If this doesn’t wake Labour up to our problems, what will?

10th October, 2014 7:00 am

Lets get the good news out there first. Last night’s results were worse for the Tories and the Lib Dems than they were for Labour. The Lib Dems lost a deposit, the Tories decisively lost clacton, and Labour held Heywood and Middleton.

There ends the good news.

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The by-elections in Clacton and Heywood and Middleton should be an astronomical wake up call/kick up the arse for all three of Britain’s major parties.

If the Labour Party insists on simply saying – after coming within a few hundred votes of losing a safe Labour seat to UKIP and getting only 11% of the vote in working-class Essex – that this is a bad night for Cameron, without acknowledging we have massive lessons to learn from this too, then it looks like we missed the point and it looks like we’re complacent.

If the Labour Party insists on saying that we’ve increased our vote share in Heywood and Middleton, without acknowledging that we’ve put on only 1% since 2010 (a poor year for the party), then that looks like we’re not facing up to the gravity of the situation.

If we say that the vote was only so close because the Tory vote collapsed (which it did) without acknowledging that UKIP unified most of anti-Labour vote into a single column in an otherwise safe, Northern Labour seat, I find that a pretty scary omission.

Heywood and Middleton was nearly a dagger to the heart of the Labour Party. In the end it was a painful near miss instead. But a near miss is only worth anything if we learn from it.

For many in the North, voting Tory is a non-starter after the brutal Thatcher years. And yet voting UKIP comes with less of the baggage. Labour are right to say that UKIP are “More Tory than the Tories” – but we also need to have a more compelling case to explain why disillusioned voters should even give us a second look in the first place. We aren’t there yet.

Only last night it was revealed that Nigel Farage has been banging on about banning people with HIV from moving to the UK. The man is a walking 1980s Tory tribute act, and yet his incoherent anti-politics rabble came close to taking a safe Labour seat just seven months before a general election when we’re seeking to return to power. Labour’s UKIP problem is undoubtedly smaller – at present – than the Tory UKIP problem. But in opposition you hope not to have these problems. In opposition you’re meant to be the stick with which people beat the government, and you’re meant to be the vessel for people’s hopes and dreams. Instead, for far too many people, when they want to beat Cameron they want to beat Miliband and all other politicians too – so they turn to UKIP, not Labour.

And we as a party have to take our hefty share of the responsibility for that, and for our failure to inspire those voters.

When I wrote about Labour’s inability to reach out to our core vote earlier this week, this is what I was talking about.

When Luke Akehurst asked searching questions about Labour’s electoral strategy, this is what he was talking about.

What’s clear is that Labour’s general election campaign cannot plod on regardless after results like these and hope for the best in 2015. That truly would be a campaign strategy worthy of Mr Micawber. We must be not be cowed in our offer, nor limited in the scope of our ambition. We should aim to win 40% of the votes and be disappointed if we fall short, rather than setting our sights lower and bracing ourselves for a lesser result. We should grasp once again the organising rooted in our communities of Arnie Graf and embrace firmly the genuinely transformative agenda – pushing power away from the centre and towards people – that Jon Cruddas has advocated.

So yes, Labour is going to have to talk about immigration and welfare. And I believe that we have it within ourselves to do that in a way that speaks to voters concerns without pandering to the whims of those who want us to abandon our beliefs to the politics of the right. But we must also talk about the kind of change we want to see in Britain – on housing, jobs and wages – where our ambition is currently too limited.

All of the major political parties are in their own kind of torpor this morning. I can only realistically speak to what Labour must do next. But I can say this – wake up mainstream parties, while you still have the chance. Last night was not good news for any of you.

Wake up whilst you still have a chance.

To report anything from the comment section, please e-mail [email protected]
  • robertcp

    Labour’s problems are mainly due to more than thirty years of alienating natural supporters. Labour was too left-wing during the 1980s, while during the New Labour era it seemed to look down its nose at its working class supporters. This was at the same time as the liberal-left was alienated by Iraq and attacks on civil liberties. Labour’s best hope is to sneak back into power next year and then show people what Labour stands for.

    • Tom Sanders

      Sneak back into power and *then* we see how great they are?

      • robertcp

        Something like that! Nye Bevan once asked why look in the crystal ball when you can read the book? Quite rightly, voters will judge Labour by the record of its time in government until it is in power again. A personal opinion is that Labour needs to accept that it is a minority party and try to build a broad left of centre coalition after 2015.

        • Leon Wolfeson

          With who? There’s…er…the Greens. Alliance. SNP. PC.

          None of them are big enough to make a difference. Moreover, Labour is not left of centre.

          • Alexsandr

            SNP? Now thats a good lot to go into coalition with. A lot of people in Glasgow have decamped to SNP because they resented Labour getting into bed with the tories in the No campaign.
            (As an aside people are saying that could mean Labour lose seats to SNP in 2015. Including Labour Uncut0

            Also SNP honourably dont vote on english matters in the HoC. So how would a Labour/SNP coalition get english stuff through the HoC?

          • Leon Wolfeson

            You argue a good case for avoiding the SNP on principle, several of them..

          • wycombewanderer

            It would be completely untenable IMO.

            The SNP holding the balance of power to a weak UK government whilst negotiating a settlement for devo max?

            Whilst at the same time labour refusing EVEL.

            Even Blair wouldn’t have the chutzpah for that!

          • robertcp

            Okay. What is your alternative?

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Voting reform.

          • robertcp

            I agree but it is not going to happen soon.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Well, I’ll be campaigning for it, if you will join…

          • robertcp

            I campaigned for it in 2011 when you were supporting first past the post! We are now stuck with first past the post until there is a really perverse result.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            You supported AV, which is a *worse* system. Your negativism and defeatism on PR is sad, from my perspective.

          • robertcp

            Voting for first past the post is sadder from my perspective.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            You are ignoring the problems of AV, from my perspective.

            I voted against something worse than FPTP, no more. It makes no change to my views, and as far as I am concerned you are being obstructionist and defeatist. As I’ve said before.

          • robertcp

            More positively, it will need to be a PR system if we decide to change the voting system in the future. AV was a compromise that was rejected.

          • Lesmond Nyjacks

            Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

            Well done Leon/Guest/Laurie Penny.

            I hope you would be ready for the consequences, not everyone shares your opinion, and they will NOT vote in the way you would like them to.

            Judging from your consistently poor performance on this thread, you would find that fact deeply problematic.

            People having their own opinions, and all of that.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            LB/Dave; Keep spewing at the Penny in your head, your claim to be occasionally right is just silly in that context.

            Your problems and refusal to read my posts are, well, your problem, you’re as usual trying to show that you don’t accept – that it’s *your* problem – with my stated view – in this case, voting reform.

            Which I support.

  • Ian Robathan

    So Mark, what should we say on immigration then ? That is the key issue here and do we pander to the UKIP image because if we do then within months the NHS, Care system and many private enterprises will be on their knees with a lack of Labour and esp in the SE.

    There is a threat here from UKIP but we should challenge that threat and not go towards it. When you say talk about Welfare do you mean further cuts ? Are you aware that the % of welfare that is fraud is about 1/80th of the estimated fraud through the tax system ?

    Which benefits would you cut then because the UKIP message like that of right wing Tories on it is that most on welfare are benefit scroungers.

    • robertcp

      I agree. It is a bit worrying that people say that Labour should talk about immigration and welfare without saying what should be said!

      • Ian Robathan

        indeed Robert, see it from a lot on our side but no answer of course because is Mark really saying we should be harder on Welfare, how does he think the HB bill can be cut without having mass homelessness ?

        I have an idea, we have to be brave and suggest mass social home building but that will deflate the house prices. Of course the economy since the 80’s has been built on the house price and the Tories will simply claim it is helping the ‘work shy’ ….

        • Daniel Speight

          It seems to me that Mark is pushing the Progress line of moving to the centre. Yet if we should learn anything from what happened last night it should be that the electorate isn’t in the centre.

          Sure Labour got immigration wrong under Blair and the EU’s free movement of labour was used, as John Reid said, to add flexibility into the labour market. The problem is now nobody would believe all the old New Labour faces having an about-turn.

          What’s needed is that crusade that Wilson called for. Fight the election on social democratic principles like equality. Offer policies that help the majority instead of the rich and corporations. For a start bring the railways under some sort of public ownership. (That would even be a poke in the eye for the SNP.)

          • Ian Robathan

            said this only couple of days ago, that should be announced now and not wait for the manifesto (I think we would say it). The second thing is to pledge to bring min wage up to living wage levels by 2020. The Third thing is pledge to build 1 million social homes (where needed) by 2020 funded by borrowing and/or public sector pension funds.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Center? Labour crossed that rubicon some time ago.

          • Ian Robathan

            The centre is a myth, always has been and the idea that you can win int he centre and ignore your left flank should be seen by how many votes that lost after 1997

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Erm…Ian…

            I argue the basic argument (although I do think there’s a centre).

            The argument is, to be clear, that Labour have bled the votes of the left by moving right – and they are still doing so.

          • Ian Robathan

            who says we should move right ? Few do … a lot of us want us to be braver and suggest renationisation of the railways, a living wage, keynsian economics as per the US and they are doing far better etc.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            I am not saying Labour should.
            I am saying that Labour *are*. (And have been since 1997)

          • Ian Robathan

            not sure we are now in a lot of areas. The one major area is still the economy and this falseness over the deficit Surely we can see cuts failed to cut the deficit now ?

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Well yes, that’s one key area.

            There’s no promise of borrowing for council house building, renationalisation of the railways or water companies. No looking at rent caps or other ways of stopping people being forced out communities, etc. – this is stuff which polls well as individual policies.

            There is, on the other hand, a lot of rhetoric which is hostile to people who have lost their jobs in the depression, a lot of stuff which sounds bad to disabled people, etc.

          • Ian Robathan

            rent caps we do have a policy as it is mainly a London issue and the results in London showed it was popular in 2014. As for the others, I will wait and see with the manifesto I am confident some of that will be on there.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            I disagree, it’s far wider than that given the rapid rises in rents across the country.

            Moreover, there’s 101 associated policies needed I haven’t seen – like setting rent caps based partly on energy efficiency, and allowing landlords to borrow from energy funds to improve insulation etc. in housing, additional taxation on empty houses and taxation on unusued brownfield land (which I’d scale up with the years it’s been left unusued!) . Then there’s the massive council house building we need, which has been explicitly ruled out!

            A late manifesto won’t convince me, I need to see a sustained groundwork of left-wing policies before I’d risk a Labour vote. (Because it’s putting my name to their policies)

          • Ian Robathan

            not a lot I can disagree with their but have we not suggested an empty homes tax then a wail of disapproval from vested interests. Look at the mansion tax and those squealing about that ??

          • Leon Wolfeson

            I added some stuff to my last post about housing benefit and why it’s made rent caps a national issue.

            I am not concerned about the vested interests in land. I’m a mutualist, and I believe strongly that land shouldn’t be unused, and I’m quite happy with state taxation policy aimed at encouraging that – everyone needs shelter.

            I have to say on the “mansion tax” I think I’d prefer to rebalance council tax. But either would work.

          • gunnerbear

            “Then there’s the massive council house building we need, which has been explicitly ruled out!” Because people would demand the same ‘old style’ council homes – big three bed semi’s with gardens and that means chewing up large slabs of ‘nice areas’ – and voters in those nice areas will vote against any party that f**ks with their house prices – given than for most it is also their pension……thus local MPs of all colours s**t themselves when massive house building is mentioned. The first HMG that did bring in vast house building would only get one term in office as once the houses are built, gratitude of the people getting the home is soon forgotten as more mundane issues arise – like “other people got the RTB…where’s mine….”

          • Leon Wolfeson

            You’re making excuses.

            In fact, I support mid-rise building.

          • gunnerbear

            And what happens when people say, “F**k that, council homes mean proper homes with gardens…..I’m not being housed in a block ‘o flats when my parents got a proper house….” Every time I’ve heard council houses mentioned on the news, the demand is always for ‘nice, proper’ homes (like old fashioned semis etc. not cramped shoe boxes or blocks of flats).

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Then your rich are quite free to do so.

            Most people want housing they can afford, thanks, and the plan would not be for “shoe boxes” or high rise, but for modern mid-rise.

          • Lesmond Nyjacks

            Well, the “plan” for what OTHER PEOPLE want is for “modern mid-rise.”
            Or is that just what Leon/Guest wants for others?

          • Leon Wolfeson

            LB/Dave;

            No surprise you’re against building council housing, and especially against building it in density sufficient to be useful. I’m not surprised you’re not read the basics of modern urban planning, but your preference for no-housing…

          • Even if you are right this is no way to build a movement ready and capable of supporting a radical Labour Government.

          • gunnerbear

            Labour should call for the nationalisation of the railways – lets get the issues of costs and outputs out in the open. Too many in the Red and Blue Mob think NR can run on fresh air.

          • Ian Robathan

            true, we should do it and soon and hope it happens quick enough and then see what progress say.

          • gunnerbear

            I don’t actually think that nationalised railways will be that much cheaper – but the cost structure should be clearer as should the ‘accountability track’.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Subtract the profit.

            That alone would be a major saving. Then stop paying for all the costs involved in interacting among different companies with different procedures, etc…

          • Alexsandr

            NR is already nationalised. Do keep up. The ONS recategorised its debt into the PSBR effectively nationalising it.

          • gunnerbear

            Apologies Alex, I used NR as lazy shorthand for the railways as a whole. The NR bit of the railways is way more interesting than the TOC bit!

          • Dave Roberts

            That’s the American spelling Leon.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Ohnoes, I used an American spelling.

            I’m sure you’ll be yelling I need to be banned or other nonsense like that too. You nitpick over the most trivial matters, while being offensive and have lately taken to trying to tell authors not to post articles and to “move on”.

          • MincePie

            Fail to see the poke in the eye for the SNP. Three times in recent years the Scottish Government has requested that Westminster grant them the power to have a public sector bid for Scotrail. The Dept of Transport have turned that down on every occassion. Labour were in power for thirteen years before the Tories and did not allow for a public sector bid.
            Labour like to talk the talk when in opposition but you cant get a cigarette paper between their policies and Tory ones.

          • gunnerbear

            “Fight the election on social democratic principles like equality.” What does that mean in practice…remember it wasn’t long ago that a senior Labour politician said that anyone earning more than the average wage was rich!

          • Alexsandr

            not seen who owns Network rail then?

    • Michelle

      I agree. Ukip has given a lot of xenophobic people a safe haven wheras the bnp came with stigma attached. Labour need a counter vision that offers hope. An £8 an hour minimum wage by 2020 is not going to cut it.

      • Ian Robathan

        no it is not and should be the living wage by 2020

        • Leon Wolfeson

          Why not a Basic Income?

          (Genuine question, I’ve come to support it over the last year)

          • Ian Robathan

            It is not the same thing, enough to live on ?

          • Leon Wolfeson

            No, not at all.

            Basic Income/Citizens Income is unconditional. It replaces 95%+ of existing welfare, allowing a brutal reduction in the size of the burocracy. Every penny above it is taxed.

            It changes the risk models for i.e. startups dramatically. It enables people to not need to do part-time jobs while studying..there’s a massive list of benefits.

            I’d suggest reading up on it if you haven’t.

          • Ian Robathan

            But I believe that surely employers should be paying enough for workers to live on without the need for any state benefit ? I understand your point and is why I support the WTC (different I know) but the state should not be subsidising low paying employers. As FDR said any company that pays low does not deserve to be in business.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            I agree if you’re following a living wage model.

            But I’ve come to believe in a Basic income. There isn’t going to be enough work to go round – not only do we have a problem with overwork here (I note Germany’s draconian maximum work week laws), but we have to face automation in many sectors.

            I point you to the New Economics Foundation’s work on shorter working weeks, which a Basic Income would allow. (People who wanted to work more could always run their own small business on the side, etc without needing to worry…)

          • Ian Robathan

            Indeed the problem is large we would agree. whilst we have a ‘flexible’ work force whether natural brits or immigrants employers will use that to keep wages down and profits up and esp as they get tax cut after tax cut. Nothing is ever given back so people look to blame and the old parties get it and sometimes rightly so. Add to this the cost of housing which is not factored into the inflation measures used for rises (except for OAP’s of course) and we end up with more and more people having less money and having to go onto credit …

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Agreed.

            But don’t get me started on 34 years of underbuilding houses ><

          • Alexsandr

            where is your evidence that there is correlation between high profits and low wages.

          • gunnerbear

            You want me to work less, huzzah….you want to cut my pay for working less…..respectfully, get f**ked.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            You don’t have any idea what a Basic Income is, I see.

            You’re also making assumptions.

          • gunnerbear

            So how much will it be? Incidentally, if I went to my employer and said, “I want to cut my hours but keep the same pay….” what do you think my employer will say?

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Where’s the 5 million you contracted to pay me?

            And you don’t have any idea of the consequences of a Basic Wage, of course.

          • Lesmond Nyjacks

            Leon.
            More nonsense.

          • Guest

            “More nonsense.”

            Well, stop posting posts to tell me you’re posting more nonsense then!

          • gunnerbear

            I know that giving away a fixed sum of money per month to anyone that asks for it from the UK govt (cash extracted from taxpayers) is insanity in a situation where we have open borders. Plus of course the scheme has to be paid for…..interesting….I reckon VAT would go through the roof.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Again, you’re just looking at your plans.

            And you’re still completely ignorant as to how a basic wage work work (and/or is), of course. As you once more call for closed borders.

          • gunnerbear

            Except Leon, in Switzerland, where they have talked seriously about a ‘basic income’, they’ve recognised that problem and made the point that universal benefits and open borders don’t work.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            You’re acting on something you’ve made up.

            I haven’t actually said anything about how foreigners would be handed. And in fact, I wouldn’t give them access to it from day 1, there would need to be a modified tax and support structure in place.

            This is quite different from needing closed border and benefits only for the rich.

          • gunnerbear

            It’s not an assumption – if I go to my employer and ask to cut my hours, my employer will cut my wages. That’s real life.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            You are just showing you don’t have any idea about the Basic Wage, as you go on about an entirely different topic.

          • gunnerbear

            “but we have to face automation in many sectors.” Sooner or later a bright person is going to set up a coffee shop selling high quality coffee from an automatic vending machine….the customer will select their choice very precisely, the machine will make it and then the person will pay – probably using ‘plastic’. Chops the number of coffee makers right down.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            And how quickly will you call the people laid off “Scroungers”?

            You’ve opposed adapting to this sort of issue.

          • gunnerbear

            I’m not calling anyone a scrounger…just pointing out that technology will still hammer lower end service jobs….thus echoing your point about the fact that technology is displacing people from the workplace and as yet no Western govt. has solved that issue.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            So what is *your* answer? You’ve nit-picked so much over a living wage that I refuse to believe it’s that…then you’ve blocked when limiting hours to 40 was mentioned…

          • Lesmond Nyjacks

            Leon, half of your posts remain inside your head,
            you seem to be incapable of expressing yourself, the post above does not make sense.

          • Guest

            Dave/LB –

            You are once more blaming me for your poor grasp of English, as you claim nonsensically that you can read minds and know what I am thinking, and blame me for your problems articulating.

          • Alexsandr

            Costa express. but the coffee is sh1te.

          • gunnerbear

            Theatre? The person is making coffee for people with more money than sense. Don’t worry, a machine will soon be able to do it more cheaply.

          • gunnerbear

            And FDR didn’t operate in world where goods can be shipped from the BRIC sweatshops to the UK and US in weeks in such bulk he would be able to conceive of it.

          • Ian Robathan

            except I don;t believe in the race to the bottom especially in a country where housing is so damn expensive

          • gunnerbear

            I don’t want a race to the bottom either – so what’s your solution to protect expensive UK workers from much, much cheaper foreign competition?

          • Ian Robathan

            Some answers –

            1. Make all technical degree courses fee free (actually would make all uni but depends on monte available)

            2. Proper apprenticeships paying top wages not the slave wages we have now

            3. Stop this nonsense in education of believing only 2/3 courses matter, in this day and age a technical course be it IT or engineering at 14 is just as important as English and maths

            In other words up skill the populate to design and build quality. We can not compete with China who force workers under gun point to work at slave wages but we can compete int he new industries. It is long term, no short term answers.

          • Alexsandr

            why do you have to pay apprentices? They are studying for a qualification, same as uni students. The idea of paying them is new – long ago you had to pay for an indenture.
            Not paying them – they could get loans same as students – would provide many more places.

          • Ian Robathan

            because they are giving a service to a private company generally who make a profit from them, I see it as being fair.

          • Alexsandr

            Really? Or are they in a training facility learning the skills to do the job?

          • gunnerbear

            “Not paying them – they could get loans same as students – would provide many more places.” No it wouldn’t because the major employers still wouldn’t take more on. A major retailer might like the idea of ‘free’ labour in an ‘apprentice’ (aka working at a till, stacking shelves and the like) but you’ll never get top quality ‘feedstock’ for the elite apprenticeship schemes unless you pay the apprentices – otherwise you’ve got internships. And we know where that leads…..hellfire…one spanner got an internship because his parents could afford it and the country ends up the tool as DPM.

          • Lesmond Nyjacks

            Apprentices should be paid, They are studying for sure, but are also adding value to the business that they are grafting for.

            Sure you get the S**tty jobs when you first start out, sometimes boring and repetitive, but for learning a trade, there really is no substitute.
            When you are a young whipper snapper, working along side people in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and 60’s is invaluable.
            Apprenticeship is a great idea, not all are suited for Uni, or even interested in a white collar future.
            But it should be a paid position, a low paid position, with the understanding that once qualified you charge full rate.

          • gunnerbear

            “2. Proper apprenticeships paying top wages not the slave wages we have now” Proper 3 / 4 year apprenticeships with day release at College etc. don’t pay slave wages which is why there are very few of them about. Respectfully, I think you are confusing apprenticeships with 6 month NMW training courses in FLT use and shelf stacking – just as lots of HMGs over the years have done.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            The % of apprenticeships not paying the NWM has risen sharply since the Coalition took power.

            And, er, the 6-month “courses” are paid at JSA rates.

          • gunnerbear

            There is an NMW for Apprentices. Anything below that is illegal and the employers should be prosecuted.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            From Hansard, 1st September, reply from Nick Boles;

            “As shown in Table 1, in 2011 it was found that 20% of UK apprentices
            were not receiving at least the national minimum wage for apprentices.

            There is no UK estimate from the latest edition of the survey, conducted in
            2012, because Scotland did not participate. However, as the vast
            majority of UK apprentices are based in England, 29% is a reasonable
            estimate.”

            And with what resources? NMW enforcement is done strictly on complaints.

            (I also note the apprenticeship rate for people below 19, and all apprentices in their first year of an appenticeship, is £2.73 per hour. The standard NMW rate for people below 18 is £3.79…)

          • gunnerbear

            When you talk about IT – that means ability to use a computer – do you really mean coding, network infrastructure, building bespoke hardware and such like i.e. computer science and electronic engineering? I think IT courses are in the main – in my experience – a quick training course in ‘how to use Office / Project Manager’ or some such.

          • gunnerbear

            “1. Make all technical degree courses fee free (actually would make all uni but depends on money available)” Could for me….just chop out useless Arts courses that don’t create value. Chop the lot of ’em and use the money for courses in the sciences, engineering and medicine. And I mean proper science not Geography or Climate Change b*****ks.

          • Alexsandr

            so a barely viable startup would not bother under those conditions would it. So would destroy jobs.

          • Ian Robathan

            no it would not, pay people more and guess what ? They spend it and it creates it’s own jobs. If I ran a business I would make sure that my employees were paid well.

          • gunnerbear

            I wouldn’t be expecting a barely viable start-up to hiring people as apprentices – not if the firm was serious about it. Proper apprenticeships mean the apprentice goes to College, gets recognised trade quals and the like – a very, very expensive business.

    • ButcombeMan

      You are wrong. UKIP are not against immigration, they are against UNCONTROLLED immigration, for open ended numbers of immigrants, forever. If we need immigrants for NHS services, under the UKIP proposals, we would be able to select the very best, from anywhere in the world.

      UKIP are not against Europe, or trading both ways with Europe they are against the UK being part of a EUROPEAN SUPERSTATE.

      Both of those issues not being dealt with, by any Government, of any complexion, have impoverished Labour’s core vote and continue to undermine the welfare state, the NHS and public services. That process will not stop.

      Labour has nothing useful to say about either issue.

      Labour also has to shake off Blair’s Iraq folly and Browns “Big Brown Mess”. It has not really attempted to do either.

      A suggestion of future economic competency is not helped by having Ed Balls as Shadow Chancellor.

      • Guest

        Right, your rich would always be able to move country under your plan.

        You are anti-trade, fact – you want to reimpose barriers and tariffs, then start negotiating from a far weaker position. This takes years, and other countries would take advantage of us.

        UKIP’s core policies are hostile to the welfare state, the NHS and public services, even beyond the Tories stance there. That’s what vulgar libertarianism means – you want strong border controls for yourselves, not small government at all when it suits you!

        • ButcombeMan

          I notice that quite often Leon, when you argue with someone, you have that terrible, truly awful, debating bad habit, of telling your opponent what they think and then attacking your version of what they think.

          If you had been given a decent education you would know, it would surely have been drummed into you, that habit is the mark of an immature debater who has no real point to make.

          Your education is not your fault but you could learn to stop doing what you do.

          To be clear, I am an an absolute open border, low or nil tariff believer, I am especially in favour of nil tariffs against the developing world.

          Trade, not aid (as far as possible).

          I am against protectionism as practiced by the EU

          • David Lewis

            I try to be patient with him but it is difficult. I suspect that he is young and poorly educated.

          • Guest

            You pigeon-hole me for not sharing your views.

          • Lesmond Nyjacks

            No Leon, that is exactly what you do, pigeon-hole people.
            Also as ButcombeMan pointed out above, you constantly Straw Man.

            You attack people not for the statements they have made, but for the words that YOU have put in their mouths.

            Stop it.

          • Guest

            So you’re against the widest network of free trade treaties in the world, and the four pillars. What you want must lie outside that, leaving little.

            “Nil tarrifs”, that is *only* movement of goods, takes advantage of the poorer countries lower wages. Only by adding freedom of movement is that rectified.

            And of course you want me to stop. #Nootherviews.

          • ButcombeMan

            “So you’re against the” (Etc)

            Leon you are doing it again. No matter I will respond

            The widest network of trade agreements is the WTO (previously GATT) agreements.

            I have told you before today that a UK outside the EU could trade on WTO terms. That does not mean we need to exploit developing countries we can give them access to our markets without tariffs and accept that for many of them , they need Customs duties as one of the few ways they have of gathering government income.

            Trade is better than aid.

            Aid induces dependency.

          • Guest

            I’ll use facts, yes. So sorry, so despite them…LordBlagger…

            So, we’d have immediate tarrffs and barriers, and would need to negotiate individual agreements, per WTO terms, right.

            Utilising low-wage labour abroad is one of the main drivers of the need for aid, because it impoverishes countries. Free movement is one of the few things which counteracts that. Moreover, customs duties are a terrible long-term source of income compared to a better paid population.

            You are arguing for a massive net increase in dependency.

          • ButcombeMan

            Apology accepted.

            Leon, you have a one eyed view of the world, if you are not very old that might explain it.

            I do not propose to debate with you much more.

            In third world unsophisticated countries, governments struggle to raise public revenue, things like PAYE and VAT except in rudimentary form for VAT or sales taxes, tend not to exist. Despite the flaws in Customs Duties, the simple method of charging something, anything, when things move through entry and exit points (canalisation) is often the main source of government funding.

            Very often in third world economies, agricultural produce or raw material, is all there is to export and earn foreign currency to pay for the things they do not make themselves and need to import. Those things they import will have high tariffs on them..

            Low wage labour , where living costs are less, is a perfectly reasonable way for economies to grow and trade. Not only does it happen outside the EU, it happens inside. Yes it can exploit the people. Nothing is perfect. But trading is better in my view, than giving food aid except in crisis. The EU is not in my view as generous to foreign products which compete with EU farmers, as an independent UK would doubtless be.

            An independent UK could just initially carry on charging EU Common Tariff rates. The UK is a nation that is built on trade with the whole world. We can prosper outside the EU

            Now be a good lad and go away and read up about GATT, the WTO tariffs etc

          • Leon Wolfeson

            You were being mocked, fyi.
            LordBlagger, stop blaming me for your issues.

            Thanks for your plan for the UK, as you support lowering wages here, and support exploiting the workers here rather than allowing decent wages which would rebalance the economy to ones based on said wages.

            That you see rampant and ongoing exploitation for trillions as “less than perfect…” – then you want us to not charge for imports, but at the same time have tarrifs applied to our exports.

            Oh yea, your plan is clear, as you say your 1% can prosper outside the UK, screw the 99%.

            I’ve read about the things you only know as acronyms, too, thanks.

          • ButcombeMan

            Leon
            The problem it seems to me, is your inability to understand anything outside your narrow views.

    • Andrew Briggs

      What can Labour say on immigration ? They can only admit that Blair et al encouraged open borders for personal and political gain. Now that the public knows that a Government was prepared to sell its country and its communities down the river – why should they ever trust Labour on anything ever again ?

      • Ian Robathan

        what are you on about, some mad right wing conspiracy ?? the borders were opened because the Tories when in power signed treaties for freedom of movement of goods, services and PEOPLE. Yes we could have stopped it but actually I believe it has far benefited the country than the negatives.

        • Andrew Briggs

          What am I on about ?

          1. Jack Straw has admitted that opening Britain’s borders to Eastern European migrants was a “spectacular mistake”.

          2. Andrew Neather admitted he had a sense from several discussions at the time that there was a subsidiary purpose of boosting diversity and undermining the right’s opposition to multiculturalism, but he insisted it was not the main point at issue. (I included the last part out of fairness)

          3. Can you actually quantify the benefits v. the negatives ?

          4. Do you understand that there is a qualitative downside to excessive immigration that doesn’t show up in any quantitative analysis ?

          5. Can you justify the negatives to those on lower wages because of the increased supply ?

          6. Can you explain the benefits to people who now feel like strangers in their own communities ?

          7. Do you accept that such situations exist – I see them every day.

          • Guest

            7. Well, perhaps you need to start mixing with a wider group of people.

            People are increasingly being forced out their communities and away from people they know by economic factors, something which would get far worse if trade dipped even a little.

            Jack Straw might be appeasing the right, but…

          • Andrew Briggs

            “perhaps you need to start mixing with a wider group of people”
            What an arrogant statement given that you know nothing about me. I hope that you are not so rude when speaking face to face.

          • Guest

            I wouldn’t go into that sort of pub anyway.

            (And that’s “massively snarky”. The sort of echo chamber people tend to inhabit isn’t a good thing)

          • Ian Robathan

            1. There should have been controls as per other countries but eventually they would be lifted

            3. too long for this but one benefit is that the new arrivals are younger, work, pay taxes and support an ever growing older
            population who have been given no cuts and plenty of extra cash

            4. Like with anything of course, there is never one utopia or one hell

            6. Communities are ever evolving things, as an island and immigration race we have always had shifting communities. For me one of the major destroyers of communities in my life time was Thatcher.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            1. “Eventually”. Thing is, the evidence is that controlling movement while allowing free trade of goods impoverishes the country which does not have free movement of people.

            They really do go together.

          • Ian Robathan

            agree, which is why I support the free movement of all but for a couple of years controls could have been used.

          • Andrew Briggs

            6. Ian – on that point I couldn’t agree more but……the key thing is that for the host community to adapt – as we all must – it should happen at a reasonable level and over a period of time.
            My opinion is that this phase did not do either of those things. What is galling is that those who encouraged it do not – behind their gated walls – experience the negatives, quantitative or qualitative.

          • Ian Robathan

            but you can not stem it, even if we had restricted the inflow from Eastern Europe communities would have changed but as you say at a slower rate. Too many people voting UKIP do hark bark to so good old days and this is changing and they have to get used to it. I mean in all areas not just this discussion. For example we are moving slowly I believe towards a total smoking ban, people voting UKIP as they want to bring back smoking in a public place, never going to happen.

          • fubar_saunders

            “….this is changing and they have to get used to it. I mean in all areas not just this discussion”

            …. and this^^^^^…… this is why you nearly lost one of your safest seats. People dont have to “just get used to it”. They can choose to vote for someone else and that is what, in the privacy of the voting booth, they are choosing to do.

            You might not like it, but….. thats the way its happening.

          • Gafto

            Of course he won’t accept such conditions exist. To him everything is fine in the new multi-culti la la land, everyone is enriched by diversity. To say otherwise means your a nasty meany, probably a racist. Ebola is probably Thatchers fault also.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Yes, how terrible we’re not North Korea (again).

            if you dislike the UK that much… (to borrow the right’s line there…)

    • gunnerbear

      Lack of labour? We’ve got millions unemployed? Are you serious suggesting that in all the millions who are unemployed that there won’t be any that are suitable? Pander to immigration….hellfire the Red Mob came within an inch of losing a solid seat…..the people are speaking…no more mass immigration. If you call listening to the wishes of the UK public pandering…then fair enough.

      • Ian Robathan

        so you got any idea about the distribution of jobs vs vacancies then across the country ?

        • gunnerbear

          Sorry, you’ve lost me a bit there.

    • Alexsandr

      Labours problem on welfare is that 1 persons welfare payment is another mans tax and NI bill. With people struggling after looking at their payslip – how do you sell welfare to them?

      • Ian Robathan

        so the majority of welfare is paid to working people WTC, Pension relief and HB, so you suggesting by paying low wages and no benefits the economy will recover right ?

  • eastender

    A more troubling result last night was a council byelection in Blackpool. Although it appears as a tory hold, in fact this is not really so. In the last full council election Labour easily came first in this ward with 47% of the vote, the tories took the second place (almost certainly because the second Labour candidate had a clearly asian name………), the Tory councilor died recently. The result last night was Tory 34.5%, UKIP 31.6%, Labour 29.5%……….. You always have to be careful reading too much into local byelections as the results can be heavily influenced by local issues but here is an example of the Tories winning in what was a safe Labour seat in the “north” because of UKIP

    • Leon Wolfeson

      That’s not necessarily true at all, especially if turnout dropped sharply.

      Also, local elections are often decided on person not party.

      • eastender

        I accept personality does play a bigger role in local elections especially by elections. However this result, unfortunately, is not an isolated one off. If you look at local council elections over the past few months there is a definite trend of Labour doing alrightish (I suspect largely because of a reasonable ability in GOTV skills throughout the party) but of UKIP clearly picking up votes from all over the place often, I guess, with little or no organisation. I agree that a larger turnout might well see better results from a Labour perspective but that cannot disguise that Labour should be doing far better at this stage of the electoral cycle – try to imagine the situation if Labour was the party of government……..

        • Leon Wolfeson

          It’s dangerous to generalise from local elections to national ones. But…

          UKIP seem to be getting out the right-wing vote. All of it, pretty much, which is also benefiting the Tories somewhat from tribal voters.

          Labour, on the other hand, are still bleeding left-wing voters because of a refusal to consider moderate, left-wing policies which have wide support (like allowing councils to borrow to build council houses on land they own),

          Turnouts will be lower, I predict, and many of the “lost” voters would have voted Labour. (Other will be people who voted LibDem last time and feel betrayed and won’t be voting again, sigh)

          • eastender

            I am sorry but you are wrong here. Yes UKIP do have a basic appeal to right wing voters and it is possible to see a future split of the tory party into (broadly speaking) a UKIP wing and a liberal / liberal conservative wing. However UKIP also appeal to many Labour inclined voters too (go knock on a few doors in Thurrock). UKIP is not about left / right it is about an appeal based on “a plague on all of your houses”. This can be fought but it takes a lot of time and effort often far more then is available. Thinking that UKIP is a tory problem is what has got us here……..

          • Leon Wolfeson

            The Labour, LibDem and Tory “parties” are coalitions (thanks, FPTP), and there’s a massive overlap between the right wing of the Tories and UKIP.

            UKIP is right wing, if you like it or not. The polling data is clear that it appeals to the right, with very little crossover to Labour, let alone the left-wing who feel they can no longer vote for any party.

            Labour has got here not because of the UKIP, but because it has ignored the left and moved right, bleeding voters to “not voting” or local parties. Heck, it’s failed to energise it’s remaining tribal voters.

  • The Meissen Bison

    Calling Nigel Farage a walking 1980s Tory tribute act and UKIP an incoherent anti-politics rabble is self-indulgent and only serves to perpetuate Labour’s problem of not taking the threat seriously while at the same time belittling the voters.

    • Ian Robathan

      that is true but we are stuck like the Tories, in Clacton they voted in an ultra right winger who believes in the minimal of state intervention. Then in Heywood the message is all about immigration and how Labour let down the NHS, so they proposing more state ?

      Guess when you have these two totally different messages from the same party like when the LD’s did it you find it difficult to combat it. Is there any real difference between what the LD’s did pre 2010 and UKIP now ? Same method isn’t it ?

      • The Meissen Bison

        I’m not sure how your point relates to mine.
        However, I would guess – and a guess is all it is – that UKIP might argue that EU immigration is imposed by the (super)state and that the NHS has been let down by being feather-bedded by the state because guaranteed budgets are not conducive to reform.

        • Ian Robathan

          and what is the reform Farage wants, a smaller state ? do the people of Heywood vote for that when voting for UKIP yesterday ?

          The point is that UKIP are unknown and the factors that people voted for them are many and diverse. Some are temporary and some are permanent. Cameron saying vote UKIP get Miliband actually shows what they miss.

          I do think our replies are not that much better BTW.

          • Steve Stubbs

            “Cameron saying vote UKIP get Miliband actually shows what they miss.”

            Who misses? That’s factual, and what the labour party seems to be pinning it’s hope of government on. Unfortunately the laboour leadership seem to have missed the point that UKIP is as much of a danger to labour in the north as it is to the tories in the south. It is a protest vote by those who feel that the mainstream parties have just ignored them up to now. They represent the only alternative now the libs have shown their colours.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Except by polling data, you’re completely incorrect.

            The danger is that UKIP get the right out, while the left are increasingly staying at home. The low turnouts at the byelections supports this.

          • Steve Stubbs

            Which polling data would that be then? Source please.

            And I hope it is not by the same people who said we had a 19% lead in that by-election last night!

          • Leon Wolfeson

            UKPolling report tabs.
            There is a consistent trend.

            (And I’m not sure you get polling…single data points are essentially worthless)

          • leslie48

            Voters said on radio ‘it’s because everything is going down’ , few jobs… low wages… These working class voters were mainly kicking against the ‘post crisis’ economics of a very right wing Tory government ( not the EU) ; ironically, they believe by going even more to the Right with UKIP that will save them in the poorer areas of Heyburn and Clacton. Labour can not dilute its message any longer about the impact of a very right wing Tory government.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            You see the same with the Tea Party in America, although of course even their government didn’t allow a Tory kind of austerity.

          • Sim Chi

            That is because the Tea Party isn’t in government and you have a Democrat in the White Hose riding roughshod over the Constitution.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            You’re talking nonsense.

            The UKIP is not in power in the UK, and your partisan whining about the Constitution is just funny.

      • Maybe; but to take up your reference to the state tyhe Labour Party has utterly failed to promote the economic, social and cultural role of the State/ public sector so it is no wonder that many voters are not clear about what is at stake.

      • George Scoresby

        oh, good, you’re confused. Just sit there while we pick you off.

        • Guest

          Can’t you just take up knitting or something?
          Do you know hard hard cleaning up the walls after is?

      • Lesmond Nyjacks

        Ian really, we have had Right Wing, then Far Right, now Ultra Right?
        He is an MP voted in in Clacton of all places! Not exactly a political touchpaper for the next Reich.
        Keep some perspective, and perhaps a less overbearing state would be a good thing.
        Clactonians seem to think so.

        • Guest

          Except, of course, that’s not what they’ve voted for. They’ve voted for far greater spending in specific places, related to control.

          Less for the poor, of course.
          That overbearing NHS, for instance.

          • leslie48

            The UKIP vote was highest in the poorer areas outside Clacton. This frustration however will not go anywhere as UKIP is more Right Wing than Cameron’ lot They will not help the poor on that big estate.

          • Basilthedog

            Leslie48, you obviously don’t understand working class values. Talk of Ukip voting ‘frustration’ is typically elitist and patronising. The main stream parties, particularly Labour, have let down the British working class for two generations, especially with regard to immigration, law and order and the EU. UKIP have now filled this vacuum and this is true democracy at work, whether you like it or not (obviously the latter!). Have Labour ever “helped the poor on the big estate”? The answer is that the poor ARE still on the big estate.

          • leslie48

            But on the economic side I entirely agree and said as much – we know post 2008 things have worsened for the squeezed middle (not all) and most low income groups as wages from both state and private sector are relatively reduced. Things like telling the mums & dads we are going to freeze Child Benefit when we win power shows a gormless Balls.

            Working class Clacton as the FT finds this weekend is poor, elderly, less educated and whiter compared to most UK constituencies. I do not think the EU/Immigration – well yes its part of the picture – but voters were not saying a lot in Clacton-On – Sea about that – it was a feeling of being abandoned on those estates. So respectfully its ‘the economy stupid’ or rather how our class system/income gap/inequality is getting polarised and here like Europe people are turning to Nationalist/very Right wing parties for solutions.

      • Wilky1

        Isn’t the UKIP message primarily about immigration everywhere? Isn’t it in actual fact 2 labour peers who mooted charging for access to GPs which Lapbour keep accusing UKIP of? Doesn’t this just help UKIPS drag labour down in the eyes of voters?

        • treborc1

          The problem with reading some of your comment is that your talking for me and I never asked you to, same as a lot people they say things like we working class. UKIP have stated they would have one benefit for everyone all benefits would be rolled into one benefits which would be JSA , how does that help the working class , most of the working class get and need benefits to allow them to live and I note that UKIP does not say a thing about how they would give the working class decent wages or a better life.

          I can see people who are angry with a labour party which is more Tory these days with a leader who is not much more then a careerist who had no where else to go but into politics and his offer is all smoke screen and mirrors and I’m mad enough to vote for UKIP to get back at both the dam parties who have played politics and left us in this dam mess.

          Then I read UKIP manifesto and the fact is Tory Liberal labour and UKIP your all the bloody same.

          • Chrisso

            “most of the working class get and need benefits to allow them to live”
            But is this true? Some maybe, not most. But that is a problem that was brought about by Blair and New Labour. It can be argued that employers have little incentive to pay proper wage rates when by keeping to a low-wage economy their poorest staff can get supplements from the taxpayer. Then Joe Public naturally turns round and shouts blue murder about ‘my taxes are going to pay welfare benefits’…

            The drift of Labour voters to Ukip has been exacerbated by the perception that Labour is about ‘welfare handouts’. I’m not saying this is true – and unlike you I will NEVER vote Ukip, Tory or LibDem – but it was a mistake for Labour to think that handing out working tax credits and similar transfer payments in this way was sensible.

            Immigration is the other factor that seemingly weighs on the minds of traditional Labour supporters and Simon Danczuk (albeit in the Daily Fail rag) writes wisely about it assisting the drift from Labour to Ukip
            http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2788837/my-party-s-scared-talk-migration-labour-mp-simon-danczuk-lessons-week-s-election.html

          • Wilky1

            Where in all the post did I presume to talk for anybody?

            As an former Labour voter, I speak for none but myself & simply point out incongruities in the stance my old party present when tackling the upstart new comer.

            The world has moved on from 2 party whipped politics (or is going back to) local MPs fighting for the issues their constituents want them to, not what the “party” or whips want!

      • Lesmond Nyjacks

        “in Clacton they voted in an ultra right winger”

        Please Ian, an ultra right winger?

        Is he a goose stepping Nazi? or more reasonably, just someone who you do not like?

        • Ian Robathan

          or he is on the right of the Tory party and had to leave them because he disagreed with them on many issue ?

    • jaydeepee

      In Clacton the Tory vote simply transferred over to Ukip. They regard Carswell as a very good local MP and if he had chosen not to defect then Ukip would never have won this seat. The man had 50% of the vote in 2010 and a 20% majority.A very safe seat which Ukip would never have won.

      Clacton was, once upon a time, a Labour seat and this demonstrates that Labour’s lack of appeal to the working class pre-dates the rise of Ukip and began after 1997 when Blair failed to use his mandate to act in their interests.

      Now, New Labour is dead and if Labour want to win the 2015 election and head off Ukip then they need to re-think their ideas on jobs, housing and health and seek to transform the lives of those supporters they once took for granted but who feel Labour have nothing to say about their lives.

      • treborc1

        The New labour logo maybe sleeping but dead, not as long as Progress is around and that is the problem.

      • Wilky1

        In Heywood & Middleton, the Tory & Lib Dem vote collapsed.

        The LAbour hierarchy are putting it out that all their vote share went to UKIP but everybody knows Lib Dems would rather cut their own throats than vote for UKIP so this can only mean that the 6% Lib fall went to Labour & replaced Labour core voters who’ve left for UKIP because Labour don’t represent them any more. If there hadn’t been a postal vote, or the campaign had gone on 24-48 hours longer, it would be a UKIP seat now!

        Out Kiplpng UKIP isn’t the objective but acknowledging the will of 65-70% of the electorate who want EU freedom of movement migration brought to an end would be a start to saving the Northern heartlands!

        • treborc1

          I see that UKIP have been told to spread the word on labour sites, the truth is another 48 hours or postal votes and the labour vote may have gone up, you do not know.

    • Dave Postles

      Farage reckons to have sent a message to the Westminster elite. How is that by re-electing one of them?

  • Shane

    This result proves what many already suspected: that on this current trajectory Labour will not win a majority at the next election. Miliband has failed to offer an appealing enough alternative for working class voters. The strategy has been to ignore the disillusioned, to hope that they remain disheartened and therefore fail to vote in 2015. Effectively, the strategy has been to sneak into Downing Street by the back door. What a huge gamble that was to take, and, unsurprisingly, it now looks like emphatically backfiring.

    I am a Miliband fan and think that the standard jibe of the disillusioned, that ‘there is no difference between Labour and the Tories’, is unfair. However, I think it is unfair because I follow politics and pay close attention to the details of policy. Most people, especially Labour voters, do not do this, they pick up their political opinions from headlines on tabloid front pages. They were failed by New Labour and for all the rhetoric of Miliband’s One Nation they still feel failed by Labour.

    Miliband has failed to offer hope to these people. At times he has gone close, the freeze on energy prices was popular for instance. In the main, however, he has fumbled the big opportunities. Why not at the conference just gone announce a renationalisation of the railways? He made major steps towards doing so but was ultimately too timid, too conservative. The real lesson that should be taken from the rise of Farage is that voters respond to politicians who have firm beliefs and who will vociferously argue for them.

    All in all, this period of opposition has become a missed opportunity. The financial crash provided the possibility of rebalancing the economy, whereas the Tories have taken pleasure in rebalancing it more and more in favour of the rich, Labour have agonised over rebalancing it in favour of the poor. Balls has criticised the Tories for ‘ideological’ cuts, well shock horror! We should be seeing a bit of left-wing ideology coming to the fore on our own side. In contrast, the official Labour response to large swathes of the public seeing politics as an homogenised centre-ground stitch up has been to create an appearance of itself as centre-ground, respectable, and, consequently, uninspiring.

    It will take a momentous effort for Miliband to avert the oncoming crisis, to preserve his leadership. He needs to become exciting, to offer some hope to the populace. I know his image is an issue for voters but image is defined by actions, and Miliband can control that. There is always talk in the press about Labour values, and core Labour voters well it is time to revisit these, to analyse what they actually mean and then, radical though it may seem, deliver a manifesto that addresses those people, addresses those issues. I’m not optimistic.

    • Well said; but its is not just traditional working class voters who are disillusioned ot dismayed by Labour’s lack of vision.. There are hundreds of thousands of ‘middle class’ and professions who despise the Tories and would respond to a defence of the welfare state, welcome the extension of the public sector (to include the railways for instance) and a determined drive to reduce ever deepening inequalities. For at least two years The Guardian has been full of sound advice and warnings from columnists and correspondants alike about the need for Labour to wake up and change tack. The radicalism required to resonate in the ‘heartlands’ would also do so elsewhere. With rare exceptions a fearful and unimaginative/technocratic leadership, lacking in passion and incisiveness just does not get it – a problem which ditchiing Milband would do nothing to resolve as he probably gets it more than many of his colleagues.

      • gunnerbear

        “There are hundreds of thousands of ‘middle class’ and professions…” And most of them are in the public sector – like the Spin Doctors employed by the NHS (total cost around £46m – how many nurses do you get for that?). Or the teachers despite having some of the best pay and job security of any workers in the UK still can’t get every child to leave school with the basics under their belt.

        • Leon Wolfeson

          …Completely incorrect. In fact, most teachers and nurses are not that well paid. You’re stuck 30 years ago, it seems, on pay. And their job security is identical to anyone else’s.

          (In fact, the public sector have seen massive redundancies, “job security” in i.e. teaching science is only better because there’s a recruitment crisis – and even then most new teachers are quitting after a few years!)

          Moreover, you’re blaming teachers for a system in which they have their every move dictated by government, rather than being allowed to get on with teaching.

          • Northerner

            Average UK salary £26,000
            Average Teacher salary UK £30,000

            gunnerbear may be exaggerating to some degree bur completely incorrect? I think not.

          • ColinAdkins

            So you want your children paid by someone on the average wage? What do you do and how much do you get paid?

          • Northerner

            I did not make any comment about what I think teachers should be paid. But I can offer you some advice. Don’t try to compete with Derren Brown. You ain’t fracking telepathic.

          • Dave Postles

            The median salary is a fiction, considering the difficulty of obtaining proper figures for high salaries – which also affects the Gini coefficient.

          • leslie48

            Teachers are a graduate profession so need to be compared to other graduate jobs; down here in the south they are comparatively not that well paid; our roads in Herts are packed with big 4*4s, our restaurants are packed, our roads are clogged going into London with prosperity, extensions, private schools and general well being. If people in some other places had any idea of this massive inequality in England they might get upset.

          • Northerner

            I did not say they were well paid or badly paid. I simply stated that they are paid above the average. If you want to rant, talk to a friend. Don’t dump on someone who just states two simple facts.

            And don’t lecture me. I am a qualified teacher.

            B.A. Hons. Dip Ed. Cert ED Cert Ed Tech

          • Guest

            New teachers are paid well below the average. And of course you won’t take no lecturing on facts about graduate wages, in a profession with a major shortage in some sectors, but where the effective wage has fallen by well over 30% in the last decade.

          • fubar_saunders

            New entrants to any profession are paid less than the average for that line of work. What the hell else do you expect?

          • Guest

            You’re ignoring what I said, of course. Newer teachers are on a radically lower payscale, and will remain there through their entire career.

            Can I ask, though, does Satan answer you frequently?

          • fubar_saunders

            And boy are you seriously pissed off that you missed that particular boat, eh Leslie?

          • leslie48

            No I enjoy a comfortable life style here in the South East; my point is many down here in the home counties are very advantaged, have high incomes, will ensure they keep that position by voting Tory. Others elsewhere are suffering from this vast inequality, distorted tax system, attack on the public sector incomes – UKIP will not change any of this inequality of life chances, opportunities or distorted economics which favours the SE corner.

          • fubar_saunders

            Oh I see.

            So, if you feel that bad about the poor people, why dont you try moving in with them, if your comfortable lifestyle embarrasses you so much? Move into one of their deprived areas?

            I mean, lets face it. You cant have come from that environment, because if you did either a) you’d still be there, blaming everyone for your own misfortune, or b) you’d have got the hell out and done ok for yourself meaning you know that theres a way out and that enterprise and hard work and ambition can be rewarded.

            Lets see if you’re prepared to put your own quality of life where your mouth is. After all, you’re expecting the rest of the “advantaged South East” to go without in the name of “equality” – so why dont you lead by example then?

            Oh I geddit…. you’re one of those self hating public sector management types. Work for the local council do we?

            Its not about inequality… its about them being a threat to you, personally, isnt it Leslie? Scared that if the level of the tide lifts all the boats that yours will be found with a dirty great big hole in the bilges, eh?

            Probably been sent on the Common Purpose course as well, eh?

          • leslie48

            What a futile troll is this? What are you on? Listen one more time as a Socialist/ Labour member I dislike large inequalities in the UK. we are a rich country yet compared say to social democracies like Germany or Sweden or Denmark big gaps are opening up in UK society on income, health, housing, education etc., We are looking like the US where poverty is rife. We help our communities through some progressive taxation, social support ( e.g. Chronic illness, Disability, road accidents ) free NHS, child care, etc., etc., that marks us out as a civilised society otherwise we go backwards to life in the 1930s or even 1840s etc., that’s it if you do not understand buzz off and stop trolling.

          • fubar_saunders

            Just like I thought. Another self hating cava socialist. The kind of well off middle class white person who tells poor people that the reason they’re poor is because of rich, white middle class people…except you, that is. Prolier-Than-Thou tripe.

          • Guest

            “Another self hating cava socialist.”

            You’re not a socialist…so are not thinking. Well, there you go.

            And of course you tell people they’re poor because of the middle class, you’re all for class war per your posts.

          • Guest

            Keep dictating what people must and must not do, as you support slums for the poor, and blather about how everyone who does not agree with you must first give up everything.

            Then you show your fear…that he’s after your job.

            Your Common Purpose with the far right through history…

          • fubar_saunders

            You tend to have more credibility if you actually have some notion of what it is you’re talking about.

            If you’ve never been poor, if you’ve never been in the situations you find yourself in, how the f.. with any credibility can you think you know just how “in touch” with them you are, when you use them as the excuse for everything you do?

            Leslie is really concerned about the plight of the poor and inequality, apparently. Its very hard to shuffle aside the net curtains of his nice prosperous Surrey residence and tut knowingly about how awful it must be for the poor, over there on the wrong side of the tracks. So he expects everyone else who he figures is to blame for that inequality to be punished accordingly. After all, that’ll show the greedy so and so’s wont it?

            Its kind of difficult to retain or even acquire credibility for that position if you yourself are prosperous and reluctant to give up what you think those around you should give up. Leslie, by his own admission is not hard up and lives in a nice part of the country. Good for him. Now, why he thinks that its ok for him to decree that everyone else who does so in the South East is doing so off the backs of the poor, but he isnt and that everyone else in the South East should share the pain of the poor, except him, is not a credible stance to take.

            Thats the problem with champagne socialists. Do as I say not do as I do. Like Diane Abbott sending her kids to private school. Like Tony Benn, giving up his hereditary seat in the HoL, but not giving up the Holland Park Mansion. Like the Milliband brothers banging on about tory inheritance and then splitting the proceeds of their late fathers property without paying a bean of inheritance tax.

            I dont support slums for the poor. I never said I did. You assumed it. Its those who live in a community who make it what it is. Which is why some places are desirable, like where Leslie lives and why other places are complete crime ridden sh*tholes.

          • fubar_saunders

            All I can see in your posts is envy and shroudwaving. A highly emetic combination.

          • Guest

            Stop reading your posts and start reading his.

          • fubar_saunders

            I did.

            And verily, I saw it was b*ll*cks.

            What have 4×4’s and packed restaurants got to do with it? Such things go with a vibrant, multicultural area in the hinterlands of one of the worlds great, diverse metropolitan cities, dont they? Isnt that what people voted for in 97, 2001 and 2005?

            Leslie should thank his lucky stars that he’s paid enough to be able to live there and not be forced to commute in and out every day because he cant afford to rent or buy in that leafy part of Herts.

            He should shut his whinging or downsize and move into a crappy area if he thinks the stench of wealth in his part of the South East is too much for his precious nostrils.

            Cant see him doing that though. He might feel something for the poor, but he’ll never do anything about it. Perish the thought that he’d ever have to actually live near any of them.

            What p*sses Leslie off is people making what he sees as easier money than him. And lots more of it. And they’re probably making more of it quicker than he is. He thinks its vulgar. He’s also ever so slightly jealous.

            Leslie doesnt realise yet that money isnt everything. Somehow, keeping up with the metropolitan, metrosexual Joneses still has its allure, so it would seem.

            Lets not get started on the financial services bit, eh? After the reforms and failures of the last Labour administration, that would be a bit too embarrassing to list all those out, wouldnt it? Lets leave it there….

          • gunnerbear

            “The average salary for a primary teacher in the OECD countries was £24,690 in 2011, compared to £28,660 in England.” (Tim Ross, Daily Telegraph) or if you prefer there is this from the BBC, “Even so, the average for classroom teachers is some £32,200 – which is more than many people realised.” (BBC Website, 2008). Incidentally, such wages, would according to at least one senior Labour politician make a teacher ‘rich’. As to nurses, well there is always this, “Official figures for September 2008 show NHS nurses had an average annual income, including overtime, of £31,600, while the average consultant salary was £119,200.” (BBC again) Neither figure is too shabby and of course there’s always a bit of pay for skills / OT about as well (from the same article),

            “The nurse who earned between £100,000 and £105,000 in the last financial year is a “nurse consultant”, one of the top grades of the profession.

            She was employed by the Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, who declined to disclose how many extra hours the nurse was working for her additional £50,000.

            The figures also show a nurse at Buckinghamshire Hospitals NHS Trust earned £71,000, while a nurse at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust took home £61,000.”

          • Leon Wolfeson

            So, ignoring the fact that the data is heavily weighted towards long-term staff, whose salaries rose more before the pay freezes. Someone at the very end of their career paying higher rate tax? Say it ain’t so!

            Then you use individuals to try and prove statistics, bring in “consultants” (they’re not Nurses), and you’re ignoring the fact that Nurse Consultants are few and far between, and far more useful than the average doctor.

            How much more do you want to reduce the wage of junior staff?

        • Dave Postles

          ‘like the Spin Doctors employed by the NHS (total cost around £46m’
          Yes, infiltration by private-sector ethos – and there will be more the more the NHS is privatized by stealth.

          • treborc1

            Is that not the issue though if you voted in Labour your going to get the private sector and PR and Spin doctors are already in the NHS. Labour may or may not take it slower but sadly they are coming because at this time labour are scared stiff of saying no to the EU or America

          • Dave Postles

            True.

        • You make this point about the failings of teachers ad nauseum. It is obvious that you are deeply concerned about it but simply using it to beat the public sector over the head at the slightest opportunity (twice to me personally whilst avoiding the central point I am making) ) is not very productive. The adoption of a private sector culture by sectors of the public sector has certainly been damaging – you might have made the same point about the use of private consultants. By the way there is some good stuff to read about the way in which modern capitalism creates bullshit jobs.

        • Chrisso

          Not so – many middle-class professionals are self-employed but now earning a pittance because of govt cuts that have slashed opportunities. That has led to folk like myself paying LESS tax than we did before…

          So teachers ‘still can’t get every child to leave school with the basics under their belt’ – has that ever been the case that every child has left at 16 with those basics? Sure it’s shameful we’d all agree and a critical target but so long as we grant-aid the independent schools that 7% of our children go to, why/how can/will that change?

          • gunnerbear

            The parents paying for their children to be educated privately are in fact paying twice; once via taxation into the public sector school system and then again into the private sector. I’m not sure that those parents are the issue.

      • Sylvia

        But how many people read the Guardian? Take a look at the front pages of almost every other paper & not just the tabloids. None of them have anything positive to say about Miliband. Most of them don’t know any of his / our policies either.

        • Paul Adams

          The Guardian! It’s the most relentlessly anti-Miliband/Labour paper there is – even the DT has Mary Riddell and Peter Oborne who occasionally say nice things about us!

        • Matthew Blott

          Do you think if Ed Miliband went out and met more people it would help?

          • Lesmond Nyjacks

            In a word, No.
            Put him in a box full of straw, under the stairs like a tortoise, to hibernate.
            Milliband meeting ordinary people will only diminish support for Labour.

          • Matthew Blott

            It was a rhetorical question aimed at Sylvia who like too many is in complete denial of the Miliband problem. I’ve said much the same as you -he needs to stay away from the TV screens as much as possible and allow more competent media performers to take care of communicating the Labour message.

          • Sim Chi

            What message?

          • Matthew Blott

            Yes well that would help as well 🙂

        • Well if you include the hugely successful on-line version over 5 million in the UK (http://www.theguardian.com/gnm-press-office/8). The Daily Guardian certainly reflects attitudes which are much more widespread than its readership. But this is not quite the point I was making. I was trying to get away from a tendency to counterpose the traditional ‘core’ voters to the supposedly less supportive ‘middle class’. I referred to the railway question but I might have picked on housing. How many comfortably off middle class parents are now consumed by anxiety about their childrens’ chances of ever having a home of their own ? Or even a job ? Or the cost of their education. How many more are concerned about what sort of environment will be left for their grandchildren ? How many are concerned about the destruction of the social fabric and the services in which many work ? How many took part in the campaign to stop the privitisation of the forests one of the few successesful challenges to the great public sell off ? The basis exists for a broad and unstoppable coalition if the Labour Party can summon up the requisite passion and vision. It is not at all clear that it will.

      • Lesmond Nyjacks

        Man alive!

        “For at least two years The Guardian has been full of sound advice and
        warnings from columnists and correspondents alike about the need for
        Labour to wake up and change tack”

        The Grauniad is the Daily Mail for people who look down on Daily Mail readers.

        It consistently pushes out of touch Hampstead/Islington champaign socialist upper middle class condescending opinion.

        Completely out of touch with work a day people.

        • Guest

          “Completely out of touch with work a day people.”

          Yes, you are, and?

          No surprise you need to snear at papers which don’t suit your ideology and make PC pronouncements, as you hate on the middle class for daring to make a decent wage.

          • fubar_saunders

            Hehehehehe….. “hate on the middle class”. This coming from a political direction where the constant, never ending whine is inequality. If the left had their way, there wouldnt be ANY middle class.

            There’d be their own ruling elite at the top and everyone else at the bottom.

            So now Leon is getting angry on behalf of the middle class that Labour have ripped the guts out of in the last 15 years. Priceless. Utterly priceless..

          • Guest

            Ah, so disliking dire poverty is whining, as you demand I share your views.

            You are doing fine, capitalist, as you try and create a class war.

            LordBlagger, you are all for murdering the poor…now by ripping their guys out. I’m sure you see that as priceless amusement, as you frantically work to reduce incomes of the 99%.

            Tell me, what do babies taste like?

            (PS, you’re so slow you don’t even notice being mocked, but you can get away with it when you have managers for your investments like you)

          • fubar_saunders

            You are a caricature account arent you? I thought you were. You must be.

            Either that or you’re overcompensating for something. Dear oh dear…

        • I am not really sure whether it is worth replying to this divisive and prejudiced nonsense. Suffice to say that I have lived and worked all my life in the old labour heartlands of the North and

          your offensive caricature of Guardian readers has nothing in common with those that I know.

          • fubar_saunders

            Yeah. Most of those can probably barely manage the monosyllabic Mirror, let alone the Grauniad and probably prefer the Sporting Post. The Grauniad is far too posh.

            Dont want to be seen as traitors to their class though, do they?

          • Guest

            And there you go again spouting off about your class war and your hatred of the “lower class”.

          • fubar_saunders

            I dont hate the lower class. I was lower class once.
            Born an illegitimate son of a musician and a shop worker in a 2 up 2 down council house that had 5 adults and two dogs living in it, behind a Coventry bus garage, and went to a bog standard comprehensive.

            I just found a way out and did something about it, rather than thinking it was all the fault of some rich people and expecting the state to lead me around by my dick for the rest of my life.

            I dont want any class war. If they want to stay “lower class”, fine, let them get on with it. Their choice. Its their hang up, not mine. And its Labour’s only prerjudice that they can play on at an electoral level. Not that it works though.

            It always seem to stick in the throat a bit, doesnt it? A bunch of remote, white middle aged, middle class privately educated nepotistic millionaires parachuted into safe seats telling the poor that all their problems are down to a bunch of white privately educated, middle class, nepotistic, remote, millionaires who are parachuted into safe seats.

            Just not them, thats all. No. Its the other guys, not us….

            Its bordering on the hilarious. Just how dim you have to be to swallow that s**t without question is staggering. I’m amazed how many there are that do though.

    • Alexsandr

      do tell me how nationalisation of the railways would work?
      well for a start network rail is effectively nationalised. The ONS reclassified their debt as PSBR.
      The TOC’s are merely agents of the DfT. The department sets the fares, specifies the service levels and micromanages what trains are allocated to each service. Remember the franchise agreements are very tightly written documents.
      Nationalising the ROSCOs would be massively expensive. Remember the ROSCO’s own billions of pounds worth of trains. Is spending money buying those better spent than on schools and hospitals.

      and why pick on the railways? Are you going to nationalise all the PFI contracts for the NHS and education too?

      • Guest

        When contracts expire, don’t offer new ones but take the lines back into public ownership. TOC’s are still making considerable profits which could be used to lower fares, and there are major inconsistencies in ticket availability (off peak times, etc.) which can and should be resolved.

        Also, given how congested the tracks in many places are, rationalising down to a single company and schedule for those lines makes sense.

        Unless you’re making a profit off it all.

        • fubar_saunders

          So, its all about the symbolism of it then. Not the reality.

          how the f… does it make any difference whether its rationalised down to a single organisation or not? It doesnt. Tracks and services are congested because not enough rolling stock is being used. There has already been legislative moves to simplify ticketing.

          The fact that theres been pretty much an extra ten million people in the last 15 years when the service hasnt grown in the meantime would maybe also have something to do with it.

          its that age old lefty thing. Its got more to do with those who work in the public sector services than it is about the quality of service that gets delivered. Makes no difference whether you make a profit as a corporation or if you declare an operating surplus as BR sometimes did in the 70s and 80s under Sir Peter Parker. A crap service is still a crap service.

          • Guest

            So action to you is “symbolism”.

            Never mine the benefits, as you fail to understand the benefits of cost-cutting since it would affect your bottom line.

            Having one organisation with the same maintenance procedures etc. minimises the chance of disruption, as you hate on the economy again.

            You then go off and start spouting PC bigotry again, as you talk about your job, and demand a crap service. Which is just down to YOU. Personally.

          • fubar_saunders

            One organisation already dictates the maintenance procedures, you dick. Its called Network Rail.

            It does sod all to my bottom line. I dont travel by rail any more. Last time I did was nearly 18 months ago. I dont “demand” a crap service. Where do I go on about my job?

            What benefits are there, apart from what you’ve got already, which is one organisation overseeing maintenance standards?

            You havent stated any benefits certainly not to the consumers.

            Renationalisation or changing the TOC’s wont make the slightest difference to the staff running the services. They get TUPE’d across no matter who currently holds the TOC contract for a given service, or whether it is in “public ownership”. The only interest in renationalisation is the re-establishment of the closed shop.

            “Hate on the economy again”??? WTF are you blithering about?

            Oh and by the way… bearing in mind that competition amongst rail services providers in Europe is mandated in a 1991 EU directive, specifically 91/440; good luck with making that re-nationalisation guff stick. You are still fully endorsing the UK’s full membership of the EU arent you?

            Try and renationalise it and the EU will launch proceedings against you, just like it did against 13 other EU nations who it deems have not gone far enough in implementing the directive.

            Go on, Google it. Read it and weep.

            Spouting on about renationalising the railways is a hollow lie which you couldnt deliver.

    • “……. the standard jibe ……..there is no difference between Labour and the Tories’ is unfair.”

      Is it? I’d add in the Lib Dems too. What’s the real difference between ‘us’ and them? What’s the difference between any of them? I don’t mean between the parties in the country. I mean at Westminster.

      Of course each party would claim to be more competent that the others, and you can always find details of disagreement, but what are the real differences?

      Labour doesn’t have to be in government to have an influence. The Parliamentary party allowed the Royal Mail to be nationalised. If they’d pledged to renationalise it as an act of priority on return to government at the price sold, then the sale would have been killed stone dead.

      If they’d done that then the party supporters would have reason to get away from the telly next May and support Labour candidates get re-elected. But they chose to sell out. So, it will be Coronation Street and East Enders next April/May I’m afraid.

      • fubar_saunders

        correct.

        All three of the main parties have coalesced in the political centre because thats where they figure that the votes are which will deliver them positions of power.

        its got less than sod all to do with whatever you may have stood for in your dim and distant past and everything to do with achieving power with the minimum possible effort and engagement with the proles.

        And that applies to all three of the main parties.

        • Guest

          “political centre”

          Making things up again I see…politics in this country keeps shifting right. But it’s never enough for you, as you talk about your views and attitudes, and project.

          It applies to you.

          • fubar_saunders

            If you call the current administration “shifting right”…. well, compared to George Galloway and Denis Skinner it might be.

            But in reality?? Arf!!!!!

    • Michelle

      Well said. I whole heartedly agree.

  • smilingvulture

    Smell the Coffee,Ed worse than Kinnock

    • VOWlol

      The Labour party is losing support in England and especially in Scotland.
      Well,
      when Labour eagerly supports the tory policies of new nuclear weapons,
      war in Iraq and massive welfare cuts what does it expect?!

      • george

        labour spent decades in scotland screaming how good they were for the working man. So much better than the evil tories … even though they delivered little. Then someone else comes along promising more, lies better and has an appeal to my chip on shoulder, english are b’stards countrymen.
        At that point you either have to deliver or die and labour havent delivered anything other than spending money they havent got in decades. I dont see ed delivering anything … he’s a policy wonk with a brain the size of a planet but his connection to us peasants is zero.

    • Sylvia

      I don’t agree that Ed is a losing issue for Labour, but as you & many others do, please say which Labour MP you do think should lead the party. And please don’t come up with David M – he has shown his colours by moving to the USA for a massive salary to “run” a ‘charity’ nobody has ever heard of.

      • Doug Smith

        Lisa Nandy for PM.

        • Sylvia

          OK if that’s your choice, please can we all know all the details about her & especially her policies.

          • treborc1

            She is not standing so she does not have policies, you seem to think Miliband is the leader you want, and that is your choice, you asked a question and people are responding, we cannot tell what policies they have because we are not in a leadership contest. so all politician will be backing or should be backing the leader, the problem is of course his policies are caps.

      • Dick_Turpin

        Eh? Everybody’s seen that TV series on that International Rescue thingy David M runs. The one with all the boys from the same family and the island. Now what was it called….?

      • Graham Barker

        Which Labour MP? With the possible exception of Chuka Umunna, almost anyone who isn’t Ed Miliband would do a better job of leading the party.

      • S&A

        ‘I don’t agree that Ed is a losing issue for Labour’.

        You probably do believe in Father Christmas and the Tooth Fairy, though.

      • leslie48

        Alan Johnson and immediately.

      • Bernadette McGee

        Sylvia, just because you may have never heard of the IRC does not mean ‘nobody’ else has. This organisation employs over 12000 people in war and disaster zones across the world all doing a very tough job. And why bring David into the discussion when he is no longer here?

        • treborc1

          They may employ lots of people the pay rates are shockingly low and they try to get interns to run offices and work in the field for nothing. The pay the upper staff pretty good especially when they employ people like politicians same old story really.

      • treborc1

        That’s the problem Blair and Progress has been hand picking MP’s for so long the labour party now looks like a breeding ground for it’s New labour party.

        If Ed loses at the next election that is going to be a major issue for labour who do you pick, and that’s why Ball’s is keeping his head down, same as a few of the others.

    • Chrisso

      I’m fascinated that on LabourList a snide one-liner like the above gets 94 ‘likes’… Mind you I joined the Labour Party once Kinnock took over and left after Blair took over so I’m biased.

  • it is pretty clear that the electorate do not give two hoots about the deficit and fiscal discipline so Labour should use this to our advantage and at least promise to loosen the bonds of austerity rather than play into the tories hands by saying ‘we’d cut just as much’.

    People are looking at UKIP not because they hate foreigners but because they are hurting – they are not getting pay rises , they are struggling to survive and their electricity, gas, water, council tax, rail fairs and shopping bills are going up, up, up.

    Why is Renationalisation a four letter word for this Labour party? It is just as popular as Farage’s send ’em back rhetoric but has the added advantage of being achieveable.

  • Mandy Hall

    This. Also what I have been saying for months. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens in labour strongholds in the NE. Lot of denial up here.

    • David Lewis

      Labour MP’s, council members and union leaders have been happily enriching themselves and ignoring their core vote for many many years. Just look at Hull or Hartlepool and note any improvements there over the last fifty years.

      I’ve visited both towns recently and there haven’t been any noticeable improvements but the population mix has changed noticeably.

      There are many many tribal Labour voters who cannot move to the Tories so UKIP is very convenient.

      Similar story in Scotland with the SNP.

      Labour is not only going to lose the election, it is, I suspect starting to run down completely because there is now no logical reason or need for its existence.

      • Guest

        No “logical need” for even the moderate right, and certainly no need for the left to ever have anyone speak for them.

        As you push the same old myths which polling data shows are nonsense above movement from Labour to UKIP.

        Of course people who are not White British are fleeing centres of hostility, too. And you’re blaming them for Thatcher!

        • David Lewis

          Once again, I haven’t a clue what you are taking about.

          • Guest

            And that’s my problem because…?

          • Lesmond Nyjacks

            David, you should never try to parse one of Leon “Laurie Penny” Wolfesons’ outpourings.

            He is a deluded fantasist, and intolerant of any opinion other than his own, he can frequently find fault with even those who are in agreement with him on an issue.

            It is merely an opening gambit for him, if you take the bait, he will accuse you of being a sockpuppet, or rummage around in his limited bagful of Snagwords, accusing you of “hate” , “Screaming”, “shouting down others” or some other ludicrous baseless assertation.

            He is an embarrassment.

          • David Lewis

            He is very difficult to understand too, He writes using a very strange style which is often almost impossible to interpret.

            I wonder what he is like in person.

          • Guest

            It’s called English, you might have heard of it.

            And I’m sure you’d like to find out, fortunately you’re nowhere near me.

          • Guest

            That user is another of Dave Robert’s “hidden history” alts, created entirely to troll.

            He spews personal hate unrelated to anything else with it, as he attacks people for even having a discussion where they differ, and spews far right crap about how disagreeing with him is mental illness.

            You, sock puppet, simply have a problem with your constant attacks being called that, as you demand I share your issues.

            #Sosorrytroll

      • Dave Postles

        You might consider visiting Hull again in a year, once the Siemens’ investment has revitalized the place.

  • derekemery

    Today’s left liberals only have the one moral trigger whereas the vast majority of the public have all five see http://www.livescience.com/6329-.html

    The political brain is not only irrational but worse still relies extensively on confirmation bias to come to completely biased conclusions and to ignore information that cannot be rationally discounted see http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060131092225.htm

    This article illustrates the one moral trigger political brain at work. Left liberals are never going to understand the concerns of ordinary people with all five moral triggers because the other four moral triggers make no sense.

    • Danny

      Erm, your article states that “left liberals” have two moral triggers, harm AND fairness.

      What you article says to me is that conservatively-minded people allow their moral judgements to be formed by an automatic respect for at times questionable authority, out-dated traditions and a peculiar notion about the sacredness of the body. Without these triggers, it would appear considerably easier to reach a sound moral conclusion. Your process is not going to be clouded by a desire to impress authority or an attachment to a certain tradition.

      The articles goes on to say that with the five moral triggers, it is understandable why certain conservatives are opposed to gay marriage. It is a minority of the electorate who oppose gay marriage, so presumably it is a minority of voters who are burdened (not assisted) with these five moral triggers.

      The article then goes on to suggest that people are driven to conservatism by seeing the world as a threatening place. So their opinions are shaped by an underlying sense of fear. Not the greatest means of reaching a rational, moral conclusion on a given issue.

      I get the impression from your post that you feel left-leaning people are somehow hampered by their lack of moral triggers, yet you have posted a link that seems to suggest it is the conservative leaning people that have a less astute moral compass.

      It’s ironic really, given the content of the article. You’ve read it and shaped it to fit you’re own ideas. Confirmation bias in action.

    • Guest

      Ah, a new pseudo-science to go with phrenology, eugenics, etc.
      All to find the “subhumans” in the basement.

      Never mind the article does not agree with your stance.

      And an article which applies to all kinds of views.

  • Barry_Edwards

    Offer homes (including lots of council homes), jobs and proper enforcement of a minimum wage that is not below the living wage? Part of the fear of immigration is the idea that someone of uncertain immigration status will not complain when paid below the minimum wage and that’s what many bosses want.

    Based on what Islington and many other local auhorities have done, how about a National Fairness Commission?

  • Ian Robathan

    Oh I would ask in this is Crosby a UKIP plant ?? The further they track right the more they make UKIP more relevant by saying their points are correct.

  • ZintinW4

    Labour, via their tactics in Scotland, have revealed themselves as being closer to the Tories than they are to ordinary people. Added to that Miliband is a disaster, playing games delivering speeches without notes and failing to inspire or connect with ordinary people. A disaster waiting to happen.

  • c777

    UKIP’s massive swing actually came from the largest political party in Britain.
    The none of the above party.
    Its a shame for the none of the above party, they suffered a massacre in Heywood and Middleton last night.

    • Danny

      Turnout was 36%. Therefore the none of the above party received almost twice the amount of votes of all the parties combined.

    • RegisteredHere

      Most of the UKIP votes in Manchester seemed to come from the Libs and Cons. NOTA wiped the floor with the rest (as usual).

  • Dan

    If Labour want poor people to vote for them, then they need to offer them things that will help them, rather than yet more cuts and misery. I can’t understand why this is such a difficult concept for the leadership to grasp.

    • Tom Sanders

      In the past they’ve offered more welfare – their tool of choice to acquire votes. Now we’re skint, so they can’t. I believe the leadership has grasped that.

      • Ian Robathan

        actually if you had sense of economics you would know we are not ‘skint’ at all and if we collected the taxes due and now avoided/evaded we would in fact be running a very comfortable budget surplus.

      • Leon Wolfeson

        Fiat Currency. You might want to read up on it.
        (We’re not in the Euro, we have control of the pound…)

        On the other hand, do you believe in the Magic Jobs Tree?

  • Leon Wolfeson

    “I find that a pretty scary omission.”

    Byelection! And the right came out to vote, the left did not. (Low turnout, etc.)
    *That* is your warning.

  • Gafto

    It costs hundreds of thousands to treat someone with HIV. Most decent people would feel that their taxes would be better spent on schools, hospitals, police, etc rather than treatment for an immigrant to this country who has paid nothing in whatsoever. If the author thinks that is unreasonable and he is indicitive of the Labour party on this issue, then the reason why people are turning from Labour is patently obvious. Referring to UKIP as an incoherent rabble does not do Labour any favours, by doing that you are also besmirching those citizens who have voted or are thinking of voting for UKIP. This illustrates the disdain and contempt for the citizens of this country by Labour if they are deemed to have voted for something other than the Labour party.

    • Ian Robathan

      Would you have not treated a Nobel prize winner then ?

      And I presume therefore you would have everyone tested for HIV at points of entry, how will this be afforded ? What would you say to businesses whose customers are told they have to be tested for HIV ?

      • Gafto

        What makes the life of a Nobel prize winner more important than say a child from Somalia?

        Testing for HIV would be multitudes of times cheaper than treatment. Plenty of countries test immigrants for diseases, what are you saying, that we should not enquire as to the health of immigrants to this country and let the British tax payer fund treatment for any and everybody who turns up here with a serious health problem?

        • Ian Robathan

          do you actually have any figures on that ?

          how many do that then ?

          Or is it just a typical scare story about immigrants we now see more and more of. We have had years now of open movement in the EU so I am sure you have the figures then ?

          • Gafto

            We already test for TB. Maybe you would like to drop that and treat the world for everything while you are at it.

          • Ian Robathan

            any figures ?

          • Northerner

            46 countries test for HIV for migration and/or work visas.

          • Dave Postles

            TB is highly infectious, which is why there are tests.

          • Northerner

            Saudi Arabia and other Arab states require HIV testing and clearance for work visa purposes. it is not at all unusual. Working in the Arab on and off over 20 years I had half a dozen HIV tests.

          • Ian Robathan

            so lets see you want us to be the same as a state who behead people publicly for what we call the most minor of offences. A Country that has funded AQ and IS ?

          • Northerner

            Also the United States. Go on now. Blah blah again.

          • Lesmond Nyjacks

            Yes Ian, how perceptive of you.
            Northerner really does want to live in a country in which women are not allowed to drive, a country where people are executed for witchcraft.

            Or did he simply state that Saudi Arabia and other Arab states require HIV testing and clearance for work visa purposes.

          • Guest

            Enumerating your policies again, I see.

            Before you demand we be more like Saudi. Oh wait, a redundant statement there.

            Look, just because you’re from there, Dave/LB..

          • Guest

            Oh right, “let’s be like Saudi Arabia”.

          • Lesmond Nyjacks

            Totalitarians who will not accept any dissent, even when it flies in the face of reason, Leon/Laurie, you would be right at home!

          • Guest

            Dave/LordBlagger, why would I be at home with you?

            Keep fighting the Laurie in your mind, your chimera, as you talk about your views.

        • Leon Wolfeson

          The reality is that tourists and business visitors, who are the *high volume* of people moving between countries are those who tend to spread diseases.

          And who will pay for this? A new charge for crossing the border? Countries test for highly infectious diseases, and the trend is *against* rejecting people for carrying HIV, as it’s controllable (and the drugs are getting better).

          • Gafto

            Im not talking about the spread of disease. Nor am I talking about business visitors or tourists who are hardly likely to demand being treated for HIV for the rest of their lives by the NHS, they would not be eligible. The conversation is in relation to people who immigrate to the UK on a permanent basis. HIV is controllable and you are right that treatment is getting better. Cost is the concern, the cost to the tax payer of this country when cuts are being made in every direction. The cost of treating someone who has just arrived, never made any contribution but at the same time is eligible to have £300,000 spent on their treatment. This is not right, hence the UKIP proposal for screening for those who wish to live in this country. Just as the US screens prospective citizens, it is common sense. For the author to mock this suggestion is ridiculous in the extreme.

            I’m not sure what point you are making.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            The US no longer blocks people for carrying HIV.

            Of course you can’t get my point.

          • Gafto

            Forgive me. You are obviously more clever than me. I bow to your intellect, maybe one day I will get your point if I keep working hard at it.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Intellect? It’s about not making assumptions about what you’re reading.

          • Lesmond Nyjacks

            “It’s about not making assumptions about what you’re reading.”

            Take your own advice Leon, you would be doing us all a favour.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Ah, you’re back to “all my usernames/personalities”

            And of course you want free favours from me, as you randomly attack me (again) in an unrelated post, using whatever you can distort to launch your venom.

            The usual.

          • Northerner

            Around 1 in every 650 people in the UK has HIV but the two groups with highest rates of HIV are gay and bisexual men and African men and women, where the rates are approximately 1 in 20 and 1 in 25 respectively. (NHS website)

            46 countries currently test for HIV for migrants and work visa purposes.

            The proposal is in line with the USA with regard to rules for provision of work permits.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            …The USA no longer blocks people for HIV. 2010, do keep up.

          • wycombewanderer

            Nor does it provide free healthcare for pre existing conditions, that is the point surely?

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Actually, HIV *treatment* is not always free for immigrants. That’s dependent on the policy of the regional NHS – it is in England, but not in Scotland, Wales or NI. The *test* is always free (and for good reason).

        • Dave Postles

          She wasn’t a Nobel Prize winner when she was treated. It was an act of humanity.

    • treborc1

      So saving people would not be high on your UKIP agenda then, mind you it’s not g high on labour’s either, in Cardiff they sent home a women a mother who had cancer she died six month later unable to afford private treatment.

      seems if you rolled the Tories labour and UkIP into one politician you have somebody like Blair.

      The reason the people are not voting in numbers is simple why bother they are basically careerists any way

      • fubar_saunders

        so, its down to the UK system to save every HIV patient regardless of where in the world they may originate from and whether they have contributed to the system or not? Really? You think you’d get that anywhere else in the world?

        And as for Cardiff…. guess who is the majority in the Welsh adminstration. You guys run the NHS in Wales and its a mess. Cant blame that on anyone but yourselves.

        This is why people are turning away from you. They just dont beleive you any more.

        • leslie48

          The fascists always pick off the victims – in this case the ill, poor and forsaken. Jesus we need you now to challenge these mean hearted bastards who would do down anyone outside England who they dislike – immigrants, foreigners, the poor, unwell, fleeing Syrians, massacred Iraqis, dying Africans, For Jesus sake we are one of the richest countries in the world. (10th according to FT this week) stop moaning and help someone.

          • fubar_saunders

            I’ll take that as a yes then. Everyone no matter who in the world, no matter how, no matter where, no matter what, can come to Britain and Leslie and his mates will make sure that you are treated for free.

            Which of course, naturally, the rest of the world will reciprocate, obviously.

            Glad we cleared that up.

          • Guest

            So you make arrant and arrogant assumptions, and you certainly are still here. If you hate the UK that much, as you in reality just want to create barriers to NHS treatment…to devalue it in people’s eyes…

          • fubar_saunders

            Oh Leon, you’re back. How wonderful. I wondered how I would cope without your searing political intellect.

          • fubar_saunders

            Oh and incidentally, Leon, I cant remember if I told you this or not before, I dont hate my country. I’ve served it for a damn sight longer than you have.

            Dont pretend to speak for me, thank you. I’m perfectly capable of doing that for myself. A most irritating habit that you lefties have. You guys truly have no idea, no comprehension at all how much that turns voters off. No idea at all.

          • Guest

            LordBlagger;

            I’m sure you serve your country well, long and hard.

            On the other hand, I’m, British.

            And there you go again, with the PC bigotry about “lefties”, and that only right wing politics should ever be talked about.

          • fubar_saunders

            I have no knowledge of who Lord Blagger is. I told you this on Left Foot Forward where you made an equally unedifying spectacle of yourself, like a municipal park drunk swigging from a half-bottle wrapped up in a brown paper bag.

            You may well be British in terms of your domiciliary status. Thats about as far as it goes.

          • Lesmond Nyjacks

            Let’s all go round Leslie’s yard!
            She is so big hearted, but obviously she wont be paying with her own money.

          • leslie48

            I am a man. Thankyou very much.

          • Guest

            What a surprise, you want to leech off people poorer than you, all your personalities will be there!

          • leslie48

            You miss the point ; of course we cannot help everyone in the world. But we can help some. Imagine if it was your family on the run in Syria from Assads jets and killings or escaping tyranny and war from some dysfunctional north Africa state because of your politics or religion or ethnicity or sexual orientation. The hard Right Wing have moved us into such isolationism we would rather let the rich Arab, Chinese or Russian billionaires come here and buy up London then take the asylum seekers or now HIV sufferers or whatever group the semi-fascists designate.

            And of course we need controls ( its the Tories now slashing the civil servants who police our borders and ports) but as one of the richest states in the world we can help others as Turkey, Germany or Sweden or Norway or many other advanced societies are doing.

          • fubar_saunders

            The hard right wing? Oh you mean, New Labour? Who let all the non doms in in the first place? It never ceases to amuse me that there are some people who throw the word “fascist” around like confetti, but in reality have no idea whatsoever as to what it is, what it means.

            These people who chuck these words around in such a pejorative fashion only use it because others around them who they wish to ingratiate themselves with use it – and to a man or woman, none of them I would venture have the faintest notion of what it is to have lived under a fascist regime and I would bet all the tea in China that none of them have any first hand experience of living under fascism. “Hard Right Wing”?? Puhleeze. Get a grip. You’re not lecturing some sink estate sub-educated dole fodder here.

            incidentally, if I remember rightly, didnt Farage make a comment about a year ago that there should be a favourable look at asylum applications from Syria? Which all the rest of the parties dismissed?

            Your white post-colonial guilt betrays you, Leslie. We’ve had half a century of that kind of self loathing undermining everything about the British way of life, thank to your lot.

            Try again.

          • leslie48

            Agreed, Boris J. or Labour letting Billionaires take our UK capital city’s property is wrong for the others, Brits, left behind. In many countries wholescale purchase by foreigners is not allowed but we go further we allow billionaires to purchase houses, apartments and office towers in London and then ‘ let’ them out at crazy rents to ( wait for it) to our own people. But that’s capitalism and under Labour there would be some more taxation of these billionaire foreigners to help fund our society.

            On the other issue calling it Fascism which I agree we can throw around. I guess my point is that we have here become less tolerant, less humane, more isolationist in respect of the world’s victims be they refugees or HIV sufferers or being indifferent for too long to the Syrian Massacres and the loss of 200,000 lives there. I nearly left Labour for their parliament vote wanting to remain indifferent to Assad;s ‘gassing’ of his many citizens last year. Britain is becoming more detached and isolated and I guess UKIP would reinforce that trend.

          • fubar_saunders

            well, it has to be said regrettably that the buy to let boom was stoked by one G. Brown Esq, formerly of 10 Downing Street. I didnt figure that out til I read Peston’s “Who Owns Britain” book… the whole thing was aimed towards private equity and BTL’s got favourable rates, wiping out the 1st time buyer sector and pricing them out.

            Not saying the coalition are any better – they’re not – but all we’re doing here, five years after Gordon got the boot is Continuity Brown economics.

            If you mean we’d be more detatched and isolated from the EU under UKIP, you’d be correct. Detatched and isolated in terms of foreign policy, that I dont know. We dont have the military projection that we used to have, the “ethical foreign policy” thing is laughable and DFID are quite happily burning money and the streets still arent safe, according to the three main parties.

            And where Assad is concerned…. I think Iraq and Afghan should have taught us to stay the hell out. Virtually anything we do out there is going to be grist to the fundamentalist mill.

          • Guest

            Yes, as you’re showing right here. At least you realise you’re a fundie.

            And no, Britain would be isolated from everyone else.

            You want to double-down on the same tactics the Coalition are using, which moved right from Brown. With much-reduced trade. Depression wouldn’t cover it.

          • fubar_saunders

            Bullsh*t. Alarmist, hyperbolic, attention seeking, shroudwaving bullsh*t.

          • Guest

            Blaming Labour for non-Doms…lmao.

            Your frantic attempts to revise away the usage of words, on the other hand…well..

            And no, I’d put a British “sink estate sub-educated dole fodder” well above you, they do a lot less damage to the UK – education can be fixed, jobs can be created and holding people’s parents against them is pathetic.

            That you call not hating the Other “self loathing”, ad you push to utterly smash British life in isolationist poverty and misery really gives your agenda away.

          • fubar_saunders

            Oh dear oh dear oh dear….. give it up Leon, before you end up being even more embarrassed than what you are already.

            Sucking up to the poor to rape them of their votes is one thing after which you dont give a toss about them.

            Kissing their arses in the process…. oh dear…..

          • treborc1

            I found you on another site by following your up voters your a plank as I though a UKIP voter who looks to have moved from the BNP… never mind they say a cure is close.

          • fubar_saunders

            thats *you’re* 🙂

            BNP? Oh, you mean, New Labour with Added Racism?

            Tell me this, Treborc, if you can. Why is it that parties such as the BNP and the National Front of old only grow and prosper under Labour administrations?

            But, hey… the more time you spend slagging the likes of me off and denouncing anyone who doesnt think like you do as being crypto-fascists, the less time you get to spend on looking at your own party and figuring out quite how and why some Johnny-come-lately racists, fruitcakes and loonies came within a thousand votes of overturning one of your safest seats.

            I mean, dont let me interrupt you. You carry on mate.

          • Guest

            So you’re now making excuses for your far right.
            Who are, of course, doing just fine today.

            Your historical illiteracy (of Britain, at least) is just sad.

            The right came to vote in the byelection, the left stayed at home. No conspiracy theory needed.

            Oh and Crypto? Who said crypto?

          • fubar_saunders

            “historical illiteracy”?????

            What planet are you on?

          • fubar_saunders

            Oh and its interesting as well to note that your first retort is to try and look for mud to discredit the poster as opposed to trying to answer the questions in the first place.

            How very typically New Labour.

        • treborc1

          Tell me your not UKIP or the Nazi party are you for god sake, Wales are having a mess because the planks in London keep cutting funding, but we would I hope still treat people with HIV, why are you so hot on HIV we have other illnesses would you save a women or man with Ebola .

          God this site does attract the muppets when an election is coming our way.

          • fubar_saunders

            Oh. So, the fact that the London muppets are cutting funding has absolutely no bearing on your majority devolved governments ability to prioritise spending eh?

            Or it is a case of most Labour fiefdoms where the money is just blown on your own pet projects and anything that isnt left for critical services is just blamed on the tories which the politically thick lap up and just accept as gospel?

            You guys use the words Nazism and Fascism like they’re going out of fashion. I doubt that any of you have the faintest notion of what it means or what its like under those regimes. The more you throw these words around, the more you devalue them, the more you devalue those who struggled against Faciscm and Nazism and gave their lives to fight it.

            But, in your desire to shroudwave and to hyperbolise everything to scare the crap out of the politically dim on whose backs you depend, it doesnt really matter does it?

            People still will be treated with HIV. My own brother in law died from HIV. With the exception of the haemophiliacs, HIV is a lifestyle disease. Education has done as much to minimise its impact in Western Europe in the last 20 years as finding a clinical means to defeat it. Likewise, Ebola, providing the appropriate barrier techniques and hygene levels are maintained can be prevented from turning into a pandemic.

            What I said to Leslie is that it is not the UK’s responsibility to try and heal everyone in the world from every single condition whenever they may show up. Leslie was attempting to subvert a Farage comment into a line of “today, they dont give a crap about foreigners with HIV, tomorrow if you vote for them, they wont give a crap about you with your ingrown toenails or your flu or whatever else it is you might catch”. The rest of the world will not reciprocate in treating migrants from the UK with pre-existing conditions whenever they pitch up at the local equivalent of A&E. There is no reason why we in the UK should be manouvering ourselves into being a global health service. That is insanity on every level.

            But his post had nothing to do with what is financially practical, what is clinically deliverable, and everything to do with trying to tar-brush everyone except Labour as being parties who dont give a toss for the sick. Which is, lowest common denominator mudslinging garbage.

            I mean, if you figure that Labour havent got enough control in Wales and can make an even bigger pigs ear of it, you carry on. Between you lot and Plaid Cymru, if you get devo max, you’ll be able to take it back to the 3rd world within one parliamentary term. You carry on mate.

          • Guest

            Why don’t your educate us as to what you intend for Britain, then, as compared to the regiemies who previously followed your ideology?

            And no, that devalues them is your attempt to drag us there.

            “lifestyle disease”

            Tell that to the University student who got infected from his GF, who got it from her last boyfriend, who got it from…

            Nope, you’re just being bigoted.

            Your ignorance of NHS policies (HIV treatment, as opposed to tests, is NOT free for immigrants in much of the UK) is notable.

            And 3rd world? Where did he say he supported you?

          • fubar_saunders

            You’re just kissing the a**e of someone that chances are you’ve made up in trying to lay the usual left wing guilt trip.

            If said uni student did end up being HIV+ because he failed to take adequate precautions regarding the sexual history of his chosen partner thats his look out.

            I mean after all, we’ve only been going on about safe sex for a generation and a half.

            Thats not bigotry. Thats letting your d**k do your thinking for you and not taking precautions. Hence, had he not played hide the sausage with this girl without taking adequate precautions until he knew her sexual history, he would not be HIV+. Plain and simple. Thats not bigotry, its fact and a choice that he made that backfired on him. Hence, he took a high risk lifestyle choice. Thems the breaks. You play Russian roulette, one of the chambers is gonna be loaded.

            I’m not standing for election. Why should I tell you what I intend for Britain when it’ll never be enacted and I’ll never seek any kind of political mandate for it to be enacted?

      • leslie48

        rubbish – spending on NHS went up under Blair, hospital waits went down, Cancer queues went down, patients were given more choices, more appointments were available then before, new hospitals were built, more medics were attracted into the NHS as wages were no longer held to Thatcher levels. People like you do a disservice to Labour who ran the UK for over 13 years and led a nation at least the 6th to 8th richest in the world.

        • Dez

          You forgot, and trashed the country with the worst recession since the 1930’s.

          • Guest

            The Coalition certainly did.

            Oh wait, that was a *depression*. After other countries had recovered from the recession caused by the banking crisis.

            Obviously wasn’t deep enough for you, go figure.

          • Dez

            Trying to re-write history?
            Not going to work.

          • Guest

            Yes, so why do you keep trying it?

          • leslie48

            The Recession followed the Global financial Crisis in 2008. Oh I forgot Gordon was running Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Portugal, America, Germany, France, Belgium, Holland, Austria, Greece and Cyprus all of whom went into recession, property collapse, banking defaults, and higher unemployment.

          • Chrisso

            Is there much point to LabourList? As malign one-liners such as the above and some others (certainly not from Labour supporters) get 20 likes, 94 likes, etc. I could go to Conservative Home for this kind of nonsense.

          • Dave Postles

            No, stay. Your contributions are helpful.

    • Chrisso

      https://twitter.com/jamesgraham/status/520594897171410944?s=04
      This is all you need to say about Ukip and Farage’s attitude to anyone needing help, isn’t it? (Picture of Nobel peace prize winner in Birmingham)

      • fubar_saunders

        If you’re going to reduce someones comments to such simplistic, lowest common denominator mudslinging, then yes, its all you need to say. It would be even better for some to speak less, speak more accurately and not to bullshit for their own political gain, but hey, you cant have everything, can you Leon?

        • Guest

          Who are you talking to? Not me.

          Fine, you oppose HIV treatment.

      • Gafto

        Conflating a good will gesture of providing emergency help to a girl shot in the face, with the ‘National’ health service treating the entire worlds HIV problem at the expense of the British tax payer is the sign of an utter moron. The Nobel prize has nothing to do with the price of fish is this regard. Is her life more important because she has won a prize? What is your point regarding the prize? Someone else mentioned the Nobel peace prize too, why?

        • Guest

          Yes, you are an utter moron. Thanks for opposing HIV treatment and wanting people to be judged entirely based on what they look like, though, not what they have done or will do.

          • Gafto

            Where did I mention judging people on ‘what they look like’?
            What have HIV positive people from third world countries done or are likely to do? Enlighten me why don’t you you idiot.

          • Gafto

            I felt maybe I was being harsh in my response. Maybe you are younger than me, without children, idealistic. If that is the case there is no point in us commenting further for we are years apart.

      • fubar_saunders

        Execrable, to use a picture of a young girl shot in the head in a far away land and conflate that with a quote that has absolutely sod all to do with the picture.

        typical lowest common denominator hypocritical b*ll*cks. Only the truly stupid or manipulative would tie the quote and the picture together.

        And only the truly thick as p*gsh*t tribals with a chip on their shoulders would buy it.

        Plenty of them to go around though. Mind you, they nearly all evaporated in one of the safe seats in a recent by election, but….

    • Chrisso

      This is all you need to say about Farage’s comment….(This is the Nobel peace prize winner in Birmingham: clearly she should have been turned away)
      https://twitter.com/jamesgraham/status/520594897171410944?s=04

  • volcanopete

    The commonality is that people are sick and tired of outsourcing and privatisation and the whole process of marketisation.Polls show that bringing public services back into common ownership is what both Labour and Ukip voters support.It seems Labour has got its head up the backside of the Bilderberg agenda so far it only serves private profit and not the needs of ordinary folk.Every time Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson,who were arch-marketisers-open their mouths,the UKIP vote goes up but the call for common ownership remains.

    • David Lewis

      Any evidence for this assertion?

    • Leon Wolfeson

      Not quite – the polling evidence is that it’s generally popular with all voters *except* the Tory ones.

      But you’ll blame the Bilgebarge agenda.

  • Malcolm McCandless

    “Labour is going to have to talk about immigration and welfare”

    I call that pandering to xenophobia and the extreme right. What else would you call it?

    • Freddie

      Addressing the concerns of the working class.

      • Malcolm McCandless

        So Labour thinks the working class are homogeneous group of racist and isolationist neo-liberals? Wow!

        Thanks for letting me know.

        • Freddie

          No it doesn’t think that. It knows that a lot of them are voting for UKIP, in no small part because people like you are so quick to jump up and down to defend capital’s right to move labour across borders to hammer workers rights.

          • Guest

            “It knows”.

            Except the polling data showing otherwise, but facts.

            Given UKIP’s strong anti-rights views…

          • Freddie

            They came 600 votes from winning a safe labour seat. They’ve been winning council wards across traditional labour areas. Poll after poll has shown UKIP is second only to Labour amongst the WWC.

          • Guest

            Polling has shown little to no crossover between Labour and the UKIP.

            The UKIP is getting the right out to vote.
            The left are sitting at home, since Labour does not want their votes.

          • Freddie

            In the Fabians report Revolt On The Left 9 of the seats Labour could lose thanks to the UKIP have had Labour or Liberal MPs for the most of the last 50 years. One of them has returned a Labour MP continuously for the last 70 years. Unless they’ve all suddenly have an influx of Middle class racists since 2013 UKIP must have a considerable base of working class support. sticking your fingers in your ears won’t make this go away.

          • Guest

            Fabians. Moderate right. With their constant stories that Labour should move right.

            The polling data does not agree.
            I am using facts, not fingers in my ears.

          • Freddie

            “No I don’t like that data.”

          • Guest

            “No I don’t like that data.”

            Indeed, that is precisely what you are saying to the polling data, years of it. And?

    • Robert Basset

      Your finger in ears holier than thou idiocy is part of why people are abandoning your sham party in droves.

      • Malcolm McCandless

        So which sham party do you support?

  • Jane Manby

    Labour will have a better chance of winning the next elect if it stops treating the electorate as though they were stupid. Last night on question time Harriet Harman was banging on about cutting ministers wages by 5% if labour get in. Do they think the electorate are that stupid that we cannot work out that a 5% cut on top of a 10% increase is really just a 5% increase not a cut.
    And when they use the word ministers wages, what do they mean? All MPs, cabinet ministers, bit more definition needed here, unless it is being left open to interpretation deliberately.
    With the 10% increase MPs wages will be nearly three times the average wage. A 5% cut will still give them 4% more than other public employees thus the gap between them and their electorate will widen.
    A cabinet minister gets more than five times the average wage a 5% increase will tale it to nearly six times the average wage and 10% to more than six times.
    The question we should ask is are they worth it?

    • Guest

      Do you know why MP’s are paid? Look it up.

      We don’t need to go back to MP’s having to be rich to afford to do the job.

      • Lesmond Nyjacks

        “We don’t need to go back to MP’s having to be rich to afford to do the job.”

        Jane did not make the suggestion that we did..

        • Guest

          And you’re randomly attacking again, I see, as you don’t bother to do more than skim posts, and pick on one sentence of a two-sentence reply.

        • Jane Manby

          The point is not about the level of wages an MP earns or how rich you need to be to be one, but to suggest that a 5% promised cut after a 10% increase is a cut treats us as stupid.
          This is being sold as a “oo look how fair we are going to be and take a cut”
          Well it needs pointing out to them that a 5% increase is 4% more than other public sector employees are getting and is not a cut!
          In a time a of austerity and cuts when the labour party is promising us more austerity and cuts we should expect better from socialist MPs. To suggest that a 5% cut after a 10% increase is a cut is just more of politicians treating the electorate with disdain and contempt. If there is enough money to give MPs a raise of more than 1% then there is enough to give other public sector worker more than 1%.

      • Jane Manby

        The point is not about the level of wages an MP earns or how rich you need to be to be one, but to suggest that a 5% promised cut after a 10% increase is a cut treats us as stupid.

        This is being sold as a “oo look how fair we are going to be and take a cut”

        Well it needs pointing out to them that a 5% increase is 4% more than other public sector employees are getting and is not a cut!

        In a time a of austerity and cuts when the labour party is promising us more austerity and cuts we should expect better from socialist MPs. To suggest that a 5% cut after a 10% increase is a cut is just more of politicians treating the electorate with disdain and contempt. If there is enough money to give MPs a raise of more than 1% then there is enough to give other public sector worker more than 1%.

      • Jane Manby

        The point is not about the level of wages an MP earns or how rich you need to be to be one, but to suggest that a 5% promised cut after a 10% increase is a cut treats us as stupid.
        This is being sold as a “oo look how fair we are going to be and take a cut”
        Well it needs pointing out to them that a 5% increase is 4% more than other public sector employees are getting and is not a cut!
        In a time a of austerity and cuts when the labour party is promising us more austerity and cuts we should expect better from socialist MPs. To suggest that a 5% cut after a 10% increase is a cut is just more of politicians treating the electorate with disdain and contempt. If there is enough money to give MPs a raise of more than 1% then there is enough to give other public sector worker more than 1%.

        • Guest

          See, you came up with the answer at the end there.

          • Jane Manby

            What? Are you completely nuts or do you just not read anything properly. Also you fail to construct an understandable reply, just posting what you think are clever comments. poor form

          • Jane Manby

            ????????? Can’t make up my mind whether you are just a complete twonk or you just don’t read thing properly.

  • Robert Basset

    Ah the slow death of labour.

    When will you all wake up to the fact you are NOT the “good guys”, you are not fighting the good fight, you do not represent working class Britain. Labour are but one column of the failed establishment. Stop flapping about how you can “win” and start looking out for the British people and perhaps they may vote for you. But of course with 95% of your mp’s in the EU bag don’t hold your breath.

    • Danny

      Robert Basset? Bertie Bassett? I’m sure someone is going to chew you out for that comment.

      I’ll get my coat…

      • David Lewis

        Well it takes allsorts.

    • Guest

      Oh yea, democracy and trade are so terrible.

      • Lesmond Nyjacks

        So succinct,

        “democracy and trade are so terrible.”

        That really is the pure essence of what Robert had to say.

        Leon, I will keep calling you out on your miserable constructs, you are a Niagara Falls of Bullshit.

        Stop lying and misrepresenting people, it really is a piss poor tactic, even in live debate.
        You must remember, that this is not a live debate, anyone reading this thread can look back at all previous posts.

        Stop putting words in other peoples mouths.
        Stop Straw-manning.

        • Guest

          I’m not following your dogma, Dave/LordBlagger, as you piss all over the thread and scream that I am following your dogma and beliefs, that you’re now magically American and surfing the Niagara Falls in your bullsheet or whatever nonsense is today’s excuse.

          You are Robert now, as well, I see. You’re everyone!

          • Lesmond Nyjacks

            Laurie wolfenstine,

            I have no dogma.
            You must stop lying and straw manning, I have called you out for the clown that you are, all day long.

            I am not “magically American and surfing the Niagara Falls”

            Have you escaped from the circus?
            You clown.

            Another Leon snagword, “scream”, people do not disagree with Leon they “scream”

            Do us all a favour Laurie/Leon, take a long lie down, you are over emotional and it is effecting your judgement.

  • FMcGonigal

    Labour should listen to the people and now offer a referendum on EU membership.

    • Robert Basset

      Zero chance of that, 95% of labour MP’s are bought and paid for.

    • Guest

      So they should lose a chunk more support and hammer the UK’s economy. Erm…

      • FMcGonigal

        Many who are pro-EU would welcome a referendum to settle the matter. If they believe that EU membership is vital to the UK economy they should have no problem arguing their case.

        • Guest

          Okay, and you’ll of course ant-up the billions we’d need for the lost investment up-front?

          And while *some* would, many would not welcome appeasement of the right.

  • Dez

    The problem in H&M is that the voters wanted to talk about immigration but Labour wanted to talk about the NHS.

    • David Lewis

      Exactly. well spotted. If you go into a modern hospital these days they seem much better, cleaner, brighter and the staff aren’t quite so rude and condescending so it looks like `job done’.

      Labour just does not see this and never lets up on the NHS which irritates many and bores many others half to death.

      Labour has always been convinced that their obsessions are shared with the outside world and they seldom are. Nationalisation/privatisation is another good example.

      I was sitting in the living room of my brother in law in Toronto with most of the family watching the opening of the Olympics. Most of them are either senior teachers and staff nurses with one A&E trauma surgeon.

      He said `why are those obese women in old nurses uniforms jumping up and down on Victorian hospital beds?’ It took me a few moments to understand what was going on and I explained that it was a leftist political show of support for the British health system.

      My niece, a senior staff nurse at St Joe’s sad `wow that is creepy’ and Mike the surgeon said `is that ever weird’.

      I was mortified of course.

      • Guest

        It’s shiny, but the staff are few, and service times long. But it’s all fine for you, as you don’t need to – the rapidly worsening NHS means nothing when you have good private insurance.

        And of course you’re confused as to why people like healthcare they can afford. Go figure.

        • David Lewis

          As always, you have not read my post properly or simply have not understood it.

          • Guest

            And yet I’ve read it, and my English is fine.
            I’m also using logic, and cause and effect.

            Where am I going wrong, exactly?

          • David Lewis

            You are confusing facts with perception.

          • Guest

            Oh, it’s I’m not a relativist.
            Guess we’ll continue to disagree then.

          • David Lewis

            No it is simpler than that. You just have not understood my post.

          • Guest

            Your problem is I do understand and talk about the consequences of your path.

          • David Lewis

            Does this have some meaning?

          • Guest

            Evidently your posts do not, as you’re going in circles.

          • Lesmond Nyjacks

            No Laurie, you are again misunderstanding and projecting.

          • Guest

            Keep raging against the Laurie in your mind, the chimera on which you beat and then spam about here.

            Consequences are a foreign language to you.

          • Lesmond Nyjacks

            “Consequences are a foreign language to you.”

            Pure Science Laurie, that is so profound.

            Leon. Why are you such an obnoxious idiot?

      • NT86

        My dad is a doctor and even he thought the whole NHS tribute in the opening ceremony was weird. This deification of the NHS like it is a god is becoming a redundant exercise, as it’s the only thing Labour can claim an advantage over while ignoring just about everything else (economy, immigration, Europe). While I am sure that most people are grateful for it, it’s not the flawless immaculate health care system that the left tries to parade at every opportunity.

        I mean, how many emerging economies like India and China are clamouring for an NHS-style system?

        • David Lewis

          Precisely. The closest and only system I know which in any way resembles the NHS is the Canadian health system which is insurance driven.

          They deliver a `private’ quality health service to the non private public by a compulsory premium deducted from wages with a safety net for those in need.

          Israel and Australis do something similar too with very high standards.

          • Guest

            Israel’s health system is a disaster.

            If you want a decent model, look at the Netherlands.
            Pure wage deductions hurt the poor – you need a % salary component.

          • gunnerbear

            As do the Germans, Dutch and French – but then the public in those countries have decided to pay more for health as well.

  • “More Tory than the Tories” – but we also need to have a more compelling case to explain why disillusioned voters should even give us a second look in the first place. We aren’t there yet.

    That is a complete and utter waste of time. Labour voters do not vote for UKIP because of party politics they vote because of immigration and multiculturalism. UKIP mix those core issues with housing, school places, waits for health services etc. UKIPs policy on most things is second to that core area. Let me make one thing very clear. There are no votes for the Labour Party by moving to the right on these social issues. The Conservatives have tried to outflank UKIP and they’ll always do one better.

    I would also like to point out that whilst we shouldn’t take white working class voters for granted, Labour should not assume that white middle class and “metropolitan” voters along with BAME voters will continue to support the Labour Party if it pivots on those issues which perplex so many “natural” Labour Supporters. In a General Election context the Green, Liberal and Swing voters will “lend” a vote to Labour to keep UKIP out. So I do not think this is a huge issue.

    If Labour starts with the “British Jobs for British workers” nonsense there are plenty of other alternatives for voters particularly in PR elections but also in Scotland and Wales.

    • gunnerbear

      Ahh…the “Well the Guardianista types will support us….f**k the blue collars off…we don’t need ’em….” strategy. Have to say it is very daring – especially as UKIP hoover up the ‘2nd choice votes’ and split the vote in Labour strongholds.

      • The “Guardianista” types are far more important in the longer term. I think it’s really important that people realise that the working class Labour vote is not backing UKIP because of their actual policy on jobs or economics or health. It’s immigration and multiculturalism and the impact they perceive they have. If Labour addresses them, in line with their wants, what is stoping the Conservatives and then UKIP going a little bit further or speaking a little bit sharper ? Labour will never be perceived as taking the issues “seriously”.

        Yes Labour needs to improve it’s standing in those core areas but we should not assume that the “Guardian types” and BME voters who are absolutely fundamental in all of our big Labour cities will blindly continue to vote Labour if they drastically change tone on those issues. There are far more votes and seats to lose here than the possibility of 1 or 2 northern seats going UKIP Put it into context, the SNP could actually win 26 seats next year, id be far more worried about that, than pandering to UKIP, Galloway Caroline Lucas could easily retain their seats, far more important.

        • gunnerbear

          “It’s immigration and multiculturalism and the impact they perceive they have.” Yep, Labour smashed it’s core voters in the teeth by flooding the country with low cost labour thus hammering down wages for those at the bottom…..but RS, according to you, that’s fine because Labour’s new best friends are the ‘Guardianistas’.

          • That is an oversimplification, and quite childish. They are not “Labour’s core voters”. They are non voters disenfranchised who never vote and or have not voted in 10-20 years, typically. That is not a “Core Labour vote”. They are also Blue Collar white working class Tories. People forget that Margaret Thatcher and John Major were working class and enjoyed enormous working class support. I concede that many of them are people who should naturally vote Labour and too many came from Labour, but it is a fact that Labours % held and increased in the seat and will do in most places.

            Flooding the country with who? It is a myth. Are you talking about Europe? If so , those people moaning now would be in an economic wasteland without access to European Markets. People use multiculturalism and immigration as a proxy for Thatcher killing industry and jobs.

            UKIP does terribly in major cities and areas with lots of immigrants, ethnic minorities and “connected issues”. Why? Because there is employment and opportunity in those areas. That is the key to this debate in my opinion. How can Labour spread opportunity to those traditional white working class areas in the country. There is an enormous amount of EU and ethnic minority migration up to Scotland and these issues aren’t half as profound.

          • gunnerbear

            “UKIP does terribly in major cities and areas with lots of immigrants, ethnic minorities and “connected issues”. Why?” Why..to put it crudely, the non-whites don’t vote UKIP – they vote Labour as they know Labour is the party of the hand-outs and open borders. They maybe unemployable scroungers – look at the unemployment rates for assorted ethnic groups – but even they are that f**kin’ stupid. “That is not a “Core Labour vote”. They are also Blue Collar white working class Tories.” Are you seriously suggesting that in areas like Heywood and Middleton, the UKIP voters were white Tories? This is H&M we’re talking about not Tunbridge Wells – the Labour vote collapsed and the party came within inches of it going horribly wrong? Think the voters in Rotherham – now deserting Labour – are all Tories?

          • Your first paragraph is very ill-informed. Large chunks of the “ethnic minority vote” support the Liberals and Conservatives and were key to bringing them to power in many parts of South London, Putney, Wandsworth, Birmingham and Bristol. I could name more. Do some research, the Conservatives have 1 or 2 less BME MPs than Labour.

            Also you have a very poor grasp of policy. Unemployment rates are also linked to poverty and location. Compare and contrast BAME or immigrant communities/people in London with Bristol or Kent. Location is important and poverty drives that indicator. You also seep to gloss over the fact that most unskilled immigration is white European.

            ” Are you seriously suggesting that in areas like Heywood and Middleton, the UKIP voters were white Tories?”

            I didn’t say that. Many of them are. Just because you vote Labour does not mean you are a left leaning socialist. Many of them were traditional social conservatives, from marriage and relationships to law and order and grammar school education. It is not a huge leap to for many people in that catchment to Vote for Thatcher and Major, which many did or now UKIP, after the Labour Party modernised.

            ” Think the voters in Rotherham – now deserting Labour – are all Tories?”

            You speak in absolutes like a 10 year old. Of course they are ” not all Tories” Rotherham is a particular case. So what, Labour might lose 1 or 2 maybe 3 seats to UKIP the Tories would lose more. They could lose 28 to the SNP, banging on about Europe, immigration and Multiculturalism is a sure way of making that a reality.

          • Guest

            No, they don’t vote UKIP because you are outright hostile to them.

            Your ragging on Citizens of the UK for having the wrong colour skin etc. is rrally telling, as you spout hate at the poor, and once more call for closing the borders to smash trade and dramatically raise poverty.

            You are denying the evidence from polls that there is little crossover between Labour and the UKIP – that the right are getting out there to vote, but the left are sitting at home because Labour is not representing them.

            And you want that to be worse, not better.

          • Lesmond Nyjacks

            Great!
            Leon/Laurie, Gunnerbear bid not “rag on” anyone for having the “wrong” colour skin.
            More of your delusional construct.

            Lots of the usual Leon/Laurie boilerplate.

            The Same ol’ boilerplate that turns up in the majority of your postings.

            “spout hate at the poor”

            “smash trade”

            “dramatically raise poverty”

            And this is one of your best (piss poor) efforts.
            Do us all a favour Laurie, shut up.

          • Guest

            Keep claiming that Labour did what you intend to do, there’s a difference, as you try and isolate the UK based on your repeated myths, as you excuse every last action the Coalition did to cause a depression.

            It’s not “perception”, it’s a lie based on propaganda, as you once more go right in the PC bigotry. You are what you decry.

          • Lesmond Nyjacks

            Leon/Laurie Penny,

            “as you excuse every last action the Coalition did to cause a depression.”

            Gunnerbear did not assert anything of the sort. It does not follow that he he excuses,

            “every last action the Coalition did to cause a depression”

            Stop the straw manning.

            You have been told time after time, you just look like a clown when you put your words in other peoples mouths.

            Everyone can go through this thread and see you for what you are.

            A fantasist, a liar, and a fool for thinking that you could get away with it.

      • Guest

        “Guardianista”

        What would you do without PC, and they’re splitting the Tory vote, yes. And?

        • Lesmond Nyjacks

          Half that comment is still in your head.

  • IAS2011

    I, like many others, would suggest that Miliband – and the Labour Party as a whole – is six years too late on the issue of “waking up!”

    With the most horrendous political failings – including, the politically secured partnerships that created the recession – where is the leadership from Miliband that acknowledges the viable small businesses that were purposely failed pre and post recession and the stifling of those bold ‘ordinary’ business folk who lost there homes too? Where is the acknowledgement of those bold and proactive job seekers who have been failed once again by a Work Programme that seems to only offer Tesco and KFC jobs to those were much greater skills?

    Why has Miliband’s leadership simply FAILED to reach out and give these ‘ordinary’ hard working people a VOICE?

    This particular forum with its emphasis on Labour waking-up just because UKIP won, is simply not in-tune with what should have happened and what should be happening with GREAT leadership.

    Miliband’s leadership – and the WEAKNESS of Labour to do anything about it – is what has left many thinking “who is actually fighting for us amid the challenges and goals I desperately”.

    Where is the ASPIRATION NATION agenda that is key to counteracting the poor attitudes, weak policies and economic stagnation that development itself yearns for and is reliant upon?

    SHAME ON LABOUR!!

    • David Lewis

      It never occurs to the Labour tribalists that you are allowed to go elsewhere.

      • Leon Wolfeson

        You’re missing the basics. There is no party speaking for the left across the UK.

        There are two options – one, reform labour. Two, voting reform.

        I like option two, but it’s not invalid for people to want option one.

        • David Lewis

          That is because there is little demand because leftist politics is associated with failure.

          There is the Socialist Workers Party or if you think you can drum up some interest in leftist politics, start your own party but people are more sophisticated these days.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            You’re making excuses for people not being represented, as you try and push your dislike of the left as anything broader than that.

            That you talk for “people”, that you try and dictate what is and isn’t allowable for the electorate…never mind the *fact* of Labour bleeding votes when it moves right!

            No surprise you’re hung up on the SWP still, either, and don’t get what FPTP means for small parties..

          • David Lewis

            I am quite comfortable with people who are on the left. I think of them as either being charmingly naive or uneducated or lacking in the ability to understand human nature and perhaps that is why they persist with their belief system even though it never succeeds ever, anywhere.

          • Guest

            Yes, as long as we don’t have a voice, and you get to practice your arrant PC bigotry against them. You seem to need those labels, that marking, of inferiority in your sight.

            And of course no Germany or Nordics (and many more) exist in your world, the UK sprung into existence in 1980, etc.

          • David Lewis

            Germany has a social democrat government which cannot be described as socialist unless you have a very vivid imagination indeed.

            Sweden at one time became somewhat leftist but their economy began to collapse so they changed their strategy to one similar to the present British government and the economy has seen a great improvement.

            Much to my amusement though, their electorate has just installed a new leftist government so we can expect a reversal of their fortunes French style.

          • Guest

            You’re now conflating left wing and socialist in a movement of the goal posts. And no, Sweden’s Nordic System is very unlike Britain’s, you’re outright wrong there.

            Your confusion over what happened in France…

            Oh, I get it – you’ll try and undermine them in the markets. Right.

      • IAS2011

        Yes David, those outspoken about weak leadership at the helm of the Labour Party can go elsewhere.

        However, one would have thought that in show on strength and progress in the right direction, one would not be careless to ignore constructive criticism from those who remember the Labour party as a Fair, Just and Progressive political party who would be willing to Engage, Listen and Empower REAL folk with the policies that can improve their Upwards Social Mobility.

        Like business, not willing to ask for advice from those you aiming to provide the best possible service too will lead, ultimately, to the failure of that business.

        It’s not difficult to understand. Thus, why hasn’t the leadership of the Labour party clocked onto this fundamental point?

        • David Lewis

          Well in truth, the Tory leadership haven’t done a splendid job either which is why I, after 50 odd years have stopped voting for them.

          I have suddenly realised (being a bit slow) that they have contempt for self-made lower middle class people like me, just as the Labour hierarchy have contempt for the so called `working class’.

          I’m afraid in both cases it is arrogance and a pompous sense of entitlement.

          • IAS2011

            David,
            I totally agree with your sentiments.

            Also, I feel that we will both agree that many are now so disillusioned with politics that voting is not an option for them. Thus, the media and political pressure to force people to vote for a leader or political party that fails to reflect any substance in the principles and disciplines that are important to them.

            I do wonder, given the more recent emphasis on pay rises for politicians, how many people on this forum and in the country actually realise that MPs have No Legal or Statutory Obligation to Represent anybody… and many times don’t do so effectively to achieve goals for challenged constituents who may well have been failed by the policies that their MPs have voted for.

            Have we not come to a period that demands that MPs representations are scrutinised so that we ALL can see how many problems they actually solve for constituents. Should they not have a targets – just like the same targets MPs voted on for our teachers and nurses?

            We certainly do need a democratic benchmark that is Fair and Just towards the people MPs claim to be representing. Has Miliband, or any other politician, provided any leadership here? I don’t think so.

          • David Lewis

            Yes indeed. Well said

          • IAS2011

            David, many thanks.

            I can’t help but think that our Voices – as is the case with many public Voices – are not harnessed in our TV media.
            If politics – and MPs that claim to provide a representative Voice for the public – is viable, then why do we still have this stifling in social mobility amid the horrendous failings by politicians and bankers that failed the economy… and the lives of many?

            WHERE ARE THE POLICIES to trigger the Inspiration and Skills that desperately need to be harnessed amid a Work Programme that remains selective and narrow in remit – only offering jobs in Tesco, KFC.. etc?

            My business sense questions why Labour is so weak in times where counteractive policies are key to redeveloping people’s lives and economic recovery.

            Simply put, could it be the FEAR and Weakness of engaging with REAL folk and giving them a VOICE, at the heart of why Labour shouldn’t be in power?

          • David Lewis

            Left leaning people are left leaning people because they either do not understand the concept of risk and reward or do not have the courage to embrace it, preferring to live on benefits or seek employment from the state in one form or another, being effectively supported by tax payers whose tax is generated by commercial enterprise..

            The consequence is that leftist parties they have no commercial understanding at all and thus cannot ever embrace any meaningful dialogue with business.

            So they always screw up.

          • IAS2011

            David, again, I agree with your sentiments.

            Isn’t this all about balance, and the ability to have expertise to balancing both the challenges and aspirations of community and business?

            Thus, does this seemingly comprehensive approach to balance – not denying a democratic foundation that enables fairness and injustice for all – begin when politicians engage with ordinary people, listen to the challenges and goals and empower them through policies and practices that reflect this data?

            I suggest there is a fundamental and desperate need for political change to enable this… ONLY if politicians have a will and determination.

            .. if only!

          • David Lewis

            Yes indeed apart from the fact that politicians think of their electorate as ordinary people and most people hate being thought of as ordinary, and that is the problem.

          • IAS2011

            David, I think I would challenge that.

            I believe that those whose voices feel suppressed by the media and political agenda’s would say they are ‘ordinary’ folk – part of a diverse agenda – whether it be employment or enterprise development focused.

            The fact that there is this seemingly – prioritisation of protecting BIG business and those who run it, this gives motivation to ‘what about us ordinary people’ agenda, I would say.

          • David Lewis

            Well I am sure there are some people who would like to think of themselves as `ordinary’ but not a very exciting frame of mind to be in I would reflect.

            It is big business who do the employing and whose shares take up the room in our pensions and who make and sell the stuff that people buy and who pay the corporation tax to feed the ever hungry government coffers and if some fail to do that, the government should bite them.

          • IAS2011

            David, I hear you.

            I suggest it always gets back to that term I originally used, ‘balance’.

          • David Lewis

            Good balanced government is always a matter of opinion and I cannot remember a government approved of by everyone but there have been some adequate attempts and some absolute horrors.

            I am at heart very much with you though.

          • IAS2011

            David, I think we will agree that there has been to seen to be a greater emphasis by politicians to achieve the type of ‘balance’ public engagement and policy development that a Fair and Just society needs in order to operate better and achieve more.

            If social mobility is so important to families, neighbourhoods, communities and the wider society, don’t we – and the debate through the media – need to be willing to give a voice to those who have suffered or been failed by poor policy decision making?

          • David Lewis

            What is `Fair and just’ depends upon whether you are buying or selling.

            I have never had the concept of `social mobility’ explained to me adequately so that it makes any sense.

            (It always sounds like a slogan in the same way that `inequality’ is just a slogan but in general terms I have sympathy for what you are saying.

    • gunnerbear

      “Where is the acknowledgement of those bold and proactive job seekers who have been failed once again by a Work Programme that seems to only offer Tesco and KFC jobs to those were much greater skills?” Because that is the modern reality of the jobs market in the UK today, partly driven by ‘free trade’ and ‘free movement of people’, is…..a very small ‘truly white collar’ professional layer, a tiny skilled working class layer, a f**kin’ great base layer of low pay, low skill jobs……..jobs for computer games designers and the like are very thin on the ground, ‘shelf stacking’ jobs are not in comparison.

      • Leon Wolfeson

        Complete nonsense. It’s purely domestic policy, and a highly damaging one. Plenty of countries with free movement and free trade do not allow workfare of remotely that nature – Germany as an example.

        You are blaming the Other. You are trying to create even more poverty, even less for normal people. Game designers, to use your example, are absolutely dependent on things like game distributors based in other countries (the UK market *alone* is not sufficient to sustain much), and much of the UK games industry has moved to Canada because there you can tap the global talent pool!

        • gunnerbear

          Respectfully, might I suggest you take a moment or two to read about the Hartz IV laws in Germany – in particular the provisions related to workfare.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            I have. They’re several orders of magnitude less draconian than the UK system, in a system which pays *far* better initially, covers housing far better…even the non-contributory payments are considerably higher than the UK’s!

            Of course, even the workfare requirements they gave has lead to a drastic cut in the incomes of many of the lowest waged to little above the non-contributory benefits, which is why Germany passing minimum wage laws is significant to 2-3% of the population. Regardless, they absolutely *do* not force people to work full-time for just their benefit, but pay people and the jobs are part-time.

        • gunnerbear

          “and much of the UK games industry has moved to Canada because there you can tap the global talent pool!” So no jobs in the UK then….which was pretty much the point I was making!

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Which is down *directly* to government policy, in several ways.

            (Canning the tax break they recently brought back, a hostile immigration policy, a hostile attitude in government towards the industry, etc.)

  • Grouchy Oldgit

    Depressing but not surprising. When things are wrong immigrants are an easy target to blame for taking jobs, homes etc rather than bothering to solve the real problems. Labour & Tories are both getting damaged by UKIP coz both have treated ordinary people with contempt for too long. Millions have suffered years of austerity for the sins of the bankers, Labour only offers more of the same. Back in the 90s Blair would have picked up votes by the truckload in these places coz he offered something to look forward to (but then failed to deliver). Miliband doesn’t even inspire hope.

  • treborc1

    “Only last night it was revealed that Nigel Farage has been banging on about banning people with HIV from moving to the UK.
    The man is a walking 1980s Tory tribute act, and yet his incoherent
    anti-politics rabble came close to taking a safe Labour seat just seven
    months before a general election when we’re seeking to return to power.”

    One of Labour advisor and fastest rising stars is one Professor Dam Carol Black who is a serious lady and who has come out with some humdingers over the years, this one in 2012, I believe was a great one. Dame Carol Black in a slide-show presentation at Glasgow Uni last year compared sick and disabled patients given welfare benefits to a plague of Cholera.

    Just happens to be the University department is sponsored by Unum Provident.

    Another idea of Ms Black to labour was to end people on benefits and pension getting Priority on the NHS, she feels the best plan would be to give people in work priority over people on welfare including pensions including the Military, so really all Farage is doing is basically agreeing that allowing people into the country with HIV would fit into Ms Black ideology and since she is a labour party advisor we could see the first signs of the two tier NHS we have been waiting for.

    The problem with labour these day when attacking others is labour short term past, they would have either tried to do it or would have done it before the Tories.

  • Ben Gardner

    Although waning, I still have faith that UKIP will be unable to get through a general election campaign without tearing itself apart. How are they going to repeat their trick in Labour strongholds like Heywood when the media starts pointing out that UKIP’s primary coalition partner will be the Tories. How are they going to square the circle of massively lowering taxation but maintaining spending levels of the things that people care about? The more UKIP is forced to admit what it stands for the less it can be all things to all people.

    • Leon Wolfeson

      Remember they’ve yet to produce more than a handful of policies.

  • David Peppiatt

    Your problems include:

    Rotherham, where Labour Party members, councillors, social workers, and police actually colluded to ignore young white girls forced into sexual slavery and prostitution. That was an act of complicity. Why is no one in the council or the police before the courts? A few reluctant resignations is nothing. Dust and carpets come to mind. And let’s not forget the other 50 English towns and cities where this is still going on.

    Anti-racism, which created the fear and loathing that was running amok in Rotherham council, and in the police. Same for all the other towns and cities. You are still in thrall to this poison. It isn’t a moral crusade. It is a criminal conspiracy. You need to free yourself from it urgently.

    Political correctness – a national joke that only brings down contempt upon the heads of its devotees.

    The outrageous fact that you never troubled to ask the English people if we wanted a future of ethnic minoritisation in our own towns and cities. You never explained it to us. You just coerced us into it in 2001, and had the damned cheek to tell us we were morally illegitimate if we didn’t “celebrate” the fact. You proved right there to be traitors to your own class – there is no better word to describe it, I’m afraid. It is only due to the labours of SO15 that the BNP didn’t destroy you years ago, as the FN is destroying the Socialists in France today.

    Multiculturalism – the political ethologist Frank Salter recently described it as a system in which government protection is extended to every minority but is withheld from the ethnic majority. It is a despicably unequal system – and has to be so because the native English have birthright and natural justice on their side, so there is no foundational equality to discover. Hardly surprising, then, that everyone agree that multicultiuralism has failed. But there is no functioning alternative in integration. The English won’t integrate with Africans and can’t integrate with Moslems. Why do you think there is White Flight?

    You don’t represent the traditionally Labour-voting English working people. You talk about representing them but actually you despise them, as Brown despised Mrs Duffy – a rare moment of truthspeaking in a world of spin and lies.

    The professional political class – policy wonks like Ed and affirmative action wimin will never endear themselves to the working man. The Westminster researcher syndrome and the Third Sector are strangling you. Do something about it.

    Your profound identification with public services – you present yourselves as a party of inner city school teachers and public sector union organisers. It’s far too narrow and it warps your whole Weltanschauung.

    The Establishment – you have become it, and it is extremely ugly, greedy and corrupt. The public have had more than enough of it, and increasingly intend to sweep it away. Be warned.

    Islam – it isn’t the religion of peace. It isn’t compatible with Western democracy. It isn’t compatible with feminism. It is compatible with any level of respect for homosexuals. You cannot have Islam and any of these within the same ideological space.

    Of course, there are other things, a long list of them. You are in the most terrific bind. You have succeeded in dragging the English people to a place of fear and suffering, and you want to drag them further in the same ideological direction. There is now an alternative taking shape. It is anti-Establishment and anti-political. You could use that energy to reform yourself – we saw something much narrower in the Occupy movement. But you won’t, will you?

    • Lesmond Nyjacks

      Excellent David, sadly I fear it will fall on deaf ears, too many in the Labour party, and the left in general, in local government, education and the wider civil service, have so much invested in these disastrous policies that they could never admit to being wrong.

      • Guest

        Let’s see;

        * You condone, explicitly, racism. You agree that not doing this is “poison”. That not terrorising those of other races is terror. That in fact it’s CRIMINAL to act against your racism.

        * You are being highly PC yourself, naming groups and labelling them with your own issues.

        * Blaming the Other for everything, fear of a black face. And saying that only the police stopped violence wiping out all opposition parties, which is blatant nonsense, as you endorse the FN and the way violence is rising in France.

        * Monoculturalism. Which starts at purges and pogroms, and continues with removing kids from parents and instituting draconian rules of allowable behavior. North Korea is a great example of your plan there.

        * Distrust and dislike of people who chose public service and helping others

        * Calling for a coup, calling democracy an “Establishment” and explicitly saying you will sweep it away and replace it with your state.

        * Islamophobia. Never mind that you would not allow feminism or equality within your defined space, you are blaming an entire people for a small minority, a blame-game which always needs new victims.

        You are trying to create the fear and suffering. You are talking about your dislike for Britain, no more.

        Your attempt to contaminate Occupy with your garbage is also despicable.

        • Lesmond Nyjacks

          All in your head Laurie Penny.

          • Guest

            You’re talking to a magical person you’ve made up in your head, I see.

            Why are you spamming content-free posts like that out again?

          • David Peppiatt

            That guy is completely nuts.

          • Guest

            I agree, he is. Thanks for seeing it straight up.

          • David Peppiatt

            Keep smiling, Leon. It’s your saving grace.

          • Guest

            Ah, the threats start again. No surprise you want to slit my throat, as you use “gangsta” terminology to try to convince yourself you’re cool.

            Well, Dave/LordBlagger, you’re not. You’re a blowhard.

          • Lesmond Nyjacks

            Leon,
            More of your sorrowful Jackanory.
            You are a deluded fantasist,

            “No surprise you want to slit my throat”

            Not a single poster on this page has said, suggested, or even insinuated thus.

            To suggest otherwise makes you look like even a bigger buffoon than you already are.

            “gangsta” terminology?

            Well. I dont think there are many “gangstas” posting on Labour List.
            On a sliding scale of being a “gangsta” and being a commenter on LL, I expect we are all a long way from “gangsta”.

            Except perhaps for you, in your head.

          • Guest

            Keep thinking using words like “Jackanory”, as you accuse me of having your fantasies.

            I read what people say, and don’t just spew PC bigotry like you. I am aware of history and expressions used, unlike you.

            And you’re here, therefore there is one, with many usernames. That you – as usual – deny your own views is typical.

            As you blame me for everything rather than take responsibility for your own actions, Dave/LordBlagger.

          • fubar_saunders

            Indeed. Bordering on paranoid psychosis.

            Too much skunk at a tender age probably.

          • Guest

            No surprise, LB, that you spout off crap about mental health and project from your own issues.

            Thanks for that.

        • gunnerbear

          “* You are being highly PC yourself, naming groups and labelling them with your own issues.” Islam and by extension Sharia is utterly incompatible with life in liberal democracy. For example, do think that it is correct that a woman’s testimony is worthy half a man’s under Islam? That she should get half the inheritance of her male siblings under Sharia Law. And those are just two items that show the gulf between Sharia / Islam and the views prevalent in a modern liberal democracy.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            No, what’s incompatible is people whose views are incompatible with liberal democracy, such as the people who blame entire groups, most of whom get on just fine with other people in their country.

            If people commit crimes, then that’s a matter for the law, condemning people for thought crimes simply because they do not think as you do…

          • Lesmond Nyjacks

            Leon/ Laurie, people who do not conform to your views are NOT

            “incompatible with liberal democracy”
            Democracy is not imposing your dogma on others, as you are wont to do.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            So you didn’t read my post, and are still, Dave/LB, projecting your views onto me.

            Given you don’t support democracy im in the first place, re your rant about it a few years ago (the “peons” one), why are you even concerned?

          • fubar_saunders

            You’re tying yourself up in knots, Leon. Its very amusing.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            No surprise you reject the whole concept and see things which are not there, then accuse me of your intolerance.

          • fubar_saunders

            Look in the mirror, chum. An intolerant who puts words in peoples mouths accusing someone else of being intolerant and putting words in someone’s mouth.

            Thats a pretty big glass house you’re residing in Leon. In Hampstead, is it, by any chance?

          • Guest

            Hmm…I don’t see you in my mirror.

            And no, not in Hampstead. I took the bus through there the other day, though.

            And accuse? I was dealing with facts, LB.

      • gunnerbear

        Exactly – bit like the Tories from ’97 until very recently who still shouted slogans from years past – sounding every more shrill to all the non-tribalists. I’d love a politician to actually come out and say, “Yep…we’re going to nationalise the railways andput all the costs out in the open…..then you the people can decide how much youwant to spend on it as railways ain’t free…..” Also imagine if a party leader of any colour simply walked to the stage and said, “The NHS – if it keeps going as it is we’re all f**ked….no messing, it’s taking more and more and more…..so we’re going to have a Royal Commission and everyone can write in and chip in – no holds barred about the best way forward for the NHS as we decide what it should actually do and how the f**k we’re gonna pay for it…..perhaps by cutting spending in other areas….” Just imagine that bombshell being dropped – a proper investigation into how to keep the NHS going and paid for where anyone and their dog can chip in…..The politicians haven’t grasped that the people – thanks to things like the Internet – are more informed than ever so politicians simply ‘giving it the lip’ doesn’t wash any more.

        • Leon Wolfeson

          Oh, an excuse for cutting the basics. Never mind we spend considerably less than the average for a developed country on out national healthcare system.

          • gunnerbear

            Where did I even mention cutting NHS spending?

          • Leon Wolfeson

            “The NHS – if it keeps going as it is we’re all f**ked”

            Clear is clear.

    • Guest

      Won’t fall for your demands that the UK move far to the right of the America, becoming a pariah state and very similar in most ways to NK? Ohhowterrible, as you talk about the evils of democracy and ignore the fact that you just said UKIP right wing voters who have never voted Labour would magically support them.

      No mere Islamist equivalent, you, no, you have to be worse.

      • David Peppiatt

        I am not certain that you actually read what I wrote. You appear to be responding to something inside your head. Are you trying to claim that multiracialising England is good for the English? Would it be good for any non-white people, or Israeli Jews, say? How about you answering that before you start talking about pariah status.

        • Lesmond Nyjacks

          David, he is not really replying to you, but rather in his Quixotic manner a caricature of David that he has constructed.

          He sees giants, where really there are just windmills
          To disagree with him, you must simply be the worst of the worst, evil in fact.

          The more evil you are, the greater the use of his snagwords and strawmanning.

          He is a fabulist, Labour List’s very own in house short story writer, and a Laurie Penny style narcissist

          As with her, any questioning of his position or any disagreement is always seen as a personal attack.

          • David Peppiatt

            Thanks for the explanation. I have never posted here before, though occasionally I have done so at CiF. I thought it might be interesting to present a semi-detached view of the many holes the Labour Party has dug for itself since the death of John Smith, and see whether anyone responded in a positive way.

            I would like to see the Labour Party reform itself – it should be a party in radical opposition to globalism and the dissolution of European identity and peoplehood which it dictates – because these things constitute the foundation of the social contract and of all meaningful metrics of progress. The party loses its soul when it espouses the modern egalitarianisms, and much worse when it shills for international finance and dateline capital.

            There is a hell of a job to do, but the Labour Party is pulling in the opposite direction today. How does one inform it that almost everything it believes most passionately in, and most of what it wrought during its long period in office until 2010, is destructive not just to the freedom and prosperity of the native people but of their very existence. A Labour Party which hazards that will find its way to its own destruction, and the present electoral developments are clearly part of that.

          • Guest

            So you want another cookie-cutter far right wing party.

            For isolation and tarrifs, for barriers. Which has a contract with a tiny proportion of the rich (who can of course walk through said barriers).

            Merchantalism failed, and for good reason, as you try and conflate “native people” with your purely political views.

          • David Peppiatt

            I am not proposing anything, in case you hadn’t noticed. I am only offering a reality check on what happens to a political party when it ventures upon a programme of ethnocide and the advancement of the forces of globalism.

            If you really wish I can debate you on a more propositional basis. But I will immerse you in a moral order that you cannot break down, and I will go after your most fundamental motives so they are out in the open for all to see. I will block up all the avenues of your more reflexive assumptions about me, which are already quite apparent. So you won’t be able to resort to them without making a complete fool of yourself (which appears to be a regular event anyway, judging from what Lesmond says).

            You really wouldn’t like it. You might have a seizure. Or you might try to have me banned from this place, and then readers will just be left with you. Do you think that would be fair on them? I don’t. And Lesmond certainly doesn’t.

          • Guest

            Keep making it up, talking about your own actions.

            You are the one who keeps fantasising that discussion makes people mentally ill and such, and you take everything as a personal attack.

        • Guest

          I did, I just don’t approach it with your views.

          Your claim that we need to imitate societies like North Korea, when Britain has been multicultural for millennia (the Celtic nations, for starters) are ideologically driven.

          Why wouldn’t I use facts, and of course your imposing a narrow set of rules on people is never good for them…it’s stateist crap.

    • gunnerbear

      “Islam – it isn’t the religion of peace. It isn’t compatible with Western democracy. It isn’t compatible with feminism. It isn’t compatible with any level of respect for homosexuals. You cannot have Islam and any of these within the same ideological space.” Could not agree more. Brilliant!

      • Leon Wolfeson

        So you think it’d be brilliant to force everyone into a narrow space of “acceptable” behavior and faiths, which would make us worse than many of the countries you decry?

        • Lesmond Nyjacks

          Leon, you woeful fool, gunnerbear said, or implied no such thing.
          Take a course in Logic.
          (Is there a logic course at clown school?)

          • Leon Wolfeson

            LB/Dave;

            I’m not the one attending it, as you deny what Gunnerbear said. Again. Speaking for him, in your usual paternalist, “He said what I demanded he said” way.

        • fubar_saunders

          Its what you want already, Leon.

          I mean, lets be serious, you dont really want to be sharing the same landmass as anyone who thinks differently to you, do you? Be honest.

          Your level of what you think is acceptable is everyone thinking like you.

          You’re one of the least tolerant contributors that I’ve seen on any board, not just this one.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            You’re just attacking me as usual, demanding I share your views, upset because I dare present another perspective.

            Thanks, Dave/LB. (Your accuracy standards, as usual)

          • fubar_saunders

            well, the perspective you’ve got with your head up your a**e is hardly one I would like to share, if I’m being brutally honest.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            I’m sure you’re brutal about a lot of things, as you call a moderate left wing view “head up your a**e”.

            Not extreme at all from you, no.

        • gunnerbear

          Do you think Islam & Sharia is compatible with the values of a modern liberal democracy?

          • Leon Wolfeson

            I am concerned about what people do, not about what they might theoretically be obliged to do. Actions, not thought crimes.

  • MincePie

    Well in Scotland I have joined the SNP and will be campaigning against the pink Tories like tens of thousands of others.

  • Rob

    You hit some nails on the head Mark. Most importantly, we have to talk about immigration. Because we cannot have a coherent housing policy, or properly plan for and fund health and seocial care, infratstructure, education without looking at the arrival of about 4 million people over the last decade, entirely unplanned for.

    Calling people who voted for UKIP racist, stupid, ignorant, as some on the Left have done is spectacularly wrong, not least because it simply reinforces the view that we are out of touch with everyday concerns and voters’ lives.
    Of course, its not just about immigration, but what we offer is so bloody vacuous. One example, there is a hige majority of people aound the country who would like to renationalise the railways (and water, gas and electricity, come to that) and our transport policies tinker, patheticially, at the edges. Its an open goal and we don’t even shoot.
    For the NHS, loudly and clearly, we are saying that we will repeal the dreadfull Health and Social Care Act. Absolutely, and its only one reason why we are miles ahead of the coalition on health…
    For tax, people want fairness. We must promise a move to contribution based welfare. That also means saying loudloy and clearly that we will turn the UK away from being a tax haven for the rich, for companies who won’t pay their fair share. It means promising, unambiguously, that the rich will pay more to live in a decent society.
    For housing, building homes is not enough, and building more in the already overcrowded South East will damage the quality of life. We have to promise regional policy (not more regional government) and investment outside London. We have to promise to keep the cost of house prices from continuing to spiral out of control.
    The way forward is screaming at us. It needs some courage from Ed Miliband, rather than terror of offending the City, and global village middle class dreamers to understand that all politics is local, and that reducing immigration is not bloody racist.

    • Guest

      Why is telling the truth wrong, now? Indeed, it’s prevaricating which has hurt Labour’s image.

      You are arguing the right wing line, ignoring (of course) countries like Australia and Canada which have twice the immigrants per-capita, and can plan fine, so your assertion is incorrect. Moreover, you are giving covering ideological fire to the failed economics of austerity, which is to blame.

      The UK already has the harshest and most conditional welfare system in the Western world, but it’s never enough for some people. There’s always new punishments they want, more billions to be thrown at “back to work” companies, British people to deny benefits they need for food and shelter to…

      UKIP is vacuous? I agree. You’re screaming “move right” at Labour, when every time they move right they bleed votes. And yes, you decry “bloody racism” to much of course – and given you’ve called for closed borders and are hence anti-trade, your concern about the economy cannot be anything but faux – and we’d lose much of the City anyway. *Everyone* here would pay more for less, but the rich can afford to move.

      (There is a general agreement among non-Tory voters on those thing like rail privatisation, it’s nothing to do with UKIP)

      • Rob

        No I am not saying “move right”. Having limited immigration is not bloody right wing. How many times does this need repeaating? I am not asking for closed borders. It is not, repeat, not right wing to want to control immigration
        There is a difference between small, crowded Btitain, and Canada and Australia. And no, we did not plan for 4 million new arrivals.
        It is quite clear that most voters do not want unrestricted movement of entire workforces from east to western Europe (free movement was not intended for millions to move at at stroke was it?), neither do they want more family reunions.
        If we don’t recognise, and addess, genuine concerns like these, we do not deserve the trust of the people

        • Leon Wolfeson

          We already have a harsher system than Australia and Canada, by far. The only further meaningful movement is to cut of EU membership.

          As you make excuses and show why you are in fact right wing on this, saying we’re magically different to other countries and moving the goalposts from “cannot plan” to “we did not plan properly”.

          I don’t trust UKIP!

  • David Powell

    I have to say I agree with your analysis, we need more openness and authenticity, more enthusiasm, – and a few more headlines to impact even tabloids. Before the bye elections – the labour party (and Heywood) were all but invisible as the media headlined UKIP and the Tories, -todays media was full of the UKIP triumph, a few minutes of labour ‘increased our vote’ (denial) and quite a lot more time for Grant Shaps et al explaining that voting UKIP delivers labour, delivering labour, overspend ,boom and bust and no referendum. No comment from interviewers about the bundle of lies and slogans and elisions which tory pundits are allowed to get away with again and again. We need much more visibility, a lot more courage, talk from the heart not the kind of permitted language like ‘hard working’ which actually sounds like westminster speak and means nothing. Ukip like the tories is not a party of fairness – lets bang on a bit more about values, and expose both ukip and the tories!

  • jasperpepper

    Labour’s problem is they have ceased calling their opponents racists.
    Get back to what you do best and the problem will go away.

  • gunnerbear

    The point is – especially about the foreigner murderers – Ol’ Beerswiller is right. The thing is though all the ‘Guardianista types’ that Red Ed. loves to talk too would rather cut out their own tongues than admit that – especially the conservative working class voters support Nigel on this one. Labour throwing up the doors of the UK to all and sundry – including murderers. I wonder if the Labour Party still want to ‘rub peoples noses in diversity’. Labour bringing mass rape to the UK via mass immigration. Must make Miliband so proud to be a leading a party that has created that situation.

    • Guest

      You ignore your far right’s high crime rate, and indeed murder rates. Oh look, a broken glasshouse.

      Keep arguing against trade and for borders and barriers to the 99%, as ever, and you’ll blame the Other for the economics of the situation (which you’d make far worse) rather than your Neoliberalism..

      • David Peppiatt

        What far right? What murder rate? What on earth are talking about?

        And Labour economic policy is neoliberal. The Establishment parties are all neoliberal, just as they are all socially marxian. That sameness is very much why this revolt is happening.

        • Guest

          Just facts and statistics.

          And magical social marxism, You evidently have no idea what the word means.

          Revolt? Oh, yea, so sorry democracy doesn’t suit you.

          • David Peppiatt

            Facts. Statistics. Your lies, you mean.

          • Guest

            No, I don’t follow your dogma, but thanks for sharing it.

            No surprise you rage when real life does not accord to your ideology.

          • Lesmond Nyjacks

            Check your privilege Laurie/Leon.
            You have no sense in your head, David is not in a “rage” he is simply expressing an opinion.
            Real life does not accord to anyone’s ideology, if you could manage to grow up then you would realise that.

          • Guest

            Keep screaming that you can read my mind, and speaking for another one of your accounts.

            And I have realised it, you seem stuck on the other hand, as you rage and spew PC.

            Thanks, Dave/LB.

      • Lesmond Nyjacks

        Leon, no argument against trade was made by Gunnerbear.

        You made that up.

        Its all there for all to see, all these wild accusations, give them up. You just make yourself look silly.

        Anyone can read Gunnerbears post and see that your accusation is a wilful construct.

        • Guest

          Ah, so now you’re claiming you’re Gunnerbear, and that you did not write what you wrote.

          You are screaming and frothing because I read what he wrote – closed borders, and hence anti-trade.

          Okay, well, I’ll remember – Dave / Lordblagger – that you’re also Gunnerdave.

          • Lesmond Nyjacks

            More straw men! you imbecile!

          • Guest

            Dave/LB – No, those are real people you’re trying to burn.

            No surprise you think not wanting to burn said real people makes an “imbecile”, as you spew random abuse.

  • Rex Hale

    There is now no time left, Mark – and you and many many others have played you part in the disaster of the Miliband non-leadership by refusing to face the difficulties, preferring loyalty-over-all, enthusiastic mood music and hoping for the best. There is no point in six months of headless chicken behaviour now – it’s too late, and it’s been too late for a while. Miliband told Labour’s left what it wanted to hear – and you lapped it up with many others. Without strong leadership, there’s nothing more to do here. Labour will be in opposition from 2015 and it will deserve it.

    • Dan

      “Miliband told Labour’s left what it wanted to hear”

      Do you honestly, in your heart of hearts, believe Labour’s current economic policies (yet more big spending cuts with services and help for poor people already having been cut to the bone) are left-wing? They are to the right of Blair.

      • Leon Wolfeson

        Stuff heart of hearts, policy analysis shows it!

        *sigh*

  • Tommein

    Let’s be honest, if it wasn’t for our “postal voters” we would really be in trouble

  • Dave Postles

    There will be plus variables for Labour in the next six months. The economy will tank as a result of Eurozone stagnation – the signs are already evident. The point about that is that Osborne ignored the fact that if everyone in Europe adopts ‘austerity’, the economy will contract. The brief spurt is now over, I suggest. As a result, the current account deficit will expand. Exports, such as they are, will decline, and with them tax revenues. Internal aggregate demand will be depressed by the intended further cuts and stagnant/declining real wages. It will be a very bad winter for the economy, I fear. That’s all surmise, of course, but the signs are apparently there, as reported in the print media. It will again be Labour’s to lose.

    • David Lewis

      You are fond of making economic predictions. It is a dangerous game. Most turn out to be wrong and the predictors are left to find excuses for their errors..

      • Dave Postles

        It’s less harmful than calling people ‘loonies’.

        • David Lewis

          The loony left are perfectly aware that they are the loony left since everyone who is not of the loony left calls them that, so how is me referring to them as loonies?

          • Dave Postles

            You are totally insensitive to the crisis in mental health and provision for mental health. You are boorish.

          • David Lewis

            Well I have no idea how you managed to reach that conclusion. The expression `loony left’ is now generic. If one used the term, the entire population knows to whom we refer, and why.

            Loony indeed!

  • Sylvia

    By the time I had got to the end of the comments I had forgotten what this article was about!! Please stop going off message, it’s annoying & often pointless.
    I think what Mark is trying to say is that Labour must shout harder about it’s policies & make them clearer. I agree with that, especially more public ownership of major industries & services. Oh yes, & let’s have less about Ed “not being a lookalike PM”. I’m so glad he is not.

    • Lesmond Nyjacks

      Sylvia, Ed is no lookalike PM.

      He looks nothing like a PM.

      The man is inept, what does he stand for ? Is he Tory lite?
      Is he a Socialist? Would Keir Hardie punch his lights out?

      Questions, questions, Ed has no answers.

      • Guest

        Ah, so now you’re Ed and know everything.

        • Lesmond Nyjacks

          Ah, so now you’re Leon/Laurie and know nothing.
          Check your privilege.

      • Sylvia

        What does any PM look like?? Would you like someone like Thatcher?

        • Lesmond Nyjacks

          Someone competent? Yes Sylvia, that really is not to much to ask.

          • Sylvia

            Thatcher was only competent for a few in totally different economic circumstances. Besides the argument about Miliband is his personal looks i.e. his face, which for some reason the media do not like. He is most definitely competent policy-wise.

  • MrJones

    You can massively increase the ratio of young males to young females in a particular area with no negative consequences.

    • David Lewis

      Rotherham?

  • George Scoresby

    I do hope that Labour, and the author of this piece, remain asleep.

  • j walker

    I have been a Labour supporter all my working life now aged 69 i will be changing my vote to the party who,s views i agree with UKIP i cannot vote for labour because of Milliband he do,es not impress me and share the views i have with the EURO i believe we should leave and he dosent, he reminds me of Neil Kinnock (unable to lead) no personality, if he was removed then i might reconsider but that wont happen Labour seem to have buried their heads in the sand and followed a lame duck !

    • leslie48

      Then you sir , must take the risk of butchered public services, lower pensions, reduced benefits, poorer health and social care, more crime and social division, less bus services, more costly gas and electricity and so on until 2020. If you are very wealthy then good luck to you as more tax free income will accrue to you – if you are on an average to low income/pension the Tories/UKIP have conned you!

      • Lesmond Nyjacks

        Hello Chicken Licken, great to have you here to remind us that if we don’t vote Labour, or especially if we were to vote UKIP (boo hiss), then the sky will fall down.

        Try harder, you really must.

        • Guest

          What a surprise, Dave/LB, you’re throwing insults at anyone who dares go against your far right dogma.

          Demanding that people do as you say, trying to stifle Non Permissible Thought.

      • David Lewis

        So remind me when Labour ever did anything about any of those?

      • David Lewis

        `if you are on an average to low income/pension the Tories/UKIP have conned you!’

        I have studied both of the major the changes to pension legislation very carefully and it seems to me that all pension holders will benefit..

        If I have missed something, please explain to to me.

  • DRbilderburg

    Simple. An in out referendum on the EU

  • kle4

    But we must also talk about the kind of change we want to see in Britain
    – on housing, jobs and wages – where our ambition is currently too
    limited.

    If the ambition is too limited to go further on those points, about what kind of change Labour want to see in those areas, then I don’t see how Labour really want that kind of change. Nothing is holding any party back from saying what sort of change it wants, except the fear that the things they as a party want are not what the public wants. So how would talking about that change more help? If it would work, Labour would not be nervous about saying it.

    Regardless, while Labour should fight harder, if the Tories and the LDs have it worse will they risk it?

  • treborc1

    “So yes, Labour is going to have to talk about immigration and welfare.
    And I believe that we have it within ourselves to do that in a way that
    speaks to voters concerns without pandering to the whims of those who
    want us to abandon our beliefs to the politics of the right. But we must
    also talk about the kind of change we want to see in Britain – on
    housing, jobs and wages – where our ambition is currently too limited.”

    Housing simple we need social housing not housing for the middle class but housing for the low paid working class. and since labour has totally dropped it’s living wage this is more important now.

    Immigration Labour have stated, Miliband has stated that labour made errors and that Blair and Brown got it totally wrong. Not bad for a minister in the Brown years that said very little about anything. God even Blair has warned Miliband not to go to the right and argue labour were wrong, that takes some neck from the right wing Blair but he is right I know I dislike Blair but if labour attacks it’s own party your lost.

    Welfare well we have all seen UNUM Provident and ATOS and New labour, but we also know that welfare needed to change and it needed to become modern, I went on a course in 2004 with the CAB to discuss benefits and take a course Bloody hell you needed to have a degree to understand the rules never mind the benefits regime.

    But it does not mean it needs cutting and it does not mean that people who are born disabled or become disabled or are disabled through wars need to be hammered down.Labour need to look and then decide it lines it’s battle lines and then go for it, if you lose then you can at least say you fought but right now labour are trying to follow and they are following UKIP.

  • David Owen, Blackpool

    And in Blackpool on Thursday we had our own little bye-election when the Tories retained the seat of one of their colleagues who had died.

    The result on a wretched 22% turnout was:

    Tory. : 406. (34.5%)
    UKIP. : 372 (31.6%)
    Labour. : 347. (29.5%)
    LibDem. : 34. (. 3.0%)
    BNP. : 17. ( 1.5%)

    I don’t know what it all means for our prospects for retaining power on Blackpool’s Council next May, but it was a terrible disappointment for Labour’s campaigning force who couldn’t find another. 60 folk to turn out.

    • Lesmond Nyjacks

      Rotherham?

      • Guest

        Yes, of course that was too mild for you, Dave/LB.

        • Lesmond Nyjacks

          Not really Laurie

          Rape culture! Rape culture!

          Trigger warning! Trigger warning!

          Oh what?
          They were only white working class girls, Oh my gosh! they actually didn’t read the Grauniad, well they must have been Daily Mail readers.
          That makes everything OK.

  • Steve Brown

    Your attempted denigration of UKIP and Nigel Farage is symptomatic of the problems facing both Labour and Conservatives.
    Stop talking party politics and start listening to those who matter the most, the Voters.
    Remember them?
    The people YOU are supposed to represent?
    Can you recall what they, the VOTERS, are most concerned about?
    No, you can’t.
    Why?
    You, the Labour Party, have lost all contact with your roots. No longer are you concerned with the welfare and well-being of the Working Man, you are far too concerned with the possibility of simply grasping the levers of power for your own self-aggrandisement.
    My next vote is coloured purple.

    • Guest

      So you’re the same problem. The Bankers party. Neoliberals.

      Shrug.

      • Lesmond Nyjacks

        Shut up Laurie Penny.

        Bankers, Neoliberals, just more worn out boilerplate.

        Check your privilege.

    • Lesmond Nyjacks

      Steve, you are right indeed, Labour have sold us out.

  • Labour’s problem is that it has forgotten that it existed as a coalition that answered economic issues for working class people and social ones for middle class types. So long as we got the former, then we were prepared to tolerate the latter and life carried on.

    The SNP in Scotland is a good example of how this should work. Earlier this year the sale of council houses was banned and from April 2015 the wealthy will have to pay a lot more tax whenever they buy a house. On the other hand, the government is trying to stop us using disposable plastic bags and now looks as if it will further restrict people’s right to smoke. The point is that you tolerate the things you don’t like to get the things that you do, and that’s the key to understanding party politics.

    Labour forgot that and became a party of the middle class, assuming that the rest of us had nowhere else to go. As they are now finding out with the SNP in Scotland and perhaps UKIP in England, that is not the case.

    So why can’t Labour put forward some basic polices that are aimed at the working class? Banning the sale of council houses might be good for a start. Taking the railways back under democratic control could be another, along with the utilities. Talking to the unions and making it plain that their views count more than the opinions of the CBI could also be a winner on the estates.

    Labour can’t do it because the party really is nothing more than the voice of the socially liberal, economically conservative, middle class scrote element.

    Congratulations – the party’s all yours. I’m voting SNP next May.

  • RegisteredHere

    If disgruntled Tories vote UKIP and disgruntled Labour supporters vote Green, then we’re basically back on familiar ground where you can drive a bus between the opposing policies.

    I suppose that would leave us back with a three party state, with Green/UKIP governments in coalition with The LibLabCon Party 🙂

  • Grouchy Oldgit

    Democratic government is supposed to exist for the benefit of its citizens. But the reality is that citizens are merely used to serve the interests of the privileged elite establishment. The scenario is perpetuated by dividing citizens so that those with a little more squabble with those with less, leaving the real enemy intact. Labour was founded to challenge the privileged classes, and initially it did, but it evolved into what it was meant to challenge. The vacuum of representation for the common man has spawned the rise of UKIP. But UKIP is a con. If UKIP ever gets its hands on the levers of power it will prove even worse than what we have now. People are crying out for someone to fight their corner, Labour should return to that role.

    • Lesmond Nyjacks

      Fat chance, Labour has been selling out on the working man for years.
      I take no pleasure in that fact at all.

    • Jane Manby

      The majority of politicians are part of the 1% how can you expect them to have any understanding of what it means to be poor. They will protect their interests and the future interests of their own and the working class is no longer their own.

  • Syzygy

    I think Ed is the problem but I mean Ed Balls not Ed Miliband. The economic strategy of austerity and tough times hobbles the LP from presenting the policies that are needed, wanted and economically the right things to do. Ed Balls understands full well the need for fiscal stimulus and a Keynesian approach but has made a political decision that the population won’t understand that Osbornomics is a complete disaster economically. Hence, the crazy decision to keep to Osborne’s cuts and not to contest the Tory/LD line that ‘It’s all Labour’s fault’.

    The problem is that private sector is not investing in jobs. Jobs = income and unemployment creates a lack of demand. As Keynes said ” Look after employment and the economy will look after itself”.

    • David Lewis

      Tax and spend is it? That sort of reminds me of something – can’t think what.

      • Syzygy

        Not ‘Tax and spend’ because the amount of taxes collected is not in anyway related to the amount that a government can and should spend. The only limits to spending is that it should not exceed the productive capability of the economy because that would be inflationary. We are wasting the potential of 8m under- and un-employed

        Tax makes money flow through the economy (and can be used to incentivise objectives). It is not some sort of UK income; there is no need to ‘borrow’; unemployment levels show that the deficit is too low and most of the national debt could be cancelled tomorrow and eventually will be..

        We are fed such lies and mythologies in order to maintain the redistribution of wealth upward and offshore! They are the tenets of an economic model designed to justify wealth and privilege, but bears little resemblance to a real world economics.

        • David Lewis

          As Labour have proved in every Labour government since the war, If you spend more than you get in, you go broke.

          It is a mystery to me and most other sane people why they never connect those dots.

          This is a major factor in why the electorate will not permit Labour into government this time around. Memories are still very fresh and you still have the lovely Ed Balls in the wings absolutely straining at the leash to do it all again.

          • Syzygy

            For some reason, you do not think that your response requires to be related to the comment preceding.. strange.

  • Sunny Jim

    I don’t know how much of the briefing from Labour figures against EM is genuine but it needs to stop.

    It’s no great revelation that he’s been a poor choice and hasn’t lived up to expectations but it’s too late now to switch leaders.

    We need a couple of populist policies that will be enough to get us over the 35% line next May – it really doesn’t matter what they are or even if they are subsequently implemented.

    Once we’ve won the election then we can get in quickly with what needs to be done re the leadership.

    Get the party in to power and THEN deal with the problem.

    • David Lewis

      `We need a couple of populist policies that will be enough to get us over the 35% line next May’

      And there we have it – in a nutshell.

      • Grimy_Miner

        And add this little gem to it David
        “We need a couple of populist policies that will be enough to get us over
        the 35% line next May – it really doesn’t matter what they are or even if they are subsequently implemented.

        It “really doesn’t matter if they are implemented” – REALLY? Sunny Jim thinks that heaping lie upon lie will rectify the situation.

        UNBELIEVABLE

        • David Lewis

          No, it is only too believable.

          This only shows us once again what we know already about the dishonesty, bankruptcy and hypocrisy of the Labour `core values’.

          And there they are again for all to see.

  • 07052015

    Resisted the temptation to vent in the immediate aftermath.Need some cool heads,decent analysis and self discipline.

    And ed needs better lines on immigration and the economy (especially the past)for the debates and to hold his own in pmqs.He also needs to be clear on his strategy for post election negotiations .He will stand or fall by these three elements.

    As crosby has said the pig doesnt get fattened on market day so any tweaks in policy need to be made clear before xmas.

    A.proper explanation of 2004 accession non controls and rebuttal of its all labours economic mess would be top of my list.

    • David Lewis

      `rebuttal of its all labours economic mess would be top of my list.’

      That would be worth seeing

  • swatnan

    That early morning call is falling on deaf ears, Mark.

  • Steve Timms

    the close minded ,limited thinking of labour party hacks makes me chuckle.
    Please realize that for many millions of people UKIP are not perceived as a problem but as a solution to..
    mass , unmanaged immigration that has pressured the working class and placed massive strain on public services…requiring higher taxes to support.
    LABOUR REFUSE TO ACCEPT THE REALITY of this (real probably) perception.
    A corrupt . extremely mediocre ,cosy political class …relying on a fiat generated cash from the Central Bank since local pop already taxed to the max) + crony media hacks to survive in power.
    Possibly…hopefully…. concrete action against the massive semi-criminal exercise that is allowed to operate within our capital city..aka The City.
    A vote for UKIP is a vote of exasperation at the incompetence of current politicians and sheer disgust at the moral decay of current state of political leadership in the UK.
    People are voting UKIP see it as a way of removing the problem..aka ..YOU.

  • llanystumdwy

    I am no supporter of UKIP or Farage, but their rise, need to be understood in terms of the abysmal failure of our traditional three party system at the present time.

    The front benches of all the three main parties are mostly now filled with young professional careerist MPs’. They are predominantly ex special advisers coming straight into politics from university with little or no experience of outside work other than in the Westminster village. They appear to “go through the motions” of the regular weekly slanging match in Parliament, and other rituals to justify their existence, but in terms of perceived differences, there is hardly a cigarette paper between the three of them. No wonder the voters are angry.

    The public are disillusioned, for they can see through this contrived charade. None of the current crop of politicians appear to speak for the average working person: and it is not only a problem of policy differences: it is the feeling of a political elite only interested in power.

    Many years ago, the New Labour spin doctors thought that they were being smart in helping to replace the traditional trade union representatives, that used to fill the Labour MP ranks, with ex special advisers. But it has done them longer term harm because now they have hardly anybody on their front bench who can genuinely empathise with the working problems of the masses. Labour, in particular, are mostly responsible for the apathy and disillusionment with politics. The three main parties are failing to connect with the electorate and that is why Farage is striking a chord. He comes across as being different to establishment politicians.

    It seems clear to me that Milliband, Cameron and the rent of the Westminster elite do not understand this at all, otherwise there would be a conversation about real political choice – particularly on the economy where no party has yet found a way to construct a fairer capitalism to benefit the masses. All we get instead are gimmicks and minor difference announcements, without any radical thinking.

    UKIP is, at least, ruffling some feathers in the Westminster village, and that in itself has to be beneficial, if only as a wake up call for the establishment politicians. Calling UKIP racists, fruitcakes, nasty, and all the other accusations levelled against them, is not going to change public perceptions of politics very much – if anything it may even make things worse.

  • Bazzer, Ipswich

    The first thing punters want to talk about on the doorstep is immigration. Activists then go on to say, they also want to talk about jobs, labour rates, housing and education, as though the concepts wer not connected. When the punters talk about immigration, they generally go to on to talk about how immigration affects them in terms of jobs, labour rates, housing and education.
    The average voter, me too, cannot understand how governments of various stripes couldn’t tackle issues of jobs, labour rates, housing and education in the absence of mass immigration. You need to tell folks how you intend to handle jobs, labour rates, housing and education in the presence of mass immigration, otherwise they’ll recognise the deceipt you’re practising, and note the contempt that you hold them in.

  • Wilky1

    As a voter who’s voted labour in the past but now thinks UKIP tick more of my boxes, reading this article I see why I’ll never be tempted “back to the fold”!

    An article purporting to say Labour must learn the lessons and work to quell the rise of UKIP, misses the point completely of why I & most of my fellow working class former labour voters have gone.

    I guess I’ll be “banging on” about Europe if I point out labour luminaries saying “what I hear on the doorstep isn’t about immigration, but about Gangmasters and migrant workers being paid less than the minimum wage or being “forced” to live in “dos houses” when what they’re acptually being told to bring an end to Freedom of Movement. I would also point out that a party purporting to be the party of fairness seems to think it’s fair for the hard strapped taxpayers of Britain to pay for Sick migrants medical treatment on the “National” Health Service when most of the people you purport to represent would say that it isn’t fair to tax us. They should only be allowed to come if they have private medical insurance to cover the costs of their costly medical treatment. I know it’s painful for a party who love to spend other people’s money like it was going out of fashion to accept, but we don’t want to fund things like this whether you find it comfortable or not.

    If we can’t care for our own due to funding shortfalls, don’t expect us to pay for immigrants care! I know you’ve covered your eyes now but the fact is, we, your core vote actually agree with the devil Farage.

    The other big issue for labour is membership? What %age of the members are from inside the M25? Certainly more than 50% probably closer to 60%. Catering for the “London clique” in your policies and attitudes will only further alienate your core vote in the only part of the country where you thought you had “safe seats”.

    Keep ignoring the people who put you into power & red rosettes will no longer guarantee anything but a drubbing at the hands of UKIP,

  • How any working person could think that Labour represents them is beyond me. Indeed, quite what the bizarre Hampstead Grandee, Miliband Minor, represents is beyond me. All I do know is that he hasn’t a vucking clue. Really.

  • Chrisso

    I’ve decided to just read the LabourList blog articles and ignore/not contribute to the comments – too many nasty one liners.

  • Steve Read

    Wake up whilst you still have a chance…….and start lying through your teeth, pretend for example that you will deal with the immigration problem once you are in power.

  • Steve Read

    Wake up whilst you still have a chance…….and start lying through your teeth, pretend for example that you will deal with the immigration problem once you are in power.

  • peter

    Labour [are you still New Labour?] opened the door to mass immigration without a thought to applying the ‘Transitional Arrangements’, as did France and Germany, which might just have allowed the politicians to do some planning. Not that I am limiting my blame to Labour, after all, the Tories should have seen what was coming.
    Immigration is the number one problem, in my opinion, because of the adverse effect that it has on our lives in so many ways.
    Is UKIP the answer? Who knows. I think that whatever happens in the future – if the flood can be stopped, we are stuffed with the numbers that we have. And if there is even a hint that it will be stopped the mass of immigrants will increase.
    I am not against immigration – just the numbers and the speed.

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