Letters July 31: Why Labour seems doomed to the political wilderness

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From: Mr G Lawrence, Sheffield.

From: Mr G Lawrence, Sheffield.

The aftermath of the Conservative election victory has certainly revealed the extent of the influence of the Lib Dems during the Clegg years. Sweeping right-of-centre proposed legislation, exemplified by the Osborne Budget and the almost revolutionary approach to Islamic extremism has already sharpened the Cameron profile.

The tide of change has thrown the Labour Party into disarray: their leadership election is now bordering on the farcical, especially with the lack of a really convincing candidate. The Tories’ welfare cuts have further scrambled minds in presenting stark choices especially among those hopeful leaders.

Andy Burnham, probably the frontrunner, lacks real authority. The kindest observation would be to call him a pragmatist.

Jeremy Corbyn is the antithesis of pragmatism and has a strong following in the constituencies and, of course the unions, but if Labour wants to inhabit the sterile political wilderness for another decade this primitive socialism meets the recipe.

Yvette Cooper is also tainted by her history in association with the Blair/Brown era and her constant defence of Labour’s spendthrift regime when they doubled the national debt between 2005 and 2010 and left the coalition with an economic mountain to climb, weakens her position to lead in spite of her clear intellectual talent.

Liz Kendall, another Oxbridge candidate, adopts a far more realistic approach and recognises a move to the centre as the only escape for Labour but she lacks the hardcore support of local constituencies. Whether she would have the essential personal charisma to lead the Party if elected is another matter.

As for the Lib Dems, their new leader Tim Farron, who opposed the coalition, seems to be an ardent left winger who will hope to gain support by sharply differentiating the Party from 
the Tories.

He will, most probably, restore the Party to its pre-Clegg days as a minority haven of protest.

It would seem to be plain sailing for the Tories but the problems of Greece, the European referendum, the likely rise in interest rates, immigration and the introduction of the “living wage” that could have adverse effects on employment in many industries, will stretch the skills of George Osborne and David Cameron to the limit.

The future is very uncertain but there appears to be nothing tentative so far about the Conservatives’ intentions.

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