Starmer As Labour's Leader-what should he do?

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Ken Burch

What those links assert was that the NEC-not Corbyn himself, but people on the NEC-meddled in the "longlists"(not even the shortlists, but the longlists) of candidates in a way that equally offended right-wingers and left-wingers.  NEC meddling in the longlists in a way that seems to have pissed off right-wingers(sorry, "moderates") and left wingers in more or less equal measure-and which isn't something I ever came close to defending, for the record-has nothing in common with your implication that there was something like a uniform policy of the NEC uniformly imposing left-wing nominees on over two dozen constituency parties that ALL preferred a centrist candidate.

Nothing remotely close to what you alleged happened.

As to what DID happen-though the anti-Corbyn majority on the NEC was far MORE aggressive in imposing anti-Corbyn(and mostly antisocialist) Labour candidates in 2017, I don't defend that and never did.

I have always supported reinstating ever aspect of internal party democracy that Kinnock and Blair unjustifiably removed-there were never significant blocs of voters who'd have voted Labour, but ONLY if the rank-and-file had no say in policy anymore and only if the party was moved so far to the right on the issues that it wasn't even to the left of the Tories under Harold MacMillan anymore.

I always supported Open Selection, no matter who was leader.

I always supported the right of constituency parties to deselect sitting MPs who treated Labour principles and rank-and-file activists with contempt, who exhibit bigotry, who take the side of the bosses over the workers, who become arrogant, nasty and corrupt.

Having said that...and reminding you once again that Corbyn is no longer the leader, there is no longer any reason to keep attacking Corbyn OR to continue to demonize those allied with him.

Now...the question is the future.

And, since moving to the right of Corbyn on in any major policy eras is not going to gain Labour votes-nobody WANTS Labour to go back to the 2010 or 2015 platforms; if people like liked THOSE platforms, Labour would have won those elections.

Can you finally, FINALLY take part in this discussion in the present tense?  To discuss not what you didn't like about Corbyn and his era-what you didn't like is obvious; you didn't like the fact that he didn't treat the Labour rank and file and the young as irrelevant scum, that he didn't accept the idea that Labour HAD to blur the differences and be run exclusively like a cynical elite who reduced politics to nothing but "it's enough that it would be US doing the same things they're doing", that he didn't believe that the party owed Netanyahu unquestioning support in whatever he does to Palestinians, that he didn't share your acceptance of the death-belief that history is over and that all that can be done from here on in is tiny bit of tinkering around the edges of the edges.  

That is why you spent four yaers cheering on and goading on the anti-Corbyn, anti-socialist, anti-democracy cabal in the PLP and the party bureaucracy.   

You did all that because all you cared about as forcing Corbyn out as leader by any means necessary-including, it is hard to avoid concluding, the means of senior Labour bureaucrats, people high up on the Labour payroll, acting to sabotage Labour's last two election campaigns, almost certainly stopping Corbyn from ousting the Tories in 2017 and aiding the Tories to a majority they might never otherwise have won in 2019.

Well, you got what you wanted...Corbyn is out.  

So STOP MAKING EVERYTHING ABOUT CORBYN.

Move on already.

nicky

So you ask me a question Ken. I answer it and you criticize me for answering it?

if you found the links unconvincing perhaps you can dig up the many more links I provided when you asked the same question a few months ago.

nicky
Ken Burch

nicky wrote:

So you ask me a question Ken. I answer it and you criticize me for answering it?

if you found the links unconvincing perhaps you can dig up the many more links I provided when you asked the same question a few months ago.

What I "criticized" you for was not "answering a question", but your insistence on responding to a question about what Labour should do now by repeating a talking point implicitly attacking the previous leader.

My other point was that the links you posted did not support the argument you posted them to support-you wanted to imply that

1) There was a consistent pattern of Corbyn supporters on the NEC forcing CLPs to nominate pro-Corbyn candidates when a huge number of them wanted to nominate right-wing Corbyn opponents.  What there actually was was some meddling-but far less than under previous leaders-and that the meddling was directed equally at pro-Corbyn and anti-Corbyn CLPs.  There was NO concerted effert to force the nomination of left candidates on anti-left CLPs;

2) That the ONLY way to prove that a person opposed the meddling was to blame Corbyn for it and demand that he stand down as leader immediately;

You were also assuming that, because I supported Corbyn, I'd have defended the meddling.  I don't defend it now and I didn't defend it then. 

My point is that I wasn't obligated to join you in demanding that Corbyn stand down before the election over it.  
It wouldn't have made any difference in the 2019 outcome if he had stood down, and nobody, even Starmer-the same Starmer who chose not to stand for the leadership in 2015 because he didn't feel qualified to take the job.

Starmer, for no valid reason, had switched from accepting the results of the referendum to making a pointless, push for Labour to go all-out Remain.  

The "Red Wall" voters were already furious that Corbyn had accepted the second referendum-they would have been even MORE furious had the party gone all-out Remain, since the EU was a major cause of the economic abandonment of their region.

Here is the situation in reality:

The people you wanted out of the Shadow Cabinet positions are gone.

Formby, who did nothing wrong, is gone.   She covered up nothing becuase there was nothign to cover up-the Labour Leaks prove Corbyn and those working with him did all they could to fight the fairly small incidence of AS within the party, that it was the MacNicol mob that delayed disciplinary procedures against people like Ken Livingstone.  With them doing that, there was nothing else Corbyn could do.

And Momentum is a legitimate organization that has done nothing to deserve expulsion, so there's nothing to be gained for Labour in attacking them-Momentum is not Trotskyist and it's not this year's Militant.

Btw, if you read any of the quotes from the Labour Leaks, the MacNicol cabal equated every socialist policy in the 2017 and 2019 manifestos with "Trotskyism".  Do YOU accept the canard that "Trotskyism" now simply means any policies to the left of Blair's?

What I'd like to do to is address the present-to admit that Corbyn is no longer the issue and that there's no reason to continue to attack him OR to demand that that the party actually punish him in some way.

You've got a new leader with a different personal style.  

He's up a bit in the personal popularity polls, but you'd have to concede that that's at least in part because the media and his own MPs aren't vilifying and smearing him on a daily basis, mainly because they think he'll be just as much of a toady to the rich as Blair was.

In the face of all that, why do you refuse to move on from your obsession with a FORMER leader?  Why can you not admit it's time to let that go?

Nobody in the party was still attacking Michael Foot months after HE stood down as leader, and Foot led the party to a far WORSE showing in the popular vote than it had this year(26%, compared to 33% in 2019).  

The voters aren't demanding that Labour make Corbyn live out the rest of his days on an allotment on Saint Helena or something.  They aren't insisting that he be treated as a disgrace.

And they aren't demanding that Labour once again lower itself to the essentially Tory policies it reduced itself to in the Nineties.  Nobody wants Labour to be just as miserly and militarist as Boris, or that it put the unwinnable fight to reverse Brexit over all other objectives. 

The current political situation does, in fact, validate Corbyn's arguments that there needs to be a massive increase in public investment on healthcare, education, housing and, where necessary, intervention in the economy.  A low-tax "market values" world can't defeat things like poverty and pandemics, and the days of funding tiny increases in the social wage by continuing to "sell off the family silver"-i.e., through continued privatization and through part-privatization of the NHS-are over.  There HAVE to be significantly higher taxes on the rich, and an aggressive fight to close overseas tax shelters.

And there's no need for Labour, in the name of fighting the truly small number of antisemites in the party, to restrict what party members can say about the Israeli government, since no comments about a government and a country can actually be bigotry agains a religion or an ethnicity.

The issue isn't what is to be done to Corbyn and those he stands with-nicky.

The issue is, what should Starmer do, now?

The voters of the UK want to know what he has to offer-they aren't demanding that he be punished.
 

NDPP

Labour Set to Hold Private Briefing After Board Raises Concerns

https://twitter.com/simonmaginn/status/1263827631973294080

"...Labour needs a real leader."

 

Ken Burch

Indeed.  It needs SOME sort of leader.  It's not leadership to accept the idea that criticism of the Israeli government and solidarity with Palestinians come anywhere close to AS.  

Ken Burch

I think that the reason nicky can't accept that Corbyn is no longer the issue is that he's furious that Starmer hasn't passionately denounced Corbyn in the way Kinnock pointlessly denounced Derek Hatton and Liverpool Militant-as well as Arthur Scargill, the mine workers leader-in that pointlessly nasty Labour conference speech in 1985-a speech which made no meaningful difference in Labour's fortunes at the next election and which was a harbinger for Kinnock's spiteful, unjustified insistence on stripping Labour of nearly every vestige of socialism during his leadership-an insistence which made no real difference in Labour's electoral fortunes.

Starmer knows he can't give a speech like that.  He knows that because he knows it would drive hundreds of thousands of people out of the party and next to nobody would join the party from the right to replace them.  

If Starmer anathemizes Corbyn and what he stood for, he will have no right to even ask anybody now under 45 ever to vote Labour again, because Corbyn can't be anathemized and the policies his supporters put in place can't be ditched without Labour becoming a party of the right, as it was under Blair-and Starmer knows that the electorate doesn't want Labour to blur the differences and once again reduce the Labour pitch to "it's enough that we'll be nicer about it".

This isn't 1997, and the voters of the UK are not demanding-if they even were then-that Labour recant the heresies of opposing greed and war.

Starmer also, I believe, is aware of the fact that there is one reason, above all others, why he has made small gains in personal popularity:  The fact that, unlike Corbyn, Starmer has not been the subject of a relentless slander campaign by both the press and the majority of his own MPs.  

 

Aristotleded24

Why Did Britain Brexit?

Quote:
Brexit raises questions far greater than the debates over the rights and wrongs of the referendum decision and Johnson’s subsequent prosecution of it. Brexit is a real-life proxy for some of the most fundamental questions facing all nation-states today: How to remain prosperous and sovereign in a globalized economy; how to maintain the corrective power of national democracy within supranational institutions; and ultimately, how ordinary citizens can retain control over their lives and livelihoods in a world in which more and more areas of life are deemed beyond national political control, whether in regard to trade and tariffs (should Britain embrace free trade, protectionism, or a mix of both?), or immigration and national citizenship (who and how many people should be allowed into a country and when should they receive the same rights as the citizens already there?).

It is this Brexit story that underpins Britain’s exit from the EU—the story of a country that voted to buck the post-war order and “take back control,” but has little idea whether that is even possible anymore, or indeed, whether it had ever lost control in the first place. It is also a story that does not begin or end at 11 p.m. tomorrow, the formal point of rupture, but one that started decades ago and will likely last decades longer.

...

In the first few decades of Britain’s flirtation with Europe, followed by its full membership in the EEC, opposition to U.K. involvement was found on both the left and the right of the political spectrum. This began to change after Thatcher became prime minister. In 1988, the president of the European Commission, Jacques Delors, addressed Britain’s Trades Union Congress, the country’s biggest collection of organized labor—and set off an avalanche that reshaped British politics, endearing Europe to the left and radicalizing conservative euroskepticism in the process. Delors had already told the European Parliament that within 10 years, 80 percent of economic and social legislation in the region would be decided at the European level. He also described the Commission as an “embryo European government.” But then in September he visited Britain, winning a standing ovation from union members after urging them to support his bid to build a “platform of guaranteed social rights,” including the right to collective bargaining.

Less than two weeks later, addressing the College of Europe in Bruges, Thatcher gave her response. “Britain does not dream of some cozy, isolated existence on the fringes of the European Community,” she insisted. “Our destiny is in Europe, as part of the Community.” Then she delivered her warning: Europe should not “suppress nationhood and concentrate power,” she said. “We have not successfully rolled back the frontiers of the state in Britain, only to see them reimposed at a European level with a European superstate exercising a new dominance from Brussels.”

Here was the crux of the matter. Europe was no longer a threat to Attlee’s socialist consensus, the British political class felt, but the new Thatcherite consensus. The fear had changed, but the philosophical question was the same: Who held control? Thatcher favored cooperation with Europe—influence within Europe—but not at the expense of control over the basics of statehood: borders, money, and laws.

Much more there. I encourage anyone who thinks Labour could have won by going on a hard-Remain platform to read that article.

Ken Burch

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Why Did Britain Brexit?

Quote:
Brexit raises questions far greater than the debates over the rights and wrongs of the referendum decision and Johnson’s subsequent prosecution of it. Brexit is a real-life proxy for some of the most fundamental questions facing all nation-states today: How to remain prosperous and sovereign in a globalized economy; how to maintain the corrective power of national democracy within supranational institutions; and ultimately, how ordinary citizens can retain control over their lives and livelihoods in a world in which more and more areas of life are deemed beyond national political control, whether in regard to trade and tariffs (should Britain embrace free trade, protectionism, or a mix of both?), or immigration and national citizenship (who and how many people should be allowed into a country and when should they receive the same rights as the citizens already there?).

It is this Brexit story that underpins Britain’s exit from the EU—the story of a country that voted to buck the post-war order and “take back control,” but has little idea whether that is even possible anymore, or indeed, whether it had ever lost control in the first place. It is also a story that does not begin or end at 11 p.m. tomorrow, the formal point of rupture, but one that started decades ago and will likely last decades longer.

...

In the first few decades of Britain’s flirtation with Europe, followed by its full membership in the EEC, opposition to U.K. involvement was found on both the left and the right of the political spectrum. This began to change after Thatcher became prime minister. In 1988, the president of the European Commission, Jacques Delors, addressed Britain’s Trades Union Congress, the country’s biggest collection of organized labor—and set off an avalanche that reshaped British politics, endearing Europe to the left and radicalizing conservative euroskepticism in the process. Delors had already told the European Parliament that within 10 years, 80 percent of economic and social legislation in the region would be decided at the European level. He also described the Commission as an “embryo European government.” But then in September he visited Britain, winning a standing ovation from union members after urging them to support his bid to build a “platform of guaranteed social rights,” including the right to collective bargaining.

Less than two weeks later, addressing the College of Europe in Bruges, Thatcher gave her response. “Britain does not dream of some cozy, isolated existence on the fringes of the European Community,” she insisted. “Our destiny is in Europe, as part of the Community.” Then she delivered her warning: Europe should not “suppress nationhood and concentrate power,” she said. “We have not successfully rolled back the frontiers of the state in Britain, only to see them reimposed at a European level with a European superstate exercising a new dominance from Brussels.”

Here was the crux of the matter. Europe was no longer a threat to Attlee’s socialist consensus, the British political class felt, but the new Thatcherite consensus. The fear had changed, but the philosophical question was the same: Who held control? Thatcher favored cooperation with Europe—influence within Europe—but not at the expense of control over the basics of statehood: borders, money, and laws.

Much more there. I encourage anyone who thinks Labour could have won by going on a hard-Remain platform to read that article.

[/quote

Thank you, Aristotled24

I read a good post-election article in Tribune, the Labour Left publication in the UK, which argued that, if Labour HAD gone all out Remain, it would, at the most, have saved 10 of the very small number of Labour Remain constituencies-but would have cost the party 10 Labour Leave seats in the former "Red Wall".

And the Red Wall damage could have been even worse than that if Labour had been led by a hardline Remainer from London like Starmer, whose push for a hardline Remain line was coupled with his complete personal disinterest in proposing anything remotely similar to an economic revitalization and community re-engagement policy towards the Red Wall seats-seats which had actually been slipping away from Labour since 2001.

The Labour vote had dropped in those constituencies in every election between 2001 and 2015, and it was Corbyn-the figure the Labour Right spent four years insisting was solely responsible for everything bad that happened to the party when he was leader-who  led Labour to its first gain in vote share in the Red wall in this century.

 

NDPP

New Labour Purge Against Israel Critics

https://twitter.com/AsaWinstanley/status/1263155815151742978

"...The UK Labour Party has launched a new purge of the left and the Palestine solidarity movement still remaining in its ranks. The new purge commenced only hours after Labour's new right-wing leader Keir Starmer held a virtual meeting with the leadership of the Jewish Labour Movement, a pro-Israel lobby within the party..."

Which nobody, not Corbyn nor now Sir Keir seem willing to remove but only to appease. A common and widespread political affliction with a long list of patients including Canada urgently in need of the same surgery.

Ken Burch

It's indefensibly foolish for Starmer to be trying to drive Palestine solidarity activists out of the party, and for him to be even edging towards a purge of the left.

Labour can't gain any significant blocs of votes either be forcing all party members to be Likudniks-which is the only thing the BoD "pledges" are about- or to be headed towards the Kinnock zone of moving the party so far to the right taht there would no longer be any good reason to even try to elect it.

There would be no gains in support for Labour if it once again abandoned socialism and went back to the essentially Tory policies mislabeled as "modernizing social democracy".

Nobody in the UK, other than people who would never vote for any party other than the Tories, wants Labour to move significantly to the right on the issues, OR to once again expel all socialists OTHER than Corbyn-or, if nicky really had his way, to expel Corbyn and force his constituency party to nominate a Blairite or Blue Labour type.

The need is for unity, not more purges and another surrender to capitalism and militarism.

NDPP

And  Zionism.

nicky
Ken Burch

Almost entirely as a result of Starmer not being subjected to a perpetual hate campaign from the press and his own MPs.  Still doesn't justify what MacNicol and the PLP spent four years doing to Corbyn-who, btw, was proven innocent on the false accusations of not addressing AS by the Labour Leaks.

Ken Burch

If Corbyn hadn't been incessantly hounded and smeared, had not been continually denied the slightest shred of respect by the majority of the PLP, had not been subject to continual plots to remove him even though no other Labour MP had any national degree of personal popularity or any chance of doing better in a general election-I assume you'd concede the point that Starmer would have led Labour to even worse losses in what used to be the "Red Wall" since the overwhelming majority of Labour voters in that era were Leave and could never have been persuaded to vote Labour if it took an all-out Remain position-and that it could only have done Labour harm for the hundreds of thousands of young people who joined it under Corbyn had all left, as we can assume most of them will leave now, to be replaced by no one.

 

Ken Burch

And it still goes without saying that, if Starmer purges all non-Zionists, anti-Zionists and all those who are "Pro-Israel" but not unquestioning supporters of Netanyahu-as you almost certainly want-that wouldn't leave anybody in the party who holds actual socialist, social democratic, or even humane views-a humane political outlook and support for Netanyahu cannot be combined.

The Tory lead declined because the popularity of all newly elected governments inevitably declines in a few months.  Labour was making gains like this with Michael Foot-the person you CLAIM you supported as Labour leader-in 1981, before the SDP was invented by the Labour Right and funded by the largest corporations in the UK.  

nicky

Ken,whenever I raise Corbyn’s name you jump on me for not leaving him be. You bleat that he is no longer leader, etc etc.

Yet now that he is mercifully confined to the ashcan of history, you raise his name in every post.

I posted a link to polling , without comment, indicating that Starmer is doing quite well recently and that prompts you to make the improbable claim that that is only because he is not subject to all the unfair criticism leveled at the hapless Corbyn.

No Ken, it is because Starmer, unlike Corbyn, has some authority, competence, intelligence, accomplishments, education, life-experience, presence and balance. He is respected by the public in contrast to the woeful Tory- enabler you keep telling me not to mention.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

nicky wrote:

No Ken, it is because Starmer, unlike Corbyn, has some authority, competence, intelligence, accomplishments, education, life-experience, presence and balance. He is respected by the public in contrast to the woeful Tory- enabler you keep telling me not to mention.

As I've said from the very beginning of Corbyn's leadership bid, I really don't care that much about him personally, but rather about his policies, which were excellent from the leftist point of view. I also think that he was a decent person, an intelligent, cultured man, and a competent speaker. Starmer may or may not be a somewhat more talented politician, but again, I really only care about his policies, not his person.

Ken is quite correct that Starmer has not faced the onslaught of vicious smears that Corbyn endured. You and other self-appointed spokespersons for the ruling class claim that this is because he has more "authority, competence, intelligence, accomplishments, education, life-experience, presence and balance". But you are all obvious liars and/or dupes. Clearly Starmer is spared the Corbyn treatment because he does not espouse transformative socialist policies, not because of any special personal characteristics.

Yours is a disgusting, malodorous voice on this supposedly left wing platform, attacking any deviation from neoliberal orthodoxy.

nicky

Gee, I'm sorry Michael. I know I have criticized Corbyn for enabling Tory victories, but what other "deviations from neo-liberal orthodoxy" have I attacked?

Ken Burch

nicky wrote:

Ken,whenever I raise Corbyn’s name you jump on me for not leaving him be. You bleat that he is no longer leader, etc etc.

Yet now that he is mercifully confined to the ashcan of history, you raise his name in every post.

I posted a link to polling , without comment, indicating that Starmer is doing quite well recently and that prompts you to make the improbable claim that that is only because he is not subject to all the unfair criticism leveled at the hapless Corbyn.

No Ken, it is because Starmer, unlike Corbyn, has some authority, competence, intelligence, accomplishments, education, life-experience, presence and balance. He is respected by the public in contrast to the woeful Tory- enabler you keep telling me not to mention.

The only reason I've mentioned Corbyn is that you won't stop making everything about your obsession with denouncing him.

I've asked you to talk about what you think Starmer should do as leader, and all you've said is "not be like Corbyn", then insisted on continuing to denounce Corbyn and proclaim that he should never have been leader when it should be more than enough for you that he ISN'T leader.

Why can't you stop making everything about a pretext to attack a former leader?

It's natural to assume-and everyone here does assume, I think-that by "a healthy distance from (what you call)Corbynism", you mean you think Starmer should abandon socialism and do a Kinnock-like purge of the left.  That you want Labour to go back to standing for nothing again, as it did from 1997 to 2010.

If that's NOT what you want, you need to make your posts about something other than "Corbyn bad, Starmer good".  You need to actually engage the discussion and not simply post polling results as though temporary changes in the polls-changes that would pretty much always happen when a new government had been in power for a few months, since governments always go through a decline in the polls after a short time in office- and insisting that Corbyn is somehow STILL the issue.

What matters now is where Labour goes on internal governance and on the issues.

Nobody's going to reward Labour at the polls for abandoning the policies Corbyn's supporters brought in(all of which were popular) OR for making it impossible for Labour members and supporters to publicly criticize what the Israeli government is doing to Palestinians-which is what the BoD "pledges" are about, since the tiny number of actual antisemites in the party have already been driven away-OR from preventing the establishment of internal party democracy-a subject matter on which your allegations about what the NEC did under Corbyn are irrelevant.

I've been trying to talk about the future, you still won't move past your obsession with vilifying someone who isn't leader anymore.

And if you're going to keep saying that Corbyn should never have been leader and should have felt obligated to refuse the job when the overwhelming majority of the party elected him to it(even among paid party members, he was just short of 50% on the first preference and would obviously have won on the second or third even if the race included no one but party members) you need to blame the PLP and the right wing party bureaucracy for his conclusion that he had to stand on.  The PLP and the MacNicol cabal never showed ANY respect to the fact that the election of Corbyn was a vote to abandon Blairism and restore full internal democracy, was a categorical rejection of their whole political model.  Those spent the next four years doing all they could to prevent Labour from being able to win on a socialist platform-the Labour Leaks prove that, and also prove that it was the MacNicol cabal in the party bureaucracy that was actually responsible for delaying disciplinary proceedings against ACTUAL antisemites, that Corbyn and his supporters were innocent of that despicable allegation-and they were caught on their own emails actually colluding to prevent a Labour victory in 2017 when that victory was a real possibility.

It was the PLP and the MacNicol cabal who were the TRUE Tory-enablers, as was Starmer in his pointless insistence on pushing the party to take an all-out Remain stand that could only have cost it even MORE seats in the former Red Wall without gaining seats much of anywhere else, and that made Corbyn look weak as leader at a time when it would have been too late for Corbyn to stand down as leader because there wasn't anytime to replace him and when Starmer would have split the party by standing to replace him.

 

Ken Burch

Are you willing to talk in detail, for the first time, about what YOU actually want Labour to stand for under Starmer?  To admit that working for the future, a future in which Labour can either be radically socialist or irrelevant-nobody wants Blairism back-and a future in which Labour must mainly focus on creating a more coherent presentation of its radical message and do more work to rebuild the party in those areas of the North, Northeast, Midlands and Wales where it has actually been structurally crumbling for decades-work that is not going to be aided by a focus on punishing left-wing activists or moving back towards a totally leader-centric party.

The question is, since Labour must be anti-austerity, pro-economic equality, anti-military intervention and pro-grassroots party democraty to survive, how does the party present this in a more effective, compelling way.

Are you willing to be part of THAT discussion, nicky?  Are you willing to admit that there is no reason to base any of Starmer's project on bashing Corbyn's supporters or abandoning the policies they support?  That there are no votes to gain from returning to sectarian militarist austerity centrism and being "extremely casual" about unearned concentration of wealth?

nicky
Ken Burch

So, you're not interested in engaging this discussion. 

Those polling results don't mean we shouldn't be having the conversation I've been trying to get you to have.

And it still goes without saying that Starmer would have lost badly in the 2019 election-there is no way an all-out Remainer was going to win in a year where the defining phrase was "Get Brexit Done".

The people who wanted Labour to go all-out Remain never acknowledged that EU membership had left Wales, the North, the North East and the Midlands totally out in the cold; they never offered a economic revival policy.  None of the other 2015 or 2016 leadership candidates cared about addressing those issues OR about re-energizing the dying Labour political structure and organization in the Red Wall areas; they just wanted to stay the Blair-Brown-Miliband course and the 2010 and 2015 elections proved that that course was never going to lead Labour to victory again.

Nothing that's happening now justifies what you and the PLP did over the last five years.  None of it proves that forcing Corbyn out would have helped Labour, because all that would have come of that would have been 80% of Labour members under 40 leaving the party forever, with nobody of any other age group joining in numbers large enough to even maintain existing levels of party membership, let alone to increase the size of the party-you'd have to concede that Labour can't win the next election if it has fewer paid members and supporters than it does now; opposition parties don't beat governing parties while their own membership is shrinking.

So please stop acting as if there's nothing to discuss simply because there's a different leader.  That leader has no mandate to abandon the left policies and there are no votes to gain by moving right on any issues at all.

There's certainly no Labour way, no socialist or humane way, to go hardline "law and order" on crime policy.

Blair proved that by being tough on crime and totally disregarding the causes of crime.

Do not get me wrong-I hopeLabour does win-it goes without saying that Labour can't win and wouldn't be worth electing a Labour government it its policies aren't as socialist at the next election as they are now, since there's nothing between socialism and Toryism that can possibly even be worth trying-but the reality is that Johnson's support and the Tory polling lead would be falling right now no matter who was leader.

If you're not going to engage the discussion, there's no reason for you to post in this thread.

nicky

Ken, I don’t think you have been made the moderator, much less the censor.

The title of this thread is what should Starmer do?

I have posted, without comment, a couple polls showing that the public is responding favourably to him, so by inference he must be doing something right.

You continuously bleat that he has no mandate to marginalize the left. But he surely has a strong mandate( was it 57%) to be different from the previous disasterous leader. He has a mandate to restructure the shadow cabinet and the NEC which he has been doing.

So, to answer the question, what should he do? Keep putting distance between himself and the previous leadership.

 

Ken Burch

nicky wrote:

Ken, I don’t think you have been made the moderator, much less the censor.

The title of this thread is what should Starmer do?

I have posted, without comment, a couple polls showing that the public is responding favourably to him, so by inference he must be doing something right.

You continuously bleat that he has no mandate to marginalize the left. But he surely has a strong mandate( was it 57%) to be different from the previous disasterous leader. He has a mandate to restructure the shadow cabinet and the NEC which he has been doing.

So, to answer the question, what should he do? Keep putting distance between himself and the previous leadership.

 

Clearly, there are no votes to be gained from moving the party to the right on any actual issues.

And you still don't get it that the previous leader is no longer the point-Starmer doesn't need to anathemize the previousl leader.  

What matters is what the party stands for-and in a global health and economic crisis, nobody wants Labour to be a bland center party that leaves activists out in the cold and is once again run by no one but cynical, antisocialists "advisors" and the rigged conclusions of focus groups.

Why do you not engage the discussion I've been trying to have about policy and internal governance?  

It's absurd that, after all this time, you are STILL obsessed with trashing Corbyn.

Any reason that could have existed to make any of this about your irrational disdain of-and participation in the unjustified campaign to force out-Corbyn forever vanished the moment the man announced he was leaving.

You had no reason to be outraged that Rebecca Long-Bailey was standing for the leadership and you have no reason to still be making this about Corbyn at all.

What the voters of the UK care about is the policies Starmer will over and the way he'll run the party.

Those are the only issues now...and nothing even remotely connected with Corbyn has anything to do with those decision.

Labour can't win if the young go away and no Labour leader who moves the party to the right will have any right to ask the young for their votes, because no young people can benefit from the party having policies that are non-socialist.  Nothing "moderate" can make any meaningful difference in the lives of anyone under 4o.

And no one under 50 would benefit from Labour embracing "law and order" crime policies.

Ken Burch

As to the Labour Left-they are the only part of the party that still is, in any living sense, Labour anymore.  None of the people in the PLP who bought into the idea that Labour had to support the Tory assault on benefit claimants can still claim to have any Labour values.  Neither can any of those who still defend the Iraq War-a war even you opposed in the end-did you oppose while it was still happening?

Here's the thing:

The 1997 result is an example of correlation without causation.

Labour moved brutally, vindictively to the right between 1987 and 1997 despite the fact that the Left were blameless in the 1987 defeat AND in the 1992 defeat-both were caused solely by the perpetual unpopularity of Neil Kinnock as leader.  Kinnock always lost to Margaret Thatcher in the personal popularity polls and did little if any better against John Major in that same category-and it's likely that he lost what should have been an unlosable election in 1992 because the voters decided that, having abandoned every socialist conviction he'd ever held, the man had no core values and therefore simply couldn't be trusted.

Labour moved even further to the right under Blair...no one could still seriously argue there were any meaningful differences between the Labour and Tory manifestos in 1997-Labour values didn't survive in the 1997 manifesto-and this further move to the right, including the abandonment of Clause IV-Labour's last remaining socialist commitment in its entire program, was clearly unnecessary; Labour had had a strong lead in the polls under its previous leader, John Smith, a man who, while somewhat right-of-center in the Labour spectrum-as Kinnock had always been secretly; a BBC report posted during the centennial of Labour's founding indicated that Kinnock, who once pretended to be a "left-winger", had actually considered joining the SDP when it was founded, a statement proving Kinnock had never held socialist views of any sort at all- the Tories had actually been doomed to defeat at the next election from the moment the ERM(Exchange Rate Mechanism)crisis had put the UK into recession.

Labour won in 1997 after it had stopped being Labour on the issues.

There is no actual indication that Labour won in 1997 BECAUSE it stopped being Labour on the issues.

What happened then does NOT mean that Labour has to keep the left powerless-and if possible drive them out of the party-to win.  It does not meant that Labour gains votes because there was a purge of socialists OR that the electorate actually wanted Kinnock and Blair to make Labour a socialist and activist-free zone.

Labour won because the Tories had been in for eighteen years and a party that's been in power for eighteen straight years is almost certainly going to lose at the next election, no matter what its opponents do or do not stand for.

Labour cannot gain anything in 2024 if Starmer runs the party as Kinnock and Blair did.   Labour won in spite of those two in 1997, not because of their vindictive, cynical brutality.

 

Aristotleded24

nicky wrote:
Ken, I don’t think you have been made the moderator, much less the censor.

The title of this thread is what should Starmer do?

I have posted, without comment, a couple polls showing that the public is responding favourably to him, so by inference he must be doing something right.

You continuously bleat that he has no mandate to marginalize the left. But he surely has a strong mandate( was it 57%) to be different from the previous disasterous leader. He has a mandate to restructure the shadow cabinet and the NEC which he has been doing.

So, to answer the question, what should he do? Keep putting distance between himself and the previous leadership.

You're sure Starmer's improvement in public opinion polling is all his doing and has nothing to do with the United Kingdom's mishandling of the covid pandemic? Do you think Starmer's bump in approval is that much out of line with what any Opposition leader would see in that circumstance? Are you seriously going to argue that even Corbyn would not see a rise in his approval in these circumstances if he was still leader?

Ken Burch

Aristotleded24 wrote:

nicky wrote:
Ken, I don’t think you have been made the moderator, much less the censor.

The title of this thread is what should Starmer do?

I have posted, without comment, a couple polls showing that the public is responding favourably to him, so by inference he must be doing something right.

You continuously bleat that he has no mandate to marginalize the left. But he surely has a strong mandate( was it 57%) to be different from the previous disasterous leader. He has a mandate to restructure the shadow cabinet and the NEC which he has been doing.

So, to answer the question, what should he do? Keep putting distance between himself and the previous leadership.

You're sure Starmer's improvement in public opinion polling is all his doing and has nothing to do with the United Kingdom's mishandling of the covid pandemic? Do you think Starmer's bump in approval is that much out of line with what any Opposition leader would see in that circumstance? Are you seriously going to argue that even Corbyn would not see a rise in his approval in these circumstances if he was still leader?

It's weird to even say it's Starmer's doing, since the man has essentially done...nothing.

He's made no significant policy statements on anything, other than to give his support for the Narendra Modi's Hindu-supremacist regime in India.  

I seriously doubt that Starmer has increased Labour support by moving the party away from supporting human rights and secular governance.

It's almost pathological that nicky still can't accept that Labour's priority is enunciating useful policies-i.e., radical policies, becuase no moderate policies can possibly make any useful difference for anyone-not in anathemizing Corbyn.

Corbyn is a former leader.

There's no way for Labour to treat him as a pariah and still be different than the Tories.  And there's no further point in them trying.  That's not what the voters of the UK care about.

Aristotleded24

Look a little further at the claim that Labour could have won had it taken a more hard-line Remain position. Brexit was originally seen as a completely right-wing phenomenon. Prior to the last election, you had people on the left who said that a Labour Manifesto could not be enacted with the UK as an EU member state, and that after Brexit the British public could vote out the Conservatives and get a government acting in their interests. This was another key element that thwarted Labour's attempt to switch the channel from Brexit to its Manifesto.

josh

The former Labour leader was the victim of a carefully planned and brutally executed political assassination

Lie after lie was told about Corbyn, day after day, month after month. For the last four years very few journalists have bothered to do their job to fact-check the claims and report fairly on him.

https://www.middleeasteye.net/opinion/killing-jeremy-corbyn

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

josh wrote:

The former Labour leader was the victim of a carefully planned and brutally executed political assassination

Lie after lie was told about Corbyn, day after day, month after month. For the last four years very few journalists have bothered to do their job to fact-check the claims and report fairly on him.

https://www.middleeasteye.net/opinion/killing-jeremy-corbyn

Excellent article. nicky should definitely read it. With a bit of luck, he might even feel embarrassed.

nicky

Careful, Michael and Josh. You will incur Ken’s wrath because he keeps reminding us that this post is not about the former leader and we ought not to dwell on him.

In that spirit, the present leader seems to be doing nicely:

https://www7.politicalbetting.com/index.php/archives/2020/06/06/starmer-moves-to-a-35-net-approval-lead-over-johnson-while-all-three-polls-tonight-have-the-voting-gap-getting-very-close/

Aristotleded24

Seriously nicky, we have a global pandemic and at the same time uprisings in anger over police brutality in the US, crickets from you on those topics, and the only think you feel worthy to comment on is the state of the Labour Party in the United Kingdom and how much better Starmer is than Corbyn?

Says a great deal about where your priorities lie. I find that very troubling.

Ken Burch

Any new Labour leader NOT on the receiving end of the relentless fusillade of slime, slander and lies aimed at the past leader by virtually all branches of the British media would automatically be doing better than the previous leader.

Any new Labour leader facing a government which is no longer being given unquestioning adulation by the same British media would automatically be doing better than the previous leader.

Any new leader who NOT endlessly subjected to what everyone involved KNEW were universally unfounded accusations of indifference to the need to fight a bigotry that leader had fought passionately for decades would be doing better than the previous leader who was subjected to those unfounded accusations.

Any new Labour leader NOT being subjected to an endless series of plots aimed at forcing that leader out by their party’s own MPs would automatically be doing better than the leader who was subjected to said relentless treachery.

If the PREVIOUS Labour leader had been spared all of the above, that leader would have won the 2017 election- an election in which we now know Labour's own campaign staffers were working, even when Labour was surging in the polls in the last two weeks of the campaign, to prevent a Labour victory from happening.

And if the currently-new leader is still receiving all these layers of deference and respect from the media and from those of that own party’s MPs by the time of the next general election, that it can only mean that that leader has stripped the party that leader leads of any meaningful differences between its policies and those of the government of the day, has blurred the differences down to nothing again as they were unnecessarily blurred down to nothing in 1997-an election Labour was certain to win with any leader and on any manifesto- and that there is nothing that leader could possibly do as prime minister that anyone would recognize as anything close to a Labour policy.

The current leader is not getting this treatment from the media because of any better performance in the job than the previous leader or is in any meaningful way superior to the previous leader , the one nicky still refuses to stop vilifying and demonizing even though there is no reason for nicky to refuse to move on from that- but simply because the media and the establishment assume he will abandon all vestiges of socialism and once again make Labour exactly as militarist and deferential to wealth and “tradition” as the Tories.

If the current leader deviates from a course to total restoration of Blairism, every slur and every slander used against Corbyn will be revived and thrown at the current leader.

Ken Burch

And if the previous Labour leader, the one nicky refuses to stop pillorying, was so inherently wrong, how does anyone account for the fact that the Tory government has adopted several of that leader's policies?

Ken Burch

And nicky, the only reason anyone else is referencing Corbyn at all is that you refuse to stop attacking him and that you refuse to admit that what matters now is not the degree to which Starmer is "not Corbyn"-never mind that none of the other Labour leadership candidates, including Long-Bailey, WOULD be doing things exactly as Corbyn did-but the degree to which Labour offers policies which are actually responsive to what the voters want and need-policies which will have to be clearly socialist to make any meaningful differences in the lives of the people of the UK.

I have put out suggestions on policy, strategy, and internal governance-can you tell me why you 've refused to actually or engage any of those posts?

BTW, a lot of people who voted for Starmer had voted for the previous leader-so you can't take a vote for him as a vote to repudiate Labour's previous policies.  And, for that matter, you can't even take votes for Nandy-who you appeared to support simply because you liked her nasty, vindictive quality-as a vote to abandon socialism.

Are you willing to engage a discussion on how to elect Labour on the socialist policies it has to keep-and may have to deepen in radicalism in some cases-given that the next election will be fought in a UK still in economic crisis due to Boris' dismissive bungling of the pandemic?  

And are you willing, finally, to accept that you got what you wanted and that it's enough that Corbyn is a backbencher now, that the man doesn't deserve to be sent off to "internal exile" or something?

nicky

Aristotle, if you knew the extent to which Covid has impacted on me and my family you would not have made that ignoble comment that I have no concern about it.

it impacts so much of my life that I choose not to dwell on it on Babble.

Aristotleded24

What's with this "if you know who I am" game? You haven't publicly said anything about how covid has impacted your family, so of course we don't know. You've been obsessed with Corbyn and the leadership of the Labour Party to the exclusion of almost anything else that has been going on in the world. Instead of a defensive reaction, why not actually engage on the other topics, and at least we actually would understand where you are coming from?

MegB

Oi, these British Laabour threads make my eyes bleed, and not because I don't give a rat's ass about UK politics. I'm just fed up with dealing with endless man-fights. nicky, I'm sorry your family has been negatively impacted by COVID-19 and hope for the best of all possible outcomes. That said, both you and Ken need to dial it back, but particularly you nicky. This is a left wing progressive site, with all the values that entails. My job is to maintain progressive content on this board and you are sorely trying my patience. Also, babble is lower case, like rabble.

NDPP

Unstoppable Rise of Intel Agency Favourite Keir Starmer Shows How UK 'Democracy' Really Works

https://on.rt.com/aizw

"Sir Keir Starmer's links to Britain's national security establishment are being questioned. The suggestion is clear: Starmer has been very close to that establishment..."

Like the Hill & Knowlton NDP leadership, UK Labour is a 'loyal' opposition.

Ken Burch

nicky wrote:

Aristotle, if you knew the extent to which Covid has impacted on me and my family you would not have made that ignoble comment that I have no concern about it.

it impacts so much of my life that I choose not to dwell on it on Babble.

I'm sorry it has affected your life, as I'm sorry it has affected so many other people's life.

No one deserves to contract this virus.

You have, however, often made your actual identity an issue, through your repeated implications that, if the rest of us knew who you were, we would all have deferred to your assertion that there was or is no greater issue in the fate of the Labour Party than first ousting Corbyn as leader-an objective that clearly was important enough to you to justify actually encouraging those in the party who choose, while on the payroll, to work to prevent a Labour victory with Corbyn as leader and now, even though Corbyn isn't leader anymore, to want the man treated as an utter pariah and, if possible, to be barred by Starmer from making any public comments anymore.

And you have spent the last five years acting as if Corbyn's election as leader didn't represent anything but the triumph of some bizarrely effective personality cult, that it didn't represent a massive or even significant shift in what the Labour rank-and-file wanted the party to stand for, and that the rank-and-file should simply have handed the party back to the bureaucrats and teh PLP, even though those are the people who had lost Labour the two elections before Corbyn and even though those defeats meant they had no better idea of what it takes to win elections than anyone else.

It would be decent if you were to at least explain the logic behind your line of thinking on that.

It would also be decent if, given that you have acted as though the rest of us should defer to you on all political matters because of whatever the hell it is you have done as some sort of activists, you would at least drop us some hint of what you have done.  ANYBODY can say "if you knew who I am and what my record was, you'd just take my word for it", but that assertion remains meaningless when we have no idea what you HAVE done.  

And it would be decent if you were finally, for the first time in this whole exchange, to state what YOU think Labour should stand FOR-by which I do not mean the degree to which you think it needs to diverge from what Corbyn was like or the policies he supported, which are irrelevant metrics, given that no one other than yourself still sees distance from Corbyn as the only thing that matters-the man's policies, after all, were popular and a number of them were adopted by the Tory government-what matters is what Labour stands FOR.

Why do you refuse to address that?
Why do you refuse to say what you think Labour should be like on economics(without any real statement of what you support, it's natural to assume you want Blairism back) on foreign policy(again, without any real statement of what you support, it's natural to assume you want Blair's militarism back) on spending(once more, without any real statement of what you support, it's natural to assume you want Labour to go back to the Brown-Miliband days of being just as committed to austerity as Margaret Thatcher).

I've invited you, repeatedly to join a real discussion.

Would you mind, for once, actually doing that?

Would you be willing to engage the serious questions that arise in this discussion, such as:

1) By the time of the next election, few of the tiny handful of people in the UK who are still animated mainly by hatred of Corbyn will still be focused on that.   None of those who are driven mainly by such a pointlessly lingering hatred will even be considering voting Labour.   At the same time, Labour will be unable to win if it drives the hundreds of thousands of people who supported Corbyn as a means of getting Labour to stand for something again out of the party in despair.  As a person who hates Corbyn, how do you imagine Starmer would be able to get any of those people to go out and doorbell for Labour or to vote for it to do either thing if he does what you want him to do and puts the anathemization of Corbyn-and, presumably, the repudiation of the policies these people joined Labour to fight for-ahead of all other considerations?  How does Labour win if those people vanish from the party, when no one older to them or to their right will join the party in anything close to the numbers the party needs to maintain if its to win?  This last question matters because an opposition party cannot defeat a sitting government while its membership is shrinking and huge numbers of activists are becoming disillusioned by it

2) Labour cannot regain any significant number of the "Red Wall" seats if it goes into the next election on a Remain(or Rejoin) policy regarding the EU, especially if it doesn't couple with that policy-and Remainers have consistently refused to couple it-with a serious program for economic revival in the Red Wall areas, the areas left out in the cold economically by the EU?  Given that, would you agree that, at least at the next election, Labour should regard the EU issue as a settled matter?

3) The voters of the UK universally agree that the Iraq War and the rest of Blair's militarism were nothing but disastrous mistakes grounded in lies.  Would you agree that it would be pointless for Labour to fight the next election on a platform that doesn't admit that "humanitarian intervention" is a totally discredited concept?

Ken Burch

Starmer refuses to condemn the racist abuse flung at black Labour MPs.  Is that what being "pragmatic" means, nicky?

It's not as though Labour can ever gain votes by NOT speaking out passionately against racism.

nicky

I will not discuss how Covid has impacted my personal life. I do  resent being criticized for not caring about Covid by someone who doesn’t know what he is talking about.

A couple years back I was called a Conservative on babble (thanks for the spelling lesson Meg) by someone who equally didn’t know what he was talking about.

I responded to the effect that no one who knew me or my history in the NDP would call me that. That response has been twisted and thrown back in my face a number of times, most recently in a number of posts immediately above.

So I am challenged to say something about my progressive pedigre. OK.

I have been a member of the NDP since 1971. I joined whenTommy Douglas heroically opposed the War Measures Act.

I have worked for the party and given money in every election, federal and provincial since then. I was a paid organizer in a couple distant elections.

I have been on several riding association executives, including a term as president of one. I was a member of the provincial council for a spell.

I have worked in half a dozen leadership races. I have been a delegate to maybe 20 conventions.

I have organized numerous fundraising events for the NDP.

In my professional life I have worked for the United Nations in Africa . I have been on the front line defending civil liberties and opposing police abuses in my day to day work over four decades.

 I know some of you like Prince Kropotkin and Aristotle, like me, have long experience in 5he trenches for the NDP. I respect that.

Some of you might only have experience criticizing the NDP for not being left enough and want to drive people like me out of the party for not being as pure as you.

Ken Burch

Well, first of all, thanks for the work you have done with the NDP.  

I'm not sure if you know this about me, but I am a Yank, so my political involvement has been on the other side of the border and goes back to the Seventies.  I worked in both the Jesse Jackson campaigns-another campaign in which a candidate was falsely accused of AS, and later for Bernie-who was virtually the only white politician in the U.S. who endorsed Jesse in '84 and '88, and was himself falsely accused of not caring abour racism, sexism, anti-LGBTQ prejudice and the need to defend choice.

I did support Corbyn, but never uncritically.  For that matter his supporters were never uncritical of him and never treated him as an object of worship.

What they saw in him-and the majority of the Labour Party, at the grassroots level, were and are with them on this-was that Labour needed to do a radical rethink of what it was about after the party lost badly in the 2010 and 2015 elections on programs that were largely grounded in a "stay as right-wing as possible" strategy.

The majority of the PLP that opposed Corbyn's leadership campaigns never accepted the true message of the results of the 2015 and 2016 leadership results-a message that was never about giving unquestioning support to any one leader, but were grounded in issues in philosophy, in a genuine popular sentiment.

If the PLP simply wanted Corbyn out, the best chance they had of getting him out would have been to show respect to the message of those results.

Instead of doing that, they utterly refused to show any respect either to those results or to the overwhelming majority of the party that had voted for those results.

They refused to engage the Labour rank-and-file and accept its decision that the party needed to change.  They refused to accept that the way the party needed to be run needed to change, that there was no longer any reason to stay with the Kinnock-Blair idea that the rank-and-file should be kept totally out in the cold on policy, on party philosophy, on the way the party should be governed.

Instead, they sought not just to get Corbyn out as leader, but to erase the ideas associated with his supporters from the party at all.

They didn't care that erasing all vestiges of those policies would once again reduce Labour to its status in 2010 and 2015-that of a party that no longer stood for anything at all-there was nothing socialist or even social democratic or even of "modernizing social democracy" in those manifestos-in fact, there was barely anything distinguishable from Toryism in those manifestos at all.

Did Corbyn make mistakes as leader?  Yes, obviously.

Would removing him as leader before the 2017 or 2019 elections have made any positive difference in Labour's fortunes" No, it would not-especially if removing him meant doing what the Campbell/Mandelson/MacNicol/Hillary Benn types wanted, which was once again kicking all socialists out of the party and dragging Labour back to a "centre ground" that everyone knew no longer existed.  There were no votes to be gained from defending the "humanitarian intervention" myth, or taking a hardline policy on "law and order"-a phrase everyone knows means nothing but "let the cops kill as many black people as possible", or from having leaders who treat peace and social justice campaigners like dirt.

It was never about keeping Corbyn in for the sake of keeping Corbyn in.  

And Corbyn never hung on to the leadership out of ego or selfishness-given the indefensibly vicious way  many of his party's MPs treated him, he almost certainly wanted out from the moment he held the job and should have earned even your respect for staying on through years of totally undeserved abuse and slander, and through the sabotage MacNicol's essentially Thatcherite cabal inflicted on Labour's chances in the 2017 and 2019 elections, and which probably played a major role in the party's showings in the local elections-he stayed on to protect the principles his supporters fought for and those supporters themselves from being abandoned and purged.  

Anyone else in his position would have done the same.  Nobody put in that situation would ever do what you wanted and say "I'll just leave and let the people I stand with be thrown to the wolves".

And the simple fact is that the 2010 and 2015 elections prove that Labour wouldn't have gained any votes from once again lowering the party to centrist nothingness and doing another Kinnock-style purge of the left.

Starmer, if he is wise, will NOT do what you want-he will not go back to the "centre ground"-there's no meaningful difference between centre-ground policies and Toryism and Labour can never win the votes of anyone under 45 again-or for that matter, much of anyone OVER if it stands on centre-ground policies.  People who want centre-ground policies all love Boris and none of them will vote for anything other than the Tories no matter how far to the right Labour goes.

There are repairs Labour has to do if it is to win:

1) It needs to totally rebuld the party on an organizational basis in what had been the "Red Wall" areas.  Party organization and the social culture around Labour have been slowly dying in Wales, the North, the Northeast, and the Midlands since at least the late Eighties.  The Kinnock/Blair years were when the rot set in-when the party leadership made it clear it would no longer fight for working people, would not reverse the misery-causing policies Thatcher put in, would not do anything to economically revitalize the economy in those areas, because to do so would be to "pick winners" and "market values" New Labour was always going to let the rich pick  the winners and the rich had decided that the Red Wall areas had to lose.  The massive support for Leave in the Red Wall areas-the support which was almost exclusively the cause of the Labour collapse in those areas-largely came about because the EU was seen as symbolic of almost-entirely London-based New Labour's total indifference to the basic question of whether people in those areas lived or died.  Starmer must overcome the limits of his London-centric Remainer convert mindset, must tell the austerity addicts in the Labour Right to get stuffed, must propose a radical problem to revive the economy of the Red Wall.  If he offers only moderate "pro-business" policies, if he pushes Labour to a right-wing allout Remain or Rejoin stance, he will forfeit any chance to recover in the Red Wall, and Labour cannot even come close to victory if he takes a smug, centrist "they have nowhere else to go" attitude towards those areas.  Starmer should also press the EU hard on the fact that it left the Red Wall areas out in the cold, while giving the Scots, just a few miles away, across a one-time border, widespread prosperity.  That massive disparity in treatment is likely a major reason why the Red Wall areas went overwhelmingly Leave and why they gave more support to the Brexit party-support that threw dozens of seats to the Tories that that party hadn't come close to winning for most of the 20th century.

2) Starmer has to reconnect with voters in Scotland.  The only way to do that is to move towards something like a "Deux Nations" position and support "devo max"-giving as many powers as possible to the Holyrood parliament.  He may also have to work out an arrangement with the EU that Scotland itself can have EU membership-remember, the one reason Scotland voted "Nay" in the Indyref was that they were told they couldn't have EU membership as an independent country, and were then stripped of EU membership anyway even though that's the only reason Scotland stayed in the UK.  The Labour Right attitude was always dismissive of Scotland on all of those-they put it down to "nationalism", implying that the near-victory for Scottish independene AND the SNP sweep of Scottish constituencies at the next general election were down to a sudden, inexplicable upsurge in Scottish bigotry against the English.  Starmer needs to recognize that what the Labour Right dismissed as "nationalism"-a word they said in tones that implied that there was little difference between voting SNP and being a fascist-was actually a legitimate expression of massive popular rejection of the status quo.  Starmer needs to go big on "devo max" and needs to admit that dismissing the whole thing as "nationalism"-while having Labour take part in an arrogant, English-dominated "Nay" campaign that was run essentially on Tory terms-was a cataclysmic mistake and that Labour now rejects all of the assumptions behind the choices it made towards Scotland in the Indyref and the 2015 election;

3) Labour needs to communicate its policies better, and do a more thorough job of explaning them, but it doesn't need to move to the right on anything.   No blocs of voters are going to reward Starmer for treating socialists like Kinnock treated them after 1987, when Kinnock demonized the left for an election defeat which was solely his own fault.  

4) ON AS, the only people who should be punished are those who specifically expressed bigoted, hateful views towards Jews as people, Judaism as a set of religious traditions, and the various forms of Jewish cultures that exist.  No one should be punished for any critical comments made about the Israeli government, or for opposition to Zionism as what is now a permanently right-wing old-style nationalist movement, or for expressions of solidarity with the people of Palestine.  There is no possible justification for restricting Labour members in the same way the NDP restricts its members on the Israel/Palestine issue.

And as to Corbyn?  He is no longer leader.  
He doesn't need to be anathemized, or denounced, or silenced.                                                                                                        And he has as much right to speak out on the issues of the day as anyone else.

What Labour needs is renewal, not retribution.  

NDPP

Re #141

Doesn't bother the UK Labour fandom here that the current leader may be an asset of the security establishment and apparently also collaborated in the UK/US stitchup of Julian Assange?

Aristotleded24

Thank you nicky for your detailed post outlining what you have done for progressive organizations and why you joined the NDP in the first place. It helps give us more information and understanding about who you are and where you are coming from. I've certainly done a great deal in this past time to inflame tensions with you, but as we appear to be on the same team when it comes to the big thing, I really hope we can bury the hatchet and move on. As I have noted, your contribution to babble recently has been on threads related to British Labour in general and Corbyn in particular. I would really love to hear you participate in other topics of conversation on this board, as they interest you. You don't owe us anything in this regard, and ultimately the topics you choose to post on are up to you, but I feel that by you expanding your participation that would show some goodwill on your part. Your history as a member of this online community is about as long as mine, and I think it's a shame that we have wasted so much time and energy at each other's throats.

If I may propose one thing that might ease tensions around here, it's perhaps that Corbyn's leadership might not be an appropriate subject for discussion. You feel very strongly that he was never fit to lead the Labour Party, it appears there is nothing we can say to change your mind on that subject, and you are entitled to have that opinion. Corbyn's leadership is in the past, there is no changing what happened, and it seems pointless for any of us to continually beat this dead horse. So, I'm proposing that we move on from the topic, start fresh, and trying to figure out what we do agree on and how to move forward. Does this sound okay to you?

NDPP

'On the  Statue of Edward Colston, Keir Starmer Says 'Nobody Should Condone The Lawlessness''

https://twitter.com/DCKennard/status/1269909480453681153

"Fact that some progressive people still think this guy is an ally is just weird at this point..."

Pretend. Deny. Cheer the team no matter what.

Ken Burch

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Thank you nicky for your detailed post outlining what you have done for progressive organizations and why you joined the NDP in the first place. It helps give us more information and understanding about who you are and where you are coming from. I've certainly done a great deal in this past time to inflame tensions with you, but as we appear to be on the same team when it comes to the big thing, I really hope we can bury the hatchet and move on. As I have noted, your contribution to babble recently has been on threads related to British Labour in general and Corbyn in particular. I would really love to hear you participate in other topics of conversation on this board, as they interest you. You don't owe us anything in this regard, and ultimately the topics you choose to post on are up to you, but I feel that by you expanding your participation that would show some goodwill on your part. Your history as a member of this online community is about as long as mine, and I think it's a shame that we have wasted so much time and energy at each other's throats.

If I may propose one thing that might ease tensions around here, it's perhaps that Corbyn's leadership might not be an appropriate subject for discussion. You feel very strongly that he was never fit to lead the Labour Party, it appears there is nothing we can say to change your mind on that subject, and you are entitled to have that opinion. Corbyn's leadership is in the past, there is no changing what happened, and it seems pointless for any of us to continually beat this dead horse. So, I'm proposing that we move on from the topic, start fresh, and trying to figure out what we do agree on and how to move forward. Does this sound okay to you?

I second your proposal, Aristotled24.  That's exactly what I wanted this thread to do-deal with the present and future.

nicky

I am certainly happy not to hear anything at all about Corbyn.

i will refrain from raising him. If someone ventures some undeserved hagiography about him I might gently respond.

NDPP

But in the end you all come together in your acceptance and support of  a leader who worked with the secret police and collaborated in the persecution, dirty stitch up and ongoing extradition attempt by the Trump regime of a great whistleblower and freedom fighter. Not to mention the obligatory true friend of Israel.  In short, an enemy and a collaborator. Very impressive. Well done. Best of luck.

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