The Labour Party has proven itself completely ineffectual. They’ve got a leader who can barely develop policy due both to his incompetence and a continually growing cadre of backbench MPs who stand for literally nothing but a centrist, simplistic Labour Party. In a country where the political landscapes are radically changing, with the concept of a centre-ground voting bloc taking a kicking, the Labour Party seems to serve no purpose other than an increasingly small clique of middle class left wingers in London.
The throngs of working and lower middle class people in the Midlands and North have their worries continually ignored and dismissed. From the destruction of manufacturing to the problems of mass immigration, Labour cannot and will not respond to their questions, instead patronising them with silly welfare policies, all the while showing them thinly-veiled disgust (something that really came out during the EU referendum).
During the Blair years, rather than looking at ways to stop deindustrialisation or even lead to different sectors and a reskilling of labour, there was a complete acceptance of globalisation and financialisation. Instead of bolstered, independent trade unions, there was a minimum wage, which simply served to further monopolise the retail and service sectors. To add insult to injury, there was a huge importation of low-skilled migration which has served to dampen the wages of the lowest-paid, distort English and Welsh labour markets, have a negative effect on services and irrevocably change many peoples’ neighbourhoods and communities, all without their consent.
Blair served to change the Labour Party as a party of business more so than they ever had been. They effectively replaced the Tories who were caught in a quagmire of scandals and poor leaders. This, combined with the betrayal of their traditional constituencies, meant the loss of 5 million voters from 1997-2007, and increasingly lower levels of voter turnout. White working class communities have been ignored and disparaged all for the mythical centre-ground.
Now they have a leader unpopular with the MPs but popular with the membership. He may well be unelectable as many have claimed, but then again none of the other major MPs have anything to offer. Angela Eagle, who intends to push a leadership bid against Jeremy Corbyn, is a typical Blairite candidate. Pro-EU, pro-Iraq War and pro-business, she represents nothing that the electorate want. Let’s remember, Ed Miliband lost an election on a platform of austerity-lite combined with some petty left-wing policies. The perception was that there was little to distinguish Cameron and Miliband. How can Angela Eagle be any different. She believes in very little, and her main claim to fame is her ability to tell better jokes than George Osborne.
Since the EU referendum, it has been shown that there is a huge disconnect between Labour voters and their MPs. Many constituencies in the North and Midlands voted to leave the EU by large margins, while their MPs were fanatically pro-EU. This represents a huge level of dissatisfaction with the status quo in economic and immigration policy. People aren’t convinced that the economy is working in its financialised guise, yet the likes of Angela Eagle fundamentally support a financialised, globalised economy.
The Labour Party provides no answers to those who are dissatisfied. The Corbynites are caught up in their own struggles which means they fail to provide real policies which might well be popular and the Blairites are utterly irrelevant, proving themselves wrong on almost every political issue and being replaced by a Blairite Conservative Party. The Labour Party simply needs to die, as this may hopefully open a black hole in the political system that can be filled by more radical and decentralist alternatives from both the left and the right.