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Polly Toynbee on the Labour vote not doing what the Leadership wants

(13 Posts)
claig Tue 14-Jun-16 11:31:18

I think Cameron must have been very worried when he read Polly's findings. I expect that may have been why Gordon Brown was told to get his skates on and to change into his Batman outfit pronto.

"The clutch of England fans in Marseille were unequivocal. “Fuck off Europe, we’re all voting out,” they chanted. I’ve spent the week listening to much the same, politer, but just as fingers-in-the-ears adamant. No fact, no persuader penetrates their certainty – and these were Labour voters. Will Labour’s campaign week, kicked off by Gordon Brown in the face of a dire new Guardian poll, shift many outers?

Inside Labour’s London HQ, I joined young volunteers manning the “Labour In” phones with every fact at the ready. We had sheets of Labour-supporting names to call in Nottinghamshire – and the results were grim. “Out”, “Out” and “Out” in call after call, only a couple for remain. “I’ve been Labour all my life, but I’m for leave,” they said. Why? Always the same – immigrants first; that mythical £350m saving on money sent to Brussels second; “I want my country back” third. And then there is, “I don’t know ANYONE voting in.”

Try arguing with facts and you get nowhere. Warn these Labour people what a Johnson/Gove government would do and they don’t care. Warn about the loss of workers’ rights and they don’t listen – maybe that’s already irrelevant to millions in crap jobs such as at Uber or Sports Direct. “We’re full up. Sorry, there’s no room for more. Can’t get GP appointments, can’t get into our schools, no housing.” If you tell these Labour voters that’s because of Tory austerity cuts, still they blame “immigrants getting everything first”. Warn about a Brexit recession leading to far worse cuts and they just say, “Stop them coming, make room for our own first.”

Here were the two irreconcilable faces of Labour, eager young London graduates on the phone making scant headway with older traditional voters of Nottingham, impervious to love letters from Der Spiegel or heartfelt warnings that Labour people, Labour areas, would pay the price for Brexit self-destruction."

claig Tue 14-Jun-16 11:38:36

Frank Field was on the news saying that the days of Labour voters doing what the Labour leadership wants as if they were troops are over. It might have happened in 1945, but it certainly ain't gonna happen now, he said.

Cameron is probably receiving by the minute reports from a dwindling band of loyalists across the land

Some are trying to reassure him with that classic line that Corporal Jones made famous

"Don't panic, Mr Cameron, don't panic"

shinytorch2 Tue 14-Jun-16 12:52:41

I love Frank Field👏

Mistigri Tue 14-Jun-16 13:09:11

This was a very good article by Polly who for all her faults is one of the more sincere and reflective left wing journalists.

The OP was careful to quote selectively from her article, safe in the knowledge that almost no one ever clicks on links. Here is a paragraph from a little further down the article:

"This is the sound of Britain breaking.Here ends our “moderate, tolerant” self-image. Imagine Brexit wins and two years later prime minister Boris Johnson is still embroiled in quarrelsome EU exit talks. These Barking and Nottingham people will see no change, same migrants, same sense of powerlessness. Recession-hit, facing worse cuts, voters won’t blame themselves for their own folly. Old problems are unresolved – an economy reliant on City and property bubbles, low skills, low productivity, atrophied public services, hopes raised and dashed. Gove and Johnson risk losing control of the furies they have unleashed."

claig Tue 14-Jun-16 13:18:26

'The OP was careful to quote selectively from her article'

You have told me the same on another article I quoted. I quote the bits that I think are true and interesting so that readers can discover an interesting point of view. I don't post the Guardian and Cameronian scaremongering stuff about Boris which I think is rubbish.

Mistigri Tue 14-Jun-16 13:23:31

Exactly. You quote selectively. I'm just redressing the balance. Here is another very perceptive quote from the same article:

"That moment is fertile for some yet-worse demagogue who calls for throwing out migrants already here. Expect the volume to be raised against “elites” – anti-parliament, anti-politics, bored of democracy itself."

"These are potent ingredients for militant majoritarianism, blaming minorities and minority opinions. The Human Rights Act is abolished and the BBC absorbed into government. National socialism will no doubt carry a new name – but it’s there in the making."

claig Tue 14-Jun-16 13:32:31

'Exactly. You quote selectively. I'm just redressing the balance.'

Of course, I quote selectively, or I would have to qute the entire article. But you have a tendency to accuse me of trying to hide the rest of the article by doing so. I don't care if you "redress the balance". I think most of the rest of the article is deliberate Cameronian scaremongering intended to try and get the Labour vote out in order to save Cameron, which is why Ithought it was not interesting enough to quote, but by all means, you can quote it if you think it makes sense.

Mistigri Tue 14-Jun-16 13:39:25

I'm accusing you of being dishonest by misrepresenting the article via selective quoting, yes. You do this a lot.

claig Tue 14-Jun-16 13:45:18

You need to chill out a bit. I am quoting what I think is interesting and put a link to the article for anyone to read the rest of it if they want. I don't accuse you of anything, but I easily could, based on what you do a lot. Chill out, not everybody thinks the way you do.

claig Tue 14-Jun-16 13:51:31

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

howtorebuild Tue 14-Jun-16 14:18:31

She has a point, my CLP is full of the middle-class, the working class don't turn up.

claig Tue 14-Jun-16 14:32:43

Yes, it was a good article which told truths about the Labour vote which was quite surprising for Polly to do, but she obviously did it in part in order to heighten the sense of panic in order to drive the Guardian Labour vote out.

But it was a very good article in showing the divide between traditional Labour working class voters and the party hierarchy.

I think Labour has got a big problem and it will only get worse. Even the unions, the working class link between the leadership and the people, are backing Remain and are with Cameron. The working class will end up feeling betrayed.

Lucydogz Tue 14-Jun-16 18:40:30

shinytorch2 I love Frank Field as well

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