Well, no Harry, no

Harry Harperson still doesn’t get it:

Fears over Labour’s leadership and economic credibility meant the Conservative victory was not seen as a “disaster” by many Labour voters, she said.
She added Labour’s election campaign had been misguided because the party had the “wrong message”.

You had the wrong people.

Still, at least we know the answer now. Will the British vote in a PM who can be bested in a battle of wits by a bacon sandwich?

That answer being no.

33 thoughts on “Well, no Harry, no”

  1. “Will the British vote in a PM who can be bested in a battle of wits by a bacon sandwich?”
    Priceless.

  2. Bloke in Germany

    Abcab has a nice Napoleon, however as Abraham Lincoln said, the trouble with quotes on the internet is that you never know if they are genuine.

  3. The problem with the message is that it is the point of the modern Labour movement.

    “Take more money off the rich* to throw at our vested interests in the unionised public and semi-public sectors.”

    That’s where the party is. Everything else is just tinkering at the edges.

    * aka you and me.

  4. To be fair, she’s being more honest than most of the rest of them, who are still very much on the “how could the voters not realise how great we? It must have been Tory witchcraft” stage of the programme…

  5. Their real problem is that the elite of the Labour Party are now almost completely alien to the people they claim to represent. Identity politics and internationalism aren’t huge issues with the working class.

  6. ‘You had the wrong people.’

    Blair apart, since 1979 they’ve always chosen the wrong people. They can’t help themselves – because they always choose someone to be a leader of the Labour Party, not thinking he/she has to be seen as a possible leader of the country, a potential prime minister, one of the top political jobs in the world.

    Blair was the only time they got it right. It’s hysterical that they’ve never forgiven themselves…

  7. “Their real problem is that the elite of the Labour Party are now almost completely alien to the people they claim to represent. ”

    And they hate them, too. They hate their tastes, they hate their opinions, they hate their habits. They consider their concerns bigoted.

    It’s just taking a while for this to percolate through, and for the “I vote Labour cos me grandpa did” tendancy to die out, but look at the Telegraph’s 2nd place election map – the Labour heartlands of the North are purple. So we now have Lab/UKIP marginals.

  8. I can’t see an overtly left-wing party winning power in the UK again for the forseeable future, not unless there is some dramatic Greek-style upheaval here.

    It’s 41 years since a left-wing government won a national election in the UK — 1974 (and that was a close-run thing). *41 years*.

    New Labour only won by moving, or pretending to move, to the centre. Once Brown took over and people could see them moving leftwards again, they lost.

    It’s obvious that Labour can win again by moving (or pretending to move) to the centre. But they won’t win with left-wing rhetoric.

  9. To repeat myself, Labour is disappearing up its own arse in search of a cause because most of the first world’s problems have been solved by capitalism.

    Hence all the fake dramas about ‘trans people’ and racism and Islamophobia.

    Ninety per cent of people aren’t really all that racist, don’t care about blokes who’d like to be women and vice versa, and don’t object to law abiding muslims going about their business.

    So there’s no fucking votes in it, other than from a loose collection of strange special interests.

    Harman is wrong – they got the wrong message and the wrong people, and their in-house journal’s why-oh-why piece about men in short-shorts shows there to be no immediate likelihood of them discovering the right ones.

  10. abacab,

    “So we now have Lab/UKIP marginals.”

    There aren’t any Lab/UKIP marginals. Where UKIP came 2nd to Labour, they’re all in seats where you can stick a red rosette on a gerbil and get it elected. Their best result vs Labour was coming 2nd to Tristram Hunt in Stoke-on-Trent Central by a margin of 5000 votes.

  11. What Harman and the rest of the middle/upper class twerps who’ve colonised the Labour party fail to realise is that its core reason for existence has by and large disappeared. Originally set up by the working classes to militate for better pay and conditions for private-sector workers, it now represents little more than the militant wing of the Civil Service – allegedly (and this is probably balls but it’s a good one) most active Labour members these days are teachers; certainly the only sector of the economy still heavily unionised is the civil service (two-thirds-ish of union members are public sector, and unionisation in the private sector stands at about 11% of the workforce).

    So what started as a genuine grass-roots movement to militate for working members has become a vast lobby for the transference of money from the private sector into the State, in order to bolster the income of the party’s members to the exclusion of others. The well-meaning toffs, oligarchs and rich kids who’ve come to run the party over the last decades (Blair, Mandelson, Harman, Hewitt, Hunt etc etc) are ceaselessly using it to advance themselves, their families and friends (Kinnock, Blair, Harman, Straw all have offspring involved in politics and either holding or being lined up for safe seats) while moving ever further away from the roots and meaning of their party. No wonder the man on the Clapham omnibus has no time for them; they don’t speak for him, or even to him, preferring instead to hang around in left-wing echo chambers like social media, constantly reaffirming their moral superiority and sense of ineffable self.

  12. The sandwich thing shouldn’t have counted. Any human being alive can be made to look stupid if you photograph them continuously and then select the most amusing ones.

    His looks and voice shouldn’t have counted. I thought he looked average but was vaguely annoyed with his voice. I am a bit ashamed of myself for that. One can’t help enlarged adenoids.

    The Edstone, now, that should have counted and did. Miliband demonstrated to the public that the only “pledges” he was willing to commit to were utterly vague things like “time to care” in the NHS.

  13. “The Edstone, now, that should have counted and did. Miliband demonstrated to the public that the only “pledges” he was willing to commit to were utterly vague things like “time to care” in the NHS.”

    The telling thing about the Edstone was that the pledges were so vague that the Tories could have put them on a rock too, if only they were that tone-deaf.

    Yet Lab thought that they were important things that they were for, and the Tories were against, and were thus differentiating. Which is just moonbattery of the first water.

  14. After the uprising of the 17th of June the Secretary of the Writers’ Union had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
    stating that the people had forfeited the confidence of the government and could win it back only by redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier in that case for the government to dissolve the people and elect another?

    – Bertolt Brecht.

  15. So Much for Subtlety

    Bloke in Germany – “Would it not be easier in that case for the government to dissolve the people and elect another?”

    Just over 25% of the Swedish population was born overseas or has at least one parents who was born overseas.

    They are working on it. They are working very hard. The Tories have seen the writing on the wall. Dave knows that Conservatism has no future. Hence his embrace of Lib-Dem-ary.

  16. @Natalie Solent

    “The sandwich thing shouldn’t have counted… His looks and voice shouldn’t have counted…

    The Edstone, now, that should have counted and did. Miliband demonstrated to the public that the only ‘pledges’ he was willing to commit to were utterly vague things like ‘time to care’ in the NHS.”

    I wholly agree with you re bacon, looks and voice (though I think there is a point at which one’s looks and voice would could, I don’t think Miliband hit that point by some distance.

    The stone was nonsense but the turning point (I think) was possibly Russell Brand.

    Going round late at night to smarm up to an incoherent sex maniac millionaire who cruelly and vilely abuses the grand-daughters of Fawlty Towers actors and who has spent the last year telling kids not to vote is a sure way to not win floating voters.

    @abacab

    “The telling thing about the Edstone was that the pledges were so vague that the Tories could have put them on a rock too, if only they were that tone-deaf.

    Yet Lab thought that they were important things that they were for, and the Tories were against, and were thus differentiating. Which is just moonbattery of the first water.”

    Absolutely correct.

  17. “Their best result vs Labour was coming 2nd to Tristram Hunt in Stoke-on-Trent Central by a margin of 5000 votes.” I hope the tories of Stoke do their duty next time, and consign the Hon Tristram to the rubbish bin of history.

  18. Nobody voted Tory because of Dave.

    Some people would have not voted Labour because of Ed.

    But Labour really lost it because most English people did not want to be governed by a SNP/Labour coalition.

    If ever the Jockanese decide that the SNP are useless, then LAbour will recover. But Labour were useless for Scotland for generations, so the Tories can look forward to a long, long time in power.

    Incidentally, that’s another reason for Cameron giving the SNP their version of independence; Marxism funded by the English.

  19. Bloke in North Dorset

    What Flatcap Army says.

    Labour’s big change was in the 80s when they became an anti-Thatcher party, although they had been drifting that way in the 70s.

    The likes of Callaghan and Healy whilst wrong on most things at least genuinely had the working man at heart and respected him, they fought alongside him during the war after all. The same can be said for a lot of the union leaders of that time.

    Once Labour started being the anti Thatcher party they attracted a real ragtag and bobtail crowd who couldn’t agree on anything, not even how much they hated Thatcher and the Tories. They thought the only way to build a party was to pick up all their single issue groups and try to weld some sort of political cohesion from it but beyond we hate Tories there is little else they agree on and that’s why the famous sketch in Life of Brian resonates so well.

    As Interested points out there’s no votes outside those single issue groups because the average voter really is bored by their antics and in-fighting.

    The working man is despised by these groups because he is generally a conservative and resistant to change, but mostly resistant to noisy, self centered and self interested groups who demand that he thinks in a certain way and can’t complain about immigration (not immigrants) without being shouted down as a racist bigot by the very people who claim to speak for him.

    What they also miss is that the average voter does lie somewhere between the Tories and the right of Labour. They do want some compassion and a welfare State, but their not stupid enough to let Labour party in that is still only held together by its hatred of the Tories and can only talk in meaningless platitudes and empty left wing rhetoric.

    They are so tin eared that they don’t realise that when they say it was the message that was wrong they insult us in so many ways. How about we heard the message, understood it and didn’t like it as a start to some humility and internal reflection? Instead they treat us like idiots who need to be shouted at even louder and slower until the message gets through like a drunken holiday lout shouting louder and slower at the stupid insolent foreigner in his own land as if that might finally get through and the foreigner will eventually understand them and do their bidding. Well, like that stupid foreigner, we fully understand them and refuse to do business with them.

    I’m not sure Natalie’s right about the bacon sandwich and sounding nerdy bit. We need our Prime Minister and other Ministers to be able to negotiate for us on the world stage and if they going to act and sound like they’ve only just left 6th form college they aren’t going have the gravitas that is needed.

  20. BIND,

    > We need our Prime Minister and other Ministers to be able to negotiate for us on the world stage and if they going to act and sound like they’ve only just left 6th form college they aren’t going have the gravitas that is needed.

    Quite. I have a technique for predicting election results that broadly works. What you do is, you picture the party leader at a G10 photo op. If they fit in with the others, they can win. If you picture them looking out of place in that company, they can’t.

    It’s not 100% reliable, because of course sometimes both party leaders would fit in. But, when one doesn’t, you can rule him out.

    What really really pissed me off about Miliband was the seating arrangements at his stage-managed events, with the audience behind him. I think that’s one of those things where either you understand where I’m coming from or you think I’m crazy. That arsehole Cameron certainly didn’t see the problem with it, and started copying it. Makes me want to punch the screen.

  21. Well, yes, she usually is. Because, you know, she’s Natalie Solent.

    Hmm, the candle in front of the graven image flickered in approbation as I typed that.

  22. Bloke in Costa Rica

    BiND hits on a point that drives me absolutely mad: this idea that one’s platform is so obviously correct that its failure to attract support is evidence of miscommunication or bad faith on the part of the voters. Really, it’s a watered-down version of the old Marxist trope of false consciousness. It denies agency to people, but then of course the Leftist inclination to view people as groups and classes rather than individuals is a function of that denial.

  23. @BiCR – the Left’s mantra at the moment is: “If you voted Tory and you’re working class, you’re a traitor. If you’re middle class, you’re evil or stupid or both. If you’re ultra-rich or upper class we hate you and want to take all your money to give it to public sector union workers. Please remember to vote for us next time”

  24. BiCR

    I see you and raise you “progressive” – an utterly meaningless term that pervades the politics of the left whilst conveying nothing more than moral superiority to a normal person

    I am progressive
    you are a member of the progressive majority
    he is a reactionary bigot
    we are progressives
    you are all progressives
    they are tories

  25. @widdershins – “It’s hysterical that they’ve never forgiven themselves…” – its even more hysterical that he then got think that he would become “Tony the Peacebringer” by joining George Bush in his attack on Iraq.
    (except for the Iraquis, not so hysterical for them).

  26. BIND said: “the average voter does lie somewhere between the Tories and the right of Labour. They do want some compassion and a welfare State”

    and also have a pretty strong concept of the difference between the deserving and undeserving poor.

    (And the drunken holidaymaker thing is superb)

  27. Wasn’t the looks / voice / bacon sandwich thing so devastating because it didn’t just make him look a prat, it made him look just the sort of prat that his politics suggested he is?

  28. “and also have a pretty strong concept of the difference between the deserving and undeserving poor.”

    Something which seems to escape many on the left. It’s all about “need” to them. Whether the need is unavoidable (disabled, chronic illness) or has been generated (fake bad back, fat, uneducated, poor life(style) choices etc) seems to be a nuance that is rather lost.

    But then, if you allocate resources based on need, a certain section of the population will always seek to maximise that need.

  29. Bonk,

    > he then got think that he would become “Tony the Peacebringer” by joining George Bush in his attack on Iraq.

    Blair actually started lobbying for intervention in Iraq (technically, for existing post-GW1 conditions to be enforced) as soon as he got in. He was pushing Clinton to intervene. “Bush’s poodle” made for good copy in The Guardian, but was not reflective of the facts.

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