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The crisis of social democracy is a global phenomenon and therefore a bit more fundamental than a few bad opinion polls. The entire economic policy that underpinned social democracy for the first 30 years after WWII - Keynesianism - is no longer an option. Capital is very mobile; any national government that tried to go it alone and impose economic policies aimed at redistributing income from capital to labour would be punished by capital flight and/or an investment strike. There are real limits on what social-democratic governments can actually do in office - it's not about individuals 'selling out', they're under severe pressure dragging them to the right. The space for social-democratic reform has gradually narrowed (partly through the actions of social-democratic governments themselves, of course) since 1945.

A related phenomenon is the retreat of the trade union movement. The trade union movement is now largely absent from post-industrial areas like Heywood and Middleton. A lot of CLPs have withered away to nearly nothing. Old loyalties are fragmenting; for many the populist right and its superficial pseudo-radicalism start to look more appealing because there's no working-class movement to counteract it. Don't forget that we've been here before - the BNP made significant headway in places like Oldham and Burnley in the early 2000s before it eventually imploded. The warning signs have been there for some time.

A few caveats are in order though. In Heywood and Middleton, the Tories and Lib Dems have generally done fairly well over the years - both those parties saw their vote share collapse on Thursday. Also, there's always been a section of the working class that's voted for rightist parties/candidates. Today's working-class UKIP voters aren't necessarily yesterday's Labour voters. Turnout was also low and I'd expect Labour to increase their majority in Heywood and Middleton quite substantially next year. UKIP also still poses a bigger threat to the Tories than it does to Labour - the media are desperate to downplay this but it's a fact.

Still, I think it'll take the emergence of a militant mass extraparliamentary movement to really turn the tide in our favour. The sheer intransigence of the capitalist class over the last few years has certainly been an eye-opener for me. We'll have to shake them down for every penny - they won't give us anything out of the goodness of their hearts.
Last edited by new puritan on Sat Oct 11, 2014 11:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
By mojojojo
Membership Days Posts
Think there's any truth in this? ... ned-25011/

This is anecdotal and therefore worthless, I know, but Reckless, Farage and Carswell were in my High Street today. I didn't go anywhere near it as I was I was taking mojojojunior for his flu spray followed by sweets and a muddy walk in the woods. I did go into town later though and Ukip have set up a massive base in a shop on the High Street, which was busy, I'm sure they were bussed in, and there were no people at the volunteers' table, but it was buzzing. I walked up to the Labour base to get a poster for the front window and some leaflets and it was shut. There was a 'back in five minutes' note but after ten minutes no one appeared.

I will be deeply ashamed if I live in a Ukip constituency next month but also angry if we've been written off by the Labour Party.
By Abernathy
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A smidgin. I don't think Labour has given up on Rochester at all, but pragmatically, this by election really is a fight between the Tories and the Kippers. I'm quite aure we'll be going all out to maximise Labour's vote.
NP - I'd broadly agree with that analysis, but here's my take:

Keynesian economics and consensus politics worked up to a point - that being, bluntly, that some people are never satisfied. So we get the eighties, fall of the Soviet bloc, freeing up of masses of labour, capital, markets etc. Globalisation, in the face of which the structures of postwar consensus can't stand up.

Essentially, the ultra-capitalist class shot ahead, leaving the rest of us behind. Simultaneously, we entered an age, fuelled by political and media messages, characterised by personal gratification. It wasn't just a case that greed was good; if you didn't indulge (dress it up as 'doing what's best for your family' if that helps) there's something wrong with you. Couple this to rapid social and technological change. Essentially, culturally, we're at a sink or swim point. Whether the message from the political establishment is 'come on in, the water's lovely' or 'holy shit, there's a lion, GET IN THE WATER!', it doesn't account for those who cannot, or will not, swim.

In all of this, I have no sympathy for the right. Thatcherism was/is rapacious capitalism dressed up in a flag, a few bits of nationalist tub thumping to distract from the fire sale going on. I've slightly more for the left, who had to shift rightwards to gain power in order to enact their social agenda. But it all comes down to one thing - in the dash for cash, lots of people were left behind, and now they're very pissed off. Not pissed off out of nostalgia for the postwar consensus, but because they weren't brought along for the ride.
While I appreciate what NP and Andy have said and admire the intellectual thrust of their arguments that's not how us Mondeo Men think or what motivates the decision to choose which box to tick.

Immigration and the EU will be pushed to the front of the news agenda between now and May and this agenda will drive the way the Tories will campaign. They will continue with the mantra that only they will guarantee a referendum should renegotiation fail. They will say that voting UKIP is a vote for Labour who are offering nothing regarding the EU and immigration. The Labour cohort of the 41% of the general population who want out of the EU might be tempted to vote UKIP. Any Tories or LibDems could very well do the same thing.

In short, Labour is offering nothing to that 41%. Their 'only if there's a threat to sovereignty' just can't be believed.
By Daley Mayle
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It would be a start but not enough I fear. UKIP will point at the Tories who have kicked this issue into the long grass of 2018 and that depends on a renegotiation whose parameters haven't been explained. What must be realised by Labour is that politicians of all types can NOT be trusted to keep their word. UKIP are untested but they speak the language of the saloon bar sage and they have promised an in/out referendum, guaranteed. The Tories are saying that they are the only party who will be in a position to offer a referendum because UKIP will never be in power (although they might be part of a Coalition) and Labour isn't offering anything. Labour are very weak on this issue and they are weak on the economy due to their association with the financial meltdown in 2007/08 and the subsequent recession.

The polls show a return to a 4 point lead for Labour but that will narrow by May 2015 and I think they will go into the Election neck and neck with the Tories. Remember what happened in Scotland: the polls started to narrow but the No vote prevailed by a larger number than expected. Some pundits put that down to some people who were being polled not giving their true intention and admit they would vote No as this was seen as unpatriotic. I think there are people out there, The 41 Percenters, who will be telling pollsters they will vote Labour, Tory or LibDem as they did in the past but will vote UKIP when in the privacy of the polling booth because, as we have seen on this thread, to vote UKIP means you are a racist.
By Daley Mayle
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Sergeant Major Farage is calling the tune it seems:

'All right you 'orrible shower, get in line, get in line, and that includes you Miliband! And get your bloody haircut! It looks like a pigeon's crapped on your head! By the right... wait for it, wait for it Cameron, by the right MARCH! Right...right....right, right, right... KEEP UP CLEGG!... right... right...'
By Daley Mayle
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
Messianic Trees wrote:A Labour MP will be next to join UKIP, Carswell boasts as desperate Miliband promises immigration crackdown to shore up leadership

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