Chris Trotter talks about the UK elections, but you could easily mistake his swipe at the liberal elite wankers running Labour over there for a swipe against the liberal elite wankers running Labour here.
WHETHER THE UNITED KINGDOM has a Labour Prime Minister by the end of this week remains to be seen. What cannot be disputed, however, is that among Labour’s traditional working-class constituency, much of the Conservative/Liberal Democrat Government’s programme remains surprisingly popular.
Four out of five trade union members, for example, told pollsters that they thought the £26,000 cap on benefits was a good idea. Indeed, Matt Ridley, Member of the House of Lords and author of the bestselling book, The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves, reports that “Tory candidates out canvassing tell me they are finding that welfare reform, while horrifying the metropolitan elite, is most popular in the meanest streets — where people are well aware of neighbours who play the system.”
If this wasn’t true, it is hard to explain how, after five years of swingeing austerity, the Conservative Party is polling neck-and-neck with Ed Miliband’s Labour Party.
To hear the British Left tell it, the last five years have been an unmitigated social disaster. It’s a claim which, if true, would be propelling Labour towards a landslide electoral victory. But, if the experts are agreed on anything about the 7 May election, it’s that, outside of Scotland (where the Scottish National Party are poised to win every one of Scotland’s Westminster seats) it’s not going to be anyone’s sort of landslide.
When even unions are sick of welfare you know you are in trouble pushing it. Unions of course represent working people, which is what Grant Robertson was mentioning the other day….that Labour has been ignoring the working people while pander to bludgers and criminals.
What horrifies “metropolitan elites” has, however, come to dominate the policies of both the British and New Zealand Labour Parties. Highly educated and socially liberal, the party activists of both countries would rather see their parties split in two than endorse the “reactionary” views of their working-class supporters. That these views might be shared by sufficient voters to materially boost Labour’s chances of winning general elections deters them not one bit.