The British election was a thunderous rejection of the Labour Left, by Oliver Wiseman.
All elections matter, but some matter more than others. Yesterday’s British general election will be remembered as one of the most consequential in decades. …
As the results trickled in, it soon became clear that the realignment many had forecast ahead of polling day was really happening, and on a remarkable scale. …
The upshot is that Britain’s two major parties now answer to very different sets of voters than before. The Conservative base has become more working-class, older, and whiter. The Labour Party’s constituency is getting wealthier, younger, more metropolitan, and more ethnically diverse.
The Conservatives … revealed an understanding that the unoccupied center-ground of British politics was not a fusion of social and economic liberalism, but something very different. In occupying that center-ground, despite objections of many on the right, the Tories have once again demonstrated the ruthlessness that makes them the most successful political party in the West. They have now increased their vote share at every election since 2001, and they have not done so by prioritizing ideological purity. The payoff is large. Britain’s political system rewards winners handsomely; Johnson has the numbers in Parliament to remake the country in his image. Exactly what will come next is unclear, but we are, without doubt, entering a new era in British politics.
In his first comments since returning to Downing Street as prime minister, Boris Johnson acknowledged the consequences of the realignment. Appearing against a backdrop that read “The People’s Government,” he said of those voting Conservative for the first time: “Those people want change. … We must recognize the incredible reality that we now speak as a one-nation Conservative party, literally for everyone from Woking to Workington. From Kensington, I’m proud to say, to Clwyd South. From Surrey Heath to Sedgefield. From Wimbledon to Wolverhampton.”
This could be bad if the western electorates are going tribal, with a white nominally “right” party and a brown and black party emerging out of the new left party.
Keep going with identity politics long and hard enough, and tribalism is inevitable. And then it becomes impossible to change anyone’s mind, because your “party” and who gets the economic spoils of government are determined simply by your genes. Can’t change that. Very, very regressive, and awful for the long term outlook.
The blame for this falls entirely on the new left. Shame, because the Star Trek or Martin Luther King future was looking attainable, before the left mucked it up by encouraging discrimination based on race, gender, etc. All for short term electoral gain, where the whites on the left have a few years of capturing most of the black and brown votes, before being shunted aside in their own party. So dumb.