Labour chair has one simple message for those still trying to blame Corbyn for election disaster

Ian Lavery and Jeremy Corbyn
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The chair of the Labour Party has a simple message for those still trying to blame leader Jeremy Corbyn for 2019’s disastrous election results. And it’s a message all progressives need to listen to very carefully.

“Ignore democracy at your peril”

Speaking about Brexit’s role in the election, Labour chair Ian Lavery said:

He had previously explained that “the only difference” between 2017’s successful Labour campaign and the disastrous 2019 election was that the party had shifted to backing a second referendum on Brexit. This, he stressed:

is the real issue within the Labour Party. It’s about a lack of trust. People feel disengaged. People feel let down.

Labour’s compromise position on Brexit in 2019 may have seemed sensible and unifying, if risky. And it also helped to limit resistance from pro-Remain centrists. But with a media establishment firmly against Corbyn’s party, the message getting across to Brexit voters was clearly that Labour had copped out.

Labour elites failed to get Brexit

Tony Blair’s ‘New Labour‘ project left people across Britain with a lack of trust in politics. A sign of this was the massive fall in the party’s membership during this period. And Labour’s continuing obsession with centrist policies meant Jeremy Corbyn “inherited a wreck” back in 2015. It seemed in the 2017 election, however, that Corbyn’s leadership was rebuilding the party, despite constant media hostility. But Labour’s new stance on Brexit in the 2019 election clearly hit it hard.

When in power, Blair and his centrist allies faced accusations of being “unwilling to listen“, of ignoring members, and of distancing themselves from trade unions. In this way, journalist John Harris accused New Labour of ‘leaving a vacuum’ in many communities through its out-of-touch attitude and failure to truly address the desperation resulting from decades of industrial decay. This, he said, sparked a “working class revolt” in the form of the 2016 Brexit referendum. Brexit voters perceived overwhelmingly that living standards had been deteriorating for decades, and demanded that “decisions about the UK should be taken in the UK”.

‘Brexit was the big issue’

Blaming Corbyn and his politics for the 2019 election nightmare may be convenient for those on the right. But Labour’s Laura Smith was one of many politicians who lost to a Tory in a Brexit-voting northern constituency; and she has been crystal clear that Labour’s position on Brexit was the major factor:

She also insisted that she “would have stuck to what we promised in 2017″ on respecting the Brexit vote, and that Labour now needs to rebuild trust:

Left-wing rising star Laura Pidcock was another person who lost out to a surging pro-Brexit vote in Leave-voting Durham North West.

Meanwhile, the Tory candidate who defeated Labour legend Dennis Skinner in the heavily Leave-voting constituency of Bolsover echoed Lavery and Smith’s words, saying local people:

felt like our democracy had been affronted by our failure to leave the EU.

Don’t forget the billionaire media, of course

When Britain’s billionaire media wasn’t influencing people with Tory propaganda about Brexit, it was continuing its years-long smear campaign against Jeremy Corbyn. As shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald said on 16 December:

[I have] never in my lifetime known any single individual so demonised and vilified, so grotesquely and so unfairly

While Brexit was clearly a key factor in handing the 2019 election to one of the most racist, hard-right governments in living memory, it would be wrong to ignore the effect of despicable anti-Corbyn propaganda in the media. Because it clearly shaped many people’s views on Corbyn’s party. So while rebuilding links with working-class communities around Britain clearly needs to be a priority for Labour post-2019, supporting a media revolution also needs to be right at the top of the party’s agenda.

Featured image via Wikimedia – Chris McAndrew / Wikimedia – Sophie Brown

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  • Show Comments
    1. Talk about keeping Britain British and not letting in “all those foreigners”. You should have thought about that before letting that Aussie, come Yank Rupert Murdock into the country and kept the lying toad away from British newspapers,

      1. Literally no one has every said either of those things…. but a good strawman means you don’t have to engage with the truth: far left wing politics are not popular.

        Anyway, back to claiming to be cleverer and more moral than everyone else with a different opinion.

    2. Damn right.
      Think theyre underestimating the media tho: even yanks were repeating it back to me, but 2 minutes googling and it’s proved shite
      but who had time to google it all
      and who expected the whole fkin media to work in unison
      fiver says Black Cube or its ilk got hired.

      1. Listened to a very interesting podcast that detailed the techniques of psychological tools that started out being used to identify people who would be prone to messaging and recruitment from groups like isis, so they could be intercepted before radicalisation took place.

        These same tools were then used against voters, to identify certain traits in a population like the dark triad which is psychopathy, machiavellianism and narcissism, so these people could be herded into online groups, have their prejudices amplified and be weaponised against a target population or group.

        How this was then utilised for the brexit, trump and other campaigns which is why there was an explosion of hate that accompanied these pivotal moments. This was also used to identify compassionate people and make them apathetic so they wouldn’t turn out to vote, as well as identifying narcissists, neurotics etc, which makes me wonder if there was more to the media bias, i.e journalists being targeted too, thought it might be of interest as you mentioned black cube.

          1. Secret cabal, you sound like a man trapped in the 18th century with rees-moog, hopefully you’re wearing your monocle so you can read what I’m typing. People behind this have been candid in that cocky self assured way reprobates like to roll, take for instance this presentation by alexander nix, where he goes into methodology minus the salacious detail and intrigue.


            Then you have mister big pie hole himself steve bannon, who is exceptionally candid, openly talks about strategy, people being targeted and clientele in mainstream publications, recently had a spot in the guardian discussing rebranding the republicans state side into a working class party, most important word in that sentence is rebranding as they remain a party of the leisure class.

            They have been hiding in plain sight, fearful societies were becoming more progressive especially the young, expressing these fears out loud, just as well laid plans were coming to fruition their base only had one or two generations left in them, then the centrists showed them the way forward using big data and user engagement during obama’s presidential run.

            There are many factors for the election result, many of which have been covered here and elsewhere, most important one imo, one my lefty brothers and sisters need to get a handle on as it’s mainly aimed from keeping the left out of power, is the convergence of detailed big data, psychometrics, weaponised identity, confusion and apathy. Artists formally known as cambridge analytica were trail blazers in this regard. Then we can do our thing, analyse, spread awareness and develop strategy to mitigate the effects of this skulduggery going forward.

            1. A tiny correction from my last paragraph, psychometrics should of been psychographics, I’m going by memory and it’s been awhile since I’ve had a zoot.

            2. So yes you’ve invented a conspiracy based on a YouTube video to explain your crushing defeat rather than address the issues with your party and ideology that caused it…

              Do these people have an underground lair? A coordinating council? Is the Far Left so pure that it doesn’t indulge in political propaganda… because it has something of a history there you know…

            3. First secret cabal, now conspiracy, you need to get out more, there are many videos, articles, committee hearings, investigations, investigative journalists, academics, whistle blowers and policy makers who have been sounding the alarm about this and how it has been eroding democracy and undermining social cohesion. Sweet jesus man there is even a documentary on netflix that has been nominated for an oscar, called the great hack.

              By all means though keep burying your hand in the sand, pretending it’s a problem of the unpopular far left, labour under corbyn (swelled to become europe’s largest political party by membership) wasn’t a communist or anarchist party, comrade. These three twitter links below contain a wealth of info, from pro’s who look into these things deeply, with exposure and understanding things can change and we can all stop wearing our chastity belts.




    3. All the Corbynites need to look into their souls instead of this refusal to accept responsibility for this catastrophe. You have inflicted 5 years and probably 10 of a hard right Johnson government. Seats that have always been labour gone. Face up to what you have done and get out of frontline politics so an alternative progressive politics which can get traction outside students can emerge.

    4. If the Daily Mail, the Express, the Sun, the Telegraph and a spread of broadcast media ran a four-year campaign telling people that drinking tea could provoke cancer, heart disease and strokes, would anyone be surprised if tea drinking declined significantly? And would it be sensible to respond to that by saying: “It wasn’t the media, people just don’t like tea.” ?
      Look at Rother Valley: 6,000 Brexit Party, 15,000 Labour, 22,000 Tory. That tells the story of the 60 constituencies. Leaving the EU and the sense of betrayal over the referendum vote were the crucial issues.
      Leaving the EU, a hostile media and the false accusation of antisemitism and support for terrorism. There you have the essence of the defeat.
      Starmer is a good candidate for leader, but the media will tear him limb from limb. He will be “the Remain PM” he will be “the second referendum PM”. They will keep it up for five years. They will associate him closely to the sense of betrayal in the 60 constituencies, and further. Long-Bailey can avoid that. She will be attacked for being close to Corbyn and on the left; but she doesn’t have Corbyn’s baggage and it will hard for the media to paint her as child of 60s or 70s leftism. With Starmer, Nandy, Rayner, and the balance of Cooper or Philips in her team, she would have a good chance.

      1. Let’s do some arithmetic. !5,000 labour votes, + 6000 brexit party votes = 21000. not enough to beat the Tory 22,000. As for Jess Philips, she was part of the problem and will never be forgiven by anyone not on the far right of Labour.

    5. The problem with Brexit was that we underestimated how strong an emotion racism can be. However, if Labour had taken a pro brexit stance they would have lost many seats in the south. The huge numbers who had joined Labour because of and to support JC were mainly young, not xenophobic racists and therefor remainers, The smart thing for Labour to do was back a second referendum first, but this was resisted by the leave supporting Labour MPs in leave constituencies who all lost their seats anyway!
      And if a second referendum had voted remain, Johnson would have lost face!

      1. @frank_freeman, A sensible voice of reason and clarity from a contributor that knows how to use their brain cells and heart properly. You are literally the only one to call it what it was and is, racism, and a victory for racism.

    6. From the land slide of 1997 to 2019, the labour vote has been on the slide, the telling year was 2005 when ‘New’ Labour opened the floodgates to the immigrants from Eastern Europe with out any thought of the mormal working class people who’s job’s they felt were threatened by these people.
      ‘New’ Labour did not listen then or in the election of 2010, FORCING long term supporters of labour into the arms of UKIP, believing they were the only politicians listening them and their concerns.
      2019 was the culmination of 22 years of the Labour party ignoring their core support and taking for granted the electorate in Northern Areas.
      Corbyn was a terrible choice as leader, I said so at the time, he had too much baggage and was not a leader of men/women, but as a democrat I accepted the result of the ballot.
      It does not matter who we chose to be leader of the party in March 2020 they will be attacked by the press, maybe one of the ways to counteract this is for the Leader of the Party and it’s MP’s to be very careful who they talk to and how, if they do an interview with any MSN then they should have solicitor with them as a witness to what is said, also record every meeting with any journalist.

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