Thursday, April 18, 2024

Blogpost: Blairites should learn their lesson after Copeland defeat

Blogpost by Scott Nelson

LABOUR’S defeat in Copeland was devastating but not surprising. Electoral data shows Labour’s vote share in the constituency has dropped since 2010 – proving that the rot set in under New Labour.

History tells us that New Labour lost 4 million working class voters and also started the erosion of Scottish Labour. In 2015, UKIP accrued nearly 4 million voters and came second in every Labour-held seat in the North of England, while the SNP virtually wiped out Scottish Labour in Scotland. The UKIP and SNP surges were partly caused by New Labour, as voters felt that the party no longer represented them.

However, since the general election in 2015, the Tories have enjoyed a surge in support particularly since Brexit, while UKIP support has dropped. Data shows that the Tories have taken at least 29% of UKIP support.

People are now questioning the relevance of UKIP, as the Tories are delivering Brexit and are tackling immigration. Official Government figures show that net migration has fallen by 49,000 and both these things are appealing to UKIP supporters. The Tories have effectively replaced UKIP and Paul Nuttall’s recent defeat to Labour in Stoke-on-Trent, the Brexit capital of Britain, has sent a clear message to him: Labour will never be beaten by UKIP and your party is now irrelevant.

But we should focus on Labour’s woes. Since the unnecessary Blairite-led leadership coup last summer, Labour has continued to flag behind in the polls. Blairites and the gutter press personally blame Jeremy Corbyn, but the real reason why Labour lost Copeland is because of party disunity. People are sick of the Blairites’ infighting and personal attacks against Jeremy Corbyn. Political disunity does not win elections.

Under Jeremy Corbyn, Labour’s membership has surged to over 500,000 and the party is now the biggest socialist movement in Europe. Jeremy Corbyn, his supporters and his campaign movement Momentum are passionate, loyal and hardworking. They are committed to success and have demonstrated that they are a very powerful movement. They are good at promoting and communicating Jeremy Corbyn’s anti-austerity and anti-Establishment message, they are good at promoting Labour Party policies and they are good at fighting off Jeremy Corbyn’s detractors. But the same cannot be said for Progress-supporting Blairites.

Progress-supporting Copeland CLP selected Gillian Troughton, a Blairite and outspoken Jeremy Corbyn critic, to stand in the recent by-election. Despite Copeland voting Brexit, Gillian Troughton – like Jamie Reed – backed Remain. Jamie Reed did not respect Copeland’s Brexit message and neither did Gillian Troughton. So it comes as no surprise that Copeland elected a Conservative MP after decades of Labour neglecting and misrepresenting the constituency.

Blairites have persistently undermined Jeremy Corbyn and they were behind last year’s leadership coup. Blairites have damaged Labour, and they, along with Progress, are partly responsible for Labour losing Copeland. Blairites only have one objective and that is to destroy Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership so they can install another toxic Blairite and lead Labour into oblivion.

Labour’s defeat in Copeland has sent a clear message and a warning to Progress and Blairites: Your selfish and irresponsible actions are damaging the party. Now is the time to put your differences aside and unite behind Jeremy Corbyn. A strong and united Labour Party can win elections and can make a difference. Britain has never needed a Labour government as much as it does now.

Spare a thought for the families who are using food banks because of in-work poverty. Spare a thought for NHS patients laying on trolleys in corridors because there are no beds available. Spare a thought for children who are going to school hungry. Spare a thought for public sector workers who are struggling to do their jobs and deliver services because of staffing cuts and office closures. Spare a thought for communities that have become filthy and run down because of Tory funding cuts. Spare a thought for people who are trapped in poverty while the rich continue to get richer. Spare a thought for the disabled and pensioners who are being denied social care. And share a thought for people who are now living on the streets through no fault of their own.

Only a strong and united Labour Party can win elections, form the next Government and reverse all of the things I have just mentioned – something which Jeremy Corbyn and his amazing team of supporters are on a mission to deliver.

Theresa May’s Brexit honeymoon will not last forever, Britain is going to enter a very turbulent period as Brexit negotiations get under way. Labour needs to unite now for the sake of Britain’s future and to stop the Tories delivering a millionaires’ Brexit while ordinary people are left behind. But most of all, Labour needs to start holding the Tories to account and show the people of Britain that it is a strong and credible opposition capable of forming the next government.


  1. It might be said that Labour lost Copeland because of Corbyn’s anti-nuclear energy stance as well so it’s not all Blairite stuff that caused the loss, just mostly. Corbyn has tried to unify Labour by appointing people from all wings of the party to posts within the Shadow Cabinet and he has allowed many free votes on issues that are important to him personally. Corbyn has also accepted that Labour policy should be to renew Trident despite being against the UK having nuclear arms personally. Whereas Blair and his followers as well as those who rebelled against the three line whipping on the Bill to grant Theresa May’s ‘government’ the power to trigger Article 50 and remove us from the EU, Corbyn actually listened to the voters who matter to Labour the most, the working class voters who have seen nothing but disdain from the Westminster elite PLP who have taken their vote from granted, and whether he wanted to remain in the EU personally or not, has listened to them and tried to get every Labour MP to allow May to get on with Brexit.

    I was a Remainer and would have preferred that the threshold to take action on the result for the EU Referendum was set much higher to make sure that fewer people would be disappointed whichever way the referendum went, however, I want the result to be acted on so we can put all this crap behind us although, in my heart, I don’t think the damage done to the UK can ever be undone.

  2. Deluded Scott, sadly deluded. What is really concerning is that dear old Jeremy and his followers will not be in the least concerned if there are just 50 Labour MPs at Westminster after the next election. Who will lose out, the very people who need a Labour Government. Corbynistas tossers make my blood boil.


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