Paul Embery, a former trade official and firefighter, argues Labour has lost its traditional working-class base and is now an “increasingly middle-class” organisation. In December 2019 Boris Johnson secured a landslide general election victory by persuading working-class ‘red wall’ seats in the north and midlands of England to vote Conservative.
Mr Embery claims Labour must embrace patriotism and reject aggressive identity politics to regain their support.
Last month he published ‘Despised: Why the Modern Left Loathes the Working Class’.
Speaking to Express.co.uk about today’s Labour Party Mr Embery said: “I think it’s a weird combination now of on the one hand the kind of liberal progressive centrist in the Blairite mould and with the election of Corbyn more of the far-left student element as well.
“I present that as an unappealing blend of [John] Lennon and Lenin.
“The 1960s hyper liberalism of Lennon and the far-left authoritarianism of Lenin.
“Actually the old working-class element was communitarian in outlook, quite patriotic, very rooted and interested in the day-to-day issues that effected people.
“Too few people in the Labour Party represent that tradition, want to talk about those issues, and it’s dominated by this unusual combination of the other two.”
Sir Keir Starmer replaced Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader back in April.
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“I think the problem over the last 20 years or so is that Hampstead has come to absolutely dominate in the party and Hartlepool has just been edged out and unless that pendulum swings back the other way quite decisively then Labour isn’t going to win those working-class votes back. “
Mr Embery argues the British left has become increasingly fixated with culture and identity politics, rather than fundamental economic issues, because of its increasingly middle-class focus.
The “middle-class, liberal, graduate element” has come to “absolutely dominate” the party as a result of which “the working-class element is almost irrelevant now for many people”.
The left-wing Brexiteer explained: “Because the left now has become increasingly middle-class, people with a graduate background living in our fashionable cities, they are on a personal level less concerned and less affected by the ordinary bread and butter issues that affect working-class people.
“Jobs and wages and substandard housing.
“All of the things that really matter to working-class people, the things that stress them in their everyday lives, often are not necessarily the priorities of more middle-class people and the social activists on the left.
“They can afford to indulge these more middle-class pursuits, such as identity politics because they’re less effected by them and I think that goes a long way to explaining it.
“It’s why I think so many of the issues the left nowadays puts front and centre are not the issues that stress working-class people in their lives.”
Earlier this year Mr Corbyn was suspended from the Labour Party over his reaction to the publication of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission report into anti-Semitism within Labour.
He has since been allowed back in the party but still does not hold the Labour whip in the House of Commons.