Why are people so disaffected by the Labour party
Why are people so disaffected by the Labour party?
As I write this there has been a backlash against MP’s that have delivered a significant vote of no confidence in their leader Jeremy Corbyn and whilst the members of the Labour party are up in arms about this as they voted him as their leader with a 60% majority, there must be some underlying reason for this gulf of opinion.
I am not a Corbyn supporter, not because I don’t think he is a decent man, not because I don’t think his policies are disagreeable, but mainly because I believe the politics he represents along with a majority of those that voted for him as leader are not representative of ordinary working class people but are more representative of the minority of the non-working class of people, and whilst I entirely agree that they live in a section of society that needs significant support and help, I think this is at the expense of those millions that are in work, are undervalued, under represented and underpaid, it is this majority section of society that creates the wealth and tax yields to help support those that, for whatever reason, cannot work themselves. It is this section of society that sees only two choices before them when voting for a political party, both of which claim to represent the decent hard working people of the UK and neither of which actually prioritise this majority of the population in their policies and manifestos.
The working classes want decent pay, decent working conditions, fair treatment and job security all of which both parties promise to deliver on the periphery and neither of which do a great deal of, Labour whilst in power did little to repeal anti trade union legislation and only marginal improvements were made to help working people whilst the Tories have hijacked the living wage to create a new minimum wage which is still woefully short of a living wage.
The Conservative’s will always claim to represent working people whilst looking after the interests of those who employ people, this is a strategy that has stood them well as it is obvious that if employers interests are not looked after then they will potentially employ fewer or ultimately no people in this country.
The Labour party claim to represent working people whilst ensuring the interests of those who are most vulnerable in society are the ones they will look after, this is again a great strategy, who can argue against this position without being cold and heartless, yet voters do not need to argue a position they just need to vote and will usually vote in a way that they feel will suit them and their families best.
So as no single party actually looks after the direct interests of the of the 31 million people in work, or the 74.2% of the population aged 16 to 64, as a priority above all others then working class people have to make a choice based on compromise.
The Labour party was founded by the Trade Unions, the absolute pinnacle of representation of working class people and through an ever increasing argument for inclusivity, even within the trade unions working class people are underrepresented, minority groups have disproportionately a larger voice and a greater say than they potentially should and through a desire to ensure no one goes unheard [which I believe is ultimately admirable and right] then these people push the focus on to minority groups and begin to outweigh the voice of working people who are not from a minority group and therefore disproportionately shape policy that has no bearing on working people.
For many years I found it bizarre that the people of the UK didn’t just always vote for a Labour Government given the traditional position of Tories representing a minority of very wealthy people whilst the Labour movement represented the interests of the working classes but I have recently realised, through participation that this is not the case, the Tories represent the 5% the Labour party represent the 20% and both parties try to woo the 75% and neither can survive without the 75% as it is them that create the wealth whether it is for the already wealthiest in our society or for the most vulnerable and retired, we all need those that are in work to remain in work, to be looked after, to feel that what they work hard for is significantly rewarding to both them and their families, to feel happy that their taxes are not beyond what they can afford and can be used to support others, that an alternative of just focussing on their families and relieving themselves of the pressure of work isn’t more worthwhile than working hard and contributing to society to ensure security for everyone, including themselves.
Labour has lost its way, the 600,000 members are not proportionately representative of the 30,000,000 in work and that is why it is falling apart, that is why Jeremy Corbyn can’t bring Labour to power, he is operating on the views of a significant majority of the members whilst also operating on the views of a significant minority of the electorate.
Perhaps the MP’s can see this, perhaps their concern is purely selfish as they long to be in power, or perhaps it is honourable as they know they cannot affect significant change for the majority of the population whilst not in power, either way, the present course means the party are not delivering anything for either the ideals of the minorities they genuinely represent or for the disaffected majority they claim to represent.
The 30 million workers in this country want to work, they do not want handouts, they want fairness and equality for those that will make the effort and they want to help those that are unfortunate and can’t help themselves, they do not want to subsidise those that won’t help themselves when they can and I’m sure they will want a party in Government that they can trust to deliver this, I fear they just can’t find one.
The result of the referendum on Europe which showed 2 in 3 people in Labour heartlands feel unrepresented has shown this, the party needs to deliver what the majority want not just what a minority want.
This is how I see it representing factory workers hundreds of which tell me how dissatisfied they are with the Labour party and politics and many of these are being lured by the right and even the extreme right as they look for someone to believe in.