They say Labour moving to the centre-left will make it indistinguishable from the Tories... Really?

First published in December 2019.

If Labour moves to the centre, we will be indistinguishable from Tories. I mean, there might be a few small differences, like how a centre-left Labour government lifted 600,000 children and 1 million pensioners out of poverty.

But otherwise Tory.

Oh yeah, and a centre-left Labour government doubled funding for every pupil, and added 36,000 extra teachers and 274,000 teaching assistants, transforming education and giving a better future for millions.

But apart from that, basically Tory.

And sure, a centre-left Labour government won 3 elections back-to-back, giving it time to train and employ 85,000 more nurses, cut NHS waiting times by 82% and get in-patient waiting lists down half a million.

But really: just Tory.

Oh, and they introduced minimum wage, created 1.8 million new jobs, cut long term unemployment by 75%, doubled the number of apprenticeships, and introduced the right to 24 days holiday and 2 weeks paternity leave.

So there’s that minor difference from Tories.

And yeah, OK, so they had the longest period of low inflation growth since 1960, created an independent Bank of England, and wrote off debt for dozens of poor nations.

Which I grant you, is a ‘bit’ different from Tories. But only a bit. Not proper Labour.

And they delivered peace in Ireland, added 14,000 extra police, cut crime by 35% and increased criminal justice (court) spending by 21%. And opened 2,200 Sure Start centres, brought record literacy, record numeracy, and free nursery places.

But otherwise: pure Conservative.

And they doubled overseas aid, which isn’t exactly Tory. And expanded GiftAid and removed the minimum donation limit. And brought in devolution for Scotland and Wales. Banned fur farming. And brought the Human Rights Act into UK law. And the cleanest rivers, beaches, water and air since industrial revolution.

But Tory, basically. Just Thatcherism. Pretty much.

Except for 26% increase in child benefit, introduction of winter fuel payments, improvements to 1 million social homes, child Tax Credits, and the creation of 3 million child trust funds.

Oh yeah, and they scrapped Section 28 and introduced Civil Partnerships...

The Tory scum.

And they banned fox hunting, I’ll grant you. And free TV licenses to over 75s. And free entry to museums and art galleries. And a smoking ban, to annoy Nigel Farage.

But apart from that...

Oh, I forgot. Free eye tests and bus travel for over 60s. Heart disease deaths down 150,000. Cancer deaths down 50,000. Free breast screening for 50-70 year-olds. And created NHS Direct.

Just like bloody Tories would. Probably.

And it is true they created less debt than the Tory government before them and the Tory government after them, even though they had to bail out the banks after a global crash.

So I guess being better at economics than Tories isn’t exactly Tory.

Anyway, as I was saying. The last thing Labour should do now is move to the centre, because even if we do win elections we are basically the same as Tories. I mean, sure, I might have identified a few tiny, insignificant differences. But apart from that...

Anyway: I think I have made my case. Stay where Corbyn took us: historic defeat, but Purity Of Essence. Because that definitely helps the country more than implementing all those terrible things I listed above. Who needs all that shit?🔷

Share this article now:

[This piece was first published as a Twitter thread and turned into the above article on 18 December 2019, with the author’s consent, with the purpose of reaching a larger audience. It has been minorly edited and corrected. | The author of the tweets writes in a personal capacity.]

(Cover: Gif of Jeremy Corbyn during the 2019 General Election campaign.)