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Should Labour move right or left?

Should Labour move right or left?  

109 members have voted

  1. 1. Should Labour move right or left?

    • Left
      75
    • Right
      26
    • Stay where they are
      8


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Various pundits in the Labour party blame their loss of the election on Ed Milliband moving the party back towards the left, but is this correct?

 

When Tony Blair made the Labour party electable in 1997 by moving to the right and declaring 'We're all middle class now' he was probably right. Most people were doing well. In short, the battles that Labour had been fighting for nearly a century, had been faught and won. Old Labour had become irrelevant, and we were ready for 'New Labour.'

 

How quickly things change... Following the crash in 2008, things have gone straight into reverse and it is the poorer in our society who are suffering most. Many of he New Labour 'middle class' have rediscovered that they are just job fodder and, without representation, likely to remain so, (that's if they are lucky enough to have a job.) Job security has become a thing of the past, legislation on pay and conditions have been ripped up, 0 hours and macjobs proliterate, home ownership is no longer a possibility for many, tuition fees have gone through the roof, social mobility has stagnated, and so on. I hate to break it to you folks, but Austerity is likely to remain for good, and become the new normal.

 

So my question is this; should Labour move further right like Chukka Ummunah wants, or go back to its roots, fighting for equality and opportunity for the ordinary working man? Bear in mind that Labour MPs, especially those in the shadow cabinet are no longer from the ranks of the old working class, but university educated carreer politicians, and just as likely to be out of touch with ordinary folk as the Tory toffs.

 

Bear in mind also, the success of the SNP who are basically old Labour with a Scottish accent, and a charismatic leader who speaks for the people.

 

If I knew how to do it, I'd draw up a poll but I can't, so what do you think, where next for the Labour Party?

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Why change your political opinion just to get elected? That isn't politics to me and doesn't set much stall in your beliefs

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Bear in mind also, the success of the SNP who are basically old Labour with a Scottish accent, and a charismatic leader who speaks for the people.

 

 

If they had previously been in power and left a note saying "no money left" they would have been rejected by the electorate too.

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It should stay where it is. No point tacking left to chase people swept up in nationalist fervour who insist they're voting for anti-austerity against "austerity Labour" even when independent analysis of their policies said that Labour's was actually slightly less austere than the SNP, nor any point in chasing after the right-wingers, fearful of those "foreigners" we've shared a kingdom with for several hundred years, when it just increases the movement of left-wing supporters from Labour to someone else promising to wave a magic wand and make everything wonderful.

 

Another five years of the Tories should concentrate minds if the announcements of the last few days are anything to go by.

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It's an interesting question, and many New Labour grandees like Alan Johnson, Peter Mandelson, and John Hutton have already stated clearly that the 2015 proves that Ed Miliband should not have abandoned 'New' Labour of the Blair / Brown years. However what they forget is that in 2015 under Ed Miliband Labour increased its share of the vote on 2010 when there was a 'New' Labour leader. Secondly, I think whoever would have been Labour Leader in 1997 would have won the election: Tony Blair as leader was responding to the political challenges, as he saw it, of the 1980s. As you say, Britain's politics in 2015, after the crash, is very different from the politics of 1997. And interestingly, when finance capitalism crashed, one would've expected the left to do well, rather than the right. But one of the lessons of the depression of the 1930s is that people become more insular, not less.

I think whoever is leader needs to move beyond left or right. David Lammy, the very New Labour Totenham MP, initially said he was going to stand, but wisely withdrew as he acknowledged that Labour needed to win seats in the Midlands and the North as well as the South. Chukka Ummuna is very sauve, but I suspect people are suspicious of him, especially after Blair. However for the first couple of years of his leadership, Blair was quite radical in the progressive sense (believe it or not) - I think it was only after 2001 that he capitulated too much. As Funky Gibbon has said, rather than make a decisive lurch to the left or right, Labour should remain neutral as there are interesting times ahead, and it faces other political challenges than it did in the 1980s.

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Labour hemorrhaged votes to the SNP on the left in Scotland.

 

Labour also lost votes to the Tories and UKIP on the right in England.

 

So what's to be concluded from this? Well to my mind, trying to frame Labour's problems in terms of moving left or right is futile.

 

The bigger problem for Labour has been poor leadership, which has left the party drifting aimlessly with very little in the way of a positive message.

 

With the best will in the world, Ed Miliband never looked like a prime minister in waiting. And I'm even less impressed with a good few others in the shadow cabinet.

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To the left, clearly.

 

Agreed. Then we won't ever have to worry about the idiots winning again.

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Why change your political opinion just to get elected? That isn't politics to me and doesn't set much stall in your beliefs

 

Look up what the word "politics" means to learn that you are wrong.

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Labour should move to the centre, it's from this position that they'll gain power to govern the country. It's all well and good trying to be an vocal champion of the needy. The problem is that they'll never actually get to help the needy from this position, because they'll struggle to get into a position where they can.

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Agreed. Then we won't ever have to worry about the idiots winning again.
Correct!...........because they will do it quite comfortably without you having to worry!

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