Poll: should Corbyn send southern front-benchers to meet voters in northern towns?

A still from Labour’s groundbreaking Our Town video

With a general election this year almost certain and Boris Johnson posing as a populist, some commentators say there is a disconnect between ‘London Labour’ front-benchers and voters in Labour’s traditional ‘heartlands’.

Should Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn send senior southern-based MPs to meet voters in northern (and Midlands, Welsh) seats to reconnect with traditional Labour voters there?

The poll will close at noon on 15 September.

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  1. The thing about Labour “leave” voters is that whatever any disagreement about Brexit, they are still Labour voters on every other policy. There’s no reason why they should vote for anyone else just because of Brexit.

    1. Ask them. Also ask them whether they’ll go out to vote.

      (Mind you, such surveys are not always useful. Remember 1992 if you’re old enough.)

      1. I think the ‘professor’ might be onto something for a change…
        why NOT “Ask them?”
        As democrats we’d ask everybody else too, obviously.
        Kind of a pre-election poll. Brilliant!
        Might as well ask everybody what they think about Brexit after three years of Tory bullshit too, since that’s the reason behind it – what an excellent idea!

    2. You are deluding yourself, tomlondra, along with most pro Remain Labour Party members. . The millions of working class Leave supporters in our Labour heartlands see continued membership of the EU as profoundly symbolic of a continuation of their now unbearable working and living conditions, not least from the impact of EU unlimited labour supply on wages and bargaining power for the unskilled and semi-skilled in particular . So many, many, will lend their vote this time round to the charlatans of the Brexit Party or simply abstain.

      As that now ancient old socialist, Arthur Scargill, correctly said at a TUC fringe meeting yesterday:

      “EVERY MP who wants Britain to remain in the European Union should be “opposed” by the labour movement, Arthur Scargill said yesterday.

      Speaking at the meeting of the left-wing anti-EU group Leave Fight Transform (LeFT) at the Friends Meeting House in Brighton, the former National Union of Mineworkers president said that “every single MP who wants us to go back into Europe should be opposed.

      “That is my view, as a socialist, as a Marxist,” Mr Scargill said.

      After jokingly thanking delegates for allowing “a moderate such as myself” to speak at the rally, Mr Scargill criticised the Labour leadership for backing a second referendum.

      He said: “The people who were responsible for sabotaging the referendum result in 2016 must be challenged, we can’t keep exonerating them.”

      Mr Scargill criticised shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry for her support for Europe, saying: “We have a shadow foreign secretary who says the position of the Labour Party is that we can negotiate a better deal than the Tories, but is already committed to campaigning to Remain irrespective of the deal we negotiate.

      “How on earth can anybody put that position forward? It beggars belief.”

      He went on to say: “Jeremy Corbyn voted against the Lisbon Treaty.

      “Why is he now putting together a platform which is indistinguishable from the 21 MPs who have left the Tory Party?”

      1. You are deluding yourself, yourself, JPenny. I am not a remainer. I am a can’t make up his minder.

      2. ” our Labour heartlands ”

        More total bollocks. As usual confusing Tory voters with the Labour working class vote.

        You really do need to get out more, Ha’penny instead of pretending that conservative-voting dupes in some constituencies are the ‘core’ Labour vote – which was decisively for ‘Remain’ even in constituencies where there was an overall vote for the con-artists.

      3. I think you are deluding yourself too, 4 of us in our family voted leave, now we have seen the outcome and the flagrant lies from Bozo and May who obviously have something in it for them we all want to stay! Our philosophy being if the corrupt scum want it so much then it can’t be good for us! I’m in 14 Labour and Corbyn groups on FB some with thousands of members and there are many who have changed from leave to remain, none have changed from remain to leave!

      4. EU legislation provided the justification for privatising British Rail and the Post Office.

        ‘The European Court ruled recently that health services across Europe are to be regarded as “economic activity” rather than social provision, so private company Virgin can sue a CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) for not awarding it an NHS contract. In Germany, a private hospital sued a public hospital claiming it was “unfairly subsidised”.
        The EU does not guarantee any workers’ rights. They privatised the railways using EU Directive 91/440.

    3. I do agree with that point of view, however, I do fear that some leave voters may feel that it makes no difference who they vote for, because they have felt so ignored for far too long, and it may take a lot more effort to persuade them that we are on their side, and do care. Of course, I think the leave voters I am particularly worried about are the ones who voted leave because they have already lost everything and voted leave as a result of feeling they had nothing to lose. I have no idea how many of those people exist in the North of England, but I feel sending Labour front bench MPs, particularly those who represent constituencies in London and the South, while it may result in people saying “you are only here because of the election” – I think it could also have the effect of reassuring people that Labour is on their side. I certainly think it can only help, surely.

  2. What is the point of your polls? Your disciples daren’t dissent against you….

    1. Joe – It isn’rt ‘daren’t’ – just fairly pointless because it’s a self-selecting non-random sample (i.e with all the problems of a ‘YouGov’ poll, and then some.

    2. I appreciate and respect SKWAWKBOX’s work.
      I know of no ‘disciples’ – people here dissent frequently.
      The poll question may not be one I’d ask but I don’t object to the asking of it.
      That would be pathetic even for a troll. You’re not a troll are you?

  3. tomlondra – it would be great if you were right but I’m afraid for a lot of people, nothing is more important than Brexit and they will lend their vote to one of the nasties until such time as it is sorted. As regards the poll, there are plenty of remain MPs in northern seats, a lot of them Blairites and now PV wallahs. Sunderland South, Redcar, Newcastle North, Sedgefield, Pontefract spring instantly to mind. Perhaps these MPs should get out and meet their constituents too!

    1. “for a lot of people, nothing is more important than Brexit “- more important than being able to pay the rent, get a GP appointment, keep the kids in school uniforms, etc etc etc?

    2. labrebisgalloise, anyone earning less than 80k – ie the vast majority – would be financially better off with a Labour government based on our current manifesto so one has to ask how and why the Tories are still able to win elections.

      Working people were better off with Wilson, Callaghan – even Blair or Brown – than with Heath, Thatcher, Major, Cameron, May or Johnson.
      Working people are poorer now in real terms than in the 60’s & 70’s and until Thatcher we could confidently expect our children to be better off than we were.
      “Tory economic competence” has been disproved in bust and privatisation failure time and again but, most shockingly, the blindingly bleedin’ obvious lie that Tory austerity was necessitated by “Labour overspending” – when this latest financial crash was a worldwide phenomenon – is actually swallowed by many working people.

      Tories are still able to win elections because the media is overwhelmingly owned and staffed by rich or highly-paid Tory supporters and the majority of voters believe what they see, hear and read in the MSM.

      “Never was so much owed by so ̶m̶a̶n̶y̶ few to so few.”

      The fact that so many people are so easily brainwashed is the problem and it begins in infancy. Education is key in the longer term.

  4. Off topic, but Skwarkie has previously paraded Laura Pidcock as a wonderful left winger and possible Corbyn replacement. Her blog post retweeted by Skwarks shows that she is completely and utterly lacking in basic socialist analysis just like many Corbynistas. Disheartening!

    1. “basic socialist analysis”

      Def. ‘A form of autistic symptoms manifested in the sphere of political ideology.’

    2. “Basic socialist analysis” – another favourite from the bot library.
      Basic analysis of any fucking kind would tell anyone that the EU didn’t cause the dearth of jobs at decent wages.

      Scarcity of jobs and free movement are both effects of new technology, neoliberalism and bad government – and four of those five phenomena are universal.

      “Free” markets and new technology both transfer power from governments to wealth – and governments derive more power from wealth than from voters.
      Tories and “centrists” are free market cheerleaders stabbing not only us in the back but also themselves, did they but know it.
      Only socialism can kill neoliberalism – but because it’s global it can’t be fought by one nation alone.

      1. Foggy, if you want a reply it would help if the object of your scorn knows who your comment is intended for.
        If you’re new here the wordpress site doesn’t behave like many others – it will sometimes place your comment anywhere but where you’d expect.

    3. Corbynistas???? Where are we in the flaming playground at junior school? Grow up! Because people want a fair society a decant wage and a functioning NHS doesn’t make them part of the bloody sect!

  5. PS Joe K is right. This is a thoroughly partisan news site, fulfilling a great need and long may it continue – but readers’ polls are fairly meaningless other than to give an inflated sense of confidence where it might not actually be due.

    1. I’m not so sure, labrebisgalloise. If you’re referring to the overall political bias of the readership then you’re most likely correct.

      There’s a ‘hardcore’ of perhaps 40 or so regular (Once per month or more) posters on here…And you’ll be aware that not all of them are Corbynist – despite their very dubious claims. A few can certainly be deemed to be ‘centrist’ at best – bliarite at worst. That should be reflected in the poll, providing they vote true to their beliefs rather than to promote/prolong their charade.

      Anyway, other visitors will be allowed a vote, I’m sure. IIRR other polls on here have had a turnout of a few hundred plus. I could be wrong and be thinking of another site, mind.

      1. Thousand and thousands will vote on Twitter and FB when I share the poll on both! I post every skwawkbox post on both! On Twitter we have tens of thousands of socialists all adding more every day! Skwawkbox is our daily go to true news! None of the dailies or news channels on TV can be trusted to tell the truth!!

  6. The whole Brexit issue is a total distraction away from what this corrupt government are doing, in short the are dismantling the state and reversing the gains of working people achieved over the last 100 years. They are effectively hiding behind a wall of deceit just as they did with the DEFICIT LIE.

    Gullible people who are ardent Remainers and Brexiteers know nothing about the real political situation in Europe just following their chosen camps propaganda that bears little in relation to the truth.

    Europe is yes an economic and social basket case, Germany the leading exporter in Europe is currently heading into a recession, that is not due to Brexit as some might claim but the very institutions created by the EU in relation to the Euro and each country being treated as a household, needing to earn Euros through trade.

    The case needs explaining, that yes we must come out of Europe, but done in an orderly fashion that does not exacerbate an already damaged economic position. Broadly speaking Britain does not trade with the EU or the rest of the world, but is a purchaser of their finished goods, in other words, month in month out we have perpetual trade deficits with these countries. The reason for that goes back to Thatcher who dismantled our manufacturing base for anti union and political reasons.

    The EU is not the the social democracy that Remainers claim it to be – that ended over 30 years ago with the introduction of the Maastricht and Lisbon treaties that has now effectively turned it into a corporate state just the Libdems and Tories have done here.

    It really is time people woke up in this country, do they want an NHS or do they misguidedly believe Trumps deal Johnson will improve health care, just as the American public are moving towards a social health care system like the NHS.

    The Tories want people to work until they are 75, do we really believe they are seriously working in peoples interest?

    At every turn the Tories are taking away hard fought for rights, and yet working people would turn to them to get us out of Europe,

    The Tory exit means jumping from the frying pan and into the fire, please tell me people are going to wake up in this country.

  7. I’ve lived in the North for 50 years, and I get pissed off with the sort of simplistic assumptions about the heterogeneous actual North in the same way that Londoners get pissed off with the notion that Greater London is all about bankers in the City.

    The country is afflicted with massive economic and geographical fissures, but they aren’t simply about ‘North and South’ – whippets and flat caps v. the dreaming suburbs of Kent.

    Where there *is* a problem is between the Westminster/Whitehall bubble and the rest of the country. But London-based tourist MPs have been visiting their northern constituencies for years, and it’s made f. all difference.

    (BTW – ‘The North’ in general is actually massively rural. You can travel from Sheffield to Northern Scotland only briefly touching essentially urban areas).

    1. Excellent reply RH. We are one party. Would anyone suggest it was a reasonable idea if MPs from the”north” were asked to come south to discuss the views of voters there. I think they may find the concerns and values are similar wherever you find people who have suffered under capitalism. These attempts to divide us are not helpful.

      1. Precisely, Jim. Before my 50 years in the North, I was from Gloucestershire.

        It’s worth looking at the problems there, which are masked by apparent affluence. In the Cotswolds, where I was dragged up, for instance, there are lower levels of poverty than in the old industrial centres of the North – but for those that experience it, the effects are just as bad – and housing has been massively affected by the influx of weekenders, second home owners and commuters.

        In general, in large areas of the south, a genuinely mixed rural society has been replaced by the decanting of the less well-off into the urban centres whilst the rural areas have become a depository for the affluent.

        So yes, lazy assumptions based on lazy economic geography is beside the point – which is that this is a much more physically and economically divided society than I ever remember.

    2. I’ve lived in the North for 50 years, and I get pissed off with the sort of simplistic assumptions about the heterogeneous actual North in the same way that Londoners get pissed off with the notion that Greater London is all about bankers in the City.

      But you’ve ZERO qualms about disparagingly questioning the mental health/state/capacity of those who put an entirely reasonable case for leaving the EU, those that mention their class, or their socialist credentials, or who deign to correctly define democracy instead of some bullshit excuse for it, eh?

      1. Sorry, I meant to write: ‘Disparagingly casting aspersions on the mental health/state/capacity…’

      2. I can’t help it if the Brexit idea is devoid of rhyme or reason. A shit idea is a shit idea, and this is also a Tory one.

        There’s been three self-indulgent years for the banker classes and their fellow-travellers to convince and come up with a case, and it hasn’t happened.

        That’s the whole point. There is no ‘reasonable’ case for leaving the EU, any more than there is a reasonable case for a purported socialist to tick ‘like’ for a Tory US-dominated government (much the same thing).

        As to the rest : “those that mention their class, or their socialist credentials, or who deign to correctly define democracy ”

        – anyone can mention class as much as they like (as you do). Just don’t confuse it with the notion of virtue or political allegiance. Nor use ‘class’ as false cover for that fore-mentioned shit Tory idea

        – ‘socialst credentials’ – windy and self indulgent ”look at me’ stuff. It’s not a f.ing credit reference. As far as I’m concerned, something close to any such credentials might involve not being an ERG fellow-traveller – just for starters

        – ‘democracy’ : chuck it about carelessly and confuse it with a simple majority on a single vote – and you’ve proved you haven’t got a clue.

      3. I live I the NE in Stockton on Tees just south of the Monkey Hangers and Mackams. So there is no day that goes by without some prime gammon oap on the local news telling us they are happy for other people to lose there jobs as long as we just get owt.

        Ultimately the “Labour” Brexiteers fall into 2 camps you have the dumb that beleive Garage, Moggy and Piffle and the deluded that think no deal leads to some Utopia where the cons hand over power and the red flag becomes the new anthem although there may be collateral damage but as long as it’s not there job/family/medical care that’s ok.

      4. I might not agree with everything you and RH say but when it comes to Brexit I do feel we have learned a valuable lesson, Don’t reduce a hugely-complex issue to a simple binary option then give it to the nation with the lowest literacy level in the developed world to decide?

      5. Will C obviously thinks, like all smug, ‘I’m all right Jack’ , Left Liberal Guardianistas, think that ordinary people, ie, the working class, with their sneered at supposed, ‘ low literacy levels’ (he really means ‘low intelligence’) , are far too stupid to have valid views, and votes, on the obviously hugely too complex for them to grasp, Brexit issue ! Better to leave it to our highly educated political elite betters, eh Will ? You arrogant, pompous prat ! That just about sums up the middle class Remainer, losing side, viewpoint. The joke is that Will C and his arrogant ilk are actually utterly ignorant about the role and nature of the neoliberal EU , and only concerned at retaining their middle class privileges, and easy travel to those ski slopes., and access to the entirely ,jobs-for-the-in-crowd, cronyism-sourced EU gravy train that has seduced the UK political class and the wider middle classes, and the trades union bureaucracy.

      6. jpenney 12/09/2019 at 7:18 pm

        There a good reason why you and your ‘Tooting Popular Front’ comrades have been ignored for over a ¼ of a century.

        Why did you and your other wannabe ‘Wolfie Smith’ comrades choose to infiltrate a party whose leadership and policies you don’t support

      7. Look Spend a Penny you inbred fuckwit you are no doubt an oap or other non working member of the “working” class.

        But me I do work, I left school after thatcher fucked my education with her national curriculum with few qualifications. I went to collage just to resit my GCSE’s then I left and found a job.

        I have spent the last 22 years working damned hard to carve myself a better life than my parents had and to provide a better life for my family than I had. It was hard going but I managed to become a manager for the company having started as a Christmas temp I was the only manager that did not have a degree by the way.
        Then the financial crash happened and The company folded (Woolworths if you were curious) I then managed to get a similar position for a local company that also folded 3 years later. I had to give up on all my experience and start a new “career” working in a call centre for a bank because in Stockton that was literally the only jobs available thanks to call centre island in the middle of town.

        I hate this fuckin job with a passion but there is no jobs available that match the salary especially since I became disabled a few years ago. So I have stuck at it for over a decade because that’s what is best for my family.

        So basically when I see some inbred gammon oap repeating that me losing my job is a price worth paying to just get out I am not likely to look kindly on that. Especially as I can imagine the response if they were told there pension is what would be paying for Brexit rather than my job.

        Also as I am disabled and rely heavily on the NHS with a wife who works as a Hospital care worker, I also would rather not see it fucked over.

        Finally I would rather my 4yr old son grow up in a UK like the one I enjoyed before the far right Tories and there bnp/UKIP/Brexit party outriders arrived. I don’t want him living in some facist shit hole under lord moggy and el president Piffle where the average iq dropped dramatically after they kicked out the foreigners and remainders.

        So what I guess I’m trying to say JP is, I am working class just because I bought my own house and have a job does not change that. I believe in social security, the NHS, education for all, Human rights, Equality and Employmant legislation to protect the worker. As such I will stand against the stupidity of Brexit every time as it threatens all of those.

        As for your other comment I can only say I am not an idiot as such I have been getting ready for no Brexit as best as I can to protect my family. As such if no deal does happen it will hurt but we should survive, but in that case when the tsunami of shit hits the gullible Brexiters and there benefits are gone and pensions stopped with them being herded towards one of rabbs work houses or the fields to work and there starving children are on the streets I can safely say fuck em they wanted this and they would not get the sweat of my balls.

        Basically JP I hope if the worst happens you get Brexited good and hard until the pips squeak. Now run along and leave the serious stuff to people with an iq bigger than there waste size, as we don’t have long to save the country and sadly you.

      8. Will C. –

        “You arrogant, pompous prat ! That just about sums up the middle class Remainer, losing side, viewpoint.”

        Ha’penny has just granted you an accolade. His veneer of all-seeing political wisdom (‘socialist analysis’) has once again been blown out of the water by a brief outbreak of reality. It always falls apart with the intrusion of actual complexities and denial of simplistic bullshit about class and ideology.

        Thanks for that thoughtful intrusion of experience into the irrelevance of proponents of ‘Judaean’ political sectionalism. The duvet-divers do so hate political daylight. They prefer the dreams of a compliant populace marching to their tatty drum. (Actually – just like the Tories)

      1. Florence – this thread has got a bit elongated, but I guess you are referring back to comments about too easy typification of English regions.

        Your comment re. Scotland and Wales is well made. And both of those countries similarly suffer from generalisations about what are very varied communities, with a mix of problems in both urban and rural areas.

        Debate at the moment is beset by lazy generalizations, such as ‘*the* North” and ‘*the* working class’. Whenever you see it, you know you’re dealing with either ignorance or propaganda – or both.

  8. Difficult one to answer. It depends on whom your sending. Anyone who heads to the north of England and wishes to push a campaign for remain or wants another referendum will not be welcome. There is a horrendous amount of bullying and social stereotyping in the UK now.

    The key issue that many MPs are treating people as if they beneath themselves. This has to stop. They have to start treating everyone with respect no matter which way they voted. The name calling fuelled by the Conservative party, the other far right parties and main stream media has to stop.

    1. ” Anyone who heads to the north of England and wishes to push a campaign for remain or wants another referendum will not be welcome.”

      To be blunt : rubbish. The north of England is certainly no monochrome repository of dumb Tory Brexit gullibility.

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