The wheels come off in North Norfolk

Given the timing it was inevitable that the council elections held on May 4th would be regarded as a foreshadow of the June General Election. These May elections offered a large-scale national opinion poll that could endlessly be analysed for local implications. Nationally the Labour vote held up just about well enough for those infatuated with Jeremy Corbyn to claim that ‘with a vigorous campaign we can make up the deficit over the next few weeks’ – but nowhere near well enough for any sane person to believe him. Predictably the County Council results in North Norfolk were poor. Taking the full ten seats across the Constituency Labour polled just under 10% of the votes cast – down by a third from the 15% recorded in the last County elections which were held in 2013.

No amount of cheery optimism can disguise the fact that the Labour Party is likely to be facing the worst result in the lifetime of every member and supporter under the age of 80. To their credit the local Labour Party here fielded a full slate of ten candidates in the May County Council elections. In some of these county seats there was a deal of organised election activity. In our best prospect we had an excellent candidate who had fought this seat, where he lived, on several occasions: in 2013 he lost by 38 votes; this time he came third, more than 200 behind the winning LibDem . It is very sad, as he would have made a fine councillor.

Recently the New Statesman published an excellent analysis of the Corbyn phenomenon by a Leicester University academic and commentator, Daniel Allington http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/june2017/2017/04/jeremy-corbyn-has-attracted-socialism-fans-not-labour-voters

Although the article is not always the easiest of reads, and certainly offers no comfort to those of who seek changes in society rather than mere protests, it contains some impressive insights. The one that struck me is the idea that the Labour Party has been the subject of a successful hostile take-over, to borrow a business analogy. Executing a takeover is one thing, making a success of the business that has been acquired is quite another. All the indications are that no-one wants to buy the new product – whatever the extent of the activity on the doorstep and in social media. Indeed, we are now learning that explosions and expletives in social media rarely translate into worthwhile practical support.

It is some small comfort to me that, whereas in April the North Norfolk Labour Party website invited people to sign up and “become part of Jeremy Corbyn’s new politics”, in May it had been softened to “become part of our new politics”. Alas, at this stage, I can’t see that this subtle but important distinction will have any effect.

leftyoldman will be blogging regularly through the election campaign. To receive email notification of the next blog when it appears, press the ‘followleftyoldman’ button on the left hand side above.

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2 thoughts on “The wheels come off in North Norfolk

  1. And today Corbyn announces free car parking at NHS hospitals as a socialist policy — absurd — what about the transport of those with no car access ? What about the aim to reduce car usage in urban areas ? What about hospitals near commuter rail stations — free commuter parking ? An absurd policy. The New Statesman article has a good analysis of the soi-disant left but fails to emphasis they are also soi-disant intellectuals — they just aren’t very good

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Am currently invigilating almost full time at Birmingham University. I never realised how tiring ding not a lot could be!!
    After finishing our afternoon exam’ cycling across the campus I met with a very good councillor for Selly Oak Ward. We lost the West Midlands Mayoral election last Thursday to Andy Street of the Tories by a mere 4000 votes. Labour should have won it by 20,000+. In Selly Oak constituency, which is outer city we had a majority of 8,000 in the last general election. In the mayoral election last week we had a majority of 100, They had been rather complacent they now are scared stiff. i suspect labour racked up huge majorities in its inner city constituencies but lost or came close to loosing the marginal outer city seats.

    This afternoons exam was on the growth of the British Empire we had some fun thinking of what the questions in a similar exam in 100 years might be. The module would be ” The New Dark Age” 2010 to 2030. The question might be:
    “Describe the politics of self delusion that characterised the left at this period with particular reference to Jeremy Corbyn”

    Like

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