Labour can’t afford to turn its nose up at defectors. To win, it needs them | Gaby Hinsliff

Labour can’t afford to turn its nose up at defectors. To win, it needs them | Gaby Hinsliff

Labour, Keir Starmer

1/21/2022 12:28:00 AM

Labour can’t afford to turn its nose up at defectors. To win, it needs them | Gaby Hinsliff

Christian Wakeford’s journey across the aisle may be hard to swallow. But Keir Starmer still needs to welcome him aboard, says Guardian columnist Gaby Hinsliff

in the so-called “red wall” seats captured by the Tories in 2019. It’s not Wakeford himself that matters but all the other Wakefords: the countless Conservative voters who share his stirrings of unease, aren’t yet sure what to do about it and are watching closely now. The last thing they need to see is a Labour party recoiling in disgust at the very idea that such people might be attracted to them.

For that fatLabourpoll lead hides a large pool of formerly Conservative voters who have shifted only as far as the “don’t know” column, where they’re waiting to see what happens next. Starmer’s job now is to seal the deal with these hovering voters before a punch-drunk government, which is willing to do whatever it takes to get them back, has time to scrape itself off the floor. If parts of the Labour movement can’t conceal their distaste for that project, then they have forgotten what politics is for.

Read more: The Guardian »

BBC Radio 4 - Woman's Hour, Roxanne Tahbaz, Mina Smallman, Amara Okereke on playing Eliza Doolittle

Roxanne Tahbaz speaks to Emma about her father's detention in Iran. Read more >>

And what about Corbyn? It's clear without Corbyn starmer doesn't have the same support. Crystal fucking clear. I'm waiting for the UK press to report on the fact that adviser in chief Peter Mandelson was a good friend of Jeffrey Epstein, even grovelling to him when he was in jail. But not a peep. You're more concerned with JC's pronunciation of Epstein's name!

fine, whatever, but if the standard is set to rescue MPs scared of losing their 80k then i look forward to hearing their plans to end benefit sanctions. If you sell your soul for votes you’ll sell your soul in government. I could no more vote for this shower of sh*t than I could for UKIP. Maybe it'd be easier to swallow if they didn't seem more welcoming to Tories than they have been to flanks of their own party.

‘IVF is not a choice’: Victoria’s elective surgery restrictions cause heartache for patientsVictorian IVF providers warn of the ‘devastating effect’ this delay will have on patients who can’t afford to wait for treatment Pretty sure having kids (or trying to) is actually a choice. Of course it's a choice ffs! Some people should definitely not be afforded that choice, but thats a different story.

Play Express Wins games and you might even win a Fiat 500 carFancy a new ride? Well, you could be the proud owner of a brand new Fiat 500, worth a huge £10,500. To be in with a chance to win, just make your first ever deposit of £20 or more at Express Wins here and use the code FIAT. Your still showing a pic of a Fiat 500! Aston Martin do nice swanky head-turning new cars if you need a decent prize.

It’s not just Johnson: the whole culture that cheered him on needs booting out | Aditya ChakraborttyI was mourning my mother as Downing St partied. But even I can’t blame this morally bankrupt prime minister alone, says the Guardian columnist Aditya Chakrabortty Unless you got a plan to evict millions of UK citizens. Youre stuck with him 😁 Follow me on IG for playlists. collectcallsofficial exactly

Death in Paradise's Ralf Little speaks out on Ben Miller's exit'What turned out to be something by necessity turned out to be a really happy accident.'

Bury South voters react to Christian Wakeford's defection to LabourBury South voters speaking to MailOnline revealed their dismay at Mr Wakeford's shock defection and called for a by-election - claiming their votes in the 2019 election now stood for nothing. Beware of Traitors, they can't be trusted

Don't Look Up's phone sex hotline was a total flukeDon't Look Up's phone sex hotline was a total fluke:

11-point lead in the so-called “red wall” seats captured by the Tories in 2019. It’s not Wakeford himself that matters but all the other Wakefords: the countless Conservative voters who share his stirrings of unease, aren’t yet sure what to do about it and are watching closely now. The last thing they need to see is a Labour party recoiling in disgust at the very idea that such people might be attracted to them. For that fat Labour poll lead hides a large pool of formerly Conservative voters who have shifted only as far as the “don’t know” column, where they’re waiting to see what happens next. Starmer’s job now is to seal the deal with these hovering voters before a punch-drunk government, which is willing to do whatever it takes to get them back, has time to scrape itself off the floor. If parts of the Labour movement can’t conceal their distaste for that project, then they have forgotten what politics is for. To the horror of some who backed Starmer for leader and the delight of others, last autumn he came off the fence on which he has been sitting since the leadership contest and landed, with a thud, on the side of doing what it takes to win. The playbook is familiar to anyone old enough to remember pre-Corbyn Labour – speeches on patriotism, claims to be “the party of business” – but this isn’t 1997 all over again. Many of the Conservative voters Starmer needs to win over aren’t alien to Labour traditions; rather, they are its tradition. They’re people who voted Labour all their lives before taking a punt on Boris Johnson and regretting it. Tales of boozing through lockdown made them feel taken for fools, and Labour’s task is to connect that anger, which crosses party lines, to an economic argument that resonates equally widely but moves the battle on to Johnson’s likely successors. In a week when inflation topped 5% , that no longer looks impossible. In talks before he defected, Wakeford reportedly advised Starmer to focus on rocketing energy bills, telling him that “we’ve got nothing” in response. Here, political necessity marries happily with gut Labour instincts. Soaring food and heating costs will force the poorest into unimaginably dire straits ; who on the left isn’t incensed by that? But higher heating bills will also be keenly felt by pensioners on fixed incomes, businesses at a fragile point of post-pandemic recovery and ordinary families who were managing until the price of everything started going through the roof. So where is the chancellor? For weeks, Rishi Sunak has sidestepped all the scandal by piously insisted he’s just getting on with the day job. What has he got to show for it? Where’s the plan to soften the blow everyone knows is coming this spring, when soaring energy bills meet national insurance rises? Rachel Reeves, his Labour shadow, has been weeks ahead of him with detailed proposals . Winning over former Tory voters won’t always be this easy. Obviously there are painful conversations to come, on issues that threaten to split the Labour party all over again. But right now a government waiting for Sue Gray to put it out of its misery is in no fit state to set the agenda and Labour has a priceless chance to show its concerns are the country’s. If it throws that away in favour of yet more glorious infighting, then frankly it deserves to lose. Gaby Hinsliff is a Guardian columnist Topics