Labour didn’t lose the election in 2015….

…it lost it a lot earlier than that. It lost it in 2010 – not by its conduct in what was always likely to be a disastrous election, but in its reaction to that election. It lost it through cowardice, through short-termism, and through  what must have felt like political expediency at the time. It lost it by failing to challenge the Tory (and to an extent Lib Dem and UKIP) attempts to rewrite history, and to set a new agenda. It lost it by failing to stand up for itself, by failing to stand up for exactly those people that Labour was created to support and protect. It lost it by failing to stand up for the truth – and by failing to challenge a whole range of myths.

The first of those myths is the most obvious – the cause and nature of the economic crisis. Labour didn’t cause the crisis. Labour’s spending – whether you think it ‘overspending’ or not – was neither here nor there in the grand scheme of things – and yet almost the first we’ve heard of this from Labour has been in the 2015 campaign, and then almost apologetically. Labour should have been shouting this from the rooftops continuously from 2010, and should be shouting it still. And yet even now it’s a bit half-hearted, and every time a Labour MP says ‘no, we didn’t overspend’ it is greeted with shock! ‘Of course they overspent, everyone knows that’ seems to be the reaction – and that’s mostly because for five long years they’ve hardly dared mention it.

The next of the myths is the myth of the scrounger – fed and supported by poverty porn like Benefits Street, nurtured daily by the Daily Mail, but also seemingly accepted and agreed with by Labour spokespeople from Liam Byrne to Rachel Reeves. A myth, nonetheless – in scale, particularly. Yes, of course there are ‘scroungers’, but the numbers are relatively minuscule and the significance of benefit fraud and ‘living on benefits’ is overstated in almost every way. And yet Labour do not dare challenge it – for fear of being seen as ‘soft’. It’s not ‘soft’ to tell the truth. Indeed, it would be much braver to tell the truth. Too brave for Labour. And yet every time this fake ‘toughness’ is shown by Labour, the myth grows, and Labour’s future chances diminish. If poor people are really scroungers, then we should place our trust in those who can properly deal with them – the Tories. Each time Labour feeds this myth, it puts another nail in its own coffin. Every word of Liam Byrne, every article in the Guardian by Rachel Reeves hammers those nails in.

The third myth is about immigration – a two-fold myth, first of all that immigration is bad, and secondly that Labour got it ‘wrong’ by letting in too many people. By having an ‘open doors’ immigration policy. And yet all of these are myths. All the evidence suggests that immigration is beneficial in a wide variety of ways. It doesn’t cause unemployment or even depress wages. Benefits tourism and health tourism are particularly pernicious myths: immigrants are net contributors financially and the NHS relies on immigrant labour at every level, from surgeons to cleaners. And yet we get apologetic statements from people at the top in Labour, we get ‘Controls on Immigration’ on mugs and the Ed-Stone. And, just as for social security, every bit of ‘toughness’ is another nail in Labour’s coffin – feeding the execrable UKIP as well as the Tories. And still Labour keeps on hammering those nails home.

And the side effects of accepting these myths are hideous. The first makes austerity look ‘sensible’ and ‘necessary’ rather than ideological brutality. It means that the real causes of the problems are largely ignored – and that just makes further disasters more likely. The second creates division, ferments hatred of people on benefits and in particular of disabled people – and indeed fuels violence against them – as well as building shame in those who find themselves needing help, shame that can be deeply, deeply damaging. The third fosters racism and xenophobia – it has pumped up the rabid nastiness of UKIP and others, allowed hideous laws like the Immigration Act 2014 that entrenches racism in the law by making landlords and employers suspicious of anyone they suspect might be an immigrant: anyone who looks or sounds ‘foreign’. All this could and should have been opposed – not just because it’s based on lies and innuendo but because it is deeply and dangerously damaging. And yet, rather than opposing it, Labour has largely fed the myths themselves. Out of fear, it would seem, more than anything else.

So no, Labour didn’t lose the election in 2015. They had already lost it long before. And unless they take a genuinely difficult decision and start to tell the truth, and start to stand up for what they believe is right rather than what they think the electorate will find attractive, they’ll keep on losing. They’ll keep on doing their very best to destroy their own party – and letting down the people who their party was formed to support.

It may well be too late already. All these myths have taken hold very strongly indeed – and it would be very, very hard to fight them. I doubt very much Labour is up for that fight, even if it wants to be.

49 thoughts on “Labour didn’t lose the election in 2015….

  1. On the button Paul. You could also have mentioned the venom stirred up against the SNP. They were portrayed as wanting to dominate the UK with Milliband as a puppet. In actuality, SNP MPs have a record of not voting on issues that only affect England. In relation to British issues they have as much right to express an opinion as any other UK MP if we really are a union. Ironically, many in England would have liked Labour to have been steered by the more progressive views of the SNP. The SNP represented the only realistic chance for Milliband of becoming Prime Minister. Instead of forging a progressive alliance he insulted the Scots and got his just deserts at the polls for which we will all suffer the consequences for the next five years. He is a prize idiot. If he was the choice the unions then lets hope they have zero influence in the leadership contest.

    • You wanted to “forge a progressive alliance” with “a prize idiot”?

      You seem to confuse Conservative election posters with Labour ones. You say “SNP MPs have a record of not voting on issues that only affect England” bit have forgotten that Nicola Sturgeon gave the clear impression in the election campaign that this might not continue, or least was heavily qualified. And you say “they have as much right to express an opinion as any other UK MP” as though anyone denies that.

      If you think the SNP is ‘more progressive” than Labour, I think you’re going to be disappointed. And if you think Labour lost because it was not “steered by the more progressive views of the SNP” then I’m afraid you’ve completely misunderstood the recent election.

  2. “The first of those myths is the most obvious – the cause and nature of the economic crisis. Labour didn’t cause the crisis”.
    ______________________________________________________________

    Gordon Brown’s de-regulation of the banks played a major role in the economic crisis. If the banks in this country had been more tightly controlled, the effect of the world wide banking collapse would have been more easy to mitigate.

    Gordon Brown’s hubris in claiming he had brought an end to boom and bust makes Labour at least partly responsible.

    They also continued borrowing during a boom period, instead of paying off debt created during the downturn in the economy.

    Vote SNP.

    I did.

    • True, though Brown was just taking Thatcher’s ball and running with it. I should have said ‘Labour’s spending’ didn’t cause the crisis. It wasn’t Labour ‘being Labour’ that contributed, so much as Labour being Tory, if you see what I mean.

    • Gordon Brown didn’t de-regulate the banks. It was done by Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan in what became known as the ‘big bang’ in 1986. Gordon Brown became Chancellor in 1997.

      The finacial crisis of 2007 – 2008 created the deficit – by slashing taxation income to the Treasury. Labour neither borrowed to excess nor spent to excess prior to the crisis. It borrowed and spent lots, quite rightly, at the time of the crash to save the banks and the economy. As good macroeconomics said they should

      • Hmmm, the banks should have been faced down to fix the crisis, which they would have done together, globally. Any support should have been conditional on payback in recovery phase. City totally out bluffed govts and civil service.

  3. Good post.

    Labour need to change the narrative in order to win in 2020 (or beyond), but the current crop of leadership candidates trying to posture as Blair 3.0 don’t fill me with hope.

    Dare one suggest that a (re-)reading of Marx may be in order?

  4. Much as I largely agree with most of this, Labour have a huge problem on immigration. While the media do fuel nonsense about immigration, and Labour should certainly challenge myths on benefit and health tourism, they are playing on existing attitudes. We all know that UKIP hurt Labour more than the Tories, and largely in areas that have seen a lot of fairly recent and low-skilled migration – Southampton, the North, the Midlands etc. There is an existential and cultural question for the people in these communities who voted UKIP, and they would not have taken kindly to a party they see as city-dwelling, rich liberals telling them why their attitudes backwards and racist. This is what has fuelled first the BNP and UKIP over the past 20 years.

    • I don’t think those are the only two options, are they? Can’t the myths be busted at the same time as addressing the underlying issues like the chronic shortage of housing, the relative neglect of infrastructure, abusive and exploitative employers and so on?

    • UKIP was a protest vote against business as usual in UK.politics, in which two (or three?) scarcely distinguishable parties claim to stand for fairness, one nation, hard-working people, the centre ground, etc, and once elected line their own pockets and achieve nothing useful. UKIP offered a chance of voting for none of them..
      UKIP also had some quite radical social policies, wanting to abolish the bedroom tax and favouring the old-style welfare state and NHS to look after BRITISH people. Its disability policies were good. They would appeal to people struggling on low incomes who felt personally disrespected by Rachel Reeves snotty announcement that Labour was not the party of benefit claimants.
      In some areas UKIP also benefitted from tactical votes from Conservatives trying to keep Labour out.

      All I am trying to say is beware of assuming that people who voted UKIP actually know or care much what UKIP’s policies are, let alone that they significantly support them.

      • UKIP’s policies were an incoherent and constantly changing mess – but they were also largely irrelevant as the appeal of UKIP was essentially emotional. Any careful analysis of UKIP would have torn them apart: Farage was as much of an establishment figure as could possibly be found: a rich, white, public-school educated man who worked in the City and has been sponging off the EU gravy-train for well over a decade. No, his (and UKIP’s) appeal was based on innuendo and positive (and extensive) media coverage, and an appeal to base instincts and hatred of foreigners…

      • Yes, nothing says change like a party paid for by Tory donors, mostly stocked with ex-Tories, and headed by an ex-stockbroker and Tory campaigner. A party that claims itself to be the true home of Thatcherism, the political ideology that has been the core of establishment thought for twenty years. UKIP are more establishment than the establishment, and people who voted for them for change are just proving they’re too lazy to educate themselves before casting a vote.

  5. The Left needs to decouple itself from Labour, yes even the Labour supporters. I don’t (necessarily) mean in voting terms but rather that this is not the time to be looking to a party to lead from the top. We need to act from the bottom and

    Also the Left needs to stop relying on noise and act. Not to say we should stop shouting and screaming, but as we are learning to our regret demonstrations are all too easy to ignore. I think it was Jack Munrroe I saw say on Twitter “Sun and rain make the flowers grow not thunder.”

    Right now we need to be sun and rain.

    It is time for grassroots action, we need to take our cues from the solidarity movements in Greece that prefigured the rise of Syriza http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/23/greece-solidarity-movement-cooperatives-syriza and from those in Scotland that underpinned the Yes campaign. We need to learn from the past and the campaign against the poll tax.

    We need new media (again Scotland is the model), the old media are too prone to support the current narrative. We need a campaign against austerity in every town that both informs people (via leafleting and canvassing) and working on the ground to help the effected, we can’t just shout at politicians to change the conversation. We have to do it ourselves and we can’t do that as a thousand individual voices shouting in the wilderness, we have to work together.

    • MAKE A SYRIZA THAT WINS

      I’m half Greek and watchedf SYRIZA closely and so have written an England version of SYRIZA.

      Labour is as dead as PASOK.

      Labour is a middle class voter party, which is why its voters were left behind.

      THE SWANS NEW PARTY

      So written by me is THE SWANS new party.

      TUSC was the 6th biggest party in the UK and ran over 135 MP candidates and 619 council candidates and lsot every single deposit.

      The left cannot be too communist as the English do not do extremes.

      TUSC and the other socialist parties wanted to nationalise the banks and all industry for the planned economy. Great if you are Lenin.

      But we can do Lenin without full on communism.

      WILL YOU MAKE THE SWANS A REALITY – SPACE MARINE BECKS – PLEASE?

      So Dear Space Marine Becks will make THE SWANS new party a reality, and so exactly as you say please?

      I’ve written the script, the manifesto that is the authentic voice of the 70 per cent with no effective party.

      One that hopefully you can bring the trade unions to affiliate to, who are hoping to start their own party, when their own party, Labour, went and abandoned the unions and the working class by income
      over 50 years ago.

      Writing the manifesto was easy to me after two thirds of a century listening to English in England and Greeks in Greece and Cyprus.

      The real heroes are people like yourself.

      WHAT YOU WANT TO DO, IS IN YOUR HANDS SPACE MARINE BECKS

      This is my expanded blog from a Daily Mirror article, on how to help the starving today
      whilst working to end their suffering tomorrow:

      http://swansengland.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/well-tories-won-tips-to-survive.html

      THIS GOVERNMENT WILL NOT LAST THE SCANDAL COMING
      OF THE FLAT RATE STATE PENSION
      FLAT ALL RIGHT – NIL FOR LIFE MORE LIKE

      That is why no elected MP wanted the job of Pensions Minister after the Web of Deceit of the Lib Dems Pensions Minister Steve Webb, who lost his job as MP.

      Mr Salmond SNP MP says this government will not last 6 months.

      As the truth of the flat rate state pension becomes widely known to Tory wives, as much as by the rest of those retiring from next year, that scandal will incense the biggest voters, the grey vote.
      https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/state-pension-at-60-now

      Contact me to bring the Swans into reality through my petition.

      Will you be ready to bring THE SWANS NEW PARTY into UK government?

      Because what you say is exactly correct to show by deeds the commitment of THE SWANS to the 70 per cent abandoned by all English parties anywhere near a chance to win.

      THE JOB IS NOT AS BIG AS YOU THINK

      WE NEED TO GET 323-326 MPs to form a government:

      There are currently:

      533 constituencies (MP voting areas) in England

      SO WE DON’T NEED TO WASTE RESOURCES AND TIME ELSEWHERE

      59 in Scotland
      40 in Wales, and
      18 in Northern Ireland.

      ALL VOTING AREAS ARE MARGINALS

      The 70 per cent in England do not vote for any party, as left behind by Labour.

      I hear regularly –
      THERE’S NO PARTY FOR THE LIKE OF US,
      NONE WILL HELP US,
      THEY’RE ONLY IN IT FOR THEMSELVES,
      THEY’RE ALL THE SAME,
      VOTING WILL NOT MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

      THE TORIES DID NOT WIN
      LABOUR LOST

      The non-voter without a party in England made it possible for the Tories to win,
      when in fact they barely got a third of all votes of those WHO VOTED.

      So what is that a third of the third?

      You do the math.

      ONLY YOU CAN MAKE THE SWANS NEW PARTY A REALITY
      THE NEW, UNQIUE, SOMETHING DIFFERENT
      THE PEOPLE INVENTED

      http://www.theswansnewparty.org.uk

  6. “All the evidence suggests that immigration is beneficial in a wide variety of ways.” Certainly. But by the same token “all the evidence” suggests that immigration, at least on the scale seen since Tony Blair came to power in 1997, has also had detrimental effects “in a wide variety of ways”. So it’s no good to characterise the public’s concerns about immigration as “myths”. They are real and genuine.

    • No, it really doesn’t. Evidence shows there’s a net beneficial impact on the economy, on employment, no impact on wages, and that where there is more immigration there’s more community cohesion and so forth. Support for UKIP is highest where migrant population is the lowest: it’s based on fear, not reality.

      • I disagree. As I said, there’s no doubt that immigration has brought great benefits to the UK. In particular, the economic arguments you mention are irrefutable. But I’m doubtful of your claim that “the evidence shows” that high immigration leads to greater community cohesion. This would seem to fly in the face of commonsense, and I’d be interested in your evidence for this assertion.

        Is this true in Tower Hamlets, for example? Do you think that the Biraderi clan system militates for or against British democracy? Do you believe that the ancient and authentic traditions of female circumcision introduced to the UK by North African immigrants are “net beneficial” given their overall contribution to the UK economy? And so on.

        My point is simple. Immigration on the huge scale we’ve seen since 1997 has brought both benefits and disbenefits. The benefits have largely flowed to the rich, and the disbenefits have mainly impacted the indigenous poor, not by way of economic disadvantage but in the shape of lost identity.

      • There are important and specific issues there – and yes, they all need addressing – but that’s not the same as a general ‘immigration is bad’ message, which is ultimately what Labour has allowed to take hold. Indeed, it links those issues in people’s minds with immigration as a whole, poisoning the debate still further.

  7. Paul,

    I agree completely that Labour lost the election not just in 2015 but much earlier than that.

    On “overspending”, in a way I agree with you. I’m pleased about all the things Labour did with public spending, and find it hard to accept that any of the spending was wrong. Of course I agree (because it’s obvious) that the deficit and debt we now have are not caused by Labour’s spending before the crash.

    But there is a legitimate criticism – from a progressive, social democratic point of view – of Labour’s spending in the years before the crash. The argument is at least partly based on Keynesian economics (which most social democrats used to believe in, and some of us still do) which tells us that government should run surpluses in good times and deficits in bad – not build up debt for ever. On a Keynesian approach, Labour probably should have been worrying about a coming recession and preparing for it earlier than it did (it was I think Andy Burnham’s spending review that in time did do something) rather than imagining “bust” had been abolished. (By the way, Keynesian economics is also why Labour should not be against spending cuts right now). The other part of the argument is that the sustained and big spending increases weren’t sufficiently matched by improvement in the NHS, for instance, and that it might have been wiser to focus on value for money for a bit and to ease up on the spending rises.

    Had Labour admitted soon after the 2010 election that mistakes were indeed made here – but that they should be kept in proportion (i.e. exactly what Liz Kendall for example is saying now) – it would have been easier then to kill the myth that mad overspending caused the crash. By not doing this, Labour I think made it easier for the big Tory myth to take hold.

    The other thing that fed the Tory myth about overspending was that far, far too many Labour supporters themselves, in their eagerness to disown the Blair years and condemn their own former leader to political infamy, were ready to talk as if the 1997-2010 Labour years were a complete waste of time. That’s the other, often unnoticed part of what happened. People were readier to believe that Labour overspent because many Labour people themselves were saying the spending was for nothing, Labour had “continued Thatcherism”, “betrayed the NHS”, “aped the Tories” and so on. If that leftist critique of Blair/Brown were true, and you had a deficit to show for it too, then you might as well vote Tory, mightn’t you? Don’t forget this aspect of 2010-2015 politics. By the way, that leftist attack on Labour as having been a waste of time helped the SNP in Scotland, too.

    You mention benefits and immigration. On benefits, I often heard Labour spokesmen challenge the idea that those receiving benefits are scroungers, and heard the point made many, many times that an awful lot of those in receipt of benefits are in work. You must have been away when Labour were saying those things, and opposing the “bedroom tax”. On immigration, I often heard Labour people talk about the benefits of immigration. Again, you seem to have missed it. On both subjects however, it remains clear that Labour is perceived as having the wrong answers by far too many people – and by far more people than think the Tories have the wrong answers. The idea that simply by standing up more strongly for those receiving benefits and for immigrants Labour would have swept to power is, with respect, simply incredible.

    Finally, and back to spending. You talk about “austerity” and suggest it’s not necessary. So what do you think the answer is to the deficit (which really does exist) and debt (which really does exist)? Do you say it can all be solved by substantial tax rises? Which tax rises did Labour not propose that you wanted? Or do you say deficit and debt can be solved by abolishing the armed forces, say? Do you think we should maintain current spending levels (or maybe even increase them as Nicola Sturgeon seemed at one point to say, I’m not sure with total honesty), and then (obviously) increase spending further when the next recession comes, as it is bound to? When would you stop putting spending up? What percentage of public money do you think it’s acceptable to spend on servicing debt interest? These are real questions, to which Labour had (I think) a pretty good but (as we can now see) insufficiently convincing answer, and to which I don’t think you have any credible answer at all.

    • Sorry Carl, somehow I missed your comment! I do agree with some of your comments, but I think you mistake policy detail with overall message. Yes, I saw the detailed comments about benefits and about immigration, for example, but they were swamped by the overall message in *support* of the idea that Labour ‘got it wrong’ over immigration, and that Labour *needed* to get tough on scroungers. Yes, they talked about people in work receiving benefits – but only after making sure that compulsion was part of the work programme, and that everyone was aware they’d be tougher on them.

      That, for me, is the big problem. Not the policy detail – which was often much, much better than the overall message – but the big picture, which played to the Tory tune. That’s where pledges on mugs come in, and so on. The policy detail matters, but to most people, who never read the details, the big picture matters much more. And that big picture played to the wrong gallery.

    • Labour didn’t build up debts, the UK debt level was lower than they inherited from the Tories in 1997, until 2008 when the financial crisis hit. It wasn’t Labour spending out of control, it was the Tories, and Labour fixed the mess they left. But the Tories ALSO left a social mess that needed to be repaired, hence why a party that has traditionally run surpluses ran a deficit to also fix the social damage the Tories had done.

      Which is the real farce of the whole thing, only two Labour governments in the history of the party have increased public debt, and both were in power during a global financial crisis that started in the United States. Meanwhile the Tories, the saviour of our finances Tories, have increased our public debt nearly every time they’ve lurched incompetently into government, all while claiming they’re shrinking the state, as a cover for channelling public funds into the hands of the rich.

      Tory policy is not austerity, austerity always includes tax rises, but doesn’t necessarily include cuts to welfare spending. In fact cuts to welfare spending is usually self defeating, since welfare helps keep consumers spending. What Tory policy is, is just taking money from consumers, while again giving hangouts to the rich. You don’t fix a consumer economy by reducing the spending power of consumers, you would think that would be obvious. We weren’t in debt because government was spending too much money, we were in debt because tax receipts fell because the economy was repressed. What the Tories have done is repress wages for consumers, while slowing the rich to run all the way to their tax havens with the profits, and by slashing the welfare budgets, benefits for working families can’t pick up the slack.

      Everything the Tories have done, everything, has been exactly the opposite of what needed to be done to fix the country’s economy and debts. Hence why while claiming they’re claiming to get our spending under control, they’ve spent more money than every labour government combined. Hence why they took an economy showing signs of returning to growth in 2010, and pushed it back into recession and the longest economic downturn in British history. Hence why despite all the claims of how well the economy is doing now, it’s actually just a housing bubble built on government debt and falling real wages, and the only people actually seeing any improvement are the rich, who never saw any real downturn in the first place. Oh, and deflation, which despite the spin isn’t a good thing, it’s a sign that actually our economy is still on it’s knees, it’s caused by supply outstripping demand, because consumers can’t afford to consume.

      So what would be an alternative? Anything. Nothing. Doing nothing for the last five years would have been better than what the Tories have done and are doing.

      • Where were you when Miliband and Balls could not fight the Tory propaganda that won people’s beliefs, that Labour’s spending caused the recession, the crisis, the mess?

        Because I was fine til the Tories arrived and now wiped out, like millions of men and women, my state pension for life from next year.

        See end of petition, WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT section:
        https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/state-pension-at-60-now

        The Tory wives are going to find that out soon. Not enough have asked for their right of state pension forecast on and from 6 April next year. Just download Form BR19 pension forecast, print it, write it upand send it to the address on the form.

        The lowest so far I’ve find on the forums are £8.39 per week fter 45 years in work.

        This scandal could also have been a massive boon to Labour, as the BR19 forecasts were available from February.

        Sean, you’ve got our vote for Labour Leader. Go for it.

        I kept asking Miliband about the flat rate state pension, but he never replied.
        Neither did my local Labour MP candidate.

        Just because this petition is about pensioners is irrelevant. If it was signed in huge numbers then this scandal would enrage Tory voters, especially the Tory wives.

        Right now, the public are entirely unaware of the pension changes already done, let alone those coming next year.

        Labour’s New Labour has to go, along with the Progress group. They have done a PASOK to Labour.

        A lot of the blog information below is being gleefully told to the Tory wives by the right wing press, through the private pension industry trying to stop the total loss of pension coming with the so-called pension freedom that will see them taxed 55 per cent of their life savings.

        http://swansengland.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/did-government-hoodwink-us-all-as-far.html

  8. Excellent article as always, I shan’t offer any thoughts at the moment because i am in a confused state as to the nature of the Labour party. The current candidates for the leadership are not addressing any of my confusion.I have posted this on Facebook and Twitter and hope many people read it.

  9. If you’ll accept an anecdote – New Labour lost earlier than 2010. I recall talking to one of the maintenance men at a place I used to work at in Bellshill, North Lanarkshire, a labour party stronghold. This was back in 2008 or so, and what he was saying was that people in his area weren’t convinced that new labour actually cared about them, whether it was to do with local hospitals and their closures, or care for the elderly. He gave this sort of thing as reasons why people were even thinking of voting BNP!
    In my case, having Eric “Headbutt” Joyce stay on as MP for his full term despite his convictions for assault and being drunk etc, as well as various other tabloid fodder, certainly didn’t put the local party in a good light.

      • Which they did do. But all the publicity around it (I.e. how did they manage to choose such a numpty?) and of course the lack of any sort of public recall didn’t help.

  10. Reblogged this on amnesiaclinic and commented:
    Very good blog. Tories poured so much money into their campaign and got the bigger message across with Labour playing to the same gallery but as an echo chamber.
    I do agree new, local, grassroots initiatives are called for with people getting involved in local decision-making rather than shouting pointlessly at Westminster.

    • THE SWANS ARE THE TRUE LABOUR OF OLD AND BETTER FOR THE 21ST CENTURY

      The Swans new party is a shell of wishlists heard over two thirds of a century, from an old person who voted Labour all her life. I look at the pictures of my departed grandparents and parents, who also voted Labour.

      We did well out of Labour. Today the 1950s Baby Boomers are worse off than their parents and grandparents. For the young generation now all we can see is the Victorian age of starvation and old illnesses caused by hunger, and these are mostly people in work.

      Labour could not have possibly lost and should have had a landslide like SYRIZA in Greece.

      Instead, Labour believed Tory policies.

      TRADE UNIONS ARE ALSO AT A LOSS

      Trade unions today have lost millions in membership, because the full time permanent good job, wages, terms and conditions of contract and works pension, have been the biggest losers under austerity job cuts.

      THE NEWER CLASS – THE VICTORIAN WORKING CLASS – NOW CALLED THE PRECARIAT

      The Tories crow about raised employment but they have created a class back to the Victorian age before the success against zero hour contracts of the London Dock Strike.

      The Precariat.
      THE WORKING CLASS WITHOUT TRADE UNION MEMBERSHIP AS TOO TEMPORARY CASUAL
      OUT OF THE WELFARE STATE. OUT OF THE STATE PENSION.

      http://swansengland.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/the-workers-made-poor-by-design.html

      THE FLAT RATE PENSION SHOULD HAVE BEEN A WINNING SCANDAL FOR LABOUR
      THEY IGNORED TO THEIR COST

      So with the coming scandal of the NIL STATE PENSION. Sanctions against the part time low waged Precariat.

      The starving amongst the unemployed / disabled / chronic sick / terminally ill.

      What possessed Labour to become merely an appendage to the Tory party.

      THE NON-VOTERS ARE MOST LABOUR VOTERS

      Somewhere it was said that if all the non-voters had come out to vote they would have a vast majority more like 345 MPs, when the minimum threshold needed is 323-326 MPs.

      One Labour leader hopeful that has dropped out, did so because they had the lowest voter turnout in England, being as more non-voters than all the voters combined.

      Non-voters were 51 per cent. A record.

      Labour MPs win because people in safe Labour seats don’t vote for other parties.

      Plaid Cymru did not win in Wales because the people in Wales do not know the NHS is devolved to the Welsh government. Plaid Cymru also want to devolve welfare to Wales, to save the Welsh voters.

      But as seen with Balls, relying on non-voters and the other voters giving micro votes to other parties, does not always work.

      SO WILL THE TRUE LABOUR LEFT
      HELP START THE SWANS NEW PARTY

      Being half Greek and watching SYRIZA’s landslide victory,
      The Swans new party follow the truth
      that Gandhi observed, that
      People’s Politics Are Their Daily Bread.

      HERE ARE THE SWANS NEW PARTY VOTERS NO OTHER PARTY
      ABLE TO WIN SO FAR IN ENGLAND

      – Poor Pensioners,
      threatened with even current state pension being cut

      – The Precariat – the real working class today

      – Unemployed, sanctioned into starvation
      even for pregnant mums left unable to breast feed from hunger

      – The disabled (11 million in all), chronic sick, terminally ill – losing benefit
      hit by Bedroom Tax, and all ages from kids to grannies

      – The new pensioners denied state pension payout, many for life from next year

      when half of over 60s are within the working poor – the precariat
      and
      40 per cent of over 50s are disabled / chronic sick

      – The socially cleansed out of shut down and sold off social housing estates in London.

      Forced into unemployment as a result.

      Then forced into workfare
      thus taking locals jobs in areas where social housing being lost,
      threatened by Bedroom Tax so left empty,

      – The sick threatened with ever less NHS hospitals and GP surgeries

      All these many tens of millions of voters forever lost to New Labour and Progress.

      TUSC gave something to all of these, but was too communist too soon too fast, and lost every single deposit of its 135 MP candidates.

      So there is this yawning gap where The Swans new party offers the best chance for the true Labour Left and the Trade Unions.

      The trade unions, like UNITE, cannot start their own Workers Party.

      The workers who are trade union members are reduced by the many of millions, and so the trade unins would not be representative of the working class as a whole.

      These are nicknamed the ‘salariat’ and will vote Tory now.

      So will the real Labour come out of Labour and give the young feet to bring legs to walk the Swans new party into reality?

      Because the SNP predict the Tories slim majority government will not last 6 months.

      It certainly will not survive the Tory wives’ wrath at the flat rate state pension truth.

      Because lowest forecast for retiring next year is a state pension of just £8,39 after 45 years in work.

      Current full basic state pension after 30 years is £115.95 per week.

      SUPPORT AND PRACTICAL BEGINNINGS
      ONLY YOU CAN MAKE HAPPEN

      Writing up the script the manifesto is easy for this old part Greek, SYRIZA loving, grateful inheritor of the Suffragetes and Cromwell.

      The real heroic stand is yours in bringing the Swans new party into reality and doing it fast.

      Can you bring the trade union affiliation to The Swans now that Labour has lost two general elections in a row?

      There is even a Romanian based cheap bike ad company just to upset the UKippers.

      http://www.theswansnewparty.org.uk

  11. Immigration is an important issue; many people have the view that too many are here.
    You can tell someone until you’re blue in the face that building houses or any buildings on green land near where they live is good for the country, yet If they don’t feel happy about what is happening, explaining it 1000 times won’t change them!
    Immigration facts and figures can be twisted 100 ways.
    Lets say in 10 years 5 million people have come here and 80% of them are working. That could be 4 million jobs that have been created and taken. A percentage of that money will be sent back to their family from the country of origin and never returned to the UK.
    Now lets say none of them came here; we are doing those jobs from the UK population, 99% of the money will end up back in to UK treasury one way or another, and now those people are not claiming for everything even if less jobs were generated.
    No one on benefits should ever get more than someone on basic wage.
    Why do we need skilled immigration? Why have we not trained the people to do these skills?
    This lack of understanding is, in my opinion, one of the reasons why Labour lost the election!

  12. Good Article Paul.

    As far as Labour in Scotland is concerned, I’m afraid for the left in England who are hoping that Labour recover up here, you are in for a very very long wait.

    It is not an exaggeration to say that for a large number of people the Labour Party in Scotland is now more toxic than the Tory Party (even the Tory Party in England)

    As someone from a working class scheme in Dundee, who’s natural politics should have been Labour, I have to admit that since the behaviour of the Labour Party in the independence referendum, as I and many other people saw their true colours for the first time, I despise them.

    They are now called the Red Tories up here, for good reason.

    I would predict that the general election wasn’t the end of the disaster for Scottish Labour, it is just the beginning, and you will see them being decimated in the Scottish Elections in 2016.

    Even the council elections will see a further hollowing out of Labour because of the now toxic brand.

    A lot of people have suggested Labour become independent from the party in London to attempt to recover some political ground, but unless they also change their name and jettison every member who insulted the Yes voters during the referendum, they will remain toxic.

    In the spirit of this article telling uncomfortable truths I will finish with this point:

    The way for the left to stay connected to Scotland is through the SNP.
    I know a lot of you will be uncomfortable with this, but that’s only because you are basically thick, or what the media refers to as ‘Low Information Voters’

    You are the people who would always deny believing what you read in the papers, but when asked about the SNP, trot out the lies and smears that come straight from the lying pens of Daily Mail/Telegraph/MSM journalists.

    As one person put it:

    An SNP candidate was pilloried in the MSM because she sat in the wrong part of a Westminster canteen (among the cleaners), yet these same journalists refused to condemn Tony Blair and other Labour leaders for their part in the Wars in the middle east that has killed hundreds of thousands of innocent (working class) people.

    But hey you can trust these journalists to be balanced, fair and honest..

    Can’t you?

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