One thing that has to be said is that neither pollsters nor “journalists” nor commentators nor politicians nor I have the first idea about winning elections BUT Labour has a clear choice. Labour can cast itself to the vagaries of perceived or presumed ‘public opinion’ and abandon its core social beliefs; it can do that and still lose the next general election, or it can stick with its core beliefs and could yet still lose the next general election. The difference between those two choices is that one stands fast against the rising tide of intolerance, bigotry, and racism (yes, I dropped the ‘r’ word) and the other meekly cowers behind the tide.
The Tory party is already being labeled ‘UKIP-lite’ and, whatever else you say about Nigel Farage and the UKIPs, they have (with the alliance of rancid media moguls exercising their personal political vanities) steered British politics the furthest ‘right’ it has ever been in modern history.
The danger of Labour becoming ‘UKIP-even-liter’ is that all it achieves is more support and endorsement of the kind of politics that Britain should be ashamed of. I certainly hope that I live long enough to see Britain reflect on this moment in our history with revulsion and shame. I also hope we can look back upon it as the time we almost succumbed to the ugliest chapter.
Some people in Britain don’t like foreigners. Those people don’t need a reasoned argument for their dislike but if politicians are happy to provide one then they’ll be happy to take it. It’s what we witnessed with the EU Referendum. Lies were peddled by the likes of Boris Johnson and Michael Gove and they were lapped up by people who wanted to not like foreigners but who rather liked being able to hide behind faux economic reasons to justify the fact. When Boris Johnson and Michael Gove lied about £350million a week being spent on the NHS that lie could be used by people who don’t like foreigners to legitimise their dislike of foreigners.
The economic arguments against Britain accepting foreigners do not stack up and the Tories WILL NOT stop foreigners coming to work in Britain. Ever. If you don’t like foreigners then get used to the idea that the Tories, no matter how swivel-eyed, will NEVER reduce immigration. What will reduce immigration is the British economy tanking and the Tories are dead set on that happening, so foreigners may choose to not come to Britain. Rejoice (but, remember, when immigration dries up it will be an indication of the British economy having dried up and YOU WILL BE POOR, as will Britain).
So, if the economic arguments against immigration don’t stack up why are Labour MPs pretending that they do? Political pragmatism. If you can’t beat them, join them. Labour MPs who pander to anti-immigrant’s lobby do so because they know they would never stop immigration but, despite their educations, they are also stupid, naïve and short-sighted. They think that pandering to intolerance, bigotry and racism is just words; despite everything that has happened they just don’t get that they do not control how the public reacts or behaves and cannot control the demons which they unleash. British politics is cursed by factionalism and extraordinary egos. The egos in Labour’s factions have seen the party brought low by educated idiots who just don’t see that they are part of the problem. Worse yet, British politics is simply not robust enough to resist the vandalism of our politico-media circus. It never has been.
Labour is currently in a position where hundreds of thousands of members of the public, the electorate, are attempting to exert political voice but it is a fight that they are losing, let down by Labour’s weak structures, too open to abuse and manipulation by the factions trying to wrest back control to return themselves to the place of honour they enjoyed from the late 1990s. The public are also losing against the media moguls. 2016 has been abysmal, most especially in politics. Our politicians aren’t going to save us, they never have and I don’t think they have the capability, imagination or desire to do so. From a purely selfish position, I hope Scotland gets a second IndyRef and doesn’t blow it next time round.