Labour failed to engage older voters – and after 100 hours canvassing, I know why

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  • #241793

    • Total Posts: 1,199

    Knocking on doors for Labour for more than 100 hours in London, Bedford and Milton Keynes showed me the stark difference in voters’ attitudes by age. Among a section of older, white voters in both more and less affluent areas, I saw a visceral hatred of Jeremy Corbyn, and sometimes Diane Abbott. How did the demonisation of Corbyn and the Labour party under his leadership – as documented by media analysis conducted at the LSE and Loughborough University – impact so strongly with them in 2019 but not in 2017?

    Although on the face of it that demonisation has been raw and relentless, it actually only circled around a key charge, rarely making it explicit, so it has taken four years for low-engagement voters to absorb it fully.

    The key charge against Corbyn is that he fundamentally believes British lives are of equal value to the lives of others. His opponents wouldn’t put it so bluntly, but this is what it has always been about. Hence the series of confected outrages – from not bowing deeply enough at the Cenotaph to ruling out pushing the nuclear button – that built a treasonous charge sheet as absurd as it was banal.

    It seemed impossible to defend Corbyn against this unspoken indictment. Smears such as Corbyn “siding with Putin” over the Salisbury poisoning, when caution about trusting the judgment of British intelligence agencies was cast as support for the Russian version of events, or “supporting” the IRA, gained more traction as time went on.

  • #241797

    retired liberal
    • Total Posts: 1,829

    So in other words, “Lies, Lies, Lies”. The facts are what the Right says they are. The truth doesn’t matter. Just like here. Appearances above all else.

    We are an arrogant species, believing our fantasy based "facts" are better than the other person's fake facts.

    If you are wrong, it will be because you are not cynical enough.

    Both major political parties are special interest groups enabling each other for power and money, at the expense of the people they no longer properly serve…

  • #241798

    David the Gnome
    • Total Posts: 1,650

    Corbyn was never going to play ball with the establishment types.  He was not going to bow to the oligarchy, or submit to what modern vichy dems (and whatever the British version of them is) tell us is pragmatism.

    Too principled of a man, too much integrity.  So of course they joined forces, the so called center and the right, to demonize him.  Given that such people own most international media, it made it even easier.

    I think it has to do with who people listen to and what we read… and ultimately the sum of our personal experience and knowledge.  Not ethnicity, gender, race, religion, these things are used – quite successfully – to divide us.

    Too many modern so called liberals do not understand this.  It’s not about whether you are black or white, young or old, Male or female.  Its about a few ruling over the many.

    Corbyn was too sympathetic to the many – and that just isnt allowed in modern politics.  It presents a real danger to the oligarchy.

    Even now, there is a strong effort to do to Sanders what was done to Corbyn.  Only the primary results will determine how well it worked, or didnt work.

  • #241813

    Cold Mountain Trail
    • Total Posts: 5,963
  • #241829

    • Total Posts: 1,719

    Conservatives are quite good at ‘defining’ their progressive opponents with the help of the media. The right cannot campaign on policies and expect to win, so they ‘define’ their opponent as ‘socialist’, ‘anti-semite’, ‘crazy’ or whatever. I am sure that Bernie expects that after he gets the nomination.

    The right can see their likely electoral opponent (particularly if Bernie closes in on the nomination in the months to come) and spend lots of money and get lots of cooperation from the MSM to ‘define’ that opponent as something terrible – then win the next election as the ‘lesser of two evils’. They can’t beat Bernie on policies but they can win on sound bites and imagery.

    National problems (slavery/racism, income inequality, pathetic health care, weak unions) are not solved with more states' rights. Global problems (climate change, migration, trade, war) are not solved with more national sovereignty.

    A CEO, an American worker and an immigrant sit at a table with a dozen cookies in front of them. The CEO grabs 11 of them, then leans over and warns the worker, "Watch out for the immigrant. He is trying to get your cookie."

  • #241835

    • Total Posts: 1,276

    This stood out for me: Sensible investments such as state-provided broadband came to be seen as giveaways.

    Over and over back on this side of the pond, there are snide accusations that the Democrats (and AOC in particular) promise “free stuff.”

    And this:  These voters wanted the patronage of the powerful, not to challenge their power.

    Years ago I read an interview of someone affiliated (if not the founder) of Bread not Bombs who declared, (possibly paraphrased slightly) :  “Nothing in this country [USA] will change until people stop identifying with the rich.”

    I feel much better since I gave up hope.

    "If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace." – John Lennon

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