August 26, 2016

Labour risks being downgraded to junk status

Labour risks being downgraded to junk status

Labour must reconnect with voters, or risk being relegated to minority party status, argues John Mills.

The Tories face an opposition in disarray. At the moment it is not easy to imagine the Labour Party winning the General Election in 2020. But the real tragedy is that we ought to be able to win. Labour’s message of aspiration should be able to appeal to a very large number of voters across the country.

I have been involved in the Labour Party for over 50 years, and I know that the party has a strong message to sell to the public.

In the past we have been able to appeal not only to people in the North of England, Scotland and Wales through our ideals of equality and fairness, but also to many centrist voters in the rest of England who appreciate our left-of-centre values when they are blended with sensible economic policies that will help the country grow faster and more fairly.

The problem is that in recent years we have focused too much, albeit successfully, on appealing to metropolitan voters in cities like London and Manchester. This has disenfranchised a large number of other Labour supporters, and, as a result, we have failed to present a credible alternative to the Conservative government.

Many individuals who voted for the party in the past have since migrated to the Conservatives, UKIP, Greens, or the SNP. Or they are now not voting at all.

In the face of this challenge, it is now more critical than ever that Labour adopts a coherent set of policies that resonate with the electorate, to help it reconnect before the 2020 General Election.

First, the party must accept the result of the EU Referendum. During the course of the campaign the party made the mistake of being much too Europhile. Of the 9.3 million people who voted Labour at the 2015 general election, a poll by Lord Ashcroft indicates that 37 percent – about 3.4 million – of these Labour supporters voted Leave in the referendum.

If this same number desert Labour at the next General Election, most MPs with majorities of less than 5,000 would lose their seats. This would mean the loss of around 100 MPs in 2020.

But rather than do this, a number of members of the Labour Party are now attempting – or saying they will attempt – to block the invocation of Article 50. Or they are calling for the referendum to be run again. There is no democratic mandate for this rerun, and it will only gift more votes to UKIP who are already nipping at our heels in the north of England.

Secondly, Labour has failed to lay out to the public an economic alternative to the Tories and their unpopular eight years of austerity. In spite of Theresa May’s attempt to claim the term ‘industrial policy’ for her own, it doesn’t ring true for many people in the country who know that the Conservatives were the key cheerleaders for the hollowing out of our industrial base.

Labour must now argue for a transformative industrial strategy, based on radical changes to our monetary and exchange rate policies, to make sure that globalization works for the many and not the few. Investing in and reviving British manufacturing will create good-quality high-paying jobs for working-class people in this country, and encourage them back to voting Labour. It will also rebalance the economy away from financial services and drive higher levels of growth, which is equally appealing to middle-income voters in the English shires.

If we get these two things right, Labour can win again. We have had hard times and we have bounced back before. Now we need to do the same thing again.

2.48 avg. rating (50% score) - 42 votes
John Mills
John Mills
John Mills is an economist, entrepreneur and political commentator. He is the Founder and Chairman of JML, the global import-export consumer goods company which operates out of 68 countries. John is also the Chairman of Labour Leave and Labour Future and the Chairman of the Pound Campaign.
  • King Arfur 1st

    I do so hope you’re correct! (but once we’re clear of the EU and disconnected from it.)

  • gunnerbear

    Yep….other generations did go to technical colleges….because the jobs were there that required that route…..

  • PAD

    Consume less-spend less.
    Better skills are needed..other generations went to nightclasses/tech colleges ..Anywhere that they could train.

    Where there’s a will.

  • gunnerbear

    But that is all that there is…..low paid, low skilled service jobs…

  • PAD

    Think he’s had a voice coach since who advises him to bark every 4sentences..true!

  • PAD

    What’s wrong with a combination?

  • PAD

    Spot on!

  • PAD

    If there are lots&lots of these type of jobs then lots&lots of people get an opportunity to get off the dole&start to move upwards financially from within the workforce..

  • PAD

    Sorry John but the omission of mass immigration in your column as THE most important issue makes the rest of your comment redundant.

  • MellorSJ


    We have had no austerity *at all*.

  • MellorSJ


    The left still love Venezuela. Despite all the evidence.

    Because they’re *right*, don’t you know?

  • Big Les

    What does the journalist mean ‘risks’? – They already are!
    And of course, the thing that dyed-in-the-wool Labour supporters (particularly those of Corbyn) fail to acknowledge is that the reason he is still ‘Leader’ is because of the thousands (probably tens of thousands) of UKIP/Tory/LibDem/Green supporters that Labour allowed to join for their £3 quid per head.
    One of my colleagues put down “to totally destroy the Labour Party so that you are never again elected to Parliament” in the box that asked “what are your reasons for wishing to join the Labour Party?”. And they STILL accepted his 3 quid and sent him his membership card.
    Dear-oh-dear-oh-dear! Laugh? I abso-bloody-lutely split me’ sides at that one.

  • BonniePrinceCharlie

    Should that not read upgraded to junk status?

  • Derek

    The 21st century global economy will be punishing to much political thinking as you cannot map it onto obsolete ideas. There is no protection for the public from the effects. They want politics that directly applies to new problems created rather than a continuation of an irrelevant idealistic approach.
    The digital economy will displace many more workers through automation and artificial intelligence
    Big companies will employ less and less workers in future as they have the capital to replace workers of all types through advances via the digital economy.

    Since around 2000 many have turned to self employment as the only real option open to them Small businesses accounted for 99.3% of all private sector businesses at the start of 2016. There are likely to be millions more in future as the only option..

    How relevant is nationalisation to this new world and come to that matter how relevant is privatization?
    A person pays can pay a sizeable fraction of one million pounds. It must be worth government investing investing in people gaining 21st century skills as the return would be high.
    We need a government that invests for high returns back into the real economy rather than just for high returns to lobbying companies.

  • paulthorgan

    Which has nothing to do with Labour’s junk status.

    You are off-topic again.

  • gunnerbear

    You argued that no business would be as cynical as creating a product that would potentially kill people….I pointed out that Ford did exactly that….

  • paulthorgan

    Not seeing a point here…

  • gunnerbear

    Incidentally over on Labour List in response to a comment from a poster you wrote… “Using your logic, profitable companies would allow people to die due to their business practices because their profits would exceed the fines. The fines would be a cost of doing business.” Err…that is exactly and very precisely the decision Ford chose to make when it came to the issue of the fuel tank modifications on the Pinto….. It’s the decision an airline makes every time if conditions are marginal for flying… ….or how an airline judges how frequently a potentially serious defect on the aircraft might occur because the airlines have calculated the savings from outsourcing maintenance to a cheaper, laxer jurisdiction where the authorities don’t inspect the work outstrip the costs of a downed plane and the payments for loss of life etc….

  • gunnerbear

    So that’s manufactured then……

  • gunnerbear

    I wouldn’t bet that Labour are over just yet – some might remember when Labour were said to be dead in ’83….by ’97 they were back in power and some Reds were giving it the lip that it was the end of the Blues in ’97….by ’15 the Blues were back in sole charge. And for the record I’m a non-tribal MOR voter.

  • paulthorgan

    “Really, steel isn’t manufactured? What word would you use to describe the process…”

    This is a comments section, not a Q&A.

  • gunnerbear

    Yep…and they were mostly small ones. I think the whole point is one of perception – while the Reds may have closed more pits than the Blues, the strong perception (however unfair or fair depending on your views) is that the Reds moved heaven and earth to find jobs for the miners put out of work while the Blues relished shutting down pits and not lifting a finger to even attempt to replace the jobs with some other work. That’s why there are areas of the country where hard fixed inter-generational unemployment is now the norm… govt. of any colour or leaning has found a way to regenerate those areas en masse.

  • gunnerbear

    Really, steel isn’t manufactured? What word would you use to describe the process…

  • gunnerbear

    “but others have little to do with technology.” Yep….just lots and lots of low skill, low pay ‘picker jobs’ in a warehouse or sitting in a call centre…..

  • gunnerbear

    The TOCs et al. get more in public cash than BR ever did…….

  • gunnerbear

    Nearly….surely it should be….”They have, elsewhere in the world, at the expense of the workers in the 1st world….those at the top of the pile in the first world have done very well indeed…..isnt that what globalisation is about?”

  • PAD

    There are pro-dutch pro-German and pro-French parties coming over the horizon..anythings possible now.

  • PAD


  • PAD

    The key issue of Europe is that it’s about to implode

  • PAD

    Except that the Whigs wouldn’t have had a Rotherham

  • PAD

    People were easily conned in 1975…seems like some of you still are..

  • PAD

    If labour voters didn’t know what they were voting for can’t have been paying attention to ANYTHING in the past 20years.
    People who voted leave on the other hand know exactly why they voted.
    If this doesn’t suit you then there’s lots of room in Cologne.

  • PAD

    I think it’s more simple than that .
    Labour refused to discuss immigration..did the opposite,vilified those that did. Brown/Gillian Duffy.
    99%of the country are cincerned/horrified at mass immigration.

    Labour are over.

  • PAD

    And their Common Purpose apparatchiks who have infested all levels of govt&social services..

  • PAD

    And more EU..

  • Andrew Cole

    I agree which is why there is a fight for the Brand between 2 sides who are both entryists. The real Labour in the middle are stuck and unfortunately both the entryists are toxic which is why Labour are losing voters to UKIP.

  • Cassandrina

    Laughably the BBC had Mason. the loony left tribal Leninist and Corbynista, on radio 4 this weekend stating the Tories were in disarray and Labour needed to take advantage of this. He must live on Fuller’s Earth and the BBC is simply making itself look ridiculous by not even challenging his idiocy.
    Corbyn’s vision is to bring Britain down into competition with Venezuela and Brazil as a truly failed state. May’s vision is still awaited and is taking far too long, which is worrying.

  • ukipwankers

    In the same way that Ukippers accepted that Britain had voted to stay in, in 1975, and never once in 40 years complained or refused to accept that we were in permanently, you mean?

  • ukipwankers

    Yes, but the polls show that Corbyn personally is far less popular than the party. A TNS poll 2 weeks ago showed that – when reminded that Corbyn is party leader – the number of respondents saying they’ll vote for Labour fell 6%.

  • Andrew Cole

    I think you can just replace Corbyn with a description of all but a few of those in the party that aren’t far left or Blairite. There aren’t many in there anymore that actually represent those that vote for them and I suspect that while Corbyn is way off message to most Labour voters he is on the key issue of Europe much more in line with those that the party need to find a way of attracting again.

  • Andrew Cole

    If they realised that then they wouldn’t still be warbling on about Corbyn failing in not getting his message across. They still think that heartland voters will just vote as they are told. This is their problem.

    They think they are a football team that people will support through thick and thin. Through relegations and mismanagement just hoping that one day something good will happen.

  • Andrew Cole

    But Mills is talking about recovery. It is fruitless to focus on that 37% because retaining them will only give Labour a slight chance of treading water. What Labour really need to look at are those that did not vote Labour in 2015 or 2010 but used to vote Labour.

    If the reason those people (and I would bet much more than the national 52% in this demographic) did so because of the EU or immigration then Labour is doomed.

    That 37% being retained will not help Labour ever get near electability again, it will merely slow the demise a bit. A sticky plaster where surgery is needed.

    This shouldn’t be about losing 100 seats. It should be about gaining 100 seats and that is the crux of it. Pointless talking about Corbyn not being electable. It is Labour policy on key issues that is unelectable and that difference of 100 seats between current standing and winning a majority need to attract those that didn’t vote for them last time round and not merely attempt to retain those they already have.

  • gelert

    Yesh 😉

  • Bill

    With sterling help from that arch hypocrite, Anthony Wedgwood Benn.

  • Ivanhoe

    Labour already IS junk!

  • John M

    I don’t think this can be turned around very quickly. It’s alright saying that Labour needs to go back to it’s heartlands to appeal to it’s core vote but it now has the problem that it has – in different ways – rather ignored these people for over 20 years, if not taken them completely for granted. Trust has been broken and lost and given the Blair Government’s preponderence for just lying to them as it chased it’s own agenda you have to wonder who will be able to restart the process of gaining trust again.

    The anger amongst Labour voters is clearly there, as demonstrated by the size of the momentum vote now within Labour. But the Party’s problem is that far more people have decided the party is useless, and simply deserted it for the SNP, UKIP, Greens, and even the Tories. Many of thier collegiate are npw self employed, and yet the Party only seems to acknowledge the political and economic needs of Union workers in the public sector.

    Labour needs to stop trying to control it’s narrative and get out into the country, where the real people are as opposed to the internet army of Momentum supporters, and start listening.

    As that is clearly not going to happen with the current incumbants, all Labour voters can now do is buy some popcorn and watch as thier natural party implodes, in the possibly vain hope that something new and representing them will emerge from the ashes.

  • Beyond Cynicism

    geo :

    As someone who has, in the recent past, been where you are now and who is still struggling out of the abyss via self-employment, you have both my sympathy and understanding. In the case of the self-employed, Labour is not only not speaking to them but actively opposing their efforts to pull themselves out of the mire. Not that the Conservatives are any better but this article is about Labour’s non-existent “message of inspiration”.

    I am sure that Mr. Mills is sincere in what he says but perhaps he – and thousands of people from all the major political parties – need to step outside politics for a while, look at politicians as the rest of us see them and understand the whole parasitical class for what it is. Too many people now take our money from us and use it to tell us who they think we should be, how much we should have and what we are allowed to do with our allotted three score years and ten.

    None of these people has any special insight into the human condition; few of them actively contribute to the greater good and most of them actively cause harm by their plotting, back-stabbing, personal ambition and greed and their general contempt for the common man.

    I was brought up to believe that he who pays the piper calls the tune but no-one can sensibly argue that that holds true in the modern nation state. We have no effective, democratic control over how much we pay, what it is spent on or even how big the political classes grow. They are a cancer and, like a cancer, the self-destruct mechanism within their cells no longer works and it will destroy the whole body if allowed to grow unchecked.

    Over 100 years ago, Britain ruled a quarter of the earth’s population with something like 25,000 civil servants. Now, according to the Office for National Statistics, the number as at 31st. March 2015 was 439,323.

    Bad enough, you might think, but that number does not include:

    – government ministers
    – members of the Armed Forces
    – police officers
    – local government authorities
    – quangoes
    – employees of the NHS
    – staff of the Royal Household
    – the Northern Ireland civil service
    – Her Majesty’s Diplomatic Service

    So I can see a lot of empire-building in politics and a huge amount of infighting and squabbling for personal advantage but I cannot see any messages of inspiration from anyone, least of all the Labour Party. They and their empirical workforce occupy a different world from the productive sector and, to my mind at least, show fewer and fewer signs of understanding the soil in which their political harvests grow.

  • WuffoTheWonderDog

    And the difference between him and Blair, as regards being friends with terrorist leaders, is?

  • WuffoTheWonderDog

    Paul was being sarky.

  • forgotten_man

    Question to John Mills directly.

    You bio says ‘john Mills is an economist, entrepreneur and political commentator. He is the Founder and Chairman of JML, the global import-export consumer goods company which operates out of 68 countries. ‘

    So it would be fair to say you know how to balance a set of books then?

    So why do you side with a party made up of people who have no concept of balancing a set of accounts much less actually doing so?

    With all the discord and grief that approach creates? i.e. the much supported, by the party of your choice, socialist paradise of Venezuela.

  • Scallywag42

    Life isn’t fair, nor is it equal. Banging on about fairness and equality is extremely boring. We all know that if the UK’s wealth were miraculously spread equally amongst the population one morning, by lunchtime there would be billionaires and people living on the streets with nothing. That’s the way people are and all this striving for equality and fairness, lately added to by “inclusivity” (whatever the hell that means) is nonsense. Socialists bang on about this topic saying the same things year after year and nothing happens. Somebody described insanity as repeating the same action and expecting a different outcome. So by that definition socialism is fundamentally insane. Perhaps that’s why there isn’t a single successful socialist state on the planet…

  • mrdavidjohnson

    People have talked about regenerating manufacturing/heavy industry since the 60s.It isn’t going to happen.

  • Catherine Allinson

    A fine profession with ethics – give me a break – when I tried last year to interest Shami and her human rights pals at Liberty and beyond in the shocking state harassment of Tommy Robinson – not a hint of life in the response. Indeed no response at all. Now when you think of some of the pond life these people have championed in the past and their vocal support for equality and diversity – why was Tommy Robinson off limits? The problem arises afresh given that he was ejected by police from a pub in Cambridge yesterday for no reason at all. Watch on you tube and weep. Or if you think it was ok – please explain why?

  • evad666

    Sadly the Corbyn nyets are not ill educated just spectacularly stoopid.
    After all they are all ignoring Momentum’s Communist Party Roots.

  • evad666

    Now Comrade Mcdonnell wants to strip Richard Branson of his Knighthood while supporting the enoblement of Shami Chakrabati?

    What a plonker. Labour now appears to be run by the inhabitants of Marx Mount as described by Peter Simple in his Telegraph column.

  • evad666

    Tried supporting Labour to help my region and ended being unemployed for my troubles.

  • Bosun Higgs

    Years of austerity: 2016 – 2010 = 8?

  • paulthorgan

    Give it up.

    You are wrong.

  • Coal is extracted and steel produced if there is demand. No demand = no coal and no steel. It’s called a supply chain and is one of the basic tenets of economics.

  • SonofBoudica

    Corbyn is not the only one in cloud-cuckoo land, judging by this depressingly predictable justification of Labour policy.

  • Albert H

    It’s actually funny – the Labour Party truly believe that they can appeal to the electorate and get themselves elected to power again….. Ha ha ha!

    Corbyn’s declaration that he wasn’t “well off” on only £137,000 a year and his silly train stunt show just how out-of-touch with reality he is! The silly old duffer is just a nostalgic throwback to the lefty nonsense we all spouted when we were young – we grew out of it; he didn’t. His politics are infantile,and are deeply rooted in the “socialist” nonsense promoted (frequently financially) by the Soviet Union in the 50s and 60s.

    The USSR set about undermining Britain by promoting the Trades Unions, by supporting the Labour Party financially, and by indoctrinating their “Useful Idiots”. They have almost completely succeeded: The devaluation of the Pound, the rise of the Trades Unions, the destruction of education by the introduction of the “comprehensive” system, the promotion of “political correctness”, the acceptance of fringe religions and the careful placement of their well controlled “Useful Idiots” has ensured that the UK is heading rapidly towards third world status. The Labour Party are intent on continuing the destruction and won’t be happy until they achieve it – it’ll be truly egalitarian: nobody will have anything!

    The part of the Labour Party who are “true believers” – the stupid, ill-educated, clueless mass – really believe that Corbyn has all the answers. He’s just as deluded as they are. It’s fortunate that the vast majority of the UK are starting to recognise just what has been done to them over the last fifty years. The ones who have woken up are derided as “bigoted”, “Little Englanders”, “racist” and “politically naive”. The Brexit vote shows that this isn’t the case. Enough of the populace have realised that the left wing option is just plain silly. Corbyn’s bunch ramble on about re-nationalisation, about wealth redistribution, about colossal infrastructure projects, whilst all the time insisting that we must further infest ourselves by uncontrolled immigration and toleration of Sharia. They must have planted a huge forest of Magic Money Trees somewhere, since they claim that they can achieve their aims without “further borrowing”…..

    They really are clueless and are best consigned to the dustbin of history!

  • Med Jumper

    Sign this petition

    “Mr Lammy has demonstrated that he does not understand democracy. He should be removed as MP for Tottenham and replaced by a set of plaster garden ornaments – an otter with a fish in its mouth, a heron and a gnome with a fishing rod.”

  • Well said, Friend Wankers. I agree with everything you said, whatever it was.

  • Dave Hedgehog

    The “lies” narrative people like you continue to push is risible and desperate.

    Lies were told by both sides (I would suggest more by Remain – job losses and tax rises to take effect (as Osborne said) the day after a Brexit vote, punishment budget, back of the queue, etc.).

    People know that. Politicians all lie, especially when they are seeking votes.

    Those who voted nationally made up their minds and your suggestion that they were gulled by lies is pathetic.

  • Dave Hedgehog

    So long as Labour has leaders who are relaxed about unlimited immigration it will never win another general election.

  • Med Jumper

    You don’t appear to understand how democracy works, our MPs, like everyone else who decided to vote, have voted. We are leaving the EU, get over it, or emigrate.

  • gelert

    Another of your thoughtful contributions.

  • Med Jumper

    The only message Labour have given is their assurance that Democracy only counts when it suits their agenda. You want to overturn a Referendum, you’ll never receive my support, at any level.

  • ukipwankers

    Common fucking Purpose. Piss off with your loony conspiracy theories mate.

  • ukipwankers

    “37 percent – about 3.4 million – of these Labour supporters voted Leave in the referendum. If this same number desert Labour at the next General Election, most MPs with majorities of less than 5,000 would lose their seats”

    Bizarre piece of wilful blindness.

    What happens if the 63% who voted Remain desert the party – because it refuses to challenge a vote AGAINST something, but where no-one can say what they voted FOR, and a result achieved on the back of stunningly breathtaking lies???

  • Richard Gibb

    Finally an article that more or less gets it right. The Labour Party Leaders need to understand that they do what the Electorate want, not the other way around. It also has big issues as Corbyn is the appointed Leader of the people formerly known as the Militant Tendency. who are in fact banned from being members of the Labour Party but who have crept back in. Smith or Corby does not matter, the Labour Party needs to wake up, smell the Coffee and kick out the Militant Tendency then completely restructure otherwise it is doomed to become just a footnote in Political History along with the Wiggs.

  • Nell

    I also have my doubts about maomcdonnell, jihadijezza and mcclusky . To be fair they are incredibly anti the UK and its hardworking working class residents.


    With Corbyn a leader Labour as it is at junk status. Corbyn, unwittingly has become just a figurehead for a whole range Marxist left wing rabble. There has been very little success in the world using their kind of politics, in fact it is the cause of conflict and poverty in South America. Example Venezuela, loved by the left wing until the place fell apart with shortages of many essentials….Despite having huge oil reserves.
    Then the left Marxist rabble blame “capitalism” or the US for not helping. Then who with an ounce of common sense would invest in a country run by a Marxist/Communist outfit?….. Just remember when you vote Corbyn it could happen to the UK

  • herding cats

    quite true

  • gelert

    Along with Scargill in the 80s; but the coal industry isn’t manufacturing 😉

  • AtilaTheHen

    It was interesting to watch the latest leadership husting from Glasgow. I was especially taken by Corbyn’s style of oratory. He just reads stuff out . There is no change of tone or inflection at all at any stage. Most interesting of all is the manner in which he seems totally disconnected from the response of his audience. He doesn’t react at all, not even to pause for applause. His only interest is in what he himself has to say. It matters not a jot how it goes down. Kind of like the Labour Party’s attitude to the electorate at large.

  • Badger

    How can anyone support a party that is headed by a malignant antisemite and friend of terrorist leaders?

    Corbyn is utterly beyond the pale.

  • lucysdad01

    Or the in-house Red Guard.

  • digitaurus


  • dustybloke

    Labour just can’t talk about globalisation, they just aren’t hard wired to get it.

    Globalisation really, really raised world equality by an almost infinite degree, in moral terms.

    People in other nations found that they no longer died of starvation. British workers lost their jobs. British workers who weren’t worried about starvation, but rather how they could afford a second car.

    Given that Labour despise the average British person, this should have been wonderful news.

    But because the owner of the Mexican telecoms became a multi billionaire, this system is obviously evil.

    I’ll conclude the rant by saying that e

  • dustybloke

    Great article.

    Of course, it would have been even better had John explained what monetary and economic policies were holding back our manufacturing base. And what he would change. And how he would do that. And how you can make our manufactured goods saleable if you pay the workers loadsa money. And how those industries can be heavily unionised but still be competitive. And how we can borrow another trillion or so, but not be worried about the interest payments soaking up the entire budget.

    Other than that, John, pretty much a perfect prospectus for the Labour Party recovery.

  • ufford

    What’s the difference between a whore and a politician? The whore stops screwing you when you’re dead.

  • Allyup

    Labour today is a Gospel party i.e. purely for its hallelujah brothers. The rest (PLP and voters) are predicted to be stunned into submission by Hallelujah politics in the minds of the corbynites. Reality is something else.

  • Allyup

    Labour are the “blast from the past party” par excellence and want to return to the 1960-70s of big unions from mass shop floor union membership in big companies but these have been replaced by robots. Corbyn’s 1970 politics are virtually the same as those of that other scruff – Foot

    Unfortunately time only moves forward. Broken cups do not join up again and the 1970’s are not coming back anytime soon.

    Both main parties are blasts from the past in expecting re-industrialisation to deliver in the 21st century but we shouldn’t expect much from politicians at the best of times.

    The oncoming digitisation of the economy is ignored and nothing being put in place to cope. Unemployed should be offered free upskilling for the types of jobs the digital economy will create Ther payback form moving pewople from unemployment to jobs will be large.

    ….To speed up job creation in the digital economy, investment in data and digital infrastructure is essential. However, the share of GDP invested in ICTs has been decreasing in real terms in many OECD countries since 2001. Business adoption of advanced digital technologies could be greater as well. Many firms may well have a broadband connection and a webpage, but few use advanced ICT applications such as enterprise resource planning software, e-commerce, cloud computing or radio frequency identification.

    Also, the new jobs enabled by digital technologies require different skills. Some of these skills are technical, such as software development, web management, etc., but others have little to do with technology. For instance, higher frequency of digital information in firms calls for better planning and quicker responses, more co-operation
    across teams as well as stronger leadership. Marketing and selling over a social network require different skills than those involved in face-to-face sales…..

  • paulthorgan

    ‘Related’ is ‘related’

    Coal is not manufactured. Neither is steel. Manufacturing refers to the end product.

  • lucysdad01

    Or voted for Cameron last year.

  • lucysdad01

    Fascism and communism are Siamese twins.

  • lucysdad01

    Digging coal is connected to manufacturing, how did they produce power at the steel works to produce steel for the pits to work, therefore digging coal is part of manufacturing.

  • lucysdad01

    Communists, Marxists et al in the 70s destroyed the British industrial base. According to Gordievsky Jones of the TGWU was an agent of the KGB in other words a traitor, I suspect Robinson of British Leyland was another, same as Crowe of the RMT.

  • lucysdad01

    Whilst I like that comment about being cheap street walker, you really do defame a fine profession which has ethics, unlike most politicians.

  • paulthorgan

    You deliberately ignore my point as it defeats yours.

  • gelert

    But there’s no comparison with the introduction of coal-burning.

  • herding cats

    Love that sentence

    and dont try to claim lady Shame-y Chakrabarti gave you a clean bill of health – she was bought and paid for like a cheap streetwalker.

  • Tad Stone


  • ratcatcher11

    They can use their own Brownshirts in Momentum.

  • ratcatcher11

    You haven’t had any austerity, Greece has, Spain has, Italy has and Portugal has but the UK? Don’t make me laugh you know nothing of what has gone on in the EU apart from the BBC propaganda output.

  • ratcatcher11

    Or you could just tell the Trade Unions to stay out of politics and concentrate on their members, those same members who kept Margaret Thatcher in power year after year by voting for her against the advise of their Unions.

  • ratcatcher11

    It was the EU or Common Market as it was then that prevented the subsidised operation of business by government, or did you not realise this? Obviously the BBC forgot to mention this little piece of legislation.

  • ratcatcher11

    Water also powered the Industrial Revolution, although the water boards will prevent the construction of water driven power stations even though in the 19th century there were over 200 in Herefordshire alone.

  • ratcatcher11

    In other words, fascism is the rotten heart of Labour.

  • Maureen Fisher

    Labour can’t even organise the security for its own conference.

  • GnosticBrian

    “Labour has failed to lay out to the public an economic alternative to the Tories and their unpopular eight years of austerity”. Eight years? The Tories have only been in power for just over one year. Prior to that they were part of a coalition government for five years. How do you get eight years out of that?

    And where do you get the notion that austerity was “unpopular” with the electorate? The Guardian reported that polling for John Cruddas’ review showed Britain’s voters did not back an anti-austerity message but instead believed the country must live within its means and make cutting the deficit its top priority.

  • Mrs Crewe

    What aspiration? Socialism is the death of aspiration, no matter how hard you work in a socialist dystopia the best you can do is the same as everyone else.

  • PAD

    And if one of these c..ts uses the word ASPIRATION again…

  • PAD

    Yep..same as the phrase ‘our communities’

  • PAD

    I stopped reading this when Mills said Labour had ‘a strong message to sell to the public’…it’s exactly this smart-arse ad-speak that alienates the voting public.
    As for the present bunch..Momentum driven bawling is what they’ve reduced to..with not a dogs chance of being taken seriously.
    Mills goes back 50 years? So he knows about 5he deception that led to Eastern European MASS immigration.
    Kept quiet about it.

  • gelert

    It’s creating wealth and it was coal that powered the Industrial Revolution. Coal, like other resources, is of no value in the ground.

    Learn some economic history.

  • Bill Quango MP

    Khan seems the best bet. 100% ‘what’s in it for me?’ of a politician. But he is competent. Practical. Realistic.
    Happy to be the union stooge when he wants union money. Or the most devout of Muslim’s when he wants some religious votes.
    He has that Bliar ability to not alienate the tribe he isn’t supporting on that particular day.

    Not a skill to be underestimated. Its essential to get to the top job.
    Khan could be a good choice.once the inevitable Long March insignificance is over, and a new Year Zero is attempted.

  • Billsilver

    Well Mr Mills ships in all the crap that used to be the preserve of K-Tel and other merchants of dubious low value rubbish.
    And where does Mr Mills make these?
    Why – he ships them in from low-wage countries where safety standards and social conditions are lower than ours.
    That’s not exactly helping the British manufacturing industry is it?
    Is it, John?

  • paulthorgan

    Digging coal is not manufacturing. Pay attention in future.

  • Coopercap

    “the Conservatives were the key cheerleaders for the hollowing out of our industrial base.”

    Gordon was a conservative then, but then I guess Corbyn does consider him a red Tory.

  • gelert

    “Ram-packed” has sexual connotations and is not the same as “jam-packed”.

    We must hope that is not what was going through Jezza’s mind when he made his statement.

  • John Harper

    Labour has a plethora of problems the biggest of which is that the Trades Unions are now really public sector and that the Middle classes or now the majority class. The best way to address this is to break the link between Party and Unions, for the Unions this allows them to run cross party campaigns (with a better prospect of success) on things that matter to their members and to focus on providing better services to their members e.g. legal representation which would allow them to grow again. For the Party it needs to try to keep the Corbyn intake of new members and balance this with additional members who are committed to doing canvassing etc and paying £10 a month to Party funds. They then need to find real political talent in the basics i.e. presentation skills, public speaking, listening and with a track record of getting things done. The acheivement of Blair was that he recognised it is competence or perceived competence that is important and that Governments have limited power to influence in a global economy. The worry for Labour is that on Defence, Foreign relations, Economy, Devolution, Education and in many other areas its policies are a liability. The Owen Smith challenge will fail as the debates have shown he is not good enough to lead, but who have they got. Sadiq Khan (assuming he does a good job as Mayor) may be a credible challenger post a heavy defeat to unite Labour around a electable position. But with re-selection perhaps there will be little to unite around, Labour may become a junior partner in anti Tory coalitions at best as it’s becoming odds on that a split is coming. Will those leaving join with the Liberal Democrats or will they set up their own party. Will the GMB go with the new party? . It is not a programme for Government Labour needs it’s a realisation that it is facing its demise. Far fetched well look at Scotland, look at their heartlands in the Midlands, North and Wales voting to leave the EU. T

  • gelert

    Harold Wilson closed more pits than MT.

  • gelert

    Hasn’t stopped him building an international business. Although would disqualify him in the eyes of Corbyn and his gang.

  • gelert

    The Labour Party was hi-jacked by the loonies who run Common Purpose, BBC, Guardian et al. They are completely unable to identify with what they patronisingly refer to as “ordinary people”. That explains why everything you posted was correct.

  • John Gleeson

    “…eight years of austerity” ?
    The author can’t even add up.

  • Dougie

    Platitudes John, just platitudes. Sorry.

  • Lancastrian Oik


    Corbyn: stupid, petulant and incompetent.

    McDonnell: sinister friend of terrorists, incompetent.

    Milne: where do you even start with him? Utterly batsh*t crazy, supporter of terrorists, Stalinist creep.

    Their supporters: SWP/UAF thugs and virtue-signalling SJWs and Guardianistas all of them on board the ram-packed (sic) outrage bus to nowhere.

  • fubar_saunders

    If it remains in its current form, I dearly hope so.

    It very much needs to re-find itself and what it is meant to be about -the world has changed so much in the 100 years that it has been in existence and its message under Corbyn is just not compatible with the modern world. It has to work out what it is about and find an inspirational leader to pull everyone in the same direction.

    Corbyn and McDonnell’s middle-class self loathing Marxism isnt it.

  • fubar_saunders

    Agreed. “‘Good-quality high-paying jobs’ ” is just another empty meaningless platitude with no substance behind it whatsoever.

  • Polly Radical

    Fascinating that he says Labour have “disenfranchised” their own voters – when he really means they’ve “alienated” them!

    It’s always “me me me” with these old socialists.

  • fubar_saunders

    ” I thought millions and millions had been brought out of poverty because of globalisation not despite it.”

    They have, elsewhere in the world, at the expense of the 1st world. Isnt that what globalisation is about? 🙂

  • Stuart Fairney

    “Labour’s message of aspiration should be able to appeal to a very large number of voters across the country”

    What message is that? All I hear is more tax, more spending, more rules. What aspiration?

  • fubar_saunders

    “risks”????? Pretty much already is, John!

  • paulthorgan

    It was Labour that were the cheerleaders for ‘hollowing out our industrial base’.

    It was Labour-supporting unions that enforced restrictive practices and overmanning that ensured that our industries were unable to make profits. This was because they subscribe to the Marxist theory that profit was a confiscation of cash from workers. So Britain’s manufacturing industry went to countries where the unions allowed the profit-making that is necessary for investment and growth. Labour has had no policy, apart from imposing a siege economy and economic dictatorship, on how to import all the jobs it lost for its working-class supporters.

    Mr Mills should perhaps be a bit more specific about how those manufacturing jobs can come back from Germany, Eastern Europe and the Far East. However, ‘Good-quality high-paying jobs’ will not come to a country where Len McClusky has any say whatsoever about how British workers should carry out those jobs. It is not just Jeremy Corbyn who should go.

    There is no good reason why a party that cannot even organise its own conference should be allowed to organise our economy.

  • Aaron D Highside

    With a communist leader backed by Momentum thugs? Absolutely.

  • mikebravo

    Hope springs eternal!

    If Labour would FO and die there would be the possibility of a pro-British political party that would thrash the Tories. Can’t have that though. Got to keep the current political elite in place in order to pass on their seats to their offspring.

  • David

    Without the Scottish seats and the anticipated Boundary Commission changes, Labour doesn’t stand a chance of winning – ignoring the question of who is Leader. Hugh Gaitskell/ Clem Attlee, you name them, couldn’t lead the party to victory in these circumstances. The Conservatives would have won the last election with a majority of 48 with the new boundaries.

  • geo

    right now I’m unemployed and labour does in no way talk to me. there is no message of aspiration …

    – there are accusations of racism if you are worried about prospects for employment being undercut by migrants or the education of your chidren in classes overrun with non-english speakers
    – there is the endless demand for money for the nhs – free at point of supply – yet nothing is done to prevent health tourism or the supplying of that free health care to hundreds of thousands who have never paid a penny into the country. any attempt here has labour screaming the usual “24hours to save the nhs” hyperbole
    – there are fantasy policies about spending billions to renationalise the railways, build tens of thousands of new homes, accept tens of thousands of syrian refugees (why other than virtue signalling?) … the list goes on and on here.
    – there is hatred of ones own country … why else does the upper echelons of the labour party call murderers like hamas ‘friends’ or that ira killers should be lauded?
    – and there is jewish hatred by the truckload … and dont try to claim lady Shame-y Chakrabarti gave you a clean bill of health – she was bought and paid for like a cheap streetwalker.

    labour is now nothing more than student protest politics and unlimited spending fantasies promoted to the big leagues. you dont speak to me

  • mikebravo

    Q – “why not offer them what Thatcher offered them – and why they voted for
    her in their droves – real aspirational goals like home ownership or
    keeping more of their hard-earned cash?”
    A – Because the true heart of Labour is public not private ownership and a servile but equal population who will do what they are told.

  • HampshireVoter

    It does not look like a Government in waiting or even an Opposition in office.

  • rbw152

    “to make sure that globalization works for the many and not the few”

    Really? I thought millions and millions had been brought out of poverty because of globalisation not despite it.

    “reviving British manufacturing will create good-quality high-paying jobs for working-class people in this country”

    Except it was market economics which lost them those jobs in the first place, not ‘The Tories’ i.e. the goods were made cheaper elsewhere so that’s where customers bought them from. How do you expect to pay higher wages and thus make our products more expensive and yet still be competitively priced in the market? Subsidies? Not everything we make is premium quality and can command a justifiably high price!

    As for your message of ‘aspiration’, where’s that then? All I see you offer is a way to make everyone more equal by making richer people poorer. Or nationalising private companies and taking them out of their owner’s hands. Very aspirational! The message there is: don’t bother ‘aspiring’ to run your own business and get wealthy because the government will just take it off you.

    And you wonder why you’re losing working class voters? Here’s a thought: why not offer them what Thatcher offered them – and why they voted for her in their droves – real aspirational goals like home ownership or keeping more of their hard-earned cash?

    Just a thought.

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