Labour should distance itself from ‘cancel culture’ to win back Red Wall, says report
Labour should distance itself from “cancel culture” to win back seats in the so called Red Wall, a report has said.
The report on how to win back constituencies lost in the 2019 General Election was put together by a group of Labour MPs who have called themselves Renaissance. It is chaired by Stephen Kinnock, who represents Aberavon.
The study of its former voters said the party should err on the side of free speech” to win the next election, and says it should focus on re-establishing its core identity as the party of working people instead of focusing on culture issues.
It is based on extended interviews with 60 former Labour voters in seats such as Wrexham, Don Valley, and Stoke Central, and says that Labour attacks on Tory austerity and the privatisation of NHS services have failed to cut through.
It suggested that instead of announcing specific policies, it should focus more on building a brand identity as the party of good jobs.
The report claimed that it was a mistake to “caricature” Labour voters in the Red Wall as racists, homophobes and misogynists.
It said: “There were only a handful of criticisms of immigrants or foreigners in our conversations, and around half of these came from ethnic minority participants. There are of course pockets of racism in British society, but Britain is not a racist country.”
It recommended that the party’s leader in Westminster Keir Starmer avoid what it described as the “distractions of the culture wars and focus on questions for the future rather than the past”.
“Err on the side of free speech and open debate — and do not become associated with cancel culture,”
According to Renaissance, Labour has become trapped in a “cycle of cynicism” where voters just don’t believe its new policy announcements are credible.
Kinnock Shadow Minister for Asia and the Pacific told The Times: “Labour’s core identity as the natural home for working people has not always been at the front of our communications . . . Keir is rightly addressing this issue by relentlessly emphasising that Labour is the party of work and good jobs.”