MY mother – East End girl, militant dinner lady, a proud union member – would not have dreamed of voting Tory.
She would have seen voting Tory as a betrayal of her class, her community and everything she loved.
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But they don’t make working class Labour voters like my mum any more. And they never will again.
The annihilation of Labour in Hartlepool, and in councils across the country, proves that the Tories are the party of the working class now.
My mum died in 1999, during what will, I suspect, be Labour’s last ever residence in 10 Downing Street. For Labour, the party is over.
Working class Labour voters no longer feel any loyalty towards the party that was formed to represent them. Why should they?
Labour took for granted the working men and women who supported them for generations.
Labour made no attempt to understand the forces that made many millions of them vote for Brexit.
Labour abandoned the Brexit-voting working class, thought they could get by with the sourdough-eating, university-educated, Guardian-reading globalists who are embarrassed by the Union Jack but lick their lips at that EU flag.
Now the working class have abandoned Labour. They are never coming back.
And the big problem for Labour is that all those Guardian-reading globalists will never be enough to win a general election.
Labour thought they could flourish without the working class. They were wrong.
Labour can get shot of ill-starred Sir Keir Starmer and replace him with a Corbyn clone who thinks that Hamas, Hezbollah and the IRA were not such a bad bunch of guys.
Or Labour’s militant barmy army can hold Starmer’s feet to the fire to make him more left wing.
Labour can even try having a woman leader for the first time in their history.
None of it will make the slightest bit of difference. Labour are no longer an effective Opposition, or even a real political party.
If Scotland eventually votes for independence, it will not be because Boris Johnson is an evil Tory toff who went to Eton and Oxford.
It will be because Labour became meaningless north of the border. Scotland has gone, and now most of England has gone too.
Labour will not die. But Labour are more of a debating society now, sneering at the poor dumb peasants who are so stupid that we actually love this country and wouldn’t say no to a selfie with Boris.
Labour’s most distinguishing feature is its superior sneer. This renders the party polling booth poison. The damage is done.
For Labour have not simply ignored Labour voters like my mother. They have sneered at them. They have treated them with contempt. They have mockingly suggested — again and again and again — that all those Brexit supporters will soon be dead.
And for that, comrade, you will never be forgiven.
If you tell people they are stupid, they will not vote for you. If you endlessly imply 17.4million decent men and women are racist bigots because they voted for Brexit all those years ago, then they will not vote for you.
If you sneer at our flag, deride our history, say that we are mugs for loving this country, tell us that the UK is uniquely wicked and racist — we will not vote for you. Labour don’t get it. And Labour don’t get the British people.
To Keir Starmer, taking the knee for Black Lives Matter no doubt feels like the most natural gesture in the world.
But many decent, non-racist Brits view BLM as a violent protest movement that attacked policemen and their horses and attempted to desecrate the Cenotaph and the statue of Churchill.
And you kowtow to that, Keir?
Labour don’t seem to understand why the British people do not feel ashamed of our history or believe that this country is a distinctively bigoted place.
Is there racism here? Sadly, yes — but this is still a more tolerant country than most.
We do not feel ashamed to be British. We feel a deep pride.
And while Hartlepool electing a Conversative MP for the first time is undoubtedly an historic moment, it is also a staging post of a road that is increasingly familiar.
The old bonds between the Labour Party and the working class have been obliterated for ever.
Those ancient ties are not frayed, or fragile, or loosening. They are gone, baby, gone. They belong to the last century. The old working-class stigma about voting Tory no longer exists.
It is voting Labour that is toxic now.
The pundits will ponder the almost comical arrogance of Labour putting forward an unapologetically pro-EU candidate in Hartlepool, a constituency that voted overwhelmingly for Leave.
But an EU cheerleader from central casting was probably the best Labour could manage. Anything resembling patriotism in Labour was aggressively purged when the party was led by that snaggle-toothed old terrorist sympathiser.
But Hartlepool was not about Brexit, for that debate is long over.
To most people in this country, our world-beating vaccination rollout will for ever be enough to justify leaving the unforgivably incompetent EU, who have done nothing but spit poison at us since we got out.
Voters were not talking about Carrie, Cummings or curtains on the doorsteps in Hartlepool. They were talking about second jabs and getting their lives back. Not what’s trending on Twitter.
The cruel truth is that the working men and women of this country no longer share the same values as this miserable excuse for a Labour Party.
Labour squirm with disgust at our history, our traditions, our flag.
Tearing down statues goes down a treat with students who have yet to see much of the real world. Most grown-ups despise it.
Labour believe our country is tainted by its history and should carry a burden that is heavy with post-imperial shame.
And most Brits think that, for all its faults, this is still a generous, big-hearted and tolerant place to live. We are proud that our country has stood up to tyrants throughout its history.
We are grateful that people of every race, religion and creed live together pretty well here.
Labour seem to truly believe that Churchill was as bad as Hitler. Most people think that’s just daft.
But what can you expect of a party that would rather fly the EU flag — or indeed the Palestinian flag, as they did at their party conference in 2018 — than the Union Jack?
Labour loved Corbyn because Corbyn loathed Britain and was always keen to kiss the boots of anyone who would have cheerfully danced on our graves.
And why would anyone ever vote for a party that hates its own country?
The chatter is that Labour is suffering from a case of “Long Corbyn”, the aftermath of having a deranged leader of extremist views. But Labour’s rot set in years ago.
They can’t blame Corbyn. Tony Blair, recipient of my mother’s vote in the late 20th century, was another unquestioning Brussels stooge who tried to ram the euro down our throats.
If he had stuck around, euro-loving Tony would have had no more luck at any EU referendum than the hapless David Cameron did.
After Blair, there was Gordon Brown, who once famously denounced a decent Labour supporter who tried to talk to him about EU immigration as “a bigoted woman”.
Yes, Corbyn was a disaster. But Labour was electoral cyanide years ago.
So pity poor old Sir Keir Starmer — lifeless, grey, stiff beyond belief. And that’s just his hair.
Starmer has been on the wrong side of history in all the big arguments. He campaigned to Remain in the EU.
Then he campaigned for a second referendum to overturn the biggest democratic vote for anything in our nation’s history, and he also campaigned for Jeremy Corbyn to become Prime Minister — twice!
But Starmer’s biggest problem is that he is leading Labour when, as a potential party of government, it is already dead.
Where there was once a Red Wall, there is now a blue heart. It is the Tories who are the champions of the working class now.
It is the Tories who must lead a nation battered by coronavirus to better days.
Where there was once a Red Wall, there is now a blue heart.
It is the Tories who have already embarked on the historic task of saving lives, creating jobs and reviving the education of our children.
Labour’s dwindling band of woke avocado crunchers can debate if the Union Jack is inherently racist or not.
They can rant and rave about ancient history, and spend their days retweeting the latest pious hashtag on Twitter, forever pining for the lost Promised Land of downtown Brussels, and screaming about Tory sleaze until the mad cows come home.
None of it matters. Nobody will care.
Starmer can stay as the Labour leader or he can make way for one of the middle-class mad Marxist comrades waiting in the shadows.
It makes no difference! Labour are exactly where they deserve to be for betraying people like my mum — left out for the bin men of history.
And Labour will never get to Downing Street from there.
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