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JKR

I think if there is a late summer or fall election, the ballot question will be Brexit and whether there should be a confirmatory referendum. In the event of an early election, what should Labour’s position be on Brexit and a confirmatory referendum? In such an election I think Labour would be in an awkward position as most alternative positions on Brexit would likely displease most Labour voters. I think  a soft-Brexit is the best policy for the UK but at this point supporting it would probably hurt Labour’s electoral prospects.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

If Labour won the election, it would negotiate for a Soft Brexit approach...if that could not be reached out, Labour's policy would then be to have a referendum.  Since there has never been any real possibility of forcing a referendum while the Tories remain in power-a policy change towards centering the referendum while th Tories are still in power wouldn't lead to the votes of any of the current Labour Leave MPs switching to support for a referendum, because all of those MPs are convinced that such a switch would guarantee their defeat to Brexit Party candidate at the next election.

 

JKR

Ken Burch wrote:

If Labour won the election, it would negotiate for a Soft Brexit approach...if that could not be reached out, Labour's policy would then be to have a referendum.

..,

I think a Labour government would be able to easily negotiate a soft-Brexit as I think the EU countries would be very amenable to that. I think such a culmination to Brexit would be optimal. However, winning an election on a pledge to implement a soft-Brexit might be difficult for Labour as many Leavers and many Remainers both seem opposed to a soft-Brexit.

robbie_dee

Ken Burch wrote:

I'm a bit surprised that none of the CUK MPs have been subject to the recall yet.  All the former Labour CUKs hold seats where ANY Labour candidate, from any part of the spectrum, would have been elected, and it should be easy to get 10,000 signatures to force any of them to fight a by-election.

One, that's a very unfortunate acronym. I suppose it's a good thing they changed it to "The Independent Group for Change" or whatever it is now.

Two, they can't be recalled under the legislation because there is no open-ended right to petition for recall. The legislation requires one of the following conditions:

Quote:
Section 1 sets out the circumstances in which the Speaker of the House of Commons would trigger the recall process, namely:

  • A custodial prison sentence of a year or less—longer sentences automatically disqualify MPs without need for a petition;
  • Suspension from the House of least 10 sitting days or 14 calendar days, following a report by the Committee on Standards
  • A conviction for providing false or misleading expenses claims.

 

Source: Wikipedia

Honestly I've never been a big fan of recall legislation because I don't like the continuous campaigning environment it can foster. But I think this is a fairly balanced approach because it is linked to specific misconduct. It means though that, barring such misconduct, the TIGC MPs' constituents will just have to wait until the next election to let their MPs know what they think.

mmphosis

My Boris Johnson story (blogs.spectator.co.uk)

by Jeremy Vine

nicky

Phil Wilson, a backer of the People’s Vote campaign who has co-led attempts in parliament to put any Brexit deal to a referendum, said the delay was damaging the party.

“Labour members and Labour MPs expect our party to have a clear policy that reflects our values,” he said. “Instead, we have to listen to muddle, confusion and the sound of the can being kicked listlessly down a never-ending road. The longer this dithering goes on, the more damage will be done to our party.”

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jun/26/corbyn-aides-want-brexit-no-matter-what-says-margaret-beckett

Despite what Corbyn May want it looks increasingly likely that the Labour conference in September will commit the party to an unambiguous Remain / Second Referendum position.

By refusing to get in front of this Corbyn may undermine Labour by being seen as an insincere proponent of Remain. Having been dragged against his will to this position he will not be seen as sincere by many voters who may abandon Labour for a more trustworthy Remain party

 

NDPP

From the evil Guardian Comment is Free:

Lapavitsas: Labour Should Support Leaving the EU - Then it Can Be Truly Radical in Government

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jun/20/labour-government-...

"The socialist project promised by Corbyn will be impossible to achieve from within the European Union. The party must boldly back leave. The worst outcome would be for Labour to become openly wedded to remain. As for 'remaining and reforming' ['soft-brexit'] the EU, this is a wild goose chase. EU institutions are designed to be impervious to expressions of popular democratic will..."

contrarianna

Though the Guardian  article linked above makes some valid criticism, I don't see the "leave" option as any kind of a slam dunk  position for progressives. There are legitimate and dubious arguments from both sides. 

Either way, the UK  economy/security state and rampant neoliberalism will continue to dominate, the only question is where the epicenter of power will be.

The naive idealism of the left wing of the leavers seems to presume that the UK is fundementally a democracy, rather than a corporatocracy, and that "home rule" will mean more democratic independence. 

In fact, the UK is already easily the most subservient to the US empire of all the EU states with strong ties to the US corporate/military/security state.  Distancing itself from EU will make that dependence even stonger.

The corporate US of course is salivating over that prospect, strongly endorsed by Trump. Trump also makes it clear who will be in the driving seat when post-EU US/UK trade deals are established. One of many examples:

Trump says NHS must be 'on the table' in Brexit trade deal with UK

https://www.businessinsider.com/donald-trump-says-nhs-must-be-on-the-tab...

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

nicky, what you don't understand is that Corbyn CAN'T demand that the party center the unwinnable fight to stay in the EU(yes, I realize I typed "EU" earlier).  No Labour leader can singlehandedly change party policy between party conferences.  He'd have had to stop being a socialist or a democrat impose an all-our Remain as policy against conference wishes, and every Labour vote in the North of England would vanish forever.  

IT would a vote lost to the Brexit Party for any vote gained from the LibDems(a party which abandoned all major differences with the Cons when its leader decided to prop the Cons up in power for five years while getting nothing major in return).

A general election could be imminent, nicky.  It's not possible for Labour to change leaders even if there was any sign that anybody else WOULD do better.  If you care about the Labour Party and what it stands for, you need to let go of your obsessive, irrational vilification campaign to try and force him out-as to all the anti-Corbynite MPs-if any of them actually care about the party they've been holding hostage for the last four years.

 

nicky
Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

It's what happens when a good person is the subject of an endless campaign of hatred and lies.  Doing what you want Corbyn to do on Brexit-which you KNOW no Labour leader can ever do unilaterally between party conferences-wouldn't help-there'd be one vote lost to the Brexit Party to any vote gained from the LibDems.

If Corbyn were to step down, it would mean that smears and lies had forced out the first decent human being to lead a political party since Michael Foot-nothing good ever comes of a decent person being smeared out of office.

You don't even live in the UK, nicky.  The only reason you are obsessed with forcing Labour to go all out for a second referendum, even though a second referendum won't be approved while the Tories remain clinging to power-is that you see it as a way to force Corbyn out.  If it wasn't that, it would be something else with you-as you proved by your willingness to repeat the lie that Corbyn doesn't care about antisemitism-something you have known to be a lie every time you said it.  

Why would you spread what you know to be a lie?

Do you have no sense of ethics in what you post? 

nicky

Yes Ken, I have stopped beating my spouse.

i think everything I have posted has been factual, usually with links to authoritative sources. With respect to the UK ihaveoften referenced The Guardian, the New Statesman and Labour List, publications that are solidly on the Left unless you are as far off on the fringe as you are.

i note that you you almost never provide sources. Perhaps that is because there are no sources this side of the moon for some of your howlers like:

-if Corbyn is replaced no one under 40 will ever vote Labour again

-if labour opposes Brexit it will never again get a single vote from anyone in the north of England

- everyone in Labour who opposes Brexit does so only because they want to undermine Corbyn.

- everyone who opposes Corbyn is some kind of reactionary Blairite whose views cannot be taken seiously

- None of Corbyn’s supporters display any measure of anti- Semitism ( itwill interesting to see if Corbyn takes a stand , as 100 Labour MPs have, against the re-admission of John Williamson over anti-Semitic comments.

The extent of your sweeping and simplistic missstatements is astounding, in fact it is positively Trumpian.

you should ask yourself whether you have any sense of ethics over the undocumented nonsense you so repetitiously Post?

In the words of Joseph Welch, dealing with another example of demagoguery: “Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”

 

nicky

I am also flattered by your accusation that my posts undermine Corbyn. I doubt that anyone in the UK pays anymore attention to my comments than they do yours.

contrarianna

Craig Murray on the very brief opportunity members have to replace the rightwing Blairite neoliberals: 

Regrettably Labour MPs do not automatically have to run for reselection against other potential party candidates, but under one of those hideous compromises so beloved of Labour Party conferences, they have to notify their intention to again be the party’s candidate for the constituency, and there is then a very brief window of a couple of weeks in which local branches and trade union branches can register a contest and force a challenge.

*****

Jeremy Corbyn represents the only realistic chance the people of England and Wales have been given in decades, to escape from the neo-liberal economics that have impoverished vast swathes of the population. But he leads a parliamentary party which is almost entirely comprised of hardline neo-liberal adherents.

The majority of the parliamentary Labour party are the people who brought in academy schools, high student tuition fees, PFI, who introduced more privatisation into the health service than the Tories have, and who brought you the Iraq and Afghan Wars. They abstained on the Tory austerity benefit cuts and on May’s “hostile environment” immigration legislation. They support Trident nuclear missiles. Many hanker after bombing Syria, and most are members of Labour Friends of Israel.

Even before the current disintegration of UK political structures, there was no way that these Labour MPs were ever going to support Corbyn in power in seeking to return the UK towards the mainstream of European social democracy. They have spent the last four years in undermining Corbyn at every turn and attempting to return Labour to the right wing political Establishment agenda. In the current fluid state of UK politics, with sections of Labour MPs already having split off and others threatening to, it is even more important that the very large majority of Labour MPs are replaced by people who genuinely support the views and principles for which Jeremy Corbyn stands....

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2019/06/a-moment-in-history/

voice of the damned

contrarianna wrote:

 

In fact, the UK is already easily the most subservient to the US empire of all the EU states with strong ties to the US corporate/military/security state.  Distancing itself from EU will make that dependence even stonger.

The corporate US of course is salivating over that prospect, strongly endorsed by Trump. Trump also makes it clear who will be in the driving seat when post-EU US/UK trade deals are established. One of many examples:

I'm not so sure about that. When Obama was president, he went to the UK and make statements clearly intended to discourage a Leave vote(which he was well within his rights to do, IMO, since his comments were about US trade policy in the event of a Leave vote). I find it a little hard to imagine that he would have so openly flipped the middle finger to corporate America's interests, if the consensus was that Brexit was in their widespread interest.

And yes, if the US were to negotiate with the UK for a post-Brexit deal, obviously the US would push its own interests. That doesn't mean that corporate America is universally behind Brexit.

 

voice of the damned

And for the reecord, I agree that the idea of a post-Brexit UK being more progressive is pretty much bunk, and that the influence of certain sectors of US business would could be increased.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

nicky wrote:

Yes Ken, I have stopped beating my spouse.

i think everything I have posted has been factual, usually with links to authoritative sources. With respect to the UK ihaveoften referenced The Guardian, the New Statesman and Labour List, publications that are solidly on the Left unless you are as far off on the fringe as you are.

i note that you you almost never provide sources. Perhaps that is because there are no sources this side of the moon for some of your howlers like:

-if Corbyn is replaced no one under 40 will ever vote Labour again

-if labour opposes Brexit it will never again get a single vote from anyone in the north of England

- everyone in Labour who opposes Brexit does so only because they want to undermine Corbyn.

- everyone who opposes Corbyn is some kind of reactionary Blairite whose views cannot be taken seiously

- None of Corbyn’s supporters display any measure of anti- Semitism ( itwill interesting to see if Corbyn takes a stand , as 100 Labour MPs have, against the re-admission of John Williamson over anti-Semitic comments.

The extent of your sweeping and simplistic missstatements is astounding, in fact it is positively Trumpian.

you should ask yourself whether you have any sense of ethics over the undocumented nonsense you so repetitiously Post?

In the words of Joseph Welch, dealing with another example of demagoguery: “Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”

 

John Williamson didn't MAKE any anti-Semitic comments.  He was cleared of the charges.  Are you saying that we should assume that anyone accused of anti-Semitism by Margaret Hodge-a member of a family of tax cheats who has held an irrational grudge against Corbyn since he defeated her in a debate over the removal of the original Clause Four language and its replacement with a series of phrases which meant nothing and committed the party to nothing, a change that made no significant difference in the vote share Labour gained at the next election, and over the fact that it was Corbyn who led the party investigation into Hodge's utter neglect of child abuse while she led her local council-accuses of anti-Semitism, simply BECAUSE she accuses them of it?

Labour has no major problem with anti-Semitism, and there is no justification in ever linking criticism of the Israeli government to anti-Semitism, because virtually nobody on the British Left who criticizes what the Israeli government does to Palestinians does so out of hatred of Jews or Judaism.  

Accusation is not proof.  

And in the eyes of Margaret Hodge, you're an anti-Semite if you acknowledge that Palestinians have legitimate grievances with the Israeli government or simply if you're a socialist.

There's no good reason for Hodge to even stay in the Labour Party, because she clearly has no Labour values and because her blind hatred of Corbyn and all of his supporters is the sort of hatred only a Tory could feel.

She needs to cross the floor and be done with it.

And she has clearly earned expulsion, because her endless and unjustified accusations against Labour members and supporters, combined with her indefensible decision to secretly tape a meeting with Corbyn and distort what Corbyn said in the meting are textbook examples of "bringing the party into disrepute".

Under the form of the IHRA guidelines Hodge and the rest of the Blairites are insisting on, it is impossible to make any public criticism of what the Israeli government does to Palestinians, because all anybody has to claim is that the comments hold Israel to a standard other countries aren't held to-even though nobody's criticism of Israeli policies ever actually does that-and the person who made the comments is expelled and not allowed to return until they endorse everything Netanyahu is doing to prevent the creation of a Palestinian state.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

nicky, could you live with this idea:

Corbyn agrees to stand down, provided:

1)All sitting Labour MPs agree to either face an open re-selection process or stand down at the next general election;

2)The MP nomination requirement is removed from the leadership election process, or is, at most, limited to those MPs who agree to submit to an open re-selection process and who agree to accept the results of the next leadership contest rather than engaging in endless campaigning against their own leader-this is important, since we can assume that, in a contest where the MPs didn't control who got on the ballot, the winning candidate would be a leftist;

3)The next party conference adopts a policy imposing compulsory open re-selection for all Labour MPs in all subsuquent general elections;

Would you agree, nicky, that whatever anyone could say about Corby, the Blairite MPs need to accept, once and for all, that the party is not their private fiefdom, that they aren't entitled to a veto over who can stand for the leadershp, that none should be guaranteed automatic re-selection for life, and that all the constraints Kinnock and Blair imposed on internal party democracy need, once and for all, to be lifted?  That is is time, once and for all, to restore control of the Labour Party to the PEOPLE of the Labour Party, to those who do the work of actually getting Labour candidates elected and re-elected?  Whatever you might feel about Corbyn, wouldn't you have to agree to that, given that support for the Third Way in UK politics is extinct?

 

Debater

Jeremy Corbyn isn't a good leader.

Despite 2 Conservative PM's having to resign because of the Brexit mess, Labour has made no gains under Corbyn.

NDPP

"Chris Williamson resuspended after political influence brought to bear..."

https://twitter.com/UnityNewsIndie/status/1144668453485338626

 

"We are in a Manchester restaurant and someone I don't even know just said to me: 'The Labour Party just made itself a joke. A bad joke.' There's no answer to that really..."

https://twitter.com/georgegalloway/status/1144687256550162432

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

 "The party that has done more to stand up to racism is now being demonised racist, bigoted party. I have got to say, I think our party' response has been partly responsible for that because in my opinion... we've backed off far too much, we have given too much ground, we've too apologetic... We've done to address the scourge of anti-Semitism than any other party."'

NDPP

Food 4 Thought (and vid)

https://twitter.com/55krissi55/status/1144597633929031680

Lest we forget. Norman Finkelstein: 'That's not anti-Semitism, that's factually based..."

josh

Debater wrote:

Jeremy Corbyn isn't a good leader.

Despite 2 Conservative PM's having to resign because of the Brexit mess, Labour has made no gains under Corbyn.

Labour gained 30 seats in the 2017 election.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

josh wrote:

Debater wrote:

Jeremy Corbyn isn't a good leader.

Despite 2 Conservative PM's having to resign because of the Brexit mess, Labour has made no gains under Corbyn.

Labour gained 30 seats in the 2017 election.

And it matters that, even though the 2017 election results should have settled the leadership question at least until the next election-and WOULD have been considered to have settled it under any leader the anti-Corbynites approved of ideologically-Corbyn has been under relentless attack from the same set of MPs who tried to force him out using the spurious "no-confidence" motion.

ANY leader receiving the treatment Corbyn has received from the right wing of his own parliamentary party-a group which can fairly be said to include every remaining supporter of Blairism/Blue Labour/The Third Way in the whole of the UK-would face bad polls.

And it goes without saying that any leader Corbyn's enemies had been fine with would have been a cynical passionless hack who stood for nothing and had no core values other than a pointless obsession with keeping the Left totally out in the cold in the party.

Let's face it, we all know this to be true. 

contrarianna

voice of the damned wrote:

contrarianna wrote:

....In fact, the UK is already easily the most subservient to the US empire of all the EU states with strong ties to the US corporate/military/security state.  Distancing itself from EU will make that dependence even stonger.

The corporate US of course is salivating over that prospect, strongly endorsed by Trump. Trump also makes it clear who will be in the driving seat when post-EU US/UK trade deals are established. One of many examples:...

I'm not so sure about that. When Obama was president, he went to the UK and make statements clearly intended to discourage a Leave vote(which he was well within his rights to do, IMO, since his comments were about US trade policy in the event of a Leave vote). I find it a little hard to imagine that he would have so openly flipped the middle finger to corporate America's interests, if the consensus was that Brexit was in their widespread interest.

And yes, if the US were to negotiate with the UK for a post-Brexit deal, obviously the US would push its own interests. That doesn't mean that corporate America is universally behind Brexit.

You are right that not ALL US-based corporations would find changes welcome, just as there will always be some US-based corporations that, variously, will be against the different US trade war/sanctions against targetted states which those companies already have deals with.

As reported, Obama made that public statement about the UK going "to the back of the trade queue" at the specific request of security state partner, Con PM, Cameron. 

Obama's priorities followed the lines of geopolitical power alliances with the subservient UK as an amplifier of US global interests through the EU, an influence which would be eroded with Brexit. With Brexit the occasional EU's divergence from US imperial designs could happen more often. (For some, this is an argument for Brexit, along with the possiblity of Scot's independence also weakening Britains malign global influence).

Obama put it this way:

"The UK is at its best when it's helping to lead a strong European Union. It leverages UK power to be part of the EU. I don't think the EU moderates British influence in the world, it magnifies it.

"America wants Britain's influence to grow, including within Europe."

Trump's bullying, typically, relies on wielding the club of US economic power rather than cultivating alliances.  He and his cronies assume subservient states will fall into political line and do not need to be finessed when they are reduced to being economic supplicants. So far he seems to be right on that point. 

NDPP

The Jimmy Dore Show

https://youtu.be/N3WLwEl7ywQ

"George Galloway sacked by warmongers and smeared as Anti-Semite."

nicky

Ken provides this additional howler:

“And it goes without saying that any leader Corbyn's enemies had been fine with would have been a cynical passionless hack who stood for nothing and had no core values other than a pointless obsession with keeping the Left totally out in the cold in the party.

Let's face it, we all know this to be true. “

No Ken, we don’t all know this is true. In fact all but a deluded handful know it to be nonsense. The huge majority of Labour MPs who see Corbyn steering the party into the iceberg are simply not a bunch of right wingers.

as for your proposal in post #269, yes, if that deal were on the table, Labour might very well consider it in order to avoid the existential catastrophe of Corbyn leading the party into the next election.

 

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

You said there'd be a catastrophe if Corbyn led the party through the 2017 election.  There wasn't.  That proves that, if those in the party who've continued to push for Corbyn's replacement with a right winger-you'd have to concede that the Margaret Hodge/Tom Watson cabal would never accept anyone with Labour values leading the party-had accepted that that result settled the leadership issue and had got behind Corbyn as leader, Labour would have a solid lead in the polls.

Not only have they refused to stop working against him, they've refused to let the false accusations regarding antisemitism die.  You even repeated those false accusations-an act which proves you want Labour to be Blairite again, because you know full well there's less antisemitism in Labour than in any other major party in the UK.

You should study up on Hodge's history with Corbyn.  With her, it's never been about anything but vengeance.  Study up about what she got caught tolerating as leader of Barking council.

You should also be aware of the fact that Watson was trying to force Blair out as leader.  He's never been a team player in any sense.

NDPP

Anti-Semitism: What Does That Even Mean?

https://off-guardian.org/2019/06/30/antisemitism-what-does-that-even-mean/

"It pains and embarrasses me that I used to admire Dame Margaret Hodge. Her steely grilling of millionaires, in her capacity of chair of the select committee on tax avoidance, had once warmed me to her. Since then I'd given her little thought, until she made that foul-mouthed, slanderous and - in any other context than a McCartheyesque circus whose  real target is the first Labour leader in living memory to challenge 'austerity' - outlandish attack on Jeremy Corbyn last July..."

NDPP

Former PM Harper Offers Help on Trade, But Staying 'Neutral' in UK (and vid)

https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/former-pm-harper-offers-help-on-trade-but-...

"...Harper tweeted Saturday night that he's 'willing to assist whoever serves as the next leader of the UK Conservative Party on trade matters as the next leader of the UK Conservative Party on trade matters should they wish.' He was responding to a report in the Sunday Times newspaper that said British Conservative leadership candidate Jeremy Hunt had 'drafted in two senior Canadian politicians' to help negotiate a Brexit deal.

The Sunday Times reports that Hunt - one of just two remaining candidates to replace Theresa May as party leader and prime minister - has recruited Harper and former Conservative MP Rona Ambrose. Hunt tells the newspaper he's intent on securing a so-called 'Canada plus' trade deal with the EU, based on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, primarily negotiated by Harper's government..."

 Mr Neoliberal Stephen Harper to help negotiate Brexit? Haven't the Brits had enough neoliberal punishment from Canadian Goldman-Sachs ex-pat Mark Carney? What could possibly go wrong?

nicky

Happy Canada Day everyone!

where to begin with you Ken? It really is daunting to counter the sheer Trumpian expanse of your misstatements.

1. Where did I say anything about Margaret Hodge? You seem to argue that because you think she is bad that somehow reflects on me. Please explain

2. You have often denounced TOM WATSON as a Blairite, but now concede that he worked to undermine Blair. Do you not see a contradiction? In any event I think WATSON is an admirable MP. Labour is lucky to have him as deputy leader. His courage in standing up to Rupert Murdoch should be applauded. Have you read his book Dial M for Murdoch?

3. You argue Labour will do well next election under Corbyn because it did unexpectedly well last election. Corbyn’s approval rating then was roughly even. Now it is 4 to 1 negative. This has directly resulted in the halving ( or worse) of the Labour vote in the EU election, in the locals and in Peterborough

4. You continuously tout the nonsense that Corbyn’s woes are solely attributable to his detractors in the Labour Party. You even heap much of the blame on me for his poor standing. The refusal of Corbyn to acknowledge that he bears responsibility is an important aspect of Labour’s crisis.

5. No evidence of anti-Semitism? Really? This is so well documented among some of Corbyn’s backers that it is only denied by those deluded enough to still worship Corbyn.

6, 7, 8, 9 ..... etc. Etc. Etc......

NDPP

'Witch Hunt' (and vid)

https://twitter.com/AsaWinstanley/status/1144554865324150784

"Here is the film that so many Labour MPs didn't want you to see. Ruth 'strictly protect' Smeeth organised a hate mob in the PLP against Chris Williamson over this film. Watch it - it explains a lot."

voice of the damned

nicky wrote:

No evidence of anti-Semitism? Really? This is so well documented among some of Corbyn’s backers that it is only denied by those deluded enough to still worship Corbyn.

I've followed the issue of alleged anti-semitism in Labour only casually, and I don't really have strong views one way or another on it. So what's the documentation that some of Corbyn's backers are anti-semitic?  

 

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

NDPP wrote:

'Witch Hunt' (and vid)

https://twitter.com/AsaWinstanley/status/1144554865324150784

"Here is the film that so many Labour MPs didn't want you to see. Ruth 'strictly protect' Smeeth organised a hate mob in the PLP against Chris Williamson over this film. Watch it - it explains a lot."

This is an excellent documentary. Everyone should watch it. Thanks for the link.

nicky

Here is a summary by the BBC of Labour’s anti-Semitism issues

voice of the damned

nicky wrote:

Here is a summary by the BBC of Labour’s anti-Semitism issues

Uh, where?

 

josh

nicky wrote:

Here is a summary by the BBC of Labour’s anti-Semitism issues

 

Couldn't have summarized it any better myself

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Actually, no, nicky.  There is no "well-documented" evidence that "Corbyn's supporters" are a den of antisemites, OR that Corbyn has neglected to deal with antisemitism as an issue in the party.  The only thing that is well-documented is that Corbyn's followers have been relentlessly accused of antisemitism, even though virtually none of them display it.  Many are non-Zionist or anti-Zionist, but neither of those positions are antisemitism, and in fact it is virtually never antisemitic to make critical comments about what the Israeli government does to Palestinians at all. 

It's true that I connected you with Hodge, a far-right Labour MP who has been Corbyn's enemy since at least the 1990s for at least two reasons-one, that he defeated her in a debate about retaining Clause Four among a small Labour audience in the mid-Nineties;, two, because Corbyn led the investigation into Hodge's failure, as leader of Islington Council(note-I said it was Barking Council above, will correct the error shortly)to address child abuse in council care facilities, with the damning results of the investigation resulted in Hodge being ruled unsuitable for the post of Children's Minster of Affairs that she had sought:                                                                                                                           

https://beastrabban.wordpress.com/2019/03/04/margaret-hodge-and-the-isli...

I connected you with this woman because your arguments and your rhetoric towards Corbyn match hers almost exactly. 

You are essentially following her "line". 

Not only has she repeatedly slandered Corbyn on the antisemitism issue-she has clearly earned expulsion from the party on the grounds that she has "brought the party into disrepute" with her actions-Hodge was the person who came up with the pointless and unjustified "no-confidence" motion that the PLP passed against Corbyn-the motion you still insist obliged him to immediately stand down as leader, that you refuse to accept was non-binding and therefore meaningless; that you further still refuse to accept that he put to rest by standing for re-election as leader, as he was entitled to do, on the place on the ballot he was entitled to have as incumbent, and winning re-election as leader in a landslide against Owen Smith, the candidate who proved that he couldn't have Labour values by being a lobbyist for Pfizer.  Corbyn's landslide re-election victory for the leadership would have been much larger than it was if the right-wingers who controlled the party's disciplinary machinery at the time hadn't expelled 100,000 Labour members and supporters on totally spurious grounds.

And it is very telling that the ONLY people who accuse Corbyn's supporters of antisemitism are people from the Labour Right-no one who wants Labour to disagree with the Tories on austerity has accepted the accusations as valid.

Tying both of those strands together, it is also important to note that Hodge has personally made at least 200 accusations of antisemitism against Labour members or supporters, and virtually none have been upheld.  

When hundreds of accusations have been investigated, that is proof that the party has addressed the question and put it to rest.  The fact that the accusations, in the prohibitive majority of cases, were found meritless, proves that there was nothing there TO address.

What else would you have had Corbyn do on that?

Labour couldn't just instantly expel everybody who was simply accused of antisemitism.  They couldn't treat membership in Momentum or opposition to the actions of the Israeli government as proof of antisemitism.

And you should remember that, on an issue like that accusation is not proof of guilt, and since the Labour Right has used this non-issue as a battering ram against Corbyn from the start, there is good reason to be skeptical of any accusations of antisemitism made by anyone on the Labour Right.

This non-issue was used in the pettiest of ways.  Corbyn was originally vilified becuase he wouldn't specifically commit Labour to fighting antisemitism by name, but included it in the phrase "all forms of oppression".  Well, why should he HAVE to have pledged to fight antisemitism specifically, when as a committed democratic leftist he had been fighting against it all his life, and his family had fought it before he was born-Corbyn's mother was in the Battle of Cable Street, where the left united to drive Oswald Mosley's essentially Nazi Black Shirts out of the Jewish, multiracial, and multicultural neighborhood they were planning to hold a hate march through.

Why should Corbyn have had to prove that he opposed a prejudice everyone KNEW he passionately opposed?

Why should the fight against antisemitism-a fight in which virtually everyone on the Left has always been an active supporter-EVER be tied to the opinions anyone on the Left expresses about the Israeli government or the nature of Israel as a country? 

Why should there be any more restrictions on criticism of the actions of that government than about any other on earth?   

Why should Labour(which adopted every part of the IHRA definitions that mattered, the parts which were about what antisemitism actually means, which is expressions of hatred and hostility towards Jewish, the world's Jewish cultures,  and Judaism as a set of religious traditions) have adopted guidelines which, with their pointless, indefined "higher standard" language, would essentially give the Israeli government and those who are its unquestioning public defenders a veto of what anybody in the party could say about its actions towards Palestinians? 

WE can assume that, had Labour agreed to the IHRA guidelines(guidelines whose author has now at least partly repudiated) the Israeli government would be used that agreement to silence any dissent about what it does to Palestinians on the part of Labour members.  

Why should any party hav to agree to essentially letting the government of another country limit what its own members are allowed to say about that government and its actions, simply to prove that it isn't a party of bigots?

And do you not see the problem with the idea of Labour agreeing to language which treats Israel and the Jewish population of the planet as though they are synonymous? That gives a demagogue like Netanyahu even more chance to claim that he somehow speaks for the world's Jewish communities?  

That implies that it's not possible to speak out against the Occupation or the continued illegal settlement program OR the misery Netanyahu keeps inflicting on Gaza without being a Nazi? 

That seeks to pressure everybody in that party to be on the Israeli "side" of the Israel/Palestine dispute just to prove they aren't genocidal monsters?  

Why on earth SHOULD Labour have agreed with that?

BTW, as to the email messages Luciana Berger received-those were sent before Corbyn was leader and, to this day, the police have no idea who sent them.  Why assume Corbyn bears responsibility for that having happened-especially since no one even knows if those people were Labour members or supporters at all?  I'm sorry that Ms. Berger received those messages, but it was uncalled for to use them against Corbyn or against the Left in any way at all.

The truth is, Corbyn hasn't made any major mistakes.

He's set out popular policies on the vast bulk of the issues of the day.

He's done nothing to deserve the vilification he's received from the Labour Right and the corporate media.

He's done nothing to deserve the false accusations about his views regarding Hamas or Hezbollah or Sinn Fein.

He's done nothing to deserve being high pressured into forcing the party into the antidemocratic "Stop Brexit" position when everybody knows he can't do that on his own and that all he is doing is following the compromise party policy that the last Labour conference m

And he's been right to be skeptical about every foreign policy issue the Tories and the Labour right want him to join them in backing a confrontional or military-and therefore automatically right wing-response:  The Skripals weren't fatally poisoned and it's not clear who poisoned them, so a confrontation with Russia was unjustified; We know now, and the foreign policy insiders likely knew then, that bombing Syria would have made no positive difference; he was right to apologize on behalf of Labour for the unwinnable, immoral wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; he's right to oppose austerity-as you'd have to concede, there is no difference between having a Labour government that continued the Tory cuts and just plain keeping the Tories in power.  He's an eloquent speaker and has transformed the political discussion. And he's right to be leading the ONLY all-Britain party in the House of Commons-the SNP and Plaid Cymru might oppose austerity, but neither will ever be forming the government at Westminster which opposes austerity.

And, if you are not part of the push to make Labour into the prowar, proausterity non-party it was against Blair, why are you so obsessed with bludgeoning Corbyn over Brexit?  Why do you care about Brexit at all?  Nothing socialist or social democratic or even mildly progressive would come of Labour making the push for an immediate second referendum with Remain as an option, which is not going to be approved by parliament no matter what Corbyn or anyone who might replace him as leader might do, its main policy objective.  And the whole stop-Brexit push has been the creation of the Labour Right-they want Brexit stopped so they can use the EU budget limits and restrictions on taxing the wealthy and on nationalization to prevent Labour from ever bringing in any program to the left of what it reduced itself to in the Nineties and Zeros-btw, Blair was even betraying that non-program, in his last years in office, by beginning to reverse the minescule increases in social spending-combined with a judgmental, paternalistic approach to the poor no Labour government should ever adopt, since Labour is supposed to be on the side of the poor-rather than even consider increasing taxes on the rich.

The fact is that the Brexit Party showing in the polls is proof that Labour can't gain ground by centering the fight against Brexit.  Every vote Labour MIGHT gain from going right wing on that issue-and it can ONLY be right wing to fight to keep the UK under the EU economic constraints-would be offset by a vote lost to the Brexit Party.

Therefore, Labour would be in a bad situation in the polls right now with anybody as leader.  Every Labour vote who voted Leave in the North and Northeast of England in 2015 would STILL vote leave, and they would all vote Brexit Party at the next election if Labour put the pointless idea of centering Remain over all other concerns.   Centering Remain would also mean Labour couldn't promise anything to those voters which would improve their economic situation, since you can't make major promises if you have to have an essentially balanced budget at all times and you can't tax the richt to balance it-a perpetually balanced budget without taxing the rich has to be a perpetual austerity budget.

You really have no reason to despise or belittle Corbyn at all.  There was no alternative course to his actions that would have Labour in a better situation.

Labour can't win if it drives all the young activists and the socialists away again, as Tom Watson would do.  It can't win as a party that says "it's enough that we'd be the ones doing it".

It can't win without being a party with a radical, transformative vision.  There's no support in the UK for the idea of going back to election being about nothing but changing government in name only again.

BTW, I've never thought Corbyn was infallible.  He SHOULD have supported the Open Selection policy for Labour candidates, including Labour MPs, that was proposed at the last Labour conference.  A major reason the 160 Labour MPs who have opposed Corbyn from the start have acted in as arrogant a manner as they have is that they have no accountability to their own constituency parties, and, for all practical purposes, within the party at ALL at this point.  They are free to abuse and vilify their own leader-a man who has done nothing to deserve the abuse they've flung at him, such as the indefensible heckling he received from now-former Labour MP Ian Austin for his apology on behalf of the party for the Iraq War-they are free to "brief" against him in the press and media, and they act as though the party is theirs and no one else's.  

There needs to be Open Selection.  Winning a seat in parliament is not proof of infallibility, and it's ridiculous that an MP should be accountable to no one within his party and be able to be held accountable by no means other than the voters in her or his constituency voting to replace that MP by someone from another party.

A Labour MP owes the Labour PARTY, including the Constituency Labour Party whose work is solely responsible for keeping that MP in power, respect, transparency, and accountability.  There is no reason for a situation to exist in which a Labour MP acts as though they are above the party, as though the seat they hold is held solely due to the fact that they were imposed as a candidate there against the wishes of the constituency party, and that they are free to treat their constuency party and what it stands for with derision and contempt.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Labour would not be doing better if it bought into the anti-Left argument that somehow stopping Brexit is all that matters.

Nor would it be doing better with a leader who automatically supported every belligerent or confrontational action the Tories propose or engage in.

Nor would it be doing better if it once again became a socialist-and-peace campaigner-free zone again.

Nor if it had a leader who spoke in nothing but empty soundbites.

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture
NDPP

"Another brilliant MOATS with George Galloway and Adam Garrie; outside the constraints of censorship. Fantastic guests and callers - well worth a watch!"

https://twitter.com/DumbNortherner/status/1145800257353203712

More on Chris Williamson, and much more...

nicky

A guide to Labour Party anti-Semitism claims https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-45030552

sorry V o D. Here is the link

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Read that.  There is nothing in that that contradicts my assertion that Labour has done all it can to deal with antisemitism and that antisemitism is a tiny problem at most in the the party.

Corbyn hasn't done anything to abet antisemitism in the party.  There is nothing in the anti-imperialist political tradition that is antisemitic.  And there was no reason for Labour to have to restrict what Labour members can say about the Israeli government or about Zionism.

The holding Israel to "higher standards" thing is a total canard-Netanyahu-or any Israeli leader who succeeds him, since Israel isn't going to have a progressive government which treats Palestinians as human beings for at least the next several decades, if it ever does at all, is automatically going to call ANY criticism of what the Israeli government and the IDF do to Palestinians as "holding Israel to a higher standard".

It is also a canard to insist that a person has to support the existence of Israel as "a Jewish state"-which now means having to support Israel as a Jewish-supremacist state and to be an unquestioning defender of everything Netanyahu and the IDF and the West Bank settlers do-to prove that person is not an antisemite.  

Nothing in your link vindicates the slander campaign run against Corbyn on that issue.  He is just as much against antisemitism as anyone Margaret Hodge would want as leader, and there is no reason at all that opinion about Israel should ever be linked to the antisemitism question at all.

 

NDPP

The Lobby (and vid)

https://www.aljazeera.com/investigations/thelobby/

"It's in a way pathetic, but it's also worrying how such pathetic evidence can be used to intimidate Jeremy Corbyn into establishing an inquiry commission and making daily confessions that he's not anti-Semitic." - Israeli historian, Illan Pappe.

nicky

My work week awaits and unfortunately I do not have the time or energy to counter Ken’s myriad howlers, false equivalencies, fractured associations, non sequitors and outright nonsense. Similar “thinking” threatens to lure the Labour Party over the cliff to electoral irrelevance.

this article refutes a number of Ken’s bizarre nostrums, so I will leave it at this for now:

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/labour-jeremy-corbyn-brexit-remain-second-referendum-a8973551.html

 

josh

Lest anyone think this began with Corbyn, Ed Miliband, who is Jewish, was considered an enemy of Israel by some of the same people:

Kate Bearman – former director of Labour Friends of Israel and adviser to ex-FM Jack Straw – announced she was quitting the Labour Party after being a supporter for twenty years.

“I feel Ed Miliband’s rush to a condemnation of Israel’s ground incursion into Gaza gave me no choice but to say goodbye to the party I have always voted and campaigned for,” Bearman wrote.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/ed-miliband-has-a-very-jewish-problem/

Just shows how the ongoing smear campaign is about Israel, not anti-Semitism.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

josh wrote:

Lest anyone think this began with Corbyn, Ed Miliband, who is Jewish, was considered an enemy of Israel by some of the same people:

Kate Bearman – former director of Labour Friends of Israel and adviser to ex-FM Jack Straw – announced she was quitting the Labour Party after being a supporter for twenty years.

“I feel Ed Miliband’s rush to a condemnation of Israel’s ground incursion into Gaza gave me no choice but to say goodbye to the party I have always voted and campaigned for,” Bearman wrote.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/ed-miliband-has-a-very-jewish-problem/

Just shows how the ongoing smear campaign is about Israel, not anti-Semitism.

Indeed.  It's about forcing every Labour leader to defend Likud's "security" policies.  Public silence is the same as defense.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

And the fact that nicky had no response to my last post other than personal invective is proof that nicky has no actual case against what I said.  

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

And nicky continues to repeat lies about Corbyn

1) The lie that Corbyn secretly wanted Leave to win the refendum-as opposed to the truth that Corbyn made MORE speeches on behalf of Remain than any other Labour figure. 

2) The lie that Corbyn could have guaranteed a Remain victory, but refused to do so-as opposed to the truth that there was no case anybody could have made for Remain that year which would have turned defeat to victory.

3) The lie that Corbyn blocked "the Labour machine"-in what universe did Labour, in 2015, have an effective "machine"?  Did nicky not notice what an absolute disaster the 2015 election campaign had been for Labour under its previous, Blairite leader had just been?  Did nicky not notice how badly Labour had discredited itself, under that previous leader, by joining an all-party campaign against the independence referendum, a campaign fought almost totally on Tory arguments instead of making a distinctively Labour case for preserving the Union and by refusing to pledge that a Labour government would institute "Devo Max" if elected?-when nicky knows full well that Corbyn did nothing of the kind and that, having just been elected leader, with all aspects of the party bureaucracy being under the control of his opponents in the party's right wing.  Everyone in the party who wanted to campaign for Remain was utterly free to do so, and so was every part of the party structure. 

4) The claim that, somehow, Leave voters in 2015 could easily have been persuaded of the errors of their ways on that issue, when nobody ever made an effective case for Remain to the key voters, the working-class and long-term unemployed voters who had been left to rot by every British government and by Europe ever since the Seventies-that nothing could have overcome the rage voters in the North and Northeast of England felt and still feel about the decades-long Tory/Blairite/EU economic abandonment of their region.

5) The lie that Corbyn could unilaterally change Labour's position to allout Remain-contrary to the Independent article's assertions, it goes without saying he has never wanted to change it to all out Leave-when nicky knows that Labour policy on any issue can ONLY be changed at the party conference, a fact that makes the relentless pressure on Corbyn to act singlehandedly on this indefensible.  Labour leaders aren't allowed to simply impose policy change...ok?

6) The lie that Brexit could BE reversed when it clearly can't and when the truth is that Soft Brexit-which would preserve the tiny number of good things provided by the EU, while respecting democracy and freeing the UK to do what it has to do and move on-is the best and most realistic option.  The truth us that the EU can't be made to readmit the UK now, and rejoining it would mean accepting the EU status quo on all issues for the rest of eternity, since, tragically, EU reform is impossible.

Corbyn never deserved the relentless pressure campaign he has received on this.  And there's no reason Corbyn or anybody else in Labour should trust that poll. 

Had it not been for the pointless "People's Vote" canard-the people had already voted on this-Labour would be way ahead in the polls and Nigel Farage would be in political oblivion.  It's the fault of those who wouldn't accept that what matters is trying to create a democratic and socialist future, rather than trying to stay in a status quo that can only chain the UK in permanent austerity.

The EU issue is settled, and there's no way to revisit it without embracing an anti-democratic future.

nicky

Im at work and have no time to reply comprehensively.

 

Ken doesnt trust any poll that shows Corbyn doing badly.

 

He likely also wont trust the numbers showing that Labour has recently lost 100,000 members, down 20% recently. Nothing to do with Corbyn of course.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jun/29/mps-tell-jeremy-corbyn-get-grip-or-lose-election-antisemitism

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