Rod Liddle

What Labour needs to do is estrange its awful voters

If it doesn’t, it will be left as the party of the affluent, achingly liberal metropolitan middle class, plus a handful of minorities

16 May 2015

9:00 AM

16 May 2015

9:00 AM

And so now we have to suffer the epic delusions, temper tantrums and hissy fits of the metro-left. They simply cannot believe how you scumbags could have got it so wrong last Thursday, you morons. You vindictive, selfish morons. That has been the general response from all of the people, the liberal middle-class lefties, who have cheerfully contributed towards making the once great Labour party effectively unelectable. You lot voted Tory out of fear — because you are stupid, stupid people. The Conservatives ran a ‘negative’ campaign and, because you are either simply horrible human beings, or just thick, you fell for it.

That’s been the subtext of most of the bien-pensants, when they’re not out screaming with fury in the streets, stamping their little feet and daubing ‘Tory scum’ on war memorials. It was the subtext of Ed Miliband’s magnificently patronising and deluded analysis that Labour (i.e. Ed Miliband) lost the election but ‘did not lose the argument’. No Ed, you lost both. You lost the election because you lost the argument. And also because lots of people, including members of your family, thought you were a ludicrous creature increasingly resembling one of those confections in a Dr Seuss book for kiddies. My favourite little temper strop, though, came from a woman called Rebecca Roache, who is a lecturer at Royal Holloway. Tory voters are akin to racists, sexists and homophobes, she asserted on her blog, before adding that she had ‘defriended’ people on Facebook who had posted links to pro-Tory pages. ‘I’m tired of reasoned debate,’ she added.

In what subject does Becca bestow upon her students the fruits of her incalculable wisdom? Remember, she’s tired of reasoned debate. Yep, of course — philosophy. Better give up your job then, you fatuous cow. If you want to know more about this woman’s research pedigree, here’s an excerpt from her webpage: ‘In my MPhil thesis I argued that objects are composed of temporal parts. In my PhD thesis I considered the conceptual possibility of beings that (like us) have rich mental lives, can self-refer, and are self-conscious and self concerned, but (unlike us) are not persons.’ What are these strange beings, then — Tories?

The sad thing for me is that aside from a handful of northern MPs and some embittered Blairites in the south, Labour really does not think that it lost the argument. They are in a state of complete denial. Occasionally one hears a platitude from someone or other about how the party needs to ‘reconnect’ with voters, but there is no conception of how this reconnection might occur. Of course, it most certainly does need to ‘reconnect’ with voters. But equally it needs to estrange voters like Rebecca Roache as soon as is humanly possible. If Labour is to make a comeback, then it will be as a party for which Rebecca could not possibly bring herself to vote, not even if hell froze over. If Ed Miliband, too, could not bring himself to vote for it, so much the better. Because otherwise Labour will be left as a party of the affluent, secular, achingly liberal London middle classes — plus all those minorities (ethnic, gender, transgendered and so on) who have not yet decided to vote Green. Deconstruct last Thursday’s poll and you see a party which does very well in the capital but has a rapidly diminishing appeal elsewhere.

Look at the Ukip vote north of the Home Counties. Massive and growing. Just imagine if Ukip were as credible as the SNP — Labour would be down to 80 or 90 seats, if that. It is all very well for Labour supporters to console themselves with the fact that much more than half of all Scottish people voted for a supposedly ‘progressive’ party, even if it wasn’t their party. But that is not entirely why Sturgeon et al did so well — the clue is in the name. Scottish National Party. Aside from the economic leftism, the SNP succeeded because it tapped into a feeling of pride and history and nationhood, as well as a visceral dislike for London. But talk about a sense of national pride and history to the London left and they will tell you it’s all a case of false consciousness and, like religion, to be ignored or derided. More fool them.

According to the pollster Peter Kellner, Ukip’s support base is 61 per cent working-class — way more than Labour, the party set up to represent the working class. This is a recent development; according to the same set of statistics, ex-Labour voters migrating to Ukip trebled over the last couple of years. Bear that in mind when you look at the polling results in such constituencies as Nuneaton, Stockton South, the Vale of Clwyd, Sunderland and countless, countless others.

If Labour is to continue to exist as a major force, rather than as a gradually deliquescing rump, it needs to adopt policies which bring those people back. The Blairites are correct that Miliband alienated the aspirational working class — largely, I think, because he felt no liking or empathy for them. But that is not the half of it. A clear understanding that there is a deserving poor and an undeserving poor is crucial; people who do the right thing, but are nonetheless impoverished, and watch others who do not do the right thing thrive on benefits, dislike Labour’s lazy and ignorant amalgamation of the two groups.

A strong policy on immigration is vital — nothing has adversely affected the working class to quite the same degree as the enormous importing of cheap labour. So, too, a robust line against radical Islam — you think it’s left-wing to support such a creed? — and a disavowal of multiculturalism might win back a few votes, too. A respect for Britain’s history and pride in its place in the world, support for the traditional family unit and the admission that there are places beyond the North Circular which are important too… ah, but I’m going too far. People voted Tory, or Ukip, because they were stupid. Let’s leave it at that, huh?

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  • Speedy

    As usual Rod hits the nail on the head.

    The loudest, most shouty, most visible lefties are just nasty repugnant people and totally off-putting to most decent potential voters.

    • Faulkner Orkney

      Quite…Labour’s class-hate mandate just annoyed the majority who want to be constructive and grow. That’s true of the rich, the poor and probably the third gender too.

      • Chet Carter

        Faulkner, the point Mr LIddle is trying to make is that it is the working class that the modern, metropolitan, New Labour Party hate most.

  • John Hawkins Totnes

    You always tell a good story Rod, but this time you have gone too far. The Mrs Rebecca Roache you describe just cannot exist…

    • WFB56

      Not only does she exist but she is representative of the majority of PPE teachers, they don’t deserve the accreditation as “professors”, in the UK.

    • WhiteVanMan


    • Aberrant_Apostrophe
  • This is so accurate it frightens me that so many others are seemingly ignorant to the situation.
    Labour has for too long been cosying up to the Owen Jones-esque, latté-sipping, jazz-listening, Hay festival attending liberal clique. It has forgotten the people.
    The people in the factories of Birmingham, the docks of Liverpool, the pubs of Keighley simply can not relate with the middle class kale and mozarella-chomping London elite.
    We saw the Greens win around 1m votes….UKIP polled 4m, four times as much. Pallying up with the new liberals might be seen as ‘cool’ and ‘hip, but it is electorally unsustainable.
    When we see middle class teens in Rage Against the Machine t-shirts hurling bricks through shop windows in London, we Labour supporters do not think ‘these people represent us’ – instead we see just a bunch of spoilt rich kids living out a Sixth Form politics existence.
    We need a strong Labour party to save us from the economic elitism of the Conservatives and to protect our British values and national identity from the threats of the 21st century. Labour has to shun opulent liberalism, the people of this country just want job security, strong public services and a charismatic leader.
    Thinking up insane policies like ‘banning Islamophobia’ [whatever that means] and criticism of religion, just plain irritates us and pushes us further away, pushes some of us further into the clutches of UKIP.
    The day Miliband resigned I joined the Labour party as a member. It’s time to start afresh, reconnect with the people.
    Let the people of this country once again reclaim their party.

    • Tom M

      I agree with that except for “We need a strong Labour party ………to protect our national identity”. There is no way whatsoever that you will ever get a Labour Party to do that. Waves of immigration and solid support for the Brussels organisation which is committed to eradicating national identity should suggest to you they have no intention of doing that anymore than they would be financially prudent.

    • petri

      I hope you and your co-religionists will get Diane Abbott elected as the next labour leader.

    • MathMan

      The Labour party is a busted flush. Get over it!

    • Speedy

      The Labour party that allowed the Rotheram Islamic race-rapes to carry on for years proposed just days before an election to criminalise disliking Islam.

      I’m no expert but I suspect it was a big vote loser

      • Boy Charioteer

        You are quite correct. You are no expert. That is patently evident from the nonsense you post. Labour’s share of the vote and it’s majority actually went up in Rotherham in 2015 from what it did in 2010. Sarah Champion’s 5318 majority in 2010 was extended to a 8446 majority in 2015. And before you scream about the ethnic population putting Labour in, in Rotherham, 93.5% were born in England, whereas 1.10% were born in Pakistan. (QPZM local stats).

        • goodsoldier

          I can only guess that they vote for the Benifits party. No other reason. The Labour party would disappear if it couldn’t extort other people’s money. They still trust idiots like Terry Eagleton whose life is devoted to resurrecting the greedy Marxist corpse. There is a cloying sweetness to the rot that so many people cling onto out of nostalgia for youthful delusion. And they have the nerve to point fingers at others for succumbing to ‘false consciousness. I pray for the Labour party’s complete demise. They despise working people and only love power and party.

          • Boy Charioteer

            Other people’s money? Try the £46 billion state handout of taxpayers money to RBS which they managed to squander every penny of. Greed? Despite this catastrophe of “private sector expertise” the executive were still demanding bonuses totaling over half a £billion (source that well known Marxist publication Mailonline) . I have issues with the Labour Party, but you are so full of hate and so busy with your diatribe that you have no time to offer any alternative solutions. Be interested to know what they are. No, in fact I wouldn’t. Scratch that.

          • Cyril Sneer

            You’re a typical head up your own a r s e labourite.

            Hard not to hate a party that turns a blind eye to the mass rape of thousands of children in the name of Common Purpose. The Labour party doesn’t even deserve to exist.

            Enjoy the political wilderness, you deserve it. *spit*

        • WhiteVanMan

          The ethnic population, can be born a Britain,and non British people can’t vote, she didn’t have. Majority in 2010 she didn’t become A MP, till 2012

    • Cyril Sneer

      I think it’s a travesty 13 people upvoted your post.

      Like the BBC, there is no hope for redemption for the Labour party, they’re two stinky corpses that are long past burial.

  • Nele Schindler

    Labour is finished, unless they pull off, by which force I don’t know, a massive strategic turn towards more sensible policies.

    However, these positions are now taken and more credibly defended by UKIP. I don’t think it’s possible for a party that strayed so far from its roots to recover, and that’s a good thing.

    We need a credible opposition that fights it out over policies, not inane, half-crazy ideologies. The leftism espoused by Labour (and the Greens) is cracking under its own many contradictions and won’t win an election.

    • Boy Charioteer

      I would be pleased to know what policies Labour are going to fight the Tories on rather than the “inane, half crazy ideologies” which although sounds a worthy aspiration, is rather short on specifics. Are you suggesting that a party such as UKIP, whose only MP is a committed Thatcherite will attract Labour voters? Any ideas about what form this “credible opposition” should take? Yes, I remember the “Labour is finished” mantra from 1992. My guess is that if Labour adopts a “Tory lite” stance that they will certainly go the way of the Liberal Democrats. Harold Wilson said “A week is a long time in politics”, so five years is a tad too hasty in economic predictions I would have thought and I would be a little bit more circumspect. Also, I wouldn’t underestimate the propensity of the Conservative Party to self destruct over Europe and the fallout from their unfunded pledges and tax cuts. Whatever you think, the next few years will be certainly interesting.

      • Edward Studor

        ‘Are you suggesting that a party such as UKIP, whose only MP is a committed Thatcherite will attract Labour voters?’

        Well, Thatcher won three elections mainly with the working class vote. The uncomfortable truth is – if Labour had espoused Thatcherite policies Miliband would be in power now.

        • Boy Charioteer

          I don’t think the people of Scotland would agree with you. I, as a Labour voter from 1970-2005 certainly would not vote for a Labour Party with a Thatcherite agenda, any more than than the working class which were abandoning Mrs. Thatcher would have done when she was deposed by her own party in 1990 for being an electoral liability. I suggest if you think UKIP will attract Labour voters with a privatizing, selling off public asset, poll tax agenda, they run with it in 2020.

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            The UK has not had a Labour party since 1998 and now has no meangingful Liberal party either. The Tories have tapped in to the English (and Welsh)psyche. Selfishness. What’s in it for me ,while fearful and loathing of virtually all others.
            Englishness is no longer something to take pride in , no longer about fair play. The English are a doomed culture of the small minded and the greedy led by smug charlatans.

          • Boy Charioteer

            Sadly, your post is impossible to argue with.

          • Adam Peak

            No it’s not, I just did. Ripped it to shreds, a ludicrous, misanthropic, embittered negative post.

            Reminds me of that scene in Human Traffic in which two jaded ex-ravers are miserably sitting down at a rave, all around them people cheering, smiling, dancing, hugging, having amazing fun, and our two bitter friends harp on moodily: “It’s not as good as it used to be, everyone’s shallow and stupid etc etc”.

            Sometimes the ones who point out what’s wrong with everyone else are the ones who have the biggest problems themselves, and everyone else is just fine!

          • Speedy

            Only if you’re thick.

          • Boy Charioteer

            Are you as moronic, bereft of argument, undeveloped and intellectually stunted as you sound ? Obviously.

          • Cyril Sneer

            You’re thick.

          • Cyril Sneer

            Another racist.


            Go on p i s s off.

          • Boy Charioteer

            If you were man enough to crawl out from the cesspit under your keyboard and ask me to, I might. But a sniveling cowardly cur like yourself, who hides behind the anonymity of his sad little darkroom playing with his sad little things all by his sad little self, in his lonely and sad little unloved existence. I don’t think I will. Guess what, take your own advice, if you can find a hole deep enough away from the sunlight of course, and disappear down it.

          • Adam Peak

            What a vile, racist, bigoted post. You’ve just insulted me, my family and friends, all good-hearted, kind, generous, intelligent and nice English people (who between them voted for every party). Unlike you I see beyond where people stuck their “X” to realise that everyone has their own personal reasons for voting for whoever they want to vote for, regardless of what’s in their heart and soul.

            It’s utterly ludicrous to ascribe character dysfunctions to a whole race simply because more of them voted for a party that you don’t like than for one that you do like! Utterly bonkers if you ask me.

          • Falwall

            Spot on, Adam. Less than a quarter of the voting public voted Tory. England (and Wales) are not lost by a long way. C’mon the English!

          • Ed  

            Ah. Englishness = selfishness. Welshness = selfishness. Lovely.

            I suppose all Black men are thieves, too. It’s the same argument.

            Racist much?

          • Cyril Sneer


            Go on p i s s off.

          • WhiteVanMan

            erm. 1997 Peter mandleson we are all Thatcherite now

          • Boy Charioteer

            I don’t think that creature speaks for anyone other than himself. He provoked an unnecessary strike where I worked at Royal Mail in 2009 with his ridiculous “modernisation” program which left the service an asset stripped former shadow of itself,(businesses started receiving mail in the middle of the afternoon instead of first thing in the morning), a demoralized workforce and a prize for speculators. He should stick to floating around aboard some Russian oligarchs yacht, muttering about how great it is to be “stinking rich”. Not my favourite politician. Even Mrs. Thatcher left us alone in the 80’s.

          • WhiteVanMan

            He organized the PR for labour in the 87,92,97 2001 and 2010 elections, he spoke for hartlepool constituents, and as having had 3 gov’t posts, he spoke for them, he didn’t get in the NEC in 97 but when the Kinnocks backed him, he still got 25,000 votes.

            He never said he was stinking rich, he said they were ok,Mir they paid his tax, in that Russian yacht he humiliated Geroge Osborne, reducing the Tory poll lead from 20% to 5%

            Thatcher didn’t leave us alone, if you want to call him a creature that’s up to you, why should he leave you alone, he’s encouraged more people to vote labour then you have, a lot of people think he’s great.

          • Boy Charioteer

            When I said Thatcher left us alone I was referring to Royal Mail where I worked. As much as I detested Thatcher, in the 1980’s we were relatively untouched compared to the meddling by Lord Mandelson of Foy in the mid 2000’s. I didn’t say he was stinking rich either, so you obviously didn’t read what I wrote. Just jumped straight into print. I can tell you from bitter experience in 38 years of working for Royal Mail that Mandelson introduced some of the most pointless and destructive “reforms” I have ever seen. As to whether people voted Labour was down to him or not, I would say that the Major/Lamont administration and successive Tory opposition leaders didn’t prove too much of a challenge. And the breakdown of why people voted Labour I would be very wary of claims of Mandelson’s strategic genius.

          • WhiteVanMan

            John Mahor win the biggest amount if votes e’ve in 92′ so this, he was no good in 97 ,so Blair win, rather than Mandesons work in 97′ is twaddle
            As for labour not having a serious opposition so we win in 2001 , that’s rubbish too, every their labour government, from Wilson, twice to Attlee, were out of power after 5 and a half years,
            And Margret Thatcher was massively unpopular, with 3.7million unemployed yet she win,and apparently not due to Michael foot, in 1983 so she must have appeared to people different to you, who don’t buy into this, Hague, Howard were rubbish, it wasnt Blair was good, view

          • Boy Charioteer

            The opposition vote in 1983 was completely split with the “Gang of Four” SDP taking votes off Labour. However if you feel that Peter Mandelson’s policies will be the saviour of the Labour Party in 2020, I suggest you take it up with the National Executive. I found some of his policies such as privatization, part or otherwise of Royal Mail indistinguishable from Mrs. Thatcher’s selling off of public assets, and equally abhorrent.

          • WhiteVanMan

            The general public thought that labour was more extremist in london in 1987 than 1983 ,with labour losing battersea, Thurock that they kept in 83 and swings against them in a barking, dagenham,

            Regarding the SDP splitting the vote, they didn’t split the vote, labour had no right to assume the people who voted for them in 1979′ on a stay in NATO, keep riot police, multilateralist, stay in the EU manifesto,would keep with labour ,if they junked those policies, the SDP offered different policies to labour,and millions of people didn’t like what labour stood for in 1983 decided to vote for a party who’s policies they liked, if you go down that road as the liberal party were an opposition to the Tories in 1900′ then the Labour Party split the anti Tory vote,as the liberals were here first,

            Regarding the national executive, I do take it up with them when I don’t vote for Ann black on it,

            By the way, Ken Livingstone anEC (for now) member wants to control who can strike, tube drivers over public events and also seeking national Assets, selling council homes was in labours 1059 manifesto, and the 1974 one, till Tony Benn rejected it at the. 76 conference, you may think it abhorrent doesn’t mean it’s not popular, the Tories just win on a manifesto of privatization, there are lots of differences between blairites and Tories, and he’s not. A creature.

          • Boy Charioteer

            I didn’t vote Labour all my life from 1970 onwards to be kicked in the teeth by Mandelson who, with his private sector thugs, Adam Crozier and Alan Leighton sowed the seeds of destruction of an institution that had been around for over 350 years. I saw the effects of Mandelson’s “modernisation” program first hand where the only change was the reduction of staff, worsening of conditions and a complete deterioration of the service. With the support of Vince Cable the Tories were gleefully allowed to carry out their carving up of Royal Mail with the ease of the U.S. Cavalry carving up the Sioux nation. Any opposition by Labour would have been deemed hypocritical because after all they were the pioneers of it weren’t they? I have never seen such an atmosphere of fear and demoralization in all the years I was at Royal Mail culminating in an unnecessary strike in 2009, where Mandelson was only too happy to sing the Tories hymn for them and gleefully condemned us from the dispatch box. Taking our political levy and then giving us the finger? To me Mandelson will always be the symbol of betrayal and as long as his shadow permeates what is left of the Labour Party from two weeks ago, I will never vote for them again.

          • WhiteVanMan

            Many Giatskellites who helped get labour electable in the 70’s saw what the loony left did to the labour party to never vote for us ago an they’d been member since the 30’s so you’re not the only to vote labour for 45 years to see it not be the party you thought it was, and now you know how the Giatskellites felt when the loony left ,made labour unalectable in the 80’s Mandleson was a angry young man in the 60’s he said of the labpur party of th early 70’s

            The Wilson governments view on trade unions that it put us out of power for a generation (79-97)
            I know other people who’ve been laur party members since 1962′ and voted Tory for the first time this month, there dads were NUM COOP Union and steel workers union members, they stuck with labour in the 80’s but realized the game was up, labour is unelectable stuck in the past, only people like Mandelsin can save labour, we may lose your vote, but look at labour when they got rid of Hatton, Scargill, may have lost a few votes,gained millions of others
            Presenter labour in 1970 got 11.9 million votes, Blair got 13.6m

        • WhiteVanMan

          Quite, policies like a nuclear defence, or selling council homes, were originally labour policies, in the 40’s 50’s

      • Simon de Lancey

        It’s an article of faith of sorts among some UKIP members that a great many Labour voters have switched to them.

        • Boy Charioteer

          Beer in the pub bloke Farage may have had an appeal to some disillusioned Labour voters. Dom Perignon ’96 sipping Douglas Carswell certainly won’t. As much I didn’t agree with Farage he was charismatic, refreshingly answered questions directly, and was even quite likable. Carswell has none of those attributes.

          • Cyril Sneer

            That’s because Carswell was a Tory and you’re a typical Labour bigot just like my bigoted sad father.

            You’ll be pleased to know that after years of listening to his vile bigoted socialist ramblings where he hates every Tory and anyone who is well spoken or even successful you can rest assured that I am firmly of the right wing. Your politics just like his politics is the politics of envy and inadequacy.

          • Boy Charioteer

            I think I guessed what you were. Please don’t let me interrupt your hate filled rant. (Which the right accuse the left of) I am sure you have some sheep to torture somewhere.

          • Boy Charioteer

            I guess no one could accuse you of being well spoken.

        • blandings

          An article of faith shared by the more perceptive members of the Labour Party.

        • Edward Studor

          It’s not an ‘article of faith’ it’s a fact.

          • Simon de Lancey

            If it’s a fact you will be able to provide a link to some proof.


          • Newton Unthank

            Don’t hold your breath waiting for Edward Stupor to marshal his fragmentary wits.

        • Newton Unthank

          For “article of faith” read “urban myth”.

          • Edward Studor

            So who took the Labour votes in the north – the Tories?

          • Newton Unthank

            Labour lost just four seats in the North – Bolton West, Telford, Derby North and Morley and Outwood.

            In Bolton West and Derby North they actually received more votes than in 2010, while in Telford their share of the votes was reduced by 616 compared to 2010, and a mere 11 in Morley and Outwood

          • Edward Studor

            ‘Why Labour must win back working class voters from Ukip’

            This is a very good analysis from only yesterday in the Guardian.

          • Newton Unthank

            Labour was well ahead of UKIP even in the seats that they lost.

    • petri

      One way that could work out for them is to split in 2 or more parties – the far left will never want to associate with the more sensible centrists. Let there be a party for the public services unions (far left tax tax tax spend spend spend borrow borrow borrow, ad infinitum), one for Blairists and one for those who think there is a position in between the previous two. There already are numerous communist parties, but they all appear to have gotten <1,000 aggregate votes. Maybe Len McCluskey could be the leader of one of them – waste his members money on even less effective opposition.

  • Garnet Thesiger

    This is the best post election article I have read – I had to close my office door to muffle the laughter, absolutely priceless, thanks Rod..

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  • spartacusbund

    Well said Rod.

  • ZickyPlankton

    Labour watered the weeds and they dwarfed the roses.

  • gerronwithit

    The trouble is the number of institutionally placed Socialists who conform to all that Rod has described above. Our universities simply teem with lecturers in everything but the ‘hard’ sciences who will finalse your future career with a third if you cannot spout their Marxist propaganda.

    Similarly, there are endless public jobs, quangos and the BBC where you will not get a look in never mind promotion unless you can talk the dogma. The Labour Party under Miliband may be shrinking into itself but the Socialists are well entrenched in every publicly funded aspect of our life and will continue to thrive as it as a hydra with many, many heads.

    • trashbat

      There is a circular definition problem here (‘socialist’ = the thing I disagree with). The actual Socialist (class driven) wing of the Labour Party wouldn’t recognise the metro-lefty (identity politics driven) wing as Socialists. Marx had remarkably little to say on transgender rights, and his opinion of religion is quite clear.

      Not saying the types of people you speak of do not exist, and they need purging every bit as much as militant did, but a more accurate terminology is required to do it.

      (Actually some of them do call themselves Marxists)

      In that sense ‘metro-lefty’ is much better as it pretty much nails it, without dragging anyone else in. and the people I know like that in London? They were all talking about voting Green. As with the Tories and UKIP – let them go rather than drag your party down)

      The bien pensant vote is minuscule. Even in London, most of the middle class Labour votes are coming from ‘normal’ people who instinctively feel the Conservatives are not on their side. Or put another way, a lot of people with middle class jobs and salaries in London have what would have been called a working class standard of living 30 years ago. Even if they eat kale.

      • global city

        Progressive Liberal?

        Let them eat kale!

        • Aberrant_Apostrophe

          Non-GM kale, surely?

          • global city

            Of course, from the local peasant organic collective community farm, where the horny handed toil happily for the bein pensants… free of charge, of course.

    • global city

      why Blair was desperate to get 50% of empty heads going to uni

      • Lina R

        Blair wanted more working-class kids to aspire to university – probably the one decent thing he did. They’re not the problem. The working classes have free thought. It’s the clueless, middle class graduates who spend their life working in academia/think tanks/media who Labour appeal to in their droves.

        • Neil Saunders

          Blair never did a decent thing in his life, and never will.

          Warehousing generally rather thick kids in dumbed-down, achingly PC degree factories for three or four years (all the while keeping them conveniently out of the labour market and off the unemployment statistics), and saddling them with debt at the start of their working lives is hardly “decent”.

      • hedgemagnet

        I’m fairly certain that the oft trotted-out ‘Blair wanted 50% to go to ‘uni” is a myth. He actually wanted 50% to go on to some form of further training/education – which seems reasonable to me.

    • bionde

      Another very good reason to close down the majority of quangos, after putting a cap on the amount of severance pay anyone can get from a government funded body and with the proviso that if reappointed to a government funded position, they must pay back the redundancy money.

  • fenlandfox

    They won’t change,the party is in total thrall to bien pensant opinion and certainly none of those challenging for the leadership understands the thoughts and aspirations of the skilled working-class.we’ll see the death of the Labour party within a generation (fingers crossed)

  • John Andrews

    Good article. But isn’t Rod a Labour man at heart – and isn’t he a liberal in important respects?

  • Bertie

    Nailed it, yet again Rod.

    Seriously, have you considered running for Parliament – I’d suggest somewhere in Scotland as they vote in wt behind the ears 20 year olds up there. Should be a cake walk for someone of your calibre.

    “The loudest, most shouty, most visible lefties are just nasty repugnant people and totally off-putting to most decent potential voters.”

    As their desecration of a war memorial illustrates.

    • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

      What with all that food down his shirt?

      • Ed  

        You saw the fellow who desecrated the war memorial?

  • Labour is a Tory party, quite openly. The last 5 years has been a grand coalition between Tory and Labour.

    Labour is dead.

    UKIP is not a working class party. Because it is funded by the super rich.

    The working class are from zero to only slightly above zero income. Not a state of mind.

    Labour has not been socialist since Blair, and probably 50 years before that.

    I did not vote Labour because Labour did nothing for me, to save women especially from the rise in retirement age, done at the last minute and not saying to someone at 18, who has an entire career before them, of raised retirement age.

    And then did nothing to the Pension Bill 2014 that brought in the flat rate state pension, that abolishes the state pension for huge numbers of men and women from 2016.

    This iw Work Til You Die or Starve if you can’t.
    Share my petition widely, because so many other things coming this year, will wipe out other sources of pensions, not least the scams and 55 per cent tax bills on the pension freedoms:

  • Annie

    Do you really think your “bien pensants” schtick is going to continue to earn you a living after voting for them?

  • global city

    A docrinal and slavish adherence to the shibolleths of ‘Progressive Liberalism’, Internationalism’ and ‘Identity politics’ has done for Labour…as is the ore issue that their ‘solutions’ for ‘the workers’ all revolve round an utterly failed ideology of socialism.

  • Statman

    Rod like many others hasn’t got it.the SNP may have National in its name but in reality it’s an internationalist communistic party whose national anthem should be the Internationale. 57 percent of the Scottish people want immigration into Scotland restricted Sturgeon wants it to be virtually unrestricted and doesn’t acknowledge that mass immigration is a problem. Any one who thinks that old crypto commie is a nationalist needs their head examined. That the scots can’t see through her doesn’t say much for their IQ.

    • MrEbolaVirus

      Just leveraging anti-English hatred to the communist cause.

  • Kaine

    The “traditional family unit” of married stay at home mum and 9to5 dad with 2 kids in a semi is a middle class myth, which was only true for a small slice of the population in the context of a full employment welfare state. Anyone with a passing glance at the census records can see that.

    • goodsoldier

      If it was a myth, it was one of those myths that happen to be true and wonderful for children. We can only hope that the younger generation sees the value in it and is willing to make personal sacrifices to achieve it, and to vote for parties that encourage it. Of course, BBC will whip out dramas at every turn showing the dysfunction behind the happy family facade. Father and mother are secretly homosexual, and hypocritical Christians, child abused by family priest, etc.

  • nekomuna celo

    A lot of over action sensationalism and rather foolish wishful thinking over Labour’s election result. Overall they lost 26 seats compared to 2010. However over 40 were lost in Scotland to SNP, so Labour actually increased their vote in England. A more rational analysis would say that Labour paid the price of weak leadership and still carrying the can for the 2008 financial crisis, both short term factors. TheTories did not win a general election for twenty three years, and in the dark days of Blair many commentators pontificated on how the Conservative Party was finished. It is still too early to write off Labour.

    The next few years will determine the result of the next election, not what happened in 2015 or the past

    • Jen The Blue

      What a load of hogwash…….had Labour won every seat in Scotland….the election result would be the same……a Conservative majority.

      • nekomuna celo

        i never claimed that they would. Labour lost more seats in Scotland to SNP then their net loss in UK. Therefore simple maths means they must have done better in England in 2015 than in 2010. Did you do sums at school?

      • WhiteVanMan

        And for this to have happened it would have took less than half a million votes to have changed from say libdems to labour ,putting labour on 32% still,5% less than the tories

  • Aberrant_Apostrophe

    That photograph would look far more appropriate if it said ‘Labour sucks’.

    • Mc

      As the sweets were probably being sold at a Labour event, your suggested wording would’ve required unusual self-awareness and honesty from Labour.

  • DellerboyNZ

    From my distance the biggest loopy da loop moment was Miliband saying ‘we’ve changed on immigration’ and then T Blair popping up and endorsing Ed.
    Surely anyone who had forgotten (if such were possible), that is was Blair, Brown and Mandelson that got you into this mess, would have immediately said ‘you haven’t changed one bit!’
    Well done Rod! I wish we had journalists and journals as robust and insightful as you and your mag.

    • goodsoldier

      How do you explain that Rod votes Labour? Is he excused because he is so witty, floppy, chubby and cute?

  • DrWatt

    Good stuff Rod – completely agree.

  • James Mayer

    Yes, they’re in collapse, folks, but DON’T TELL THEM! Just let them carry on trying to implement their anti-nature, dysgenic religion for cultural perverts and continue their downwards spiral. And always remember, when the ‘vibrant’ melting pot the left have created becomes an ethnic war zone, they will be utterly unable to keep a lid on the incandescent backlash which will result. Picture millions of white faces bearing down on the traitors within with cold, cold anger in their eyes, and banners reading:

    This is YOUR fault.

    It will happen, and the left is finished medium-term. What the patriots among us need to do is organise in order to be ready to bring a radical-right regime to power. The future of everything we hold dear depends upon it. Get moving!


    • Mc

      I love the fact that Labour is leaving itself rudderless until September to elect a new leader. Also good news that the unions are demanding a union man for the job – i.e. Someone as are even less electable than Miliband.

  • petri

    The problem most people like the two Eds and the Roche woman have is caused by a simple fact: Socialism is a religion. No reason is required as long as you believe in the base tenets of it. Anyone who does not believe is a heretic and hence not to be engaged in any way – or even listened to.

    What socialism is not – a viable way of running an economy. 100 years of history shows that it has never worked anywhere. The believers are blind to this and will never learn from history.

  • aurila

    They lost votes because everyone knows they despise English people

    • Cyril Sneer


  • WalterSEllis

    Last week, most of you thought Rod was an idiot, and quite possibly a traitor, for voting Labour. Now that he’s turned on the party for “losing the argument,” what’s the verdict? Is all forgiven?

    • Precambrian

      I suspect Rod’s role is similar to that of Katie Hopkins…

  • zoid

    labour also needs to distance itself from the far left rent-a-mob thugs who turn up for uaf/student fees/anti-austerity/anti-war/save the nhs/palestine marches…

    ..or at least it should be called out by the media on its failure to condemn left wing political thuggery…

    • MathMan

      The Labour party ARE the rent-a-mob thugs!

  • Closedshop

    Is the modern left about reform or is it for many of its leaders about ego, platform and a cause.

    If you say it is and I malign them then Cameron is also a friend of small business and isnt willing to sacrifice the union for polling success.

  • Precambrian

    The Tories are not conservative, Labour doesn’t represent the working class, Liberals believe in centralised control from Brussels, UKIP believes we should be dependent on foreign nations for energy (uranium) and trade (anti-protectionism), and the Greens want to fill the countryside with plastic and steel wind dynamos.

  • derekemery

    Andy Burnham wants a Yes vote to an EU referendum and soon. UKIP must be smelling the extra seats.

    There is no reason why political parties should last indefinitely, especially as they can become dated in a rapidly changing world. The impact of change today is around 3000 times that of the Industrial revolution

    Labour’s ideology and policies were set in stone well over 50 years ago. I suspect increasing numbers today see the party today as increasingly out of touch with the rapidly changing 21st century.
    Both UKIP and the SNP are relatively new parties more in touch with the electorate.
    Labour may survive or not but i doubt it can survive as a warmed up old Labour party with reheated policies that are a “steaming pile of fudge” .

  • Bushfire Bill

    Absolutely, as they say on the radio. The venomous hatred nursed in secret beneath the public face of a vehement, victim-orientated egalitarianism is rarely revealed so publicly as in the wake of Labour’s humiliation. The ‘liberal left’ as it’s called may be leftist but liberal it ain’t, It’s poisonous with rage.

  • Sten vs Bren

    “‘I’m tired of reasoned debate,’ she added… Better give up your job then, you fatuous cow.”

    It would seem that you’re both tired of reasoned debate.

    So, am I. You idiots.

  • Maureen Fisher

    The awful “Woeful Williams” writing the diary in this magazine was an example of a such a lefty with her head firmly up her own firmament. There must have been much lamenting over soya lattes in North London on Friday.

  • luisdela

    “… nothing has adversely affected the working class to quite the same degree as the enormous importing of cheap labour.” I am not convinced that this is true. I doubt very much that much of labour classes were packers and council hedge cutters. I think that the single biggest thing that has happened is that we are (a) we are ageing and (b) the nature of jobs is changing. The latter was burnt on to my forehead me recently when I was doing some research on milk and got to see a lot of UK milk production farms. I was amazed to see the number of farms that are moving towards robot labour.

    There will be less so called working class jobs in the coming years. This is not going to change and we need to better equip ourselves for this. People look to software and coding as the answer, and I do agree that some respite will be provided for a certain section of coders. But on the whole, the answer is not more coders and the parasitic organisations that live of people’s dreams in Shoreditch (because many coding jobs will in fact be done elsewhere).

    It is easy for people and parties to blame cheap labour for their economic misfortune. It is less easy to accept the idea that the nature of jobs is changing. If we look at the US we can see the same phenomenon of the nature of jobs changing.

    People might aspire to be better off, but to be better off they need to do more than aspire. We need to make our own future not blame immigrants because we don’t or can’t live like football stars.

  • mc david




    B T F O

  • Tyler Warner

    The epically funny part is your “conservatives” are just liberal authoritarians. Labour is just a bit further left. Looks like the UK should get ready for more abuse over time; more surveillance and disarmament, more censorship and above all more intrusion into every aspect of your life.

    Your only reasonable, sane party is UKIP; all others are various socialists and commies.

  • James Jones

    “A strong policy on immigration is vital”

    Labour and the Tories already have strong immigration policies.

    They both want the maximum immigration rate possible in order to drive wages down, profits up and hasten the coming islamist revolution.

  • beenzrgud

    I’ve been very happy to see my fair share of gnashing of teeth and stomping of feet since Labour got a kicking. What the liberal left don’t seem to realise is that many of the people they claim to represent would happily take them outside and give them a fat lip just for being pompous a*seholes.

    I particularly like this George Orwell quote regarding the liberal intelligentsia,

    “Particularly on the Left, political thought is a sort of masturbation fantasy in which the world of facts hardly matters.”

    • red2black

      Are you sure ‘the liberal intelligentsia’ was what Mr Orwell had in mind?
      His criticisms were aimed at the totalitarian and authoritarian Left typified by Stalinism. Your man was a self-declared Socialist who fought for the Marxist and anti-Stalinist POUM in Spain, and later sided with the Anarchists as a result of what the Stalinists had been up to.

      • beenzrgud

        I wouldn’t characterise the sort of things currently being spouted by the middle class lefty intellectual elite as democratic socialism.

        • red2black

          I agree with you about that. A lot of it seems to have nothing to do with what, arguably, Labour are supposed to be about. Back in the day it was about securing a decent deal for the less-and-least well off. Of course, there’s no clearly defined ‘working class’ any more, but there are still plenty of people in the same social and economic position in relation to the rest of society today.

          • beenzrgud

            Glad you agree. I thought for a moment you were trying to put Orwell on the side of what I would term the intellectual left elite. It’s my understanding that Orwell detested them, and understood that most of the time they simply wanted to grab power by whatever means, usually some social movement. I have little doubt that many of those currently frothing at the mouth would be happy to impose their will given half a chance, all for the greater good of course !

          • Neil Saunders

            Good points from both of you. The postmodern “left” have nothing to do with the bread-and-butter socialism that Orwell favoured (and my trade unionist father fought for). What has happened is that the worst factions of the left and right (the politically correct and free-market wings, respectively) have first independently prevailed within their movements and then – realising the congruence of their programmes (sociocultural and economic deregulation) fused to form the default ideology of our political and media classes. This is why there is little substantial difference between New Labour and the Cameron Conservatives.

            I’m starting to realise that Kenneth Haigh’s obnoxious PR man in “A Hard Day’s Night” (who could fit effortlessly into any mainstream political party of the present day) was a terrifyingly accurate portent of what was then the future:

      • MikeF

        Today’s ‘liberal intelligentsia’ is arguably rather more totalitarian than ‘liberal’ is any meaningful sense of the word – the parallel with Orwell’s own time when so much of the left was in thrall to the Stalinism of Josef Stalin is quite striking. I think you will find that POUM was as much if not more anarchist than Marxist – though not being Stalinist it was inevitably castigated as Trotskyist.

        • red2black

          Well, the M in POUM stood for Marxist, so that’s their own description of themselves. Mr Orwell later reflected that had he known what was really going on in Spain, he would have joined the Anarchists, who were described somewhere by someone as National Socialists, so I think a point comes where the factional labelling needs to stop.

          • MikeF

            Yes – quite, though Marxism can be a pretty elastic term and in the end the Republican side became just the Stalinists, who being what they were more interested in killing other supposed socialists than the Francoists (who weren’t really ‘fascists’ but authoritarian Spanish nationalists).

          • red2black

            A lot of terms can be described as pretty elastic these days, including Fascist.

          • MikeF

            Yes though ‘fascist’ has long since morphed into not much more than a term of abuse and even at that level now seems a bit quaint. It has largely been replaced by ‘racist’, ‘bigot’ and all the ‘phobes’ the left has invented.

          • red2black

            And are free for everyone to use.

      • Rob74Eroticus

        He fought for Poum and was horrified by Stalinism you are correct but I don’t think that he was talking about Stalinist’s or working class Socialists when he said:

        “The typical Socialist is not, as tremulous old ladies imagine, a ferocious-looking working man with greasy overalls and a raucous voice. He is either a youthful snob-Bolshevik who in five years’ time will quite probably have made a wealthy marriage and been converted to Roman Catholicism; or, still more typically, a prim little man with a white-collar job, usually a secret teetotaller and often with vegetarian leanings, with a history of Nonconformity behind him, and, above all, with a social position which he has no intention of forfeiting. This last type is surprisingly common in Socialist parties of every shade; it has perhaps been taken over en bloc from. the old Liberal Party. In addition to this there is the horrible — the really disquieting — prevalence of cranks wherever Socialists are gathered together. One sometimes gets the impression that the mere words ‘Socialism’ and ‘Communism’ draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, ‘Nature Cure’ quack, pacifist, and feminist in England.”

        He might have loved the atmosphere of Barcelona at the start of the war but that had nothing to do with the type of people who currently infest much of the British establishment and academia. I suspect his opinion that:

        “The fact is that Socialism, in the form in which it is now presented, appeals chiefly to unsatisfactory or even inhuman types. On the one hand you have the warm-hearted un-thinking Socialist, the typical working-class Socialist, who only wants to abolish poverty and does not always grasp what this implies. On the other hand, you have the intellectual, book-trained Socialist, who understands that it is necessary to throw our present civilization down the sink and is quite willing to do so. And this type is drawn, to begin with, entirely from the middle class, and from a rootless town-bred section of the middle class at that. Still more unfortunately, it includes — so much so that to an outsider it even appears to be composed of — the kind of people I have been discussing; the foaming denouncers of the bourgeoisie, and the more-water-iri-your-beer reformers of whom Shaw is the prototype, and the astute young social-literary climbers who are Communists now, as they will be Fascists five years hence, because it is all the go, and all that dreary tribe of high-minded’ women and sandal-wearers and bearded fruit-juice drinkers who come nocking towards the smell of ‘progress’ like bluebottles to a dead cat.”

        Probably sums up his position fairly well.

        • red2black

          Mr Orwell did reflect that had he really known what was going on in Spain, he would have joined the Anarchists; some of who would probably have served as a model for the type of Socialist he had in mind, rather than the many types of supposedly Socialist people that he described and disapproved of.
          I think he sensed that authoritarian and totalitarian propensities lurked beneath what many people claimed or appeared to be, and that others would be incapable of resisting dictatorship, however determined and well-meaning they may be.

  • Arthur

    Racists, sexists and homophobes. Well, if truth be told that is pretty much 90% of humanity and if we add in elitist, classist and holier-than-thouist then that’s just about everybody including Rebecca.

    So, all a political party has to do is come up with a set of ideas that appeal to everyone but which avoid admission to any of the above things. Plus, if a few tag-ons like improved education, better housing, ready available healthcare and little more change in trouser pockets can be included in the mix then somebody could be onto a serious winner. The way of course is not to raise expectation too high, not to over complicate and not use the existence of anything as a political justification to burden it with a bureaucracy that it neither needs or can afford.

    Sound familiar. Some well intentioned people did just that around 1948. It was simple and it worked. But sadly, generation after generation of know-it-alls haven’t been able to resist sticking their inept fingerprints into things in self-deluded claims of improvement. Well there are no more ‘improvements’ to be made that could possible make things much worse. The ‘bodger’s’ have all but removed the supporting walls and the roofs half fallen in.

    If Labour want to go anywhere they need to get back to basics and listen to the needs of John, Joan and Mohammed in the street. And — for goodness sake — to get rid of all the leech Quango’s, consultants and any person or practice that causes an unnecessary cost to the taxpayer. Oh, and they really shouldn’t give jobs in Education to people like Rebecca, it messes with the heads of students.

  • Lina R

    Brilliant column and spot on. I find Labour supporters on the whole to be intolerant, sneering and morally superior. I live in south-east London and have never witnessed so many ‘Vote Labour’ posters in so many very expensive properties. These people bang on about fairness but despise the working classes while patronising/encouraging the dependent class (their definition of poverty). Friends of mine who are on Facebook and voted Tory would never dare come out – they say the abuse isn’t worth it.

  • yodaddy51

    When will UK divorce it self from those crazy Europeans. Do you like being told what to do? Immigration? Your country is starting to look very different, and not for the best

  • Robin1946

    I’m shocked !

    Why those stupid , ignorant voters not want a Socialist Workers’ Paradise is totally beyond me .

    if things had gone the way they should have , we could now be watching , on the BBC, the first plenary session of the Supreme Soviet of the Peoples’ Republic of Great Britain.

    Just because we of the left loathe everything , anyone who works in a bank ( aka crooks ) , the self employed , anyone who gets a good salary , anyone who doesn’t work in the Public Sector , anyone who works hard and owns an expensive home etc. doesn’t mean we’re the ‘Nasty Party’ you know.

    Ed Miliband will join other champions of the ‘intellectual’ left . Michael Foot , Neil Kinnock , Gordon Brown .
    All those who , ‘won the argument’ but very unfairly lost the elections they fought.
    Mr. Kinnock twice.

    Up the workers ? They’re all Tories now . Bugger.

  • mixodorians

    Not one person in the UK can skive and scrounge on benefits. It simply is not possible. You have to apply for dozens of jobs a week to claim JSA, produce evidence of your jobsearch, go on universal jobmatch everyday..and if you don’t you get sanctioned within two weeks of daring to give up or daring to have a break. There simply is no giant hole in the job seeker benefits system where people can hide. You claim job seekers you are not skiving – you are being rejected by lots of employers through no fault of your own.

    The whole job seeker system has been completely weaponised against you and is designed to make you highly miserable, depressed and stressed and to make your not worth living.
    How about you start finding out and telling this truth.
    You are a journalist for heavens sake.

  • Jim Crowther

    How did Labour get away with calling Tories ‘the nasty party’, when they are far more totalitarian ?
    Another fine article from Rod.

  • Rintintin

    Pretty much spot on.

  • Tom Pain

    Dear Rod,
    I was with you till you suggested a turn to the Right….and as for a respect for Britain’s history? What are you on about?
    I’m all in favour of respecting “history” per se, but even you have to admit that there is an awful lot in Britain’s history that we should disown – even post war history – actions in Kenya? the overthrow of the democratically elected leader of Iran in 1953? Suez? Aden? Bloody Sunday? etc., etc.
    Seems that you weren’t expecting JC btw.
    All the best.