Britain’s Labour Party Got Woke—And Now It’s Broke

Britain’s Labour Party Got Woke—And Now It’s Broke, by Toby Young.

“Most people I know who used to be staunch Labour are now saying no way Jeremy Corbyn,” said Steve Hurt, an engineer. “It’s not our party any more. Same label, different bottle.”

According to the activist I was with, that had been the reaction wherever he went. He had knocked on 100 doors in a council estate earlier that day and all but three people he’d spoken to told him they intended to vote Conservative — and this in a city where 26 per cent of the population are among the most deprived in England. I asked why, if these electors disliked Corbyn, they didn’t simply abstain? Why were they planning to brave the elements on a cold day in December to vote for a party led by an old Etonian toff?

Because they hate Corbyn that much,” he said. “The biggest message they can send to him is to elect a Tory government.”

It’s the same story across England — working class electors deserting Labour en masse. …

The elite spin is frankly nonsense:

The conventional wisdom is that working class voters have “lent” their votes to the Conservatives and, barring an upset, will give them back next time round. …

This analysis doesn’t bear much scrutiny. … At its height, Labour managed to assemble a coalition of university-educated liberals in London and the South and low-income voters in Britain’s industrial heartlands in the Midlands and the North—“between Hampstead and Hull,” as the saying goes. But mass immigration and globalization have driven a wedge between Labour’s middle class and working class supporters, as has Britain’s growing welfare bill and its membership of the European Union. …

Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters have talked a good deal about winning back these working class voters, but his policy positions haven’t been designed to appeal to them. … There’s a widespread feeling among voters who value flag, faith and family that Corbyn isn’t one of them. Before he became Labour leader in 2015, he was an energetic protestor against nearly every armed conflict Britain has been involved in — not to mention declining to sing the National Anthem at a Battle of Britain service in 2015. From the point of view of many working class voters, for whom love of country is still a deeply felt emotion, Corbyn seems to side with the country’s enemies more often than he does with Britain.

Watch where the government largesse goes:

Corbyn’s victory in the Labour leadership election was followed by a surge in party membership — from 193,754 at the end of 2014 to 388,103 by the end of 2015. But the activists he appeals to are predominantly middle class. According to internal Party data leaked to the Guardian, a disproportionate number of them are “high status city dwellers” who own their own homes.

A careful analysis of the policies set out in Labour’s latest manifesto reveals that the main beneficiaries of the party’s proposed increase in public expenditure — which the Conservatives costed at an eye-watering £1.2 trillion — would be its middle class supporters.

For instance, the party pledged to cut rail fares by 33 per cent and pay for it by slashing the money spent on roads. But only 11 per cent of Britain’s commuters travel by train compared to 68 per cent who drive—and the former tend to be more affluent than the latter. Corbyn also promised to abolish university tuition fees at a cost of £7.2 billion per annum, a deeply regressive policy which, according to the Institute of Fiscal Studies, would benefit middle- and high-earning graduates with “very little” upside for those on low incomes. …

Plenty of better writers than me — Douglas Murray, John Gray — have debunked the notion that the only reason low-income voters embrace right-wing politics is because they’re drunk on a cocktail of ethno-nationalism and false hope (with Rupert Murdoch and Vladimir Putin taking turns as mixologists).

It surely has more to do with the Left’s sneering contempt for the “deplorables” in the flyover states as they shuttle back and forth between their walled, cosmopolitan strongholds.

As Corbyn’s policy platform in Britain’s election showed, left-wing parties now have little to offer indigenous, working class people outside the big cities — and their activists often add insult to injury by describing these left-behind voters as “privileged” because they’re white or cis-gendered or whatever. So long as parties like Labour pander to their middle-class, identitarian activists and ignore the interests of the genuinely disadvantaged, they’ll continue to rack up loss after loss. Get woke, go broke.

Calling us racist” worked for a decade. Not any more, now they reap the reward: