First published on DontLookNow.org 15thMarch 2017.
Seems relevant once again.
I’ve been a Labour Party member since 1964. Never liked “the Party” much but have liked many fellow members. I still pay my dues because the alternatives are worse.
What abut a split?
Then both sides won’t be so dogged by the sins of the past. Like …
- Blair’s academy schools
- Browns PFIs
- Milliband’s failure to oppose Universal Credit that is impoverishing section of the poor. (Labour Party Lord: ” They knew. As useful as chocolate teapots”)
- Limp action on climate change. (Blair sacked Michael Meacher remember.)
Apart from ‘that war’ the Labour Party’s record is still the best and that leads many party members to want the Corbynites to hand over to the old Blairites – without Blair of course – in order to regain power and relieve so some of the pressure on the poor and the environment.
A split with an electoral pact is worth some work. I’m not sure it would work but there is nothing much to loose. So let’s set up Blexit (Blairite exit) and Mexit (Momentum exit) commissions to negotiate the divorce.
Organisation of the split? The algorithms that would make the electoral pact work?
My starter-for-ten is a series of lotteries based on the support a particular faction would have in a particular constituency. There’s a big contract for YouGov here.
Start the lottery at constituencies where the chances of electoral success are greatest and work down the list of decreasing electoral chances. Each faction would put their chosen candidate into the lottery. The winner gets to stand at the election with the support of both factions.
At a given constituency, the odds should be modified to allow the faction that had bad luck in previous constituencies to stand a bit more of a chance. These modifications could aim to give each faction a fair allocation of electoral seats (i.e an allocation that represented national support.) This would leave the main negotiations between factions to be the estimation of national support. The selection of the two entrants for the lottery in each constituency would be the separate responsibilities of the two factions.
This would be an exciting newsworthy spectacle and could bring about more open discussions of the issues without so much need to defend the past.
Postscript: What about the Lib Dems, Greens and Nationalists?
I dunno. The Greens could obviously be included but the Lib Dems and Nationalists are more of a problem – although I dream of a time when I can be in the same party as Mhairi Black.
Postscript 2: Housing: The rich got richer.
Housing is another problem that a united Labour Party cannot talk about easily. The old and affluent had their wealth increase enormously through the housing market – and the young and poor have paid higher rents. This may have worsened under the recent governments but the Labour governments seemed “quite relaxed” about this transfer of wealth from poor to rich.
In order to get some idea of the different effects of the housing market on affluent and poor, I downloaded house price data from the Land Registry for the years 2000 and 2010. I then looked at the changes in house prices for the most affluent areas compared to the least affluent areas. (I used the P² People and Places Demographic Classification for this exercise).
Adjusting for inflation between 2000 and 2010, I found that property of the P²’s most affluent areas increased by just over eight times the average income in 2010. Property prices in the least affluent are rose by a factor of two. However, according to the 2011 census, only 20% of households in the least affluent areas own their homes. In P²’s most affluent areas this rises to 90%.
P.S. For more housing stuff see bkuk.com/housing
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