"The Left is dead, must re-build and begin again ... In its current form it cannot win elections, transform the economy, or advance the interests of the working class."
The authors open this excellent study of the demise of left-wing politics by reporting their lack of pleasure in writing this book. As a reader and as a member of the public who firmly believes all Governments need an effective opposition to challenge and call to account, I’m very glad they did.
For decades, the UK has seen our opposition in parliament break apart, fragment and suffer serial defeat during General Elections. Only when a ‘new’ form of Labour decided to conform to neoliberal principals of capitalism did they win power. When Labour returned to its roots under subsequent governance, it once again lapsed into being second best.
Winlow and Hall ask us to embrace the possibility that the left has reached a stage where it no longer represents a credible political force and that any criticism of its failed ethos, no matter how constructive or well-intentioned, is met with resentment and intransigence.
In this excellent work, the authors review the history of left-wing politics in the UK, analyse it, and provide well-reasoned arguments for their views. They advocate resurrecting what was once valuable in left-wing politics and starting again. They explain how a party that once represented the masses and the working class has now lost its connection with its core support and, if this is allowed this continue, future Governments may be able to operate with no effective opposition or fear of being deposed.
The time has come for some fundamental truth-telling, they argue. The squabbling needs to stop. The UK needs an entirely new opposition that can grow to a point where we may begin to address some of the significant challenges we now face.
The Death of the Left is an excellent read. Thought provoking and, at the same time reassuring. It’s good to know there are people like Simon Winlow and Steve Hall out there who are prepared to stick their heads above the parapet and say what needs to be said.
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