A good analysis but it is deeply sad that this is the best the main opposition party in the UK can come up with. If the Labour Party has been about anything for the last 6 months, it has been about this gap in its catchment population. All the infighting, votes of no confidence and leadership elections were in essence about it. How sad then that this attempt to present a credible position is so badly stitched together. All that is lacking is the dotted line saying cut here.
The impetus behind the struggles however was not about how to heal this rift, or how to forge a credible opposition. Quite the reverse. Corbyn and co., adopted a “war of position”. Seize bureaucratic control of the party mechanisms and outlaw dissent. This approach has enabled them to avoid the disaster of poll ratings and the terrible thrashing on Corbyn’s past indiscretions that is to come.
Their opponents, while I sympathise with their despair at Corbyn’s incompetence, made the same mistake of focusing inwards. I don’t think it exaggerated to say both sides panicked. They became entirely pragmatic about saving a party out of touch with the electorate.
Both sides have not until now been talking to labour voters let alone the country at large. If they had they might have formed a different view of how labour inclined voters viewed the Referendum. Polls suggest that between 63% (Ashcroft) and 71% (British Election Study) voted remain. This is not to suggest the Referendum didn’t happen or that it can be ignored. It does provide a legitimate basis for countering government and right wing media emphasis on immigration. Everybody “secretly” knows that Brexit will not have any great effect on immigration. Even if it did control the numbers to the rather vague targets now in vogue, this will not improve the economic outlook.
Does anyone else remember the slogan — “Unemployment and inflation are not caused by immigration. Bullshit, come off it, the enemy is profit.” Capital can rest in big empty London houses or pay foreign child labourers a pittance to stock our stores. That’s why we don’t have a manufacturing base — it’s nothing to do with Polish plumbers. Am I hearing any such arguments from our “left wingers”? That would be NO.
Hayter speaking on behalf of a supposedly progressive party appears to have swallowed the entire Tory position without reservation. In her failure, together with the Party leadership, she has perhaps fatally weakened sound economic and internationalist policies, in favour of nationalism and populism. It is hard to see how socialists will recover them.