Working class voters get driven away from Labour
Astute comments from a friend of mine, British Labour MP John Spellar, about the threat to social democratic and labour parties in the western world, something I have spoken about below, see “European Diary: Vienna.” John Spellar is a bluff, straight talking former union official who has been in parliament for 20 years.
He knows more about Australia, by the way, than any other member of the British parliament and has been here countless times.
Here’s what he wrote on the Labour Uncut website:
Spellar goes on to report that in Sweden, the Social Democratic Party only receives 20 per cent of the votes of those in work. In Stockholm the figure was down to 14 per cent. He refers to the debate in the Australian Labor Party about whether the party tilts towards the socially liberal policies of the Greens or the socially conservative policies of the suburbs. He refers to the drop in support to the US Democrats among white workers.
His conclusion: For us to survive and thrive as a Labour party, we need to reconnect with working people and their views and hopes and fears. And the sooner the better.
By the way, the reason I adhered to explicit law and order policies as Premier was to hold the support of working class people who expect Labor governments to keep their streets safe and lock up the criminals who degrade life, especially in public housing estates, making existence hell for law-abiding citizens. If Labor parties spend more time apologising for the wrong-doers than they do backing law enforcement and community safety they run the danger of being crushed in a right-wing populist backlash.
For us to survive and thrive as a Labour party, we need to reconnect with working people and their views and hopes and fears. And the sooner the better.