Saturday, 4 June 2016

New Statesman letter on need to stay united

Chuka Umunna is right, both to criticise Cameron for claiming to have a "One Nation vision for Britain" whilst endorsing Zac Goldsmith`s appallingly divisive electoral campaign, and for recognising that "One Nation" should be "more than a platitude" (Tolerance is not enough, 27th May,2016). The problem is that his vision for the Labour party, as we saw during the leadership contest, and in his reaction to Corbyn`s victory, is not too dissimilar to the one the electorate rejected in the last two general elections.
    It is all very well for Umunna, and others on the rightwing of Labour politics, to admit that they meet people who feel abandoned "to a broken future" by those in power, but unless they offer strategies which can change this situation, they should concentrate on getting their leader elected as prime minister. How many white working class ex-Labour supporters have defected to Ukip, because they felt Labour had deserted them? How many Labour voters supported Corbyn because he offered a break from the party`s leaders being too closely allied to big business, with policies too similar to those of the Tories?
     Ironically, Umunna quotes from the Labour membership cards that more can be achieved "by the strength of our common endeavour", and all Labour MPs should take note, but nowhere in the article does he mention Corbyn! He is correct to support the concept of "One Nation", just as Ed Miliband was, but if it is to be fully embraced, it has to offer hope to all, not just aspiring middle-class voters in Tory-held constituencies!


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