How Labour lost, and the hope that endures | Anywhere but Westminster
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How Labour lost, and the hope that endures | Anywhere but Westminster

December 16, 2019


It’s raining in England. Nothing changes. This house is like a Labour
nerve centre, all other such cliches,
ground zero, HQ … Wow, out already. Good morning. I got a message a few days ago
on various WhatsApp groups being like, ‘Milton Keynes need people,
come on guys, get out of London’, and now just seen like, reams of people
that were on the train and at the station, it’s just amazing. I took the last 10 days off work
to fight for our future. So the Labour vote,
historically, is not the best turning out to vote, despite the best of intentions. So that’s why we go
and knock on their doors. We started election day
in Milton Keynes, somewhere we’ve been before. Its two constituencies
were narrowly held in 2017 with the Tories, and this time, loads of Labour activists
have come to help get the votes out. Remind them that it’s polling day. This is quite something, isn’t it?
– Yeah. This is quite something. God, more! Wow! Tell me how you feel. And in that sense, why you have come? No matter what the result is,
today or tomorrow, the movement can only grow from this
and this is such an inspiration to be around, like, such positivity and hope. What kind of of country do you want to have? I fairer one! Fairer, more distribution
of wealth, equality … No, like, exploitation
and marketisation of people at the expense of our humanity, Everybody has something beautiful to offer,
and they’ve not been allowed to flourish, and thrive at the moment … And people putting community
about individualism. Yeah, totally. Go, you got to do some work! This is really impressive. It really is impressive. There are people who say,
look, there’s just going to be a breach here, sooner or later and there are aspects of the sort of
Conservative with the small seat working-class, that just don’t want to be
part of the Labour family anymore. And that’s just the way it going to have to be. And the new working-class
is like, self-employed, young precarious people in cities, and people in former coal towns,
will just have to vote Tory and be left alone. Then we can’t take the country back. Then, that’s not a good movement,
you got to make it bigger. We have to find a way to talk to those people. We have to find out why they want Brexit,
why they think … Like, the fundamental things that
drove them to do that, are the fundamental things that
are driving this group of people. Go on, that’s interesting. The reasons people want Brexit,
as far as I ever encountered, are because they are scared about the NHS, and they believe they will fix it. They believe that the things …
it’s somehow they are going to change all of these things that actually Labour are campaigning for. They’ve got work to do, man. Sam, vote number nine, please,
Christine and John. Something about canvassing in the rain, though,
that kind of gives you a bit of a push. So hopefully people are like,
OK, they’re out in the rain, clearly it matters. Clearly it’s important. How are your spirits now? Feeling bedraggled and wet? I’m ready for more,
I’m ready for more. Because the victory is going to feel
so much sweeter amongst all this adversity. See you later! Thank you. Bye. Thanks very much. It’s easy to be cynical about politics. But there are people who believe
in the good society and will go out and fight and be active for it. It’s quite a thing to see. It’s all the same spirit we’ve seen
in the last five or six weeks going to these community projects, and meeting people trying to turn where they live around. You know, the two things are sort
of comparable, but I still want to know how
do you sort of, join them up. Do you get a sense of what the Conservative
party is all about, who they are? I feel like they are,
the party that you want to keep the wealth that you have,
accumulated over a lifetime. Yeah … And that your parents have accumulated. How your’e doing on the wealth front? Like they’re of. We went to another polling station. Is almost kind of ‘none of the above’
at the moment. Yeah. But obviously, you have to vote. So, who did you end up voting for? Labour. When did you finally make up your mind? This morning. Even walking up here. We are both leave Labour supporters. But just don’t really agree
with how the party has been run at the moment, the manifestos relevant. What did you want to see
that wasn’t in it? Realism. They’ve made a fantastic manifesto
in the sense of, everything is for free, I mean,
it’s crazy. Do you always vote Conservative? No. Really? No. Who did you vote for … say, four or five
years ago? Labour. Really? Joined the Blair years. It’s always complicated. Used to vote Labour in the Blair years,
now voting Conservative. England A family with the wrong people in charge. We left Milton Keynes and drove somewhere
else we’ve returned time and again. Stoke-on-Trent. We arranged to see the last burst to get
vote out with Ruth Smith. The most high profile Jewish woman
Labour MP who supports a Brexit deal
and has suffered abuse from almost all sides of politics. Hello! How are you? How’s it going? It’s close. Yeah. I’m still So, I don’t know. Alright, let’s go. Hello, darling, sorry to disturb you,
it’s Ruth Smith. From the Labour party. She tells it’s late and she can’t see me
and that it’s a stupid thing to have an election in December. People here are, local, your local members? No, we’ve got some local,
some amazing local … He’s not local. Where do you come from? Leighton. London. Why Because she’s my hero. I mean, for a Jewish member of the party,
there isn’t much to stay for anymore. If Ruth got elected, again, tonight,
despite everything, I think that would be very important. I think we need her. Just because all of the problems,
it doesn’t mean people can’t have hope. I mean, I spoke to my friends
about it, I think at the same time,
there’s something powerful happening. I mean, I’m not very optimistic about
the national picture tonight. But something very powerful is happening,
I think, with my generation now. I think we are the generation that
isn’t really going to take any crap anymore. Hi, darling, sorry,
I’m Ruth, I’m the local Labour candidate. Ruth Smith? I am, yeah. Have you been to vote today? I have been voting. And any chance that was for me? No. OK. I’ve always voted Labour. And that’s it. How did you vote for today? I voted for conservative. For the first time in your life, probably. Yes. How did that feel? Not good, really. It’s tough, it’s genuinely tough. There’s Brexit but honestly,
I get … No, stop! Very close seat, as close as they come, right? Have Momentum been here? No, no one. Have they offered to come here? No. They haven’t contacted me at all. I think I got added to their list … I got added to their list, I think,
on Tuesday. But no, I have not had any support
from anyone though … No canvasses, no high profile
activists coming here? No. Hiya, sorry to disturb you,
I’m Ruth, have you been to vote today? Yes, we have. Voted for me? Yeah. You know, my last knock that
I’m doing today, so this is my last door. Because I was the last one to vote. Thank you so much. Hello! Thank you, thank you,
thank you so much. Have a lovely evening
and sorry for disturbing you. Alright, last one voted Labour. Yey! It’s sort of this is family,
it’s sort of just like, the people that have come down from Ruth. Ruth had a lot of support but not really
from the main party actually, so it’s sort of we have
become this little family. And we are going to go back to where we were. OK. The left has to be sort of
indivisible, doesn’t it? Everybody has to got to be involved,
otherwise lost something vile. What we’ve seen is the country
is in a messed up state in all sorts of ways, it’s not a surprise that the left
has its own messed upness to deal with, right? And it’s in a bad place
in certain ways as well. Because that’s the nature of the moment, maybe. We’ve all got to be better than this somehow, we all got to realise what unites us. By I came out of Milton Keynes
with this and I’ve arrived here and
I suddenly feel much more mixed about it and sad. Over the last ten years,
these films have explored people’s disconnection from party politics. But we’ve returned again and again
to the decline of Labour’s with people and places who once considered its absolute core. We’ve met all sorts of people
who symbolised that split. I did vote Labour in the past
only because my grandfather did. What did you use to do for a living? Underground The pits? Now, with all that, voted Labour. Yeah. Has that changed? Yeah. I don’t think the Conservatives have any
opposition in this country no more. And you voted Labour in the past? I have always voted Labour. Tony Blair, the war in Iraq. Gordon Brown. Do you know who you are going to vote for? Conservatives, mate. I always voted Labour. But it’s no accident
that this change it’s indelibly associated with people like the man we met in Jaywick,
Essex, in 2014. Who voted Labour all his life
but simply had enough. Can I ask you a question? What’s that? Who did you use to vote for in the past? Labour. Did you? Yeah. I always voted Labour. If you think all of this is
reducible to racism and Brexit, or stupidity, just listen. Look at the state of it,
the You think are a bit forgotten about here? Oh, yeah. We are , aren’t we? No one gives a shit about. But Labour was the party of the working man,
wasn’t it? Of course it was. Of course it was. What happened? Margaret Thatcher got in and she fucking
destroyed it, didn’t she? the working class, didn’t she? Piss them off,
and the , you name it. She pissed us all off. Big time. But UKIP is full of people
who thinks Mrs Thatcher was the bees knees, he’s not a fan of trade unions
and the working man. Well, I suppose he is. But your politics should be voting for him? Oh, of course they should. This isn’t really a story about
UKIP is the cause of anything. They’re are symptoms of a colossal,
political failure in an extent to which people
in charge have left millions of people behind. Towards the end of this election campaign,
we went back to Jaywick to find him. We didn’t have his name,
we had only the vaguest memory of where exactly he lived. That’s the sea there. I have relied on your allegedly photographic
memory. This is his house here, I recognise his house. Do you reckon? That’s the Hello. I wonder if you remember us,
five years ago, we were making a film in Jaywick, I spoke to you on that bench there. How are you doing? Have you? It was quite important for us, that conversation. Because just sitting on that bench talking
to you, sort of showed us that the world is changing in all sorts of ways, do you know
what I mean? The politics were changing. Go on. Nobody seems to know what they’re doing? Are you going to vote in four weeks time? Tell me why not. Right. If not him, who are you going to vote for? Are you? God, voting for Boris though. But what’s he going to do with the country? Yeah. But, an educated, very wealthy … You’ve noticed the NHS is at stake
when you’ve been in the hospital? But, you know of all, if you vote for Tory
governments, most of that gets no better. And you had that experience? God. And
the future of the country? How do you feel about that? Very good. Keep well, man. It’s moving to revisit someone you met
five years ago and he’s in pretty seriously ill. And his illness has been made
even worst by the state the NHS is in. And where they live has not changed. But he wants Brexit, doesn’t he? ‘How long has this been going on?’ We are now on our way
on some ridiculous time of the night to, I hope, is our final stop. This is the count for all three seats
in Stoke on Trent. Which in 2017 won Labour,
now once Tory and as I far as I understand it, they are all under treat now. How are you feeling? It’s fucking shit, isn’t it? I’m not sure whether the Labour party,
unless something significantly changes, I don’t know what the point of the Labour
party is. We don’t represent the people that
to represent and if you look at the seats
that we’ve lost this evening, then what is the point of the Labour party. I won’t to be part of the
and fixing it, but if we can’t fix it,
there’s no point of us. Where do you find hope now? The answer is get up tomorrow morning
and you go back to the grassroots. The Labour party and the Labour movement
came out as friendly society, wellfare and embryonic trade unions, and all
that. And the sort of modern equivalent
is what we’ve been visiting for the last six weeks. All those amazing communities,
projects and initiatives, self-help organisations, right? That’s where it starts. What about the people we met this morning? Because the Labour party might been
led up into a ditch but there’s a lot of people who have joined
in the last few years who are its future. And you can tell when you meet them.

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  1. Isn't it interesting they got out of London for votes ? but do not!! And will not!! Represent these ppl ever again the right is on the march to bring sanity back to policy

  2. This video shows that grassroots Labour activists who were knocking on the doors, knew nothing about why working class people voted to leave. Need to completely re-evaluate who Labour are sending out to campaign if they want to win the next election.

  3. The Guardian (and a lot of people on the left) cannot accept that most people might think Marxism is a bad ideology, the same way most Remainers can't accept people voted for Brexit because they think it's the best for their country. It's all about something else: stupidity, Russian interference, racism, lies, manipulation, not knowing about the consequences… Time to face reality. It might help.

  4. We want a fairer more inclusive society…..and they are supporting Corbyn, the anti semite IRA, Hamas loving candidate. Shame on you all

  5. In my opinion without brexit there would be
    A. No brexit party to syphon Labour votes
    B. Nothing in the Conservative manifesto to win the working class over

    These people want brexit done at all costs even if that means voting tory.

  6. 4:00 "They (Tories) are the party you vote for if you want to keep the wealth that you have accumulated over your lifetime…" – A Labour supporter. 2019.

  7. I'm so sorry for you young hopefuls , we have to change the media, the voting system we've been shafted…..Corbyn gave us hope ,this is not his fault ,they will tear the next labour leader apart

  8. Not many of these activists were actually alive in 1979. That's telling. That the age split has widened the past 2 elections. People that were alive pre 79 don't want to vote for it to return.

  9. 3:26 "I'm ready for more 'cos the victory is going to be so much sweeter amongst all this adversity…"
    Wonder how the crushing defeat felt? lol

  10. Once the Party of the workers, now the Party of middle-class kids who think they know it all.

    Well done Stoke-on-Trent and everywhere else that voted Conservative.

  11. Labour supporters traditionally working class people. Seems to be hijacked by middle class students. That's the way Corbyn has dragged the party and those traditional labour types don't like it. I'll probably get aggro for this but that's the way I see it. Corbyn focused so hard on London, that he neglected northern towns.

  12. '..extent to which the people in charge have left millions of people behind…' – that's true, Labour forgot about the working classes and took their votes for granted. They opened the borders to mass immigration and set about being the party of the minorities – the problem with minorities however is they are just that, a minority.

  13. Bwahahahahahahaha bwahahahahahahaha bwahahahahahahaha bwahahahahahahaha bwahahahahahahaha

    How far out of touch can you get.
    Winning in Putney but losing Bolsover and don valley.

    Sadly, Caroline Flint would have been able to get some labour voters to return.

  14. Wow. A perfect video for showing why Labour lost. One encounter with these shallow empty headed twitterati mouthing empty slogans and dripping with London activism and self righteousness as if they are fighting the Third Reich would be enough to turn any level voter into a lifelong Tory supporter.

  15. An awful lot of people in Labour won't even hide the contempt they have for so much of their base.

    Raw hatred at times.

  16. Just what the local voters need: a bus load of middle class activists and students from London who can't form a coherent sentence of their own parroting slogans on why they should vote Labour

  17. The labour party lost because they stopped listening to the people, they focus on the small percentage of screamers on twitter, they look down on the working class and they have swung to far left with their goals. The people also voted to leave, they don't need a second referendum, they are tired of hearing they didn't know what they voted for or they want to vote again, this election should have made it CRYSTAL CLEAR where they stand. Now, the conservatives have been handed the baton, they need to do what's right and listen to the people and run with it.

  18. Brexit happened mainly because of 1) Immigration 2) The arrogance of the unelected EU officials 3) The arrogance of elected british politicians.
    But let's just talk about #1

    Wrong kind of immigration takes away…..
    jobs
    money from social programs
    old people
    young people
    veterans etc.

    It also increases cost in policing, welfare, education and healthcare.
    Other costs incurred but hard to quantify are lack of social cohesion in the general population, loss of identity, less freedoms (speech etc) and imported terrorism.
    So don't delude yourselves..
    The people have spoken.

  19. 'and the people you met this morning" LOL!!! ROLF!!! hahahahahahahahah! That, swivel eyed, bearded prat still didn't get it did he? The Labour north and midlands have been neglected for years and tried to have their Brexit taken away, by their very own party, lets just hope that they go for a Thornberry, Rebecca Baily or man of the people 'Sir" Keir Starmer….. RIP Labour party until at least 2029 🙂

  20. So labour voters blame labour for what the Tories have done, so are going to vote Tory even though the tories have been the Inês in power. Thats what I keep hearing. Its lunacy. As an outsider, it appears the english don't know what they are voting for. A clear case of not seeing the forrest from the trees.

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