17 December 2019

Tom Blackburn: “In a way, the impending Labour leadership contest might be useful if only for the purposes of clarification: what does the Labour right want, and what is its vision for the future of the country?” (If the UK is anything like Australia, the answer is coal and racism.) “Already the partisans of Blue Labour are doing the rounds, insisting as ever that the post-industrial working class can only be reached through social revanchism and misanthropy with a red rosette apologetically attached. But there is no future in any form of Labour politics which fails to address the working class in its full diversity, and the post-industrial working class would be failed by such a prospectus as much as anyone. Furthermore, many of Britain’s most precariously employed workers are young, BAME or both, and it would be a dereliction of duty to treat them as a second-class concern (at best). Of course Labour needs to find ways of rebuilding in its former heartlands, but to abandon those groups which had found real grounds for optimism in Corbynism, after so many years of being ignored by politicians and demonised in the press, would be a grotesque betrayal as well as self-defeating.“