Op-ed – “Why Labour Can’t Win the North”

Recently, Labour Shadow EPW Secretary KalvinLokan penned an article on Northern England focused on how the North had seemingly been fooled by the center-right politicians from the LPUK and Conservatives. He claims that the people of the North “have found themselves subject to attacks [and] abandonment.” Going on, he then lays the main part of the blame for the continued existence of this inequality at the feet of the Tories and the LPUK because apparently despite many LPUK MPs being voted into Parliament to represent Northern constituencies with large majorities do not care about the people they represent. 

The next part of his response seems to be firmly grounded in denial and disillusion because he reflects back on the “heavy damage” Labour took back in August. The General Election in August saw Labour take their most devastating loss in modern history as they were beaten by the LPUK to become the 2nd largest party in the Commons. Rather than taking the sensible approach for what might be behind the defeat like the fact the LPUK’s vision and message resonated with voters more than Labour’s manifesto which was riddled with typos, contradictory policies, and hordes of uncosted spending;  Kalvin instead makes the decision for Northern voters saying they were fooled by “the parroting of lies” by the LPUK. This type of thinking indicates exactly why Labour has failed so horribly in the recent election because instead of taking their loss at the polls as a reflection of the changing wishes of the electorate, they instead choose to blame their defeat on the smooth-talking lies from the opposition. 

Secondly, this mindset looks down on voters, especially on those in the North by saying that they are incapable of objectively analyzing party policies to decide what they want for themselves and if they choose to vote for the LPUK over Labour it must be because they were fooled by the LPUK’s lies and not due to Labour’s shortcomings in connecting with the public. More so, as an MP who personally represents part of the North, I must take offense at the statements made by KalvinLokan because I have done my best to represent the people of Manchester North. Let’s make clear that the inequalities that exist between the North and South have existed for centuries and were not simply created by the policies of the LPUK or the Tories. Furthermore, I would say the rise of the LPUK particularly in the North was fueled by the failure of the left. Why look at my seat Manchester North, which before my victory was a stronghold for the left, with the Green Party winning it in consecutive elections. It was the total failure of the Green Party and their fellow partners on the left which helped me win. Why the Green MP for Manchester North barely showed up to vote in the Commons and had one of the lowest voting turnout rates in Parliament. I can’t blame the people in my home for being frustrated with such terrible representation in Westminister. 

Also when one looks at the facts we can see that the LPUK has undertaken specific policies to help the North which is probably the reason for our continued strong support in the North. The LPUK has continued to keep taxes low so ordinary working families in the North can keep more money in their pockets, we took action to combat homelessness, we committed to plans to combat the housing crisis in cities like Manchester. Overall instead of blaming the LPUK and the Tories for Labour’s defeat, I would urge KalvinLokan and his fellow Labour peers to take a hard look at their own policies. To end off, KalvinLokan claims “Any party could have achieved what pittance Thatcher did”, well if that’s true I wonder why Labour couldn’t win a majority to defeat Thatcher? Maybe they were also too busy like the current Labour leadership with blaming the right to take a critical and honest look at their own failures.

/u/ThreeCommasClub is the LPUK MP for Manchester North

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