Clive Lewis and Keir Starmer are the candidates who understand how Labour must change

Keir Starmer speaks at the 2019 Labour conference in Brighton.

Rebecca Long-Bailey’s leadership campaign represents continuity with ideas and methods that failed.

“Lisa smashed it, Jess smashed it”. To follow the Parliamentary Labour Party leadership hustings via WhatsApp you would think it’s just a question of who smashes it the most, and most often. In fact, the only question that really matters is: “who gets it?”

Who understands that, after four general election defeats for Labour in a row, something fundamental has changed in the dynamic of British politics, requiring the left project to be redefined and a new alliance of progressive forces to be formed?

Labour lost around 800,000 Leave voters to the Tories over Brexit and – in a way that shocked everyone – another 300,000 Remain voters to the Tories simply over mistrust of Jeremy Corbyn alone. It lost, in addition, around 1.1 million Remain voters to the Liberal Democrats, the Greens and the SNP. It won the youth vote, but massively lost among the elderly, and in the process sacrificed large majorities in its traditional heartlands. No matter who “smashed it” at the PLP hustings, understanding why these tectonic shifts are happening is the main task.

If you step back from the result, and look at the polling averages from May 2019 onwards, the reasons become clear. Britain’s party system is fragmented. There are four forces: ex-Ukip right-wing nativists, mainstream conservatives, Labour progressives, and non-Labour progressives. In December, a coalition of mainstream Tories and overt nativists beat a left divided between Labour, the Lib Dems, the Greens and cosmopolitan nationalism. And they will do so in every election from now until the baby boomer generation is dead, unless the progressive half of Britain can form some kind of alliance.

Only if the incoming leader has a brain, and an advisory team, prepared to grapple …read more

Source:: Usa latest news


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