I believe we can change the narrative more effectively when in government. We can bring about the Equality Act for example, which took massive steps towards tackling institutional racism and xenophobia. Labour get in government to change statutory legislation and change the narrative — civil partnerships, Macpherson report for example — thus shifting the centre ground. We liberals should continue fight the ground warfare campaigning to liberalize the nation. A Labour Party out of government won’t massively change the discourse around racism and immigration as much as we would like it to.
Labour need to fight on the Tories turfs to win a General Election, Labour must be extra-strong and credible on the economy, welfare, defence and immigration. The Tories have to fight on Labour’s turf, they have to prove (to the electorate) that they’ll look after the NHS and also protect our public services. No side can rest on their ‘natural’ strength in those area — particularly Labour (who have only won 5 working majorities in 70 years).
I think the lack of restrictions on EU migrants post 2004 accession — did destabilised pockets of the country — look at Boston for example. I feel like this has more to do with integration than just immigration but I still I think it can controlled more effectively. I don’t know a huge amount on this and I would to study it more!
I think they idea that Labour lost the 2015 election because we were ‘Tory-lite’ is one of the greatest myths of our age. When 75% of the Labour membership are in economic democraphics ABC1 (74% £3 registered supporters) I think we can say (generalise) this a group of middle class liberal lefties. I talked about all of this in a previous blog https://medium.com/@Layo_91/how-middle-class-liberals-destroyed-the-labour-party-8256e707ec01#.60qs3a4kr
This huge blog was about far more than just about immigration so I would like to drag Corbyn into this. After all, he was the reason why I wrote this entire piece! Even John Mcdonnell has called for the end of free movement of people. Dammit even he isn’t pure enough.
I completely disagree that between 1997–2010 we were a Party without an identity. I’d rather be in government bringing about laws that change peoples lives, than outside, pontificating about ‘our identity’ and talking to ourselves.