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Friday, February 9, 2018

Labour's forgotten the 100th anniversary of working class men getting the vote

The Labour Party has forgotten that it's also the 100th anniversary of working class men getting the vote, all of them. In 2018 Labour is saying that the fight for women's equality still goes on, but has a problem saying that the fight for class equality must continue too. 

Yet ironically today's Labour Party, under a pro-Brexit, left-wing leadership, has no problem getting liberal middle class support. It's the (white) working class (who are often pro-Brexit) that Labour is still struggling to reconnect with. Without them Labour won't win the next General Election. 

Unless Labour can somehow rediscover its class credentials throughout Britain without alienating the metropolitan middle class, the Tories will win again. This requires being progressive on tax and social justice, tough on getting British workers into employment and reducing immigration, and asserting a UK identity that’s inclusive in terms of class as well as gender, sexuality and ethnicity. 

Building a broad class base is good democratic politics. For most of its history Labour has understood that this, rather than narrow sectarian interests, are what brings it power. It can’t, and shouldn’t be expected to, propose class war. However Labour didn’t lose elections because it talked about and tackled class inequality. 

Addressing this subject now could bring back some of the badly needed white working class voters who didn’t back Labour at the 2017 General Election, despite Jeremy Corbyn having long been a Brexiteer.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

They've also forgotten the working class women who had to wait another ten years!