Burnham speaks of “fear and loathing” from voters

Speaking at this year’s Progress conference, Andy Burnham MP spoke of a genuine "fear and loathing" from traditional voters lost by Labour since 1997.

Andy Burnham MP, speaking at this year’s Progress conference, spoke of a genuine “fear and loathing” from traditional voters lost by Labour since 1997.

Mr Burnham said:

“In order for Labour to regain our position in government and our communities, we need embrace where we are, and exactly who we stand for. The loss in trust of Labour was seen throughout the UK, and was not just a region specific problem.”

Going on to decipher the breakdown of the relationship, Mr Burnham, looking confident and fresh faced in front of the on-looking Channel 4 News cameras, spoke of the impact of the credit crunch.

“When [the credit cruch] hit, views around the country changed and we struggled to come to terms with saving the banks and bankers and we mismanaged this process politically to our voters. We disconnected with many of them as we seemed on the side of the elites.”

On Welfare reform, Mr Burnham spoke of a distinct “line”, stressing the significance of which side you feel on as a working class voter:

“If you fell on the right side then you were fine and reasonably happy, but if you were just on the other side, my god you really felt it and it was something we should have addressed earlier. Some 40 per cent of low to middle income earners feel they are in a lower status job than their parents.”

Speaking on the same panel – titled “Core lessons: Can Labour reconnect with working-class communities?” – Margaret Hodge MP stressed the impact felt by local communities due to a severe lack of social housing provision. The panel agreed that immigration significantly affected the pressures, or the perceived pressures at least, placed upon social welfare facilities. Ms Hodge said:

“[Immigration] affected housing, jobs and real wages. If we do not talk about it now then we leave a vacuum for others to fill like the BNP. That said, in my opinion [the BNP] will likely implode as a result of their poor performance but the threat remains and we should stress that.”

Ellie Reeves, the youngest member of Labour’s National Executive Committee, spoke strongly about Labour’s future strategy. “We should go after our swing voters in our traditional seats, but without the lower class vote nationally we are unlikely to win,” she said.

Margaret Hodge went on to say, “None of it is about losing our identity but we got complacent with power and we need to start reengaging. We need a bottom to top approach and not a dictatorial style as in the past.” She went on to stress the need to ensure that Labour punctures through “barriers” to ensure the party lets people know that they are on the side of the working classes and those who need us most.

In closing, leadership challenger Mr Burnham spoke strongly in favour of grassroots political movement, or a renewed sense of  community cohesion. He urged the party to “bring down the curtain on stage management and get drama and authenticity back to the Labour Party”.

20 Responses to “Burnham speaks of “fear and loathing” from voters”

  1. David Morton

    Personally it's much *much* more than mere loathing: RT @leftfootfwd: Burnham speaks of "fear and loathing" from voters http://bit.ly/9Chi3i

  2. Robert

    So let me see the Welfare reforms and the bidding war between Blair and Cameron I will 500,000 back to work, labour said I will get a million, Tories 1.5 million, Labour all of them.

    This is the new labour ethos, something nobody told me about. the 10p tax fiasco Brown said was a mistake my ass, he knew what he was doing.

    Removing the main stay of the social contract between labour and the people, income support.

    No NHS dentist and Labour did sod all about it.

    No social housing yet let thousand of poor immigrants in, to get the cost of British labour down, and to get people in with the hope they vote Labour.
    Never mind the wars.

    You have had the answer at this election, it’s going to be a lot longer before I trust you again. after 46 years in labour I left and I’ll be damed if I believe all this bull shit

  3. Silent Hunter

    I take it that’s “Fear & Loathing” of the Labour Party, to which, I think, most of us can agree.

  4. Michael Chitty

    RT @stuartbruce: Andy Burnham "bring down curtain on stage management & get drama & authenticity back 2 Labour Party" http://bit.ly/cs40ZO

  5. Stuart Bruce

    Andy Burnham "bring down the curtain on stage management and get drama and authenticity back to the Labour Party" http://bit.ly/cs40ZO

  6. Roland M-Horne

    My new Left Foot Forward blog http://bit.ly/d797wq #Progress2010

  7. Sharon

    RT @stuartbruce AB "bring down the curtain on stage management and get drama and authenticity back to the Labour Party" http://bit.ly/cs40ZO

  8. Mark Horne

    RT @RoMarcelinHorne: My new Left Foot Forward blog http://bit.ly/d797wq #Progress2010

  9. tomtiddler

    @robert

    what the hell were you doing in the labour party anyway? socialism has been murdering people for a hundred years. it is a failed social experiment. get the che guevara poster off your wall and get a job!

  10. Roland M-Horne

    @MsjHorne this should be correct http://bit.ly/d797wq

  11. geoff g

    The reason the labour party lost the election is that it has a vision not shared by most people in the UK. George Orwell summed it up nicely

    “If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.”

    That sums up New (and Old) Labour

  12. Robert

    Tom Tom Tom these sites always have twats like you brain dead, I take you with a pinch of salt before i vomit up.

  13. George W. Potter

    The main cause of pressure on social housing is not immigration but the disappointing failure of Labour to build enough new council houses to make up for the drastic under-supply. Admittedly it was Thatcher who sold off most of them in the 80s but Labour’s failure to remedy that in the past 13 years is yet another stain on its record. Sadly, I doubt it will get any better under this government either.

  14. George W. Potter

    Two other things: One, Labour should stop swallowing the tabloid line on immigration and start making the positive case for it. Immigration numbers are now under control and immigrants make a net contribution to our economy which is in the region (I believe) of £1.2 billion. Two, please do reconnect with your grass roots. Locally every Labour activist I believe in shares my views and seem very nice people. The only problem is that for the the past 13 years the party Leadership hasn’t paid a blind bit of attention to them.

  15. tomtiddler

    @george. the pressure isn’t just on social housing. have you seen private house prices? this is Labour’s greatest mistake. the largest ever transfer of money from the poor to the rich the country has ever seen. i won’t be able to have a house until my parents die. and they may have spent all the money by re-mortgaging anyway. the selfish c*nts.

  16. Lord Pont

    @George. I agree immigrants make a financial and cultural benefit to this country. There are other issues, however, the main one being house prices. House prices are obviously subject to a number of drivers, but the main one is the increase in the population, the majority of which is due to net migration.

    We can build more houses, but I won’t believe that immigration has been brought to an acceptable level until houses are affordable to working class families without wealthy parents. I would strongly argue in favour of immigration, but at a level such that net migration is zero or negative (still reasonably high levels historically).

  17. John Green

    Mr. Burnham should understand that Labour has lost all credibility after thirteen years of mendacity, sleaze and sheer, mind-boggling incompetence.

    On a personal front, the three architects of the New Labour project have shown themselves to be such unappealing characters: Blair the Liar, Brown, the economic incompetent who has dropped us all in the deepest, thickest “brown stuff” imaginable, and Mandleson, the Wicked Fairy, waving her malevolent wand over all and sundry. These three pantomime characters surrounded themselves with a host of political midgets, some of whom will now fight for the party leadership. We know from the many insiders who have published their diaries, that these characters did not trust each other and employed hosts of “advisors and spokespersons” to plot against each other. Why should anyone else trust them?

    Until the Labour party faces up to its deep flaws and short-comings, its future looks extremely bleak. It desperately needs some people with integrity, brains and political astuteness. It needs to replace Brown’s despicable and sordid “moral compass” with an ethos to inspire. I don’t see that happening sometime soon.

  18. Billy Blofeld

    “The loss in trust of Labour was seen throughout the UK, and was not just a region specific problem.”

    This is correct.

    Now someone has to analyse what caused the loss of trust. Here is a starter for 10 – the three biggest dishonest / deceitful mantras:

    1. This is a global problem that started in America

    2. No return to boom and bust

    3. Tory cuts versus Labour investment

  19. Lord Pont

    have to agree with John here. Blair/Brown/Mandelsohn were almost pantomime characters. Blair never knowingly lied because he always believed what he was saying at the time. What he actually said – even though he looked very stern – was always untrue. Brown was the last person you would ever want running a large economy. An uneducated intellectual pygmy. Unless you count 10 years to do a PhD in the history of the scottish labour party as education. He just didn’t understand economics. His ‘saving’ of the banking system was just mortgaging everybody’s children and grandchildren for the series of immense checks he wrote the bankers (without asking for any reform). Mandelsohn was only ever interested in himself. I lying fraudster who was attracted by money and power.

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