Monday, 18 July 2016

Who are Labour voters?

The current civil war in the Labour Party shows no signs of abating. It seems that the elected Labour MP's, who get paid a handsome wage by the taxpayer to represent us, seem to think that the most important challenge affecting the country at the moment, is who should ask The Prime Minister a few questions every Wednesday. Just under a year ago, the Labour Party elected Jeremy Corbyn to do the job. Mr Corbyn was not the choice of our highly important Labour MP's. It was the smelly, unwashed, ignorant members, in their hundreds of thousands who flocked to him. Highly ignorant people, like my daughters, who are currently at University, and have the cheek to believe that as the UK PLC will benefit hugely from their careers when they graduate, the UK PLC should pay for their tuition fees.

Unlike my highly ignorant daughters, our highly important MP's, who mostly benefitted from a free University education, which moulded them into the almost God like entities they have become, we're not impressed. They have, by and large, spent every waking second since then, trying to figure out how to knife Mr Corbyn in the back. 

The latest wheeze they have come up with is to claim that the Labour membership is out of step with Labour voters. This rather surprised me, as I thought that Labour members were by definition Labour voters. A great example of this was a tweet a certain Mr Tom Copley sent me yesterday. In the highly unlikely event that you haven't heard of Mr Copley, he's a GLA labour member. This means you pay him in excess of £50k a year to ask the Mayor a few Questions every now and then (personally I've become quite a fan of the Mayor. He seems to be a pretty good example of a modern Labour politician btw). Anyway Mr Coply said the following.

Tom Copley
Jul 17
@Barneteye Yes both. I happen to think it would be better for the Lab membership to be representative of Lab voters. Do you object to that?

Now unlike Mr Coply, I don't have a University education or the benefit of a £50k+ wage from the taxpayer, to spend my hours in psychic harmony with the entire mass of people who have ever voted Labour. Therefore I can only wildly speculate, based on my own highly ignorant opinions, formed purely from a tiny bit of life experience

I actually have no idea what Mr Coply is on about. Is he saying that the Party should only allow members in if they pass a 'truth and integrity test' like an Über Maoist organisation? As I understand it, Labour voters are a very broad church. At one extreme we have hard line communists, who only vote Labour through gritted teeth, because they don't have a credible hard left alternative. These people are basically pragmatic Marxists ( unlike real Marxists, who probably vote Tory, as they believe this will haste the fall of Capitalism, or don't vote at all).

Then we have traditional working class Labour, who belong to Trades Unions. Some of these love Corbyn and some hate him. My gut feeling is that based on his election, the some that love him are a far larger group. I suspect this was born out by his election.

Then there are the metropolitan elites, which I suspect Mr Coply belongs to. This again is split into two groups. There are the Blairite centrists, who believe that achieving power is the only reason to be a politician. Then there are the hard left dreamers, who believe ideological purity is the only thing that matters.

That is pretty much what the party consists of. 

What I suspect Mr Coply really means though is none of the above. I suspect, he really means the 3-5% of swing voters, who decide elections. They don't join parties. They don't think about politics too much. When elections come, they make pragmatic choices based on what's on offer and  how they think it will effect their lives. The common received political wisdom is that if you ignore them you lose elections. The Tories won with only 24.1% of electors votes. They pretty much hoovered up all of this 3-5%. Because MPs and GLA members salaries rely on winning elections, by and large they have a huge vested interest in appeasement of this 3-5%. That is why, I believe Mr Coply is so scared of the membership. He knows that ultimately they fall into line and vote like sheep. But if they scare the swing voters, then he has to go out and get a real job like the rest of us. The thing is,I happen to believe Mr Coply and the rest of the Blairites have lost their hearts and souls and abandoned those in the margins. Those people who have lost trust in politicians and don't vote. With the existing status quo, there is no incentive to court them, so they are ever more marginalised. As I said, I'm an ignorant thick idiot, so how do I know this? Well, I may be wrong, but having written a blog for eight years, it has become clear. Time and time again, people in Barnet have contacted me to sort things out, when politicians have failed them. The Most recent example was the Freedom Pass fiasco. This was exposed when a young disabled man emailed me. Why didn't he contact the local Labour group? Because they are detached from the people they represent. There have been dozens of other cases. All of the people who needed help got no change from people paid to do the job.
It may amuse you to know that the reason Mrs Angry started writing her blog was because she contacted me with a tale of woe about Barnet Council. It may surprise you to hear that I actually thought she was a Barnet Council stooge, trying to entice me to write a pack of libellous lies about the council so they could sue me. I emailed her back, stating that as she was clearly very eloquent, she should set up her own blog, and a few instructions on how to use blogger. As I am sure you can imagine, when I finally confessed she roared with laughter. The sad truth is that the Barnet Eye and Mrs Angrys blog exist solely because the likes of the well educated and well paid Mr Coply are out of touch. Jeremy Corbyn is far from perfect, but what Labour Mp's and Mr Coply want is him to go and a return to normal politics, where they collect their salaries and real working people, who support Labour are ignored. Blair spent years cultivating a relationship with Rupert Murdoch, to ensure The Sun supported him. I believe this is a major reason for the ultimate failure of New Labour. What Mr Coply and his Blairite mates need to do is get their head out of their navel and start trying to build a Labour movement that works for those at the bottom of society, whilst not neglecting the middle. The rich, who New Labour are seemingly transfixed by, will always do alright. So when Mr Coply asks me whether Labour membership should reflect Labour voters, I'd say that can only happen when Labour politicians reflect Labour voters. That means getting politicians who've done real jobs, know what real people care about and put their own interests behind those of whom they are paid to represent

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