Brexit: dumping Corbyn will not solve Labour’s crisis

Brexit: dumping Corbyn will not solve Labour’s crisis, by Melanie Phillips. The party is utterly out of touch with its core voters, as last week’s Brexit vote plainly showed.

Corbyn is not the fundamental problem. [The soft left] are. …

People care most about national self-government when their interests depend upon how their country is run. Metropolitan liberals, whose life chances and cultural aspirations are global, can afford to be liberal internationalists. They can afford to posture in favour of unlimited immigration, multiculturalism and lifestyle choice while disdaining tradition, patriotism and the nation.

By contrast, working-class communities with fewer global opportunities and limited choices rely heavily upon strong bonds of attachment to their neighbourhood and upon the country that shapes that neighbourhood. …

When communism collapsed, the Left transferred its revolutionary ambitions from economics to culture. The nation, presumed to be inherently exclusive and racist, was trumped by transnational institutions and values such as the EU or human rights law. … Mass immigration, multiculturalism and the “reconstituted” or “blended” family became tenets of progressivism.

Tony Blair cemented this thinking into the Labour Party. By splicing social liberalism with the free market, he could mask the fact that the collapse of socialism had wiped out the Labour Party’s radical raison d’etre. …

The Labour Party, he said, had junked Methodism for Marx and was destroying community and working-class solidarity. He was all too correct. Working-class communities bore the brunt of family disintegration, the collapse of education standards and the impact of mass immigration.

At the very heart of Labour’s greatest electoral triumph, the three-term Blair/Brown administration, lay the shattering of the bond with its core voters.

In three decades of writing about Britain’s culture wars, I watched the forces that were taking aim at traditional values win every single battle. Until last Thursday.

[The people] were voting to take back control of their nation, not just from the EU but also from the Islington dinner-party set.

The Labor Party has failed and must reform, drastically:

The Brexit vote has provoked Labour’s current crisis; but to resolve it requires an honesty and insight that plainly elude a party that still holds its own voters in such contempt. If Labour is to survive it would have to do far more than dump Corbyn. It would have to renounce virtually everything for which it stands. …

[The soft left] were utterly shocked when their core voters in the northern industrial heartlands voted en masse for Brexit. These voters may well now defect en masse to the UK Independence Party.

hat-tip David Archibald