Corbyn’s Labour and the path to power

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Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Aristotleded24 wrote:

nicky wrote:
Aristoled, your definition of "right-winger" seems to be anyone who is not a fan of Jeffrey Corbyn.

I guess that would include me. But according to recent polling it also includes about 80% of the British electorate, including 72% of Labour voters.

Not many of you genuine left-wingers left out there it would seem.

Can't you simply concede that many sincere Social Democrtas, who worry about the future of Labour, think Corbyn is a bad leader?

You accuse me of not addressing issues. But instead of dealing with the reasons for Corbyn's  dismal ratings you attack anyone who raises these concerns as a right-winger promoting some nefarious Blairite plot.

It has nothing to do with Corbyn. Here is why I am calling you a right-winger:

1) You have repeated the idea that Corbyn has tolerated anti-semitism.  That accusation is thrown at anyone who supports the rights of the Palestinians and who challenges the actions of the Israeli government towards them. Heck, there is more open debate about that topic that goes on in Israel than is permitted in North America and the United Kingdom.

2) You have refused to acknowledge that many Labour MPs never accepted Corbyn as their leader, and instead of being constructive in their approach, worked very hard to undermine him. When Jack Layton won the NDP leadership in 2003, he initially  had almost no support from Caucus. Could you imagine if that had been immediately followed by NDP MPs going on every TV show complaining about how Jack was undermining the party and that they had to get rid of him?

3) Your talking points have been the same from the 2017 election, and you haven't acknowledged that Corbyn increased the Labour seat count.

4) You have made it all about the political personalities. You haven't spoken to the actual issues at all. You've spoken in vague terms about "Brexit," but haven't said a word about things like education, loan debt, poverty, climate change or anything else. You like to complain about how people are treating you on this thread? I gave you a chance upthread to put aside the petty personal garbage, and actually talk about every day issues that people face. You did not do any of that. You did not put any of your own issues on the table. You went back to your original talking points, many of which had been addressed, without addressing anything anyone else had said. I know sometimes "the mob" can be vicious, but if you've noticed that your interactions with others have not gone well for you, why not take a look in the mirror at your own behaviour?

Hear, hear!

nicky

I have a day job and do not have the time at present to rebut the myriad misrepresentations leveled about me and my posts.

Ken says he is not a liar. Yet he makes the most Trumpian of misstatemnts. Perhaps he believes them.

But he is a liar when he calls me a "Conservative." If he knew me or what I do for a living he would apologize.

And yes I acknowledge that Corbyn was re-elected by a significant margin and that Labour's seat count and vote increased at the last election.

Those are simply statements of fact. But they do not detatract from the obvious - that Corbyn is deeply and deservedly unpopular with the British people, even more so than the lamentebale Theresa May, and  that  he is a bad leader who is trying to ignore majority opininion in Labour on Brexit.

Anyone objective Labour member or MP must look forward to the day when they have better leadership,

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Only a conservative would repeat the slur about Corbyn and antisemitism.  You know perfectly well he has never been an anti-Semite, and you know perfectly well that he has never been lax about fighting that.  The ONLY people who keep that smear alive are Tories and Blairites.  No actual socialists or social democrats ever spread it.  That is why I called you a conservative.  If you're not, you have an obligation not to spread THEIR talking points.

And you can't keep doing the "if you knew who I am or what I do" thing without actually saying who you are or who you do.  Anybody can SAY their name or their job proves their bonafides as a person who is clearly left-of-center.

 

nicky

Ken, you must know ( although maybe you are too blinkered to know) that the discomfort with Corbyn over anti-semetism is not that he is personally anti-Semitic but that he tolerates anti-Semitic attacks by many of his followers on Jews and in particular Jewish Labour MPs.

your sweeping statements that “only a Conservative would etc., etc.” Say this or that are frankly silly.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

nicky wrote:

Ken, you must know ( although maybe you are too blinkered to know) that the discomfort with Corbyn over anti-semetism is not that he is personally anti-Semitic but that he tolerates anti-Semitic attacks by many of his followers on Jews and in particular Jewish Labour MPs.

your sweeping statements that “only a Conservative would etc., etc.” Say this or that are frankly silly.

The fact is, he has never tolerated anti-Semitic attacks on anyone, let alone Jewish Labour MPs.  And when Ruth Smeeth stood up in the House and quoted offensive emails which were sent to her, she offered no evidence, and no evidence has been found by anyone, that those emails were sent by Labour supporters at all, let alone Corbyn supporters.  It's not possible for a party leader to monitor or restrict messages sent to MPs by anybody.  The reason Corbyn has been endlessly attacked on this issue is simply the fact that he is the first leader Labour or any other British political party has ever had who has stood up for ordinary Palestinians-not Hamas, not Fatah, not anybody using any methods remotely similar to "terrorism"-and acknowledged that they have been persecuted by the Israeli government and the IDF for decades now.  The only other reason is that Corbyn has challenged the Likudnik narrative that antisemitism is a singularly prevalent form of bigotry in the UK or Europe at all, let alone on the left-and virtually any survey you can find regarding antisemitism in the UK clearly shows that it is the far right, including the most reactionary sectors of the Conservative Party, where antisemitism mostly lives.  It's absurd for Corbyn's opponents to act as though antisemitism is more prevalent and more virulent than Islamophobia, homophobia, prejudice against BAME(Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic peoples).  The Left has always fought passionately against antisemitism, Corbyn has always spoken out against it and fought against it.  But what Corbyn's opponents want to do is to twist the antisemitism issue in such a way as to equate virtually all public criticism of what the Israeli government does to Palestinians with hatred of Jews, and to equate anti-Zionism or non-Zionism with the secret desire to finish the Holocaust.

People like Margaret Hodge and Ruth Smeeth have never raised this issue out of any motive other than to smear the Labour Left and drive them out of the party.  They don't care that Labour can't win any future elections if the Left and especially Corbyn's supporters are silenced or driven away.  They are obsessed with making Labour a party of the arrogant, elitist, anti-democratic "centre ground", even though there's no centre ground at all in UK politics anymore and even though the prohibitive majority of Labour supporters and Labour supporters want a clear and permanent break with the Third Way.

Aristotleded24

Ken Burch wrote:
The Left has always fought passionately against antisemitism, Corbyn has always spoken out against it and fought against it.

Certainly the Canadian government was very opposed to taking in Jewish refugees from Europe in the 1930s, and that position was backed by at least a large portion of public opinion. I can't imagine that governments in the United States, Britain, or any other Western country behaved any differently nor that the public sentiment was any different.

nicky

Ken, you maintain that anyone who undermines Corbyn is by definition a "Conservative."

Would this definition extend to anyone who fundamentally undermines the Labour Party in general?

If so, the one thing most clearly standing betweenLabour and winning back power is Corbyn's pathetic leadership. Indeed there  were many Conservative entryists who joined Labour to vote for Corbyn and thereby hobble its chances.

So to be consistent with your own somewhat elastic definition, you Ken are a Conservative. 

That explains a lot.

NDPP

"...The Labour position is as clear as mud...When will there be serious engagement with people living in the North and in the Midlands who voted Labour but who also voted for Brexit? For far too long, traditional Labour voters have been ignored by the party. Many voters are fed up with being patronised by a London-dominated, metropolitan elite within the Labour Party who seem to think they know best for what they want and why they voted to leave the EU. Two-thirds of Labour held seats voted to leave the EU and this must not be ignored in an attempt to reverse Brexit..."

'My Voters Are Fed Up With Labour's Anti-Brexit Metropolitan Elite'

https://labourlist.org/2019/03/my-voters-are-fed-up-with-labours-anti-br...

josh

nicky wrote:

 

If so, the one thing most clearly standing betweenLabour and winning back power is Corbyn's pathetic leadership. Indeed there  were many Conservative entryists who joined Labour to vote for Corbyn and thereby hobble its chances.

 

You sound like a broken record with this bogus point.  As for winning without Corbyn, the clearest refutation of that is the results of the 2010 and 2015 elections.  Now perhaps another left leader, like McDonnell, would have a better chance than Corbyn.  But there is no evidence that the party would stand a better chance of winning if it abandoned Cobynism.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

nicky wrote:

Ken, you maintain that anyone who undermines Corbyn is by definition a "Conservative."

Would this definition extend to anyone who fundamentally undermines the Labour Party in general?

If so, the one thing most clearly standing betweenLabour and winning back power is Corbyn's pathetic leadership. Indeed there  were many Conservative entryists who joined Labour to vote for Corbyn and thereby hobble its chances.

So to be consistent with your own somewhat elastic definition, you Ken are a Conservative. 

That explains a lot.

The link a sent you proves Corbyn wasn't elected leader by Conservative entryists.  On the first preference, he had 49.5% of the vote among Labour members alone(the only group he lost in among the party were the MPs, the group who are basically the only "moderates" still in the party.  There was never a possibility that every single second-preference or third-preference vote would have united around a single anti-Corbyn candidate against him.  And the party, AT THE TIME, set up a mechanism to make sure no Conservative supporters voted in the contest, so the entryist thing was a myth and you need to let that one go. 

And among the other three candidates, Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall, there was nobody who could possibly be doing a better job as leader than Corbyn.  No "moderate" could ever have become personally popular with the UK electorate and there was no longer any public support for keeping Labour on the miserly, militarist "centre ground".

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

And it has never been a question of Corbyn "undermining Labour".  It has been a question of the 160 anti-Corbyn MPs-a group of passionless, cynical hacks who only continue to hold their seats-they are universally without personal popularity in their constituencies-because Tony Blair imposed them as Labour candidates against the will of their constituency parties between 1994 and 1997 and then made it essentially impossible for their constituency parties to deselect them.   These people see themselves as being ABOVE the party, as owing those who do the hard work of keeping them in their seats by campaigning for them nothing, as being free of accountability to anyone but those to Labour's right.

Had these people accepted that the 2016 leadership re-vote settled the leadership issue and accepted that Corbyn was going to lead them into the next election, rather than continually attacked him and tried to force him out, rather than slander Corbyn and his supporters on the antisemitism, had they not gone so far as to try to force him out DURING the 2017 election-when they knew a leadership change was impossible-and had they not then gone so far as to openly campaign against Labour in the next local elections-in which Labour made massive gains despite their efforts-Corbyn would have no issues with personal popularity among the wider electorate at all.  There was no good reason, after 2016, for the anti-Corbynites to treat Corbyn with any less respect than they showed Blair.  

The man's made no actual major mistakes, and with the split in Labour on Brexit, it has to be conceded that the party would have difficulties on that no matter what any possible leader did on that issue.  

None of the policies he supports are actually unpopular.  He does well in question period-and uses that time to raise issues that matter, as oppose to Mulcair's pointless obsession with Duffy.  And Corbyn is, unlike anybody on the Labour Right, universally regarded as a decent, principled person.  His issues as leader are exclusively because the anti-Labour Labour MPs and the Tory media(even the BBC) have endlessly viciously vilified him.  They've called the most anti-bigotry leader any UK political party ever had an abetter of bigotry.  

nicky

Josh and Ken, there is in fact plenty of evidence that Labour could do better with another leader.

i am unaware of polling asking how Labour would fare with a specific different leader.

however, we do know from recent polling that about a third of the electorate ( recently down 6 or 7 % as a result of the Brexit issue) still supports Labour

yet only 17% actually approves of Corbyn ( vs 68% who disapprove). It must be obvious even to Conservative entryists that Corbyn runs well behind his party and is a considerable hindrance to its success.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

There aren't any damn Conservative entryists, and the only people PUSHING for Corbyn to go(you can't assume the pro-Brexit wing of the party want a leadership change)are those who want the Blairites restored to dominance.

And it's amazing that you refuse to acknowledge any connection between the relentless and unjustified vilification campaign the right wing of the PLP have run against Corbyn and his popularity ratings.  The man hasn't actually made any significant mistakes as leader and the party has done better under his leadership than generally did under Kinnock-a leader who also never had Labour in a consistent strong lead in the polls.

It could only do harm to do what you want and replace Corbyn with someone to his right(McDonnell might be better, but you'd never accept him or anyone else who actually support socialism).

If you really just wanted Labour to do better, you'd call on the anti-Corbynites to stop trying to push the party back to 1997-style policies and stop trying to drive the left out again.

NDPP

'On the Anniversary of Tony Benn's Death...' (and vid)

https://twitter.com/spikedonline/status/1106178374630817793

"On the anniversary of Tony Benn's death, here's a clip of one of his greatest oratories against the elitest and anti-democratic EU. If only there were more MPs like him today."

 

"It is with deep regret I tonight resigned from Labour's front bench, because I believe we should respect the result of the 2016 vote to leave the European Union." - Steph Peacock MP

https://twitter.com/Steph_Peacock/status/1106294726007971840

josh

Someone with integrity.

nicky

Ken, are you serious in Suggesting that Labour as a “ consistent lead in the polls” under Corbyn? Do you stand by that as strongly as you stand by some of your other howlers?

http://www2.politicalbetting.com/index.php/archives/2019/03/15/since-tig-was-formed-the-tories-have-enjoyed-leads-of-between-4-and-11-in-the-standard-voting-intention-polls/

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

nicky wrote:

Ken, are you serious in Suggesting that Labour as a “ consistent lead in the polls” under Corbyn? Do you stand by that as strongly as you stand by some of your other howlers?

http://www2.politicalbetting.com/index.php/archives/2019/03/15/since-tig-was-formed-the-tories-have-enjoyed-leads-of-between-4-and-11-in-the-standard-voting-intention-polls/

 

What I said was that he is comparable in that regard to Neil Kinnock, who usually didn't have Labour in a strong lead in the polls when he was leader.  By 1992, Kinnock had abandoned every socialist or even left-of-center view he had ever held, had driven all the actual socialists out of the party, and hardly improved Labour's poll fortunes at all in doing so.  And unlike Corbyn, Kinnock had no excuse, since the PLP was fully behind him, rather than operating as a group of saboteurs in the way they've done to Corbyn the whole time.

It can't improve Labour's fortunes in the polls to replace Corbyn with anyone to his right.  Nobody in the PLP to Corbyn's right can ever win the support of the activist, radical young, and Labour can't ever win another election if those people are crushed and expelled.  There's no centre ground to appeal to, and there's no longer any such thing as "Middle England"-if there ever really was.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

I could credit your sincerity if you agreed that it was essential that Corbyn be replaced by someone from the left wing, but you sound as though you'd be fine with Yvette Cooper, who isn't to the left of Tony Blair on anything and wouldn't do anything Labour even if she was electable, in the job. 

If Corbyn were to go, the only sort of person who could follow him and win the young activist types Labour has to win to get elected would be John McDonnell. 

BTW, you truly need to apologize for repeating the anti-Semitism slur-you know full well Corbyn has done everything anyone could do about that and you know full well it's not a major problem within Labour.  You also know perfectly well that it's never anti-Semitic to denounce what the Israeli government does to Palestinians.

Aristotleded24

nicky wrote:
Ken, are you serious in Suggesting that Labour as a “ consistent lead in the polls” under Corbyn? Do you stand by that as strongly as you stand by some of your other howlers?

Labour was consistently doing well in the polls until those backstabbing MPs (whom nobody had heard of before) decided to bolt on him.

NDPP

...and he did everything he could to appease them.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

NDPP wrote:

...and he did everything he could to appease them.

He should just change party rules to allow deselection of MPs at any time, and require all MPs to submit to re-selection before a general election.  If the issue was that it would be unfair to just have the constituency parties do re-selection, create a "party primary" process which would put reselection in the hands of every paid-up Labour member and supporter in every constituency, via secret ballot.  Nobody would have any valid reason to object to that.

josh
Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

These last two polls prove it's time for the anti-Corbynites to stop what they've been doing.

Aristotleded24

No, these 2 polls prove the point that the anti-Corbynites have been making this whole time. In 2017, Labour held 45% in some polls. Now this polls have Labour at 39%. That's a 4 point drop in 2 years. It proves that Corbyn is steadily driving Labour into the ground and that he needs to GO!

Sean in Ottawa

These polls prove only that those who agreed to answer them prefered Labour over Conservative. By this I mean the present Labour over the present Conservatives. It does not say anything about how previous Labour would stack up against present Conservatives or how Present Labour would stack up against previous Conservatives.

They show the party somehow, divisions and all slightly above the Conservatives who are also damaged.

After that the numbers say nothing as there is no control group.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Aristotleded24 wrote:

No, these 2 polls prove the point that the anti-Corbynites have been making this whole time. In 2017, Labour held 45% in some polls. Now this polls have Labour at 39%. That's a 4 point drop in 2 years. It proves that Corbyn is steadily driving Labour into the ground and that he needs to GO!

I'll assume there's some intended comedy in there.  Even at 39%, Corbyn is well above the support levels it would be at if anyone the anti-Corbynites preferred was leader.  The fact that Ed Miliband, the model of leadership the anti-Corbynites would prefer(or his essentially Tory brother David, whose popularity would have been exactly the same as Ed, having identical right-wing policies)received a pathetic 30% proves that nobody wants the Third Way back, that there would be no surge to Labour if only it went back to being a party of austerity and war-which is what the Labour "moderates" all insist on-and fought the election with a leader who presented as a smug, arrogant poorbashing snob.

nicky

British split on whether there shd be new referendum but wd vote remain if there was one

Corbyn’s approval down to 16%. Of course that has nothing to do with him and everything to do with the evil Blairites.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/mar/16/britain-split-over-prospect-of-second-brexit-referendum

NDPP

Jess Phillips Emerges as Establishment Pick to Replace Corbyn

https://twitter.com/WarmongerHodges/status/1107052435363762176

"Enter Jess Phillips. She backs Trident, austerity and Israel. She hates Williamson and Leftists in general...but she does talk about gender all the time and says 'fuck' a lot..."

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

NDPP wrote:

Jess Phillips Emerges as Establishment Pick to Replace Corbyn

https://twitter.com/WarmongerHodges/status/1107052435363762176

"Enter Jess Phillips. She backs Trident, austerity and Israel. She hates Williamson and Leftists in general...but she does talk about gender all the time and says 'fuck' a lot..."

Yeah...she's exactly the sort nicky would prefer...even though there's no way she would get Labour more votes, and even though Labour would cease to have any reason to exist if it chose a leader like her.

josh

Yes she sounds absolutely nauseating.

nicky

I suspect that her approval would be about level with Labour's as a whole - about 34%, as opposed to Corbyn's which is currently at 16%.

NDPP

TRNN:  How Did The British Elites Lose Control of Brexit? (and vid)

https://twitter.com/C_Lapavitsas/status/1106481503645691904

"Jeremy Corbyn and his team are proper left. They know that the EU is not progressive and that to change this one has to confront it. But they have been navigating a minefield in their own party..."

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

nicky wrote:

I suspect that her approval would be about level with Labour's as a whole - about 34%, as opposed to Corbyn's which is currently at 16%.

Corbyn's approval rating, if those polls are valid, is only "low" because of the endless smears and vilification.  And it goes without saying that a leader the people who are anti-Corbyn would accept and not vilify wouldn't be significantly different than the Tories.

The actual voters aren't demanding that Labour put in a leader who would treat the left like Kinnock did, and would strip Labour of all of its core values like Kinnock did.  Clearly, if Kinnock had been elected, he wouldn't have been to the left of Blair on anything that mattered to actual human beings and would barely have been to the left of Major at all.

The only reason for Labour to exist is to offer a radically different future than the Tories.  For Labour to stand for anythihng short of transformation would be to agree to make the party useless.

She has no reason to demonize the left, anyway.   And it's absurd to fight for a party that talks about identity politics but is right-wing on economics and foreign policy  You can't really be anti-oppression if you're "extremely casual" about the rich stealing more money and you treat socialists as the enemy, as Phillips does.

josh

Well said.

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