There are questions over the validity of continuing on with the Labour party in the UK.
While it’s always bad manners to intrude on private grief, I think I have a useful suggestion for the Labour Party; one that could save it a great deal of bitterness and heartache over the next weeks and months, as it struggles to find a new leader and image. For there is an alternative to the coming painful internecine struggle between Peter Mandelson, Len McCluskey, the Unite General Secretary, Jim Murphy, the former Scottish Labour leader, and the various contenders for the Labour leadership: why not just wind up the party altogether?
In the 115 years since it was founded as the political wing of the trade union movement at the Memorial Hall in Farringdon Street in February 1900, Labour has rendered the British people a few signal services. It supported Winston Churchill’s premiership during the Second World War, playing a key role in forcing Neville Chamberlain’s resignation in May 1940. It created the National Health Service eight years later (though quite what Clement Attlee and Nye Bevan would think about the taxpayer forking out for breast enlargements and sex-change operations doesn’t bear contemplation). It also produced many fine, patriotic Cabinet ministers such as Ernie Bevin, Herbert Morrison, Jim Callaghan, George Robertson and John Reid, and many sound defence ministers such as Roy Mason, John Gilbert, Bill Rodgers and David Owen. But the Labour Party’s time as a useful force in British politics has now passed.
Quite possibly its time has passed here, too. Josie Pagani has frequently stated that Labour has lost its branding. Here is why.
All the key societal indicators are moving away from Labour – even its brand name is wildly outdated. Fewer people regard themselves as working class today than at any other period in history, with 71 per cent self-identifying as middle class. Class-consciousness is considered passé by the new generation attaining voting age; first-timers this time around apparently didn’t give a hoot where David Cameron went to school, for example. The percentage of people identifying themselves as Socialist is the lowest it has ever been, hovering around the early teens.