Here’s yer problem Matey

Labour must not ignore BAME base in rush to rebuild red wall, activists warn
Constituencies once considered safe Labour seats. Bolsover and Bishop Auckland are now Conservative. Illustration:
Focus is on white working-class north and Midlands, but Newham and Hackney ‘are heartlands too’

by Frances Perraudin

It’s possible to argue that interests are aligned between that white northern working class and the ethnic urban one. Certainly it’s possible to argue that economic ones are.

No, that doesn’t mean I believe the contention but it’s not an absurd argument that they are.

But people don’t vote purely along economic lines. All sorts of other things matter to people- after all, it’s utility that is maximised, not cash income. And those things which along this axis interest that BAME electorate may not be those which interest that northern one.

Which is what the problem is, isn’t it?

25 comments on “Here’s yer problem Matey

  1. On the grounds that it’s the marginal votes in the marginal seats that matter most in an election campaign, I’m afraid the voters of Hackney and Newham have left themselves a very long way down the priority list for any party. If there was any indication their votes were up for grabs and the seat was competitive and could swing, they’d find rather more goodies waved in their faces. Whether that’s fair or not, that’s politics for you.

    To be honest I’m surprised that Labour’s policy offering is so sympathetic to the inner cities and the Tories are so generous to the stockbroker belt, though at least in the latter case there’s the Lib Dems to compete with. And moreover the Tories have actually won big in an election after taking the fight to pastures new (allegedly Boris telling their Surrey MPs at a rather heated meeting that if their seats were lost then so be it and they’d win with new seats elsewhere) whereas Labour have lost badly after an introspective campaign.

  2. There’s a scene in a Yes PM where Hacker is fretting about something and how the base will react to some policy or event (I forget which). The Chief Whip points out that the base will vote for him anyway and he needs to worry about the wider electorate.

    I was reminded of this when I was thinking about how the political base for both parties has Labour has shifted and that the Conservative Party seems to have picked up on this much earlier and faster than Labour.

    Matthew Goodwin and Roger Eatwell appear to have been one of the first to spot this trend in their book National Populism: The Revolt Against Liberal Democracy. Matthew talks about it this Rebel Wisdom video/podcast Why The Left Keep Losing. Its all very good but if you listen from 5 mins to about 7:30 mins he talks about how they went to see Ed Miliband and his team and how they were silent and didn’t ask any questions. They then went to see the Conservative Party and all they got was Lynton Crosby, who then grilled them like it was a PhD defence. He got it but didn’t quite make the breakthrough but came close in 2015.

    Dom Cummings also got it and warned the Westminster bubble a number of times that they should get out to the rest of the country. He was ignored and the rest, as they say, is history.

  3. Developing my theme and on MBE’s points about the stockbroker belt.

    Boris and Dom know who their base is for the next few years, the over 65s, and while they won’t completely ignore them expect the love bombing in the North to continue. I think they’ll also aim at the middle class Asian communities in the major cities as they are quite conservative.

    Judging by its leadership contest Labour will pay lip service to the Red Wall, and will only come across as patronising at best, whilst playing the intersectionality and race cards, pissing off ever more people.

  4. I thought everyone and his granny now accepted that Brexit and to some extent the recent election – where northern voters switched allegiance – as cultural rather than economic. For better or worse Labour made the decision to prioritise specific parts of their ethnic metropolitan voters above that of their historic heartlands. Indians were also jettisoned by Labour after becoming too aspirational and middle-class. What commonality there once was between the different groups has been sacrificed in favour of identity politics.

  5. Never mind: Keith Vaz will make a comeback to the Commons and the northern proletariat will swoon with delight.

    Until then I understand that the new Labour leader will consider appointing Diane Abbott as his ambassador to Oop North.

    It leaves me wondering what role might be found for David Lamebrain, MP.

  6. The Left have a bit of a problem – all their policies and ideas are the right ones, they know they are, so how can they possibly discard them? They are on a one way ratchet, ever Leftwards. I can’t see how they can get out of it.

  7. Labour lost, in part, because they ran as an anti-English party. It’s a fact that Labour councils and Governments have, for decades, turned a blind eye to the mass rape, sexual abuse and murder of English girls because they valued the votes of the perpetrators and their ‘community’ higher than the actual lives and well-being of the victims and their families. The English working-class know this; they’re not stupid.

    Labour simply grovelling harder to black and brown people won’t persuade them to vote for them again.

  8. Pease pudding, saveloy and chips with gravy. Parma. Just some of the culinary delights the North can offer.

  9. The Remainers keep adding together Labour and the LibDems election votes and claiming that most people voted against Brexit.
    As it happens I was just clearing out some paperwork and came across the election leaflets for the three main parties in my constituency (Brexit Party didn’t run here).

    The Tory Leaflet had a splash headline of “Lets Get Brexit Done”, the LibDems devoted the front cover to saying that a LibDem government would halt Brexit on Day One.
    The Labour 4-sided leaflet didn’t have Brexit on the cover – it didn’t mention it ANYWHERE! Not a single word was devoted to the issue of the day.
    For Remainers to claim that every vote for Labour was a Remain vote is contradicted by Labour’s own literature where they dare not even raise the subject for fear of losing even more votes.

    (In my area with lots of ex-mining towns and not so long ago solid Labour, the Tories increased their vote and became a safe seat.)

  10. The economic problems of white working-class groups in the north are not due to migrants or to black and ethnic minority people

    Dunno. Seems like another variation on the argument that supply and demand curves don’t exist when it comes to immigration, which somehow magically makes everyone richer. But let’s leave that one for now.

    What about the child rape problem? Any clues as to what’s causing that? (Climate change, surely)

    Dr Zubaida Haque, deputy director at the race equality thinktank the Runnymede Trust, argues that in their desperation to find a way to win back the red wall, some in the party risk falling for a rightwing narrative that pitches white and BAME communities against each other.

    Woman whose job it is to blame everything on white men and promote skin-colour-based identity politics warns against setting people agin each other.

    Actually tho, I sort of agree with her. The recent protests in Brum, where Muslims successfully got woke teachers to back down on promoting sodomy and genderspaz to their kids, should be a clue that BAMEs also hate clown world.

  11. I’m a Leaver and I voted Lib Dem. Because the alternative was one of Krazy Kommunist Komissar Komrade Korbyn’s Klowns.

    Just as I would have voted for Trump rather than Kriminal Kaiserin Klinton.

  12. Jim,
    They need a new Tony Blair to drag them kicking and screaming back to the centre ground. Blair explained that winning on a centrist platform was better than being out of power entirely. Half a loaf is better than none.

    Steve,
    David “two brains” Willetts made the point that before the latest wave of migration to the UK, a tradesman from oop north could work in London for a few years, save a wodge of cash, and return home richer. Today that option is closed off because of all the Polish plumbers. So even though there aren’t many migrants in Bishop Auckland, people there have fewer options as a direct result of immigration.

  13. They need a new Tony Blair to drag them kicking and screaming back to the centre ground.

    I agree, but can’t see where that’s coming from. Blair was not only a super-salesman, he was (up to a point) smart. The current crop of Labour MPs have nobody who even comes close. Starmer is (presumably) the nearest thing, but he’s indelibly associated with his opposition to Brexit by any means necessary (I was going to say: “and is obviously a total arse”, but that didn’t stop Blair).

  14. @Jussi – saveloy? Northern? Not in my bit of t’North.

    @Andrew M/Steve – v good point by Mr Willetts.

    Also, by a remarkable coincidence, the number of foreign born people in the UK is about the same as the total number of abortions since it was legalised in 1967: around 9 million.

  15. Dunno. Seems like another variation on the argument that supply and demand curves don’t exist when it comes to immigration, which somehow magically makes everyone richer. But let’s leave that one for now.

    You had me at Dunno

  16. @BiND

    Re: the political base

    Labour are still in denial about Scotland, Wales and now North: RLB “Our manifesto and Corbyn were 10/10”

    Labour also in denial about the calamity for them and UK of Blair’s Devolution driven by his hate of traditional UK

    Wider electorate – not your one
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3I6hcuzMVY

    If only Pols had realised this was truth
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhZRDoGZg00

    +1 on Westminster/London bubble

    Judging by its leadership contest Labour will pay lip service to the Red Wall, and will only come across as patronising at best, whilst playing the intersectionality and race cards, pissing off ever more people.

    Yep, Lady Nugee on BBC QT this week
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwZvNvW_Wuc

  17. “They need a new Tony Blair to drag them kicking and screaming back to the centre ground. Blair explained that winning on a centrist platform was better than being out of power entirely. Half a loaf is better than none.”

    But when anyone in the Labour party who is even leaning towards Blairism is denounced as an evil Tory stooge, where is this moderate going to come from? And given that a significant part of the Labour Party membership have stated they would rather be out of power than compromise on their ‘principles’ even if such a person did arise, they’d never get selected as leader.

    The Labour Party have let every Hard Left crank in the country into their party and now they are going to get a series of leaders who appeal to Hard Left cranks. And the MPs selected will also be Hard Left cranks. Where is the mechanism for this process to reverse? I can’t see one, other than a mass infiltration of the membership by moderates. And when was the last time a bunch of moderates managed to take over something from the fanatics?

  18. @ Jim
    The Labour Party had Kinnock before Blair. Someone noticed that Michael foot had lost the election so they needed someone less loony left. So the new Blair may also arise via a two-stage process.

  19. ” So the new Blair may also arise via a two-stage process.”

    True. But Kinnock also purged the Labour Party of Militant, which allowed Smith and then Blair to rise to the top. What newly elected leader is going to be able to purge maybe 50% of the current Labour membership and MPs? Thats why I think its too far gone. There aren’t enough moderates left and there’s too many cranks. Its the cranks party now, and can’t go back.

  20. @Jim

    True

    However, Conservatives also party of Socialist cranks

    Theresa Villiers MP, secretary of state for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on BBC QT

    “We need the 2% turnover tax on Digital Giants, they don’t pay enough tax…. Look at Starbucks, they’re on every street and don’t pay enough tax…”

    Where to start?

    Dear Villiers,
    1 Turnover does not = profit, if it did no firms would go bankrupt
    2 Starbucks is not a Digital Giant, it’s shops on streets
    3 Franchises – heard of them?

    Dear Jim,

    This loon is your “boss”. You have my sympathies

    :facepalm

  21. Steve said:
    “The recent protests in Brum, where Muslims successfully got woke teachers to back down on promoting sodomy and genderspaz to their kids”

    Did they succeed? The Press seemed to go very quiet on it, but I assumed that was just because “progressives v ethnics” didn’t fit the narrative.

  22. @RichardT

    RoPs (and Christians, Jews…) lost. DoE & School won court order preventing protests

    A case where I side with RoPs; as I’m not Left I have freedom to do this and not be ostracised/hounded

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