5 lessons we learnt from the British election result

By   /   June 15, 2017  /   18 Comments

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Tony Blair`s dismissal of Labour`s election chances was entirely misplaced. Jeremy Corbyn increased Labour`s vote share by more than any leader since 1945. Labour received more votes in England than in Tony Blair`s landslide win of 1997. The success of Labour`s campaign slogan `For the many not the few` retrospectively exposed the vacuity of Tony Blair`s `third way` ideology.

1 . Blairism is dead.    

Tony Blair`s dismissal of Labour`s election chances was entirely misplaced. Jeremy Corbyn increased Labour`s vote share by more than any leader since 1945. Labour received more votes in England than in Tony Blair`s landslide win of 1997. The success of Labour`s campaign slogan `For the many not the few` retrospectively exposed the vacuity of Tony Blair`s `third way` ideology.

2: Anti-austerity policies can expand the voting base.

Most electorates gained by Labour had increased turnout. One can infer that manifesto pledges to reconstruct public services, slash tertiary tuition fees and nationalise railways and water supplies politicised many new voters. Centre left parties in other countries should take note.

3. There are limits to mass circulation press influence on election campaigns.     

Remember the ferocious tabloid attacks on Neil Kinnock during the 1992 campaign? That was before the internet took hold. In 2017 Momentum`s savvy social media campaign outflanked the Press. It appears that younger voters generally  were not  swayed by the anti-Corbyn  stances of the Sun ,Daily Mail ,Telegraph and the Times. No wonder Rupert Murdoch was grumpy on election night.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

4. Jeremy Corbyn is a brilliant campaigner.

Corbyn`s transparency, lack of artifice and good humour attracted otherwise cynical voters. He was openly and honestly committed to a set of values and principles in stark contrast to Theresa May`s over rehearsed Crosby- Textor lines.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

5. The real battle for Labour is still to come  

Theresa May`s legitimacy and Tory party morale have been badly damaged. A movement backed anti-neo-liberal party can make real progress. However, Labour is still an opposition party. The Tories will tenaciously cling to power. Meanwhile, behind the scenes the British establishment won`t  be blindsided a second time. The next election will not be an easy win. Labour`s strategic priority must be to politically intergrate anti-austerity youth culture with anti-austerity policy programmes. Nothing short of a generational shift in Britain`s political culture will do.

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18 Comments

  1. Strypey says:

    Good points Wayne, and this is the most important one IMHO:

    “Meanwhile, behind the scenes the British establishment won`t be blindsided a second time.”

    Those who think we can improve on Corbyn’s result here merely by echoing his strategy need to take note. One does not simply elect the first left-wing government NZ has had for decades (even the Clark Labour government was to the right of the Muldoon National one). The NatACTS and their Crosby-Textor spin machine will be taking notes on the UK election too, and we need to learn from the weaknesses of Corbyn’s campaign as well as its strengths (after all he didn’t actually win the election).

    • Francesca says:

      I wonder if the Crosby/Textor dream machine is turning into a nightmare
      Crosby deserted Harper in the last Canadian elections when he saw the Conservatives were on a hiding to nothing
      Crosby backed Goldsmith in the London mayoralty using the usual scare mongering and ad hominem strategies…Goldsmith lost
      Crosby presumably supplied May with the simple slogans
      Enough is enough
      terrorism is terrorism
      strong and stable
      forward together
      all hilariously lampooned in social media

      It aint working any more
      All the careful placements in Murdoch and other corporate outlets failed to have the desired effect
      I’m reminded of Dylans song and the lines
      “something is happening here
      and you don’t know what it is ,
      do you ,Mr Jones”

    • Aaron says:

      I think the deciding factor in all this is how much the right wing has fucked up each country. They’ve managed to really fuck up Britain so the tide is turning there – Back here I’m not so sure we’re fucked up enough to get that turn.

      My big fear is that Labour will get in and do what it did last time which is manage the country well enough that Neo-liberalism looks kind of reasonable.

      One thing is for sure, if National gets in for one more term they really will fuck things up enough.

    • fatty says:

      “Meanwhile, behind the scenes the British establishment won`t be blindsided a second time”

      But Corybn was the second time the establishment has been blindsided. Brexit being the first.

  2. Mike in Auckland says:

    After having observed how Labour in the UK, and by the way also here, has followed neoliberalism in a “moderate” fashion, thus being ever more closer to the right of centre, the voters have become disillusioned with neoliberalism, and those supporting it, except the core of those who still think they may benefit from it (Conservative voters in the UK, National voters here).

    While Labour has in the past tried to show only slight policy differences, clearly with the intention of not upsetting business lobbies, voters have realised, hey, these guys are not really much of an alternative.

    After the GFC, the fallout from that, and austerity in the UK, and “fiscal prudence” (officially that is” here, people that suffered the most had enough, and want a clear alternative, which Corbyn and Labour led by him in the UK appears to offer.

    NZers are still a bit behind the trend, it seems, but they may in higher numbers finally wake up, especially with house and apartment prices becoming ever more unaffordable, with rents becoming too high to pay, and with other services being under immense pressure to deliver.

    We are seeing a change in a mood and a trend that will also come here, and hopefully soon enough before next election.

    The MSM, with some small exceptions, has become a huge embarrassment, it has so in the UK, and even more so here. The Brits at least still have the BBC, by no means perfect, a bit arrogant and PC, and old fashioned too, but it is still having wider reach there, and ITV may not be all that bad either.

    We have a TVNZ that is little different from Mediaworks or Newshub as it is now called, when it comes to news and current affairs. Both compete at the lowest common denominator in news and its quality, if that word is even appropriate, which I question.

    The only real public broadcasting left here is RNZ, but they seem to become ever more mindful of showing not a slightest hint of criticism that may overstep the line, not a bit of bias. The Nats wave the budget in front of them, and say, this time you got a bit more, but be grateful, thank you.

    So many younger ones only or almost only rely on social media and some various alternative news and other sites, it seems, they are no longer that interested in the Herald, Stuff, TVNZ, TV3 and so forth.

    But there lies a danger, remember the words of Theresa May in the UK, warning about the internet helping terrorists to spread their messages. We know what that will really mean. True terrorists do not really rely on the publicly accessible web that much, besides of sending the odd social media item to create a shock or frenzy. They use the dark net, encrypted messaging and other means.

    The forces there are, the ones that rule the state and business, they with their strong financial powers, they will wield their power to reign in even more Facebook, Twitter, Google, Microsoft and all the other service providers and their services, so they become complicit like the MSM in not rocking the boat, yes in supporting the status quo. That will happen next, as they see their power eroding.

    Jeremy Corbyn may appear blunt and simplistic, yes, irresponsible also, to many supporting and defending the present neoliberal establishment, but he is honest, determined and gets his messages across perfectly well.

    We sadly have no one like that in Labour, also not the Pale Greens, so I worry, that we will again not have a real alternative here in NZ Inc. It is time to rattle the cages, it is time to send them our loud voices, and to inundate them with calls, emails and so forth, so they get real and deliver policies, that may even appeal to the younger voters and others who no longer bother.

    If they do not listen, we know what will happen. Labour is reaching a stage where it may become impossible to reform and rescue, unless swift action by the party members and supporters is taken now. Get your shit together, Andrew and others, or you will be destined too the dustbin of history.

    • stand alone complex says:

      Unfortunately I believe that Labour will have to lose another election, before the lesson of, “there is no third way”, will be learnt

  3. CraigieBhoy says:

    Labour can win a general election in the (British) autumn if there is one.
    However, there are several fish-hooks:
    1. If Corbyn lets several “humble” right-wing MPs back into the shadow cabinet there is a danger the party’s manifesto will be diluted because …
    2. Labour needs to target Tory voters – and the Tory vote also rose. There is nothing left of the UKIP/LameDem/ Green vote appropriated so much on June 8. More young voters may also need to register and vote.
    3. The Tories won’t have Maybot in charge of another election again (surely?) and may have learned some lessons.
    4. The Labour hierarchy – inherently right-wing – failed to pool resources for many marginals such as Arfon in northern Wales, and are likely to do so again.

    However, any alliance with the DUP wil harm the Tories, the horrific fire in Kensington has exposed the utter brutality of austerity and the Scottish National Party is there for the taking.

  4. Mike in Auckland says:

    Listen to the end of this:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ke_-XMUhoww

  5. Mike in Auckland says:

    History lesson, also for dim Kiwis:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhEPyjolGQQ

  6. Mike in Auckland says:

    When does the corrupt msm accept this?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ct8MZY9ZtJY

    • Mike in Auckland says:

      We have MSM now not only beholden to individuals, but to commerce and vested interests, we have no doubt corruption:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ct8MZY9ZtJY

      Much more to come

    • CLEANGREEN says:

      NZ Media including RNZ are now all puppets for the NATZ propaganda machine.

      Opposition parties now urgently need to force a legal change to take over half of the public owned media of RNZ/TVNZ to have any chance of having a voice to use to enlighten the voters to vote against the nATZ toxic policies and reject them come September.

      50% OF US VOTED AGAINST THIS GOVERNMENT SO WE OWN HALF OF THE RIGHTS TO OPERATE THE PUBLIC MEDIA OF RNZ & TVNZ.

      So opposition wake up and place a court challenge to take over half of the public owned media now!!!!!!!!!

  7. Castro says:

    Yep, Clark, Goff and co. pulled a Blair in No Zealand

  8. countryboy says:

    Jesus ! Imagine that head on top of a paula bennett body?? Steven King, eat your heart out.

  9. Kim dandy says:

    Oh for better broadcasting – it even has ‘broad’ in the word.
    – NZ MSM anything but broad – it is so narrow there’s only enough room for – ‘ a weather story’, ‘ a fluffy kitten story’, and finally ‘a rugby story’ – there ‘our broad news’ done. Goodnight.

  10. Davey says:

    As much as people celebrate for the supposed victory of Corbyn, one thing is massively ignored. At what point does the two party system become abolished, so parties such as Green or even the Lib Dem’s have a shot at power?

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