Labor Lost for Good Reason

and the analogies with Sanders and the US only go so far.

Politics in the US, Britain, and Europe in general are being upended, I'd caution against pigeon holing things into the old left/right, Dem/Repub, Tory/Labor, scenario.

Britain's Labor similar to America's Democratic Party has lost lots of it's legitimacy with working people. Globalisation has decimated cities like Liverpool and Manchester. Labor didn't support Brexit, the biggest issue in politics in Britain. Being a part of the EU allowed workers from Eastern Europe to enter England and directly compete for low skilled jobs.

Labor in England also included upper middle class woke culture, which is very pro EU and anti Brexit. It's impossible to imagine a pro Brexit leader in Labor just as much as it is impossible to imagine working class people in England supporting the loss of their jobs via Remain. People voted for their economic self interests, can you blame them? As in the US there are more working class voters than there are upper middle class intellectuals.

Boris Johnson promised increased funding for the National Health Service, not tearing it down as many seem to suggest. Whether he does so is yet to be seen, but I wouldn't read his win as a rejection of the social safety net. Socialism is for many some kind of intellectual game, the working class is much less interested in ideas, and much more interested in health care, higher wages, and better conditions overall.

Ever since I watched Bernie Sanders' rise in the primaries in 16 I've felt he would be a much stronger general election candidate than he is in the primaries. As contrary as Trump might seem to hard core political junkies, Trump did steal many of Sander's memes and use them in the general election. Most wage earners actually do feel powerless in the face of the corporate overclass, they feel things getting worse not better.

To have even a snowball's chance in the pre primaries, the endless positioning and twitter wars that have occurred for months prior to even our first primary, Sanders is now committed to many of the same positions as the woke side of the Democratic Party. There might well be a big enough drop off of Hispanics, African Americans, and Working Class Dems of all hues to lose this thing again, even if Sanders wins the primary. The Democratic Party has lost working people even as it has gained Country Club Republicans from the suburbs.

Last night as the results were obvious I watched the old DK, the NYT, and other web sites. Stunned Silence. It's as if they didn't realize 2016 happened and were surprised all over again.

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Not Henry Kissinger's picture

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Peace Sells

It's impossible to imagine a pro Brexit leader in Labor just as much as it is impossible to imagine working class people in England supporting the loss of their jobs via Remain. People voted for their economic self interests, can you blame them?

No, they didn't.
Who do you think is driving globalism and austerity? I'll give you a hint: Tories.

Boris Johnson promised increased funding for the National Health Service, not tearing it down as many seem to suggest. Whether he does so is yet to be seen, but I wouldn't read his win as a rejection of the social safety net.

This isn't up for debate. Corbyn provided proof that Boris planned on gutting the NHS.
Five years from now the NHS will be much like the American health care system.

Socialism is for many some kind of intellectual game, the working class is much less interested in ideas, and much more interested in health care, higher wages, and better conditions overall.

That is demonstrably not true. British voters want more austerity.
Simple as that.
And Boris is going to give it to them, good and hard.
Probably some Tory voters don't believe that Boris will take away their health care, (just the dirty furriners health care) but they are about to discover that they aren't special.

The Democratic Party has lost working people even as it has gained Country Club Republicans from the suburbs.

That much I agree with.

Last night as the results were obvious I watched the old DK, the NYT, and other web sites. Stunned Silence.

I don't know why that is. DK, NYT etc hated Corbyn. They were Lib Dem all the way.

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longtalldrink's picture

@gjohnsit And I totally agree with you. Although, admittedly I am not very well informed about British politics, maybe you can answer a question for me. You noted that:
"British voters want more austerity."
Why is that? I genuinely would like to know...thanks

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Well done is better than well said-Ben Franklin

Centaurea's picture

@longtalldrink

when I read it was, the Brits obviously must want more austerity, because they just voted for it.

(I read it as sarcasm, in other words.)

We already know how messed up, brainwashed, propagandized, and dysfunctional the American psyche is. It's sad to see the same thing going on "across the pond".

"British voters want more austerity."

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"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

@gjohnsit Not sure how to reply to a comment on this forum, but this part of a comment struck me,

"just the dirty furriners health care)"

ascribing racism and bigotry to the working class who simply want the low paying jobs that remain after seeing their towns and livelihoods decimated for a couple generations is not bigotry, and accusing them of such simply leaves only one option when voting, they vote for the folks who don't bad mouth them.

The working class is socially conservative as far as immigration and some other issues but not others. We are by and large economic leftists. There are two options. The right can temper their rightward economic policies, or the left can temper their social ideologies. Until that happens there will be large swings in how people vote.

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@ban nock
You are thinking in American politics terms. It doesn't apply here.
Corbyn actually stood for the working class and all of those things you describe, and the British voters rejected Labour anyway.
They openly embraced a racist, classist buffoon.
They voted to screw themselves. It's a fact whether you want to believe it or not.

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net, but that will be the net effect. None of the rightist parties (i.e. almost all parties) run on reducing funding for health care, reducing pensions, reducing funding for education, etc. etc. They run on other hot button issues (carefully researched), but when they get into office they enrich their benefactors at the expense of the working class.

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@Roy Blakeley Take a leftist narrative, add in some open bigotry and plenty of scapegoating of immigrant/other workers instead of going after the owners, make claims to rein in corruption because that too SELLS, talk big about the other sides' swamp creatures while ignoring your own, sell out the country as fast as you can to your already filthy rich friends and blame the result on immigrants....

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Mark from Queens's picture

Frank Luntz style, was the stroke of genius, for a citizenry manipulated into believing all of its woes and concerns could be understood and resolved if they'd just "Get Brexit Done.

Like with the Orange Buffoon it didn't matter how much of a boorish, lying, racist imbecile he was as long as he stood behind all the requisite jingoistic nationalist iconography and appealed to their sense of a Making Britain Great Again, while pointing fingers at those meddling, untrustworthy foreigners either taking low paying jobs or dictating economic policy from Brussels.

It's the same old story of nativist rhetoric winning, especially when the Left has lost all credibility as the party of the People.

When Liberal governments fail to provide answers for economic despair the road is paved for strong-armed, bloviating fascists.

Corbyn was in a rock and a hard place for having a more nuanced position on Brexit, which doesn't fit into a slogan. A thoroughly decent and good human being whose life has been dedicated to being on the side of the marginalized and poor, just trashed by relentless propaganda and an era of politics so debased.

It can't be understated that the whole RW propaganda machine dominated by slime merchant Murdoch the Scumbag (which we only experience in a lesser to a degree, if you can believe that) is a seriously destructive force that, in this case, has been pummeling Corbyn for years and years relentlessly.

I don't believe for a second that BJ has been telling the truth about the NHS not being up for sale to the insurance and Big Pharma vultures in the US. Like Trump he's an inveterate liar who will say anything in the moment to get himself out of a situation and later manipulate it again whichever way for his own benefit.

All of the amazing outpouring of young voters, canvassers and an exciting campaign could not surmount it all.

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"If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:

THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
WAS MUSIC"

- Kurt Vonnegut

@Mark from Queens Maybe I am hyperbolic but that is sure what it feels like today. And the more desperate things become fascism will only get stronger if history is any indication.

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Centaurea's picture

Last night as the results were obvious I watched the old DK, the NYT, and other web sites. Stunned Silence. It's as if they didn't realize 2016 happened and were surprised all over again.

And they'll keep being "surprised" until they get out of their old accustomed mindset and let go of how they want and expect things to happen.

They may be "woke", but they're not awake. Their eyes (and minds) are shut.

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"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone