A working-class voter has penned a letter to Sir Keir Starmer in the aftermath of two humbling by-election defeats, warning that he is on a dangerous path if he positions the party “too close to the Conservatives”.
The letter, penned by RD Hale and published on Council Estate Media, pointed out that a hastiness in trying to disassociate the party from former leader Jeremy Corbyn could be turning a lot of traditionally red voters off, and could lead to them seeking refuge with other parties, such as the Greens.
Moving too far to the right, he says, “undermines” his credibility and “shows you lack confidence in your ability to turn things around.”
Hale was born and raised on a rough council estate in a single-parent household and fed by free school meals and income support.
He said: “I’m afraid you’ve got us massively wrong and draping yourself in the Union Jack really isn’t going to cut it.
“So instead of telling the working class what we want, please start listening, because we so desperately need the representation you’re refusing to provide.”
Dear Sir Keir,— RD Hale (@RD_HaIe) June 18, 2021
You are no doubt reeling from the Chesham and Amersham by-election result, which not only saw your Labour Party pick up just 622 votes (which was 1/16th of what Corbyn got in 2017), but also saw the Lib Dems take a safe Tory seat…https://t.co/ZZsR4l6zJW
Batley and Spen
Next week Sir Keir will face his next challenge as voters go to the polls in Batley and Spen following the resignation of current MPTracy Brabin, who was elected Mayor of West Yorkshire.
As it stands, Labour is going to lose.
Polling suggests Starmer is on course for a pummelling, with Survation predicting that the Tories will claim the West Yorkshire seat with 47 per cent of the vote.
Labour look set to net 41 per cent of the vote, with the six per cent gap expected to go to George Galloway.
Although the reasons behind Labour’s poor showing are myriad and complex, Hale believes it is much to do with working class voters being neglected for years.
“We were left behind by Thatcher and we were left behind by Major,” he said, “but we were also left behind by Blair and Brown.
“I was long-term homeless under Blair, and I can assure you, none of us around here are desperate to return to the Blair days. Centrism is dead because it never offered anything to us.”
Hale went on to say the Labour leader needs to “pick a side”.
“You either side with the people the Labour Party was set up to represent (and the many decent privileged people who fight our cause) or you pick the side of the people who would maintain the status quo.”