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The Blairites are really rattled

So Blair, possibly the most unpopular man in British politics, and Mandelson, the second most detested man, think Ed Miliband would be a ‘disaster’.   It takes some gall for the architects of Labour’s ruin to think they have any right to give us lessons on Labour’s prospects when their own record was – well, disastrous.   Labour won in 1997, not because of Blair or New Labour mantra, but because the electorate was heartily sick of the Tories and wanted them out at any price.   John Smith would have won by a huge margin too.   But having won in 1997 on the back of virulent hostility to the Tories, Blair in two further elections then achieved the biggest loss of voters of any party in modern times.  The Labour vote collapsed by almost 4 million from 13.5 million in 1997 to just 9.6 million in 2005.   For someone who was such a monumental failure to claim any credibility in predicting political success takes one’s breath away – like someone who’s engineered a train crash telling people how to cut the accident rate.

Even leaving that aside (which I wouldn’t), his constant refrain that the party will lose if it resorts to its ‘comfort zone’ is a non-sequitur that flies in the face of all the evidence.   Of course Labour has got to win substantial support from the middle class and from voters in the south of England – everyone knows and accepts that.   But equally if Labour ignores, spurns, repudiates its own natural voting base, it will assuredly be consigned to electoral oblivion.   It’s the balance between these two not incompatible principles that’s at issue.

The figures from the last 4 elections tell a very different story from the fiction constantly being peddled by Blair et al.   We didn’t lose the election in 2010 because we lost the support of the middle classes (defined by the voting surveys as the ABC1 classes), but because we lost the support of the working class and those so poor as to be dependent on the State long-term (the C2DE classes).   In 1997 Labour won 31% of the ABC1 vote, and still retained 26% of it in 2010.   But at the other end of the scale, having won 59% of the C2DE vote in 1997, Labour could win only 40% of it in 2010 – a disastrous slump of 19%.   Or put it another way in terms of actual votes, Labour lost just 0.5 million AB voters since 1997, but a whopping 3.2 million C2DE  voters.

The Blairite picture is a fantasy, fabricated for one purpose only – to preserve its failing hold over the party, even though the actual evidence from the last 4 elections exposes it as a complete canard.   There is one silver lining though.   To be attacked by Blair and Mandelson, who led Labour down an electoral cul-de-sac for 13 years and frittered away the unique once-in-a-century opportunity in 1997, can only be the strongest recommendation that one’s on the right course and should stick to one’s guns.

3 Comments

  1. Matthew Stiles says:

    “The Blairite picture is a fantasy” Too true. Apparently he is citing the 50% top tax rate for Labour’s defeat. This ignores the overwhelming polling evidence that the public support the increase in tax for the rich. Even the Tories dare not reverse this move.

  2. We know that Blair and Mandelson are fools and liars, there’s nothing new in that. The problem lies in regaining Working class votes, because regardless of the letters used for political demographics, they’re still the majority. Who, in this New Labour party, is going to develop true socialist policies and values? The Milibands one and two? (They may pretend to be fighting from different political spectrum’s but they’re not.) No. Balls? (The fact he has the temerity has surprised me) No. Dianne Abott and her privately educated kids? No. That leaves Andy Burnham. (There’s no point even discussing him.0 They are all that infected by Brown and Blair that unless Labour takes itself back to its roots, the people of this country are not going to trust them. There is far too much soul searching needed and until we have a politician that is brave enough to admit to the economic and humanistic atrocities delivered by the New Labour doctrine, the people are never going to vote for them. We want a government that represents our values and our society and what we were given was Tories without the honesty to admit it.

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