Labour are at risk of losing its traditional vote base, the arbitrarily-termed the ‘Working Class’. Why? Because in espousing policies supported by many of its more affluent supporters with regards to immigration and EU membership, they completely oppose the opinions of those from less-affluent backgrounds. Labour MP Simon Danczuk has commented on this, recalling in the Daily Mail, a conversation he’d had with constituents regarding their concern that large-scale migration of Eastern Europeans to Rochdale had meant they’d struggled to find jobs, and their local services had come under substantial pressure to deal with the influx of EU migrants
I also noticed this, on election day this year, whilst canvassing in a town in the North-East of England, a traditionally staunch Labour area, many of those I spoke to repeated the same sentiment: That they would be voting Labour- for now anyway- even though they did not agree with their stance on immigration or the European Union. Others said they would not be voting Labour, instead UKIP, simply because of UKIP's policies on immigration and EU membership.
Part of the disaffection with politics today is because many people feel they are not listened to. Many of those who are sceptical of the modern diktat that says that unfettered migration is an overwhelming positive thing, are demonised in media and political opinion as xenophobic, racialist dinosaurs, who need to ‘get with the program’. That isn’t to say that there is not a dangerous xenophobic and racialist faction of the anti-immigration and anti-EU consensus, there of course is, exemplified by the BNP and groups such as the English Defence League and Britain First, among others. However when a quarter of councils in England and Wales claim that there biggest pressure is the influx of migrants, particularly from Eastern Europe, and when the average wage appears to have dropped, due to competition for jobs from EU migrants, who are willing to work for less (Admirable on their part, although deeply unfair, both to the migrants themselves and those who lose out on jobs to them), it’s understandable why many in the less affluent parts of the country have concerns and view mass immigration, although not just immigration as a serious issue facing the nation today. It should require a sensible, measured response, rather than to be dismissed as the racist ramblings of idiots ‘immigrant blaming’.
However, the Labour Party have been curiously silent on this issue, and that of the future of Britain’s membership of the EU, not having created a coherent policy on the subject for a number of years (other than a passive promise to ‘manage’ the impact of migration, although not explaining how). Although one could suggest any number of reasons why this is, what is obvious that their indecisiveness is costing, and will continue to cost them votes in the areas which they like to think are their traditional support bases. It is these issues that they should focus on, rather than vague and indeterminate problems such as the ‘cost of living crisis’, if they wish to retain their “35%” support. If they ignore this, or only issue unclear statements, they may find they lose it forever.BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS