Today Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn has said that the way to defeat the far-right is for the Labour Party to become more left wing.
Addressing the Council of the Party of European Socialists (Labour’s grouping in the European Parliament), Corbyn said:
“Often the populist right do identify the right problems but their solutions are the toxic dead ends of the past, seeking to divert it with rhetoric designed to divide and blame.
“They are political parasites, feeding on people’s concerns and worsening conditions, blaming the most vulnerable for society’s ills instead of offering a way to take back real control of our lives from powerful elites who serve their own interests.
“But unless progressive parties and movements break with that failed economic and political establishment it is the siren voices of the populist far right that will fill the gap.
“We cannot abandon our socialist principles because we are told this is the only way to win power. That is nonsense.
“The reason we are losing ground to the right today is because the message of what socialism is and what it can achieve in people’s daily lives has been steadily diluted. Many people no longer understand what we stand for.
“Too often in recent years the left in Europe has been seen as apologists for a broken system rather than the answer to how to deliver radical social and economic reform for the 21st century. Too often the left has been seen as the accomplice to reckless, unfettered capitalism rather than a challenge to it. Too often the left has been seen as standing up for the privileged few rather than for the many we exist to represent and defend.
“If we are only seen as protectors of the status quo how can we expect people to turn to us when they can see that status quo has failed?
“We must stand for real change, and a break with the failed elite politics and economics of the past.
“If we do, I have every confidence that the principles of solidarity, internationalism and socialism that we stand for can be at the heart of European politics in the 21st century.”
His remarks come just days after Christian Wolmar, the Labour candidate in the Richmond Park by-election, did so badly he lost his deposit – meaning he didn’t even get 5% of the votes cast.