The political fallout from Brexit has so far been spectacular in its brutality, with the Tory split now being wider and more pronounced than ever before, Scotland whining about how it wants another independence referendum, and a bunch of whining youngsters from London crying over the last weekend. However, the biggest casualty of all was the Labour Party, which even as I write this is busy cannibalising itself to oblivion.
For those of you who live outside the UK, Labour is Britain’s major left-wing political party. As I see it, they’re basically the party that young people vote for whenever they want the Tories out of power, or because they believe that Labour will make a fairer Britain. Whenever the conservatives are in power, Labour is referred to as the opposition because they tend to gain more seats that the other competing parties aside from the Conservatives. In government, they are usually the well-meaning but incompetent political party, much like the Democrats in America. By contrast, the Conservatives are the major right-wing political party, and they’re known for running competent but sometimes overbearing governments, much like the U.S. Republicans. To my knowledge, most of the prime ministers that have ever been elected since the office was created have been Conservative Party members, so I’m guessing either they do a damn good job in government, or they’re very good at getting votes.
After Brexit, several Labour MP’s blamed Jeremy Corbyn’s performance for the failure of the Remain campaign, and as a result, twelve members of his shadow cabinet resigned in protest, along with five of his shadow ministers. Several members of the Labour Party are giving Jeremy a motion of no confidence, and openly challenging his leadership, possibly leading to another leadership contest. Jeremy obviously has no intention of resigning, and has recently stated that he will continue standing as the party leader, standing as a candidate in the leadership contest.
Of course, one might blame the downfall of the Labour Party on Brexit, but I contend that the Labour Party has had serious problems before Brexit. All the referendum did was expose the problems of Labour. The party always claims to stand for the working people, but as we saw in the referendum, they apparently don’t care about the problems facing the working class. Why else would some of Labour’s strongholds in the North vote Leave? The answer is because Labour has failed them, and I imagine that this has been a lingering sentiment for a long time.
In 1997, we elected Tony Blair, the first Labour PM since 1979, when the party was defeated by Margaret Thatcher. Until then, the Conservatives continued to remain in government for the next 18 years, first under Thatcher and then under John Major in 1992. When Tony Blair was elected, he was unlike any other Labour prime minister we’ve seen before. He was more of a right-leaning centrist like then-US president Bill Clinton, than a left-leaning socialist like any of his predecessors. The ideological differences between Blair’s wing of the party and the traditional leftists in the party were so stark that Blair’s party was called “New Labour”. Even today, those who support Blair’s policies and the centrist ideology of New Labour are called “Blairites”, while the more hard-left Labour backers would now be called “Corbynites”.
Given that Tony Blair is to date the only Labour leader to win three consecutive elections and lose none (having resigned in 2007), you’d think that he would be revered by the Labour Party, but he’s actually rather unpopular in his own party, and in the wider British public, and I can see why. He’s unpopular amongst Labour MP’s because he embraced capitalism rather than rejecting it, and also attempted to rid the party of its left-wing elements in his attempts to modernise the party (this is the New Labour I mentioned earlier), generating strong animosity between him and his chancellor Gordon Brown, who took office following Blair’s resignation.
Blair was also the man who led the UK into the Iraq War without popular consent, and refused to apologise for it. He might have been forgiven had the Iraq War been successful, but not only did it fail to bring peace to Iraq, the destabilisation of the country also created the ideal conditions for the rise of ISIS, and other Islamic extremists in the area. He also managed to offend both the left and the right because of his failure to control immigration. Indeed, the legacy of Blair’s Labour seemed to taint the reputation of the party, but I think Gordon Brown did worse. Brown’s government oversaw the worst financial crisis in global history, and he bailed out the banks. On top of that, his government was implementing some very bizarre policies, like the time the government considered making a quarter of the adult population face “anti-paedophile tests”, in what I could only describe as overbearing government paranoia.
Needless to say, Brown failed miserably in the three years he served as PM. He lost to a Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition (which would later become one of the most maligned governments in history), and the Labour Party became virtually unelectable. They later elected a new leader, Ed Miliband, and I frankly don’t understand how he got elected. Miliband was basically an inept buffoon incapable of competing with the Conservatives. Somehow I’d rather have David Cameron than him. Basically Ed Miliband was a PR disaster for the party, and his ineptitude led to another Labour defeat in 2015. On policy, he only ever seemed to make his point in reaction to whatever the government did (for instance, whenever energy prices went up, he called for controls), and as far as personality goes, he often seemed awkward, and he never really connected with the people he wanted to vote for him.
With all that in mind, it’s no wonder the working class people have been rejecting Labour. If it’s not just that, then I would blame Labour’s policies. Labour’s entire strategy is convincing poor people that rich people are making them poorer, and that’s quite rich coming from a bunch of middle class leftists. Labour MPs have also been wasting their time on social justice issues (such as censoring “sexist” video games and “reclaiming” the internet), with the party itself becoming the party of the modern social justice warrior. None of this has anything to do with the interest of working class, with all the SJW’s filling shadow cabinet seats (Harriet Harman comes to mind), it seems that the Labour Party has lost touch with the very people they purport to represent. They have become the party of The Guardian, The Independent, the anti-democratic European Union, and of all the pretentious middle class liberals who tout themselves as progressives who believe in democracy, but then whine when the popular vote doesn’t go their way, as they did after the 2015 election, and again after Brexit.
So there you have it. The Labour of today is now hopelessly divided, and most jarringly, has lost touch with the average man. The consequences of this are obvious, with the Labour Party still reeling from their failed EU campaign, and Jeremy Corbyn facing a revolt from his own party. As I see it, the party that once championed the working class now has its head so far up where the sun doesn’t shine that it blames the leader they elected for failure of a Remain campaign that, to be frank, was destined to fail.
Now, I actually don’t mind Jeremy Corbyn, but I don’t think he’s that good a leader. He supported EU membership just to keep his own party together, and that didn’t work out so well. He’s only been the Labour leader for nine months and already he’s got a good chunk of the party wanting to oust him. If anything, this is so far a worse performance than Ed Miliband. I’m no Labour supporter, but I think there’s dark times ahead for Labour party, and at this rate, they’ll have very little chance of beating the Conservative government, especially if Boris Johnson becomes the new Tory leader.