Nick Tyrone Nick Tyrone

Why are some Labour supporters embarrassed by the Union Jack?

(Getty images)

How does Labour plan to win back the Red Wall? A leaked internal Labour strategy document gives one answer: it says the party must make ‘use of the flag’. This sounds like a sensible way to woo those voters put off by Jeremy Corbyn. But the deranged backlash from some Labour activists suggests that not everyone agrees. It also shows why the party is doomed to fail in its bit to change its image for the better.

Labour activists took to social media yesterday to decry Keir Starmer on the strategy, asking why the Labour leader is risking alienating so many of his party’s core support. That just mentioning the Union flag in a positive light could actually alienate these supporters tells you everything you need to know about why the Labour party can’t win general elections any longer.

The leaked strategy document was based on the results of focus groups, many of them conducted with ex-Labour voters who had switched to the Tories in 2019. The report itself demonstrates the deep problems Labour have with this part of the electorate; those with a cavalier attitude about how easy it will be for Labour to win back Red Wall seats should have a good look. As one of the ex-Labour voters put it: 

If you’re a Labour activist, ask yourself why you’re happy with seeing the Palestinian flag waved at Labour conference

‘They (Labour) are the voice of the students. They have left real people, taxpayers behind’.

Some of those on Labour’s left can’t seem to grasp a simple point: if you want to convince the people of a country to let you be their political leaders, you have to, at the very least, demonstrate you are passionate about that country. Leftish parties in France and the US understand this; their leaders have no problem with being visibly patriotic.

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