Jeremy Corbyn

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Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

sherpa-finn wrote:

Uh-oh. 

Labour Party conference could be cancelled after G4S turn down last minute offer to provide security

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/labour-party-conference-co...

You really want Labour to be back under permanent right-wing control.  You really want to make sure internal party democracy is NEVER restored.  And you honestly think the PLP, the faction of Labour who are more implacably hostile to the idea of social and economic change than any other group inside the party, should be able to treat the leadership as their personal fiefdom.  Why do you post on a left-wing site when those views obviously mean you yourself are on the right?

What did Jeremy Corbyn ever do to you to justify your relentess hostility?  Other than daring to overwhelmingly beat the leadership candidates the PLP preferred in 2015, what did he ever do to THEM?  And why do you obsess over Corbyn's defection from the party whip on votes where the whip was employed to make the MPs betray Labour's basic principles(socialism, democracy, and the defense of civil liberties)when it would have meant he had no progressive or humane or decent views if he had followed the whip on those votes, and when none of those votes were necessary for Labour to gain public support and beat the Tories?

Nothing good can come to the workers or the poor from Labour once again reducing itself to centrism(i.e., Toryism) again.  It's no longer possible for a government that respects "market values" to do anything humane or progressive.  Or a government that obsesses about "the deficit" to do anything to help the poor.  Or a government keeps the Bomb in an era when the Bomb no longer serves any purpose to do anything to make the world more peaceful.

If Corbyn was defeated, Labour would instantly stop disagreeing with the Tories about anything that matters.  It would instantly pledge itself to doing nothing in power to help the powerless or the economically dispossesed.

A Labour "victory" under the kind of leader YOU would prefer would mean nothing would change. 

And whatever Corbyn's faults(neither I nor his supporters in the UK believe the man is infallible, and he doesn't believe that of himself)he NEVER deserved the scorched-earth treatment the PLP gave him from the moment he became leader.  It's been proved over and over again that Corbyn himself was not to blame for Brexit(it's clear now that there is nothing he or anyone else could have said that could possibly have prevented the Leave victory, because nothing was ever going to persuade working-class people in the North of England or the old mining areas of Wales that the EU was not the cause of their problems), and any leader who was subjected to relentless attacks and delegitimization from his own parliamentary caucus was ever going to be able to do well in the polls.

And there is no way anyone who replaced Corbyn as a result of the PLP hate campaign will ever be able to unite the party and win an election.  Labour can't win if Corbyn's supporters are made unwelcome...there will be no influx of voters from any other part of the political spectrum to replace them, because there IS no large group of people who want Labour to go back to being Thatcherism with a human skin mask.

sherpa-finn

Sorry to say, Ken but it sounds like you are starting to lose it. But there is still time to take a summer break and regain a bit of perspective on life. From my side, I scrounged a free week at a friends cottage last week (no internet, no Babble!) and it did wonders for the soul and spirit. Highly recommended.

A few quick points in response to your latest missive:

Firstly, let's be frank. Your infantile leftist fantasies are getting boring. Yes, we would all be thrilled to bits if a Corbyn-led government would get elected. Just like we would all be thrilled if Naomi Klein or Hans Marotte would be elected leader of the NDP and then PM of Canada. But the grown-ups in the room want to have serious conversations about what is actually possible, - not about our respective political wet dreams. 

Secondly, I suspect I have a little more respect (OK, "long-suffering patience") for the social democratic political parties we live with in the real world. Neither the Labour Party or the NDP are ideal vessels of political or economic transformation - but IMHO they are the best of what we have to work with, as regards the parliamentary / electoral path to change. At least until the electoral system gets significantly changed.

So I am less inclined than some other Babblers to toss these parties into the dustbin of history based on some quixotic pursuit of the ideal socialist articulating the ideal socialist platform. Electoral realpolitik is about convincing ordinary voters to put an X next to your party's name once every four years. And I have yet to hear a compelling case for how a more radical leftist agenda is going to win a plurality of voters in this day and age.  As I have argued multiple times previously on these pages, my personal "best case scenario" for progressive parliamentary driven change is for a modestly social democratic party to get elected and then have their feet held to the flames by an activist civil society to ensure progressive legislation follows. (A charismatic, killer-communicator as leader would be nice, too - if I am allowed to indulge my own right to fantasize.)  

And thirdly, - no I don't hate Jeremy Corbyn. I just trust better the judgement of a very large and disparate group of colleagues who have worked with him closely and have concluded for a variety of reasons that he is simply not competent to lead.  And like it or not, that infamous vote of non-confidence killed Corbyn's chances of ever being PM, stone cold dead. Everything that has followed is largely theatre. 

You may not think that vote of non-confidence was reasonable, though many MPs (including many who do not qualify for the standard epithet of "Blairite") have explained at length why they concluded that Corbyn was unfit for leadership. And you may not consider that vote of non-confidence fair, - though it is standard practice in even the most modestly democratic organization or workplace. (You haven't really lived until you have openly voted non-confidence in your incompetent boss at work - trust me on this one!) 

Faced with that devastating public judgement of his peers (an 80% vote of non-confidence for gawd's sake!!), any reasonable individual with a modicum of commitment to the Party never mind some basic sense of personal humility would have resigned that very day. Corbyn chose to stand and fight. And he may yet prevail. Whether Labour itself prevails as a credible government in waiting, remains to be seen. 

I like to think it will. 

josh

sherpa-finn wrote:

 

Faced with that devastating public judgement of his peers (an 80% vote of non-confidence for gawd's sake!!), any reasonable individual with a modicum of commitment to the Party never mind some basic sense of personal humility would have resigned that very day. Corbyn chose to stand and fight. And he may yet prevail. Whether Labour itself prevails as a credible government in waiting, remains to be seen. 

I like to think it will. 

 

Faced with the resounding vote of the entire party, any reasonable MP with a modicum of committment to the party would have supported the elected leader insteady of trying to get rid of him from day 1, and using the Brexit pretext to plunge the knife.

nicky
josh

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn fears some of his supporters may have been "unfairly" barred from voting in the party's leadership election.

He has handed a list of names to party officials, saying he wants a "fair and open" contest, with all those eligible to take part able to do so.

Allies of Mr Corbyn have claimed there is a "rigged purge" of his supporters after a union leader was excluded.

Labour said it had a "robust" validation process in place.

The Labour Party has, meanwhile, announced it has signed up a security firm to cover its annual conference in Liverpool next month, ending fears the event would have to be cancelled. 

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-37184118 

 

contrarianna

 

Purge #2

It seem the disinfranchising of 130,000 new members was not enough to secure a win for Smith.

Many here would not be allowed to vote  for using the word "Blairite" on social media.

Corbyn may be a socialist but the Labour right-wing have more in common with the Stalinists:

Quote:
John McDonnell has accused Labour’s HQ of a “rigged purge” against Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters after it suspended the chief of the Bakers’ Union but took no action against Lord David Sainsbury despite him donating over £2 million to the Liberal Democrats. 

In an extraordinary intervention, the shadow Chancellor claimed thousands of members and registered supporters had been denied a vote without a proper explanation - and warned they would not accept "what appears to be a rigged purge of Jeremy Corbyn supporters".
Mr McDonnell, who is chairing Mr Corbyn's bid to be re-elected as Labour leader, said he was writing to the party's general secretary, Iain McNicol, about the incidents....

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/john-mcdonnell-labour-hq-r...

Quote:

A wave of expulsion, suspensions and voting bans is sweeping across the Labour Party as the Owen Smith-supporting party machine tries to shore up his support.

Members across the UK are receiving notifications that they will not be allowed to vote for Jeremy Corbyn because of perceived breaches of recently-imposed, highly-partisan rule changes that offer advantage to supporters of Mr Smith.

For example, members who have used the word “Blairite” on the social media – even if they used it accurately and not in a pejorative sense – will not be allowed to vote, even though no official announcement was made to members by the party’s leadership.

It is right that the leadership election should be conducted in an orderly manner and that disruptive elements should be banned.

So why has the Labour leadership not also purged members who refer to Corbyn supporters as “Trots” (short for Trotskyists or Trotskyites), “rabble”, “dogs”, “Nazis” or “Nazi Stormtroopers” (or German words for the same – “Sturm Abteilung”, anybody?), “racists”, “homophobes”, “misogynists”, “anti-Semites” or, indeed, “lunatics”....

http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2016/08/25/theyre-calling-it-labour-purge-...

contrarianna

Ken Burch wrote:

You really want Labour to be back under permanent right-wing control.  You really want to make sure internal party democracy is NEVER restored....

That's the reality.

Beating the "Corbyn's not electable" drum is far easier than trying to make a case for right-wing preferences for a supposedly progressive party.

Michael Chessum. in the usually anti-left "New Statesman":

Quote:
Stop thinking Owen Smith will make the Labour party electable

.... the Labour right has to focus not on a strategy to win elections, but on an apocalyptic narrative around the electability of the left.

In May, Labour broadly held onto its 2012 support levels, and won a series of significant mayoral elections. Labour’s performance has not been a runaway success, but to make this narrative stick, the centrists would need the party to be doing a lot worse than it is....

.All over Europe and the developed world, centrist social democracy is in disarray. The historic compromise made between the Labour establishment and neoliberal economic policy has been bankrupt for some time – and not just intellectually....

There are many obvious ironies in Labour’s internal strife. The left are accused of wanting power in the party but not in the country. The right wage a raw struggle for internal power, without much regard for Labour’s unity or electoral performance. The left call for loyalty to the leader. The right launch an electability crusade and then refuse to put forward their most talented candidates. But the greatest irony is a much bigger one - bereft of ideas, Labour’s centrists just aren’t electable at all.

 
http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/staggers/2016/07/stop-thinking-owen...

josh

For example, members who have used the word "Blairite" on the social media – even if they used it accurately and not in a pejorative sense – will not be allowed to vote, even though no official announcement was made to members by the party's leadership. 

 

Unbelievable.

josh

Important point from the New Statesman article:

I still think Corbyn is Labour's best chance. Any form of continuity leadership from the past would see the Midlands and north fall to Ukip in the same way Scotland fell to the SNP. Corbyn is actually Labour's only chance. 

 

Corbyn may not attract the soft Liberal Democrats in the south, but if Labour wants to win back Labour voters who defected to UKIP and the SNP, Corbyn would be the one to do it.

 

bekayne

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3759906/Labour-suspends-member-p...

Labour has suspended a new member from the party and denied a vote in the leadership election after she posted about her love of rock band Foo Fighters on Facebook.  

Catherine Starr, a supporter of Jeremy Corbyn, was shocked to receive a letter from the party's General Secretary Iain McNicol telling her that following a vetting procedure she was being refused full membership as she had 'shared inappropriate content on Facebook'.

It said this related to a post on March 5 when she had shared a clip of Dave Grohl's band and wrote 'I f****** love the Foo Fighters'.

That day Mrs Starr, 33, had also shared a friend's inoffensive poster about animal free cosmetics and a cartoon about veganism.

 

Notalib

sherpa-finn wrote:

Sorry to say, Ken but it sounds like you are starting to lose it. But there is still time to take a summer break and regain a bit of perspective on life. From my side, I scrounged a free week at a friends cottage last week (no internet, no Babble!) and it did wonders for the soul and spirit. Highly recommended.

 

I recommend far more time for you in the cabin in the wilderness Sherp.

josh

bekayne wrote:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3759906/Labour-suspends-member-p...

Labour has suspended a new member from the party and denied a vote in the leadership election after she posted about her love of rock band Foo Fighters on Facebook.  

Catherine Starr, a supporter of Jeremy Corbyn, was shocked to receive a letter from the party's General Secretary Iain McNicol telling her that following a vetting procedure she was being refused full membership as she had 'shared inappropriate content on Facebook'.

It said this related to a post on March 5 when she had shared a clip of Dave Grohl's band and wrote 'I f****** love the Foo Fighters'.

That day Mrs Starr, 33, had also shared a friend's inoffensive poster about animal free cosmetics and a cartoon about veganism.

 

That's just f********* nuts.

sherpa-finn

Gracious. Do we have a basic literacy problem here?

The article in the Daily Mail (no friend of Labour at the best of times) clearly states that the vetting process of individual member applications is carried out by panels of elected National Executive Committee (NEC) members. Simple truth: the NEC is dominated by Corbyn supporters.

This is most likely just another minor administrtaive screw up by Team Corbyn that they do seem to specialise in. That is then blown out of all proportion by the right-wing press for their own reasons. And then used by the Corbynistas to denounce Blairite malfeasance. 

Its silly season. Untwist your knickers. 

sherpa-finn

contrarianna wrote: Michael Chessum. in the usually anti-left "New Statesman"

.... an unfair, perhaps ill-informed,  poke at The New Statesman, which has a long and illustrious history as a progressive journal of politics and culture since it was founded by Sydney and Beatrice Webb over a hundred years ago. While more centre-left than radical left, it has always provided a platform for more radical voices, such as Chessum's.

Over the summer it invited its readers to share thoughts on the current tribulations of Corbyn and the Labour Party. While more directly enagaged than most Babblers, their voices (though divided) seem more thoughtful, less shrill than those found on these pages. Something to do with that rule of political commentary about the height of shrillness increasing exponentially with distance from the fray.

http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2016/08/new-statesman-readers-je...     

josh

sherpa-finn wrote:

Gracious. Do we have a basic literacy problem here?

The article in the Daily Mail (no friend of Labour at the best of times) clearly states that the vetting process of individual member applications is carried out by panels of elected National Executive Committee (NEC) members. Simple truth: the NEC is dominated by Corbyn supporters.

This is most likely just another minor administrtaive screw up by Team Corbyn that they do seem to specialise in. That is then blown out of all proportion by the right-wing press for their own reasons. And then used by the Corbynistas to denounce Blairite malfeasance. 

Its silly season. Untwist your knickers. 

The same NEC that won this case over Corbyn's protestations?

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/aug/12/labour-wins-appeal-again...

sherpa-finn

Mea culpa. The Corbyn faction did indeed win control of the NEC earlier this month.

But apparently the newly elected slate does not take its seats until September.  So prospects of more 'fun and games' and assorted knicker twisting in the interim.

Corbyn consolidates grip on Labour with high court and NEC successes: After court allows new party members to vote in leadership contest, Corbyn supporters sweep board in NEC elections

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/aug/08/labour-must-allow-all-me...

sherpa-finn

FWIW: (sorry, can't figure out how to reduce the image)

https://yougov.co.uk/news/2016/08/22/labours-lost-voters/

Rev Pesky

Which chart clearly shows that almost 60% of the 200 people questioned would not vote Labour for reasons other than Jeremy Corbyn.

Or to put it another way, of the 1000 people originally questioned, of which 200 changed their minds about voting for Labour, 58 of those suggested it was because of Jeremy Corbyn.

58 voters represents just under 6% of the original group.

Proof positive of the terrible effect of Jeremy Corbyn on Labours electoral  chances. Of course, this poll was taken after the PLP tried so desperately hard to convince everyone that Corbyn was the devil personified.

I would say this poll is nothing more than an indication that some respondents believed the PLP.

From the YouGov site, pursuant to this poll:

Quote:

Overall this would appear to justify the Labour rebel’s claims that the leader is the cause of the problems – but there are important caveats to this.

Firstly, these categories above aren’t mutually exclusive. Problems with Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership might arise from news stories around party division and voters would probably be more supportive of the leader if there were more Labour MPs selling his case.

The second caveat is that nearly half of these switchers haven’t moved to another party but instead tell us they now don’t know how they will vote. In previous election cycles we have found that many don’t knows move back to their previous party as an election nears.

 

mark_alfred

Quote:
(sorry, can't figure out how to reduce the image)

After entering the image URL into the "Image URL" spot, look below and see if it shows the Dimensions.  If not, click in the box anywhere, and sometimes the numbers will show up.  This is what I did for the image below, and the dimensions read, "1024 X 512".  So I halved the numbers to "512 X 256".  Thus, the image will now be half the size. 

 

The trick is determining what the image dimensions are, and then reducing the numbers (maintaining the ratio).  Generally the dimension numbers show up when you click the "insert/edit image" box (sometimes, after entering the URL, you need to make an additional click for the numbers to appear.)  But, if the dimension numbers don't appear, you can just guess and add in numbers.

Here's 700 X 350:

 

Here's 350 X 700 (just to see):

That last one didn't work, since it changed the ratio of the original.

sherpa-finn

A quick response to Ken's latest contribution:

Ken: It's right-wing to argue that the "vote of no confidence" (a vote that has no actual standing under Labour Party rules and has never been used by any party's caucus in the British House of Commons ) obligated Corbyn to stand down. 

It is silly to suggest that a vote of no confidence is right wing or left wing. It is what it is. And in matters of leadership, a vote of confidence / non-confidence is just that: a simple statement of opinion. I have never argued that Corbyn was "obligated" to step down. I have just argued that IMHO a principled leader should. You asked me directly why I was hostile to Corbyn, - and I explained.  Perhaps you will reciprocate and explain why you are so supportive of Corbyn when he has shown himself to be such an incompetent leader. (Read the letters from his own  MPs!) Is embracing incompetence a "left-wing argument"? 

Ken: It was never legitimate to expect Corbyn to stand down and ... be given no guarantee that anyone at all from the left wing would be permitted to run (they would have made sure that no one to the left of Yvette Cooper was in the revote).

More silliness, - unsubstantiated pseudo-conspiracy thinking. The Labour Party has a long and proud history of left-wing challengers for the leadership. And we don't have to go back to the Harold Wilson era for examples. And they weren't just no-hope challengers, either (as has been the NDP experience). Wilson, Michael Foot and Corbyn were all formal standard bearers of the left who actually prevailed and won the party leadership (the first two did it the old fashioned way, too!). Though Wilson was the only one of the three to successfully make the Great Leap Forward into Downing St.  

Ken: All of this would have dragged Labour back to being the soulless, passionless, convictionless dead zone it was under Ed Miliband-or dragged it to the right of Ed Miliband, which would basically be the same thing as just merging with the Tories and being done with it (there is no position to the right of Ed Miliband that is still distinguishable from Thatcherism.

Now we are crossing over from silliness to dangerous hyperbole. And of course Gore was indistinguishable from Bush, Clinton is from Trump and Miliband from Thatcher. These sorts of facile "A pox on all their houses!" assertions - that effectively negate the real policy differences between centre left and extreme right just undermine the credibility of the Left amongst ordinary citizens who live with the very real impact of those differences. Elections do matter - they are not just political theatre. (Though they are that, too.)

And let's not ignore the underlying political logic to this argument. Clearly, the push to a more radical left posture and leader becomes that much easier if one can minimize the differences between the centre left and the far right. (FWIW, that's kind of the whole Trostkyist playbook in a nutshell, isn't it?)  

Ken: Labour can't do anything worthwhile in power if it is led by someone on the right wing of the party. 

And Labour can't do anything if its not in power. Aye, - there's the rub. 

Ken: Your hero Blair ....

Good luck trying to find a single citation of mine where I have praised the leadership, government or actions of Tony Blair.  I have simply noted that he was the most successful Labour politician of our lifetime. And asked what has been learned from that experience.  

Ken: as to the tone I've taken ...your posts have been condescending and dismissive. You've acted as if you are the only grown-up in the discussion and that everyone should be obligated to defer to you. 

I have no expectation of deference, Ken. I respect your general point of view, though find many of the supporting arguments silly and contentious. Though you may recoil at the thought, I suspect that in terms of political vision (what we would ideally want the world to look like), we may not be so far apart. Where it all comes apart is the political strategy. 

And as I have said earlier, I do not apologize for being an incrementalist. I do believe there is sufficient difference between today's social democratic and conservative parties that make it worth fighting for, come election time. I acknowledge that this may not represent a political pathway to the Revolution, but in my dotage (and having some revolting history of my own), I have come to accept and live with that limitation.  Social democratic parties in power can and do make a real difference in the lives of ordinary people. As such, running the risk of throwing that promise away in (what I consider) a quixotic pursuit of a more radical left agenda that resonates hugely with crowds at demos but not the greater public is IMHO a political self-indulgence unworthy of a serious political party.

I also wanted to challenge you on principle for embracing the "great man of history" approach to political change, - in which the individual leader makes all the difference.  But in fact I tend to agree with you on this one, indeed we have seen it happen with Tony Blair.  So here in closing is something we can surely agree on: for better or worse, Jeremy Corbyn is no Tony Blair! 

And FWIW, I am pretty sure you called me a Blairite long before I ever called you a Trostkyite.

Live long and prosper. 

Unionist

sherpa-finn wrote:

Gracious. Do we have a basic literacy problem here?

I think so. We reactivated the babble book club, but you haven't participated. I'm absolutely certain you were able to read at one point, and I'm saddened that you appear to have lost the capacity. Come back and visit us, and get into the discussion about Ruth Ozeki's novel. It will prove a refreshing break from the reality that seems to have you so worked up. Kick up your feet and relax!

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Blair won three general elections that Labour would have won under ANY possible leader.  Blair's policies were from a totally different political era, an era that started twenty-two years ago(1994, when Blair won the Labour leadership).  All we can fairly deduce is that Labour won those elections in that long-past era with that particular person happening to be the party's leader.  What I object to is your apparent assumption that the Blair era proves that Labour must never deviate from "the centre ground" for the rest of eternity

And Corbyn's policies ARE social democratic, not "Trotskyite"(It's time to admit that the Corbyn has no connection with Trotskyism whatsoever, that Trotskyism is completely irrelevant to left politics in the UK today and was largely irrelevant even during the Eighties) and really is what its participants say it is...a radical but non-sectarian social movement working for change by legitimate democratic means...and, for that matter, "social democratic" doesn't mean "not one miilmetre to the left of the more right-wing Miliband brother".  It's social democracy to agree not to nationalize the entire economy.  What social democracy is NOT is continuing to cut programs the right has already cut, OR staying in perpetual warfare against the Musim world, or making a fetish of defending NATO and the now-totally useless nuclear "deterrent".  A social democratic party is ONLY "social democratic" if it totally rejects privatization and austerity.

I don't believe in the "great man" theory at all...I simply reject the assumption that, because of that meaningless "no-confidence motion"(btw, I didn't say that the concept of a "no-confidence motion" is right wing...that would be ridiculous.  What is right wing is to argue(as you essentially ARE arguing)that Corbyn should not only have instantly had to stand down, but that the PLP should have been able to use the "MP nominations" rule to guarantee(as they WOULD have guaranteed had Corbyn just instantl stood down)that no one from the left wing of the party would be allowed to be on the leadership ballot at all(as they did in 2010, when Gordon Brown stood down and they barred anyone other than the Miliband brothers, whose positions on the issues were indistinguishable from each other, from standing(and then spent the next five years spreading the lie that Ed Miliband "stabbed his brother in the back" by daring to stay in the race and not allow David Miliband to be elected without opposition. 

It is that history(a history of the Labour left being kept totally voiceless and powerless within the party, for no good reason, from 1994 to 2015) that informed Jeremy Corbyn's decision to not simply get out of the way and let everyone who supported him be once again reduced to powerlessness and irrelevance within the party they support.

If people with your position get their way, Labour will fight the 2020 election on a program to the RIGHT of the programs it lost on in 2010 and 2015-despite the fact that there are no votes to be had by moving further to the right than the party was in THOSE elections.

And of course the "center-left" is mildly better than the far right(although you'd be hard-pressed to argue that there was much meaningful difference between the two as personified by the Liberals and the Conservatives in 1990's to 2011 Canadian politics), but that doesn't mean Labour has to settle for the palest, most watered-down form of "center-leftism" to win in 2020.  Nobody in the UK WANTS another election in which the differences between the government and the opposition are barely perceptible, as they would be if Labour was led at this point by Liz Kendall or Yvette Cooper, both of whom, were they in the leadership roll, would be whipping the PLP to abstain or vote yes on every cut the Tories were proposing(AKA, the "Manitoba strategy").

It doesn't have to be a choice between blurring the differences or losing.  And any election where the parties are more alike than different is meaningless.  None of the poor or the workers would benefit from any policies anyone from the right wing of the Labour Party would propose. 

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
To be fair, they both wear beards and you did spell their names right.

Here's another comparison of the two:

Mulcair:  lost the support of his party in a 52-48 vote, and therefore clearly must resign immediately for the good of the party.

Corbyn:  lost the support of his party in a 81-19 vote, and therefore must shrug off "the Blairites" and stand his ground.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Corbyn only lost of a vote of his MPs...a group of about 232 people.  He still retained the support of hundreds of thousands of Labour supporters throughout the UK.  No one else, if Corbyn is deposed, is going to be able to keep those people working for a Labour victory, and no significant group of OTHER supporters and voters is going to come in to replace them.  There simply isn't a massive bloc of people waiting for Labour to join most of its MPs in having no core values, no principles that are non-disposable.  Nobody out in the electorate is begging the Labour Party to go back to being just barely non-Tory again, as it was from 1997 to 2015.

Mulcair lost a vote involving thousands of rank-and-file NDP members, people who had previously supported him.  

Corbyn lost the vote of a small group of reactionary politicians who had NEVER supported him.

That's why the Mulcair defeat has greater weight.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Ken Burch wrote:

Mulcair lost a vote involving thousands of rank-and-file NDP members, people who had previously supported him.  

Corbyn lost the vote of a small group of reactionary politicians who had NEVER supported him.

That's why the Mulcair defeat has greater weight.

This is my opinion as well.

Rev Pesky

While the Labour careerists are bowing and scraping, here's a statement from Maggie Thatcher:

"I seem to smell the stench of appeasement in the air."

Thatcher spent 11 years rearranging the UK, Blair had ten and didn't begin to redress the balance.

Incrementalism, sherpa-finn? More like capitulation.

josh

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
To be fair, they both wear beards and you did spell their names right.

Here's another comparison of the two:

Mulcair:  lost the support of his party in a 52-48 vote, and therefore clearly must resign immediately for the good of the party.

Corbyn:  lost the support of his party in a 81-19 vote, and therefore must shrug off "the Blairites" and stand his ground.

Apples and oranges as you should know.

nicky

Mulcair lost the vote among delegates by about 820 to 780. He was not rejected by "thousands" as suggested above. In fact over 30,000 voted for him for leader four years before.

Many delegates who voted against him (and I was there and spoke to a good number of them) wanted to fire a warning shot. They might well have voted differently if they thought he would lose or if they saw the meagre leadership prospects now on offer.

Polls showed Mulcair right up to April retained the support of about 70% of NDP supporters and had a healthy net postive rating with the public at large. Corbyn's numbers are dire by comparison.

One parallel is that Mulcair retained the support of 80% of his caucus (not a single MP came out publicly against him) while 80% of Corbyn's caucus mutineed against him.

Rather than attack these MPs as reactionary militaristic Blairites or whatever perhaps we might consider that they might know what they are talkig about because they know Mulcair and Corbyn better than we do.

Rev Pesky

With all that wonderful support, Mulcair managed to lose 51 of 95 seats, and had the largest percentage vote drop of any party in the election. Let's be clear about this. In the only poll that matters, Muclair was a complete failure.

Trying to compare that performance to the performance of a party leader who has yet to face the electorate is ridiculous. If the Liberal party had taken the same stand as the PLP, Trudeau would probably have been heaved from the Liberal leadership. After all, up until the real election, he wasn't looking that good either.

nicky

Yes Rev, you are of course right.

All the MPs ever elected for Labour or the NDP are of course useless reactionaries whom we should ignore.

Does that include Corbyn himself?

sherpa-finn

josh wrote:
Mr. Magoo wrote:

Here's another comparison of the two:

Mulcair:  lost the support of his party in a 52-48 vote, and therefore clearly must resign immediately for the good of the party.

Corbyn:  lost the support of his party in a 81-19 vote, and therefore must shrug off "the Blairites" and stand his ground.

Apples and oranges as you should know.

Absolutely. 

Mulcair lost the support of the left wing of his party and therefore must go. 

Corbyn lost the support of the right wing of his party and therefore must stay. 

All the rest is theatre.  

sherpa-finn

Andrew Rawnsley has an insightful and reflective piece in today's Guardian on the ‘interesting experiment’ in comradeship that is the Corbyn era. 

Labour’s ‘interesting experiment’ in comradeship will run and run

Chris Mullin was a fellow traveller of Jeremy Corbyn in the 1980s, back in the day when the two of them were helping Tony Benn in his ultimately unsuccessful bid to capture the commanding heights of the Labour party. He left parliament in 2010 and is about to publish a memoir which, as readers of his excellent diaries will anticipate, is wryly thoughtful. Towards the conclusion, he reflects on the prolonged torture that his party is putting itself through and writes that elevating his old Bennite comrade to the leadership was “always going to be a high risk strategy”. He goes on to reveal: “Much as I respect Jeremy, I did not vote for him on the grounds that in a parliamentary democracy it is folly to elect a leader who enjoys the confidence of less than 10% of his parliamentary colleagues. And so it has proved. It has been an interesting experiment, but always destined to end badly....'

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/aug/28/labour-leadership-...

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Shorter Andrew Rawnsley:

"It is right and proper that the parliamentary caucus of a party should have a veto over prospective party leaders, regardless of what the party members want." I'll pass on that, thanks.

sherpa-finn

Actually, Michael - if you had read the article, you would have seen that is not at all the point that Rawnsley makes.  He has a quite nuanced and sophisticated view of the whole messy situation, which is of course an anethema to the simplistic black-and-white world view of some. For example: 

"As soon as parliament resumes, with it will return the question of how Labour can function as the opposition when a critical mass of its MPs have resigned from or refused to serve on the frontbench. Mr Corbyn has said that he will offer a “hand of friendship” to his parliamentary party but many think that it will be aimed at their throats. “They will threaten the PLP with unity,” predicts one former member of the shadow cabinet. “They will send McDonnell out to say, ‘The members have spoken, now fall into line or we’ll come and get you.’”

Some of the resignees may agree to return to the frontbench for fear of retribution in their constituencies or on the more noble grounds that the country needs Labour to do its constitutional duty of providing a parliamentary opposition. But whether they choose to return to the frontbench or continue to be refuseniks, all of the 172 are still going to struggle to answer the question “Is Jeremy Corbyn fit to be prime minister?” when they have declared him unfit to be leader of the opposition." 

The opening passage about the dangers of electing a leader without broad support in caucus was actually made by Chris Mullen, a former MP and Corbyn - Benn fellow-traveller. The implication of Mullen's reflection (on why he could not vote for Corbyn in the prevailing circumstances) was clear -  being placed in such a situation would represent a huge challenge to any newly elected leader and would require a set of people, process and leadership skills that Corbyn simply does not have.  A prescient analysis, clearly - for which he should be commended not scoffed.  

Pondering

sherpa-finn wrote:

Actually, Michael - if you had read the article, you would have seen that is not at all the point that Rawnsley makes.  He has a quite nuanced and sophisticated view of the whole messy situation, which is of course an anethema to the simplistic black-and-white world view of some. For example: 

"As soon as parliament resumes, with it will return the question of how Labour can function as the opposition when a critical mass of its MPs have resigned from or refused to serve on the frontbench. Mr Corbyn has said that he will offer a “hand of friendship” to his parliamentary party but many think that it will be aimed at their throats. “They will threaten the PLP with unity,” predicts one former member of the shadow cabinet. “They will send McDonnell out to say, ‘The members have spoken, now fall into line or we’ll come and get you.’”

Some of the resignees may agree to return to the frontbench for fear of retribution in their constituencies or on the more noble grounds that the country needs Labour to do its constitutional duty of providing a parliamentary opposition. But whether they choose to return to the frontbench or continue to be refuseniks, all of the 172 are still going to struggle to answer the question “Is Jeremy Corbyn fit to be prime minister?” when they have declared him unfit to be leader of the opposition." 

The opening passage about the dangers of electing a leader without broad support in caucus was actually made by Chris Mullen, a former MP and Corbyn - Benn fellow-traveller. The implication of Mullen's reflection (on why he could not vote for Corbyn in the prevailing circumstances) was clear -  being placed in such a situation would represent a huge challenge to any newly elected leader and would require a set of people, process and leadership skills that Corbyn simply does not have.  A prescient analysis, clearly - for which he should be commended not scoffed.  

That may all be true but the cause is a caucus that are moles for neoliberalism whether they know it or not. The membership chose the leader with a traditional labour message that is willing to speak up for them. That the MPs reject the choice of the members is a reason for them to resign and to be replaced by MPs who also wish to represent the members not the wealthy.

Notalib

As predicted.

Its the bring back Tom Mulcair campaign..... lol

https://www.facebook.com/bringbackTomMulcair/?ft[tn]=k&ft[qid]=632434403...

sherpa-finn

Pondering wrote: That may all be true but the cause is a caucus that are moles for neoliberalism whether they know it or not. The membership chose the leader with a traditional labour message that is willing to speak up for them. That the MPs reject the choice of the members is a reason for them to resign and to be replaced by MPs who also wish to represent the members not the wealthy.

It must be silly season here. 

1. Re "moles for neo-liberalism": a great line. But given that it comes from Babble's most determined and dedicated electoral cheerleader for Justin Trudeau, not really worthy of a response. It takes a mole to see a mole. Or not. 

2. The membership chose the leader: this is correct.

3. the MPs reject the choice of the members:  This is not correct. As has already been pointed out multiple times here, the Parliamentary caucus has no power to accept, reject, beatify or bury the duly elected leader of the party. They simply and democratically offered an opinion on his performance - one of overwhelming non-confidence, as it so happens.

4.  the [MPs should] resign and be replaced by MPs who wish to represent the members:  Prospective MPs are first nominated / endorsed by Party members as per established procedures. But only become MPs when they are elected by the public. The 172 MPs who voted non-confidence in Corbyn represent several (six?) million voters, many more people than have ever voted for Jeremy Corbyn.

If you are suggesting these MPs resign from the Labour Party, I think you have just reduced Jeremy Corbyn to leader of a rump 5th party in Parliament, and effectively named Owen Smith new Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition. If you are suggesting the MPs should resign from the Party and the House, and dare them to run again in a byelection ("True Labour" vs "Corbynista Labour"?),- you are once again showing your DemLib allegiances as one who celebrates and feeds off electoral divisions in the left. This may well be a fantasy of DemLibs, Tories and Trostkyites, but its just not going to happen.  

 

Pondering

sherpa-finn wrote:
1. Re "moles for neo-liberalism": a great line. But given that it comes from Babble's most determined and dedicated electoral cheerleader for Justin Trudeau, not really worthy of a response. It takes a mole to see a mole. Or not.
 

Talk about self-agrandization. Babble isn't important enough to attract "moles". 

The NDP lost me because the NDP refused to allow marijuana legalization to come to a vote and are supportive of Quebec Nationalism without any redeeming qualities like willingness to fight trade deals and pipelines. Even NDP members and supporters agree that the NDP has moved right of the Liberals yet still I am supposed to unquestioningly believe that the NDP deserves automatic support as the only progressive or only leftest party. If a person like Corbyn or Sanders were leading the NDP I would support them in a heartbeat.

sherpa-finn wrote:
3. the MPs reject the choice of the members:  This is not correct. As has already been pointed out multiple times here, the Parliamentary caucus has no power to accept, reject, beatify or bury the duly elected leader of the party. They simply and democratically offered an opinion on his performance - one of overwhelming non-confidence, as it so happens.

In my book that is an overwhelming rejection of the members choice whether or not they could actually depose him.

sherpa-finn wrote:
4.  the [MPs should] resign and be replaced by MPs who wish to represent the members:  Prospective MPs are first nominated / endorsed by Party members as per established procedures. But only become MPs when they are elected by the public. The 172 MPs who voted non-confidence in Corbyn represent several (six?) million voters, many more people than have ever voted for Jeremy Corbyn 

Most people vote for the leader not the MP. A really popular MP might be an exception to that but most MPs are there because people voted for the leader of the party.

sherpa-finn wrote:
If you are suggesting these MPs resign from the Labour Party, I think you have just reduced Jeremy Corbyn to leader of a rump 5th party in Parliament, and effectively named Owen Smith new Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition. 

Because there just aren't enough people against neo-liberalism in Britain to replace those MPs? I'm not suggesting they resign from Labour prior to the next election. I suggest that they support their leader until the next election then step down if they can't respect the wishes of the members and supporters of the party. 

sherpa-finn wrote:
 
If you are suggesting the MPs should resign from the Party and the House, and dare them to run again in a byelection ("True Labour" vs "Corbynista Labour"?),- you are once again showing your DemLib allegiances as one who celebrates and feeds off electoral divisions in the left. This may well be a fantasy of DemLibs, Tories and Trostkyites, but its just not going to happen. 

There is no division on the left. There are people who have infiltrated the left and are turning it into the right against the wishes of members and supporters. Corbyn is not some extremist. He is moderate left. He didn't call for Brexit or to overthrow capitialism. Just for a fair shake for people at the bottom of the economic ladder.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Sherpa-Finn

The 172 MPs who voted non-confidence in Corbyn represent several (six?) million voters, many more people than have ever voted for Jeremy Corbyn.

 

It's arrogant to assume that the constituents of those MPs are united in support of the MPs own opposition to Corbyn.  Those MPs represent safe Labour seats...the constituents those MPs represent would have voted for ANYONE who stood as the Labour candidate.  Few, if ANY of those MPs were only elected because they made a show of being sharply to the right of the members of their constituency parties.

 

And kindly stop using smear terms like "far left".  Corbyn supporters are simply left-wing democratic socialists.  They aren't armed revolutionaries or apologists for the Khmer Rouge or the DPRK, and they don't support putting the whole of the UK economy under state control.  They support Corbyn because they actually trust him and agree with him on the issues, and because they were sick of the conservatism the MPs chained Labour under from 1994 to 2010-unnecessar conservatism, because by 1997 the voters in the UK weren't just sick of the Conservative Party as a cast of characters, they were sick of the vast majority of the policies Thatcher and Major brought in.  Almost no one wanted the election to be reduced to far right vs. bland, timid, left-hating centrism.   It is time that you and the PLP stop treating Corbyn supporters as if they are spolt children that need to be punished and then lgnored.  Labour has nothing to gain by driving the left away again.

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

It's right-wing to argue that the "vote of no confidence" (a vote that has no actual standing under Labour Party rules and has never been used by any party's caucus in the British House of Commons ) obligated Corbyn to stand down.  All it was was MPs who never at any point gave Corbyn a chance, never wanted Labour to be run by the membership of the party, never wanted internal party democracy to be restored and won't tolerate Labour fighting an election under any set of policies other than sectarian Blairism(an political position that has no popularity in the UK anymore and which doesn't disagree with Tory policies on any major issues) rejecting the leader their party had democratically chosen.

It was enough for Corbyn to do the democratic thing and put his status in the leadership up for a vote of the party. 

That was all the PLP has any right to expect. 

It was never legitimate to expect Corbyn to stand down and not only be barred from standing for re-election(as the PLP would have done if he'd been forced to seek renomination)but to be given no guarantee that anyone at all from the left wing would be permitted to run(they would have made sure that no one to the left of Yvette Cooper was in the revote, thus making it pointless for anyone to even vote Labour at the next general election, since no MP on the right wing of the party has any real concern for the poor or the workers-that's what being a "Labour moderate" means, not caring about anyone but the rich)  and no guarantee that his proposals for restoring internal party democracy(something that HAS to happen is Labour is ever to be a living political party again rather than simply the slightly-less-nasty wing of the status quo) would still be implemented, and not even a guarantee that his own supporters would be allowed to VOTE in the leadership contest.  It would have meant that the MPs and ONLY the MPs would be running the Labour Party and that only cynical anti-socialist warmongers would ever have been allowed to be party leaders.  All of this would have dragged Labour back to being the soulless, passionless, convictionless dead zone it was under Ed Miliband-or dragged it to the right of Ed Miliband, which would basically be the same thing as just merging with the Tories and being done with it(there is no position to the right of Ed Miliband that is still distinguishable from Thatcherism.

And as to the "feet to the fire" thing...the Blair years proved that no right-wing Labour leader will ever listen to people to her or his left, and will never move to a more leftward position as a result of left pressure.

Labour can't do anything worthwhile in power if it is led by someone on the right wing of the party.  The last Labour prime minister that did anything that mattered was Harold Wilson...and, while he was too far to the right for my taste, at the very least he didn't treat socialism as childish nonsense to be got over.  He respected the socialist tradition and treated it as if it had a legitimate place in the party.  Your hero Blair, on the other hand, treated everyone on the left as the enemy and based his entire political program on being the scourge of radicalism, being more Thatcherite than Mrs. Thatcher.  Labour was going to win in 1997 without him doing any of that...the party already had a solid lead in the polls before he made any of the agonizing and insulting changes he made to the party...it was never necessary to water Clause Four down to nothing at all...and it's largely thanks to his doing that that Labour hasn't been able to run a winning campaign since Blair left.

But the political situation today is totally different than it was in 1997.  Opposition to "market values" is soaring all over the planet.  Labour could easily win by joining in that opposition.  How can it possibly win by being one of the last all out "free market" parties in the world?  How can it win by being one of the last social democratic parties in the world that STILL supports cutting social services and still wants to keep unions powerless?  Nobody in the UK wants Labour to be, in effect, the second Conservative Party.  If the voters wanted to choose between TWO right-wing parties, UKIP would be beating Labour in the polls.

And the "social democratic parties" you keep talking about(Corbyn himself is a social democrat...it's just that he's a more left-wing social democrat, and his most radical proposal, nationalizing the railroads, was in Tony Blair's manifesto in 1997). 

BTW, as to the tone I've taken(which you just replied to in a pointlessly insulting way) you've provoked that by doing a perfect imitation of the attitude of the anti-Corbynites in the PLP...your posts have been condescending and dismissive.  You've acted as if you are the only grown-up in the discussion and that everyone should be obligated to defer to you.  Why do you feel entitled to do that?  And why does it surprise you that people on a left-wing discussion board might not let you get away with it without challenge.

josh
nicky

"Six in ten Scottish voters think that Jeremy Corbyn is doing a bad job (the majority of whom think he is doing very badly), whilst just 18% think he is doing well, giving him an abysmal net score of -42."

 

https://yougov.co.uk/news/2016/09/01/davidson-now-more-popular-sturgeon-...

 

(No doubt a Blairite poll, wouldnt you say Josh?)

 

Sean in Ottawa

nicky wrote:

"Six in ten Scottish voters think that Jeremy Corbyn is doing a bad job (the majority of whom think he is doing very badly), whilst just 18% think he is doing well, giving him an abysmal net score of -42."

 

https://yougov.co.uk/news/2016/09/01/davidson-now-more-popular-sturgeon-...

 

(No doubt a Blairite poll, wouldnt you say Josh?)

 

Or reflecting support for the SNP

nicky

No Sean, the poll concerned Corbyn's own approval rating, not whether Scots preferred the SNP to him. He is driving Labour over the cliff based on his own merits, or lack of them.

Sean in Ottawa

nicky wrote:
No Sean, the poll concerned Corbyn's own approval rating, not whether Scots preferred the SNP to him. He is driving Labour over the cliff based on his own merits, or lack of them.

I think that dynamic is a bit more complicated. The labour support in Scotland is lower. It takes less with the smaller numbers to have him behind.

Scotish politics is very different than the rest of British politics and a poll in Scotland is only an indication of the reality there. And that too is partly a divide related to the SNP which ate up much of what Labour used to be able to count on.

nicky

Corbyn's polling is equally abysmal in the rest of the UK

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

The New Corbophobia.

Rev Pesky

nicky wrote:
Corbyn's polling is equally abysmal in the rest of the UK

The question is, how much of that result is due to the flaming attacks against Corbyn by the PLP? Difficult to judge motivations at this point.

Will the Labour Party do any better with Owen Smith as leader. I suspect the poisoning of the well being done by the PLP will have a serious and long-term effect on the party.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
The question is, how much of that result is due to the flaming attacks against Corbyn by the PLP?

Conversely, how much of his support is due to opposition to this?

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
The question is, how much of that result is due to the flaming attacks against Corbyn by the PLP?

Conversely, how much of his support is due to opposition to this?

I would suspect not too much. It seems that people support Corbyn's program, not his personality. They don't hate the current crop of Labour MPs, they just want a different approach to government.

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