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Labour has become party of highly educated and must communicate more like Johnson says Welsh Labour candidate

22 Apr 2022 3 minute read
Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Picture by Chatham House (CC BY 2.0)

Labour has become the party of the “highly educated” and must start communicating in the “more straightforward” way of Boris Johnson in order to win over voters in deprived communities, a Welsh Labour candidate in next month’s elections has said.

Nathan Yeowell, who is standing in Panteg in Torfaen and is director of Progressive Britain and co-director of Labour to Win, said that Labour’s focus on systemic problems was alienating voters in areas where they needed to beat the Conservatives.

He said that “constituencies with low formal education and high educational deprivation have swung decisively to the Tories” because Labour’s solutions to problems as communicated to voters were too intimidating in their complexity.

He said that Boris Johnson’s appeal wasn’t his values – “people don’t really like them at all” – but a message that focuses on “personal agency and empowerment”.

Writing in the Times, he said: “Under multiple leaders, Labour has adopted ways of thinking and talking that are almost totally focused on systems.

“At best, this reflects the real complexity of the modern world and the challenge of modern issues like climate change and systemic racism.

“At worst it is disempowering, intimidating and alienating. The individual voter, or even politician, can’t do much about oppressive global power structures.

“Whether by accident or design, Johnson represents that exact opposite. He has become the master of reducing every issue, no matter how complex, to a simple, direct explanation focused on personal agency on empowerment. He will ‘get Brexit done’, he will ‘lock them up’, his government will ‘level up’ the nation.”

‘Liar’

On Labour, Nathan Yeowell added: “We’ve been quietly converting the party into something by the highly educated, for the highly educated. People who prefer this kind of systems analysis. Our work shows that in the last decade constituencies with low formal education and high educational deprivation have swung decisively to the Tories.

“The good news is, despite what some Labour people think, it’s not an issue about diverging values. People actually generally share similar values and are getting more progressive. They just like the way Johnson expresses them more.

“To many people I speak to on the doorstep in Torfaen in south Wales, where I am standing for the council in next month’s local elections, even when they think Johnson is a liar, he seems more straightforward than many Labour politicians who tend to couch their values is systemic terms at all times.”

Panteg in Torfaen is a multi-member ward with three seats up for grabs, and the candidates include three for Labour and three Conservatives.


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I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
5 months ago

What politicians lack now is experience, and not having struggled through trade union negotiations or bottom-up work in industry. We can see the result of this in the dogs dinner European leaders are making of the current geopol. situation, which may result in a rapid decline of West Europe. The working class are way in front of the “educated” here, as they were forced to experience job loss, pound shops, local petty crime, drugs etc. The result was Brexit, which now vindicates their choice, as we see the unelected elite driving Europe into the swamp. What matters to them is… Read more »

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
5 months ago
Reply to  I.Humphrys

Totally flips the conversation into blaming foreigners. Well done Boris. Nice deflection.

Llinos
Llinos
5 months ago
Reply to  I.Humphrys

The European leaders who are supporting Ukraine, taking in refugees, talking with the enemy (an unpalatable but necessary activity if we ever want peace in Ukraine), applying sanctions which also harm them because human decency is more important than greed. They must be doing something right as several countries who were not previously members are looking to join the EU. MEANWHILE … Boris is intoning on issues he has no impact on, sending refugees to Rwanda, ignoring the cost of living crisis his party exacerbated,panicking and announcing everywhere outside of the Tory shires will now have nuclear power stations and… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by Llinos
Cynan
Cynan
5 months ago
Reply to  I.Humphrys

Credit to you mate, you seem to be the only person still proudly claiming Brexit was a success, outside of the 11am Wetherspoons crown. All the other gloaters have been increasingly quiet since Jan 2021 when the full horror started becoming known. The Tories must be tanking their dark lord that first Coronavirus and then Ukraine saved them from accountability

Erisian
Erisian
5 months ago
Reply to  I.Humphrys

You speak as if to be working class excludes being educated.
That’s just nasty.

Gareth
Gareth
5 months ago
Reply to  I.Humphrys

What are the EU elections, that allowed me to cast a vote, when we were members of the EU, if as you say, these people are unelected?

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
5 months ago

Basically Labour have been trying to ape the tories for the past few decades and there is barely any difference these days. And what this idiot said about working class people is highly insulting. “Oh we are too intelligent and complex for those dung sniffers”. Trying to make out they are so advanced and complex when they are braying like donkeys in Westminster with the rest of those backwards idiots.

Cynan
Cynan
5 months ago
Reply to  GW Atkinson

There are plenty of intelligent people in “deprived areas”. This is something the One Nation nationalists will never understand. Those areas are deprived not because of a local genetic predisposition towards stupidity. They are deprived because of the prejudices of privately schooled, pampered elitist “rulers” who can’t manage the economy and don’t care about anyone that isn’t them.
Free Cymru

adopted cardi
adopted cardi
5 months ago

labour hasn’t a hope when it is at odds with its own cause. And too much treachery going on in that party. Led by a sir !
You don’t have to be highly educated to see that.
On the other hand we seem to have enough stupid voters to keep the tories in power,
if they cant see fascism rearing its ugly head.

CJPh
CJPh
5 months ago
Reply to  adopted cardi

Would you not say that the constant “stupid voters” label being thrown about and screams of “fascism” is leading to the disenfranchisement? The traditionally labelled “working class” seems increasingly to have had enough of the student-union-style politicking coming from the left wing parties across the Anglosphere and the assumed superiority of the faux-revolutionary left. The Tories made a play for the 99% and made ground; maybe castigating those who balk at the fringiest forms of Left politics as fascists and/or stupid isn’t the best plan to gain power? A good friend of mine (who happens to be gay and of… Read more »

Cynan
Cynan
5 months ago
Reply to  CJPh

Ah the my “imaginary [insert minority here] friend said” fallacy. Often deployed by those who want to espouse unpalatable, extreme or abhorrent views, but want to appear reasonable by claiming said imaginary friend said them. For this to work, we must accept said friend as the “voice of reason” AND the spokesperson for that minority. And this is where it always falls down. People who ACTUALLY have friends who are of different ethnicities / sexualities etc would never try to use them in that way. Would never claim they hold “special knowledge” worthy of greater credibility. Take out the imaginary… Read more »

CJPh
CJPh
5 months ago
Reply to  Cynan

Well, if you anything about me or observed my life for a few seconds, you’d quickly come to realise just how vile your assumption is. Further, to claim that I suggested that my pal speaks for his minority (he’s half African-American and half Filipino. And gay. And I’m sure doesn’t purport to speak for either group that identify similarly) may really uncover some rather nasty biases you may have. i. His knowledge isn’t “special” but your unfounded and, again if you knew me, deeply offensive claims really are quite special. Why don’t we play the ball and leave the man,… Read more »

Cynan
Cynan
5 months ago
Reply to  CJPh

“Vile” eh? The offended card. Okay, have fun

CJPh
CJPh
5 months ago
Reply to  Cynan

Diar annwyl! Not offended, boss. A “Given that I leveled allegations and assumptions against you based on knowing nothing about your personal life or experiences, an action that runs counter to my purported political stance and the underlying principles, I will concede that I may have misspoken. I do however remain in the dark as to your personal circumstance, so cannot know for sure you aren’t lying. But yes, I should have tried to deal with the substance of what was said rather than rely on a personal attack and a reflexive stance based on no knowledge whatsoever” would have… Read more »

adopted cardi
adopted cardi
5 months ago
Reply to  CJPh

No, i wouldn’t. I dont scream – am quiet spoken everyone says. It may not be the sort of fascism that chucks you out of aeroplanes. More the sort that kicks non believers out of its way, then raises its hat to them. Still fascism. I was educated in the school of hard knocks and as a youngster I saw how Britain worked. As for working class – am partly that, partly class-less. I dont follow the English class system, or their money god for that matter. So I think – its my opinion, don’t worry, am still allowed that… Read more »

CJPh
CJPh
5 months ago
Reply to  adopted cardi

You are allowed your opinion as i am allowed to disagree. 100% with you on antipathy to the Anglo class system. 100% disagree on your definition of fascism. As you say, until “Wales can become itself” – we’re doomed to respond to their talking points and use their language game. We’re all doing this on the message board of this article. Many of these terms seem absurd to me in a Welsh political context just as much in the broader philosophical sense. I sincerely hope that a free Cymru will be as free from this weird political game as well… Read more »

hdavies15
hdavies15
5 months ago
Reply to  CJPh

Fact is that “fascist”, fascism” and any other similar word has become a lazy default term of abuse among people who should know better. These are people whose education and/or life experiences suggest that they should know better. It rears its head in these columns quite frequently as there seems to be a competition among some commenters as to who can produce the most virulent attacks on those “others” who don’t quite fit their template of orthodoxy. It’s a silly game and detracts from the collective effort of advancing along the path to freedom.

CJPh
CJPh
5 months ago
Reply to  hdavies15

It’s very similar on the Right, even some more sensible right wing commentators fall into the trap – “woke” and “Marxist” getting thrown about a lot, without any need or any relevance. It’s scary to see that some (nearly) ubiquitous principles, like equality of the sexes and racial equality and the right for gay people to be in a relationship with whomsoever they love without the threat of being criminalised or otherwise persecuted, have been described as ‘woke’. It’s a terrible term that should be dropped, too broad and lazy. It’s probably something to do with text interfacing over the… Read more »

Llinos
Llinos
5 months ago

Labour has become the party of the highly educated and needs to talk like Johnson in lowest common denominator soundbites, to appeal to the thick “gut feeling”, flag loving, soldier worshipping, diversity hating, moral vacuum end of the population? Sometimes I loathe democracy. More and more nowadays as we see the amoral criminal gang that lied their way into power dazzling the aforementioned “act first, think never” percentiles of the population, with angry, fallacious three word slogans. Typical Labour. “Don’t raise the debate, ape the Tories and dumb down the message.” And that way, the stupid will always remain the… Read more »

CJPh
CJPh
5 months ago
Reply to  Llinos

I’m not sure that the phenomenon referred to here pertains to the intellectual weight of the policies, rather it’s the rationale and the attitudes that come along with it – it’s a weird sorts of ‘academism’ or a ‘scientism’ that has entered the dialogue – the veracity of any given statement doesn’t depend on its logical or rational premise but rather which institution carried out the data harvesting (usually without any interpretation): “Oh yeah? Show me the data”, “Can you provide a citation?” and “Are you a <insert assumed expert field here>?” are now common rebuttals from the progressive Left.… Read more »

Cynan
Cynan
5 months ago
Reply to  CJPh

My you’re a busy little beaver here, berating “the progressive left” for all you are worth, like it’s a monolithic entity except you then peel off at the end and go easier on Welsh Labour. Plaid Cymru are also a party “of the left”. It is the homogenisation and emotional demonisation of anyone “not like us Tories” that is the cause of the dumbing down that the article and other posters are referring to. There is no nuance to it and lazy voters are making wrong decisions based on fallacious dumbed down rhetoric. To be honest, anyone who uses emotionally… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by Cynan
CJPh
CJPh
5 months ago
Reply to  Cynan

You seem to be the one fighting an imaginary boogey man here, squire. Look, the right weaponises and maximises the pathological Leftists, claiming that all to the left of Churchill are weirdo communists coming for your kids. The problem is that there is a fringe that are weirdo communists that do “want your kids”. It’s the same on the Left – anyone not valuing the unimpeachable benefits of radical socialism must be a Conservative. You’ve called me a Conservative, for instance, and suggested I’m a liar (charge that is just as reflexive as it is patently absurd) all for pointing… Read more »

Cynan
Cynan
5 months ago
Reply to  CJPh

Putting words in my mouth there. I never called you a Conservative

CJPh
CJPh
5 months ago
Reply to  Cynan

Fair enough. however: “all you have done is go on a right wing rant“.

Cynan
Cynan
5 months ago
Reply to  CJPh

I don’t subscribe to the homogenisation of political parties as “left” and “right”. I’m sure I’ve already mentioned this. In the political Venn diagram Conservatives sit mostly within right wing authoritarian, but are not the whole of the right wing. Mate pick a position and stick to it for 5 minutes. You are arguing inconsistent points in different posts. There’s no prizes for “winning” arguments on message boards

CJPh
CJPh
5 months ago
Reply to  Cynan

Which points seem conflicting to you? Not trying to win anything.

hdavies15
hdavies15
5 months ago

Nothing new there. It’s just a recycling of the actions of Blair/Brown regime that took the top slice off the Tory messages of the day and adopted them. The consequences are still with us as the England First Tory Party do their damnest to turn their country and rest of UK into a replica of early Empire/colonial format.

CJPh
CJPh
5 months ago
Reply to  hdavies15

In the States they have the concept of the “Uniparty” – the bulk of the Democrats and a small number of Republicans seem to congregate around and work from the Microsoft/Twitter/Black Rock/Disney/Any Large Corporation’s code of conduct and derive their policy positions from there. To call it ‘Golobalism’ is wrong, it’s more ‘global technocracy’, with them (and a handful of Royals, Billionaires and Radical Academics) as the technocrats. English Labour seems to be going that way, alongside an increasingly ossified and corrupt Tory party. Signs of it here in Wales too, mind, but that’s usually at the level of the… Read more »

George
George
5 months ago

Writing in The Times, the Labour politician described where Boris was getting it right, repeated the three word slogans he uses to get voters onside and then criticised what Labour had become to working class voters.

How different would the article be if a Tory politician wrote it? Not that the analysis is wrong or should be avoided, but was there really a need to repeat the three word slogans??

Erisian
Erisian
5 months ago

No they mustn’t – they must tell the truth!

Quornby
Quornby
5 months ago

Perhaps they should wave their arms about and say “um.. er” more often….. or how about a ridiculous haircut?

Gareth
Gareth
5 months ago
Reply to  Quornby

Or hide in a fridge.

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