My feeling was that this failure was at least as responsible, if not more, for the outcome as any genuine improvement in Labour's outreach and messaging.
I've said several times, on this site and elsewhere, that governments lose elections just as much, if not more so, than oppositions win them. It's always a cause of slightly frustated amusement when the usual talking heads pop up for the post-match washup to talk unchallenged about how it was their brilliant strategies and winning ways and those alone that brought victory.
U.K. Labour is bold.... U.K. Labour is visionary
Well, just like the curate's egg, certain parts are. UK Labour is not united at the moment. The Blairite Progress wing are very quiet at the moment, and managed to keep their gobs shut in the election run-up, but spent most of the time before that relentlessly briefing against Corbyn and fighting with the generally Corbyn-supporting Momentum wing*. But they're still there, and now that the election is over, they've started attempting to reassert control. Because who doesn't love a good in-fight, eh? Everyone remembers Barcelona '37 with great fondness, right?
There's also been some reports of friction during the election campaign itself between Momentum and Corbyn's team, with local Momentum groups essentially ignoring or overriding the central command and running their own campaigns (and getting better results because of it).
*should probably also point out that Momentum is also not formally/technically part of the UK Labour party
Yes - it appears that the cladding basically acted as both a chimney and a flammable wrapping for the entire building.
There was an unrelated article published a few days before this, discussing a new development near me.
It, and the comments, are illuminating insofar as they show how local authorities have been made progessively toothless when attempting to counter the demands of developers, by a combination of removal of legislation, and a lack of funds to fight legal battles.
From the comments:
"As a councillor who has fought unwanted developments for years, and understands the national planning guidelines, localism act etc etc., I can state that developers in effect have carte blanche. There are numerous pieces of legislation and planning process that seem to suggest there is local ability to shape development. In practice, they are a fig leaf to mask the impotence of local authorities at every level."
"Welcome to the world envisaged by Thatcher whose first act in 1979 was to repeal the 1947 Planning Act and subsequently severely diluted councils ability to plan and preserve."
The cladding used was apparently ACP (Aluminium Composite Panel), which consists of thick foam core (5-10mm thick, or thereabouts) sandwiched between thin outer aluminium layers (0.5mm thick, or thereabouts). It's highly flammable.
There is talk that the cladding was added purely for cosmetic reasons - private tenants in surrounding properies didn't like the look of the Grenfell Tower, so the cladding was added.
It's hard not to politicise this when services such as the Fire Brigade have had their funding slashed so close to the bone that the marrow is leaking out, and when the people in charge of making the rules are essentially voting to protect their own profits over the safety of those they are making money from.
Oh, and here's Boris Johnson telling a member of the London Assembly to 'get stuffed' after being strongly questioned on Fire Service cuts.
Labour voters were twice as likely to have supported UKIP than Tory voters?
Yeah. Looking at the raw numbers/percentages for some of the first returns, the UKIP votes collapsed completely, so where they'd had, say, 15% of the vote, the Labour share was increasing by 10%, and the tory share by 5%.
I realise this is very crude, and doesn't take account of changes in turnout, etc, and mental maths has never been my strong suite, but Labour certainly seemed to be picking up considerably more (and roughly twice as many) of the collapsing UKIP vote.
Anyway, the first post-election YouGov poll is out. Haven't seen any crunched figures for turnout yet.
I've only just noticed the UKIP vote was divided up between Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May.
My crude estimate from roughly crunching the numbers on some of the seats was a split of around around 2:1.
I guess it is rather hard for me to imagine living right on the doorstep of a continent that gave me open access to it with no questions asked to imagine not taking advantage of that. I mean it's roughly as easy for you guys to get to Berlin, Copenhagen, Zürich, Vienna, Rome or Madrid as it is for me to get to Wellington.
Well, 48/52. Old people don't tend to take as many easyjet flights for long weekends in foreign parts as young folk do. Plus which, it's harder to link that mentally as a direct benefit of membership, whereas running to casualty in the middle of the night with a small child who is having trouble breathing, and getting prompt and completely free care, is a bit more direct.
However, your point is well taken. I travelled to France in March via the chunnel, and it was an absolute doddle. But getting there on the British side meant travelling down the M20. The same stretch of road that gridlocks absolutely if there's a hint of a hard border.
weaponised identity politics.
I was going to expand on this last night, but it was late, and I really don't have the time or energy now.
However, watching the intial results come in last Thursday night before I went to bed, it was noteworthy how the first three seats to declare were all won by Labour women. And the small amount of research I did do last night suggests that at least one of them got there because she benefitted from an all-women short-list. So.....
It's a lot more than that.
Yeah, I get that. But it's not (until now) been something that forms an obvious and visible part of people's everyday experience, in a manner that would make them go 'why, yes, I have had many small yet positive interactions and experiences that make me think fondly of this institution, and as such, now that you have specifically asked me the question, I believe it's worth keeping'. Unlike, say, the NHS.
Which is why it was such a fucking stupid idea to hold the referendum in the first place.