Douglas Carswell

30 JAN 2017

Who does Labour represent?

Some Labour Remainers are openly attempting to subvert the referendum result. Labour's leader wants retro socialism. Who is it that this once serious party now represents?

It's very unlikely that a small minority of MPs will succeed in blocking Article 50. If they do, however, it's almost certain there will be a general election. That might be no bad thing.

What unites Labour now seems to be total disregard for voters – especially in their own constituencies. Seven in ten Labour seats voted Leave, while many traditional Labour voters have little in common with Castro-loving Corbynistas.

If it's no longer clear who Labour now represents, it's because representative democracy itself has been turned on its head. Identikit career politicians are parachuted into safe seats by the big party machines. Rather than voters choosing their preferred candidate, candidates are choosing voters.

UKIP now has a great opportunity to challenge Labour's stranglehold on parts of England, and offer voters a real choice – starting with the upcoming by-elections in Copeland and Stoke.

But breaking the political cartel is a big task. It requires reforming an electoral process built by the big parties to maintain their monopoly – which began with the abolition of multi-member seats.

Britain is heading for the kind of political realignment that last happened when Labour deposed the Liberals a century ago. But successful insurgency isn't just about replacing the personnel. It's about changing the system.

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