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Labour won’t win again until it works out why it lost | Gary Younge | Opinion | The Guardian
Those who think that Labour’s leftward shift was just about Corbyn frankly never understood it. Corbyn was simply the unlikely, unprepared and in many ways inadequate vessel for a political moment that is not yet over. He emerged in the wake of wars and at a time of austerity when social democratic parties across the western world were failing and flailing. His election did not produce the crisis in the Labour party; it was the product of it, and this election result has now exacerbated it. His strong performance in 2017 is why we are not further down the Brexit path already, and why the Tories have promised to increase public spending and effectively end austerity.
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There are ways of contextualising this result that could provide solace in a moment of despair. Labour, under Corbyn, won a higher vote share than both Miliband and Brown. He lost fewer seats than Brown and has more than the Tories did in 2005, from which they bounced back to form a coalition government in 2010. Such rationalisations should be avoided. We lost, and lost badly. Self–criticism does not come easy from a defensive crouch. In the words of the great African-American writer and activist WEB Du Bois: “Our worst side has been so shamelessly emphasised that we are denying we have or ever had a worst side. In all sorts of ways we are hemmed in.”

Corbyn is right to announce his departure. His decision to stay and lead a discussion about the future of the party makes no sense. He cannot lead a conversation that is in no small part about him. His presence will be a diversion from the task at hand. The left should not fetishise this position. It matters who runs the Labour party, but it’s not the only thing that matters. For the last four years nearly all of the left’s energy has been poured into defending it. Given Johnson’s majority, many of the key struggles to come will take place outside parliament.

Corbyn’s departure creates a problem for centrists. They have been predicting this moment since before he was elected leader. When events failed to comply – when the party reelected him with a greater majority or the country gave him more seats and votes – they waited for the next event. Even a broken clock is right twice a day. The trouble is, with him leaving they will now have to produce an agenda and a candidate of their own, and then offer those up to a party that has grown in size, even if it is momentarily diminished in confidence.

They will have to face the fact that the electorate did not abandon Labour for the centre. They went either to the far right, in England and Wales, or to the social democratic nationalist alternative, in Scotland. They did not go to the Liberal Democrats or back Change. Chuka Umunna, Dominic Grieve, David Gauke, Anna Soubry, Jo Swinson and Luciana Berger all lost.

I did not hear a single voter ask about Owen Smith or pine for Yvette Cooper. Whatever comes next, it won’t be a return to abstaining on the welfare bill or backing the hostile environment policy. They will want Labour to be more effective in opposition, but they will want it to mount an opposition.

The centrists will have to face the fact that the thousands of people who travelled the country during these past few weeks to canvass in the cold and rain are not about to abandon their ideals or the party. And those who invested so heavily in this particular iteration of Labour will have to face the fact that their conviction alone was not enough to convince others of their ideals.
UK  politics  generalElection  ge2019  JohnsonBoris  ToryParty  LabourParty  CorbynJeremy  Brexit  manifesto  publicServices  campaigning  anti-Semitism  leadership  TheLeft  centrism  farRight  dctagged  dc:creator=YoungeGary 
just now by petej
General election: How Labour really lost seats in Leave-voting areas | The Independent
There are some implications of this. One is that the idea that voters have somehow historically “abandoned Labour” in its traditional heartlands – any more than they did in 2005, 2010, or 2015 –is not really correct. Rather, in most cases, a temporary boost that Jeremy Corbyn won in 2017 has unwound. More research will be needed to understand better why this happened in 2019 compared to 2017 – it may have been that negative stories about Jeremy Corbyn stuck more. But the fact that these losses are overwhelmingly in Leave areas, while Remain areas stood firm or even were added to Labour’s collection, suggests there is some kind of Brexit connection. Labour went into the election promising another referendum and the Tories hammered home the message that the party wanted to “block Brexit”.

There’s also a longer-term question – the Tories are clearly a huge force in these areas now. Can the party sustain this presence and mobilisation when Brexit isn’t an issue? If the answer is no, there may not be as much of a problem for Labour if the next election is fought in different circumstances, without Europe as the central question. If the answer is yes, then the party is in big trouble, because it will have to win volumes of voters that it hasn’t been able to count on before.
UK  politics  generalElection  ge2019  Brexit  Leave  LabourParty  ToryParty  CorbynJeremy  ge2017 
1 hour ago by petej
Labour defeated. Brexit certain.
Detailed analysis of the results will show Labour in England and Wales is still the party of those who work, of ethnic minorities, of young people and precarious workers. It is also the greenest of all parties when it comes to fighting climate change. But it has lost the elderly former industrial workforce to a toxic offering of nativism, nationalism and selfishness.
UK  politics  generalElection  ge2019  LabourParty  CorbynJeremy  Brexit  youth  diversity  leadership  nationalism  internationalism  dctagged  dc:creator=MasonPaul 
1 hour ago by petej
To people I quite like who are now busy blaming Jeremy Corbyn: short thread Let me preface what I am going to say by noting that I've never stinted on criticism at expense of solidarity. But I also didn't withhold solidarity in favour of criticism at this
To people I quite like who are now busy blaming Jeremy Corbyn: short thread

Let me preface what I am going to say by noting that I've never stinted on criticism at expense of solidarity. But I also didn't withhold solidarity in favour of criticism at this crunch time as you did.
UK  politics  generalElection  ge2019  CorbynJeremy  LabourParty  media  misinformation  criticism  solidarity  TheLeft 
2 hours ago by petej
3 Labour leaders - Brown, Miliband, Corbyn - have lost 4 elections in a row. Their politics were different from each other’s. The political contexts were different. But they all lost. There are deeper questions here beyond Brexit.
3 Labour leaders - Brown, Miliband, Corbyn - have lost 4 elections in a row. Their politics were different from each other’s. The political contexts were different. But they all lost.

There are deeper questions here beyond Brexit.
UK  politics  generalElection  ge2019  LabourParty  Brexit  deindustrialisation  nationalism  cities  dctagged  dc:creator=SarkarAsh 
3 hours ago by petej
Smell of Heritage
Our knowledge of the past is odourless. Yet, smells play a powerful role in our daily lives and can be considered part of our intangible cultural heritage. Smell of Heritage explores the identification, analysis and archival of smells, from determining and describing culturally significant aromas, to the scientific techniques that can help us capture and understand the compounds that make them. We also look at ways of archiving smell metadata and preserving odours for future generations.
culture  smell  uk  research 
4 hours ago by kintopp

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