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Friday 3 May 2019

Elections - The Elephant OUTSIDE The Room

After yesterday’s local Government elections have come the spin, the excuses, the attempts to rewrite reality in a way which makes it more palatable to party loyalists, whatever their stripe. The problem, though, is not what happened last night, but what is more than likely going to happen in three weeks’ time.
And that is why Labour, alone of the major players, has to get real and talk about the elephant which is not in the room. Sure, The Red Team has had some successes. But the last time the seats up for grabs were last contested - four years ago - the party did not post a good set of results. Trafford, Calderdale, yes - these are useful gains. But they do not suggest Jeremy Corbyn’s team will beat the challenger it needs to beat next.
Squeaky scenting another EP triumph finger up the bum time

That next challenger was not on the ballot yesterday. UKIP was there, and Adolf von Batten’s new street fighting machine, generally, failed to impress, losing dozens of seats. There is little point in paying any attention to the Kippers in the upcoming European Parliament elections; they are a spent force, and Batten is a charisma-free zone.
The Brexit Party - split already

Labour supporters know who they have to face down on May 23rd. Part of the challenge is the fragmentation of votes caused by CUKTIG, or whatever they’re called this week, being on the ballot. The Greens may have a similar effect. But the main event is Nigel “Thirsty” Farage’s Brexit Party. It is polling ahead of any other party grouping right now.
So let's try not to send those people to Brussels, eh?

That has to be tackled head-on. Farage and his pals are not serious about engaging within the European Parliament. He, and they, are carpetbaggers, freeloaders, opportunist shysters who do not give a rat’s arse about ordinary working folk. They care about the advancement of Themselves Personally Now. That is their sole motivation.
Fudge not selling very well

None of those on the ballot for the Brexit Party merits election. None of them. There is no coherent policy platform on which they stand, other then being against a largely fictional “establishment” and “elite”. It is fictional, because it is they who are the elite and the establishment, trying their best to con their way on to the gravy train.
Fudge being called out

And it is Farage, a congenital liar, a chancer, and someone who has no plan for Brexit that would survive first contact with the real world, who Labour should have been targeting, should now target, and should continue to target. His self-promotion, his dishonesty, his pals, his candidates’ extremist views, his lack of knowledge, his track record of delivering nothing but hot air, his expenses fiddling - all must be ruthlessly exposed.
Lib Dems 500 seats up, Greens 130 seats up - La la la, fingers in ears, Lucy can't hear you

Moreover, Labour’s message cannot be a fudge. Not when Farage will be monotonously banging out his one trick Brexit pony, claiming someone has “betrayed” someone else, while not letting slip that he has betrayed everyone who ever voted for him, and will continue to betray everyone who votes for him in future. That is his only consistency.
That's because it's not a protest vote, and it won't be in 3 weeks' time

The Lib Dems have put on hundreds of seats in the local elections. They are an unequivocally Remain party. Would Labour prefer that they do better in the European Elections, too? Would they prefer more Green rather than more Red? A little CHUK, too?

Well, no they wouldn’t. So Jezza and his team have to choose, and wisely. They want to look after The People. Farage wants to look after Himself. Hammer that message home.
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rob said...

Quite right Tim. If Corbyn wants to "bail out the Tories" as Gardiner put it be honest about it and let us vote accordingly.

As has been pointed out by many it could be Labour's tuition fee moment referencing the Libdems handicap in recent elections. That now appears to be over which opens up a new front on debates hopefully giving us a change from the "I'm right you're wrong" shouting matches we have now.

We should not forget history but don't let it dominate our future!

rob said...

Sorry forgot the Greens who also had a good result.

They will be likely play a crucial role in the future whether on the side lines or in coalition with another group.

Plurality should lead to better than two party yah boo politics.

At least it shows "middle of the roaders" are not lying down to be run over!

rob said...

Oh no just seen the Corbyn ITN interview in which he pushes we have to do a deal.

I don't think he gets it at all. Or perhaps he does but refuses to see it. If his Brexit was wanted by the electorate as a whole why are the Tories lost councillors being replaced mainly by Libdems and The Greens who we were told were a lost cause? The electorate not getting the right message?

Andy Foster said...

It's curious at first sight, but there is good polling evidence that many people outside sophisticated political circles don't see the Lib Dems as a pro-EU party. They're the great opportunists of the political system, almost Labour if they're after your vote against the Tories, almost Tory if they're after their votes against Labour. They're shameless. I used to have a Lib Dem leaflet with their candidate up a ladder installing a free smoke alarm in a pensioner's house (it's called treating in election law); I still have an image of a Lib Dem leaflet deliberately made to look like a Labour one. Their comeback is mostly in rural areas because the Tories there are so unpopular.

Which brings us to Labour. Brexit is far worse for them than for the Tories. The Tories can support Leave and keep most of their voters. Labour's support is far more deeply split. The hoary figure of 70% of Labour voters supporting Remain is misleading, because it came after the loss of many traditional Labour voters to UKIP. Labour's coalition has always been between the intellectual middle class and the workers. It is symbolised in the old party badge, with its crossed spade and pen. Brexit cuts right through that. We lose support from Remianers in London. We lose support from Leavers in Sunderland. So Jeremy Corbyn has to behave like Harold Wilson (someone whose reputation is better than it used to be), trying to keep the party and its support together. He has no choice. Any Labour leader would have to do the same, or lose even more support. The damage is greater than anyone thought because of People's Vote - Peter Mandelson's creation - raising impossible hopes of staying in the EU, and using it to destabilise Corbyn. And because it's all gone on so long. But all there is to do is keep going. There is no other way.

Mark said...

Obviously I'm biased being a Labour member (joined because of Corbyn) but even if I wasn't, I'd feel for the party right now because the simple fact of the matter is that the membership is deeply divided on Brexit, a dangerous farce that is (and this isn't stated enough) wholly of the Tories making. With many traditional Labour strongholds in favour of leaving the EU and many more liberal, metropolitan Labour areas vehemently against, the leadership seem stuck between a rock and a hard place, presumably fearing that they will obviously disappoint one or the other. There's a lot of 'we have to accept the original vote, democracy blah blah blah' comments going on here across both main parties whenever the prospect of a second vote is reared and I do wonder if the real concern here is not the sanctity of democracy in terms of the original EU Ref, but the fear of violent recrimination on the streets should the public be asked to return to the polls once more. Let's face it, with the murder of Jo Cox, the constant threat of 'Tommy Robinson' and his entourage and comments like 'I'll don khaki, pick up a rifle, and head for the front lines' from Farage, it's a chilling prospect that must cross both May and Corbyn's minds.

Roaring Girl said...

A friendly word: best to avoid the word "shyster" with its historical connections to anti Semitism. Keep up the good work!

Mark said...

Andy Foster, well said. I'd dearly love to have remained in the EU, but it isn't possible now. The best we can hope for is a soft Brexit that comes us in the customs union.

It's curious to see all these media luvvies like Tony Robinson deserting Labour citing Brexit as the main reason. Presumably they don't want to lose the NHS to a Trump trade deal (who in their right mind does?) but how did this commitment to the NHS sit with Blair introducing privatisation in the first place? This is all about destabilising Corbyn's leadership.

Ceiliog said...

There was a time when political leaders actually had leadership qualities and were able to offer rational explanations for their policies. Nowadays, political leaders go along with the ill-informed opinions of prats.