Jeremy Corbyn promised the skies. Free tertiary fees, nationalised railways, free money, free broadband and a four-day week. Who wouldn't vote for that?
At some point, the popular components of this manifesto lost as awareness grew that he couldn't remotely deliver it all. Labour's inability to prioritise and make tough calls, or voice a coherent message on anything, let alone Brexit, showed Corbyn to be weak and unable to lead.
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As one wit put it - Corbyn has gone beyond a four-day week. He has delivered himself a zero-day week.
Boris Johnson had a clear campaign pledge: "Get Brexit Done", which actually appealed to some weary remain voters too, and they ticked "Tory" for the first time in generations.
The primary reason former Labour voters switched to Tory though, was Corbyn and the incredible Labour manifesto. He was not fit to be PM, and his platform was not fit for government.
Anti-semitism took root in Labour. Corbyn was irritable, evasive in media interviews. "Can you let me finish?"
But more than anything else, it's a culture war. Working people in working towns and cities knew exactly what side Corbyn's Labour Party was on: Palestine was more important than Preston.
Brexit was a symptom not a cause (no one was debating a customs union in Northern Ireland, or a trade deal with the EU).
Working-class people in the North, Wales and the North East, in seats that have been Labour for 80 years, walked away from a party that chose the university common room over the smoko room. Purity over power.
Labour was created to win government to represent the values and interests of people who work for a living. Instead Jeremy Corbyn and his comrades purged the party of electable MPs who voiced electorally popular concerns about the unelectable Marxist cult. In doing so, he delivered a storming fourth consecutive election win to a hapless, divided, promise-breaking Tory government.
The Conservatives breached Labour's red wall in the North by speaking to the values of working people in those community.
My family in Wales have voted Labour all their lives, for generations. In 2016 they voted Brexit. This year they voted Tory. Everyone knows everyone in the small coastal village. They check up on each other in tough times. Fairness matters, so does consequence for bad behaviour. Community matters more than anything, and it is expressed politically in the question of whether politicians are looking out for communities like ours.
According to psychologist Jonathan Haidt, there are six values that most people hold dear: loyalty, fairness, liberty, hierarchy, care and sanctity.
In a new book (the Fight for Capitalism), Paul Collier chastises the left for campaigning on only two of these six core values - fairness and equality. Loyalty, patriotism and duty are barely mentioned. Rights trump duties at each turn and yet this reciprocity - the balance between rights and responsibilities to each other - is what holds communities together. I look out for you, you look out for me. You pay your taxes, help out at your kids' school, coach the sports teams, keep an eye out for your neighbour. And in return, if you fall on hard times you get looked after, and a hand up from friends and neighbours.
UK Labour didn't just give up those working-class communities, they despised them; for not driving the right car, or eating the right food. For worrying less about climate change, more about what jobs the kids will get after school.
Labour politicians today seem more at home campaigning for zero carbon than against wealth inequality (which, unlike banning plastic, hits them in their own pockets).
It used to be that people joined the Labour Party to make their lives better off. Now they join to make someone else's life better off.
Our equivalent of the UK's red wall Is Labour's dominance in the Māori seats, and generations of support from Pacific communities. Values of loyalty, faith, patriotism and reciprocity define these communities.
NZ Labour's red wall has already crumbled in the provinces. Otaki, New Plymouth, Gisborne, Taupō should all be Labour-held seats. We need to look at the corrosive effects of a culture war. Environmentalism over equality. A sugar tax over a capital gains tax. Climate change over child poverty. Keep cups over mugs.
Corbyn is a warning about building support in liberal urban centres, but losing it in poorer regions.
Somehow a boorish Eton Tory has become the choice of working people, and Labour are the party of the new elite. This is about social movements much deeper than the grotesque inadequacies of Corbyn.
• Josie Pagani is a political commentator and director of the Council for International Development, an umbrella agency for New Zealand's international non-government organisations.