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Tony Blair’s former race adviser urges the party to regain the trust of ideological, younger generation by taking its collective head out of bankers’ bottoms

Labour needs to end its decades-long policy of completely ignoring ethnic community concerns and automatically expecting blocks of votes to be delivered by puckering up to leading bankers’ arses, Tony Blair’s former race adviser Faz Hakim said on Sunday.

The remarks come as the Labour party’s national executive digests a report admitting it lost the Bradford West byelection to George Galloway of Respect partly because it believed that a small group of top banking community leaders could deliver the election for Labour if the party bent over for them often enough.

The report calls for campaigning in which the party connects directly with increasingly young and ideological non-banker voters, particularly women as well as men of all races.

Hakim said:

What we found was usually male leaders of the City were basically deciding how whole communities of Labour MPs should be voting, and they would then trade those votes in return for favours.

The younger members of the non-banking community in particular – as well as the older generation and everyone else in between – kept saying ‘we are not being represented by these people and nobody speaks to us because we didn’t bankrupt the country by sitting around in pinstriped suits all day being greedy’.

Hakim said politics has changed and the Bradford byelection shows that expecting leaders of the banking community to automatically deliver votes from the rest of the electorate would no longer work:

I think Ed Miliband has a different style of leadership – he wants to radically change party policy so that it actually does something for people who are not just bankers. I think he knows it is going to need harder work than having a few prawn cocktails in the City. In fact it may even mean actually talking to some people who don’t pay themselves massive bonuses in return for bankrupting the country, something which would have been unthinkable just a year or so ago.


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