Red Wall tumbles as voters save democracy

20 December 2019

3.9 MINS

By Brendan O’Neill, The Australian.

Editor’s Note: Brendan O’Neill, editor of Spiked, spells out just how momentous Boris Johnson’s landslide win is — how it came to pass, and what it means for the future of Britain, as well as the utterly trounced Labour Party.
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To grasp the magnitude of what has just happened in Britain, ­consider the constituency of Blyth Valley.

This is a former mining town in the northeast of England. It became a constituency in 1950. In every single general election since, it has sent a Labour politician to Westminster.

Blyth Valley has been ruled by Labour for longer than the Queen has reigned over the nation.

It has been one of Britain’s reddest constituencies. Its former MP, Ronnie Campbell, was once a miner. He’s a veteran of the miners’ strike of the mid-1980s.

In 2013, he refused to take part in a House of Commons tribute to Margaret Thatcher, the implacable foe of the striking miners, ­following her death. “I’d rather be in a torture chamber,” he said. Many of his constituents will have applauded him. They don’t like the Tories up in Blyth Valley.

Until now, that is. Blyth Valley was one of the first seats to be ­declared on Thursday night. TV viewers across the land will have felt their jaws drop as the victor was announced: Ian Levy, Conservative. It was at this moment that we knew we weren’t watching a normal election. Something profound was happening. A political earthquake was about to rock Britain.

It is difficult to describe the hugeness of it all. The Tories haven’t only encroached on the so-called red wall, that vast terrain of Labour-dominated constituencies stretching from northern Wales through the Midlands and up to the north of England. They have smashed it down.

The Vale of Clwyd, Bishop Auckland, Wrexham, Bolsover, Don Valley, Darlington, Workington … these place names won’t mean much to non-Brits. But to Britons they conjure up a very clear image: these are working-class communities and they have Labour MPs. Always have, always will. Right?

Nope. All those constituencies, and many others besides, have turned blue.

Bishop Auckland’s new MP, 25-year-old Dehenna Davison, is the first Tory MP that constituency has had in its entire 134-year ­history.

Bolsover, represented since 1970 by one of Britain’s best-known left-wing politicians, Dennis Skinner, is now blue. All political certainties have been shattered. It feels wonderful. Bracing and radical.

For decades there has been a saying that a donkey would get elected in red wall seats so long as it was wearing a Labour rosette. That summed up the extreme sense of entitlement among some Labour MPs who took their working-class voters for granted. Now all of that is over. The donkey is dead.

This doesn’t feel like an election at all. It feels like a revolt. A revolt of the working classes against their self-styled moral masters in the ­Labour Party.

Boris’s landslide is in large part down to this revolt. Yes, this bumbling toff from Eton and Oxford has won the backing of a vast army of working-class voters.

This is what helped him to win a staggering 365 seats, 47 more than the Tories claimed in the 2017 ­election. And it’s why Labour saw its number of seats fall from 262 to 203.

Huge numbers of working-class people tore off the straitjacket of political tradition and delivered an epic, historic blow to the body politic.

We are witnessing a roar of the British working class. What are they roaring against?

That’s the best part of this democratic upheaval. They are roaring their disapproval of the foulest, most divisive, most anti-democratic wing of the political class. They are raging against the Remainer elites who want to overthrow Brexit.

They are revolting against a ­Labour Party that now looks nothing like the party their forefathers founded and instead has become a mad, woke, metropolitan machine that views ordinary people as an alien species.

There really is no mystery to Labour’s defeat. Boris did well ­because he promised to uphold the largest democratic vote in the ­history of this country: the vote for Brexit. Boris broke through the red wall because the people in those constituencies voted overwhelmingly for Brexit and he assured them he would “Get Brexit Done”.

Labour, in contrast, said it would cancel Brexit. It would hold a second referendum.

The implication was clear: you idiots gave the wrong answer first time around and we clever, cosmopolitan politicians have no choice but to make you vote again.

Working-class voters aren’t stupid. They know a second referendum would make null and void the 17.4 million votes for Brexit cast in the first referendum.

They know this would pose a dire threat to the thing they hold so dear — the right to vote.

After all, if 17.4 million votes can be chucked into the dustbin of history, wouldn’t that make the vote meaningless?

Wouldn’t it make the enactment of our votes conditional on whether the political class agrees with what we voted for?

Working-class communities fought hard for the vote. They aren’t about to let it be trashed by over-educated tossers in the newly PC Labour Party. The revolt of the people of the red wall is a brilliant, valiant effort to build a new wall: a wall of voters designed to protect democracy from the assaults of an out-of-touch elite.

On top of this, huge numbers of traditional Labour voters just don’t trust Jeremy Corbyn.

They bristle at the poisonous anti-Semitism that has spread through Labour under his watch. They loathe that he has allowed their party to be hijacked by bourgeois posturing radicals who love the EU and PC and hate ordinary people and their cultural values: family, community, patriotism.

So, three cheers for these revolters, these good people who have lent their votes to Boris.

For they have saved Britain from the rule of nasty and divisive anti-democrats. And they have sent a message to PC elites everywhere, from the US to Europe to Australia: don’t screw with the working class.


Photo: Pixabay

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