Corbyn’s Labour and the path to power

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Corbyn’s Labour and the path to power

After the Queen’s Speech

Theresa May is clinging to power, but she must know the clock is ticking.

Having called a snap election with the aim of boosting her parliamentary support, she’s been left trying to scrape a majority with the help of the Democratic Unionist Party — a homophobic, anti-abortion party with a history of support for loyalist paramilitaries. The DUP, for their part, seem to be reveling in their role as kingmaker. They’ve taken every opportunity available to publicly humiliate May: contradicting her after she prematurely announced a deal, publicly calling on her to show respect and expressing dismay at the “level of negotiating experience” in her government.


Tory advisors will spend the coming months working out how to give the party a facelift. Conservative grandee Lord Heseltine has warned that the Tories’ older base are dying off at a rate of 2 percent per year. Every week that goes by, demographic changes make a Labour electoral victory more likely. Finding a way to appeal to younger voters will be key if they are to prevent Jeremy Corbyn from becoming prime minister.

But this is far from straightforward. Young people have been disproportionately targeted by spending cuts over the past seven years. They’re most likely to be in insecure, low-paid employment. Many consider owning a home an unrealistic prospect and are forced to hand over a large chunk of their income to unscrupulous landlords. Younger generations are less likely to consider capitalism a force for good and more inclined to believe radical economic change is necessary. It’s hard to see how the party of capital, which has treated young people with contempt for so long, is going to convince them it has to answers to their problems.

A Labour win in the next general election is now the more likely outcome. It will only take a few point swing to secure an outright majority, and a minority government propped up by the Scottish National Party and/or Liberal Democrats is more achievable still. A campaign with a left-wing Labour party starting as favorites would look very different to the recent one — but it is now eminently winnable.

But the British left can’t fall into the trap of waiting for this government to fall. It is weak, but the forces keeping it in place will be determined. The opposition to it must be built — not just in parliament but in every community. A constant campaign footing will be the only way to prevent the Tories restoring solid ground beneath their feet.

Issues Pages: 

'Day of Rage' Protesters Target Queen's Speech To 'Bring Down the Government'

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Clinging to austerity will kill this government – the small-state dream has evaporated

You can pretend there’s a government, delay the Queen’s speech, substitute bluster for a coherent Brexit strategy. When all else fails you can simply hide from public view. But you cannot use make-believe when it comes to the government finances.

If there is to be a pullback from austerity, as signalled by the chancellor, Philip Hammond, on Sunday, that raises the question: what to? Because for the Tories, the deep cuts in spending over the past seven years were not designed simply to balance the books. They were part of a dream about how Britain’s economy would be reshaped: with a smaller state, a more vibrant private sector, more balanced trade, and growth less dependent on families borrowing to consume. That dream has evaporated.


Fortunately there is a clear and costed alternative to austerity. Labour’s biggest contribution to the national mood-change this spring was not the Corbyn rallies but the enunciation of a clear alternative fiscal doctrine. Large numbers of voters appear to have understood what the Institute for Fiscal Studies did not: that the wealth of rich people and corporations is more taxable than existing models suggest.

The best remedy for all the nightmares facing Hammond is growth. Growth above trend and above average; growth stolen from other countries in a process of selfish competition. Those who claim this cannot be achieved under the rules of globalisation are forgetting that China, Germany and Canada are all signatories to the self-same rules. Their elites operate a concept of economic national interest that has become alien to the British ruling caste, moulded as it is around the money of foreign property speculators, yacht owners and hedge fund managers.

What must replace austerity is clear: massive investment into the left-behind heartlands; improvements to the creaking transport infrastructure; social housing built on a massive scale; funding for public services and pay for those who work in them sufficient that they no longer operate in crisis mode.

But that’s only half the story. Industrial strategy must be visionary and expansive; monetary policy innovative and loose. That means loosening the inflation target, delaying interest rate rises and mandating the Bank of England to print more money. These are the classic tools not just of social democracy but of liberal conservatism. The tragedy is that an entire generation of Tories has been groomed to view such tools as “Marxist”, and to mistake urgent popular demands for change as “mob rule”.

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Jeremy Corbyn Allies Plan ‘Purge’ Of Labour HQ In Bid To Stamp His Authority On Party

Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters are seeking to stamp his authority on Labour with a “purge” of the party’s HQ and a fresh move to clip the wings of deputy leader Tom Watson, HuffPost UK has been told.

In a bid to build on the Labour leader’s acclaimed general election campaign, senior figures are determined to oust general secretary Iain McNicol and key officials.

Corbyn allies are also set to launch a fresh move to sideline Watson by creating a new post of female deputy leader, to end the ‘male duopoly’ at the top of the party.

Labour MPs and other ‘centrists’ are dismayed that the leadership is turning to internal party issues just at a time when the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) is more united than ever and Theresa May is under real pressure.

But the package of measures is viewed by left-wingers as necessary to entrench his authority after Labour secured 30 extra seats in the general election and deprived Theresa May of her Commons majority.

Aides to Corbyn have drafted an “organogram” that involves a restructure of the party’s senior staff at its HQ, which is seen by some of his supporters as out of step with members who twice elected him on a landslide.

Among those being targeted for criticism are McNicol, Patrick Heneghan, the party’s executive director for elections, and Simon Jackson, director of policy and research.

In the last few days, key aides to Corbyn have signalled their wish for a restructure to build on the momentum of his election progress.....



If they had any sense of decorum the Blairites in the headquarters would tender their resignations. But since these are the people who by their relentless attacks on the leader put their own partisan centrist politics ahead of the party I suspect they will have to be dragged kicking and screaming away from the gravy train.

Rev Pesky

From the Guardian, a look at Corbyn's popularity among the crowd at Glastonbury:

Corbyn receives hero's welcome

A week in politics, as they say, is a long time, but it must be a bit cheering for Corbyn to set aside the politics of the moment, and bask in the glow.

And if it comes to that, he deserves it. An unbelievable uphill struggle against the right-wing of his own party, the uphill struggle of overcoming a huge deficit in the polls, the uphill struggle of sticking to his guns despite the mud thrown at him. 

Over the last year, Corbyn has been a tower of strength. Let's hope he can put that strength to good use against the neo-liberals...



Elections, Absenteeism, Boycotts and the Class Struggle  -  by James Petras

"...Corbyn recognized that introducing real class-based politics would increase voter participation. The vast majority of citizens in the wage and salaried class do not trust the political elites. They see electoral campaigns as empty exercises, financed by and for plutocrats.

The social-economic promises made by Jeremy Corbyn and his left-wing of the Labor Party energized working class voters, but if it does not fundamentally  challenge capital, it will revert to being a marginal force. [hence the NDP malaise]

In the final analysis class rule is not decided via elite elections among oligarchs and their mass media propaganda. Once dismissed as a 'vestige of the past, the revival of class politics is clearly on the horizon."

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Corbyn tells anti-austerity demo he's 'determined to force new election'

Jeremy Corbyn said he was determined to force another election at an anti-austerity protest attended by thousands of people in central London.

After marching through Oxford Circus and Regents Street, the crowd gathered in a packed Parliament Square to hear the Labour leader and other politicians and union leaders speak.

Protesters carrying banners and placards, many of which focused on the Grenfell Tower disaster and cuts to public services, sang the now infamous “Oh Jeremy Corbyn” chant as they marched.....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture again we see the important role movements can play.

Momentum Activists Take Control Of Local Labour Parties Ahead of Brighton Conference

The grassroots campaign group Momentum is building on Jeremy Corbyn’s general election “surge” by taking control of local parties ahead of the annual Labour conference, HuffPost UK can reveal.

In a move to entrench Corbyn’s vision and direction, the left-wing campaign has scored a string of notable victories in securing the crucial delegate numbers needed to shape conference decisions and votes.

As constituency Labour parties (CLPs) across the country hold their annual general meetings ahead of the Brighton conference in September, Momentum has been quietly building a powerbase as part of a bigger move to make MPs more in tune with the new members.....

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

It will be quite interesting to see what they actually pass at that Labour conference. Will they create a more democratic party, with some accountability to the members, or will they simply insert themselves in place of the former bosses?

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture will be interesting. i have found that democracy is an ongoing project subject to ebbs and flows. at least now though that discussion can begin. not to mention that it was democracy that got them to this place.

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Labour's right wing draws up new plan to undermine Jeremy Corbyn

Labour’s right wing has launched a new plan to rein in Jeremy Corbyn’s power despite his growing standing within the party following the general election result, The Independent can reveal.

The battle plan, issued to activists just a week after Labour overturned Theresa May’s majority, would water down Mr Corbyn’s influence on the party’s powerful executive by drafting in extra members likely to be hostile to him.

The manoeuvre is the latest sign of the continuing guerrilla warfare taking place behind the scenes in Labour, with Mr Corbyn’s own supporters undertaking a counteroffensive to try and cement the left’s grip on the party....

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Corbyn critics win election to Labour parliamentary committee

Critics of Jeremy Corbyn have won election to the party’s parliamentary committee, as the struggle between allies and opponents of the leader continues despite a new eight-point poll lead for Labour.

Among those elected to the influential backbench body, which has a weekly meeting with Corbyn, were Neil Coyle, Graham Jones, Angela Smith and Ruth Smeeth. They will now play a role in the committee’s work as shop stewards for the party’s backbenchers.

Clive Lewis, seen as a potential future leader from the left of the party, and Ian Mearns, a staunch supporter of Corbyn, did not have enough support from fellow MPs to make the cut.

The elections show that critics of the leadership in the parliamentary party are not ceding power lightly to Corbyn, despite the strengthening of his position after Labour performed beyond expectations in the general election.

A poll for YouGov and the Times has put Labour eight points ahead of the Conservatives on 46% of the vote, suggesting Corbyn could win a national vote.....

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Corbyn critics banned from official Durham Miners' Gala reception

Labour MPs who have been critical of Jeremy Corbyn have been banned from the official reception of the Durham Miners’ Gala for the second year running.

Alan Cummings, the secretary of the Durham Miners’ Association, said “quite a few” Labour MPs were not welcome on the platform for the annual procession, which he predicted would attract crowds of more than 200,000 people on Saturday.

Cummings told the Guardian: “The Durham Miners’ Association has supported Jeremy for a number of years and we’re fully behind his leadership. Obviously we’ve had problems with some Labour MPs who didn’t support him … They can come on the day, we can’t stop that, but they won’t be enjoying our hospitality.”

Several Labour MPs from the region were blacklisted from the official reception at last year’s gala, which came at the height of a leadership challenge against Corbyn.

Cummings said those disinvited this year included Phil Wilson, the Labour MP for Sedgefield; Helen Goodman, the MP for Bishop Auckland; Anna Turley, the Redcar MP; Emma Lewell-Buck, the South Shields MP, and MPs for Sunderland.


Cummings said he expected “Corbynmania” to attract crowds of more than 200,000 to celebrate “the great performance by Jeremy leading up to the election and the election result”. Last year’s gala attracted 150,000 people to the streets of Durham.

Corbyn will give a speech at Saturday’s “Big Meeting”, the 133rd annual celebration of the north-east’s mining heritage and one of the biggest trade union gatherings in Europe.

The Labour leader will share the platform with the filmmaker Ken Loach, a prominent supporter of the Labour leader, as well as the shadow education secretary, Angela Rayner, and union bosses including the Unite chief, Len McCluskey.

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..includes a video interview

Corbyn to Talk Brexit With EU's Barnier, Sensing May Won't Last

U.K. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn will meet with the European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier next week as he stands ready for a snap election that could make him prime minister.

The “extended meeting” with Barnier on July 13 will give Corbyn the chance to “outline what our issues are,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg Television in London on Thursday. An EU official confirmed the meeting and said it was Corbyn who requested it.

Ken Burch

epaulo13 wrote:

Corbyn critics win election to Labour parliamentary committee

Critics of Jeremy Corbyn have won election to the party’s parliamentary committee, as the struggle between allies and opponents of the leader continues despite a new eight-point poll lead for Labour.

Among those elected to the influential backbench body, which has a weekly meeting with Corbyn, were Neil Coyle, Graham Jones, Angela Smith and Ruth Smeeth. They will now play a role in the committee’s work as shop stewards for the party’s backbenchers.

Clive Lewis, seen as a potential future leader from the left of the party, and Ian Mearns, a staunch supporter of Corbyn, did not have enough support from fellow MPs to make the cut.

The elections show that critics of the leadership in the parliamentary party are not ceding power lightly to Corbyn, despite the strengthening of his position after Labour performed beyond expectations in the general election.

A poll for YouGov and the Times has put Labour eight points ahead of the Conservatives on 46% of the vote, suggesting Corbyn could win a national vote.....

​Good God-Corbyn has Labour eight points ahead(a situation they wouldn't be in right now were the party led by anyone the Labour Right would approve of)and they're STILL on his case?


​Corbyn has proved the party doesn't have to be rigidly "moderate"(or even rigidly pro-military intervention)to be electable.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Ken Burch wrote:

​Good God-Corbyn has Labour eight points ahead(a situation they wouldn't be in right now were the party led by anyone the Labour Right would approve of)and they're STILL on his case?


It seems likely to me that these are shallow careerists, who see their personal fortunes more in alignment with the desires of their big corporate donors, and future employers, than with the desires of the working class.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..more on that yougov poll

Corbyn surging everywhere

The poll now puts Labour ahead of the SNP in Scotland (36%/31%). Corbyn’s party also leads in all areas of the UK except the south. And Labour has managed to gain both Conservative (3%) and Lib Dem (29%) voters from the general election. But the YouGov polling gets even more interesting when you compare it to the last survey before the election.

YouGov’s final election polling, conducted from 5 to 7 June, put Labour on 35% and the Tories on 42%. So according to YouGov, Corbyn’s party has surged 11% while May’s has dropped 4%. And Labour has gained:

  • 10% more male voters.
  • 11% more 18-to-24-year-olds.
  • 14% more 25-to-49-year-olds.
  • 13% more 50-to-64-year-olds.

The YouGov results for socioeconomic status also show a Labour surge. There are six socioeconomic grades, which group people together by wealth, employment, education etc. A is the ‘highest’ and E the ‘lowest’. And in groups A, B and C1, Labour has gone from being 6% behind the Tories before the election to now leading them by 12%. It has also drawn level with the Conservative Party in statuses C2, D and E.

Finally, Labour has surged in London. Prior to the election, the party was on 41% in the capital; a 4% lead over May’s Tories (37%). But now, Corbyn’s party is sitting at 57%. And the Tories have collapsed, with YouGov predicting that they’d only pick up 29% of London voters if an election was held.

When’s the next general election?

But how does the latest polling compare to YouGov’s post-election voter analysis? Again, it’s good news for Labour. According to YouGov’s survey of how 52,615 people voted on 8 June, the party has gained:

  • 9% more 18-24 year olds.
  • 2% more 25-49 year olds.
  • 8% more voters from socioeconomic statutes A, B and C1.
  • 4% more male voters.

There could be myriad of reasons for Labour’s polling surge over the Tories: May’s £1.5bn ‘magic money tree’ deal with the DUP; the Grenfell Tower tragedy; continuing chaos around Brexit; and the Tories’ unwillingness to move on the public sector pay cap, to name but a few. And while polling should always be taken with a pinch of salt, it would appear that, if a general election were to happen tomorrow, the PM could be in serious difficulty. Because Corbyn is now in his strongest position yet.

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..while i highlight this i recommend reading the rest of the piece. it is chock full of tidbits. 

Momentum is getting ready to help Labour win the next election – and beyond


Permanent campaign

First, it is clear that the Conservatives will seek to trigger another general election and run on a less laughable platform than the farce we’ve just seen. Though they make the mistake of adhering to dated assumptions about campaigning on the centre ground of British politics, they will not repeat the mistake of putting forward flagship policies which are categorically unpopular and taking a complacent approach to campaign infrastructure. There is even talk of a Conservative equivalent of Momentum being set-up, though the prospects for such a project are dubious.

Momentum has already accepted that there will be fewer open goals when there is another snap election. Last week we launched our general election campaign and we already have our sights set on the constituencies of Tory ministers Boris Johnson, Amber Rudd and Iain Duncan Smith. Momentum is aiming to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for any upcoming election and we’ve already begun crowdfunding. Local Momentum groups in safe seats are being encouraged to twin with groups in nearby marginals to expand the size of our grassroots election campaigns in previously unwinnable seats.

The success of Labour in Canterbury also indicates the huge potential of collaboration between the grassroots left and the student movement. If this kind of collaboration came to full fruition Labour could win almost every university town in the country. Nicky Morgan’s seat in Loughborough, for example, could go our way.



Whitewashed: Anti-Semitism in the Labour Party

JTV: Zio agit-prop on evil LP Goyim

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'Great repeal bill' human rights clause sets up Brexit clash with Labour

The government has set itself on a collision course with opposition parties by insisting that it will not bring the EU charter of fundamental rights into domestic law on Brexit day.

The EU (withdrawal) bill – published on Thursday and known as the “great repeal bill” which will formally enact Brexit – includes a clause that says: “The charter of fundamental rights is not part of domestic law on or after exit day.”

The shadow Brexit secretary, Keir Starmer, has made the incorporation of the charter – which interprets EU human rights – one of the six tests he will apply when Labour decides whether to vote for the bill when it returns to parliament in the autumn. The Liberal Democrats have also made it a key demand.

The government believes the charter, which interprets existing EU rights rather than creating new ones, will no longer be necessary after “exit day”, when Britain leaves the EU. But refusing to incorporate it will set up one of a series of parliamentary struggles as Theresa May tries to get the legislation through parliament....

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Jeremy Corbyn sets out Labour's vision for Brexit on Brussels visit

Labour pitched an alternative vision of Brexit to the EU on Thursday during nearly two-and-half hours of talks with Michel Barnier and his deputy negotiators, which pointed the way for potential compromise on access to the single market.

Jeremy Corbyn’s private session at the European commission headquarters in Brussels lasted almost half as long as the British government has spent in formal negotiations in total since triggering article 50 in March, but went further by also including discussion of Britain’s future relationship.

“They wanted to hear what our overall approach is and to let us know what their overall approach is, not only for article 50 but also for transitional and final arrangements,” the shadow Brexit secretary, Sir Keir Starmer, told the Guardian....

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..18 min video

Naomi Klein and Jeremy Corbyn Discuss How to Get The World We Want

The Intercept's Naomi Klein interviews Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the UK Labour Party.

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Opening Labour

In the litany of scaremongering stories about the British left, the “Trot plot” is an evergreen favorite. The Labour left, the line goes, is overrun with Trotskyists who are endlessly scheming. And so it was with the latest story about a “hard left plot to out MPs” — as the Times put it — which, it turned out, was a Facebook post from a local branch of Momentum, in South Tyneside, suggesting that fifty Labour MPs should “join the liberals.”

It was ill-advised, swiftly removed, and not representative of Labour policy. Nor was it a position taken by Momentum, the grassroots organization of supporters for party leader Jeremy Corbyn. One of the MPs mentioned by the original post was Luciana Berger, Labour’s MP for Liverpool Waverside. According to the Liverpool Echo, in a story that quickly spread across social media, Corbyn supporters had gained control of the local Labour group and demanded an apology from the MP, who had resigned from the shadow cabinet last year during the party’s leadership challenge. A response from the new constituency Labour party secretary made clear this one officer’s words were not shared by this new Labour executive, who looked forward to working with Berger.


But it’s clear that democratizing the grassroots should go beyond that, with more engagement, participation and accountability in the relationship with both constituency MPs and the parliamentary party. This is where things rub against the centralizing instincts of Blairism, with, among other things, its practice of parachuting MPs into constituencies, often against the wishes of local activists, and penchant for remote, technocratic candidates on a career trajectory.

This began to shift with Labour’s 2015 intake of MPs, some of whom are now key members of the shadow cabinet. And you can see development in 2017’s newcomers, too. Laura Pidcock, the new Labour MP for North West Durham, pointed to this new reality in comments about parliament during her maiden speech, saying that the building “reeks of the establishment” and that its “intimidating nature is not accidental — the clothes, the language, the obsession with hierarchies, control and domination is symbolic of the system at large.”

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Jeremy Corbyn back on the campaign trail as he begins national tour

Jeremy Corbyn has said his party is in “permanent campaign mode” as he heads to Cornwall on a national tour that aims to place Labour on a more offensive footing.

The Labour leader has chosen dozens of Conservative-held seats across England and Wales, and SNP ones in Scotland, for a series of campaigning events to prepare for the next election.

The move comes after sources said there were tensions within Labour over whether the party was too defensive during the 2017 general election campaign after polls suggested major losses.

Corbyn said he wanted to take a “message of hope to marginal seats” as he explained that the focus on Tory-held seats, rather than those with Labour MPs, was about winning a parliamentary majority....

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A new centrist party would split the Tories, not Labour

One Thursday night in the next couple of years we could go to sleep knowing that, by Friday morning, neoliberalism in Britain will be over. If a left-led Labour party comes to power, leading a coalition determined to scrap free market economics, that will be a good day for working people. It will be a bad day for Virgin Care, Portland Communications and Saudi Arabia.

If this prospect appals you, there is now a clear course of action. James Chapman, a former Daily Mail journalist and former spin doctor for George Osborne and David Davis, who now works for the PR firm Bell Pottinger, wants to launch a new centrist party called the Democrats, consisting of diehard anti-Brexiters from all parties. He claims that two cabinet ministers, several former Tory frontbenchers and even members of the Labour shadow cabinet have been “in touch”.

Chapman’s gambit is welcome because it comes after the early summer promise of a Tony Blair-led move to create a new centre party (emulating Emmanuel Macron’s) fizzled out. Private Eye claims that Blair asked Labour donor and Brexiteer John Mills for money, to no avail. At the annual conference of Progress there were few takers for my suggestion that they “do a Macron”; in fact, Progress itself is a shrunken force inside the Labour movement and does not look capable of launching anything in the near future....


Why don't they just join the Liberal Democrats.

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Labour makes dramatic Brexit shift and backs single market membership


In a move that positions it decisively as the party of “soft Brexit”, Labour will support full participation in the single market and customs union during a lengthy “transitional period” that it believes could last between two and four years after the day of departure, it is to announce on Sunday.

This will mean that under a Labour government the UK would continue to abide by the EU’s free movement rules, accept the jurisdiction of the European court of justice on trade and economic issues, and pay into the EU budget for a period of years after Brexit, in the hope of lessening the shock of leaving to the UK economy. In a further move that will delight many pro-EU Labour backers, Jeremy Corbyn’s party will also leave open the option of the UK remaining a member of the customs union and single market for good, beyond the end of the transitional period.

Permanent long-term membership would only be considered if a Labour government could by then have persuaded the rest of the EU to agree to a special deal on immigration and changes to freedom of movement rules.

The announcement, revealed in the Observer by the shadow Brexit secretary, Keir Starmer, means voters will have a clear choice between the two main parties on the UK’s future relations with the EU after a year in which Labour’s approach has been criticised for lacking definition and appeared at times hard to distinguish from that of the Tories.....

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Jeremy Hunt can attack me all he wants – but he is wrong to say the NHS is working 

Stephen Hawking


Further evidence that the direction is towards a US-style system is that the NHS in England is undergoing a complete reorganisation into 44 regions with the aim of each being run as an “accountable care organisation” (Aco). An Aco is a variant of a type of US system called a health maintenance organisation in which all services are provided in a network of hospitals and clinics all run by the HMO company. It is reasonable to expect the powerful US HMO companies such as Kaiser Permanente and UnitedHealth will be bidding for the huge contracts to run these ACOs when they go out to international tender. Hunt referenced Kaiser Permanente as a model for the future budgetary arrangements in the NHS at the Commons health select committee in May 2016.

The NHS is political, but not necessarily party political. I am a Labour supporter but acknowledge that privatisation increased under Labour governments in the past. The question is whether democracy can prevail and the public can make its demands for proper funding and public provision undeniable by any government.



epaulo13 wrote:

Labour makes dramatic Brexit shift and backs single market membership


In a move that positions it decisively as the party of “soft Brexit”, Labour will support full participation in the single market and customs union during a lengthy “transitional period” that it believes could last between two and four years after the day of departure, it is to announce on Sunday.

This will mean that under a Labour government the UK would continue to abide by the EU’s free movement rules, accept the jurisdiction of the European court of justice on trade and economic issues, and pay into the EU budget for a period of years after Brexit, in the hope of lessening the shock of leaving to the UK economy. In a further move that will delight many pro-EU Labour backers, Jeremy Corbyn’s party will also leave open the option of the UK remaining a member of the customs union and single market for good, beyond the end of the transitional period.

Permanent long-term membership would only be considered if a Labour government could by then have persuaded the rest of the EU to agree to a special deal on immigration and changes to freedom of movement rules.

The announcement, revealed in the Observer by the shadow Brexit secretary, Keir Starmer, means voters will have a clear choice between the two main parties on the UK’s future relations with the EU after a year in which Labour’s approach has been criticised for lacking definition and appeared at times hard to distinguish from that of the Tories.....

Disappointing.  And this will hurt Labour in the north of England.

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..i admit to not fully understanding brexit and the single market but i'm beginning to. this piece instructs and is helpful to me.

Brexit and the Single Market

Professor emeritus of economics, John Weeks, goes through the labyrinth of misconceptions around the EU, single market, and the customs union all within the context of Brexit

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Invitation: Public Ownership of Energy – A Discussion Labour Party and Trade Union Policy, Sept 12th, 2017, TUC Congress Brighton

September 12th,  2017, Brighton, 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Location: to be announced.

You are invited to attend a working meeting on Labour Party and trade union energy policy. The meeting is being organized by Trade Unions for Energy Democracy (TUED) in order to prepare for a discussion on policy and strategy with shadow minister Rebecca Long Bailey in parliament on the morning of November 1st, 2017. (subject to final confirmation, details to follow)

This year TUC Congress is expected to vote on a Climate Change resolution moved by the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BAFWU) that, if passed, urges the TUC to “Work with the Labour Party and others that advocate for an end to the UK’s rigged energy system to bring it back into public ownership and democratic control.” Amendments to the resolution have been submitted by the Communication Workers Union,  Fire Brigades Union, the train drivers union ASLEF, and the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association.


However, last year’s Congress resolution on climate change, moved by TSSA, was defeated–a decision that drew attention to the tensions within and between unions over energy sources and options.

Can these tensions be effectively addressed within a framework of public ownership of key parts of the energy system? How can unions pull together in support of such an effort? What role can the TUC play to unify unions around public ownership and resolve tensions?

The meeting in Brighton will continue the multi-union discussion Reclaiming Power After Brexit that took place on February 28th 2017 at the International Transport Workers Federation in London, and involved a meeting with shadow minister Alan Whitehead the following day. 



josh wrote:

Disappointing.  And this will hurt Labour in the north of England.

I think it might not be a factor if the next election happens after Brexit. I think the Conservatives will have a new leader next election and they will be judged by the circumstances derived from Brexit. I think Labour is positioning itself well be moderately opposing a hard Brexit now.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..fixed the link in #31

..from that piece. agreeing to the single market has negative consequences. i don't know what labour is thinking but maybe they have a way around what is being quoted below. 

..from link #31


It's very concrete, it's not at all obscure. About 18 months ago, the Conservative Party had to drop provisions in its bill to reduce the power trade unions, had to eliminate some provisions of that, because they violated European Union law. The business community wanted out of that.


JOHN WEEKS: The European Union treaties, as part of their evolution into a neo-liberal arrangement, in the last 10 years, there have been two new treaties. In those treaties, it appears that there is a clause, an article, in one of the treaties called the Treaty on the Function of the European Union, that could be interpreted as prohibiting re-nationalization of industries. The Labour Party is committed to the re-nationalization of transport. In the European Union, transport is a special case, but the Labour Party is, quite possibly, would enter into other nationalizations, that is under discussion. Remaining a member of the European Union might result in making it more difficult to bring those nationalizations about.

Another issue is the question of the free movement of capital. In general, that is one of the requirements for being in the European Union, that there can be no capital controls, except over illegal movements, money laundering, drug money, such as that. In general, progressives have not been very keen on free movement of capital. That is for several reasons. One is, you need capital controls of various types to limit the power of the financial sector. Also, the financial sector can use short-term capital movements to undermine governments by a run on the pound or a run on British bonds. I would think that a Labor government -- let me say, I have no inside information, and this is a very volatile subject -- would at some point consider the possibility of different types of capital regulations. That would not be allowed in the European Union.

Then, the third thing which is problematical, is the European Union, to be a member of the internal market or associated with it on the same terms, you have to accept what they call the four freedoms, which is a rather grotesque use of the term, "four freedoms," because, as you may know and some of the watchers may know, Franklin Roosevelt coined that term to mean freedom from want, freedom of religion and so on, while for the European Union, it's free movement of labor, free movement of capital, free movement of goods and free access to public services.

That means if a Labour government were to move to nationalize the railroads, they are now in private hands, under European Union rules, it would probably have to throw that nationalization open to bids to the private sector. For example, if you wanted to put out the, under the National Health Service now, there are many activities which, I regret to say, begun by the Labor Party under Tony Blair, are privatized, or out to private bidders. Whether or not those could be re-nationalized, and whether or not, well, it could be, whether or not that would be in conflict with European law, is open to question.

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Big Business Dominates Brexit Negotiations


NICK DEARDEN: Well, what we found, we looked at the last six months' of meetings that have been held by both the Brexit Minister and also the Trade Secretary, and what we found is the Brexit Minister has met, for every public interest representative that they meet, they meet six business representatives. Mostly big business representatives. In the trade department it's even worse. For every one public interest representative it's nine big business representatives. What we find is, huge decisions are being taken about the future of this country because Brexit will change everything, effectively change our Constitution. Yet, the overwhelming number of people that are influencing this process are, surprise, surprise, big businesses. In fact, we find especially big finance around the table regularly with government ministers. You've got people like Goldman Sachs, four meetings. HSBC, six meetings. TheCityUK, a big financial lobby group, eight meetings. Meanwhile, the two biggest trade unions in this country had only one meeting each. Overwhelmingly, other voices are being drowned out by the transnational corporations who want this to work in their interests.


NICK DEARDEN: This is the biggest piece of legislation that's ever passed through the British Parliament. Essentially what it aims to do is translate all European law into British law. They say, "Well, we need to do this, because of course on the day that we leave the European Union we don't want to have a black hole in our legal system. We want to have all the law as it currently exists." So they're translating it all over. "Fair enough," you may say. The problem is, in translating this law over they need to do more than just replace the initials EU with the initials U.K. They need to make decisions because we're going to be withdrawing from all sorts of institutions that keep this law alive and enforce it and so on. You can't simply say, "We're pulling out of all of the enforcement mechanisms that allow Human Rights Code to actually mean something." You have to replace them with something.

Now, the problem is how do you do that because you're having to do that across a massive spectrum of different sorts of law, from workers' rights, to environment, to human rights law, and so forth. Essentially they're going to do that by giving Ministers very, very large amounts of power to make decisions outside of Parliament as to how those laws should be transposed. They're extensively using something we call Henry VIII Laws. Henry VIII, you probably know, was a famous English monarch from the Renaissance period, especially known for executing several of his wives. Quite a tyrannical figure. He invented certain laws to get around having to go to Parliament to get them to sign off all sorts of things that he wanted to do. So Henry VIII Laws are essentially a way of the executive making decisions outside of Parliament's full scrutiny and accountability. This will be used in the Great Repeal Bill as things stand more than it's ever been used in peacetime before.

Government ministers will have serious amounts of power to reformulate how laws exist and how they're implemented. That really, really worries us. We're saying, "You need extra scrutiny for this period of time when you're transposing such enormous amounts, such enormous quantities of legislation." We don't want Parliament signing away it's power and allowing ministers to do this behind the scenes, because what it could mean is they're cutting our ability to enforce this law and keep this law up to date for the foreseeable future.

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Brexit: Labour prepares first attempt to vote down EU withdrawal bill

Labour is preparing its first attempt to vote down Theresa May’s EU withdrawal bill in the next week over concerns that controversial Brexit legislation hands too much power to the executive.

The party’s shadow cabinet will take a formal decision on Tuesday, but the Guardian understands the party is expected to whip its MPs to vote against the bill at second reading in the Commons.

Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, has repeatedly said Labour would not support the bill without significant changes to its contents, and the government has not yet made any concessions.

The move means Theresa May’s minority Conservatives would only pass her flagship legislation to its next parliamentary stage with the help of the Democratic Unionist party. A handful of Labour rebels are also expected to vote with the government.... 

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What is Acid Corbynism?


Collective joy

Many writers thinking along similar lines have argued that radical politics can take strength and inspiration from cultural forms that promote feelings of collective joy (festivals, disco, etc), overcoming the alienating individualism of capitalist culture. An interest in this, and all of these other ideas about consciousness-raising and radical social organisation, motivated some of the organisers of The World Transformed, and Labour activist Matthew Phull, to approach me about the possibility of creating a space to discuss them at this year’s event.

It was Matt who came up with the phrase ‘Acid Corbynism’, a suggestive term implicitly raising the question of whether it would be possible to link the politics of the current Labour left to this tradition of utopian experimentalism.

In fact, there are already historical links between them. A crucial feature of the politics of the New Left was its critique of bureaucratic authoritarianism, in the public sector and the commercial world. The radicals of the New Left called for the democratisation of households, workplaces and public institutions, from schools to the BBC.

Labour’s general election manifesto made few concessions to this tradition, being almost entirely a list of things that central government would do and rules it would impose. But last year Labour commissioned a study into the feasibility of implementing new co-operative and radically democratic forms of ownership of enterprises and services, reminding us that the call for workers’ control of industry was part of the radical tradition associated with Tony Benn and his followers in the 1970s and 80s (the most famous of those followers being Corbyn himself).

Although critics of Corbynism see it as a personality cult focused entirely on the leader himself, Corbynite activists have found themselves part of a largely self-organised movement, seeking to raise public consciousness and their own political effectiveness through the use of cutting-edge communications technologies. Perhaps campaigning apps and organising platforms are our new technologies of the self.

Whether these radical tendencies can be developed into a full-blown project to democratise British institutions (including the Labour Party) remains to be seen. But history suggests that political and social change on the scale we seek must be accompanied by extensive cultural innovation. Pro-Corbyn memes and football chants are a start. What new forms of expression may emerge in the years ahead, nobody can predict. It seems certain, however, that the struggle against neoliberalism and authoritarian conservatism will still require forms of culture that are collectivist without being conformist, liberating without simply breaking social ties.

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Momentum conference lineup shows move into Labour mainstream

Campaign group’s conference to host up to 40 MPs from across the party, a year after being seen as rival to main event


The grassroots festival will run across nine venues alongside the official Labour conference in Brighton, with ambitions to sell or distribute up to 8,000 tickets for attendees to watch 200 speakers.

Headliners will include Naomi Klein, the Canadian author and critic of capitalism, the film director Ken Loach and Soweto Kinch, a Mercury prize-nominated jazz and hip-hop artist.

The conference will host a performance of The Enemies Within, a verbatim play about the miners’ strike written in 1985, directed by Olivier-winning theatre director David Thacker. Two late-night parties will take place at venues across the seaside town.

The programme does contain some workshops which could raise eyebrows from traditionalists. A debate on the concept of “Acid Corbynism” is promised, as well as a DJ set from Horse Meat Disco

Digital activism is a key plank of the programme, with one of the venues acting as a hub for activists to meet to “discuss, design and build the digital tools Labour needs for winning the next election”.

Anastasia Palikeras, one of the conference’s organisers, said Momentum’s role in the election campaign had been key to winning over more MPs.

“It’s a testament to the success of last year’s festival, Momentum’s contribution to Labour’s extraordinary electoral comeback and how the party has united behind Jeremy and his transformative manifesto,” she said of the group’s move into the mainstream. “We’re delighted so many MPs from across the party are speaking.”

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Party chiefs are planning a slimmed-down speaking programme on the conference main stage, with spots only guaranteed for the most senior shadow cabinet ministers such as McDonnell, Keir Starmer and Emily Thornberry.

Others will see their speaking times cut and prominent Labour politicians including the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and Manchester metro mayor, Andy Burnham, could face the chop from the programme entirely.

Labour’s vastly expanded membership has long called for an increased role at conference, with more time for councillors and grassroots activists to speak on the conference floor, a move backed by Corbyn.

Labour sources said they expected the trimmed speaking programme would mean action from top politicians would move to the fringe events rather than the main stage, with recognisable names keen for prominent billings elsewhere.

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TUC Congress 2017: UK Unions to Vote on Public Ownership of Energy, Climate Crisis

The annual conference of the 5.7 million member TUC will take place on September 10-13, 2017 in Brighton.  The Bakers, Food and Allied  Workers Union (BFAWU) has submitted a resolution that calls on the TUC to “work with the Labour Party and others that advocate for an end to the UK’s rigged energy system to bring it back into public ownership and democratic control.”  Amendments to the resolution have been submitted by the Communication Workers Union,  Fire Brigades Union, the train drivers union ASLEF, and the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association. 

A composite version of this resolution is scheduled to be debated on Tuesday, September 12, in the afternoon, following Jeremy Corbyn’s speech to Congress.

Resolution 10

Congress notes the irrefutable evidence that dangerous climate change is driving unprecedented changes to our environment such as the devastating flooding witnessed in the UK in 2004.

Congress further notes the risk to meeting the challenge of climate change with the announcement of Donald Trump to withdraw the US from the Paris Climate Agreement. Similarly, Brexit negotiations and incoherent UK government policy risk undermining measures to achieve the UK carbon reduction targets.

Congress welcomes the report by the Transnational Institute Reclaiming Public Services: how cities and citizens are turning back privatization, which details the global trend to remunicipalise public services including energy.

Congress believes that to combat climate change effectively and move towards a low-carbon economy we cannot leave this to the markets and therefore need a strong role for the public sector in driving the measures needed to undertake this transition.

To this end, Congress calls on the TUC to:

  1. work with the Labour Party and others that advocate for an end to the UK’s rigged energy system to bring it back into public ownership and democratic control
  2. advocate for a mass programme of retrofit and insulation of Britain’s homes and public bui
  3. lobby to demand rights for workplace environmental reps
  4. lobby for the establishment of a Just Transition strategy and practical steps needed to achieve this as integral to industrial strategy.....
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Labour centrists urge members to oppose leftwing rule changes


The key vote that is set to divide the conference floor will be on the so-called McDonnell amendment, named after the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, who had favoured reducing the number of MPs needed to nominate a leadership candidate to get their name on the ballot.

Activists have proposed reducing the threshold from 15% to 5% of MPs and MEPs. Details are yet to be finalised by the party’s national executive committee (NEC) but a compromise deal of 10% is to be proposed by the TSSA union.

The resignation of the Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale, who will be replaced by her leftwing deputy Alex Rowley on the NEC, will give Corbyn-aligned committee members an advantage in key votes before the conference.


Separately on Monday, Corbyn supporters celebrated their first significant victory ahead of Labour conference, with the landslide victory of two leftwing candidates to one of the party’s most influential bodies.

Momentum-backed candidates are now set to dominate the conference’s arrangements committee, which oversees what is debated at Labour conference, taking over immediately after this year’s conference in Brighton.

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The Labour conference that the media failed to report

For anyone interested in the practice of democracy, this year’s Labour Party conference in Brighton was a fascinating event. That didn’t appear to include most of the journalists paid to report on it, who evinced no curiosity about developments on the conference floor, preferring instead to focus on the usual manufactured outrages and gossip from outside the hall. That was a shame, because while in 10 years’ time no one will remember that Laura Kuenssberg was accompanied by a bodyguard, the 2017 event will go down as the conference at which party democracy started to make a comeback.....

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There is no ‘Cult of Corbyn’ – This is a Movement Preparing for Power

Everyone sensed the new energy at Labour Party conference this year. More cynical pundits referred to it as ‘giddy optimism’ (the Guardian’s editorial), or ‘near-hysterical support’ (Simon Jenkins), conveying the idea of something irrational. Others referred to it as Corbyn’s ‘evangelical church’ (Philip Collins) or even ‘the cult of Corbyn’ (the TimesSpectator and Observer all used this phrase).

The reality of the conference was something not seen in the UK for a long time: thousands of determined and self-confident members of a Labour Party that boldly stands for what they believe in. Their self-confidence stemmed not from some kind of Corbyn cult, but from the fact that they could now stand on the doorstep, or talk to their friends and family, arguing honestly and hence persuasively about why they should support a Labour government.

This self-confidence, with the political and personal energy released by working to support a party you believe in, was my experience of both the Labour conference itself and The World Transformed fringe festival (and the two cross-fertilised creatively). It was combined with the steely determination to win that is evident in, for example, the massive support for the constituency-by-constituency Unseat a Tory campaigns initiated by Owen Jones, and attendance at panels such as ‘How to win a marginal’ being as high as for ‘Acid Corbynism’.


As if learning the lesson of Greece, Brazil and indeed all other attempts by what were initially radical left parties to implement their programme as a government, McDonnell called on his listeners to organise, to mobilise and to educate – to build a popular movement that would provide both a counter-power to the hostile pressures from private business and the City, and counter-arguments to the hostile press who will exaggerate and urge on all opposing interests, attempting to divide and demoralise Labour’s supporters.

Here a distinctive aspect of the conference, perhaps symbolic of the reality of the changed Labour Party, is the way it generally overcame the traditional divisions built in to Labour’s parliamentarism. Extraparliamentary struggles and campaigns have usually been present at Labour conferences, but pushed to the fringes, while a legislative programme for the parliamentary party took centre stage. All life at conference used to be deadened by endless speeches by lords, ladies and honourable members. This time a large number of ordinary delegates got to speak, and spoke not only about policy but about action: teachers campaigning against the cuts, postal workers preparing to strike, health workers too acting against the relentless moves by private companies to break up and take over the ‘profitable’ parts of the NHS.

When they cheered McDonnell’s commitment to take back PFI contracts into the public sector, they did so not only because they supported the actions of the future Labour government but because this commitment vindicates their years of campaigning to stop these PFI deals in the first place.

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As battle rages in UK Labour Party, Moshe Machover expelled after asserting ‘Anti-Zionism does not equal anti-Semitism’

Over the past 18 months the British Labour party has been beset by a moral panic. According to pro-Israel activists in Labour, there has been a surge of anti-semitism in the party since Jeremy Corbyn became leader two years ago. Corbyn has broken with decades of party policy by placing a much stronger emphasis on the need to end Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians.

As we will show, these activists’ concerns are much less about anti-semitism than about Corbyn and the trend he represents. Pro-Israel groups, who have strong backing among the party establishment opposed to Corbyn, fear he is changing the nature of the British political discourse about Israel and the Palestinians. Beyond this, they are worried that should Corbyn, or someone else from his wing of the Labour party, reach power, they will put the Palestinians at the heart of a Labour government’s foreign policy. Much is at stake....


Sputnik: Episode 196 (and vid)

"The Labour Party conference was a triumph for Jeremy Corbyn, and the Conservative conference was a disaster for Theresa May. Corbyn's shadow Secretary of State for Justice, Richard Burgon MP, joins Gayteri and George Galloway in the Sputnik studio."

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This leadership contest can transform Scottish Labour

Kezia Dugdale’s shock departure as party leader has put Scottish Labour at a long overdue crossroads. In recent years, a gradual slide to the centre has trashed its support in even the safest of seats.


It is almost unbelievable to think that just a few months ago people mused that a ‘progressive alliance’ was the only option for a government led by Jeremy Corbyn. The SNP’s hold on Scotland was expected to be a long-term feature of UK politics. This could not be further from the reality. As Campaign for Socialism, the left-wing Scottish pressure group I chair, has argued from the beginning, an unashamedly socialist programme for Scotland is the only way to push back against the austerity that is crushing communities here as well as across the rest of the UK.

In Scotland, it has been only too obvious that the SNP may talk left at Westminster, but its time in government at Holyrood and locally tells a different story. It has shown support, time and time again, for a big business agenda with tax breaks for the richest and cuts to public services. It has repeatedly refused to use the Scottish Parliament to challenge structural inequality. It is no more than New Labour in a kilt.

Only in the past few weeks has the SNP at Holyrood made noises (though no clear commitments) about raising taxes and breaking the pay cap. And make no mistake – these concessions have only come as a result of the threat that Corbyn’s Labour now poses.

Changing the debate

Independence is now a receding prospect. Scottish Labour was suspicious of its radical potential from the outset but it is now clear that any such outcome from the ‘Yes movement’ has been crushed by the almost wholesale absorption of its base into the SNP. The nationalist party machine has since internally squashed any dissent or leftist policy.

As with so much else in UK politics, Jeremy Corbyn and the ‘For the Many’ manifesto has radically altered the frame of the debate. Labour is winning again in Scotland. In two years, between the 2015 and 2017 elections, we won back five constituencies, and reduced 20 seats to marginals. The mood on the doorsteps changed drastically during the election. A mistrust of Scottish Labour was common, but the manifesto and Corbyn overcame it. Whenever the next election is called we must be united behind these ideas.

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The left candidate for Labour leader in Scotland, Richard Leonard (see below), has a track record as a trade unionist, socialist, and open supporter of Corbyn and the membership during the attempted coup against his leadership in 2016. If elected leader he may not be able to change everything overnight, but he will certainly put Scottish Labour back where it belongs: as a socialist party rooted in communities, fighting for workers and offering a fairer future.

Who is Richard Leonard?

Richard Leonard, the candidate of the Corbyn-supporting left in Scottish Labour’s leadership contest, is a life-long trade unionist who spent two decades as an organiser for the GMB. He says he stands for ‘a fundamental shift in power from those who own the wealth to those working people who create it’. A former economist at the Scottish TUC, he’s also the secretary of the Keir Hardie Society and supported by the Campaign for Socialism. He adds: ‘Unless we are audacious now we will never win back the support of the people of Scotland.’

For more information see Richard Leonard’s website and the Campaign for Socialism.

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Labour pull clear of Tories as new poll shows voters prefer Corbyn over May as PM


The numbers represent a stunning reversal in fortune for both the Tories and Labour, and the poll heaps yet more problems on top of Theresa May, whose authority had already been undermined by Boris Johnson even before her catastrophic conference speech.

The under-fire PM also faces pressure from the European Union where leaders in France and Germany signalled they would not allow Brexit talks to progress on to trade.

The study by BMG Research gives Labour a four point increase to 42 per cent, while the Conservatives fell two to 37 per cent.

In a separate question on who would make the better Prime Minister, Theresa May fell two points to 30 per cent, while Jeremy Corbyn rose four points to 32 per cent.

Mr Corbyn’s own overall net approval ratings are at 0 per cent, meaning as many people said they approved of his performance as leader as those who did not – a huge increase from the most recent poll, which put him at minus 10 per cent. Ms May’s approval rating is at minus 19 per cent.

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Ditch neoliberalism to win again, Jeremy Corbyn tells Europe’s centre-left parties

Jeremy Corbyn has warned centre-left parties across Europe that they must follow his lead and abandon the neoliberal economics of the imagined “centre ground” if they want to start winning elections again.

The Labour leader was given a hero’s welcome at the Europe Together conference of centre-left parties in Brussels, where he was introduced as “the new Prime Minister of Britain” and received two standing ovations from a packed auditorium.

Continental centre-left leaders are looking to Mr Corbyn’s Labour as a model to reinvigorate their movement. Across Europe from France to Germany, Austria to Netherlands and Spain to Greece, once-powerful social democratic parties have been reduced to a shadow of their former selves – with Labour a notable exception.

Mr Corbyn said low taxes, deregulation and privatisation had not brought prosperity for Europe’s populations and that if social democratic parties continued to endorse them they would continue to lose elections.

He berated the longstanding leadership of the centre left, telling delegates from across the EU: “For too long the most prominent voices in our movement have looked out of touch, too willing to defend the status quo and the established order.

“In a desperate attempt to protect what is seen as the centre ground of politics: only to find the centre ground has shifted or was never where the elites thought it was in the first place.”....

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Where Next for the Labour Right?


Following the election, Leslie’s first major political intervention was at a fringe meeting of the Labour Party conference in Brighton. At the event, hosted by Labour First — an internal faction hostile to Corbyn — he stated that “Marxism has no place in the modern Labour Party,” a claim later tweeted to much amusement and derision.

Leslie’s opportunist belligerence towards the leadership may glean column inches, but it does not paper over the ideological and institutional frailty of Labour’s right wing. Two years devoted to opposing policy and internal reforms which were popular among the membership could be rationalized by the inevitable electoral failure of Corbynism. But, faced with Corbyn’s success, it leaves little in its wake.

Today, the Labour right is adrift. The scale of its predicament cannot be explained merely by the political blundering or subjective shortsightedness of individuals, but instead requires a deeper investigation into its history.

What Was the Labour Right?

Labour’s traditional right wing was a product of British trade unionism — specifically, the mediation between the party and the unions.

Proudly and uniquely “labourist,” their analysis and strategy sought to structure a near-homogenous relationship between the political and industrial spheres. Crucial to this was the organization of electoral politics as a means to assert trade union influence in a Labour-administrated state.

This manifested itself most clearly in party structures and policymaking. For decades, unions such as the Iron and Steel Trades Confederation (ISTC), the General and Municipal Workers’ Union (GMWU) and the Electrical, Electronic, Telecommunications and Plumbing Union (EETPU) could be relied upon not only to deliver votes at conference, but to act as a counterbalance to more militant voices within Labour’s membership and defend a backtracking party leadership.

Writing in a 1973 Ruskin House publication, Bill Simpson, General Secretary of the Foundry Section of the Amalgamated Union of Engineering Workers and Party Chair, argued that trade union moderates were “an alliance of the cautious, the constitutionalists, the follow-my-leader, and the modern social democrat.”

The first were molded by memories of the failed 1926 general strike and “a matter of fact conviction” that organized labor, rather than revolution, was the most important safeguard against capital. The second held a “hallowed respect of decisions and of those elected to lead.” They were, in essence, “disciplinarians who have little time for those who offend the code of the movement.”

The final category were those who — contrary to the arguments of Ralph Miliband — believed that parliamentary socialism could be achieved. While they respected Marx (alongside Bernstein, Cole, Galbraith, and Keynes) they did “not accept his predictions.”