This is a guest post by MoreMediaNonsense
Keir Starmer whose performances at PMQ’s and general approach to politics have been descending from inanity into farce in recent days is apparently preparing a new initiative that refocuses the party on patriotism rather than anti-Western gibberish and seeks to reconnect the party with its working class roots and turn away from the middle class metropolitan snobbery of the “Performative Left”.
The aim is to renew his party’s latent but sadly recently hidden patriotism and includes such useful ideas as dressing up smart and flying Union Jacks rather than Palestinian flags at conferences.
Lifelong Labour member and Trade Unionist Paul Embery’s recent book Despised is an interesting if rather schematic recital of the problem Labour faces as its working class support falls away as at the last election. A lot of the arguments reflect other recent analyses such as that of David Goodhart about the gap between young metropolitan middle class” Anywheres” and more local community orientated and working class “Somewheres”.
Embery’s solutions as he is of a traditional Far Left hue in terms of economics are basically the kinds of policies that the Bennite Left espoused in the 70’s (eg a form of socialism in one country) This wing of Labour was also very anti EU membership in the 1975 referendum. (Embery is also a Lexiteer)
This seems unlikely to be the kind of policy Labour would follow as it would lose a lot of its middle class self styled “progressive” base and face accusations of “Fatherlandism” whatever that is from the likes of Clive Lewis.
So again we come back to the same question – what is Labour for ? How will it simultaneous appeal to the “Somewheres” if it loses the “Anywheres” (although where would they go politically ?) Traditional Left of Centre Parties like Labour are declining at a rate of knots throughout Europe (see e.g. Germany, France and Italy) though Britain’s FFTP post might stop that happening here.
My suggestion would be that Labour should divest it self of far-Left types like Lewis as far as possible to have any chance of succeeding. However given how far it has lost the support of C2DE voters even that might not be enough.