UK Labour leadership

201 posts / 0 new
Last post
josh

I don't seem to recall Corbyn and others working to undermine Blair's standing as leader, and refusing to support him.  Or pushing a smear campaign depicting him as some sort of bigot.  Or taking a destroy this village in order to save it position.  Or leaving the party as the right has done on more than one occasion.  

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

nicky wrote:

You still are in denial over what a disaster Corbyn was, aren’t you Ken.

As for your complaints about less than servile loyalty from those who questioned Corbyn, you seem to forget that Corbyn himself voted against the Blair/Brown governments more than 400 times, far more than any other MP. 

Meanwhile here is an interesting assessment of some of the contenders:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jan/12/keir-starmer-has-the-ability-and-the-character-but-what-does-he-stand-for

This tells us that the devastating scale of Labour’s losses in the December election has been a salutary shock to at least some of the party. The calamity inflicted by Corbynism’s deadly combination of ideological zealotry, toxic factionalism and rank amateurism commends professionalism, pleasantness and credibility to any members who are fed up with losing and would prefer not to be doomed to another decade in opposition. I have heard of a lot of examples of Labour activists who voted for Mr Corbyn in the last two leadership contests and who now intend to back Mr Starmer. He has also been blessed by his rivals. In Rebecca Long Bailey, the hard left has a candidate who appears unsure whether she truly wants to be the torchbearer for continuity Corbynism. She has given Mr Corbyn “10 out of 10” for leadership, prompting mirthful wonderment about how she would have ranked him had he won the election rather than crush Labour’s parliamentary representation down to the lowest level since 1935. The more revealing dimension of her candidacy is the bitter divisions within the hard left about whether she ought to be their representative and her hesitancy about taking on the role of heir to Corbyn for which she has long been groomed and promoted. “Rebecca is quite shy,” says a not unsympathetic Labour MP. “If you bump into her in a corridor, she never says hello unless you say hello first. I get the impression that she’s struggled to make herself do it.”

The presence of Jess Phillips as a competitor is probably a net positive for Mr Starmer and it could suit him if the Birmingham MP gathers enough nominations to get into the contest proper. He does not have to be absolutely brutal with the party about its desperate plight when the unflinching Ms Phillips is there to be the blunt truth-teller of the contest. Anti-Corbynite people are joining or rejoining the party in order to support her. Their second or third preferences are likely in large part to go to him

Corbyn voted against Kinnock or Blair on those occasions-and every such vote was on a matter of principle on a pointless and indefensibly right-wing policy, never on a matter where his votes did anything to harm the party's chances-there was no way to still have humane, decent, caring values and vote WITH Kinnock Blair on any of those measures, none of which were things that did anything to increase Labour's support in the polls and thus none of which were necessary to return Labour to power-but Corbyn never sabotaged either of those leaders, never did anything which undermined either of them, never resigned his seat after an election had been called in order to try and force either of them to resign during the election campaign(and remember, Kinnock was in worse shape in the polls going into the 1987 election than Corbyn was even this year), never heckled either of them in the House as the execrable and eventually Tory-supporting Ian Austin did, and never treated either as if they had no right to have won the leadership.

Here are the things you are not dealing with here, nicky-

If Labour does what you want and goes back to Blairism-and let's face it, you've never given up on that pointless objective at any point in these last four years-every single person among the 350,000 Labour members who joined the party because they supported Corbyn will instantly vanish from the party.  They will all refuse to campaign for it.  Most will probably stay away from the polls.  How the hell does Labour have any chance of winning if it drives that many people away?  Nobody to their right is going to come in to replace them.  

There were effectively two Blairite parties in the 2019 election-Change UK and the LibDems as led by the far-right Jo Swinson.

Change UK-which was started by the most bitter, arrogant, entitled and reactionary members of the Labour Right, along with one Tory so they could pretend the party was "centrist" instead of center-right,  took 10,006 votes.  Not in one seat.  In the whole of the UK.

The LibDems took a pathetic 11% of the vote(up 4% from 2017, but that was only because the LibDems reduced to an even more pathetic 7% in 2017), every former Labour, then former Change UK MP who stood as a LibDem candidate was overwhelmingly defeated, and Jo Swinson, who devoted the whole camapign to doing nothing but attacking Jeremy Corbyn while letting Boris Johnson and the Tories totally off the hook on everything, lost her own seat to the SNP-a Remain party, it's true- side note: Scotland largely prospered thanks to the EU, unlike Wales and the English Labour heartlands, which were left to rot by the EU, the Thatcherites, AND by Blair, so would you not agree that, at some point, Blair needs to apologize for not undoing the structural damage to the Labour heartlands economies that his role model Margaret Umbridge, I mean Delores Thatcher inflicted- but also a party well to the left of both the LibDems and the Blairites on economic and spending policies.

If Jess Phillips became leader, and made all the changes she wants and you wants in the party-Labour wouldn't be different than the Tories anymore.  She proved she cares about no one but the wealthy when she voted to abstain on-which was the same as voting to support- Theresa May's savage cuts in benefits and the barbaric, indefensible benefits cap policy.

Labour doesn't need a right-wing scold as leader, and if Labour did somehow win with Phillips as leader, you wouldn't be able to tell the Tories weren't still in power.

But she won't because no one who was inspired by Corbyn would stay in the party or even vote for it and Labour can't win if all those with whom Corbyn shares values were driven away.  Nobody who wants to silence all criticism of the Israeli government and go back to being just as militarist and royalist, and no one who opposes nationalizing the rails, electricity and water is going to support any policies that aren't just like the Tories.  There can't be a "social democratic" way of cutting benefits or of blaming the poor for poverty, no progressive changes can be made by anyone who believes that there is no way to run the economy other than permanent austerity capitalism, and no one who hates peace campaigners or immigrants wants a decant, compassionate world.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

And there's no such position in the Labour Party as "hard left". 

It's not "hard left" to be anti-austerity.

it's not "hard left" to recognize that the EU referendum settled the EU issue once and for all.

It's not "hard left' to want to erase the Tory cuts in benefit or abolish the hateful benefits cap and benefits sanctions policies, policies which have actually killed people because bureaucrats with no medical training decided that they were "fit for work" even though they were bedridden.

It's not "hard left" to recognize that there's no good reason to militarily intervene in any Arab or Muslim country anymore.

I get it that you hate Corbyn individually-you hate the fact that he's not a spiteful, vindictive bastard like Blair, a man whose idea of leadership was punishing people for the unforgiveable crime of having strong personal convictions-but you still don't get it his policies led Labour, in 2o17, to its first gain in votes in seats since 1997.  

Would you at least agree that, once that result was in, there was no good reason for the PLP to keep trying to force Corbyn out as leader and keep trying to force his supporters out of the party?

Why could they not have switched to a "let's talk-let's see if we can work together" approach at that point, rather than staying with saying nothing to Corbyn but "the only thing we'll accept from your lot is your immediate departure, you have no right to be here" approach?

Why did they have to invent the AS smear, when no accusations remotely like that had ever been made about Corbyn prior to 2015?  When there was no evidence of any signficant increase in AS under Corbyn?  When AS is the least-prevalent form of bigotry in the whole of the UK and is almost entirely on the far right?  When criticism of the Israeli government and even pricipled opposition to Zionism as an ideology are essentially never antisemitic?  When it's not AS simply to stand up to a politician or private citizen who identifies as Jewish to respond to unfair and unfounded attacks that person is making on others?  And why should AS be called "racism" when there is no such thing as a "Jewish race" and when the concept of Jews as a race was actually a form of bigotry and "othering" promulgated by the Inquisition, the tsars, and the Reich?   Corbyn never did anything, at any point, to deserve that, and I predict that, in ten to fifteen years, everyone in the PLP who perpetuated the slur will admit the man, his allies, and the party itself were wronged by what they did.

And there was no good reason for the Labour Right-it was ONLY the right wing of the party pushing all out for this-to keep hounding Corbyn to go all-out Remain when they knew that Labour would take massive losses in the heartlands for that stance-in 2017, Labour's vote share increased in the heartlands for the first time in years, due to his anti-austerity stand and due to the "we respect the results of the referendum" policy on the EU-when they knew that no leader campaigning as an allout Remainer could ever hold the North, the North East, Wales, and the Midlands?  And why did they not let up on this even when everyone knew there was no way, at any point, that Brexit could ever have been stopped, let alone could still be stopped(Phillips STILL hasn't admitted that issue is settled, for god's sakes) and that no good would have come to the Labour base FROM stopping it?.  Corbyn is not to blame for their doing that.

Corbyn has acknowledged that mistakes were made.  His campaign staff has acknowledged that as well.  He is going and the next campaign won't be run the same way no matter who leads it.  

But the reality is that the majority of paid Labour members are socialists and want the party to stay with Corbyn's policies.

The nationalization pledges are popular.  There's no good reason to abandon them and nothing Labour can do to improve rail service or lower rail, water, and electricity costs to the consumer without nationalizing them, since Labour values can't exist in a privately-owned for-profit corporation.

Restoring the Tory cuts to the NHS is popular.  There's nothing Labour could do to save that service without restoring the percentage of the budget which funds the NHS to the level it was in 1976, before Healey agreed to that pointless IMF austerity bailout-a bailout Healey later admitted he was wrong to seek.

Restoring cuts in benefit and abolishing the benefits sanctions policy are popular.  Most people in the UK believe it's enough to get a letter from a doctor demonstrating that a person in unfit to work and there was never any widespread with for Labour to endorse the idea that the poor should be punished simply for being on benefit.

And the people of the UK are sick of war-so why should Labour go back to the "we're just as bloodthirsty as the Tories" policies that Blair had on that?

Jess Phillips has never acted out of positive intent.  She is driven by nothing but irrational hatred of Jeremy Corbyn-a hatred she has felt for the man since the moment he became leader-and she has no positive agenda for Labour.  If she had a positive agenda, she wouldn't be pushing for mass expulsions of democratic socialist and she wouldn't be trying to force Labour to endorse the permanent Israeli occupation-and most likely the eventual annexation-of the West Bank.

She is a wrecker and a hater,  and Labour has nothing to gain from having a leader whose main agenda would be to inflict punishment on people who have done nothing to deserve being punished.

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

And once again, the pathetic showings made by the two Blairite parties, Change UK and the LibDems, prove that Labour has nothing to gain by going back to the 1997 policies OR to Blair's arrogant, anti-democratic manner of leading the party.   

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

josh wrote:

I don't seem to recall Corbyn and others working to undermine Blair's standing as leader, and refusing to support him.  Or pushing a smear campaign depicting him as some sort of bigot.  Or taking a destroy this village in order to save it position.  Or leaving the party as the right has done on more than one occasion.  

Good point.  We've seen the same thing in three eras-Ramsay MacDonald and "National Labour" in 1931; The SDP in 1983 and 1987; Change UK and then the sudden defection of former Labour Right/former Change UK MPs to the LibDems this year.  All of the defectors ended up in the political boneyard, but they didn't care:  All they were ever interested in, in any of those three eras, was destroying Labour if it refused to treat them as the party's natural leaders, entitled to look down on everyone else with baronial disdain. 

NDPP

Hundreds of Thousands of Labour Party Members To Thank Keir Starmer For Saving Them 4 Pounds

https://twitter.com/DerbyChrisW/status/1216498698605203459

"The capitulation by Labour's leadership candidates to the rightwing Board of Deputies, who are apologists for Israel's apartheid regime, will almost certainly result in mass resignations of grass roots Labour Party members."

"A group of religious leaders just issued a 10-point series of demands to the British Labour Party, and every single candidate for leadership, immediately fell to their knees in supplication...We'll be looking at the 'Donkey Derby' underway in the Labour Party as they pick their new leaders." George Galloway, MOATS

The Israel lobby problem and abject political subservience to its demands continues.

nicky

You’re right Ken. Change UK didn’t do too well. So that is an endorsement  of Corbyn despite his 70 to 18 disapproval rate and his leading Labour to its worst defeat since 1935.

I see the Socialist Workers Party also had a bad election despite mimicking Corbynism. By your measure is that not a repudiation of Corbyn?

It is interesting to learn from you that with a “sensible” leader Labour can never again expect one single vote from Northerners or anyone under 40. Of course Corbyn already has demolished Labour’s vote in those demographics and every other demographic as well (except perhaps that strange planet with the polka dot sky on which you dwell.)

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

By "sensible", you mean a Labour leader who has given up on leading a government with Labour values-that's what being a "Labour moderate" means.

None of Corbyn's policies were non-sensible, btw.

And those policies are popular, according to the polls.

You'd have to concede that if the water/electric/rail nationalization pledges were abandoned, as was the pledge to fully fund the NHS, there'd really be nothing that distinguished Labour from the Tories.

And there's no reason to keep implying that Corbyn-who is leaving the leadership and it's enough that he will leave when the new leader is chosen-is a Trotskyist.  Nothing he has ever proposed equates to policies only the Fourth International could support.

If Labour abandons everything and everyone even remotely connected with Corbyn, that would leave it with no activists and no principles.  There's no such thing as a Corbyn-hating socialist, and there's no such thing as a radical program to the right of Corbyn.

The PLP and their smears are as much to blame for the result as anything Corbyn said or did, btw.   There was no excuse for them inventing the AS smear and no excuse for them never giving up on trying to force the party to go all-out Remain.  

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

And again-nobody is arguing that Corbyn was flawless as leader or that the 2019 campaign made no mistakes-the 2017 campaign was flawless, btw.  Please respond to what I actually post, not what you prefer to imagine that I've posted.

Nobody wants Labour to re-start the Kinnock/Blair process of blurring the differences down to nothing, and only the Tories would benefit if the Labour Left were purged again.  Labour without socialism is nothing, and the 2010 and 2015 results prove that Labour without socialism can never win again.

As to your comparison between Change UK and the SWP, I don't remember there being a moment when ten Labour MPs defected to the SWP or when that party was the UK's favourite flavour for six months, so the analogy you made there is utterly stupid.  The assumption was, when CUK was formed, that it would be this year's SDP.  It was nothing of the kind.  Then the idea was that the LibDems(a party which includes part of theold SDP) would be this year's SDP.  We all know what happened there.

It was not "sensible" to abstain on the Tory cuts, as Phillips and Starmer did.

It was not "sensible" for Ed Miliband to pander to xenophobes by going anti-immigrant.

It was not "sensible" for Labour MPs to boo their leader when he apologized on behalf of the party for the immorality, stupidity, and senseless loss of life that was and is the Anglo-American Anti-Muslim War.

And it was damn sure not "sensible" for the PLP to keep attacking Corbyn when they knew he couldn't stand down at any point between 2016 and 2019 without getting some guarantee that the leadership ballot to replace him would not be rigged and that the people he supported would not be expelled from the party.   The PLP essentially forced the guy to stay in the job by refusing to give those guarantees and by treating his victories in the leadership contests as though they didn't count and he had no right even to hold the leadership.

Can you still not see the damage the PLP's arrogance did here?

 

nicky

Can you still not see the damage that Corbyn's arrogance did here?

Anyone with any objectivity could only read the polls and all the elections as indicating how unelectable he was. Yet he arrogantly clung to the leadership despitre the peril he posed to Labour's existance.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

He led Labour to massive vote gains and significant seat gains in 2017, falling just short of victory.  That was when the PLP should either have accepted him as leader and ended the fight to replace him, or at the very least given him a signed commitment that they wouldn't try to rig the ballot to replace him so only quasi-Tories like Owen Smith or Jess Phillipps would be allowed to stand, and a signed commitment not to drive the hundreds of thousands of people inspired by the ideals his tenure embodied out of the party through a mass purge campaign.

Why couldn't the PLP either do that, OR support the abolition of the MP nomination requirement for leadership elections?

There's no good reason, after all why the PLP should have more of a say about who gets to be on the leadership ballot than anybody else.

I've admitted-as have most Corbyn supporters, as has Corbyn himself-that significant mistakes were made.  Why can't YOU admit the PLP were wrong to keep their scorched-earth campaign against Corbyn-a campaign which extended to Labour MPs attacking and trying to undermining Corbyn during election campaigns-was wrong?  

Why can't you admit that they should have accepted the 2017 election put the leadership issue to rest?
Why can't you admit that they owed him the same respect as leader that he showed to Kinnock and Blair-yes, he voted against them on measures where they were stupidly wrong, but he never undermined them and he never attacked them during election campaigns, he treated either of them as though they had no right to BE leader, and he damn sure never campaigned against the party.   

What would Owen Smith-a man who held leadership campaign rallies where NO ONE actually turned out to hear him speak and ended up begging to speak to the crowds at Corbyn rallies because otherwise he'd have had no one to speak to at all-have had to offer that would have been in any possible way an improvement?  If you can't get crowds when you're running for your own party's leadership, what possible chance would you have of gaining support for your party at a general election?

And I'd say that, given your insistence on actually campaigning against Corbyn in the last general election-that's what advocates of "tactical voting" were doing-you were all just trying to drive the Labour vote down for the sake of driving the Labour vote down and none of you ever thought an SNP-LibDem-Labour with someone other than Corbyn as leader coalition was ever really going to happen-it's an open question as to why you should be taken seriously when you claim to be a Labour supporter at all. 

It's clear that, in 1931, you'd have backed Ramsay MacDonald and "National Labour" in leading a Tory-dominated coalition government that got away with making deeper cuts in benefits than any Tory government would have been allowed to make. 

It's clear that, in 1976, you'd have been fine with Denis Healey accepting an IMF austerity package that led to a Labour government making deeper cuts in benefits than anything Margaret Thatcher ever tried.

It's clear that, in 1983 and 1987, and even possibly in 1992, you'd have backed the SDP and then the LibDems rather than support the election of a Labour government that would actually reverse Thatcherism.

And it's clear now that you won't stop until Labour once again lowers itself to Blairism-even though the 2010 and 2015 elections, combined with the pathetic showings this year for Change UK and for the Libdems in 2015, 2017, AND this year prove that Labour can't ever be elected again on a Blairite program, and that Labour might not even survive with such a program.

Going back to Blairism means giving up on ever regaining seats in Scotland-since Scotland has always been Labour, not New Labour-and it may mean guaranteeing that Scotland will leave the UK, a development which would probably guarantee that no non-right wing party would ever again win a UK election given that England is will keep voting right wing for the rest of eternity.

Going back to Blairism means giving up on ever regaining seats in Wales, since Wales is Leave(that's the only reason the Tories gained seats in Wales)and left-wing.  It means losing Labour control of the Welsh Assembly-for the first time, Plaid Cymru, the Welsh nationalist party, might be in contention to win control of the Assembly, and that means Wales might finally declare independence, possibly joining some sort of federation with Scotland and Ireland.

It means giving up on regaining seats in the North, North East, and Midlands of England, since any Blairite will be a die-hard or former die-hard Remainer and those voters will never return to Labour if it is led by someone who didn't care about the fact that the EU is one of the reasons those regions of the UK have been left to rot economically.

If your objective is to destroy the Labour Party and possibly to end the UK, replacing Corbyn with a vindictive Blairite Remainer would be the best possible way to achieve those objectives.

And since you essentially outed yourself as a LibDem supporter with all of those polls where you gloated about what turned out to be a nearly non-existent swing from the Labour to the Libdems, it would not surprise me if those were your actual objectives.

That's the only explanation for why you are obsessed with anathemizing not only Corbyn but any policy and any figure which were in any way related to him.

And it's the only possible explanation for why you don't care that Labour can't do better at the next election if hundreds of thousands of people who are currently Labour members are either purged or silence.  You know that Labour can't win if those people are driven away, that no one will be drawn to the party BY their being driven away, yet you don't care.

Fortunately, Jess Phillips is at a pathetically low level of support and it looks as though Starmer may realize that erasing everything even close to Corbyn from the party is not the way forward.

Labour needs no more Kinnocks and no more Blairs.

 

nicky

No Ken, what Labour needs is no more Corbyns.

Every time you say “ it is clear” means something is the opposite to your proposition.

For example, I supported Michael Foot in ‘83. Unlike Corbyn, an ill-educated, unqualified, inarticulate and thoroughly unaccomplished individual, Michael Foot was a great orator, accomplished Parliamentarian and distinguished author. Corbyn could not shine his boots.

As for Ramsay MacDonald in ‘31, I just wasn’t around then.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

cut the crap, nicky.  When you say "no more Corbyns", you mean no more socialists-you proved that by cheering on Oweb Smith. Tom Watson and Jess Phillips, all three of whom, being on the right wing of the party, oppose everything remotely similar to socialism.  No one who holds any actual socialist convictions wants the party to renounce everything Corbyn's supporters stand for and no actual socialist wants Corbyn himself to be totally anathemized by the party.

If Labour renounces the water, electric and rail nationalization pledges, and the pledge to fully fund the NHS, that would leave it with no socialist or social democratic policies at all, and no meaningful differences with the Tories at all.

There would be no reason for the party to continue to exist.

And your statement that Corbyn is poorly-educated is uncalled for.  Yes, he left school young, as a lot of people do in the UK, but he has never taken a single political stance that could possibly be called ignorant or uneducated.

Let the Corbyn-bashing go, already.  Keir Starmer has:

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-51077811

"Jeremy Corbyn was right to make us the party to fight austerity," Sir Keir said. "We build on that, we don't trash it going forward."

He said Labour should treat the 2017 manifesto as its foundation going forward, saying the next manifesto must "give hope to people that the next 20 years can be better with a Labour government".

Speaking to the BBC after the speech, he said: "I think what we need to do is make a radical and relevant case to [voters] for change. They need to know it's going to work and trust us to implement it.

"I'm absolutely committed to the fundamental change needed to deal with the rank inequality in this country."

nicky

Funny Ken how you were recently bashing Starmer and now you are quoting him with approval. 

Meanwhile here is more polling data for you to ignore or rationalize. Three times as many voters abandoned Labour because of Corbyn than because of the party’s Brexit stand. And remember the latter category includes many who thought Labour was not anti-Brexit enough.

very tellingly:

LAB lost 60 seats on December 12th 45 of them in the Midlands and the North which were the parts of the country where dislike of Corbyn was the greatest.

https://www7.politicalbetting.com/index.php/archives/2020/01/14/it-was-dislike-of-corbyn-not-brexit-that-was-the-main-driver-of-labs-ge2019-losses/

 

josh

nicky wrote:

No Ken, what Labour needs is no more Corbyns.

Every time you say “ it is clear” means something is the opposite to your proposition.

For example, I supported Michael Foot in ‘83. Unlike Corbyn, an ill-educated, unqualified, inarticulate and thoroughly unaccomplished individual, Michael Foot was a great orator, accomplished Parliamentarian and distinguished author. Corbyn could not shine his boots.

Snobbery and elitism.  What a surprise. 

Foot led Labour to a 28% result.  Corbyn led Labour to a 40% result in 2017.

nicky

Foot got 209 seats , Corbyn 203 

josh

262.

iyraste1313

We ‘Slaughtered’ Jeremy Corbyn, Says Israel Lobbyist

By Asa Winstanley

Electronic Intifada 10 January 2020

 

nicky

Just as Corbyn slaughtered the Labour Party.

Josh, perhaps you slept through Dec. 12? It’s definitely 203, not 262.

you Conservative-enablers  (a synonym for Corbynistas) are evidently suffering from somnambulism, as well as delusion and myopia.

josh

Perhaps you slept through 2017.  It was 262.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

nicky wrote:

Foot got 209 seats , Corbyn 203 

Yes, Corbyn was made unpopular.  That doesn't mean he was obligated to resign when the smear and lie campaign took hold.

It wasn't Corbyn's fault that he was unpopular.  He was made unpopular by a smear campaign.  And again, the man is standing down is leader...the policies Labour fought the 2017 and 2019 campaigns-other than the swing to the neoliberal right in pledging a second referendum-are not unpopular.

Michael Foot would never argue that everything the Corbyn era was about needs to be erased, or that the party needs to do what you want and go conservative-which is the only thing which could come of anathemizing everything Corbyn's supporters-the majority of the party-stand for.

Without nationalizing rail, electric and water, without making NHS free at the point of service again, without a massively-less-militarized foreign policy, Labour wouldn't be Labour.

Nothing Labour could stand for if it erased all of that would still be different than the Tories.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

nicky wrote:

Just as Corbyn slaughtered the Labour Party.

Josh, perhaps you slept through Dec. 12? It’s definitely 203, not 262.

you Conservative-enablers  (a synonym for Corbynistas) are evidently suffering from somnambulism, as well as delusion and myopia.

It's enough that Corbyn himself won't be leader.  There's no positions to Corbyn's right that Labour could take without just becoming the second Tory party again as it was under Blair.

Why do you want Labour to go back to standing for nothing again?
That's what "the centre ground" means.  It means helping no one and having no convictions.

As to Starmer, I was simply pointing out that if HE rejects Corbyn-bashing, that means there's no good reason to for anyone else to keep bashing.

Labour can't just treat what the majority of the party whose ideas Corbyn supported are illegitimate and had no place in the party.

And you still don't seem to get it that this was never about Corbyn as a person, and that his supporters never, contrary to your delusions, never worshipped the guy like a freaking god or something.  Corbyn won the leadership-a job he never even actually wanted-because the Labour establishment, especially the PLP(a group that seems to think that it is the party and nobody else is) was totally out of touch with the rank and file, that the PLP no longer held Labour values.  That's why the vote to abstain on Theresa May's cuts-the vote you keep refusing to even acknowledge of being of any importance-caused Corbyn's election:  Ordinary Labour people saw that as an abandonment of everything the party stood for.   They saw most of their MPs vote to forever abandon the poor-and Labour is supposed to be a party of the poor as much as anything else-and this had a galvanic effect.

It was real.

It was valid.

And it was real and valid among Labour members themselves.

It was never an SWP plot-the SWP couldn't pull off anything close to the scale of this.

It happened because all of the other leadership candidates had voted to abandon the poor by abstaining on May's cuts.

Corbyn had to run because there had to be a candidate for the Labour base to vote for in that election, a candidate who spoke up for the idea that Labour existed to fight for and defend the poor and the oppressed.

None of the other candidates-Liz Kendall, Yvette Copper, Andy Burnham-had the capacity to be that person.

When Corbyn won, the PLP had two choices it could have made;

It could have said "ok-we should learn from this-we did go off path-we did stop standing for anything, we did stop being different than the Tories.  We may not agree with Corbyn himself about everything, but we will admit that we need to take this lead and stand with the non-wealthy again.  We will go into dialog with Corbyn and his supporters and try to find some common ground here, because what we are here for is to defeat the Conservative Party and undo everything horrible they have done".

They could have done that.

Instead, they did what they did

They refused to accept that there was any legitimacy in what Corbyn did.

They refused to stop briefing against him.

They passed a totally unjustified and invalid "motion of no confidence" in Corbyn.

They endlessly fought to drive his supporters out of the party.

They offered Corbyn himself no guarantees of anythign at all in exchange for his resignation but a meaningless, irrelevant and it goes without saying powerless position as "party president"-an offer no one with any dignity would have accepted.

They invented the false accusations that Corbyn allowed a massive increase in AS in the party-something that had no basis in reality.  That smear was the main reason he was unpopular.

They forced him to accept a second referendum-the pledge that was the real reason Labour lost those seats in the heartlands(Labour's vote had gone up in the heartlands under Corbyn in 2017).

They offered no guarantee that they wouldn't bar all non-reactionary candidates from a leadership ballot to succeed him.

They refused to have any exchange with his supporters other than to effectively say, over and over, "you have no right to be in this party and we want you gone".

How can you defend the PLP doing any of those things?  Yes, Corbyn made mistakes-he has admitted that the whole time and so have his supporters-but you can't seriously argue that what the PLP did-engaging in a four year-long campaign to destroy their party's own leader, and continuing this campaign even when they knew that they were helping the Tories and harming their own party?

Why can't you admit that the PLP was wrong to act like their views should matter more than everyone else's?  It's not that difficult to win a seat in the House of Commons.  It's actually a fairly easy thing to do if you stand for a major party and just make sure you have a good team doorbelling for you.

 

 

nicky

Big setback for RLB as Mineworkers abandon her for Nandy:

https://labourlist.org/2020/01/national-union-of-mineworkers-backs-lisa-nandy-for-leader/

It had been thought that the NUM leadership nomination would go to Rebecca Long-Bailey, who is often regarded as the most left-wing candidate in the election. She has strong trade union ties and the backing of former NUM president Ian Lavery.

But the union has instead chosen Nandy, who “Labour needs to rebuild the party and regain trust with the voters we’ve lost” according to its general secretary Chris Kitchen.

incidentally Ken, you keep parroting the inanity that anyone to the right of Corbyn is necessarily a Conservative. It is said that Bourgon is really closest to Corbyn and is more left wing than RLB. By your lights this must make RLB a Conservative, does it not?

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

You seem to think I'm an unquestioning supporter of RLB.  I'm not. 

It's just that your decision to extend your irrational contempt for Corbyn to RLB makes no sense.

RLB is NOT Corbyn.

Nor is RLB Corbyn's puppet.

She is her own person and she has done nothing to deserve your hostility and you have no reason to be obsessed with defeating her.

She may or may not be the right person to lead the party, but it's absurd to attack her simply for being allied with Corbyn.  The majority of the rank and file backed Corbyn to the end-are you going to try and anathemize THEM?

Kinnock anathemized most of the rank-and-file in the late Eighties and Nineties.  No good came to the party from the witch hunt he launched against socialists or from his abandonment of socialism and reduction of the party's values to the meaningless term "social democracy"-a term which requires no commitment to transforming anything at all- between 1987 and 1992.

There's no reason to assume that RLB would lead the party exactly like Corbyn or that she has the same shortcomings you see in him.  She holds the same principles as Corbyn-as do most of the party's rank and file-but unlike Corbyn she fights back when attacked politically OR personally and as a Northerner would start with an entirely different relationship with the Labour heartlands than Corbyn did-many in those areas were suspicious of Corbyn simply because he's a Londoner.

I could support Burgon for leader, but he's running for deputy leader, not leader, so I'm not sure why you're bringing him up at all or why you would assume I'd oppose the guy.  And if he is to the left of RLB, I'm not sure how Burgon even fits your comparison I probably would have supported him if he HAD sought the leadership.  Barry Gardiner-who holds the same views as Corbyn-may also get in to the race-He would probably run a stronger race than RLB.

But it does go without saying that any push to move Labour policy to the right will inevitably go on until the PLP-the ONLY part of the party who wants to move policy to the right-drag the policies all the way back to the 1997 zone, even though the 2010 and 2015 results prove that Labour could never be elected on a Blairite program again.  

The way Blair did things is not the ONLY possible way for Labour to win.

The party doesn't have to be led by a ruthless, vindictive autocrat who hates socialists and socialism.

And that's what Phillips or Nandy would be as leader.

Neither of them have a positive agenda-neither would do anything radical or transformative in power, because you can't be radical in power and make radicals unwelcome in your party-all either wants to do is kick out all the socialists and go back to policy by focus group.

 

 

 

 

 

nicky

Interesting developments concerning Momentum's endorsements.

The Momentum executive recommended supporting RLB for leader and Rayner for deputy. It gave its members a choice af agreeing or not with its recommendations, not a choice of other candidates.

This resulted in some understandable complaints and criticims. "Stalinesque" was  a term frequently tweeted to describe the manoevre.

The results are now in and are widely seen as indicating that Momentum is not as powerful as hoped by some or feared by others.

Only about 20% of members voted. The recommendation of RBL was only approved by 70% of that 20%. That of Rayner by only 52%  with many of the others presumed to prefer the comically unqualified Burgon.

josh

You can add red baiting to your trophy case.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

nicky wrote:

Interesting developments concerning Momentum's endorsements.

The Momentum executive recommended supporting RLB for leader and Rayner for deputy. It gave its members a choice af agreeing or not with its recommendations, not a choice of other candidates.

This resulted in some understandable complaints and criticims. "Stalinesque" was  a term frequently tweeted to describe the manoevre.

The results are now in and are widely seen as indicating that Momentum is not as powerful as hoped by some or feared by others.

Only about 20% of members voted. The recommendation of RBL was only approved by 70% of that 20%. That of Rayner by only 52%  with many of the others presumed to prefer the comically unqualified Burgon.

If Momentsum were actually Stalinist, wouldn't the announced results have been 99% RLB, 99% Rayner, 1% executed?

Stalinism is extinct, nicky-it died in 1989.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

And it goes without saying that nobody in Momentum would vote for Nandy or Phillips, so I'm not sure what your point it.  

You can't seriously be arguing that the Momentum rank-and-file would buy into the idea that Labour needs mass expulsions and a brutal Kinnock-Blair style swing to the antisocialist right.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

It's also incredibly childish that you are being just as venomous towards RLB as you were towards Corbyn.  She's her own woman-why could you not at least give her a chance to make her case as a leadership candidate before going scorched-earth on her?  It's not as though she's done anything herself to deserver your hostility.

nicky

You Conservative enablers should recognize that “stalinesque” is not my term to describe Momentum’s so-called leadership ballot. I was quoting a number of commentators.

So, Ken and Josh, just how democratic do you think Momentum’s approach was? To remind you, its executive endorsed both RLB and Rayner and simply asked its members to approve or not. No alternative candidates were allowed. This was criticized by , among others, Clive Lewis wo was a strongCorbyn backer and who has now withdrawn from the race.

Is it any wonder that only 20% of Momentum members even participated in this farce. At least Stalin  had 99% turnouts.

Incidentally, the first round of Constituency Labour Party nominations, dominated last time by Corbyn, has been dominated by Starmer.

nicky

And Ken, how am I “scortched earth” about RLB?

i have not said anything personally critical of her as opposed to commenting on her prospects to become leader.

 You protest too much as if you are pre-emtively defensive about her shortcomings.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

nicky wrote:

And Ken, how am I “scortched earth” about RLB?

i have not said anything personally critical of her as opposed to commenting on her prospects to become leader.

 You protest too much as if you are pre-emtively defensive about her shortcomings.

OK.  You are already talking about her exactly as you talk about Corbyn.  You are endlessly denouncing and belittling her, and you are essentially acting as though she'd be Corbyn's puppet or something.

Why are you writing about her as though SHE has to be destroyed?

I'd have preferred that Rayner stand for the leadership, actually, and I could take or leave RLB.  It's just that I don't understand why you couldn't let your rage die out when Corbyn announced that he was standing down.  You said the problem was just with him.

You can't seriously be arguing that anyone in the party who had anything whatsoever to do with Corbyn should be anathemized.

Labour can't possibly benefit from another endless Kinnock-style witchhunt against the left, or from the proscription of all those who supported Corbyn, or from the renunciation of all of the policies the Corbyn movement-the majority of the party-supports.   There's nothing to the right of those policies that's even recognizably different than Toryism-renounce the 2017 and 2019 manifestos, and the party goes back to not standing for anything again.  If it does that, if it goes back to obsessing about the "centre ground" that no longer exists, it goes back to being permanently stuck in the dead zone it was in in 2010 and 2015, when the party was stuck at 30% and when it lost Scotland for being too centrist.

Labour can only win the next election if it keeps the hundreds of thousands of new members who joined under Corbyn.  That's a huge number of people and they are the ones who do the work of campaigning for the party at elections-people in the anti-Corbyn right wing pretty much just stay home and do nothing to help Labour candidates get elected.

Neither Starmer NOR RLB would be just like Corbyn-and again, as to RLB, why do you despise HER?  She agreed to the Board of Deputies' demands that the party agree to equate almost all criticism of Israel with AS, and she said she'd use the Bomb(even though there could never it could never be ethically, morally, or humanly justifiably acceptable to use it).  Isn't that enough for you?

I wouldn't have done the vote the way Momentum did it, but still it did show that RLB and Rayner are the overwhelming choices of the Momentum membership.  It's not as though Clive Lewis was ever going to carry the rank and file(his candidacy simply never took off at any level) and it goes without saying they'd never have preferred Starmer.

And I was never an unquestioning supporter of Corbyn-I criticized his choices as leader numerous times.  It's just that I rejected your bitter, spiteful assumption that his victories in the leadership votes didn't count, that I recognized that the policies which came in from below under his leadership represented what most of the party wants-I hope you join me in accepting that what the party rank-and-file supports should be a major deciding factor in what that party stands for-and that I felt the PLP-a tiny group within the party who represent no one but their own egos and sense of entitlement-had some responsibility, once it was clear that Corbyn was not going to simply stand down and in fact couldn't stand down without getting them to guarantee that they wouldn't use his departure to purge and proscribe the majority of the rank-and-file he stands with-to take some other approach other than continuing to smear and denounce and sabotage the guy and that they certainly had a responsibility to stop trying to force the guy out DURING the election camapaigns.

BTW, you have never, at any point explained why you don't think the PLP should have stopped trying to force Corbyn out even during election campaigns.  Why do you absolve the PLP for any responsibility for anything?  How can you not hold them at least partially responsible for the bad showings in local elections and in 2019, or for the narrow loss in 2017 that would have been a victory had the PLP not keep trying to undermine Corbyn all the way up to polling day? Since anyone who would have replaced Corbyn, had they succeeded, would have had to get the passionate support of the majority of the party who agreed with and still agrees with Corbyn on the issues, how can you imagine that anybody who was imposed as replacement-we can assume the PLP would only have allowed a right winger to take over in that situation-could possibly have won the trust and support of the Corbyn majority in the party?  How can you imagine that leader winning the election without winning that trust and support?  There was never any large bloc of voters who'd have swung from other parties to Labour if only the left were kicked to the curb, for god's sake.   As I've repeatedly pointed out, the 2010 and 2015 elections prove that support for a return to the 1997 manifesto is extinct.

I think Starmer, if he wins, will disappoint you.  He probably recognizes that the Kinnock witch hunts and purges did Labour no good-that the problem in 1987 was never the Left, it was that Kinnock himself was never popular with or trusted by the electorate, and that nothing in the five years he spent driving socialism and socialists out of the party-there was nothing socialist or even radical in any sense in the 1992 manifesto-did the party no good at the polls.

Starmer, if elected, will recognize that the PLP was wrong to treat Corbyn as they treated him-he has already said that the 2017 manifesto must be the basis from which Labour fights the next election-and that a party can't gain popularity by making its membership smaller and more powerless.

You need to let go of your pointless fixation with punishing the left.  It's a waste of time and nobody's going to reward Labour if it does punish the left.

 

 

 

nicky

You certainly like misquoting me Ken. 

I have never said anything to suggest I despise RLB. And I have never said that Labour’s problems start and end w Corbyn.It is obvious to me, if not to you, that Labour must veer away from Corbynism  in general. That means not selecting a leader who would emulate him, one who maintains he rates 10 out of 10 as leader.

I am sure Ken that you will be encouraged by this new poll that shows Starmer increasing his lead over RLB from 61 / 39 to 63 / 37.

https://www7.politicalbetting.com/index.php/archives/2020/01/17/starmer-edges-up-further-in-new-yougov-leadership-poll/

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

nicky wrote:

You certainly like misquoting me Ken. 

I have never said anything to suggest I despise RLB. And I have never said that Labour’s problems start and end w Corbyn.It is obvious to me, if not to you, that Labour must veer away from Corbynism  in general. That means not selecting a leader who would emulate him, one who maintains he rates 10 out of 10 as leader.

I am sure Ken that you will be encouraged by this new poll that shows Starmer increasing his lead over RLB from 61 / 39 to 63 / 37.

https://www7.politicalbetting.com/index.php/archives/2020/01/17/starmer-edges-up-further-in-new-yougov-leadership-poll/

You have constantly treated her as incompetent and unqualified-the same things you said abour Corbyn for four years.  You have acted as though she has no independent identity and would essentially be Corbyn and McDonnell's puppet.

I agree that it looks likely that Starmer will win, but why were you so obsessed with stopping RLB?  It's not as though you have any reason to treat her as intrinsically unworthy.   Why the fixation with stopping someone who has done nothing to deserve your derision and contempt?  

There's no reason to insist that everyone who ever had any association with Corbyn be driven into the outer darkness.  The Corbyn phenomenon was neither illegitimate nor evil, and none of the people who stood against Corbyn in 2015 or 2016 had anything more to offer as leadership material.

Andy Burnham, who started out in the lead in that movement, simply collapsed in support when the voters realized he was an empty suit.

Yvette Cooper had no larger vision for the party.

Liz Kendall simply never had any public support. 

In 2016,  Owen Smith had no crowds.

How could any of them possibly have done better than Corbyn in the same situation?

What more would any of them have had to offer?

Starmer, if elected, will work for unity-and recognizes that Labour can't win by telling the left they're no longer welcome or by expelling them.  He's not Kinnock 2.0(and I think he recognizes that everything Kinnock 1.0 did as leader was disastrously wrong-that the cause of the 1987 disaster was Kinnock and Kinnock alone, not the left).

The candidates who are pledged to stand as scourges of socialism-Jess Phillips and Lisa Nandy-will lose badly among the rank and file.   Neither can be popular with the electorate, because Labour can't be popular with a leader who spends more time vilifying and expelling the left than against fighting the Tories and because, despite Jess Phillips' delusions, it's not possible to be a pro-capitalist, pro-austerity centrist AND "speak truth to power", nor is it possible to help the poor while blaming them for their own poverty.

The answer to Labour's problems is the one thing the PLP refused to try with Corbyn-dialog and respect-not witch hunts and mass expulsions.  Labour didn't gain anything from anathemizing socialists and socialism last time-the party was going to win in 1997 no matter what; the voters were totally sick of the Tory party AND everything that party had done in government-and the fact that Labour won after the left were crushed simply proves "correlation, not causation" not that the crushing caused the victory.

And even if it had, 1997 was a generation ago-given what happened in 2010 and 2015(when Labour lost badly on exactly the same policies it happened to have in place when Blair happened to be leader) proves that those policies would not work in this generation.  Everything has changed, and the electorate WANTS Labour to be anti-austerity and pro-worker now.

 

nicky

Ken, perhaps you can quote where I have been dismissive or critical of RLB as a person? I frankly don’t know what you’re talking about and I suspect you don’t either.

it sounds like you are OK with Starmer.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

nicky wrote:

Ken, perhaps you can quote where I have been dismissive or critical of RLB as a person? I frankly don’t know what you’re talking about and I suspect you don’t either.

it sounds like you are OK with Starmer.

What I'm saying is that you probably won't be, since Starmer probably won't purge the left.

 

iyraste1313

‘Beyond belief!’: Labour leadership hopeful enrages Scots after using Catalonia as example of how to ‘beat divisive nationalism’ from RT

iyraste1313

THE ELECTRONIC INTIFADA

Labour’s fake anti-Semitism crisis outlives Corbyn

Asa Winstanley Lobby Watch 16 January 2020

Labour leadership candidate Rebecca Long-Bailey instantly agreed to all 10 demands.

Candidates for the leadership of the UK’s Labour Party have capitulated to new demands from the Israel lobby.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews is insisting that whoever replaces Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader in April should effectively institute purges of the party membership.

So the fabricated “anti-Semitism crisis” in Britain’s main opposition party rages on, despite Corbyn’s defeat last month – which other Israel lobbyists have now claimed responsibility for.

The Board of Deputies on Sunday issued 10 “pledges” – or “demands” as The Jewish Chronicle reported – “to end the anti-Semitism crisis.”

In what was clearly a coordinated action, all five candidates who have received sufficient nominations to be on the ballot paper in the leadership contest instantly agreed to the Board’s demands.

These included the supposedly left-wing shadow minister Rebecca Long-Bailey. She commands the most support among Labour members, according to one opinion poll, with Keir Starmer, the party’s main spokesperson on Brexit, in second position.

The group Labour Against the Witch Hunt has condemned the demands, calling on candidates to reject them.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

For one thing, your insistence that RLB would be "another Corbyn", would somehow replicate every mistake he made to the letter.  You have no reason to make such an assumption.  For one thing, as a Northerner and unambiguously Leave-we both know the North would have rejected any Remainer leader since no Remainer could have offered any policies which the North could possibly have supported(seats can never be won solely on "local issues" at general elections).

I could personally take or leave RLB, but I'd like to know why you are already implacably opposed to her and why you assume she couldn't possibly be any better in the job than you felt Corbyn was.

Why start from the assumption, without knowing much of anything about her, that she simply HAS to be defeated for the leadership?

And why would you be OK with Clive Lewis if you couldn't tolerate her?  Their views on the issues are identical.

nicky

Once again Ken, I do not have anything against RLB as a person no matter how often you baselessly say I do.

it is vitally important to the Labour Party however to move away from Corbynism. If it does not the Conservatives will just keep winning.

RLB is obviously the Corbynists’ Candidate. She has said, incredibly,given the election results, that she rates Corbyn a 10 out of 10 as leader. Try getting your head around that....

Her political stance should eliminate her as a leadership material. Her personality does not.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

nicky wrote:

Once again Ken, I do not have anything against RLB as a person no matter how often you baselessly say I do.

it is vitally important to the Labour Party however to move away from Corbynism. If it does not the Conservatives will just keep winning.

RLB is obviously the Corbynists’ Candidate. She has said, incredibly,given the election results, that she rates Corbyn a 10 out of 10 as leader. Try getting your head around that....

Her political stance should eliminate her as a leadership material. Her personality does not.

1) There is no such thing as "Corbynism".  There are simply the ideals and convictions that created the mass popular movement which elected Corbyn leader-opposition to austerity and opposition to perpetual war.   This mass popular movement was neither a conspiracy nor a cult-it was a legitimate expression of the absolute disgust the majority of the Labour rank-and-file and the majority of the Left-felt about the senseless, pointless insistence of the Parliamentary Labour Party that there never be any deviation from Blair's policies-even though it was those policies and those policies alone which had caused the avoidable Labour defeats in 2010 and 2015 and-and you still have not acknowledged that this event CAUSED the Corbyn movement-the decision by the interim Labour leader to abstain on Theresa May's savage cuts in benefits-a choice which was the same thing as voting for the cuts.   It was never a Trotskyist scheme-the People's Front Of Judea/Judean People's Front couldn't have pulled off anything close to that-and it was not against the will of paid Labour members, half of whom voted for Corbyn on the first preference on the leadership ballot.

2) Corbyn himself isn't a monster or a disgrace.  He's just a leader under whose leadership the party failed to lose an election.   While everyone-including Corbyn himself-acknowledges that he made significant mistakes, that outcome was not solely or even predominately his fault-the Four Years Hate his MPs subjected him to played a major role in that outcome, and whatever you feel about Corbyn they owe an apology to the entire party for refusing to stop sabotaging the guy even during election campaigns.  Neither Corbyn nor anyone allied with him ever did anything like that to any Labour leader during his political career.

3) Could you finally explain what "Mov(ing)away from Corbynism" means to you?  You can't seriously be arguing that Corbyn be personally anathemized within the party, or that anyone associated with him be blacklisted from any significant role within the party.  And it would achieve nothing to expel or make feel unwelcome the hundreds of thousands of people who joined Labour to fight for socialist policies-none of which are actually unpopular-by voting for Corbyn.   I'd rather not see Starmer win the leadership-and bear in mind, early leads can vanish in contests like this; in 2015, the early assumption was that Andy Burnham was going to walk it; in the end he took 19% overall-but I respect the fact that, unlike you, he cares about uniting the party-which can only be done by working in a positive rather than vindictive direction.  Corbyn won the leadership because the rank-and-file had concluded that the party no longer stood for anything.

4) If Labour were to anathemize Corbyn, expel or drive out most of his supporters and erase everything the party stood for under him,  what reason would it have to exist?  On what issues would it still be non-Tory?  What possible appeal could it make to anyone under 45, given that voters under 45 would only vote Labour if it stayed left wing?  Would you really be able to defend setting up a policy on AS that equates almost all criticism of the Israeli government with AS?  Which virtually equates solidarity with the people of Palestine with support of the Third Reich?  Which would guarantee the expulsion of people whose only crime 

What terrifies a lot of people is that the anti-Corbyn crowd won't stop until they've dragged the party all the way back to the 1997 policies and to the nasty, anti-democratic, anti-debate 1997 way of running the party.  Labour can't go back to policy made by focus group and then enforced with an iron fist.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

I posted a link to an interview with Leo Panitch on Jacobin about the history and future of social democratic parties over in one of the Canadian Politics threads, but it is also relevant here. One of the later Q&As is:

Jacobin wrote:

BKS

So let’s move forward today and to the small glimmers we have with Corbynism, with Sanders, which seem to be resurrecting some of the classic demands of social democracy, but are doing so in a very different context, the context without a powerful organized labor movement, or even the same working-class subject that sustained our organizing from the middle of the nineteenth century through the 1970s.

It seems to me that despite what happened last month in Britain, we could still cobble together an electoral majority. But do we have the forces to carry out even our immediate program and how do we deal with the fact that we don’t have this organized working-class subject that traditionally was the base of the socialist movement?

For the longest time, we were just trying to organize outside of electoral politics until we got to the point where we could rebuild our forces. And now it seems like we’re operating in reverse, where we’re using this electoral opening and hoping that somehow through rhetoric and discourse alone, we wake up a working-class subject.

LP

Corbyn and Sanders were socialized politically at a moment in the 1960s and 1970s, when there was a real attempt to turn social democracy back into democratic socialism. And it’s very interesting that these figures are of that generation. What they’ve managed to do is to galvanize a new generation behind that project. And it’s been very exciting to see a new generation emerge to take this up.

Despite Corbyn’s defeat this past December, we can look at the 2017 election in Britain only two years earlier, where Corbyn increased the Labour vote to over 40 percent, the largest increase by any party in any election since 1945, which shows that a democratic-socialist electoral strategy could be viable.

What happened between 2017 and 2019 needs to be explained. It partly had to do with Corbyn’s success in 2017, because that meant that [former Conservative prime minister] Theresa May was not able to get Brexit through the British parliament, which trapped Corbyn and the Labour leadership, ironically, inside the parliamentary framework of bourgeois democracy, so that its capacity to continue as a mobilizing agent became very limited.

Moreover, the majority of the parliamentary Labour party remained hostile to Corbyn as a socialist, believing he is at best utterly naïve and romantic in his socialist commitment. They would like a more humane capitalism, but they have no interest in a socialist project.

Corbyn had to lead a party, the vast majority of whose elected leadership was hostile to his political project. And he got caught in that contradiction through the course of the Brexit conjuncture. If Corbyn had won this election, he would’ve had to govern with a majority of the parliamentary party,which was not interested in a socialist project. And if Sanders wins, he will have to govern with the majority of Democrats in Congress who are not interested in that project. The contradictions of that could make what happened with Syriza look mild.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

And it's silly to oppose RLB simply because she doesn't share your derisive contempt towards Corbyn.  That's not cogent analysis; it's McCarthyism and it's petty.  Labour doesn't have to replace Corbyn with someone who thinks he should never have been leader; it simply needs to do a better job of making a case for a socialist future, and it needs to make sure that nobody who leads it is ever again subjected to the corrosive hostility the PLP subjected Corbyn to-no one in the leadership could ever have deserved that and no one should ever receive it again.

If Starmer wins-and I recognize that he's got a good chance-he should offer an official apology to Corbyn for all of the abuse and treachery the PLP inflicted on him, and he should make it clear that, unlike Neil Kinnock, he doesn't regard support for socialism as if it's a medieval heresy.

He should also support Open Selection for all sitting Labour MPs(btw, that's something I've always support for all sitting MPs in any party anywhere, regardless of which leader did or did not want it). 

A witch hunt and purges would only benefit the Tories.  Labour can't win by demoralizing and crushing the left.

Aristotleded24

Ken Burch wrote:
And it's silly to oppose RLB simply because she doesn't share your derisive contempt towards Corbyn.  That's not cogent analysis; it's McCarthyism and it's petty.  Labour doesn't have to replace Corbyn with someone who thinks he should never have been leader; it simply needs to do a better job of making a case for a socialist future, and it needs to make sure that nobody who leads it is ever again subjected to the corrosive hostility the PLP subjected Corbyn to-no one in the leadership could ever have deserved that and no one should ever receive it again.

Exactly. If she's that bad, then the membership will see that on their own and they will vote accordingly. No big deal, and life will move on. This reminds me of the vitriolic over-the-top hatred that Niki Ashton received for daring to run, even after it became obvious after the second leadership debate that she had no realistic chance of winning.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:
And it's silly to oppose RLB simply because she doesn't share your derisive contempt towards Corbyn.  That's not cogent analysis; it's McCarthyism and it's petty.  Labour doesn't have to replace Corbyn with someone who thinks he should never have been leader; it simply needs to do a better job of making a case for a socialist future, and it needs to make sure that nobody who leads it is ever again subjected to the corrosive hostility the PLP subjected Corbyn to-no one in the leadership could ever have deserved that and no one should ever receive it again.

Exactly. If she's that bad, then the membership will see that on their own and they will vote accordingly. No big deal, and life will move on. This reminds me of the vitriolic over-the-top hatred that Niki Ashton received for daring to run, even after it became obvious after the second leadership debate that she had no realistic chance of winning.

Oh Christ, that STILL makes my head hurt to think about it-especially from the people who wouldn't stop posting taunts about her use of the word "intersectionality".   You'd have thought she supported the teaching of cannibalism in the schools.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

iyraste1313 wrote:

‘Beyond belief!’: Labour leadership hopeful enrages Scots after using Catalonia as example of how to ‘beat divisive nationalism’ from RT

Was there supposed to be a link with that?

JKR

Jacobin wrote:

Leo Panitch:

Despite Corbyn’s defeat this past December, we can look at the 2017 election in Britain only two years earlier, where Corbyn increased the Labour vote to over 40 percent, the largest increase by any party in any election since 1945, which shows that a democratic-socialist electoral strategy could be viable.

What happened between 2017 and 2019 needs to be explained. It partly had to do with Corbyn’s success in 2017, because that meant that [former Conservative prime minister] Theresa May was not able to get Brexit through the British parliament, which trapped Corbyn and the Labour leadership, ironically, inside the parliamentary framework of bourgeois democracy, so that its capacity to continue as a mobilizing agent became very limited.

In hindsight it probably would counterintuitively have been better for Labour  if May had won a majority in the 2017 election instead of the minority she won. May went into the 2017 election with a huge lead in the polls mostly because Corbyn had, as he mostly always had during his time as Labour leader, low approval ratings. But May ran an incredibly horrible election campaign in 2017 that Labour would most likely have won if they were led be someone with normal approval ratings for an opposition leader. As it turns out, had May won a majority instead of a minority, Labour would have benefited substantially in two ways; 1) Brexit would likely been completed which always was a no-win issue for Labour and 2) Corbyn would have been replaced by someone with much higher approval ratings. The combination of Brexit and Corbyn's low approval ratings doomed Labour.

Aristotleded24

JKR wrote:

Jacobin wrote:

Leo Panitch:

Despite Corbyn’s defeat this past December, we can look at the 2017 election in Britain only two years earlier, where Corbyn increased the Labour vote to over 40 percent, the largest increase by any party in any election since 1945, which shows that a democratic-socialist electoral strategy could be viable.

What happened between 2017 and 2019 needs to be explained. It partly had to do with Corbyn’s success in 2017, because that meant that [former Conservative prime minister] Theresa May was not able to get Brexit through the British parliament, which trapped Corbyn and the Labour leadership, ironically, inside the parliamentary framework of bourgeois democracy, so that its capacity to continue as a mobilizing agent became very limited.

In hindsight it probably would counterintuitively have been better for Labour  if May had won a majority in the 2017 election instead of the minority she won. May went into the 2017 election with a huge lead in the polls mostly because Corbyn had, as he mostly always had during his time as Labour leader, low approval ratings. But May ran an incredibly horrible election campaign in 2017 that Labour would most likely have won if they were led be someone with normal approval ratings for an opposition leader. As it turns out, had May won a majority instead of a minority, Labour would have benefited substantially in two ways; 1) Brexit would likely been completed which always was a no-win issue for Labour and 2) Corbyn would have been replaced by someone with much higher approval ratings. The combination of Brexit and Corbyn's low approval ratings doomed Labour.

JKR, have you not paid any attention to what has been going on? Have you not seen how the media vilifies and attacks anyone who is remotely centre-left? Especially how it was documented that Labour MPs began to undermine him right from the monent he won? Do you think that MPs undermining their own party leader helps improve the public's view of said party? Did you not see how in the dying days of the Calvert administration in Saskatchewan any casual observer of media in that province could be excused for thinking that the Bolsheviks were about to take over Douglas Park?

The media are not neutral observers reporting on the facts. They have an agenda. Think about how much it costs to set up a TV network or any kind of media platform. Do you have that kind of money? Does anybody you know have that kind of money? If not, then ask yourself whose interests the media are actually serving.

JKR

A24, I agree that the UK's media are very unfair to Labour but I think Labour has no choice but to deal with that unfair playing field as much as it can. In the case of Corbyn's leadership, I think Corbyn should have counteracted the media's unfair anti-Labour campaign by simply stepping down as leader in order to give Labour a better chance of winning under a new untarnished leader. I think if the next Labour leader, no matter who they are, becomes as unpopular as Corbyn was, that person should step down before the next election so Labour does not have to campaign in the next election under a great disadvantage. I think the UK Conservatives were smart to jettison their leader, Theresa May, before the last election in order to enhance their chances of winning. I think Labour should have done the same.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Poll of Labour members shows RLB ahead of Starmer, all other candidates far back.

LabourList wrote:

If the election took place today, the results of the poll suggest that Long-Bailey would win 42% of first preferences while Starmer would receive 37%. Jess Phillips is far behind on 9%, Lisa Nandy on 7% and Emily Thornberry on just 1%.

Although Starmer receives the majority of second preferences from all candidates in the race, they are not enough to eliminate Long-Bailey’s first round lead, with Long-Bailey leading 51% to 49% after second preferences are taken into account.

Pages