‘It would be a mistake to revive New Labour project,’ says Middlesbrough MP

Middlesbrough Labour MP Andy McDonald has entered the debate about the party’s future following its devastating General Election defeat.

The race to replace former leader Ed Miliband is under way, with MPs and commentators having their say on where Labour went wrong.

Mr McDonald, who increased his own majority last week, concedes his party failed to win the trust of the public, but says it would be wrong to revive New Labour policies of the late 1990s and 2000s.

Contributing to the Labour List website, he wrote:

“One of the underlying assumptions of New Labour was that we could focus our attention on Conservative voters outside of our traditional heartlands because our core vote had ‘nowhere else to go’.

“Between 1997 and 2010 this strategy lost Labour 5 million voters, many of who simply stopped voting, and our wipe-out in Scotland and the UKIP surge in the North of England and Wales have demonstrated that much of our core vote now have somewhere else to go and have already gone.”

Mr McDonald rejected suggestions Labour had developed an “anti-business” stance.

“While it is certainly true that Labour must devise a strategy for the whole of the country, the suggestion that we somehow turned our back on business is misguided,” he wrote.

“We want business to succeed for the simple reason that it is the businesses, the entrepreneurs and the people who work in their businesses who create the prosperity needed for a fairer society.”

The Middlesbrough MP wrote that his party “owed it to all” who needed a Labour government to have a “frank discussion” about its future.

“What went wrong and the solutions to the challenges faced by the party warrant frank discussion and bold thinking, not simply a call to return to the politics of the mid-1990s.”

Source – Middlesbrough Evening Gazette, 14 May 2015


  1. Chris

    I was banned off Labour List and Left Foot Forward a long time ago. I am one of the millions of lifetime Labour voters who abandoned voting Labour a long time ago.

    Labour does NOT offer me disabled benefits, chronic sick benefits, nor a state pension for life, after my lifetime in work paying National Insurance.

    And now, even with a low works pension paying no income tax, I pay the same 90 per cent tax rate of the poor from the 75 per cent of all tax that comes from stealth tax and VAT, that burdens the poor on basics every day.

    It is Labour voters who do not vote.

    It is Labour voters who do not bother to keep registered to vote.

    Of all ages.

    So if you want a true Labour party, then I am writing one up.

    I’m calling it a draft name of THE SWANS NEW PARTY for now. As it complies with the rules to not have more than six words in the party name, and can be shortened to just SWANS.

    The Swans would only run in England, as the SNP and Plaid Cymru have saved their devolved NHS and welfare (Plaid Cymru hope to devolve welfare as Scotland has done).

    So if you are fed up of a party that has lost two general elections in a row, and its own voters have deserted it and voted for no party, so ensuring the Tories in power forever in England, then I might just be it.

    The sacked by Labour party that was the 6th biggest party, joined with other like minded party, to run the biggest hard left challenge in 60 years. They all got micro party votes and got nowhere.

    This was because they went communist too soon, too fast.

    But I did vote for them by vote swapping, as they gave me the only chance to get a state pension, vital food and fuel money in old age.

    I voted in my area for the National Health Action party and a mate in a neighbouring voting area voted TUSC in the local councill elections.

    But not enough of us did that.

    Where is Labour screaming now that the NHA has lost in Stafford, and yet another ward has closed in Stafford Hospital only days after the general election.

    The SWANS are firmly the party of the people on welfare – the middle class are on welfare just as much as the working class by income.

    Pensioners were entirely ignored by Edstone.

    So I ask Labour party members, do you want to win the next general election?

    Or might there be a second general electon next year, when the Tory wives discover how much they have been shafted by the flat rate state pension law to NIL MONEY FOR LIFE?


    The 70 per cent of the people of England party, that Labour has forever lost.

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