Sunday, May 23, 2010

Reasons to be cheerless

John Harris fingers the tone of the leadership debate in the newly defeated Labour Party.
You hear it in the pronouncements of the supposed leading candidates, and in anxious chatter around Westminster. The C2s – skilled manual workers, whose loyalties play a crucial role in so many marginals – have deserted Labour in droves, particularly men. Their key complaints are about supposed welfare malingerers, and new arrivals from abroad; and this is where Labour must focus that time-honoured ritual known as "listening and learning". So it is that the future of centre-left politics occasionally threatens to come down to kicking the dispossessed, and parroting the early summer's big Labour mantra: immigration, immigration, immigration.
He is pointing to a threat that the route to electoral recovery will be sought through pandering to a patronising and fictional vision of the atavistic instincts of a mythical white working class. He continues,
And on these most fundamental of issues, Labour's danger is not that long-imagined lurch to the left, but an ugly and reactionary step in the opposite direction.
I hope he's wrong.

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