Dan Hind Profile picture
8 Sep, 5 tweets, 1 min read
Fond memories of canvassing for Labour in East Kent last year, and being told by people with money that, while it was true that they were for remain and leaving was very unfortunate, in the end they were Conservatives and that was more important.
And being told by older working class voters that they just wanted Brexit over with, and Johnson had a plan if he had a majority. And what had become of Labour, anyway? So, while they weren't usually Conservatives, that was enough for them.
And people in the 20s, almost unanimously able to see through the lies about Corbyn and Labour, and the Brexit psychodrama, telling me, beaming, that they were all registered and ready - often for the first time - to vote, and to vote for change.
Labour's position in December was impossible. Not because of Brexit, but because of the party's weakness in the communicative sphere. Most of the voters we needed to reach had been marinading in anti-Corbyn attack lines since 2015. The young weren't.
The lesson the Party took from December was to stop competing for power in ways that challenge the media-political consensus - to focus on competence and decorum, West Wing style. In truth, we should have grasped the need for massive internal reforms, in media and comms.

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More from @danhind

1 Dec
This week @CarysJHughes @samcoatescymru and I are setting up Citizens for a Democratic Society @C4DSoc - an attempt to help democratisation efforts throughout the UK, across local government and in the institutions of civil society. opendemocracy.net/en/opendemocra…
It's in part a response to the challenge this by @jemgilbert in September. If we weren't big enough to win last year, how do we grow to become big enough? We think we need to create collective bodies that are committed to radical equality. opendemocracy.net/en/we-lost-bec…
It's based on the premise that civil society and the state in much of the UK operates as a collection of rackets. Even when there is voting, the many are starved of information and opportunities to discover themselves as collective agents. The few prosper.
Read 5 tweets
28 Nov
If CLPs had passed motions of no confidence in a Corbyn-appointed General Secretary in 2019 I imagine that the BBC might have found time to mention in its broadcast news. Has anyone heard anything about what's happening in Labour on BBC TV or radio?
I listened to @BBCr4today this morning and while I heard about the welcome return of a Norfolk pond flower, long thought extinct, recent developments in the Labour Party didn't make it on the agenda.
Politics is what happens in Westminster, and economics is what politicians in Westminster say it is. If you can get these ideas into your head, and ignore all evidence to the contrary, a golden future awaits you as a political correspondent for the BBC.
Read 5 tweets
17 Oct
There's lots of "should I stay or should I go?" on my timeline at the moment re. Labour. It's important to bear in mind that the new arrivals in 2015 form part of a large, floating constituency of people who grasp the implications of the 2008 crisis, the climate crisis and ...
... were drawn to direct action (UK Uncut, Occupy) and electoralism (remember the Green surge?) at various times. Labour's establishment left the door open to these people and they rushed in to support Corbyn, along with existing left members, and re-joiners.
This floating constituency includes a number of different traditions - red, black and green. But if it has a core commitment it is to democracy, however that's glossed. It doesn't identify with Labour necessarily and seemed to treat Corbynism as something else to try.
Read 7 tweets
23 Sep
Just caught up with this excellent interview on everyone's favourite tech podcast. The point @doctorow makes in it about the urgent need to stop using private sector operators to deliver public goods is absolutely spot on.
This applies very obviously in the tech sector, where we are leaving key elements in the systems of political communication and material distribution in private hands, instead of acknowledging their constitutional significance and creating public institutions.
(Much the same can be said of the traditional media, where the state has given private sector institutions a privileged position to describe the political and they have exacted a horrendous piece for the service they provide.)
Read 5 tweets
21 Sep
The Tory shires are Tory for much the same reason: the working class were driven out of them faster than they could organise electorally. PR would make things better in the US, as here, of course. But their written constitution is every bit as stupefying as our non-existent one.
The vision - labour intensive, technologically sophisticated co-operative food production - is intensely appealing. But to stand a chance it must be tied to a broader vision of democracy itself as a cooperative endeavour, characterised by communication between equals.
It's this vision - tying reform of the state directly to reform of the economy - that can unify diverse popular constituencies, and provide a template for radically democratic initiatives below the level of the national state.
Read 6 tweets
9 Sep
The key question - the hard question - is the one @jemgilbert has asked elsewhere: why were Labour likely to lose in December, regardless of its position on Brexit?
You can argue that we could have held onto the 2017 position with some tweaks. But it's a wild leap to claim that that was a winning proposition by last December. It wasn't even persuasive to many members of the Party by then.
Labour's problems run much deeper than the Brexit issue. It still seeks to be the sole competitor with the Conservatives in a FPTP system when electoral geography almost guarantees that they will remain as junior partners in such a system.
Read 5 tweets

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