Sunday, 20 June 2010

Is Labour learching to the right?

After the formation of the coalition government, there was talk about what would happen to the Labour party which found itself in opposition for the first time in 13 years and facing mixed centre-right/centre-left government. The most likely scenario seemed to be, with the Conservatives and Liberal Democratic taking up the middle ground, Labour would be pushed into talking about issues which are to the extreme left of most voters. In this new again of politics, even the most logical conclusions can be proved wrong very quickly.

In a BBC interview today, Ed Balls again said that one of the biggest issues in the UK at the moment is immigration, a topic normally talked about by those to the right of the political spectrum. Having said that, the people inclined to vote Conservative have benefited the most from recent immigration which has helped fill the worker shortage, and Labour voters are most disgruntled with the migration of skilled workers from Eastern Europe, who are erroneously believed to be taking jobs and housing. In fact the increase in support for the BNP at last year's local elections came mainly from disaffectioned Labour voters, not Conservatives.

Perhaps Mr. Balls believes the old conclusion that immigration is a right wing issue may not be true any longer. If the Labour party elects Ed Balls as their new leader, they will have chosen a path that will change the structure of politics as much as the coalition.

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