UK ELECTION ANALYSIS: Labour may not realise it, but the EU secession issue is more likely to lose them the election than the Conservatives.


Here’s an interesting statistic that I hadn’t seen until yesterday: as currently forecast in UK polls, on May 7th 40% of those over 60 will vote Conservative, and 29% Labour. While it is traditional that people tend to drift further to the Right as they get older, it is also traditional for the vast majority of State pensioners to support the Labour Party – who tend to be marginally less skinflinted with welfare than the other runners and riders.

Other factors may be of significance:

1. They think Ed Miliband is a coward, and Ed Balls a bullying fake.

2. They’re knackered – and after 67 years of lost opportunity, they’d rather chew glass than vote. (This is my category, by the way).

3. They’ve become deranged.

4. They have Alzheimers. (Could be me too – the jury’s out)

5. They’re dead, on the grounds of a person having to be dead before they’d vote Camerlot Conservative.

6. A large lump of them will vote UKip.

These are not six mutually exclusive factors; in fact for me, the answer could well be that they will do (6) because of their feelings at (1).

Consider this: whereas only 46% of the electorate is over 50, 71% of UKip supporters are. They are less right-wing than the average Tory voter and more downmarket. Ergo, it looks like among older voters, it is Labour that is losing the most support – as the original stat suggests.

A study done for the Telegraph a year ago confirmed this hunch: the social background of Ukip supporters was found to be very different to the popular image of “a ruddy faced, middle-class, middle-aged golf club bore” – for example, Nigel Farage.

But this stereotype was shown to be wrong by 180 degrees: more old UKip voters have defected from Old Labour than Camerlot Toryism. In November 2014, YouGov found that Ukip voters coming from the Labour party had trebled from 7% to 23%. In fact, 60% of new UKip supporters were working class artisan by background…and the figure for all over-60 Ukippers had leapt from 31% to 41%.

Whatever spin The Two Eds try to put on this, it’s an abject failure on their part. Thirty years ago – even fifteen years ago – most of them would’ve been rock-solid Labour. Now they’ve deserted for a Party that calls a spade a spade….and is anti-Europe.

The problem with most of the Rustbridger Left tendency is, being in the EU is one of those things – like racial sensitivity, campaigning feminists, farcical ideas about rape and uncontrolled immigration – that they never, ever question. Their position on such issues is more rigid than a dead Stalinist. As a person of neither Left nor Right, I think the balance on all these issues is out of wack; but on Europe, to be a robotic supporter of a Union quite so undemocratic, illiberal, bullying, corrupt and in accountancy terms unaccountable, it’s an issue more of  traditional Labour Party morality rather than “a question of balance”.

The natural position of a pro-labour Opposition would be out-and-out condemnation of what the EU gets up to on practically every dimension of judgement

If you think this a bonkers conclusion, then my guess would be that you never listen to the news or analyse the sleazy, illegal bullying of US & EU banks, Merkel, Schäuble, Dijesselbleom, Draghi, & Associates. You’ve never looked at the corruption figures at the European Commission. Never thought about why the laws are framed by the unelected, rubber-stamped by the elected, and then ignored by the upper self-styled élite – or flagrantly broken by the ECB. And never analysed the attendance record, gravy-train jollies and outrageous expense claims of MEPs.

Any Party truly there to protect the weak and vulnerable Citizen from an unaudited and lawless Superstate should be actively and virulently opposed to the European Union. And for those who are younger than most, I would point out that Bevan, Gaitskell, and at first Wilson all followed the Trade Union line on being anti-EEC on the grounds of job losses…and doubts about loss of control at Westminster. Look at the No campaign leaders during the 1975 in-out referendum: Tony Benn, the TUC, Len Murray, Michael Foot, and Barbara Castle. Murray in particular described the pro-EEC campaign at the time as “bankrolled almost entirely by big business capital”. He wasn’t wrong: the EU is now a corporacratic State along with the US, UK and Australia run for and by multinational business and investment banking.

The one commonality that is very clear indeed between Cameron and Miliband is what I call the Tentative Tendency: play safe, don’t take risks, don’t make trouble, stick with yes-and-no-maybe, use weasel words to sound decisive while you obfuscate…andonandonandonandon ad nauseam. But support for the EU – indeed the unquestioning nature of it in the context of the eurzone cacophony of gargoyles spiralling down into chaos – is far worse than a bad call: it is a dereliction of duty.

Balls and Miliband have chosen to stay with a post-modern ‘Labour’ Party that lacks relevance to the 21st century, and supports causes often antithetical to the views of its core supporters. In its current form, Labour lacks the fiery raison d’etre of Opposition. It proposes alternatives on a small scale and endless costings churned out by the unprepossessing and anally retentive process-robot Ed Balls. But it does not offer The Big Alternative View, and it spectacularly fails to inspire.

If the Party leadership continues in this vein, it will not only cost it power next May…it may yet condemn the Party to death.

Last night at The Slog: Is today the day Greece does give Brussels-am-Berlin the finger?