Ian Murray MP was correct when he said in his acceptance speech that Labour had let down the country. The Tories had their best result since the 80’s and Labour had its worst result since the 30’s. People across the UK from Peterhead to Plymouth have been slipping into poverty under the Tories since 2010, and that may accelerate if Brexit is now implemented by Boris Johnson and his Eton chum Jacob Rees-Mogg.
As an MP Ian Murray lost friends last night (and their staff lost their jobs), and many voters right across the UK lost hope. I knocked on hundreds of doors for Labour in Edinburgh South and found that Jeremy Corbyn was a bigger issue for voters than Indyref & Brexit combined. Yes, some voters were supportive of Jeremy Corbyn but the vast majority simply did not trust him. It is now clear from media reports that this was not an uncommon experience.
Yes, voters don’t trust Boris either, but it is clear they put a Tory Brexit before a radical Labour Manifesto. With just one result to be called, Labour is on 32.2% nationally and the Tories won 43.6% on a nationalist ticket.
In Scotland the situation is more complex. Tactical voting for the SNP took the nationalist vote here to 45% of the vote, with Labour on 18.6% (an 8.5% drop on what Kezia Dugdale achieved in 2017) and the Tories on 25.1%. Whilst much of the local SNP campaigns avoided talking about independence, Nicola Sturgeon is claiming that pro-UK parties only winning 54% of Scottish votes is a mandate for a further referendum. She has said that next week her Nationalist Government will publish a “detailed democratic case” for letting her decide on whether there should be a second independence referendum.
Don’t expect that “detailed” case from Nicola Sturgeon to answer fundamental questions on the deficit, currency or even EU membership. Instead she’ll argue that Scotland should walk away from those slipping in to poverty south of the border, without really providing answers on what Scotland’s financial position would be.
So people north and south of the border face a bleak future one way or another despite Labour offering some fantastic policies in our manifesto. The problem is that the lack of trust in Jeremy Corbyn meant our manifesto did not connect with voters. This loss of trust, of course, started with how the party dealt with the Brexit result – the party equivocated when leadership was required. A different leader may well have been able to bridge the remain and leave positions, but neither camp were willing to trust Jeremy Corbyn due to his record on the EU. The EU election was possibly our last chance to regain trust, but we wasted that opportunity.
A second issue which undermined trust in Jeremy Corbyn is the issue of anti-Jewish racism. Although seldom raised on the doorstep, those that brought it up always had heartfelt concerns.
Soon Labour will face the challenge of fighting the 2021 Holyrood elections. These elections approach us at a time when the public in Scotland is openly questioning the state of key public services like education and health. Before we can respond to that challenge, however, we need to rebuild trust in our party, and its leadership.
Despite the best efforts of the SNP, Brexit will continue to dominate UK politics in the coming weeks. That’s why I welcome the fact that Jeremy Corbyn has said he will soon stand down and I hope we can enter the next sitting of parliament with an acting leader that has been clear and unequivocal on the issue.
7 thoughts on “Labour’s manifesto became irrelevant as voters had lost trust in Jeremy Corbyn over Brexit.”
Absolutely spot on
you make big play of the fact that Corbyn is the main culprit in the whole mess of labour campaign where many are lining up to put the boot in as a returning labour member in 2016 /17 as I believed (like many) that Labour were trying to reconnect with the communities it once represented .
I as member do think that Mr Murray is not absolute right he may have clinched victory in his own patch (well done ) but do feel the damage did take place many years back with the failure of the party to counter the upsurge in support of the SNP which came about due the abandonment of labour in places like Lothian (labour taking voters for granted ) where labour were dominate on many fronts where the void has been taken up by the SNP (as voters see it ) as many see the only road to go now may be to go down ,is the independence road .
labour were seen to be making inroads into establishing the relationship with working people following recent wins then overnight getting slaughtered at the recent Election in Scotland independence & BREXIT were factors .along with the constant created bad press.
BREXIT Strategy for the party was all wrong, Corbyn takes the blame as a leader
others can not escape blame with many undermining the leadership creating a disunity front to the UK public with many briefing in front of the cameras adding to the media frenzy over the years with the right of the party forcing the leaders hand to adopt the view to hold another peoples vote on many fronts which looked disjointed plus with ex labour ministers again using the same platform to bring the leadership down using the opportunity to tell voters to vote tory .(Labour leader has received more condemnation than Cameron who caved in to the euro sceptics of the Tory party over BREXIT you would think Corbyn had made the decision)
ex labour leaders( Jim murphy ) in Scotland who were happy to push further with Blair & brown Policies resulting in labour being virtually written off the Scottish political map(seeds sown )
Mr Murray highlights the Anti Jewish situation being one of the issues that blighted Labour constantly raised by Hodge & others on many occasions appearing in headline news to give the impression that views are held through the labour party (which we know not true ) & believe the media were calling us the Nasty party at one time during the campaign its like blaming the politicians failure to deal with the daily sectarian abuse many have to suffer in Scotland on a daily basis .which has been a cancer in Scotland for years .
The mood in Scotland on the failure of the labour party has arrived down south again speaking to many people from these communities they totally feel let down one example being – THE MINERS PENSION SCANDAL .brought in by Blair /brown .
over the years we have had UKIP ,recently BREXIT party attempting to latch on to the abandonment factor which further contributed to others turning against labour in thier thousands for me its not about individuals leaders its more about policy & direction as stated at one the 1st CLP meeting I attended on returning to the party .
again speaking to ordinary working people they do feel unrepresented by politicians from across the different parties & for some reasoning Labour is receiving the fist in the face don’t have the answers but do believe some of the above did not help in trying to sell Labour even when many crying out for change lets have a proper discussion over the couple of years ;
Hi Scott. I shall reflect and respond. On a totally different matter (but member engagement is crucial and I personally believe there is some housekeeping at home within the party that needs to be addressed) to whom and when are SEC minutes provided? Does the agenda go to the same people and/or others?
Agenda and minutes go to SEC members only. Neither can be circulated as they are confidential. You will have seen, however, that I circulate meeting notes… other SEC members may do so too.
Agree entirely…..I’m sad to say.
That “Labour has let down the country”, is not a new phenomena and to lay the entire blame of this sorry state on one individual is the first step to further and repeated failure. Firstly, we have to address the variety of challenges the party will face coherently and in a comradely fashion – key elements which were missing from Ian Murray’s speech. Secondly, we must acknowledge that the challenges faced by the Party in other parts of the UK are very different to those which face the Party in Scotland and that this raises the fundamental issue of the relationship between the Party north and south of the border. I think that will do for now until there has been more time for reflection and analysis.
Corbyn should have realised after 2017 that he couldn’t possibly return us to power. We said we would respect the result of the 2016 EU election and didn’t. We paid for it big time. Momentum need to have less influence in decisions regarding MP selection process and McCluskey and co should wind their neck in. We chose the wrong Milliband, which was the start of our troubles and the so called “stalking horse” has practically killed the party and forced another 5 years of Tory cuts on the most vulnerable in our society. Corbyn should go immediately, if not sooner.
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