Dishonestly pretending to be more Left-wing than they actually are risks backfiring on Labour’s moderates

Every political party is dysfunctional, but each party is dysfunctional in its own way.

To understand the Labour Party, it’s necessary to understand one basic truth: the rank and file membership is, and has always been, significantly to the Left of its MPs and its leadership. 

This is the fundamental fault line that has caused regular bouts of civil war within the party – in the 1950s, the 1980s and in the decade just past – and which has bubbled just under the surface for most of the rest of its history. The Left considers itself to be the socialist soul and conscience of the party, ever vigilant to call out the many inevitable betrayals by the centrists and Right-wingers, who they see as too…

The Conservative Party has always been the real reforming force in British politics

There is now less than a month to go until our departure from the EU and a new beginning to our history as an independent, self-governing state. A couple of weeks ago I wrote that I was looking forward to seeing the word "Brexit" leaving the world of current political discourse and entering the pages of history, so that Boris Johnson and his colleagues can get on with meeting the challenges of 2020 and beyond.

At its best the Conservative Party has been a party of change, daring to do what self-styled progressives and reformists would never attempt. The great reformer Disraeli was our first Jewish Prime Minister, Thatcher was our first woman Prime Minister and today the Cabinet which will oversee…

The Labour Party’s patriotism problem goes back much further than Jeremy Corbyn

Until the Left can learn to like its own country, it stands very little chance of winning another election

The smarter Labour MPs are on a mission at the moment. Not a lecture tour, but a listening tour. Just before Christmas Lisa Nandy was in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, to hear why people in this previously safe Labour seat had chosen to abandon her party and return a Conservative as their MP.

As with all such listening exercises, the same phrases keep recurring. The sense that voters in such places had been taken for granted by a Labour party obsessed with London and hyper-liberal university graduates. Also foremost, of course, was the Labour Party’s organised betrayal over Brexit. But there…

The five lessons Labour must learn from history to be a credible party again

To make a political comeback, the opposition must ditch bad policies and grasp the appeal of the other side

The creation of a commission, by “Labour Together”, to analyse why their party has lost four successive general elections is an excellent idea. Much as we Conservatives might wish our opponents to stick with unelectable leaders and policies, we know that this is not good for the country. A well-functioning democracy needs more than one party that could realistically provide a government.

The last time a Conservative Government won re-election by an increased margin after nearly a decade in power was in 1959, under Harold Macmillan. This was followed by a serious study entitled “Must…

Labour’s Corbynistas won’t give up control of the party without a fight  

The next couple of months in the Labour Party are going to be fascinating, and it serves them right

Already the Right-wing of the party have their tails up. They saw the failure of Corbynism as a historical inevitability and are now using the fact of this month’s general election wipe-out to take back control. All that’s required is for centrist Labour-supporting types to join in their hundreds of thousands. Oh, and also, they need far-Left types – you know, the kind who have actually done this sort of thing before and succeeded in their aim of taking over the Labour Party – to feel so disillusioned and discouraged that they won’t bother clicking the “join” button on the party’s website.

And…

Nobody within Labour has a credible plan to rescue the party

The far-Left of the Labour Party is not alone in being marooned on a “fantasy island”. Tony Blair was partially correct yesterday morning in his analysis of the failures of Corbynism – a mix of “far-Left economic policy with deep hostility to Western foreign policy” was never going to appeal to patriotic working-class voters.

Mr Blair, however, is an unabashed advocate for remaining in the European Union, and evidently wishes that his party would campaign on the same basis. How would that have gone down in the scores of northern Leave-voting seats that the Conservatives seized last week?

In truth, nobody within the Labour Party appears to have anything coherent to say about where it should go…

Why Gordon Brown bears much of the responsibility for Labour’s current mess 

The blame game has begun. Obviously, there is plenty of blame to go around and all the obvious suspects have been quickly identified: Jeremy Corbyn, the party’s policy on Brexit and the manifesto (surely now displacing the party’s 1983 effort as the longest suicide note in history).

However, the roots of this most recent electoral debacle go back further than the election of Corbyn as the party’s unlikely leader in September 2015. To really get to the bottom of this, it is necessary to delve into the history of the last Labour government. The clues are there for all to see: the murder was carried out using a piece of lead piping, in the drawing room by … Gordon Brown.

It was a series of fatal…

The Labour Party cannot face up to why it lost

When Labour previously suffered an election defeat comparable to last Thursday’s the response on the Left was the same as it is today. In 1983, the country repudiated the socialist programme dubbed “the longest suicide note in history” and comprehensively rejected Michael Foot as a potential prime minister.

 

Most sensible Labour MPs recognised the party had to change, but not the far Left. They blamed the debacle on the media’s depiction of Mr Foot and the alleged misrepresentation of their manifesto. Foremost among those who took this view were Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell, then leading figures on the Left.

Nothing has changed. Their inability to understand the reasons for last Thursday’s…

There is no way back now for the pulverised, pig-headed Labour Party

Corbyn’s virtue signalling London club is biologically incapable of representing the working-class

In the harsh light of this brilliant new dawn, the Labour Party has never looked more ugly. Jeremy Corbyn is writhing defiance made flesh. Despite leading his party into the worst defeat since 1935, he growled in his final speech that his manifesto policies had “huge popular support”.

His frontbench henchmen are out in force on the BBC, whining nasally about the difficulties of “cutting through the noise of Brexit” and conspiracy theorising the power of “the Murdoch Press”. Meanwhile Momentum is squirming stupidly like a snake that has been drained of its venom. Its leader Laura Parker can only…

A great victory for Red Toryism – but Boris can’t take his new voters for granted

Well, it finally happened. The Tory Party – the party of the rich, the party of the south and the party of capital – has become the party of the North, the party of the poor and the party of labour. The Conservatives have broken through Labour’s Red Wall with working class voters in the Morth, Wales and the Midlands delivering them a huge majority. 

There are two reasons for this: Jeremy Corbyn and Brexit. Together they combined to form a universal solvent that dissolved labour support.

Brexit because it came to stand for what people who voted to leave wanted – an end to labour insecurity, an end to cultural marginalisation and an end to being vilified and policed by woke cosmopolitans. Corbyn…