The Labour Party is desperate to prove it can be right wing over accusations of Russian interference and the West’s trade war with China.
Its leadership wants to pitch the party as more patriotic, and a better defender of the “national interest” than the Tories.
Labour’s shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy used television interviews on Sunday to attack the Tories from the right on almost every issue.
On Shamima Begum—the teenager who was groomed to travel to Syria to join Isis—Nandy said the Tories should have done a better job of stopping her coming home.
She said Begum’s return was “a real problem” and “the blame for that lies squarely at the Conservative government’s door.”
Responding to right wing scaremongering that China could spy on British people via the Huawei phone network, Nandy said, “We’ve got to be in a position first and foremost to safeguard our national security.
“We shouldn’t be handing over large chunks of our key infrastructure.”
And on claims of Russian interference in British elections Nandy accused the Tories of being “desperately slow to wake up to the threat”.
She also took the opportunity to attack former left wing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn for not joining in with nationalistic threats against Russia in 2018.
Nandy was less keen to criticise the Tories over their dangerous handling of coronavirus.
As measures to ease the lockdown threaten a second wave of infections, Nandy said Boris Johnson was “right to aspire to open up the economy.”
Labour’s leadership is desperate to show it has nothing to do with the left wing politics that made Corbyn initially popular.
It’s convinced that working class people are right wing and nationalistic.
And it wants to show bosses Labour can be relied on to manage the British state better than the Tories.
That means ramping up right wing rhetoric as part of capitalist competition with Russia and China—while letting the Tories off the hook over coronavirus deaths in Britain.