Remember when Labour’s right wing tossed their weight behind Tory cuts to providing benefits for welfare claimants? Remember how they were wrong? How they were spectacularly wrong? Criminally wrong?
Remember when Labour’s right wing told us that Labour needed a leader like Owen Smith, who would knock you spark out if you spilled his pint or looked at his bird? Remember how the world has balked at the election of the US incantation of Smith in Trump?
Remember when Labour’s right wing predicted Hillary Clinton winning the race to the White House?
Remember how they were wrong?
Labour’s right wing have made a habit of chasing populist standpoints, spinning like weathervanes in the wind, and getting them spectacularly wrong. Time and time again. How long will it take for us to realise the error of those same right wingers who supported the folly of the Trident replacement? How long till we get answers?
Now we have Stephen Kinnock throwing his hat into the ring and trying to chase down anti-immigration voters. He is not the first of Labour’s right to put their head above the parapet, just the latest. Kinnock seems afraid that Labour wishes to represent the diversity of Britain and to uphold something rather fundamental like respect for basic human decency. Some in Labour think that the answer for Labour to far right populism is far right populism
Stephen Kinnock at least admits that he is unable to offer an answer to a problem that is complex:
… but you have to worry about what he is doing as a labour MP when he is not capable of making rather basic arguments for Labour values.
Labour’s right wing want us to believe that the key to winning back ‘white working class’ votes is to drag Labour ever rightwards, just as they have dragged Labour after the Tories in so many failed examples. Not only is that narrative an insult to white working class voters it is a broader insult to the general electorate and demonstrates the sort of deep misunderstanding of voters in Britain that dogged Labour under Stephen Kinnock’s father’s rein as leader of Labour, who lost two general elections to Margaret Thatcher and the ghost of Margaret Thatcher.
It isn’t that there aren’t conversations to be had about immigration to Britain but that Labour’s right wing don’t appear to have people of the calibre to have them.