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JKR

Aristotleded24 wrote:

JKR wrote:
Why is it now wrong to oppose Corbyn if it once was ok to oppose Mulcair? Was it wrong to oppose Blair?

Principled opposition is one thing. Corbyn's opponents have taken it even further and tried to undermine him from the start without ever having accepted the results in the first place or given him a chance. It is especially ironic that his opponents claim that "he can't win an election" when he was already tested in an election, and ended up turning what should have been a super-majority for the Tories into a hung parliament.

Even if you have a bad leader, sometimes the best thing to do is put on a smile, hold your fire, and wait until after the election in order to deal with any leadership issues that you have.

I agree that within two years or so before an election party members should support their leader unless that leader is very unpopular. I think Corbyn is currently not popular but his current numbers are not bad enough to warrant calls for his removal especially since an election seems imminent. However, I do think many people within Labour want Corbyn replaced simply because Labour’s current popularity numbers are weak. I think it’s fair to say that considering the disaster the Conservatives have been in government over the last four years, Labour should be far ahead in the polls.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

JKR wrote:

Aristotleded24 wrote:

JKR wrote:
Why is it now wrong to oppose Corbyn if it once was ok to oppose Mulcair? Was it wrong to oppose Blair?

Principled opposition is one thing. Corbyn's opponents have taken it even further and tried to undermine him from the start without ever having accepted the results in the first place or given him a chance. It is especially ironic that his opponents claim that "he can't win an election" when he was already tested in an election, and ended up turning what should have been a super-majority for the Tories into a hung parliament.

Even if you have a bad leader, sometimes the best thing to do is put on a smile, hold your fire, and wait until after the election in order to deal with any leadership issues that you have.

I agree that within two years or so before an election party members should support their leader unless that leader is very unpopular. I think Corbyn is currently not popular but his current numbers are not bad enough to warrant calls for his removal especially since an election seems imminent. However, I do think many people within Labour want Corbyn replaced simply because Labour’s current popularity numbers are weak. I think it’s fair to say that considering the disaster the Conservatives have been in government over the last four years, Labour should be far ahead in the polls.

As he would be, had the anti-Corbynites spent the last four years accepting that he was leader and working with him to beat the Tories instead of refusing to ever stop trying to force him out.

It's up to the wreckers to do what they owe it to the party to do and STOP with the wrecking.

JKR

I think “the wreckers” won’t stop trying to replace Corbyn because they think he’s a weak leader who reduces Labour’s chances of forming government. And even if Labour forms government it is hard to see how they could govern successfully while trying to overcome their internal divisions and contradictions. It seems like Labour has divided into two separate factions within one formal party.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

JKR wrote:

I think “the wreckers” won’t stop trying to replace Corbyn because they think he’s a weak leader who reduces Labour’s chances of forming government. And even if Labour forms government it is hard to see how they could govern successfully while trying to overcome their internal divisions and contradictions. It seems like Labour has divided into two separate factions within one formal party.

Then Labour needs to adopt Open Selection for all Labour candidates-including sitting MPs seeking re-election-so that in the huge number of cases where it's a Labour Right MP working to sabotage Corbyn-almost always against the will of that MPs constituency party-there's a means to force that MP to stop the sabotage.  It's pretty much just the MPs themselves opposing and working to sabotage Corbyn as leader.  There's no popular support among the voters for what the anti-Corbyn MPs are doing.  If there were, we'd have seen at least one Independent Group/Change UK MP stand down, force a by-election, and win the by-election under their new colours, as there were on several occasions for the SDP/Liberal "Alliance" in the early 1980s.  None of them have dared.

The idiots also don't seem to have realized that, even if they did succeed in forcing Corbyn out and replacing him with someone else-we all know they wouldn't allow anyone but "moderates", i.e. Tories in all but name, on the leadership ballot to replace Corbyn-they've guaranteed that whoever they did impose as a post-Corbyn leader could never be popular and could never unify the party for victory.  Having refused to ever be loyal to Corbyn as leader, they'd have no right to ask the vast majority of Labour members and supporters who stand with Corbyn on the issues and have stood with him as leader to ever be loyal to whichever passionless, cowardly puppet they put in as leader.  Therefore, they've guaranteed that Labour's chances would be made worse if they did force Corbyn out, since nobody the anti-Corbynites accepted as leader could ever have socialist or even "social democratic" values, could never fight for the poor-no Labour moderate has cared about the poor in decades-could ever enunciate a clear alternative to Toryism-Labour moderates largely support what Thatcher did and want her economic restructuring kept in place forever-and would never break with the Thatcher-Blair tradition of a relentlessly militaristic foreign polic

Since the anti-Corbynite MPs have no real differences with the Tories, they should either cross the floor and join them or have the decency to simply leave politics.  These MPs no longer have any legitimate place within Labour and no excuse for pretending they actually hold Labour values in.  They need to either defect to the Right or retire. 

 

nicky

Ken, are you seriously advocating that the 80% of Labour MPs who think ( like the vast majority of Brits) that Corbyn is a crap leader should be purged from the Labour Party?

if so, perhaps this clip encapsulates your dreams for the Labour Party.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=sP85VfbRZ9g

JKR

Ken Burch wrote:

JKR wrote:

I think “the wreckers” won’t stop trying to replace Corbyn because they think he’s a weak leader who reduces Labour’s chances of forming government. And even if Labour forms government it is hard to see how they could govern successfully while trying to overcome their internal divisions and contradictions. It seems like Labour has divided into two separate factions within one formal party.

Then Labour needs to adopt Open Selection for all Labour candidates-including sitting MPs seeking re-election-so that in the huge number of cases where it's a Labour Right MP working to sabotage Corbyn-almost always against the will of that MPs constituency party-there's a means to force that MP to stop the sabotage.  It's pretty much just the MPs themselves opposing and working to sabotage Corbyn as leader.  There's no popular support among the voters for what the anti-Corbyn MPs are doing.  If there were, we'd have seen at least one Independent Group/Change UK MP stand down, force a by-election, and win the by-election under their new colours, as there were on several occasions for the SDP/Liberal "Alliance" in the early 1980s.  None of them have dared.

The idiots also don't seem to have realized that, even if they did succeed in forcing Corbyn out and replacing him with someone else-we all know they wouldn't allow anyone but "moderates", i.e. Tories in all but name, on the leadership ballot to replace Corbyn-they've guaranteed that whoever they did impose as a post-Corbyn leader could never be popular and could never unify the party for victory.  Having refused to ever be loyal to Corbyn as leader, they'd have no right to ask the vast majority of Labour members and supporters who stand with Corbyn on the issues and have stood with him as leader to ever be loyal to whichever passionless, cowardly puppet they put in as leader.  Therefore, they've guaranteed that Labour's chances would be made worse if they did force Corbyn out, since nobody the anti-Corbynites accepted as leader could ever have socialist or even "social democratic" values, could never fight for the poor-no Labour moderate has cared about the poor in decades-could ever enunciate a clear alternative to Toryism-Labour moderates largely support what Thatcher did and want her economic restructuring kept in place forever-and would never break with the Thatcher-Blair tradition of a relentlessly militaristic foreign polic

Since the anti-Corbynite MPs have no real differences with the Tories, they should either cross the floor and join them or have the decency to simply leave politics.  These MPs no longer have any legitimate place within Labour and no excuse for pretending they actually hold Labour values in.  They need to either defect to the Right or retire. 

 

I think Labour’s “moderate” members and MP’s are going to remain within Labour and support the status quo within Labour since they want to continue to be a part of a political party that has a successful brand. This is especially important in FPTP politics where a strong advantage is given to the top two parties/brands. I think ultimately Labour’s “moderates” and “leftists” will have to reconcile as neither faction is likely to leave a party that has developed a successful brand over more than a century. 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

JKR wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

JKR wrote:

I think “the wreckers” won’t stop trying to replace Corbyn because they think he’s a weak leader who reduces Labour’s chances of forming government. And even if Labour forms government it is hard to see how they could govern successfully while trying to overcome their internal divisions and contradictions. It seems like Labour has divided into two separate factions within one formal party.

Then Labour needs to adopt Open Selection for all Labour candidates-including sitting MPs seeking re-election-so that in the huge number of cases where it's a Labour Right MP working to sabotage Corbyn-almost always against the will of that MPs constituency party-there's a means to force that MP to stop the sabotage.  It's pretty much just the MPs themselves opposing and working to sabotage Corbyn as leader.  There's no popular support among the voters for what the anti-Corbyn MPs are doing.  If there were, we'd have seen at least one Independent Group/Change UK MP stand down, force a by-election, and win the by-election under their new colours, as there were on several occasions for the SDP/Liberal "Alliance" in the early 1980s.  None of them have dared.

The idiots also don't seem to have realized that, even if they did succeed in forcing Corbyn out and replacing him with someone else-we all know they wouldn't allow anyone but "moderates", i.e. Tories in all but name, on the leadership ballot to replace Corbyn-they've guaranteed that whoever they did impose as a post-Corbyn leader could never be popular and could never unify the party for victory.  Having refused to ever be loyal to Corbyn as leader, they'd have no right to ask the vast majority of Labour members and supporters who stand with Corbyn on the issues and have stood with him as leader to ever be loyal to whichever passionless, cowardly puppet they put in as leader.  Therefore, they've guaranteed that Labour's chances would be made worse if they did force Corbyn out, since nobody the anti-Corbynites accepted as leader could ever have socialist or even "social democratic" values, could never fight for the poor-no Labour moderate has cared about the poor in decades-could ever enunciate a clear alternative to Toryism-Labour moderates largely support what Thatcher did and want her economic restructuring kept in place forever-and would never break with the Thatcher-Blair tradition of a relentlessly militaristic foreign polic

Since the anti-Corbynite MPs have no real differences with the Tories, they should either cross the floor and join them or have the decency to simply leave politics.  These MPs no longer have any legitimate place within Labour and no excuse for pretending they actually hold Labour values in.  They need to either defect to the Right or retire. 

 

I think Labour’s “moderate” members and MP’s are going to remain within Labour and support the status quo within Labour since they want to continue to be a part of a political party that has a successful brand. This is especially important in FPTP politics where a strong advantage is given to the top two parties/brands. I think ultimately Labour’s “moderates” and “leftists” will have to reconcile as neither faction is likely to leave a party that has developed a successful brand over more than a century. 

Most of the "reconciliation", then, has to be in the form of the "moderates" backing the hell off of what they are doing and apologizing for doing it.  It means they need to apologize for every smear they've flung Corbyn's way and admit that he and his supporters-now the overwhelming majority of the party in ideological terms-never deserved what the "moderates" have done to them over the last four years. 

In exchange for that, they'd get to be part of the brand 'til they retired.

I get it that you are trying to be "fair-minded", JKR, but at some point you have to recognize that there is not moral equivalency here-there is not shared blame for Labour's current situation.  Corbyn has put up with abuse and no disrespect from the right wing of the PLP that no other party leader in British history has ever received, let alone tolerated.

Doesn't it bother you at all, JKR, that the most thoroughly decent person in British politics, in English-speaking politics anywhere for that matter, has been subject to this level of character assassination, demonization, slander?  That the most passionate opponent of all forms of bigotry ever to lead a British political party is being accused of abetting bigotry?  

What can you point to that either Corbyn or his supporters have done to any of Corbyn's opponents that comes anywhere remotely close to this?  That comes anywhere in the neighborhood of even vaguely justifying or deserving it?

If the anti-Corbyn hate campaign had not been carried out, endlessly, relentlessly, day after day, since the day Corbyn won the leadership, Labour would be almost certainly be 10 to 15 points ahead in the polls at this point.

Why couldn't Corbyn's opponents in the party just get the hell out of the way and let that happen?

There is no way those wreckers could still believe anyone they put in after subjecting Corbyn to this, anyone they expressed approval of, could ever gain the trust and acceptance of the party, let alone the electorate.  

BTW, JRK, I thank you for the civil, respectful, decent tone you've taken in this exchange.   

JKR

Ken Burch wrote:

I get it that you are trying to be "fair-minded", JKR, but at some point you have to recognize that there is not moral equivalency here-there is not shared blame for Labour's current situation.  Corbyn has put up with abuse and no disrespect from the right wing of the PLP that no other party leader in British history has ever received, let alone tolerated.

It sounds to me like Labour has become a very bad marriage between the "leftists" and the "centrists." I think it may be true that the "centrists" have been abusive to the "leftists." During the last generation the "centrists" have held considerable power and this may have given them a superiority complex and a sense of entitlement. But I also think the "centrists" feel they are acting in the best interest of workers in the UK and in the interest of the UK as a whole. I think Labour is in dire need of some sort of marriage counselling as unfortunately a divorce under FPTP is out of the question. I think if the UK used some form of PR, Labour would quickly split up into at least 2 separate parties and that would be healthy for their democracy. It's interesting that Labour, including Corbyn, have supported FPTP as it benefits Labour since they are one of the UK'S two "big tent" parties. I think Labour should support PR-STV and have an amicable divorce after it is established. Until then I'm not sure what can be done as this schism in Labour is giving power to the right in the UK during a time of great change. The main reason I am opposed to Brexit is that I think there is a good chance that the right in the UK will be able to stay in power and use Brexit to remake the UK, or at least England, into a more neo-liberal jurisdiction. If the Conservatives continue to dominate UK politics, I think the UK is better off within the EU than out of it.

Aristotleded24

JKR, please watch this clip of a former Labour MP admitting to undermining Corbyn during the election. This is the kind of behaviour that the anti-Corbyn Labour MPs have been guilty of since Corbyn was elected as leader.

JKR

Aristotleded24 wrote:

JKR, please watch this clip of a former Labour MP admitting to undermining Corbyn during the election. This is the kind of behaviour that the anti-Corbyn Labour MPs have been guilty of since Corbyn was elected as leader.

I agree that this former Labour MP has low regard for Corbyn and that she hindered Corbyn’s ability to run a successful election campaign. I also think that this MP thought that Corbyn was a liability to her local campaign and that is why she told a member of her constituency that Corbyn was not likely to become PM so the constituent could feel free to vote for her. Like it or not it is possible that Corbyn is unpopular amongst many UK voters including many who are open to voting for Labour. It is also possible that Corbyn may be popular amongst most paid members of Labour and also unpopular amongst the general UK public. It seems to me that Corbyn’s leadership numbers in opinion polls have been mostly low since he became leader and that May’s horrible election campaign greatly helped Corbyn during the last election. I guess it is possible Boris Johnson will run a bad campaign that will help Corbyn recover again from low opinion poll numbers but I think it is not good that Labour has to count on this happening in another election just to remain viable. I think it’s obvious that something is very wrong about Labour and that the leader of the party should bear a lot of the responsibility of fixing this. What is Corbyn doing about putting Labour back on track?

NDPP

WATCH: "Zionists verbally abuse Jews at a Pro-Palestine rally in London. 'You're not Jews, you're scum', is just some of the abuse Zionists screamed. Unsurprisingly, none of this was reported by Britain's mainstream media.

https://twitter.com/SocialistVoice/status/1160707266724749312

'Judaism  OK. Zionism No Way!'

Free Palestine. Down Israel.

nicky

I don't see anything wrong with what this MP said.

it was first of all not in public. It was directed to a few constituents who, like the vast majority of the public at present, who did not want to see Corbyn as PM. they were simply encouraged to vote for aLabour MP because they could do so without making Corbyn PM.

I am sure there will be NDP MPs who will privvately enourage people to vote for them as MPs notwithstanding doubts about Jagmeet.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

There are several things wrong with this

1) She told this story, on live television, during a general election campaign, at a time when numerous Labour MPs, even though it's impossible to change leaders once an election campaign has started, were still trying to push Corybn into standing down.

2) We have only her word that this voters said she she said the voter said, and, quite frankly, only her word that this voter even existed.

3) Corbyn was not a disaster as leader in the 2017 election, as has been repeatedly shown.  He led the party to strong gains in the seat count and massive gains in the popular vote share.  There was nothing in those unexpected gains-the Labour Right wanted the party to lose badly if they couldn't succeed in forcing Corbyn to resign-that could have been attributed to anything said or done by individual "moderate" Labour MPs that went against the ideas Corbyn's supporters stand for-if we could really call those people "Labour" at all after that point, given that the were effectively working to make sure their party didn't win the election and that its leader didn't become prime minister if it did, that would explain a ten point gain in the popular vote when the people who were attacking Corbyn were pushing the same policies that had lead to solid losses in votes and seats in the previous two elections-there were no differences between Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband's policies, on the one hand, and Blair's on the other-would suddenly win vote shares they'd come nowhere close to winning in years.

Labour deprived the Conservatives of a majority in 2017 for one reason and one reason alone-the fact that Corbyn's decent, honest, kindly persona, combined with the humane, democratic, transformative ideas the Corbyn movement supported, resonated with millions of people who were never again going to vote for Labour on a bland centrist platform-let alone on the massively-further-to-the-right program that the Labour MPs who abstained on benefits cuts would have proposed.  Corbyn also brought millions of NEW voters to the polls, people no leader approved of by Corbyn's opponents in the party could ever have appealed to.

The near-victory for Labour in that contest, a contest in which many Labour MPs made themselves deserving of expulsion due to their insistence on "bringing the party into disrepute" through their insistence on publicly attacking their leader during the campaign, is proof that, if those MPs had accepted that the 2016 leadership vote SETTLED the leadership issue, accepted Corbyn as leader, and then fought all out for electoral victory AND and the agenda the vast majority of the Labour membership and supportership backed, Labour would have won the 2017 election, the damage done by Thatcherism/Cameronism/Blairism/Mayism would have been repaired, and a sensible compromise on the EU issue that the vast majority of the British population could have lived with would have been found.

Nothing at all is better, from anything remotely like a left-of-center viewpoint, for the refusal of the MPs to do that.

nicky

WRONG AGAIN KEN !!!

She did not broadcast this during the elction. The date is Feb. of THIS YEAR, not 2017.

IF you actually listened to the clip in  the very first few seconds she says "I only kept my seat because..." The election is clearly over.

As for your ignoble assertion that "we only have her word" that these voters exist, it is obviously not hard to find people who think Corbyn is a bad leader. The last poll I saw showed that 70% of Brits dispprove of Corbyn. If you go up to pretty much anyone on the street in the UK  odds are you will  hear a negative assessment of Corbyn.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

nicky wrote:

WRONG AGAIN KEN !!!

She did not broadcast this during the elction. The date is Feb. of THIS YEAR, not 2017.

IF you actually listened to the clip in  the very first few seconds she says "I only kept my seat because..." The election is clearly over.

As for your ignoble assertion that "we only have her word" that these voters exist, it is obviously not hard to find people who think Corbyn is a bad leader. The last poll I saw showed that 70% of Brits dispprove of Corbyn. If you go up to pretty much anyone on the street in the UK  odds are you will  hear a negative assessment of Corbyn.


OK, I stand corrected on the date of her comments-though I believe she and other Labour MPs made similar comments about what unnamed "constituents" said during the election campaign.  

And we only have her word that she "only kept her seat" because she promised to be anti-Corbyn.  Labour was surging in popularity all through that campaign.

The 2016 leadership vote had settled the question of where Labour members and supporters wanted to go on the issues-it was comprehensive, landslide defeat for the idea of going back to centrism.

If Corbyn were to step down, the only possible replacements for him which could ever win the trust and support of Labour members and supporters would be someone who took the positions Corbyn takes on the issues, none of which are unpopular.

And the reality is, NO Labour leader could commit the party to an allout Remain position on the issues without losing the votes of the North and Northeast of England forever.  Since committing to Remain means committing to the absolute status quo on every aspect of the EU, committing Labour to an allout Remain position means committing Labour to accepting an economic status quo in which the North and Northeast of England are always left out in the cold.  The only measures which could help that region would be full-blooded socialist policies for rebuilding the North and Northeast English economies-they can't be revived under any form of market capitalism, as the forty years since Thatcherism have proved.  That's why no Labour leader can keep the party together if that leader takes the position on the EU you are demanding.  The best that can be done is a second referendum, which Corbyn has committed to.

And the truth is, Corbyn might have stood down by now if it weren't for the fact that the PLP will never let it go at just removing him-they won't stop until they have reimposed sectarian Blairism.  If sectarian Blairism is reimposed, it will mean the last major differences between Labour and the Tories will vanish and that change can only lead to the extinction of the party altogether.

So it isn't as simply as "Corbyn must go".  Whether Corbyn goes or not, the PLP has to accept that the party isn't THEIR private club, that they are no more important than anybody else in the party, and that what may have worked in electoral terms twenty-two years ago no longer works.  The PLP has to allow the party to complete the changes the Corbyn movement has been trying to bring to it.  It has to commit itself to all-out anti-austerity, the end of UK military intervention anywhere in the Arab/Muslim world, a neutral "peace, justice, and reconciliation" position on the Israel/Palestine issue, and a complete end to corporate donations and corporate influence within the party.

The PLP needs to admit that their day is past, whoever becomes leader.  
 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

JKR wrote:
Ken Burch wrote:

I get it that you are trying to be "fair-minded", JKR, but at some point you have to recognize that there is not moral equivalency here-there is not shared blame for Labour's current situation.  Corbyn has put up with abuse and  disrespect from the right wing of the PLP that no other party leader in British history has ever received, let alone tolerated.

It sounds to me like Labour has become a very bad marriage between the "leftists" and the "centrists." I think it may be true that the "centrists" have been abusive to the "leftists." During the last generation the "centrists" have held considerable power and this may have given them a superiority complex and a sense of entitlement. But I also think the "centrists" feel they are acting in the best interest of workers in the UK and in the interest of the UK as a whole. I think Labour is in dire need of some sort of marriage counselling as unfortunately a divorce under FPTP is out of the question. I think if the UK used some form of PR, Labour would quickly split up into at least 2 separate parties and that would be healthy for their democracy. It's interesting that Labour, including Corbyn, have supported FPTP as it benefits Labour since they are one of the UK'S two "big tent" parties. I think Labour should support PR-STV and have an amicable divorce after it is established. Until then I'm not sure what can be done as this schism in Labour is giving power to the right in the UK during a time of great change. The main reason I am opposed to Brexit is that I think there is a good chance that the right in the UK will be able to stay in power and use Brexit to remake the UK, or at least England, into a more neo-liberal jurisdiction. If the Conservatives continue to dominate UK politics, I think the UK is better off within the EU than out of it.

Why do you assume the centrists even care about the working class, the kept-from-working poor, or even the party?  People who care about the party they are part of don't work against the party's chances during election campaigns by attacking the leader of the party during those campaigns.  They don't create a whole new party-the SDP in the Eighties, the CUK in the present-for the sole purpose of making sure the party they had supported doesn't get elected.

You, JKR, are a fair-minded person.  The anti-Corbynites have never been fair-minded people, and there is no reason to think they are operating out of any genuinely positive intent.

 

NDPP

UK: Johnson Government Considers Post-Brexit, Snap Election, While Labour's Blairites Plot 'National Unity' Government

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/08/12/brex-a12.html

"Plan by Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government to force through a no deal Brexit threatens to embroil the UK in a major constitutional crisis..."

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Blair wanted a "National Government" in the first place.  It's clear that he never wanted Labour to win a solid majority in its own right, that he would have preferred, the whole time, to have an arrangement on domestic issues of the kind he had with the Tories on the Iraq War-winning votes to keep that conflict going after the vast majority of his own party's MPs had turned against it.

And if a new National Government had the same effect as the one Ramsay MacDonald cobbled together in 1931-a snap election which produced a Tory landslide in the seat count and kept Labour unelectable for years to come-Blair and that mob would be fine with that.  The destruction of socialism and of Labour as a party was always the objective of the Labour Right.   

nicky

Ken writes: "Blair wanted a "National Government" in the first place.  It's clear that he never wanted Labour to win a solid majority in its own right...."

Do you have any source for this wild assertion?

NDPP

Brexit Breakup

https://www.nakedpcapitalism.com/2019/08/brexit-breakup.html

"The Institute for Government has confirmed our reading, that if this government wants a no-deal Brexit, it will be well nigh impossible to prevent it. Astonishingly, Labour and Remainer Tories let their best option, that of a general election before October 31, slip from their grasp by failing to keep Parliament in session and stuck to their traditional recess..."

josh

Last two polls, ComRes and Opinium, have the Conservatives sitting on 31, Labour at 27 and 28, Brexit at 16, and the Lib Dems at 13 and 16.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Which is proof that it is irresponsible for any Labour people, with a general election probably imminent, to still be trying to force a leadership change-especially since it goes without saying that any leader the PLP gave its full support to would automatically be discredited in the eyes of the unions and the paid members and supporters and thus automatically incapable of uniting the party for victory.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

nicky wrote:

Ken writes: "Blair wanted a "National Government" in the first place.  It's clear that he never wanted Labour to win a solid majority in its own right...."

Do you have any source for this wild assertion?

Some strong circumstantial evidence has existed all along.

1) Blair's dilution of Clause Four to a series of meaningless catchphrases which committed a Labour government to absolutely nothing at all-no Labour leader who actually wanted a Labour government to BE a Labour government would have done that-and there was no reason for it TO be done, since Blair had known a Labour victory at the next election was a certainty from the moment he assumed the leadership, as the party had a solid lead in the polls under his predecessor and the Tory government was totally discredited in the eyes of the voters by the Exchange Rate Mechanism(ERM)crisis which had just occurred.  Blair did that for one reason only;  because he wanted a Labour victory to leave the Labour PARTY totally out in the cold, as his years in power largely did;

2) His announcement that trade union leaders would have no real say in anything a Labour government did-something only a person who hates the Labour Party would do, since nothing pro-worker can be done by a government which treats the labour movement as nothing more than another special interest group;

3) The fact that his first guest at 10 Downing Street was Margaret Thatcher herself-a pointless gesture of disrespect towards those who had just put him in power, virtually none of whom still supported Thatcherism after the eightteen years of undiluted misery it had caused for the many;

4) His continual preference for Tory rhetoric and phraseology-the man never gave a truly "Labour" speech at any point in his leadership-extending to his acceptance of the despicable idea that poverty is not caused by unregulated capitalism but, instead, by the moral failings of the poor;

5) His insistence on continuing to attack and try to drive any remaining socialists out of the party AFTER 1997, even though the election results meant the electorate didn't want him to devote his time in office to be vindictively anti-socialist and anti-Left;

6) The utter lack of concern Blair showed about the phenomenon of hundreds of thousands of party members leaving the party through his time in office;

7) The adoption, even though nobody out there in the electorate was demanding this, of a foreign policy which ended up being MORE militarist than that of Margaret Thatcher.

That's a start.

He wasn't reckless enough to put the words "I don't want a Labour majority" on the record, but I will be continuing to look for-and find-evidence of the man's irrational ill-will towards his own party.

There's this, from the Atlantic Monthly, published before Blair won the 1997 election, written by someone who was basically sympathetic to Blair's ideas:  

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1996/06/the-paradoxical-cas...

The things I listed above could only be the actions of a party leader who hates the party the leader was elected to lead, wants that party to have no core values and sees that party as nothing but a vehicle for that leader to gain personal power for the sake of holding personal power.

None of those choices could be the acts of a party leader who actually respects the core values of the party in question and wants those core values to be part of what that leader does in government, and it explains why there was nothing done under Blair that could not have been done by Harold MacMillan or Anthony Eden, or perhaps even by Churchill. 

 

And there is no other interpretation that can be made of the willingness of the Labour Right to form a "National Government" now than that the Labour Right hates the Labour Party.  Nobody who actually floats rumors about intentionally splitting the party, Ramsay Macdonald-style, can be considered Labour anymore.

 

 

 

nicky

But Ken, the larger Blair's majority, the less he would have to placate his left wing MPs.

Isnt that inconsistent with your hypothesis?

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

nicky wrote:

But Ken, the larger Blair's majority, the less he would have to placate his left wing MPs.

Isnt that inconsistent with your hypothesis?

Blair actually NEVER had to placate his MPs at any point, especially on the Iraq War, because he always knew the Tories would vote for what he wanted even when most of his party was against it.

And if he was concerned about "placating" the left-btw, nothing the left ever asked of Blair was unreasonable, unpopular, or bad policy-Blair wouldn't have continued to viciously attack the left even after he'd become prime minister-he'd have treated the left, in that case, as though he owed them something in exchange for not, say, going off and forming a New Left party devoted mainly to ending Blairism, just as the SDP-Liberal alliance of the Eighties was created solely to destroy Labour's chances and prevent the ouster of Margaret Thatcher.

BTW, the reason I've referred to Corbyn's opponents in the PLP, collectively, as "Blairites", is because all of them identify either as Blairite or Blue Labour-another world for essentially the same set of policies, with a slightly more anti-multicultural sensibility-and because, to my knowledge, nobody in the PLP who call themselves socialists or even radicals in any sense have actually been part of the continual fight to oust Blair.

There's no way anyone would seriously call Hilary Benn or Stephen Kinnock a socialist of any sort, for example.  Or Angela Eagle.  Or Yvette Cooper.  Or Tom Watson.  At the most charitable interpretation, they include no one who hadn't abandoned any and all socialist convictions by 1992 or so.  

The anti-Corbynites don't include anybody who was ever involved in organizing against Thatcher's cuts or in support of the miners or in any real opposition to the Iraq War.  None support renationalizing water, electricity, or the rails.  None are committed to making the NHS once against free at the point of service. 

If a person wasn't on the anti-greed, anti-inequality side of any of those issues, in any sense, in THIS century, that person cannot claim to be Labour in any sense, let alone to be a socialist or to care about the poor.   It goes without saying that that person is simply devoid of any active sense of empathy or humane values.  

josh
NDPP

Only in Remainer Fantasyland Would the British People Want More Dither and Delay

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/08/13/remainer-fantasyland-wou...

"It is safe to say that the Telegraph's latest survey conducted by ComRes, should make sobering reading for the political class. The vast majority of those surveyed (89 %) feel that MPs ignore the wishes of voters over Brexit to push their own agendas, that parliament is out of touch with the public (88%), that is not more in tune with voters than the avowed Brexiteer Boris Johnson (62%) can claim to be. What's more, they are right behind the Prime Minister's pledge to deliver Brexit 'come what may' by October 31, with 54% agreeing that he needs to deliver Brexit by any means, including suspending Parliament to prevent MPS from stopping it..."

nicky
Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

It's enough that Corbyn has pledged to the second referendum.  Why the hell isn't that enough?  Neither Corbyn nor any possible successor as Labour leader could ever get any more Labour Leave MPs to switch to voting Remain in a floor vote in the Commons, and no Tory MP who had been a Leave supporter is going to switch to Remain either.

The only possibility is getting a second referendum AFTER the Tory government has been defeated.  

There'd be no good for anyone in Brexit being stopped but the Tories remaining in power in any case.  

nicky

http://www2.politicalbetting.com/index.php/archives/2019/08/14/survation-has-con-lead-at-4-with-just-19-wanting-a-no-deal-brexit/

interesting poll from Survation, the company which Josh has often reminded us, came closest to predicting the last election.

Labour down from 42 to 24

conservatives also doing badly at 28

lib Dems have tripled their vote

only 19 % wants to leave Eu with no deal. Vs 43 who want to remain.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

And it's enough that Corbyn is backing a second referendum if elected.  If you don't want Brexit, you need to accept that it can't be stopped while the Tories are still in power.  There's no argument Corbyn or anyone who might succeed him as leader could make that would turn any Labour Leave MPs into Labour Remain MPs.

It wouldn't help Labour to something that split the party that badly.

NDPP

Editorial: The New LEFT BREXIT is a Force For Solidarity and Understanding

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/e/new-left-brexit-campaign-force...

"Today's launch of a new labour movement LEAVE campaign is important for three reasons. First, it defends our democracy. Second, it provides the base we need for opposing pro-big business, neoliberal policies - whether these come from the EU or Boris Johnson. Third, it supplies much-needed support for Labour's own socialist program. How does it defend democracy? It does so by providing a left-wing voice for the millions of working-class Labour voters who supported LEAVE in the referendum.

Currently only two perspectives are being projected in the press. The pro-EU position is portrayed as internationalist and liberal while LEAVE supporters are identified with Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage and Donald Trump. This stereotyped division is both dangerous and incorrect. It is producing a polarised debate in which LEAVE supporters find themselves identified with alien perspectives, ideas that have as little to do with the working-class movement as those of the bankers and monopolists who back the EU. The new LEAVE campaign provides a voice for that class solidarity. It represents the silent workplaces denied state aid because of the EU's competition laws. It explains that our derelict regions and crisis-ridden social services in Britain and across the EU, are the result of EU austerity policies that imposed the costs of the bankers' crisis on working people. And these arguments will be critical for the future.

The next few months are very unpredictable. We may face Johnson negotiating trade deals with the US or Saudi Arabia [or Canada] on neoliberal terms. Or we may see a 'national coalition' seeking to restore EU membership. Equally neoliberal. In both cases the arguments that are needed to arm the labour movement will only come from a much strengthened left campaign against the EU.

The pro-EU side has focused almost exclusively on the supposed consequences of leaving. It has looked at effects not principles. It has never acknowledged the problems of big business control, the denial of public ownership, the erosion of collective bargaining, the insistence on marketisation and EU trade treaties that are grossly exploitative. Labour's policy for economic transformation currently includes the comprehensive public ownership of key utilities, mandatory collective bargaining, the proactive use of public procurement to provide regional development and the use of state aid and a state investment bank to revive a dangerously stagnant economy.

Not one of these problems is compatible with EU regulation or with the EU's single market terms..."

nicky

http://www2.politicalbetting.com/index.php/archives/2019/08/15/labour-has-to-face-up-to-the-blindingly-obvious-the-corbyn-brand-is-busted/

The biggest impediment to the movement is the man at the top

The main challenge to LAB as it seeks to keep in the game is that its leader is dragging it down. Three weeks ago Deltapoll asked a supplementary question in its first post PM Johnson poll. How would you vote if Labour was led by someone other than Corbyn? The outcome is in the chart above.

The detailed data from he latest Survation poll shows a pattern that we are seeing from all the pollsters – something like a quarter of Labour’s GE2017 vote has now gone to the LDs and a tenth to the Brexit party.

Corbyn’s personal ratings have almost totally collapsed. Recent Ipsos MORI polls have seen dissatisfaction numbers for Corbyn touch 75% which is by far the worst recorded by the firm for any leader in all the 45 years the pollster has been asking its leader rating questions.

A real worry is that in its latest poll Ipsos found just 49% of current Labour voters are satisfied with the job Corbyn is doing (up five points), but 43% are dissatisfied, as are 92% of Liberal Democrats.

Nothing in this is new to Labour activists who have been getting strong anti-Corbyn responses on the doorstep for month.

All this means is that there are no downsides for Jo Swinson when she snubs Corbyn’s latest opportunistic initiatives.

The great thing for the LDs the Tories and Farage’s party is that Corbyn isn’t going anywhere.

robbie_dee

Rafael Behr: "Remainers will do anything to stop Brexit, except install Corbyn as PM. Why? (The Guardian, 15 August 2019)

Quote:

Brexiters stop at nothing to get what they want and remainers stop at everything. The laws of political motion then dictate which direction things move.

Jeremy Corbyn has written to MPs inviting them to install him in Downing Street, having deposed Boris Johnson with a vote of no confidence. His tenure would, he promises, be “strictly time-limited” – long enough to call a general election and seek the necessary article 50 extension to conduct a ballot.

For Corbyn this is the simplest route out of the current mess. There is a government hell-bent on doing something that a majority of MPs oppose and believe to be ruinous – hurtling off a Brexit cliff-edge. The Fixed-term Parliaments Act gives the Commons 14 days to organise a replacement when an incumbent government is defeated in a no-confidence vote. Who else is going to lead that administration if not the leader of Her Majesty’s opposition? In constitutional terms he is the obvious candidate; probably the only candidate.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Good point.  Corbyn is doing everything the Remainers could reasonably ask.  Why can they not admit that he's doing enough and stop trying to destroy the man?

And the truth is, Corbyn's attackers within  could instantly drive the man's personal popularity ratings back up by simply admitting that their attacks were bogus and unfounded-especially the antisemitism  smear-and apologizing for all the years they've plotted against him.  They know he's never abetted antisemitism-and that antisemitism is largely a right-wing prejudice in the UK and the world-they know he never supported Hamas OR Hezbollah or the IRA.  They know he was right to apologize for the Iraq War on behalf of Labour.  They've known it all al along-now, they need to have the decency to admit they've spent years vilifying a man who did nothing to deserve it.

They caused Corbyn's unpopularity.  They MEANT to cause it.  And they meant to out of nothing but destructive intent.

That's what people who cared about the good of the Labour Party and the country would do.

NDPP

Galloway: Bojo Will Survive No-Confidence Vote

https://youtu.be/BrE_1BRgAkg

 

"I've said throughout, the current Parliamentary Labour Party would never allow Corbyn to become PM. Perpetual appeasement of them combined with throwing your own friends under a bus has failed, utterly...'

Yup, he's right. And the time for Corbyn to have moved decisively was straight after the 2017 general election. He was never in a stronger position. His enemies knew it and so cried 'Unity!'"

https://twitter.com/NeilClark66/status/1161964222928097281

I disagree with Galloway's take on Corbyn. It becomes more and more obvious despite the dissembling and mendacious double-talk that he and others who say they wish to stop a 'no-deal' Brexit are in reality working to stop any EU exit, despite the profoundly anti-democratic nature of the neoliberalist EU or  the betrayal of a majority of UK voters.

NDPP

"Like all other Labour MPs I fought on a manifesto in 2017 to respect the referendum vote. Any action taken now to stop us Leaving on October 31st by Labour is a knife in the back of the majority of Labour constituencies who voted to Leave."

https://twitter.com/KateHoeyMP/status/1162090002907631616

swallow swallow's picture

 Pro-European Tory rebels, Liberal Democrats, the rag-tag platoon of independents and semi-autonomous tribes of Labour MPs have spent months fretting about ways to thwart a hard Brexit, apparently ready to pull every procedural lever and contemplate all manner of unorthodox coalitions. Not much has been excluded from those considerations, except for a tacit prohibition on any route that makes a prime minister of the current Labour leader. Their horror of Corbyn is equal to – or greater than – their horror of Brexit. 

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/aug/15/remainers-stop-brexit-install-corbyn-pm

NDPP

EU May Talk Tough, But It Needs Brexit Deal As Much As UK - Galloway on German Leaks

https://on.rt.com/a03f

"An internal briefing paper for the government of Angela Merkel stated that Germany wasn't going to accept Boris Johnson's demand to drop the Irish backstop and prepared for a No Deal Brexit ahead, German paper Ifandelsblatt reported. But Galloway believes that the revelations were no reason to panic as 'everyone talks tough before they sit down at the negotiation table.' 'Of course it's possible that the EU will prefer what will be if not a cataclysm, certainly, but a very bumpy landing,' he said referring to the No Deal possibility.

But 'there's no reason' for Brussels and London not to reach a mutually satisfying arrangement. Capitalism is the key factor here according to Galloway. 'The EU has a very substantial trade surplus with us. We buy far more from them than they buy from us, and business is business...The business interests in the EU definitely require a negotiated settlement."

NDPP

Leave - Fight - Transform

https://21centurymanifesto.wordpress.com/2019/08/14/leave-fight-transform/

"We need to leave the EU and transform society..."

 

Post-Brexit Shortage Fears Are 'Nonsense' - Galloway

https://youtu.be/ePlBDZitOus

"Leaked government documents have revealed fears of food and drug shortages if the UK leaves the EU with no deal on October 31. Former UK MP George Galloway unpacks the latest..."

NDPP

Europe At Epicentre of Current Crisis As We Could Be Facing Severe Recession

https://youtu.be/7CKLiw4k8y8

No-deal Brexit is a misnomer. There will be no great damage to either side as long as both follow WTO rules...

JKR

I think the general attitude in Europe is that Europe will benefit economically from the UK leaving the EU. Many people in European countries like Germany, France, and the Netherlands are now looking at picking up the economic benefits currently held by UK businesses. I think the general attitude toward the UK in the EU is - “good riddance!.”

NDPP

Italian PM Resigns Amid Italy's Fiscal Crisis - Galloway

https://youtu.be/RX1xMYEhOXg

"The Italian situation is 'nuclear' within the EU,  which rejects BoJo's latest 'Irish backstop' pitch.

JKR

The UK, EU, and the rest of the world are quickly learning that BoJo's a bozo. And so is Nigel Farage.

nicky

http://www2.politicalbetting.com/index.php/archives/2019/08/20/the-first-yougov-for-a-fortnight-sees-con-lab-ld-holding-pretty-firm/

Con 30

Lab 21

LD. 20

Brxt 14

By a margin of 63 to 15% voters say Corbyn wd not be a good PM

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

No centrist would be better, though.  It would be a disaster for Labour to ever choose a leader who had anything to do with the Third Way era, since no Third Way policies have nothing to offer the UK in this era.

The only acceptable substitute for Corbyn would be another socialist.  No "moderate" could ever win the trust and votes of the young, and Labour can't win without a massive turnout from the young.

And since it's impossible to get the votes for a second referendum in this parliament, as has repeatedly been proved, the only way forward for those who want a second referendum is to vote for Labour with a left-wing leader.   Labour can't win with a centrist and especially not with anyone who still thinks the Iraq War was justified or who supports the bombing of Syria.

 

NDPP

Norman Finkelstein Tells The Canary That Anti-Corbyn Smears Have 'Nothing Whatever To Do With Antisemitism'

https://www.thecanary.co/exclusive/2019/08/15/norman-finkelstein-tells-t...

"...Finkelstein was also scathing about how Corbyn and those surrounding him have dealt with the smear campaign. He said: 'He committed two fatal errors...based on a completely groundless assumption. The assumption was that there was a rational basis to those complaints. Number 1, Labour adopted this completely idiotic International Holocaust and Remembrance Association [IHRA] definition, which was clearly just designed to stifle criticism of Israel. That was a fatal mistake. I said from Day One: 'this is a disaster once you adopt that, because it's going to be used as it is now being used, to purge everybody who says anything critical of Israel. The second fatal mistake was not to end the discussion..."

 

Labour Party Revokes Electronic Intifada Press Pass

https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/labour-party-revokes-e...

"...The move came just days after an influential Israel lobby group conceded that the Electronic Intifada has been 'the single most popular website' for reporting on the Labour anti-Semitism witch hunt against supporters of Palestinian rights. The terse 15 August email claiming Winstanley's pass had not been approved flatly contradicts an email he received from Labour Party Conference Services on 22 July..."

 UK Labour becoming more like a subservient, neoliberal, Zionized NDP every day.

nicky

Ken, how could any centrist possibly do worse than 15%?

you have never explained that. You only endlessly repeat the same tired baseless nonsense.

The evidence strongly reputes your claim. A poll released a couple weeks back shows that Labour’s vote would soar if Cirbyn were replaced by a generic leader. In other words anyone but Corbyn.

very few people will vote on the basis of Iraq or Palestine.

they

They will vote on stopping Brexit and on simple competence. On both of these Corbyn has been pathetic.

Smell the coffee Ken. Corbyn is a disaster for Labour

Aristotleded24

nicky wrote:
The evidence strongly reputes your claim. A poll released a couple weeks back shows that Labour’s vote would soar if Cirbyn were replaced by a generic leader. In other words anyone but Corbyn.

Polls also showed in 2003 that Paul Martin was on track to win a super-majority by making a major breakthrough in Alberta and Quebec. Remember the election that followed where the Martin Liberals made history by winning over 250 seats and the Canadian Alliance and the Bloc Quebecois were crushed, both losing official party status?

nicky wrote:
They will vote on stopping Brexit and on simple competence. On both of these Corbyn has been pathetic.

There has already been a vote on Brexit in 2016. Despite what the pro-Remain media will tell you, the people want Brexit. That's why they voted for Brexit. They've never honestly accepted that message, and the 2 previous Conservative leaders were never really committed to Brexit in the first place. That's the main reason that Brexit has been the trainwreck that it has become.

Nope. Brexit means Brexit. The people had their say in the only poll that counts, the referendum.

And since when has competence mattered in someone becoming elected anyways?

nicky

Aristotle, you seem to be in accord with 80% of Brits who think Corbyn is incompetent.

as for polling, you forgot to mention Truman vs Dewey

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