I admire the Labour party: When they fuck up, they don't mess about. The past few weeks have been spectacular.
So the parliamentary group stuck Jeremy Corbyn on the leadership list mainly to placate the lefties in the party and look what's happened: he's winning in the polls.
I'm pretty sure alarm bells and cries of "Oh Fuck!" are resounding round the labour MPs at the moment as they face casting themselves into the wilderness for several years.
The problem is Labour and its supporters currently have a split personality that no-one in the PLP can resolve. There are areas of policy where their supporters are more to the right than Labour are at the moment and they need to readjust rather than crash further to the left.
Labour need to resolve these key issues:
Immigration. Lots of low-paid and young people are seeing huge numbers of immigrants coming in from Eastern Europe taking their jobs. Immigrants will come in and sleep 20-30 to a house (usually illegally) to share the rent so their overheads are low compared to a single British guy trying to keep a flat on minimum wage. British kids are being failed by an education system that is more concerned with box ticking than actual education which opens the door for better educated immigrants to take those precious jobs.
There's also the "dark" economy where criminal activity is also being overtaken by foreign gangs coming in from the East. Imagine how depressed the local skally is if he can't make an honest or even a dishonest living.
Of course Labour are in favour of the EU and the open door policy. The problem is it doesn't benefit their core supporters, it benefits big business who get cheap(er) labour.
The Labour party HAS to change it's stance on this. They have to disassociate immigration from racism, a meme they've been throwing at the Tories and UKIP and which is now backfiring on them.
They have to understand that the open door policy is against the workers and for big business, but at the same time promote the fact that Britain should be accomodating to those that bring skills and jobs and integrate into society..
It's not quite as far to the left as their current policy but it needs to reflect the nature of their supporters.
Benefits. This is another area of disassociation between Labour and it's supporters. Are they really saying that there should be no cap on benefits? Are Labour saying to people on the minimum wage that it's fine for people on benefits to have an unlimited salary? What do they think someone on a £15,000 salary will think about someone getting the equivalent of a £50,000 salary for doing nothing? They will rightly cast the party promoting that view into the wilderness.
Also, how is someone on the equivalent of £20,000+ supposed to cope on £15,000 when they get into work? The fact is once they are getting 20 grand for doing nothing they won't want to take a pay cut.
That's the problem Labour have to get round with regard to benefits.
Public Services. A great deal of wailing comes from Labour about cuts to public services. The Tory's 1% pay rise for public service workers has come in for a lot of criticism from the left. Well get real guys, I've just had a 2% pay rise, the first in 3 years so you're doing a damn sight better than me.
Labour need to get real when it comes to public service. There are plenty of their supporters in the private sector in a worse position.
Also when it comes to cuts in front line services, there needs to be a focus on what is being cut and what's being kept. For instance its quite common when the Tories are in power and reducing payments to local councils for Labour controlled councils to cut front line services first before non-essential services in order to prove a political point. That has to stop, especially when those at the top of the council are collecting six figure salaries. Labour councils should be leading from the front when it comes to fat-cat salaries for those at the top. The normal response is they need to recruit the best and compete with the private sector. NO THEY DON'T! They need to employ people with a public service ethos, not someone who's out for as much as they can get.
In conclusion there are a load of things that Labour will only make worse with a lurch to the left. But hey, it'll make for great commentary for political bloggers for the next 5-10 years...
I just wish the Labour party could see sense and not swerve from left to right all the time. Just some MODERATE adjustment is all that is required to bring them into synch with the majority of the population and make them electable again.
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