Blairites aren’t modernisers. They’re stuck in the past

This woman must never become leader of the Labour Party.

The Conservatives won the election, therefore Labour should become more Conservative. This in essence is the argument being pursued by the Blairite wing of the Labour party at the moment.

The chief proponent of this argument is the current second favourite for the leadership: Liz Kendall. Kendall pursued this point in front of a press gallery lunch yesterday.

Kendall’s simple pitch has since been described variously by members of the lobby as “brave,” “bold,” “courageous,” and “modernising”. In reality it was none of these things.

And far from being modernising, Kendall’s pitch was the exact same one we’ve been hearing from the Blairite wing of the party for about twenty years.

The problem with this approach is that the world has moved on from when Tony Blair first became leader. Back then Labour won by pitching to the right, safe in the belief that Labour’s core voters had nowhere else to go. That simply is no longer the case. As we have seen from the rise of the SNP in Scotland and Ukip in the North, Labour’s core vote have been taken for granted for too long. Simply talking about ‘John Lewis voters’ while backing more private sector involvement in the NHS is not enough to win back all the millions of voters who have deserted the party.

The Blairite answer to these difficulties is to dismiss them and hope that Labour’s problems in the north and Scotland will just sort themselves out. This is fantasy.

Source: Blairites aren’t modernisers. They’re stuck in the past

11 thoughts on “Blairites aren’t modernisers. They’re stuck in the past

  1. Pete B

    I tend to think Andy Burnham is the best of the bunch who is standing for leader,he passionately believes in the NHS.He is not perfect,who is?

    Labour,must and should not swing to the right.It needs passion and vision to engage with them that do not vote.Swinging further to the right will only alienate these voters even further.

    Only two thirds of the electorate voted,some could not be bothered,some believed they are all the same,including my daughters.I tried to persuade them otherwise,but when your kids grow up,they do what they want and you have less influence,persuasion over them.I wanted them to vote for their sake,but I can only offer them a opinion.

    We need someone who is good at arguing with the press,Burnham took on Hunt and Hunt backed down.We need Labour has a team to push a inclusive agenda and ditch the “Hard Worker”crap.I worked hard in the past,even done hod carrying.CMD has likely as not only ever gots segs on his backside through sitting on his but,not on his hands I would wager.

  2. NMac

    The Tories would love such a move, because one of the very few things they are good at is “divide and rule”, which is why Cameron tried his best to boost the Green Party. He’d already discredited the Lib Dems who, five years ago, played right into his hands.

  3. Steve Grant

    Yes,they are from the past but it’s pretty clear that the labour left are also stuck in the past.The days of left and right seem somewhat primitive.There is no logic where one party wins an election always with a minority of the votes counted. It’s our political system which is stuck in the past and the sooner left and right realise this the better.We conduct this antiquated political farce as though it’s admired around the world as the pinnacle of democracy….it’s not,it’s seen for what it is!…

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I’m in two minds about ‘Left’ and ‘Right’. They are handy tags, but it seems people are more willing to listen if reference is made to real-life issues. Labour needs a unifying message, that it will help people across the UK, whatever their personal circumstances, to live a full and prosperous life. Against that, the message must be that the Tories are about restricting people from those achievements (which is accurate, as you know). People like Kendall fall down because they think being more like Tories will make them more electable, and that is completely wrong.

      1. Jim Round

        Foodbanks, benefit cuts and sanctions and the decimation of public services are real life issues, all have happened in the last five years but hey…The Tories still got re-elected (even if it was by less than a third)
        All this nonsense about left and right needs to end, as does all this class guff (what other countries similar to us are so obsessed with class?)
        It would impress me if Labour championed full PR.
        But lets not forget why Blairism seems a long way from dying out, he got Labour elected and “historic third term” (remember that?)
        And that, at the end of the day is what all politicians and parties want, to be in power.

  4. Ath

    I sincerely dislike this woman and hope top god she fails in her campaign. But then I can’t say I’m impressed by any of the other candidates. At least Chucka Umna is out of the race.

  5. Florence

    She, of course, will get massive backing from the Murdoch press. One hopes that the voting members of the Labour party are less easily distracted than the apparent Labour (non)voters. This woman is possibly the best recruitment ad for the TUSC. Perhaps it’s time for a break-away Labour faction to reclaim our party & it’s meaning.

  6. amnesiaclinic

    Maybe it isn’t about parties, but about people and issues.
    Time for divide and rule to be binned and people come together.
    Ditch the parties.

    1. hstorm

      I have long been in favour of ditching the party system. I want to vote for candidates rather than for the colour of the rosette they wear.

  7. Lynne Ismail

    I will cancel my membership of the Labour party if she becomes Leader. She may as well join the Tory Party. I disagree with all her views and she is a travesty of socialism.The reason I joined in the first place was because I was inspired by the manifesto. There needs to be an effective opposition not a tory -lite alternative.

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