So much to read into that May defeat. Yet no-one seems willing to
learn the hard lessons and make some tough decisions.
Firstly, the left. We all know Ian Nosferatu Smith is evil, Gideon wants to get rid of the state and the Tory party will always reveal itself as the nasty party in the end. What we haven’t realised yet is that these aren’t reasons in and of themselves for enough people to vote Labour.
The last five years have been beyond anything else an exercise in finding out just how far up the economic ladder you can fuck over before you start losing votes. And the answer is pretty fucking far. The lesson is quite simple: you can’t appeal to people’s better natures in order to get votes, you have to appeal to their fears and pockets.
While the Tories have appeared vaguely competent and dolled out a few bribes and promises of home ownership, the Labour left has waved its flags and gone on big marches. The morally right thing to do, but of limited use. Only once the supposedly Machiavellian Gideon had the smart of idea of making 3 million voters hundreds of pounds worse off have the Tories looked vulnerable.
As Sunny said, the left has no idea of how to talk to people.
But worse, far worse, is moderate Labour. As least the left is actually right about things.
What Cruddas, Danczuk et al have singularly, blockheadedly refused to learn is that the vast majority of Labour party members are sick of trying to appease austerity and xenophobia. This despite the fact that Jeremy Corbyn (yes, Jeremy Bloody Corbyn) got twice as many party member votes in the leadership election than any other candidate, and was a single percentage point from getting an overall majority. Forget the three quiders; these are paid up, card carrying members telling the leadership that your job is to oppose austerity.
Instead of looking at how it might be possible to convert their members’ interests into votes, they simply try and interpret the current consensus, never trying to change anything outside the party. You wonder how far right this consensus would have to swing before they actually came up with a counterargument.
But Danczuk apparently really believes he will get members to vote for someone like Chuka or Dan simply because they seem more reasonable than mad old Jeremy Corbyn. Meanwhile, Cruddas, another tactical mastermind, forms a pro-austerity group within Labour.
How will this end? In some ways you feel the Tories will, true to form, merrily commit suicide over tax credits or Europe. But there needs to be a cogent, credible opposition that can talk to people in terms they understand and trust. At the moment it’s hard to see where that’ll come from.