalElection  ge2019  ToryParty  Brexit  nationalism  BritanniaUnchained  deregulation  Thatcherism  dctagged  dc:creator=HarrisJohn 
5 days ago by petej
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