According to the Guardian:
Labour must make “use of the [union] flag, veterans [and] dressing smartly” as part of a radical rebranding to help it win back the trust of disillusioned voters, according to a leaked internal strategy presentation.
The presentation, which has been seen and heard by the Guardian, is aimed at what the party calls “foundation seats”, a new term for the “red wall” constituencies that handed Boris Johnson a landslide in 2019, and other seats it fears could also turn blue. It will be seen as a marker of how concerned Labour is about its electoral position.
I think many might have uttered an odd expletive, or three, on reading that.
It is indisputable that Labour has an image problem right now. It is now apparent that Keir Starmer’s greatest abilities are to be found in fence sitting whilst supporting government policy. And it is clear that as a consequence Labour is struggling for a poll lead when it should be miles ahead of a government whose policy failings have, without doubt, contributed to the early deaths of tens of thousands of people. So, I suppose we should be grateful that Labour has noticed.
But flag waving, for heaven’s sake?
Let me state this as clearly as I can. Labour cannot win by out new-fascisting the neo-fascists in the Tories, who adopted this from UKIP.
Then let me state the obvious reasons for that, by referencing the Union flag it wishes to flaunt.
First, Labour is not in Northern Ireland.
And for all practical purposes Labour is dead and never to be revived in Scotland. Fifty years of its neglect has ensured that.
Whilst one third of Wales now wants an independence referendum.
Which means that in that case Labour is flying a Union flag in the cause of English nationalism.
And that won’t just alienate Scotland and Wales even more; it is also true that nothing is more certain to alienate many in England. We do not still wish to be seen as a colonial power, which is exactly what Labour by doing this is answering that England still is.
And those it will alienate are on the left, not the right. And they might vote for others, just as those who once voted for Labour in Scotland now do.
And why might they do that? Because they really do not like this appeasement by the party of new-fascism.
If Labour wants a policy talk jobs, the NHS, housing and the Green New Deal.
Promise decent benefits.
Justify what it is going to do.
Explain how to pay for it, as I can do.
And then talk delivery, endlessly.
Hammer home that the NHS was not ready for the current crisis because of a failure of government preparedness that the Tories can never supply , but which is what Labour would be about.
But the Union Jack? Are we really all to succumb to the outright nastiness of the small-minded nationalist outlook now? Really?