Labour must not learn the wrong lessons from Hartlepool

EDITORIAL


KEIR Starmer risks shifting further to the right in the wake of humiliating elections defeats in Hartlepool and councils across England.

Senior Labour officials and shadow Cabinet loyalists have already graced Thursday’s election post-mortem with calls for rapid reforms.

These change are unlikely to be the transformative strides Labour adopted between 2015 and 2019 under Jeremy Corbyn.

Instead the process of expunging democratic socialist ideas could well accelerated.

Hartlepool loss has triggered those around Sir Keir to point to the election defeat of Corbynism in 2019 and declare ‘look at the mountain we had to climb.’

This uninspiring historiography ignores that face that despite massive setback nationally Labour under Corbyn held Hartlepool.

Results from Thursday show that Labour’s vote share under Sir Keir has actually decreased by around seven per cent.

Showing that while the collapse of the Reform UK (previously called the Brexit Party) vote provided the Tories with a bumper majority, that is not the full story.

Labour’s declining fortunes in seats like Hartlepool bar 2017 is the outcome of a deep and long term crisis facing the party in England more broadly.

This election result cannot imply be put down to Brexit, Corbyn or Starmer.

But the Labour right will cling onto their marriage to the latter while ignoring their left wing supporter and pretending like the decision to ignore Brexit voters did not help lay the groundwork for this current calamity.

For the left signs are that progressives are seeking new homes with the Greens picking up councils seats in interesting places.

A more solid performance from Labour would have momentum going into the next by-election coming in Batley and Spen, with incumbent Tracy Brabin potentially heading to take up the position of West Yorkshire mayor.

Losing a second by-election on the bounce will through Starmer’s leadership further into mayhem.

Starmer must make Labour a viable party once again by recapturing the aspirations of progressive voters and end the drift right.

Otherwise, it risks becoming the latest victim of Pasokification.


Featured Image: Rwendland @WikimediaCommons

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