OPINION: If Labour, the Guardian and New Progressives are the future, the British Left is dead in the water


A core member of the Guardian Sisters (Angela Perkins) wrote yesterday of the ‘tragedy’ that is Angela ‘Eddie’ Eagle’s decision not to run against Jeremy Corbyn for the Lieber Ladyship. Perkins insisted that the Eagle had landed with a bellyflop because of Labour’s systemic anti-women outlook on life.

It takes all sorts. More pertinent to Angie’s decision, I would submit, is her poor record on the Iraq war, support for Trident or miltarist intervention generally, and general air of having probably at some time put up signs about nuclear-free lesbian zones in Wallasey during the early 1980s. She does not, let’s get real here, represent anything the traditional Labour voter either likes or wants. She herself said she’d dropped out because she wanted to give Owen Smith (who he?) a “free run” at the man democratically elected by a landslide last year. Shifting her ground from one-eyed feminist to media-savvy pragmatist, Perkins of the Guardian concluded that Labour had missed an open goal:

perkinsdrivelMs Perkins is getting on a bit now, but none of her confusion has been dimmed by age. ‘Let’s bring in a woman to signal change’ would also apply to David Cameron’s decision to hire Jewels Altmann. It manages to be dishonest and daft at the same time, but not as potty as suggesting that Clinton ‘inspires respect’ yet is not liked much. Hillary is intensely disliked by genuine radicals because she’s a Wall Street backed militarist hawk with umpteen scandals swirling around her cold-stone head….and because of that, she gets zero respect. The two are hardly mutually exclusive – and they certainly don’t qualify as ‘a difficult gap’ to bridge.

Ms Perkins is another of those symptoms I’ve been banging on about in recent days – you know, the killer disease that is slowly wiping out the Guardian and has already done for the now risible Independent. As long ago as 2011, The Rusbridger Guardianista was losing 9,000 readers a month; it dipped badly again during 2014, and by mid 2015 was losing £45 million a year. This is what it’s been doing over the last 13 years:


No graphic insight is required to spot the trend: Big G has gone from 357,000 to 165,000 circulation between March 2003 and June 2016. Now of course, all print has declined since digital arrived, but the fact is that (a) the Guardian’s depth of demise is exceeded only  by the New Musical Express and (b) advertising revenue and profile both show that the title is no longer seen as influential.

Politics isn’t meant to be a popularity contest (it just is) but the suicide mission of Rusbridger and those around him has nothing to do with populism, and everything to do with disengagement. The most political paper in Fleet Street bar the Morning Star, the Guardian is rigidly ideological, tediously correct, almost always wrong, and censorious of any and all comments there. “Facts” it avers, “are sacred”….and then proceeds to ignore empirical reality on a daily basis.

Over the last thirty years, “Guardian reader” has caught up “Sun reader” as an insult about the narrowminded, fat-headed nature of the archetypal badge-wearer.

So then, Perkins is a symptom, and The Guardian has the illness that goes with it. The problem for the British decency spectrum is that Labour has the same malady: a neo-fascist level of misplaced faith in fundamental tenets, a determination to go backwards to the comfort blanket, a refusal to admit mistakes, an obsession with dated ideological splits, and – above all – a preference for ‘trendy’ causes at the expense of serious socio-economic concerns currently gripping the average voter.

“The problem is capitalist racism and misogyny, and the answer is Socialism….now, what’s the question?”

I am sorry to be the bearer of obvious factual stats here, but the overwhelming majority of Brits – across gender, class, job and age – think that is complete tosh. The numbers here are so obvious, it seems pointless to quote them….but I’ll do it anyway:

  • In May 2015, the Conservatives beat Labour by a clear 6% margin.
  • 3 out of 4 of those entitled to vote did not vote Labour.
  • Only 32% of Britons feel ‘favourable towards’ Socialism – which does not mean they describe themselves as ‘socialist’; and over 50, the figure gets much lower.
  • Although the 18-24 group has the strongest negative feelings about Capitalism, the net favourability for Socialism in that group is only 18%….over 40 it is 3%, and over 60 it is -16%.
  • While often displaying “strong” anti-capitalist views, under 30s and the very poor generally also display the lowest commitment to voting at all, because “promises are always broken” by politicians.
  • Qualitative research consistently puts the fall-off in support for Labour among 50+ groups down to the Party’s support for “insignificant minorities”, international causes and political correctness.
  • Research earlier this year among 8,000 Britons showed that only 9% of women and 4% of men describe themselves as feminist in outlook.
  • While I personally find this depressing, 73% of Brits continue to see the US as “by far the best ally of Britain”.
  • Pro-Israel Brits outnumber antis by 2 to 1

Labour’s problem is not hard to express: its intellectual/ideological ‘activist’ wing is ignoring the unappealing nature of its harder-Left policies and international alliances; whereas the bourgeois ‘metro trendy’ wing is ignoring the apathy felt towards its minority/pc obsessions. Neither wing is even remotely in touch with the mass voter being screwed by censorious neoliberal globalists and fascist corporatism.

Over the last 72 hours – as the Labour Party continued to argue about the arrangement of angels on a pinhead, while over 200,000 UK women pensioners faced imminent destitution – some within This Great Movement of Ours have been putting forward the idea of an alliance with other UK movements. I could say “six years too late is better than never”….but this clearly coordinated media invention is designed to either end a domestic Labour Party tiff….or produce a breakaway. That’s obvious from the choice of Progressive Alliance as the group nomenclature it has awarded itself.

From Alastair Campbell via Liberal Conspiracy and Owen Smith to Ed Miliband and Polly Toynbee, the one thing that binds Labour, the Independent, the Guardian, the New York Times, the Clinton Democratic Party, NATO, Remaindeers and the European Union together is the conviction that only the Big, controlling global perspective on life looks forward to a “better” future…as opposed to the small-minded golf club boors and sadistic badger-gassing Nazi Brexiteers whose vote to Leave has “put everything at risk”.

That umbrella term ‘progressive’: let me tell you what it means to the vast majority of the British electorate. For that mainstream, it means more LGBT tokenism, more feminist obsessions, more denial of EU intolerance, more reversion to comprehensively discredited economic formulae, more unwillingness to engage with utilitarian creativity, more lunatic blamestorming about Brexit….and above all, more policies appealing to counterfeit radicals – but of little or no relevance to those suffering genuine hardship.

Well, I wish the New Progressives well in the restoration of their clapped-out Victorian terrace in Stoke Newington. Intent as they are on splitting a 24% support base into one of at most 16%, their move will serve only to maintain the Parliamentary majority of a corporatist government mildly supported by 28%.

Labour just doesn’t do maths: it fails the exam on long division, and then accuses the examiner of voting fraud. It gets behind the unacceptable dictatorship of the EU, and then accuses the Leave activists of murder. It stands by as a genuine radical outwits them in a leadership election, and then charges its own members £25 to correct their “mistake”. How quickly those who conspire lose the plot.

But here is some maths the Labour Party ignores at its peril: 32% of Brits favour Socialism, and of those, some 4 in 5 are at best equivocal about feminism, only 1 in 2 support the Palestinian cause, a quarter want to leave the EU, and two thirds want to stay in NATO. The idea that a stagnant, ideologically constipated and self-obsessed Parliamentary grouping could on that basis expand beyond its self-created political prison is so daft, only the British Left could believe in it.

Two quarters of the population mildy support the two discredited ideologies of socialism and neololiberal capitalism. A quarter are looking for new ideas in vain, and a quarter have given up voting from a mixture of disgusted cynicism and desperate apathy. If Labour wants to be in majority Office ever again, it must crawl out from inside its own bottom, or descend further into irrelevance.

The real political opportunity from here on is a movement that exists beyond the Whiteminster bubble and works solely for reform of our systems in favour of the common citizen. With or without Labour supporters, it is the only future that makes sense.


20 thoughts on “OPINION: If Labour, the Guardian and New Progressives are the future, the British Left is dead in the water

  1. It used to be the Grauniad, now it’s just the Groaniad. Having bought it regularly for a decade or so, I gave up in 1998 when the greatest opportunity for radical change in my lifetime was pissed upon by ALB and his turncoat gang of trough-monkeys. What’s really disappointing is the number of supposedly well educated readers who are still clinging to the wreckage – and I know quite a few!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ” As long ago as 2011, The Rusbridger Guardianista was losing 9,000 readers a month; it dipped badly again during 2014, and by mid 2015 was losing £45 million a year. ”

    Not long now…


  3. Miraculously this docu was shown on the BBC:

    The Z word is why Rusbridger had to go. It stops and starts with the Z word.. it always has.

    You can support Palestine by purchasing their oilive oil via the Zatoun Proect.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I always felt the best governing was created when the opposition were wide awake and studying every move made, for the greater good. As long as any party spends more time considering how to get into power, rather than holding the powerful to account, they will fail. Power stinks for the little man, bring on honest opposition and then might power be gained, imo.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. The ‘champagne socialists’ of the neo-labour party never were and never will be electable.

    All of the ‘working class’ support base they once relied upon have evapourated away and become consumed by a justifiable, narcisistic cynicism which has resulted in bottomless apathy.

    Its time for the labour party to round up all these trendy faux socialists, dress them up as fur seals, drag them out onto the ice and leave them there during the Norwegian fur-seal culling season.

    Personally, I believe Labour is dead in the water. Finished. They signed their own ‘death warrant’ the minute they abandoned the concepts of humanity, justice, fairness, unity, common decency and mutual respect.

    The minute they allowed the PR conscious, trendy, neo-fascists and spin maesters in the door. The minute they replaced real social justice with trendy, PR driven, fake, hobby-horse causes designed only to give the illusion of being trendy, modern, ‘cool’ and “practical”, “pragmatic” and “with it”.

    A hollowed out shell, whose causes and crusades were purely for the purpose of appearance only and never to be challanged or really believed. Just pure spin.

    Just another clone. A stuffed shirt. A carboard cut-out. A mere facade. More neo-fascist, corporatist, globalist, totalitarian
    stooges dressed up in pantomime drag to give the appearance of being ‘working class.’

    They are an irrelevance whose only function is to maintain the illusion of “voter choice”, while ensuring that no such thing exists.

    You can vote for any party you like and any policies you like as long as its NATO, EU, corporatist, globalist, totalitarian neo-fascist and approved by the powers that be. {The less than 70 familiy clans that control 90 % of ALL global wealth.}

    Another in an unbroken chain of insightfull, well written, well researched and witty articles from Mr. Ward.

    Liked by 7 people

  6. I cannot really add to Johns description of the demise of any real opposition in this country. I suspect we share a similar North of England upbringing. Most of my immediate forbears and my own generation were labour voters at one time. Bliar and Mandelson have done for them. Corbyn seems to come from the “Dave Spart” wing of radical politics so will never be electable but dammit he was democratically elected as leader of his party and what we really now require urgently is a vigilant and vigorous oppostion. Anyone who thinks the “New Progressives” or “Common Cause” band of yesterdays gargoyles amounts to anything is just delusional.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. The Guardian has totally gone to the dogs these days.

    The depths to which they have sunk in the series of Smear stories that they have been running against Jeremy Corbyn over the last two months would made the Editor of the Daily Mail blush.

    The rot set in when they started Backing Boris Johnson for Mayor of London.

    and readers comments that go against the editorial line are being silently deleted.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Question Time today. Actuality. May, rather raucous and hesitant. Corbyn, well, everyday Corbyn. The BBC or whomsoever jiggles the knobs, on the QT Radio 5 live coverage today, jiggled the May sound knobs to give her a much more bass-y authoritative sound whilst Corby was jiggled down to kind of neutral. Anybody else notice the hum?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The Guardian’s latest new low for me is today’s French story: ‘Smokers fume’ as ban considered for ‘trendy’ cigs; illustrated with a shot of Serge and Jane looking cool and in love. Fair bit of smoking and fuming. in RT and PressTV’s.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I think if Labour want to survive they need to look towards people like Frank Field,Kate Hoey and Gisella Stuart. The rest are using up valuable oxygen.

    Liked by 5 people

  11. I’m going to make a further medical analogy to add to this great post.
    How do you cure a virus?
    You deselect all of the traitorous right wing, bliar cronies from the labour party because they are so patently tories and should be in that party – Jamie Reed we’re coming for you son

    Liked by 1 person

  12. p.s sorry, Robin – Frank Field is and always has been a tory – ask the people of Birkenhead, ask disabled people, ask the unemployed – what IDS enacted was partyly Field’s ideas in pracrice


  13. How can a party or its mp’s represent the people when in one of the biggest votes for generations voted to leave by 52% yet only 5% of labour mp’s agree with that?

    Liked by 1 person

  14. No idea who Angela Perkins is and I’ve better things to do than google her. “(S)ignalling change” by bringing in a woman is one thing. The real issue is whether the person is up to the job. But Ange must be aware that from 2006 to 2010 the CEO of the Grauniad was Carolyn McCall (now doing good things at QueasyJet) and since last summer, the Grauniad’s Editor has been Katherine Viner… And, hold on, didn’t the UK electorate “bring in a woman” in 1979? I wonder how that worked out…

    Liked by 1 person

  15. top down or bottom up?? if you support labours aims its up to you to choose…. the MP’s who want top down leadership have let everyone know they want to lead from the top down.. Corbyn does not support that approach so he is reviled by them..

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Ron
    I’ve always referred to ‘New’ Labour as ‘New Conservatives’ (receiving much derision from my wife for saying it too!), for in my opinion that’s what Bliar & Co. actually were.

    In a former life, I used to be an election agent in the U.K., winning one notable ‘unwinnable’ seat along the way. A month or two after Bliar had won his 1997 premiership, he attended a large U.K. sporting event, and was shown on T.V. alongside the sport’s ‘Main-Man’.

    I looked across to my wife, and said ‘He’s gone’. She looked up quizzically, ‘It’s in his eyes’ I said. ‘He’s gone, been seduced already, and he’s thinking to himself – I’m playing with the big-boys at last’. I’d seen that look in people’s eyes before when mixing with celebs., being starstruck could be another way of putting it I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I just received an email today from Katie Ghose of the Electoral Reform Society, reporting that, although once again a motion to introduce proportional voting systems for Westminster elections had failed, the number of MPs who supported it had increased. It even reported a Conservative rebel supporting the motion (probably after being assured by his Whips that it wouldn’t matter because the motion would fall anyway).

    You won’t ever represent the people, ever, if you stick to FPTP. If UKIP ever crossed the threshold, they’d become just as reactionary, because it would suit them. The only way that reform is going to come is from the bottom up. I’m not convinced that many voters agree with me, because they think that ‘strong Government’ comes from absolute majorities. It doesn’t actually, dictatorial Government comes from that. There’s no strong marriage in this country coming from a man dictating and a woman submitting, there’s plenty of them where there is plenty of give and take, distribution of responsibilities and respectful listening to opposing views before finding a compromise that all can live with.

    Labour still has reinvented itself after the deindustrialisation starting in the 1970s. There isn’t an industrial base large enough now to elect Labour to victory from traditional ‘workers’.

    The biggest issue all parties face is the fact that Britain is no longer a global player. Spending £200bn on Trident over its lifetime is just buying us a veto at the UN and enriching our American allies greatly. But the way the media has reported that issue hardly bodes well for the populace holding independent views……..

    The biggest issue in this country is telling the majority that they are really rather primitive, really rather aggressive, really rather lacking in subtlety and really rather credulous. Telling 65% of the voting public that isn’t a recipe to get elected is it? But anyone who has lived or worked in Europe the past 20 years knows that to be the truth. It’s not saying they are racist, it’s not saying they are evil, it’s saying what it’s saying.

    The politicians who are tasked with keeping the UK at the top table have to compete with countries whose political views are more refined than ours. So they get divorced from reality trying to defend British interests internationally.

    The solution of course is giving up the UN veto, dissolving the Special Relationship and become an independent nation not linked to any major power.

    But as you’ve pointed out in this article, you won’t get elected doing that.

    So the disconnect between UK politicians and their voters will continue for some time to come, I think…….

    Liked by 1 person

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