How should Labour tackle UKIP?

6th May, 2013 3:12 pm

UKIP is a bigger problem for the Conservatives than Labour, but only if Labour moves fast to address voters concerns.

My evidence for this is the detailed analysis that we are able to carry out on Bassetlaw results, which can compare over a 10 year period.

We cannot be certain how any single individual votes, but we can reach an accuracy of over 90% by voter surveying (knocking up in Labour parlance), use of the marked register and sampling each individual areas.

This we have done in detail in Bassetlaw since 2008, but with most data going back to 2003.

We will need the marked register for these elections to fine tune our analysis, but it is already very clear what happened.

  1. Core Tory voters switched to UKIP. This is very important, because it creates a huge headache for the Tories. These people always vote and never vote Labour or Liberal. There is nothing worse than having to fight for your core vote.
  2. The Labour core vote stayed Labour, with virtually no exceptions.
  3. Lost 97 Labour voters voted UKIP, but many didn’t get round to actually voting.
  4. Public sector lost 97 Labour voters are beginning to return to Labour
  5. Floating voters and lost Labour voters to UKIP have voted non Labour before (BNP/Liberal/Tory/independent)
  6. there are a few split Labour households, man UKIP, woman Labour, but not many
  7. there are neighbour clusters of UKIP voters- one neighbour persuading the others
  8. Areas with a popular local pub are more likely to vote UKIP

Most of this is not a surprise. I briefed a BBC policy analyst that UKIP would win over 100 seats two weeks ago and predicted their local result to within a few votes.

Crucially the UKIP vote is not being determined as much by extended family discussion as by friends, neighbours and workmate discussions. UKIP’s appeal stands outside the family, making them vulnerable on all family issues. Therefore strong incumbency pull will protect disproportionately against UKIP.

Trade unionists or those who should be in unions – working class private sector employees are the biggest UKIP threat to Labour, by a significant degree. These are the people we lost to UKIP.

UKIP will need tackling in different ways in different parts of the country. In the industrial North, the unions should have billboards with Farage holding his Thatcher mug, quoting his support for Thatcher’s de-industrialisation. Crude but effective. It is time he was taken head on. (Come on BBC or Sky put me on head to head with him)

However, we will fundamentally fail if we do not see that the UKIP appeal is well beyond UKIP. For every Labour vote lost to UKIP, there are many more lost 97 voters refusing to turn out. The issues are the same. We can expose UKIP on their love of bankers, hatred of the NHS and general Thatcherism, but this does not bring back the lost voters.

Let me pose three questions therefore.

  1. How is it fair that a youth can be born in a council house, live in it for 18 years and then lose out in allocation to a Polish family who have been in the country for a few months. How is this social justice?
  2. Why is it fair that a 58 year old man, disabled from coal mining loses his incapacity benefit, but a family new to the country gets full housing benefit?
  3. Why should an employer be able to employ from a Polish agency and refuse to interview a 24 local person seeking work?

The problem we face is not the EU Common Market. The highest per capita Eastern European immigration into Europe is into Norway, outside the EU.

Nigel Farage with his German banker wife and his salary paid in Euros is a beneficiary of the free movement of Labour. Many of my constituents are the losers.

The Labour Common Market Safeguards Committee morphed into some vague anti EU body. Today it has been re-created, it aim an end to the Common Market.

It is not socially sustainable to allow flexible labour markets, free movement of Labour and capital and have social justice. Why do people think that Google and Facebook base themselves in Ireland and Amazon in Luxembourg?

It is time to stop meddling with vague concepts. Let us have clear social justice priorities

The top priority in housing for those who have lived in social housing as children;

No benefits for anyone until they have paid National insurance for two years

No free flow of capital to avoid taxes

No zero hours agency contracts with no employment rights

No open market in labour in the United Kingdom, rather a system of work permits, including for all Europeans.

Ed Miliband needs to commit Labour to a people’s Europe, by announcing that he will tear up the single Market in labour and capital. I think we will find that Germany, France, Holland and Denmark will quickly follow our lead.

A control over the Common Market, free flow of people but not free flow of labour and capital. That’s what I call a real renegotiation.

John Mann is the Labour MP for Bassetlaw

To report anything from the comment section, please e-mail [email protected]
  • John Mann is absolutely right for speaking up for his constituents, engaging with very key concerns. But, he is wrong to call for an end to the Single Market as it has been an economic success and Britain should be promoting it and expanding it to other sectors. I do not see how referring to Nigel Farage’s wife ethnicity is particularly helpful too but his questions on immigration and welfare should be answered. Labour must return the welfare state to contribution. It must have an ‘active industrial strategy’ through promoting new industries and private sector growth up North. Also, need to invest in skills that in return can reduce immigration. Returning to immigration and EU, we should have an Office for Immigration Management, restrictions on health and benefit tourism, and call for a level of GDP per capita before the free movement of labour applies to a country.
    By the way, thanks to Monkey_Bach for pointing out my spelling mistakes in a previous comment (always very embarrassing to be corrected by someone who thinks monkeys ‘eek’ and who does not know who Clement Atlee is). In future I would much rather to be corrected by someone knows what they are talking about and has a good grasp of knowledge. Monkey_Bach thinks I am scoring 4/10 and must try harder. He is scoring a 1/10 and might as well give up!

  • Monkey_Bach

    What is this all about?

    I realise that Mr. Mann, although honest, isn’t the sharpest tack in the box but really.

    How is it fair that a youth can be born in a council house, live in it for 18 years and then lose out in allocation to a Polish family who have been in the country for a few months. How is this social justice?

    The real question is: Why isn’t there enough social housing to accommodate all of those who need it? The answer is: Because the Labour Party when it had the chance, despite repeatedly promising to do so, built less social housing than any of the previous Conservative administrations who legislated to sell off as much of it as possible to tenants (half price) and to the private sector (at massively reduced rates).

    Why is it fair that a 58 year old man, disabled from coal mining loses his incapacity benefit, but a family new to the country gets full housing benefit?

    The real question is: Why did the Labour Party, when godawful James Purnell and later Yvette Cooper were successively Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, legislate to enable a private paid-by-results French IT company called ATOS, test the sick and disabled to see if they were “work ready” by means of a test so easy to pass that hundreds of thousands of the genuinely sick and disabled and several thousand of the actually terminally ill were found fit for work (although they weren’t), stripped of their incapacity benefit (unjustly), put onto Jobseeker’s Allowance and forced to actively look for work (even though these poor souls had absolutely no hope of finding gainful employment).

    Why should an employer be able to employ from a Polish agency and refuse to interview a 24 local person seeking work?

    The real question is: In the free flexible labour market that the Labour Party encouraged how can you stop public and especially private employers from offering posts to anybody they fancy, based on their own interests as far as getting the hardest-working and cheapest employees goes?

    A lot of these problems can be traced directly back to the previous 13 years of Labour government who are the authors of many of the disasters that currently assail us.

    Now. Here’s how to deal with UKIP. Repeatedly and honestly expose just how ultra-right-wing, unworkable, and crazy the policies and agenda of that political “party” actually are. Bring them into the light. Put them under scrutiny. Explain to people what they are and what they would mean to their lives if implemented. Show UKIP up for what it really is: a group of extreme right-wing Tory little Englanders seemingly committed to turning back the clock to a pre-Victorian age.

    Much like Mr. Mann himself in other words.

    You can’t beat them by joining them.

    Or by stealing and wearing their ragged, foetid clothes.

    Eeek.

    • Yes. Agreed.

      So, lets try and sort out a decent Labour policy on social security, which doesn’t assume everyone is a scrounger – and lets actually start saying so. If left unchallenged no wonder it becomes common parlance.

      Lets build some council houses (note I said COUNCIL, because its about time local government started running things directly again, enough of this ridiculous and wasteful contracting and commissioning

      And lets introduce a living wage for all – because at the moment dodgy employers are effectively being subsided to offer low wages.

      In other words, lets get back to some straightforward social democratic policies. Roy Hattersley’s excellent article in today’s Guardian is well worth looking at – http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/may/05/labour-guided-principle-not-opinion-polls

      • Hattersley’s article was not excellent at all. It had this arrogant view of the electorate, telling Labour that it should not listen to people’s concerns or engage with their everyday lives. It is as if he does not understand why people did not vote Labour in 2010 and why people are so disconnected from politics.

      • Monkey_Bach

        Right on! Eeek.

      • Calling John Mann thick (and calling someone “not the sharpest” amounts to the same thing) is no surprise as I realise from our previous conversation you think you’re some sort of intellectual. But if you think our benefits system doesn’t need reform you really need to get out more. You might be surprised to hear I agree with some of your criticisms – the concil house sell off has proven a long term disaster, even Charles Moore notes this in his Thatcher biography. But we are where we are and resources are stretched. Suggesting anyone who wants to look at welfare reform wants to return us to the Victorian age is cretinous.

        • rekrab

          Could you live on £53 per week?
          You may have read Thatcher’s biography, for all I know you might even own a handbag that you like to swing at folks.

          Why advocate giving people less when everyone else seems to be asking for more? Look, I’ll tie a straight lace here, create employment, pay decent monies and the problem will be solved.

          • Of course I couldn’t live on £53 per week. What is your point? Coming out with airy statements like “create employment” is exactly why Ukip are popular: people understand Farage’s bullshit free rhetoric.

          • rekrab

            No! what is your point? if you’ve something to say on benefits, stop skimming over the top, lets hear it? what’s your point?

            If your an expert on UKIP policy, lets hear them to? because only a few day’s ago Farage was advocating doing away with employment legislation.

          • Eh? Farage talks nothing but populist right wing bullshit. Sure, it has its appeal but that’s no excuse for us to go down the same path. He is wrong and we need to say so.

        • I don’t know if you have problems with reading but I didn’t refer to Mann’s intelligence. Monkey_Bach did so perhaps you could transfer your petty little personal vendetta to him.

          As for ‘welfare reform’, that’s ‘cuts and conditionality’ in Toryprogress speak, yes?? The problem is that reform always begins with an assumption that most claimants are scroungers and that there are jobs for everyone. .Not true. Indeed private sector employers are not at all keen to take on someone with, say, recent experience of mental health problems.

        • Monkey_Bach

          Anybody who tries to make a case against immigrant labour by contrasting the case of a mature British citizen losing incapacity benefit (probably as a result of an ATOS test) with recent immigrants being awarded housing benefit has to be either dishonest (George Osborne does this kind of thing all the time) or not particularly bright since the two benefits are not directly related. (Mann’s article includes several similar false dichotomies.) I did mention in my previous comment that I considered Mr. Mann to be an honest fellow didn’t I? Which is better than being a liar, surely? The rest follows from that.

          (You were outbid as per a sense of humour on Ebay then?)

          Eeek.

        • Monkey_Bach

          Anybody who tries to make a case against immigrant labour by contrasting the case of a mature British citizen losing incapacity benefit (probably as a result of an ATOS test) with recent immigrants being awarded housing benefit has to be either dishonest (George Osborne does this kind of thing all the time) or not particularly bright since the two benefits are not directly related. (Mann’s article includes several similar false dichotomies.) I did mention in my previous comment that I considered Mr. Mann to be an honest fellow didn’t I? Which is better than being a liar, surely? The rest follows from that.

          (You were outbid as per a sense of humour on Ebay then?)

          Eeek.

    • What on earth has ATOS got to do with UKIP? I know you have a bad knowledge of basic history as well as a profound lack of knowledge of Labour history, but the world does not revolve around ATOS and James Purnell. And what does ‘Eeek’ mean? Monkeys do not even ‘Eeek’!

    • evad666

      “Now. Here’s how to deal with UKIP. Repeatedly and honestly expose just
      how ultra-right-wing, unworkable, and crazy the policies and agenda of
      that political “party” actually are. Bring them into the light. Put them
      under scrutiny. Explain to people what they are and what they would
      mean to their lives if implemented. Show UKIP up for what it really is: a
      group of extreme right-wing Tory little Englanders seemingly committed
      to turning back the clock to a pre-Victorian age.” This actually sounds more like lets not face up to Labours utter failure to suport anyone outside the city after all…it was a Labour advisor who said only financial services matter http://www.uknda.org/my_documents/my_files/UKNDA_Defence_Policy_Doc_24pp.pdf page 19 ”

      I am aware that one of the Government’s more influential economic advisors went so far as to say, allegedly, to
      senior union officials, that ‘defence, aerospace, manufacturing and engineering have no value to us. Only high
      quality professional services, financial services and the City of London have any real value and they should besupported at all costs. The rest of the country can be turned over to tourism.

  • The social housing issue is a bit of a red herring. The problem is lack of social housing. Its a myth that its going to Eastern Europeans. The problem is that its not going to anyone very much because anyone who has it is staying put. There would have to be very clear additional reasons for a ‘Polish family who have lived in the UK for 18 months’ to be allocated a property. There is, however, a shortage of one-and-two bedroom properties in particular in the social housing sector. I think we need a housebuilding programme – and this needs planning for and sorting as soon as possible

    I don’t think there would be a great amount of support for some of the other proposals. The reintroduction of work permits would mean that the EU would simply be like any other country outside Europe which rather gets rid of the purpose of having an EU at all. Perhaps that is John Mann’s intent. There are certainly things which could be done about the equalisation of corporation taxes, and the rush to the bottom with regard to employment rights. Not sure how reciprocal benefits could be barred without – again – getting rid of the entire purpose of having an EU at all.
    These solutions appear to be to minimise the EU as much as possible – one step away from withdrawal – or a ‘renegotiation’ which would seemingly make the EU pointless. After all, we are already not in Schengen so don’t partake in the free flow of people. If there was no ability to work and this live elsewhere, and a removal of the single market, it would be tantamount to dissolving the EU altogether.

    So, it appears that this is an attempt from labour’s anti_EU nationalist wing to try and ‘out-UKIP’, which won’t convince.

    • I don’t think that John Mann is a nationalist and it is surprising to hear you back to the EU seeing as you are a self-declared protectionist. On social housing, you are talking about the supply but not about the demand and Mann is talking about the demand side part of the problem. Labour does need to start dealing with social housing waiting lists, which is why Ed Miliband rightly committed to prioritisation based on contribution, work, community connection and place something that a lot of Labour councils are doing.

    • jaime taurosangastre candelas

      What is the purpose of the EU? Some see it as a proto-state, others as a trading alliance.

    • jaime taurosangastre candelas

      What is the purpose of the EU? Some see it as a proto-state, others as a trading alliance.

      I am with the latter. I don’t feel very Greek, or have any particular interest in Turkey joining. As far as I am concerned, they are foreign countries. I am sure they are very nice, but if I want to visit them, I don’t have a problem in carrying a passport. I don’t particularly want British taxes to be spent on them; rather I’d prefer British taxes to be spent on Britons.

    • jaime taurosangastre candelas

      What is the purpose of the EU? Some see it as a proto-state, others as a trading alliance.

      I am with the latter. I don’t feel very Greek, or have any particular interest in Turkey joining. As far as I am concerned, they are foreign countries. I am sure they are very nice, but if I want to visit them, I don’t have a problem in carrying a passport. I don’t particularly want British taxes to be spent on them; rather I’d prefer British taxes to be spent on Britons.

    • jaime taurosangastre candelas

      What is the purpose of the EU? Some see it as a proto-state, others as a trading alliance.

      I am with the latter. I don’t feel very Greek, or have any particular interest in Turkey joining. As far as I am concerned, they are foreign countries. I am sure they are very nice, but if I want to visit them, I don’t have a problem in carrying a passport. I don’t particularly want British taxes to be spent on them; rather I’d prefer British taxes to be spent on Britons.

      • rekrab

        I think there is a purpose in Internationalism, I don’t think we should ever forget that two world wars started in Europe.

        For sure, there are things that need sorted within the treaties but I think there better sorted within rather than on the out.

      • A step along the way to world government, hopefully.

  • owen meharry

    My two Daughters were told after being born and raised in the Gorbals they will NOT get a house there citing NEPOTISM at the same time the council were employing their friends and relatives, work that out

  • Doctor Yellow Face

    1: Get allow candidatess the chance to talk about serious issues
    2: Have a plan to tackle the growing concern that immigrants are coming over here to take our benifits
    3: Build more houses
    4: Spend time and money driving that message home
    5: Make labour the story make one nation the story

  • Nottingham Lass

    I’ve worked in Social Housing for 30 years and still do. I’m not aware of Polish people getting preference for social housing, its a complete red herring (notwithstanding the fact that, in the main, immigration improves wealth not the other way round). The bedroom tax is having the effect in my area of 3 bed + homes being allocated to those in less housing need than those waiting for 2 beds. In some cases those waiting for 2 beds are in bed and breakfast waiting for a 2 bed private sector rent ed property which costs £50 more per week than our socially rented ones – all of this costs the taxpayer more. How can this be right?
    I do know that there is not enough social housing and that affordable rents aren’t affordable in many cases and put further strain on the benefit bill. We need to stop setting people in poverty against one another and focus on building more social housing and letting it sensibly to those who can justify they need it and let it at rents which are properly affordable. There’s only one way to do this and that is to increase the capital subsidy into it which will ultimately bring the rents down.

  • The ‘One Nation’ soundbite doesn’t work (Just like the Tories ‘Aspiration nation’ (soundbites nothing more)) as the poor local election results for Labour show. Yes it was poor for the Tories but it was poor for Labour. What is needed is policies. Yes it is 2 years to an election but if you want people to vote for Labour they need something to vote for. One minute you have one member of the Shadow Cabinet raising new policies in the press then the next minute on a different channel you have another saying that it is not a Labour policy it is ‘up for discussion’.

    • leslie48

      One nation can work. It reminds us that the UK is run by a under-taxed financial elite who run banking and the City without challenge, that the very wealthy Home counties are not typical of the UK, that asking 1 million youth, public service employees & disabled to pay the austerity bill is unfair, that freezing wages, lowering wages & employing Polish migrants from despicable middle-men at below minimum rates( which gets others angry) while shareholders and executives get bigger & bigger returns, that not building affordable homes with millions unemployed is wrong, that shortages of NHS ambulances in the Eastern counties is appalling – there is much to go on and of course a narrative to build about how Labour can uplift the UK people from the pits of Neo-Liberalism.

  • Two Bob

    By admitting you need to seriously take a long hard look at your immigration ideology.

  • james cooper

    John Mann seems to be a very likable fellow. I love it when
    he digs into posh Tory boys or bankers. But is he still claiming his £200 food
    allowance like all his labour mates. I expect it from the money grabbing Tories
    but Labour? Time they took a lead , their commons front bench is just a mirror
    image of the Tories front bench another millioniares row. Labour used to be the party of the people, they don’t dress like that sitting in the commons with posh silky suits on, that swhen they are there. UKIP are now the party of the people, Miliband does not know if he should cling to teh unions coat tails ,.he needs the money, or if he should be true red labour man , or find the middle way. I call him multiband seems to fit his position. With UKIP saying what people want to hear and it not just out of the E,U or
    immigration its wind farms that blight of our country and are of no use. In America a recent study in California said they will have to build more power stations to fill in when the wind stops. While in Germany / china and India they are building them like there was no tomorrow so why is that,?No wind?. It is also out of, or replace the ECHR and they have many more things on the agenda like tax. I like John Mann but he has it wrong.

  • The immigrant-bashing misses the mark. It’s wrong to link immigrant families to problems with social housing – the issue is supply. Everything else is a red herring that ultimately benefits the right.

    I am very pleased that Labour politicians are willing to take a critical look at the EU though. It’s about time. We need reforms that increase democracy and hand powers back to member states. We will end up leaving the EU unless there is *radical* reform. I don’t want that to happen, but for a certainty the current relationship is not acceptable.

    Renegotiate our membership on those terms, put it to a referendum and put this issue to rest one way or the other.

    • His scapegoating of immigrants is totally wrong. I don’t agree with his social security ideas either.

      • Yeah, but can you imagine someone from the New Labour era admitting to fallibility? For them it always has to be someone else’s fault, never theirs.

        And of course, as with all who crave buck-passing/scapegoats, the powerless are the obvious target. Hence the ‘three questions’ – Mann demonstrates his preference for antagonism rather than solidarity.

        • It’s good at least that people are willing to be critical of New Labour at long last. Thank god.

          You’re totally right about the lack of solidarity. I think he is onto something with his criticism of the EU, but then he just lurches into cheap populism. Not nice at all. Also, I get the feeling that Europe is going to be really divisive for Labour too. Not so much on the in/out question, but on the question of having a referendum.

          • I think you could be right on the referendum issue but it is linked to in or out. Those of us who are pro EU wouldn’t consider offering a referendum appropriate unless we were prepared to act on its outcome. I definitely wouldn’t be supportive of any decision to withdraw so couldn’t support a referendum.

          • I don’t relish the prospect of a Labour government having to be in charge of withdrawing from the EU either. But I fear that Labour will be forever tainted by a flat-out refusal to hold a referendum.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            One day, there is going to be a referendum. Whether that results in a “Out” vote I do not know, but for the UK, I suspect that the EU project is a lost cause.

            If any sensible country votes “Out”, I suspect that several more in the richer part of Europe would leave as well. ie the EU only now makes sense for those countries that are net beggars, not for those that contribute more than they take in. It would be quite instructive for those beggar countries if the top 5 contributors voted to leave. Germany has a war guilt problem, but even they have a limit.

            I am quite looking forward to an UK EU referendum, whichever party delivers it. I am completely unconcerned about tribalists who do not welcome a referendum.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            One day, there is going to be a referendum. Whether that results in a “Out” vote I do not know, but for the UK, I suspect that the EU project is a lost cause.

            If any sensible country votes “Out”, I suspect that several more in the richer part of Europe would leave as well. ie the EU only now makes sense for those countries that are net beggars, not for those that contribute more than they take in. It would be quite instructive for those beggar countries if the top 5 contributors voted to leave. Germany has a war guilt problem, but even they have a limit.

            I am quite looking forward to an UK EU referendum, whichever party delivers it.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            One day, there is going to be a referendum. Whether that results in a “Out” vote I do not know, but for the UK, I suspect that the EU project is a lost cause.

            If any sensible country votes “Out”, I suspect that several more in the richer part of Europe would leave as well. ie the EU only now makes sense for those countries that are net beggars, not for those that contribute more than they take in. It would be quite instructive for those beggar countries if the top 5 contributors voted to leave. Germany has a war guilt problem, but even they have a limit.

            I am quite looking forward to an UK EU referendum, whichever party delivers it.

          • Would be best if Labour proposed a ‘peoples EU’. Merkel and austerity are a problem – but Merkel and her catastrophic self-defeating austerity project should not be mistaken for the only option available within the EU.

            Also, we need to be wary of militarisation of the EU, and the development of a permanent war economy with destabilising foreign policies providing the justification – mirroring Jim Murphy’s antics re LP defence policy.

            Labour, in my view, should move on from the ‘in or out?’ debate and begin to frame the question as ‘what form should the EU take?’

  • lord_sutch

    You are missing the main point, the UKIP voters want completely out of Europe, not a renegotiation. Getting out is the only way to start our recovery.

  • Quiet_Sceptic

    Good article.

    Although not very popular with some, having a strong link between benefit entitlement and a record of contribution would not only make the system fairer, it would also go a long way to neutralise some of the anti-immigrant benefit-claiming rhetoric.

    One line caught my attention “those who should be in unions – working class private sector employees are the biggest UKIP threat to Labour”

    I think some people forget that unionisation isn’t possible in some industries, the self-employed tradesman cannot unionise. He/she cannot resist downward pressure on his wage rate and it is exactly these workers who face the full blast of labour market competition. It’s not surprising they find UKIP’s offer attractive.

    • According to John Reid New Labour used immigration to drive down wages – what did they think the consequences would be? Sure, New Labour’s careerists may have scored a bucketful or two of non-executive directorships for themselves but such scandalous pro-corporate behaviour will never be rewarded at the ballot box.

      • Daniel Speight

        This is it, the admission made by Reid that in the Blair cabinet led by the Brown Treasury saw immigration as a way of adding flexibility to the labour market. This could never be a social democratic policy. It would always end with less equality in the country because for those at the bottom to increase their wages needs a shortage of labour. It’s a fine policy for the factory owners but not for the Labour Party. More of a Luke Bozier sort of thing really.

    • Justin Horton

      “It would also go a long way to neutralise some of the anti-immigrant benefit-claiming rhetoric.”

      No it wouldn’t. Given that most of it involves making things up as it is, whay would people stop making things up once you start rewarding them for it?

    • Absolutely. I have been making the points you raise in your first paragraph for a long time.

      • rekrab

        1million youths aren’t in employment, unless there is a sea change in creating employment, some of those youths will be 24 before they gain employment and contribute. Are you suggesting they live off the wind until such times if they come?

        • Oh shut up. Perhaps if we restricted the movement of labour as John Mann suggests some of these people could find work. I have yet to hear a convincing argument for allowing unskilled labour into the country when we have so many people out of work. All defenders of the status quo say is “immigration is good for Britain” which allows Nigel Farage to play the piper’s tune.

          • rekrab

            Jeez! you’ve moved the goal posts?
            One minute it’s no benefits unless you’ve worked for 2 years, then it’s no entry without employment.What’s your story Mr Bolt? Line one or line two?

          • Well it sounds like you have entirely bought Farage’s ideology! The only way that could happen is to leave the EU

    • rekrab

      So you would need to contribute before you’d get a home? or before you’d be considered for NHS help?

      Q.S. if you keep feeding the line don’t complain when we have another Anders Behring Breivik situation.

    • However to try and set up a contribution based system now would take a huge initial input of money or there would be gross inequality to start from. To have some sort of level playing field would cost.

  • dave244

    Just like the rest of the what i will call the “establishment” you still don’t get it people are voting Ukip not just because of the European Union yes people have a concern about the E.U but a bigger concern is the how the politicians in Westminster are viewed by most people who see them as professional politicians who are shallow and opportunistic one other thing just because somebody is in a Trade union means that they automatically vote Labour i have been in a Trade union for years and i never voted Labour ones

  • Daniel Speight

    John Mann seems to be chasing the symptoms rather than fighting the disease. He is correct to point out the problems with the New Labour immigration policy and with our place in the EU and its effects on Britain, but he doesn’t seem to want to look much deeper to how this all came about.

    Let’s handle these symptoms first. The Common Market we joined in the 1970s was a far different organization to the EU we have today. Back then it was a small group of north European nations coming to together for protection. That changed as the European governments started to adopt neo-liberal ideas. The protectionism went out the window and expansion of the group into first the south of Europe and then into Eastern Europe meant that it was a far different organization to the one we joined.

    Now the obvious problem that this expansion caused us in later years is that free movement of labour means one thing when it’s movement between half-a-dozen north European countries with fairly high wages, but something totally different when the groups includes low wage southern and eastern countries.

    Now John Reid’s admission that in the Blair cabinet Gordon Brown pushed for a very relaxed attitude to immigration because it gave flexibility to labour market points us towards the disease. We all knew this to be true anyway, but nobody had put it quite so bluntly before, so thank you John Reid. The usual, but still insidious, explanations were built around encouraging short term growth.

    So what was the disease? It was one that had been around for a long time in the Labour Party, it was some on the far right no longer wanting to be constrained by the ideas of social democracy. The election of a left leaning leader of the party became the excuse for the Gang of Four to leave the party and form the SDP. Up to how much social democracy there was in the SDP I will leave to the reader to decide. (I would add that when they joined the Liberals they didn’t seem to bring much social democratic baggage with them if today’s Liberals are anything to go by.)

    Shame was for them that if that had hung in there some people with very similar views eventually gained control of the Labour Party and the social democratic idea of full employment was replaced by flexibility of the labour market. Again you can make your own minds up on where the latter idea owes its origin to.

    There’s the disease boys and girls, and it’s still there. Just sniff around the shadow cabinet and PLP and you will smell the putrification of ideals long thrown overboard. In fact just read articles on LL by Painter and Marchant and you know it’s alive and kicking. The problem for these people now is that they have no answer to UKIP. They cannot understand it and therefore cannot design tactics to fight them.

  • Monkey_Bach

    Nothing.

    Which is the point.

    Mr. Mann chose to use an example of a 58 year old man man losing his incapacity benefit – most likely because a New Labour horror called ATOS found him falsely fit for work – as a counterpoint to demonstrate supposed unfairness in respect to immigrants receiving Housing Benefit. Incapacity Benefit has absolutely NOTHING to do with Housing Benefit. Many of the other things Mann stated in his article were similarly disjointed and distorted seeking to illustrate supposed unfairnesses invalidly (much of which resulted from bad cod-Tory Labour policy than immigration anyway).

    Your spelling and grammar is absolutely awful young man. For example somewhere above you somehow mannaged to misspell “constituents” as “consituents”, “engage” as “enegage”, “private” as “priavte”, “reform” and “refotm”, “strategy” as “straetgy”, “entrepreneurialism” as “entrepenueralism”, and “rather” and “rathe” all in one post.

    Surely a record, even for one with so little life experience. Especially these days with spell-check software built into most internet browsers. 4/10. Must try harder. If you want to follow in your hero James Purnell’s footsteps and gain admission to Balliol College, Oxford, you’d better pull your socks up. Pronto.

    Eeek.

  • evad666

    Lets not mention ” I am aware that one of the (Last Labour) Government’s more influential economic advisors went so far as to say, allegedly, to
    senior union officials, that ‘defence, aerospace, manufacturing and engineering have no value to us. Only highquality professional services, financial services and the City of London have any real value and they should besupported at all costs. The rest of the country can be turned over to tourism.”
    UKNDA_Defence_Policy_Doc_24pp.pdf
    Now which big accountancy firm was he from?

  • “replace the ECHR”

    You’ll probably get a lot of support from the Blairites and other detention without trial enthusiasts. Imagine the consequences: local constabulary sponsored by Murdoch along with security oriented corporations. Waterboarding introduced as the first choice interrogation technique.

    And, to demonstrate impartiality, Blair appointed as Special Rapporteur on Human Rights, ably assisted by extraordinary rendition experts Jack Straw and David Miliband.

    But you’ll be opposed by sensible people who value their freedom.

    • $6215628

      Charles Clarke and Alan Johnson defended the EHCR, and wanted 42 day detention,who are these local constablaries who are sponsored by Murdoch, and I know severalolice who were ago against42 day detention, I never heard the Police federation calling for that detention, wasn’t Blair PM when Straw singed up to the ECHR?

  • Does ‘engage’ mean abandon all principles? I suppose that’s easy if you don’t have any to start with…..

  • The supply and demand go together. But John Mann clearly doesn’t understand how the system works. Or he wouldn’t make such bizarre comparisons. Single people of any nationality are very unlikely to be awarded social housing on demand. The same is true with any recent entrant to the country. Both suffer from the same problem not enough housing. Its something we didntget right during our time in government

  • Exactly.

  • Matthew

    I find it utterly disgusting that even the Labour Party, of which I am a supporter, caves in to a horrendous, racist and xenophobic ideology and tries to shift the blame for their own shortcomings and lack of real policy on those who actually contribute greatly to the community and the country’s economy!

  • Anon 5

    The UKIP vote is a protest vote. People cant find leadership in the trio Milliband/Clegg/Cameron. Who do you trust to run the country?. People are looking for to UKIP, as an answer… We have a political void. No one has the clout to make the country a success.

    Milliband is a prisoner of the unions. We are going to back to an era of the 3 day week, if Labour get back in.

    PS why would you want to build more social housing and blight the country with horrid estates?

  • Charlie_Mansell

    John’s analysis of the vote is spot on. The really big until recently has been assuming UKIP are just mainly ex Tories. The mistake is caused by all the polls comparing how people voted in 2010 when the Tories did well and Labour’s vote then was more a core vote as John describes. It would be much more interesting to compare how these UKIP voters voted in 2005, 2001 and 1997 with some of the long-term longitudinal voting studies conducted by the University of Essex. We can see some of this by comparing how the share of the votes shifted between 2011 and 2012 compared to 2013 (Lab 29%, Con 25% UKIP 23% LD14%) to see that that the UKIP ‘take’ of the vote from other parties was much more even than we realise. Page 6 of this report gives a useful baseline measure: http://www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/rp12-27

    John’s detailed analysis draws out some things that usual polling does not:

    “7. there are neighbour clusters of UKIP voters- one neighbour persuading the others
    “8. Areas with a popular local pub are more likely to vote UKIP”

    This illustrates the need for network mapping which is pretty advanced and used by local authorities for a number of reasons nowadays http://www.thersa.org/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/402755/RSA_Power_lines_FINAL-110511.pdf and http://www.thersa.org/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/330258/RSA_Pamphlet-publicpolicy.pdf and http://www.newham.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/705ABBB1-D345-4411-BDE4-05BCB3325ACD/0/CommunityResilienceinNewham.pdf
    and this approach has been used in Barking and Dagenham to tackle much more intense and worrying challenges http://www.localgov.co.uk/index.cfm?method=news.detail&id=87279

    By understanding the social networks and the values they generate and reinforce one can engage with the disaffected cultural traditionalists who make up UKIP support. The UKIP vote illustrates the powerful impact of emotions on voters. Applying rational argument then often comes across as telling angry people they are ‘wrong’. You have to start first with empathic relational engagement and then talk in very tangible and locally applicable terms rather than talk in universalist, big picture intangibles, which people on the left of centre do tend to start with, understandably reflecting their deeply felt ethically driven global values. http://www.worldvaluessurvey.org/

    Fortunately there are now approaches around empathic conversations, authentic advocates, relational organisation and matching words with tangible deeds that can reach out to deeply disaffected voters who hold cultural traditionalist values and feel they are not listened too.

  • ChrisHunt

    “How is it fair that a youth can be born in a council house, live in it for 18 years and then lose out in allocation to a Polish family”

    Lack of access to a council house is the least of our imaginary 18-year-old’s problems, according to Mr Mann’s proposals:

    “No benefits for anyone until they have paid National insurance for two years”

    So unless (s)he is able to go into a job straight after leaving school, right of access to social housing is pretty much moot – as (s)he won’t have any income with which to pay the rent. And heaven help anybody who is incapable of work due to disability – what for them? The workhouse?

    Ian Duncan Smith seems positively progressive by comparison.

    Instead of fighting UKIP though Daily Mail-friendly attacks on immigrants and the undeserving poor, how about puncturing their bigotry and xenophobia with a few facts? Like the fact that only 6% of foreign nationals claim any kind of benefit (compared to 15% of UK nationals), or that about 3% of new social housing tenants are from the EU (93.5% are UK nationals).

    Source: http://fullfact.org/factchecks/immigration_and_benefits-28846

    The reason for the lack of social housing isn’t “immigrants coming over here taking all our houses”, it’s the failure of successive governments – Labour included – to build enough of it.

  • Redshift1

    The people who prefer us to the Tories who are voting UKIP, mostly have some legitimate concerns.

    You’re dead on with regards to zero-hour contracts. But let’s not stop there. Casualisation of labour is causing a lot of the anti-immigrant sentiment in working class communities. Agency firms are scumbags undercutting working conditions for those already on low wages whether it is immigrants or otherwise they are using to undercut. We need to be bold on this. I’m not sure a ban on zero-hour contracts cuts it. We need to stand up for decent jobs. Look at the state of the construction industry, we need to be bold in our support for manufacturing – and tell people that we are the Labour party and we’re the only ones who back decent jobs.

    I frankly think your comment on national insurance is daft. We’re raising a generation of unemployed young people with little job prospects with hundreds chasing a few jobs in some areas. Stop their benefits and there will be riots.

    With regards to the EU and the Euro-elections I think we need to stubbornly refuse to talk about it in the terms that the Tories and UKIP want us to – i.e. are we pro or anti. We should be saying UKIP and the Tories want to get rid of your sick pay, holiday pay, etc. We should expose the fact that UKIP claim every expense under the sun but don’t attend any meetings. But we should also criticise the EU for lack of democracy, we should stand up for UK jobs like Bombardier – both of which the Tories are more than comfortable with simply pointing the finger at the EU and not doing anything about.

  • Pingback: Why we mustn’t let UKIP deflect us from the main task | Left Futures()

  • evad666

    It is really surprising how out of touch the Liberal Left intelligencia actually are.

  • Monkey_Bach

    Too much ctrl-v ctrl-c spoils the broth. I’d be able to respond much better if this was in English (French or German). Eeek.

  • Richard

    “No benefits for anyone until they have paid National insurance for two years” so what should someone who has just come out of school or university do while they find their first job? What about people who are disabled or carers?

Latest

  • Comment Featured The long read: Why Corbyn’s moral clarity could propel him to Number 10

    The long read: Why Corbyn’s moral clarity could propel him to Number 10

    It is accepted wisdom that for a party to be elected in a first past the post two-party system it has to appeal to swing voters, particularly those in marginal seats. As a result the two main parties have vied for the centre-ground. Consequently, in recent decades a large section of the electorate came to see little to choose between them. People have also come to believe that you cannot trust politicians. Distrust increases if politicians clearly behave in ways that are motivated […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Featured Naushabah Khan: We feel pride in our country so let’s use this to tackle Labour’s “Englishness problem”

    Naushabah Khan: We feel pride in our country so let’s use this to tackle Labour’s “Englishness problem”

    The reality of last year’s general election is that Labour’s failure to secure a victory in an England, suffering at the hands of UKIP, ultimately resulted in our defeat. As a parliamentary candidate in Rochester and Strood, for both the general election and by-election, caused by the defection of Mark Reckless to UKIP, I am all too aware of the public mood, that considered us out of touch with their lives and values. Both elections also revealed fascinating notions of nationalism, belonging and identity politics that as a […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Rachel Reeves: Queen’s Speech showed the typical Tory failure on pensions and infrastructure

    Rachel Reeves: Queen’s Speech showed the typical Tory failure on pensions and infrastructure

    Yesterday in Parliament we voted on the Government’s programme of legislation for the year ahead, as set out in the Queen’s Speech. The background to yesterday’s debate about its economic measures is the critical decision our country faces about its relationship with Europe. The evidence I have heard as a member of the Treasury Select Committee has left me more convinced than ever that a vote to leave would scupper any hopes and well-laid plans we might make for our […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News Corbyn puts campaigns at heart of Labour staff reshuffle

    Corbyn puts campaigns at heart of Labour staff reshuffle

    Jeremy Corbyn has carried out a shake-up of the way the Labour Party operates with a review of the party’s internal structure and a reshuffle of his backroom staff. As the leader approaches nine months in the job, Simon Fletcher, chief of staff, will move to a new role of Director of Campaigns and Planning. While some have seen this as readying the party for a possible post-referendum snap election, it is seen internally as filling a more long-term brief – covering areas such […]

    Read more →
  • Europe Featured News Corbyn and Miliband team up to warn of dangers of Brexit on climate change

    Corbyn and Miliband team up to warn of dangers of Brexit on climate change

    Jeremy Corbyn and Ed Miliband will hit the campaign trail together today as they champion the leadership the EU has shown on tackling climate change – and warn that a vote to leave would put recent progress “at risk”. It is the first public appearance that former leader Miliband has made with his successor, and comes in a week in which rumours circulated that Corbyn was trying to coax him back into the Shadow Cabinet. During last year’s leadership contest, Corbyn praised Miliband’s […]

    Read more →
Share with your friends










Submit