Monday, January 25, 2010


Irony of Labour Shifting Voters to the Right

John Cutice of Strathclyde University is one of the most respected measurers of public opinion in the UK so his recent report, should command some attention. He argues that during the thirteen years Labour has been in power, national attitudes have swung to the right. Now I recall a similar survey in the 1980s which showed Thatcher had presided over attitudes which had remained substantially to the left. Curtice's report suggests:

Redistribution: in the mid 1990s 50% supoorted redistributing wealth from the rich to the poor. Now it is only 30%

Welfare: in 1997 46% thought unemployment benefit was too low; now it has dropped to below 30%

Inequality: voters have become less concerned about inequality and government efforts to combat it.

Curtice, perhaps mindful of those 1980s surveys argues:

Tony Blair's great legacy has been to achieve Margaret Thatcher's ambition," said Curtice. "One of the consequences of the New Labour shift to the centre is it has moved the electorate to the right."

The corollary of this is that Labour will have helped prepare the ground for Cameron when the election day arrives. Huge irony, I know, but it originates in the fact that Laour can only get into power if it appeals to middle class voters as well as the shrinking number of working class ones. Tony Blair was the perfect vehicle for making such an appeal- not Labour, not socialist but public school and Oxbridge with a posh voice. Trouble is, he did it far too well and seems to be morphing as much into David Cameron as Cameron is morphing into him.

It's sad to say what many have been saying, I have voted all my life and it has been labour, I cannot vote for this party anymore. labour made the break from me not me from it.

I have to now find a party which suits me and at the moment thats a party many will say is racist, but sadly thats life.
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