Patrick O’Flynn Patrick O’Flynn

Labour must ditch the doom and gloom if it ever wants to win again

Tony Blair’s election anthem “Things Can Only Get Better” was infectious, even for those like me who were not from the same political tribe. It was impossible not to get swept up in New Labour’s era of Cool Britannia. At the 1997 Labour party conference, just a few months after the Labour landslide, I was left wondering: were Labour supporters cheerful because they had won, or did they win because they were cheerful? Whatever the answer, it does not take a genius to discern that the left in general and the Labour party in particular is far away from such a place today.

Gone is the happy optimism. In its place, Labour’s leading lights spew out a seemingly endless stream of doom-laden forecasts and bile about the state of our nation and its people.

David Lammy has defended comparing some Tory Brexiteers to Nazis and continues to insist the ‘delusions of Brexit will soon be exposed’. Meanwhile, his Labour party colleague Clive Lewis claims the Brexit campaign had “racism at its core and its heart”.

This should come as no surprise. After all, Labour now seems to see prejudice in most things. On the basis of precious little evidence, Rebecca Long-Bailey recently tweeted:

“Let’s be honest, there is a racist double-standard in how the press treat Meghan Markle.”

Many of those on the Labour left also seem eager to talk up the language of climate catastrophe, making dire predictions of how few years we have left to save the planet.

Concerned voters are surely looking for their politicians to be taking practical steps to protect the environment rather than wandering around stoking up hysteria by declaring the end of the world to be nigh. Instead of doing so, Labour last year declared a “climate emergency”, with Jeremy Corbyn telling the Commons:

“We are talking about nothing less than the irreversible destruction of the environment within our lifetimes.”

This, coming from a 70-year-old, was certainly an eye-catching claim.

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