UK Labour leadership

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Ken Burch

JKR wrote:

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.


 

Would you agree that, whoever wins the Labour leadership next, the PLP owes it to the rest of the party to not, under any circumstances, treat that leader as they treated Corbyn?  And that Labour cannot gain anything from any leader repeating Neil Kinnock's vicious campaign to drive all socialists out of the party?

Ken Burch

Corbyn couldn't stand down without getting a guarantee that the PLP wouldn't block all socialists from the next leadership ballot and a guarantee that people in the Corbyn movement wouldn't be subjected to a Kinnock-like witch hunt.  And we can assume that the PLP would have used the MP nominations requirement to block anyone from the Left from the leadership ballot.

And the thing is, if Corbyn had stood down, whoever replaced him as leader would have started in the job already discredited in the eyes of most of the party, whatever that leader stood for or had to offer, simply because that leader would have been seen by major sections OF the party as the beneficiary of the treachery of the anti-Corbyn MPs, and would, inevitably, have been seen as their lackey.  How could anyone in that position possibly have overcome the distrust they would start off with?

There was a major disconnect between the PLP-who are pretty much the only people in the whole party who want a return to something close to Blair's policies-and the Labour rank and file, who have shifted sharply to the left since 2015-a fact the PLP refuses to accept or respect.

The MP nominations requirement needs to be abolished for the leadership and deputy leadership ballots. 

nicky

Ken, your last post repeats for the umteenth time  your nonsensical pretence that Corbyn would have stepped down if the PLP would have guaranteed a leadership candidacy for one of his supporters.

First of all, the threshold was reduced from 15% to 10% to facilitate this. Second of all RLB had no trouble getting more than the requisite number of MPs to nominate her.

Corbyn clung to the leadership egotistically despite every indication his leadership meant electoral doom. He, and you, cannot be allowed to hide behind the phony excuse that you endlessly and ridiculously maintain.

NDPP

Jeremy Corbyn Puts John Bercow and Tom Watson Into House of Lords

https://www.politicshare.com/news/uk/houses/lords/news/109180/jeremy-cor...

"Former Commons Speaker John Bercow is set to enter the House of Lords after being recommended for a peerage by Jeremy Corbyn. Tom Watson, who was deputy Labour leader under Mr Corbyn is also to receive a peerage in the forthcoming dissolution honours list..."

LOL! What a sad and pathetic way to go out.'Dissolution honours list' indeed...

Ken Burch

nicky wrote:

Ken, your last post repeats for the umteenth time  your nonsensical pretence that Corbyn would have stepped down if the PLP would have guaranteed a leadership candidacy for one of his supporters.

First of all, the threshold was reduced from 15% to 10% to facilitate this. Second of all RLB had no trouble getting more than the requisite number of MPs to nominate her.

Corbyn clung to the leadership egotistically despite every indication his leadership meant electoral doom. He, and you, cannot be allowed to hide behind the phony excuse that you endlessly and ridiculously maintain.

Corbyn's decision to stay in the leadership had nothing to do with egotism.  If anything, it was somewhere between selflessness and outright masochism.  No egotist would subject himself to the level of abuse and invective the PLP flung at him on the daily, sometimes in the House of Commons itself.   How can you imagine anything that Corbyn went through as leader as a reward to the ego?

Corbyn did nothing to deserve the way the PLP treated him-the plotting, the briefing against, the rumor-mongering, the despicable slander of the AS smear. If they had issues with him, they should have just gone and talked with him about it, had respectful, openminded conversations- not stay with doing nothing but repeating demands that he leave, not remained relentlessly committed to destroying him the whole time he was leader.   They should have accepted the people he stood with were as just as much a part fo the party as anyone else, rather than perpetually trying to force them out and make Labour a socialist-free zone.   Corbyn's supporters should never have been treated as the enemy and they shouldn't be treated now as if they have no right to stay.

And now, Labour needs to have as many members as possible, it needs to keep the hundreds of thousands who joined in and after 2015-it can't gain anything from banning those people or from proscribing Momentum.  

And the poll shown above shows that there is no real rank-and-file support for a vindictive swing to the far right of the sort that Jess Phillips wants, while Keir Starmer clearly doesn't come across as a person who wants to be Kinnock 2.0, so, even if he does win the leadership-which the same poll shows as far from a sure thing-it looks less and less likely that you'll get the Great Cleansing Blairite Fire you seem obsessed with getting.

I'm not sure how this will play out, and it's a relief that Phillips is likely to go down to a humiliating defeat-the party was never going to make someone who burst out laughing when the Tory majority was projected on polling night their next leader and whose notion of leadership is endlessly pushing the party to the far right-and Nandy is a long shot at best.

 

Ken Burch

Clearly, nobody the PLP would have preferred to Corbyn would have been either A) Significantly different than the Tories on the issues or B) At all likely to do better than Corbyn.  The 2010 and 2015 results, when Labour had exactly the sort of leaders you would prefer-bland, passionless hacks who cared only about "the centre ground", even though the centre ground no longer existed at that point, prove that the sorts of leader the PLP wouldn't stab in the back would not have been any sort of improvement.

And what matters now is finding a better way to craft and present a socialist message-not punishing or expelling the Left or switching from socialism to meaningless, outdated concepts like "modernizing social democracy" that ended in the party basically reducing itself to the MacMillan Tory manifesto from 1959.  The approach to the future needs to be positive and creative not vindictive and punitive, to involve all of the party, not to exile more than half of it.

The voters are not demanding that Labour go back to the 1997 policies.  If they'd wanted that, the Lib Dems would have taken 20% to 25%, as they did in the 1992 and 1997 elections, not the pathetic 11%-and the defeat of their leader by the candidate of a party well to her left that they actually received.  Or Change UK would have scored Crosby or Bermondsey-type by-election upsets, rather than its MPs all being too scared to resign their seats and fight by-elections as Change candidates.

And again, Corbyn is gone-all I was saying above is that his decline in popularity wasn't his fault and his alone.  At some point you're going to have to admit that the reprehensible treatment the PLP inflicted on him was at least partly to blame for it and that there was no justification for their tactics against him.

 

JKR

Ken Burch wrote:
Would you agree that, whoever wins the Labour leadership next, the PLP owes it to the rest of the party to not, under any circumstances, treat that leader as they treated Corbyn?  And that Labour cannot gain anything from any leader repeating Neil Kinnock's vicious campaign to drive all socialists out of the party?

I agree that there should be no move whatsoever to drive socialists out of the Labour Party.

As far as the PLP is concerned, I think Labour MP's should be able to disagree with their leader and they should be able to vote no confidence in their leader. I think a party leader should have to maintain the confidence of their caucus and the caucus should have the ability to remove a leader they are opposed to. I think it's untenable when the majority of a party caucus is opposed to their leader. I think if a leader can not maintain the support of a majority of their caucus they should not be leader of that caucus.

Ken Burch

JKR wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:
Would you agree that, whoever wins the Labour leadership next, the PLP owes it to the rest of the party to not, under any circumstances, treat that leader as they treated Corbyn?  And that Labour cannot gain anything from any leader repeating Neil Kinnock's vicious campaign to drive all socialists out of the party?

I agree that there should be no move whatsoever to drive socialists out of the Labour Party.

As far as the PLP is concerned, I think Labour MP's should be able to disagree with their leader and they should be able to vote no confidence in their leader. I think a party leader should have to maintain the confidence of their caucus and the caucus should have the ability to remove a leader they are opposed to. I think it's untenable when the majority of a party caucus is opposed to their leader. I think if a leader can not maintain the support of a majority of their caucus they should not be leader of that caucus.

Even if their only motivations are negative, as they were in this case-that is, even though the only reasons they wanted Corbyn forced our were to keep the party from becoming anti-austerity, pro-worker and internally democratic?  Even though they were doing this to drag the party back to Blairism at a time when virtually no one else in the party wanted that?  Even though they resorted to accusing Corbyn and those he stood with of vile offences the PLP knew they were innocent of, as they did in the AS smear-a smear which had nothing at all to do with protecting people who are Jewish from bigotry and oppression but was solely about silencing opposition to what the Israeli government does to Palestinians?

Even when the hostility extended to trying to force that leader out during election campaigns, when it isn't possible to change leaders-as born out by the fact thar virtually no major party in a system based on first-past-the-post parliamentary elections has ever replaced a leader DURING an election campaign(excepting those rare circumstances when the leader died after the election had been called)?  Even when it extended, as it did in the last election, to sitting MPs endorsing "tactical voting" or "strategic voting" efforts for the sole purpose of reducing their own party's vote share?  Even when it means pressuring that leader to take a stand on an issue-as the right wing of the party did in pressuring Corbyn to pledge a second referendum on the EU when they knew Labour couldn't reject the results of the first referendum without taking massive losses in the Labour heartlands, which was clearly the main and possibly only motivation of the hardline Remainers?

There is a right to free speech and to dissent.  But there is also a responsibility, especially on the part of MPs, not to do damage to the party in the way they dissent.  Nothing Corbyn ever did as a Labour backbencher ever, in any way at all, harmed the chances of victory of any of his predecessors in the leadership.  The actions of those Labour MPs who refused to accept and respect Corbyn as leader over the last four years or accept and respect Michael Foot as leader in the Eighties, on the other hand, did nothing but damage.  They hurt the whole party-Corbyn, in his respectful, positive expressions of dissent, harmed no one and nothing.  Do you not see the difference?

Ken Burch

(dupe post.  self-delete.)

nicky

Interesting to learn the Corbyn was a masochist for clinging to the leadership.

Masochism however is a personal affliction. If Corbyn had been a party of one the term would surely fit.

Instead he inflicted his affliction on the whole Labour Party. The term for that, Ken as an amateur psychologist must admit, is sadism.

Ken Burch

It's enough that he is standing down-and there's no difference between him standing down before the leadership election happened or at the moment the result is announced.  

As I've repeatedly pointed out-and you have never challenged the validity of this observation or even responded to it-none of the people who stood against Corbyn for the leadership, in 2015 OR 2016, had anything more to offer as leadership material.  Andy Burnham started out way ahead in the contest and then his support collapsed.  How could someone whose campaign had that trajectory in support ever have been a more effective leader?  If your popularity falls steadily within the party the longer you stay in the race, what chance are you going to have of being an effective, popular, vote-winning leader after getting the job?

How could Yvette Cooper-a person I respect for having recently stated that the party can't go back to the 1997 manifesto ever again, who finished a weak third in the contest, have been any more effective?

Or Liz Kendall, whose support in the contest ended up in single digits?

Or Owen Smith, the man who literally had NO ONE show up at his leadership hustings and had to ask to speak at Corbyn's hustings simply to be able to speak to anybody at all?  If that was how he did in a contest inside his own party, how could Owen possibly have been effective at a general election? 

You keep making this about Corbyn as a person, that he acted out of ego and arrogance- where's the egotism in a person putting himself through what Corbyn experienced as leader from his own MPs?- The Corbyn phenomenon was never about Corbyn as an individual.  Nor was it a Trotskyist plot-the Trotskyists could never have managed anything close to what happened-they'd have been totally out of their depth.  It was about the Labour movement-which includes those who had been made unwelcome since the Kinnock era even though they'd done nothing to deserve being anathemized- wanting a clear break with Blairism, austerity, and perpetual war.   Why is it so hard for you to accept that?  If Corbyn hadn't been the left candidate in 2015, whoever else was the left candidate WOULD have won if the PLP had allowed that candidate on the ballot.   If the contest wasn't rigged to include no one but the right wing-the portion of the party all the other 2015 candidates inhabited, as indicated by their abstentions on Cameron's welfare bill in 2015, a bill on which abstention was the same thing as official abandonment of the poor-it was inevitable that an anti-austerity, anti-militarist candidate would prevail.  What happened was what most of the Left wanted-it was not imposed on the party from without in some sort of conspiracy.

Whoever you think should be leader, you need to accept the fact that the policy ideas associated with Corbyn reflect what most of the Labour rank-and-file support, and that no good would come of either ditching all those ideas OR anathemizing anybody who had anything to do with Corbyn.

 

 

Corbyn's election was not a conspiracy from outside.  It was what the Labour rank-and-file wanted.  Corbyn is going, but that rank-and-file don't want another Kinnock-Blair trajectory, and the PLP will destroy the party if they-and it's only the PLP who want purges or a massive swing to the right-impose that by sabotaging whoever wins the leadership next-insist on erasing everything Corbyn and the majority of the party he supported want.  The policies those people back aren't unpopular and they aren't wrong.

And if Labour did ditch the nationalization proposals and the large increase in social spending, it couldn't do anything else that was Labour at all.  Nothing Labour can happen under market economics, on a tight budget, and with low taxes on the rich.  There's no such thing as a humane austerity and there can never again be a progressive, liberating Western military intervention in a non-European country.

nicky

At least then, we never had a choice. Calling an election was entirely in the government’s gift. But this time, we have no excuse. Boris Johnson proposed an election at a time of his own choosing, on an issue of his own choosing, and we went along with it – like crackers voting for Christmas. The Liberal Democrats agreed to it because they thought it would work in their favour, and Labour because we imagined we could change the subject. That was a total delusion.

I wrote to the leader’s office warning it would be “an act of catastrophic political folly” to vote for the election, and explained exactly why we should not go along with it. I argued that the single issue of Brexit should not be enough to give Johnson a five-year mandate to enact his agenda on every issue. Instead, I said we should insist on a referendum on his proposed deal, to get the issue of Brexit out of the way before any general election.

When I raised this at the shadow cabinet, and spoke forcefully against an election, some colleagues nodded along, but the loudest voices were pro-leave colleagues insisting that we should vote with Johnson. So we wilfully went into a single-issue election with no clear position on that issue and, as every pollster predicted, we were brutally squeezed by all the other parties with an unequivocal policy on Brexit, all of them sharing a clear strategy to eat into Labour’s base.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/dec/18/boris-johnson-labour-brexit-election-emily-thornberry

 

JKR

Ken Burch wrote:

JKR wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:
Would you agree that, whoever wins the Labour leadership next, the PLP owes it to the rest of the party to not, under any circumstances, treat that leader as they treated Corbyn?  And that Labour cannot gain anything from any leader repeating Neil Kinnock's vicious campaign to drive all socialists out of the party?

I agree that there should be no move whatsoever to drive socialists out of the Labour Party.

As far as the PLP is concerned, I think Labour MP's should be able to disagree with their leader and they should be able to vote no confidence in their leader. I think a party leader should have to maintain the confidence of their caucus and the caucus should have the ability to remove a leader they are opposed to. I think it's untenable when the majority of a party caucus is opposed to their leader. I think if a leader can not maintain the support of a majority of their caucus they should not be leader of that caucus.

Even if their only motivations are negative, as they were in this case-that is, even though the only reasons they wanted Corbyn forced our were to keep the party from becoming anti-austerity, pro-worker and internally democratic?  Even though they were doing this to drag the party back to Blairism at a time when virtually no one else in the party wanted that?  Even though they resorted to accusing Corbyn and those he stood with of vile offences the PLP knew they were innocent of, as they did in the AS smear-a smear which had nothing at all to do with protecting people who are Jewish from bigotry and oppression but was solely about silencing opposition to what the Israeli government does to Palestinians?

Even when the hostility extended to trying to force that leader out during election campaigns, when it isn't possible to change leaders-as born out by the fact thar virtually no major party in a system based on first-past-the-post parliamentary elections has ever replaced a leader DURING an election campaign(excepting those rare circumstances when the leader died after the election had been called)?  Even when it extended, as it did in the last election, to sitting MPs endorsing "tactical voting" or "strategic voting" efforts for the sole purpose of reducing their own party's vote share?  Even when it means pressuring that leader to take a stand on an issue-as the right wing of the party did in pressuring Corbyn to pledge a second referendum on the EU when they knew Labour couldn't reject the results of the first referendum without taking massive losses in the Labour heartlands, which was clearly the main and possibly only motivation of the hardline Remainers?

There is a right to free speech and to dissent.  But there is also a responsibility, especially on the part of MPs, not to do damage to the party in the way they dissent.  Nothing Corbyn ever did as a Labour backbencher ever, in any way at all, harmed the chances of victory of any of his predecessors in the leadership.  The actions of those Labour MPs who refused to accept and respect Corbyn as leader over the last four years or accept and respect Michael Foot as leader in the Eighties, on the other hand, did nothing but damage.  They hurt the whole party-Corbyn, in his respectful, positive expressions of dissent, harmed no one and nothing.  Do you not see the difference?

What I see is that a party leader has to maintain the confidence of their caucus while the caucus does not have to maintain the confidence of the leader. I also think each caucus member has to maintain the confidence of their party's local constituency members. So I agree with you that local constituencies should always be in a position to de-select their MP's as MP's have the option to run as independents or for other parties after they are de-selected. I think Corbyn should have resigned after his caucus voted non-confidence in him with the proviso that Labour begin to subject their MP's to de-selection. 

I think many of the MP's who opposed Corbyn did so simply because they felt he was too incompetent to be a party leader and PM. The MP's that felt that way I think they were right to oppose Corbyn. I also think Corbyn never was obligated to support previous Labour leaders.

josh

JKR wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:
Would you agree that, whoever wins the Labour leadership next, the PLP owes it to the rest of the party to not, under any circumstances, treat that leader as they treated Corbyn?  And that Labour cannot gain anything from any leader repeating Neil Kinnock's vicious campaign to drive all socialists out of the party?

I agree that there should be no move whatsoever to drive socialists out of the Labour Party.

As far as the PLP is concerned, I think Labour MP's should be able to disagree with their leader and they should be able to vote no confidence in their leader. I think a party leader should have to maintain the confidence of their caucus and the caucus should have the ability to remove a leader they are opposed to. I think it's untenable when the majority of a party caucus is opposed to their leader. I think if a leader can not maintain the support of a majority of their caucus they should not be leader of that caucus.

 

Under the old system, that would be true.  But what you're saying is that the caucus should have a veto over who the rank and file chooses as leader.  Which is, esssentially, the old system.

Ken Burch

josh wrote:

JKR wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:
Would you agree that, whoever wins the Labour leadership next, the PLP owes it to the rest of the party to not, under any circumstances, treat that leader as they treated Corbyn?  And that Labour cannot gain anything from any leader repeating Neil Kinnock's vicious campaign to drive all socialists out of the party?

I agree that there should be no move whatsoever to drive socialists out of the Labour Party.

As far as the PLP is concerned, I think Labour MP's should be able to disagree with their leader and they should be able to vote no confidence in their leader. I think a party leader should have to maintain the confidence of their caucus and the caucus should have the ability to remove a leader they are opposed to. I think it's untenable when the majority of a party caucus is opposed to their leader. I think if a leader can not maintain the support of a majority of their caucus they should not be leader of that caucus.

 

Under the old system, that would be true.  But what you're saying is that the caucus should have a veto over who the rank and file chooses as leader.  Which is, esssentially, the old system.

The big issue is the disconnect between the PLP and the Labour rank-and-file.

The PLP is the only significant portion of the party in which there is still significant support for a return to Blairism-everyone else in the party sees those policies and the way the party was run in that era as things that should be consigned to the past.

The PLP still seem to think that THEY are the party and the rank-and-file should be kept out in the cold, as they were shoved out in the cold in the Nineties-they assume that Labour won because that was done to the rank-and-file, when in truth Labour was going to win in 1996 or 1997 no matter what.

The PLP think that, having won their seats, they should be entitled to automatic re-selection for life.  Most of the rest of the party would prefer Open Selection in order to restort accountability between the MPs and their constituency parties-there were dozens of constituencies in the Corbyn years in which the MP was a hardline anti-Corbynite, while their constituency party supported Corbyn and wanted him to be accepted as leader and treated with respect.  Some of those constituency parties actually passed no-confidence motions against their MPs because their MPs were sabotaging or undermining Corbyn.  If Corbyn should have had to stand down because the MPs passed a "no-confidence motion"(a motion that is non-binding has no actual standing according to PLP rules), should MPs have to resign when their constuency party passes a no-confidence motion against THEM?

 

 

 

In any case, it does go without saying that, if RLB does win the leadership, she should be given the respect and the chance that Corbyn was denied.  There couldn't be any possible justification for sabotaging two leaders in a row.

nicky

With the withdrawal of Jess Phillips, Starmer has extended his lead over RLB from 46 / 32 to 53/ 33

With Jess Phillips looking like she may drop out of the Labour leadership race, we've recalculated our results to show what the first round would look like:

Starmer – 53%
Long-Bailey – 33%
Nandy – 10%
Thornberry – 4%

 

Ken Burch

Thank god Phillips dropped out.  She brought nothing to the race but poison and spite.  She had no positive program for the party's future.

I acknowledge that Starmer has the lead at this point-although Andy Burnham started with a solid lead in 2015 only to see his support decline massively-and maintain that he will probably disappoint you by NOT being Kinnock 2.0 and not personally anathemizing Corbyn.

If RLB were to prevail-and it's fair to note that Starmer, while a decent guy, has no greater experience or qualifications than she does-would you at least agree that, in contrast to the way Corbyn was treated, she should be given a chance to show what she can do as leader?  That she should be judged on her own merits?

Ken Burch

One thing you're going to have to accept, nicky is that, unlike you, the Labour rank-and-file does not want a massive swing to the right or vengeance against those who backed the outgoing leader.

You might consider letting go of your pointless derisive rage on this subject.

nicky

RLB is as experienced as Starmer? You must be high Ken. She was briefly an in house solicitor.

He was an absolutely renowned barrister and QC who  championed innumerable human rights cases and rose to the position of DPP.

Absolutely no comparison. This whopper compares with giving Corbyn @ 10 out of 10 rating as leader.

JKR

Ken Burch wrote:

The PLP think that, having won their seats, they should be entitled to automatic re-selection for life.  Most of the rest of the party would prefer Open Selection in order to restort accountability between the MPs and their constituency parties-there were dozens of constituencies in the Corbyn years in which the MP was a hardline anti-Corbynite, while their constituency party supported Corbyn and wanted him to be accepted as leader and treated with respect.  Some of those constituency parties actually passed no-confidence motions against their MPs because their MPs were sabotaging or undermining Corbyn.  If Corbyn should have had to stand down because the MPs passed a "no-confidence motion"(a motion that is non-binding has no actual standing according to PLP rules), should MPs have to resign when their constuency party passes a no-confidence motion against THEM?

I agree that Labour should have open selection. Not having open selection leaves the party open to having an endless civil war between MP's and party members that cripples Labour's chances of winning elections.

Ken Burch

JKR wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

The PLP think that, having won their seats, they should be entitled to automatic re-selection for life.  Most of the rest of the party would prefer Open Selection in order to restort accountability between the MPs and their constituency parties-there were dozens of constituencies in the Corbyn years in which the MP was a hardline anti-Corbynite, while their constituency party supported Corbyn and wanted him to be accepted as leader and treated with respect.  Some of those constituency parties actually passed no-confidence motions against their MPs because their MPs were sabotaging or undermining Corbyn.  If Corbyn should have had to stand down because the MPs passed a "no-confidence motion"(a motion that is non-binding has no actual standing according to PLP rules), should MPs have to resign when their constuency party passes a no-confidence motion against THEM?

I agree that Labour should have open selection. Not having open selection leaves the party open to having an endless civil war between MP's and party members that cripples Labour's chances of winning elections.

I appreciate the civil and open-minded way you've been willing to discuss all of this with me.

JKR

Ken Burch wrote:

I appreciate the civil and open-minded way you've been willing to discuss all of this with me.

I find it easy to be civil and open-minded because I feel your contributions are made in good faith and I also feel the world needs to be much more socialist. I think basically everyone who posts here on Babble supports the working class and socialist ideas. I think the downfall of Babble is that too often conversations here have become too egoic and aggressive.
 

nicky

It is regrettable that Jess Phillips has withdrawn. She is popular with the public and was running third with 11 to 13% in all three polls of the membership, ahead of Thornberry and Nandy who are persevering. The arcane nomination rules were her problem, more so than popular support.

Phillips’ great strength was that she was not afraid to speak the truth about Corbynism.

Her candidacy has had a salutary effect. According to Stephen Bush in the New Statesman, (firewalled) she attracted a large number of new members who, with her departure are likely to vote heavily against the Corbynistas.

this is reflected in the new poll I posted yesterday which shows her vote flowing overwhelmingly to the non Corbynist candidates.

 

nicky
Ken Burch

nicky wrote:

It is regrettable that Jess Phillips has withdrawn. She is popular with the public and was running third with 11 to 13% in all three polls of the membership, ahead of Thornberry and Nandy who are persevering. The arcane nomination rules were her problem, more so than popular support.

Phillips’ great strength was that she was not afraid to speak the truth about Corbynism.

Her candidacy has had a salutary effect. According to Stephen Bush in the New Statesman, (firewalled) she attracted a large number of new members who, with her departure are likely to vote heavily against the Corbynistas.

this is reflected in the new poll I posted yesterday which shows her vote flowing overwhelmingly to the non Corbynist candidates.

 

She didn't speak truth...she simply spoke vengeance.  All Phillips would have done as leader was purge all the socialists and leftists and push the party back to the 1997 manifesto.

She also didn't speak truth when she supported the IHRA "guidelines and examples"-a document its own author has now significantly disowned

https://www.jewishvoiceforlabour.org.uk/article/antisemitism-is-too-seri...

She didn't speak truth when she joined those cynical reactionaries who referred to the toxic bigotry known as  antisemitism as "racism"-Jewish people are a series of communities united by ethical and/or religious traditions; the are not a "race", and it's more than enough to oppose bigotry directed towards Jewish people and any efforts to impose repression of them without using a term that could never justifiably be used against either Corbyn or anyone in the UK Palestine solidarity community.  She did not speak truth in trying to make it impossible for people in the Labour Party to express solidarity with Palestinians, or in equating the justifiable anger Palestinians feel about Zionism-an ideology which has brought them nothing but undeserved oppression and misery-with "racism" and implying that they are driven by nothing but bigotry.

She is not telling the truth in blaming the last election result on Corbyn and those he supports when she and you know the majority of the PLP who spent four years sabotaging Corbyn are equally to blame.

She is not telling the truth in demanding that Corbyn be made a pariah within the party, insisting that he be made a figure of shame and derision.

And she did NOT tell the truth in push for Labour to take the pointless and economic royalist stance of fighting all out to stop Brexit, when she knew full well that Brexit could NOT be stopped and that stopping it could never be more important enough than getting the Tories out of power.

Corbyn is leaving the leadership.  But Labour cannot abandon everything the majority fo the party who back him support and still be different than the Tories, and Keir Starmer himself recognizes that Labour has to largely keep Corbyn's policies and accept him as a legitimate elder statesman figure in the party if it is to win, and that Labour needs the people who joined to support Corbyn's leadership campaigns-campaigns that were never about his ego or him as an individual, but about a sincere and legitimate conviction in the party that there had to be a real break with the Blair/Brown/Miliband status quo, with Labour's decision to abandon the poor on the 2015 welfare bill, and with Labour's continual obsession with the "centre ground" in a political era in which the centre ground is extinct.

RLB is not Corbyn-I recognize that Starmer is currently in the lead, as was Andy Burnham early in the 2015 leadership contest-but she would get the heartlands back just as much as Starmer would, if not more due to the fact that she is Leave.  

BTW, yes, Starmer was a prosecutor.  But so what?  Being good at sending people to HM Prison has little, if anything, to do with being an effective party leader or prime minister.  Like RLB, Starmer is a decent person, but he actually chose not to stand for the leadership in 2015 because he had, like RLB now, had no ministerial experince.

And the figures in the 2015 leadership race-Burnham and Cooper-who had had ministerial experience, had no personal popularity or charisma and no real program-both of them would have been "continuity Brown".

Ken Burch

And again, there was no such thing as "Corbynism"-there was and is simply a legitimate, transparent movement for democratic socialism.  The ideas and policies generated by those who Corbyn supports are not unpopular and are not alien to what the Labour Party stands for. The Corbyn movement is not something which emerged from outside of Labour or something does as conspiracy AGAINST what Labour people wanted.   There was strong support for Corbyn among paid Labour members as well as among supporters, after all-it's not as though nobody wanted him to win other than the supporters and it's not as though there wasn't a general rank-and-file consensus that the party should make a total break with Blairism, given that the previous two elections were lost badly on Blairite manifestos and that in the election before that the party's majority was sharply reduced on a Blairite manifesto.  

It was never about Corbyn as a person-it was about ideas and it was about restoring internal democracy to the party-something which still needs to happen.

It was about admitting that the time to demonize and exclude the left was past-the left had and has valid ideas and deserved to have at least something of a say.

It was about the idea that Labour has a moral obligation to stand in solidarity with the poor, fight FOR the poor, and defend the poor against the toxic lie that they were to blame for their own condition-against the Thatcherite/Blairite myth that the poor were poor because of how they ran their personal lives, not because of the way that capitalism arbitrarily decides that large numbers of human beings are valueless and simply discards them, shaming them as it discards them and blaming them for the fact that they've BEEN discarded.

Nobody-including Corbyn himself-has ever claimed that he was flawless as leader, that he and those who did strategy for him made no mistakes.  And you know it.

Nobody is arguing that the next election should be fought exactly as this election was.  And you know it.

Clearly, Corbyn should have fought back against the AS slur.

Clearly, he should have spent more time before the election in the Labour heartlands, talking and listening to people there.  The heartlands never thought he was too radical-they were mainly angry that he'd been forced to give in to the Remainers and accept a second referendum-that issue outweighed all others there, and there was no all-out Remainer who could possibly have communicated better with the heartlands-the Remainers never offered ANY economic revival policies for the heartlands at all.

It would not have made any difference in those areas if he'd sung "God Save The Queen" or presented himself as "patriotic"(i.e., pro-imperialism).  What would have made the difference was an economic revival policy specifically directed at those areas.  And no one outside the left wing of the party was ever going to offer such a policy.

The ideas and policies, especially in 2019, could have been communicated better-had the party focused on three or four radical policies(the nationalizatio pledges, which had to be in the program, fully funding the NHS, restoring the cuts in benefit an abolishing the barbaric benefits sanctions policy)...but Starmer himself acknowledges that the 2017 manifesto-not a return to Blairism- needs to be the basis for where Labour goes next.

You asked if I'm "ok" with Starmer.  

He's not my first choice-I'd still like to see him pledge that there will be no purge of socialists-but he is far better than Phillips, who had nothing positive to offer and, as a centrist, could never have won the votes of the young or done anything to help the poor.

I'd have preferred Gardiner to stand for the leadership, or Rayner rather than RLB(though Rayner will be a great deputy leader if elected).  I simply don't accept your idea that she would be nothing but Corbyn and McDonnell's puppet-neither of them want to be puppet masters or would be capable of that, and I mystified that you are still in "burn the heritics!" mode about people aligned with Corbyn.

Why can you not move on from that?

Starmer has.

It's time to work positively.

And it's time to stop demonizing Corbyn, because he is going now and because the things people who support him stand for aren't wrong as policy and were never evil.

And if nothing else, RLB, were she to win the leadership, would be better at it than Corbyn because she, herself, does not have the Seventies/Eighties "associations" that the Tory media and the PLP made such a ludicrously big deal over.  She is not "Continuity Corbyn".  She is "Originality Long-Bailey", and she is her own person.  And there was no reason for you to make such a big deal about her saying she thought Corbyn was a good leader.  It's not an outrageous assertion, especially since, had the AS smear not been invented by Hodge and the BBC and had not his own MPs been relentlessly demonizing the 

As to the AS issue-where do you come down on the assertion by the BoD and people like Margaret Hodge that, essentially, it is antisemitic to acknowledge that ordinary Palestinians do have deep-seated and legitimate grievances with the way the Israeli government has been treated them and, in practice, with the way the ideology of Zionism-an ideology that is now permanently right wing and antisocialist-has been used to justify what has been done to them?

Do you really go along with the part in the "Ten Pledges" in which Labour would expel, in theory, anybody who challenged the assertion that someone else in the party said or did something antisemitic?  Do you agree with the idea that, when it comes to AS, everyone accused of AS should be presumed guilty?

Do you buy into the implication-an implication utterly unsupported by statistics or by lived reality in the UK-that AS is now almost entirely a "Left" thing and that AS has somehow become the most prevalent form of bigotry in all of the UK?  That there is more AS than there is Islamophobia, anti-BAME racism, anti-LGBTQ prejudice?
 

It would be helpful to know where you come down on this-because it would explain why you insist on accusing Corbyn, who has fought passionately against all forms of bigotry all of his life, of ABETTING bigotry-a smear the man has done nothing to deserve.

nicky

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/jan/22/pick-long-bailey-and-its-over-the-view-from-the-ruins-of-labours-red-wall

Labour will never rebuild the Red Wall if it is in denial over the real course of its defeat  - Corbynism

Ken, you ask why I am critical of Corbyn? There are a number of reasons but the main one is that he ensured at least five extra years of Conservative rule. He should never be forgiven for that nor allowed to avoid responsibility.

Ken Burch

nicky wrote:

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/jan/22/pick-long-bailey-and-its-over-the-view-from-the-ruins-of-labours-red-wall

Labour will never rebuild the Red Wall if it is in denial over the real course of its defeat  - Corbynism

Ken, you ask why I am critical of Corbyn? There are a number of reasons but the main one is that he ensured at least five extra years of Conservative rule. He should never be forgiven for that nor allowed to avoid responsibility.

I have never asked you to not be critical of Corbyn-as you've seen, I myself have been critical of Corbyn and have written numerous critiques of his choices, such as his failure to confront and fight back against the totally unjustified AS smear and his disastrous decision to try and appease the far-right Remain hardliners by agreeing to a second referendum on the EU, something that is universally reckoned in the party as the main reason Labour collapsed in the heartlands, since the heartlands will always be all-out Leave and since no Remainer ever even tried to address the economic misery the heartlands were left to in the EU years, and the decision by the EU to help Scotland find prosperity while leaving Wales, the North, the Northeast and the Midlands to rot.

What I'm saying is that it's pointless to insist that Corbyn, who has acknowledged mistakes and repeatedly apologized for those mistakes to the Labour MPs who lost their seats due to the second referendum pledge-be made a figure of permanent hatred and derision within the policy.

Whatever else you can say, Labour would not have done any better at all if any of the people who stood against him for the leadership in 2015 or 2016 had prevailed.  None of them ever had any personal appeal-some of them had things in their records which would have destroyed any chance of them ever becoming credible alternatives to the Tories-Yvette Cooper will never be forgiven by the British people for what happened on her watchin Rotherham; Liz Kendall was never out of single digits in popularity among Labour members and had no policies which could possibly have won votes; Owen Smith was discredited by his career as a lobbyist for Pfizer, a career which meant he could never be trusted to protect and increase funding for the NHS-and you can't gain appeal if you don't start out with it-and none of them had any policies that would have made any differences.  They were all Blairites and the 2010 and 2015  elections proved that Labour could never win again with a centrist and antisocialist policies.  None of them would have stopped the continuous decline in paid memberships in the party-a party can never gain votes while losing paid members-and none of them would have accepted the reality that it's pointless to fight for "the centre ground" when the centre ground no longer exists and the only way to appeal to it if it did exist is to cease to be Labour at all.

Labour wouldn't be Labour anymore if it exiled everyone who backed Corbyn and abandoned all of his policies.  Labour would not be Labour anymore if it abandoned the nationalization of utilities and the railroad-it can never serve Labour values to leave all of the economy in private ownership and to accept the continued slow death of the NHS, which is what abandoning Corbyn's policies on the NHS means.

Labour can't put keeping spending and taxes low before human need-as you want-without ceasing to be Labour.

And Keir Starmer, who seems to be leading the leadership contest at this point, doesn't want Corbyn's policies abandoned, so you're not going to see Corbyn anathemized.

It's enough to say that Corbyn made some mistakes, as he acknowledges.  The PLP are just as responsible as Corbyn for the 2019 losses, since they refused to stop attacking him and trying to force him out as leader-that was the point of the ludicrous suggestion that Labour could form a coalition with the LibDems and SNP if only Corbyn left, and the point of the "tactical voting" campaigns that were deliberately designed not to unify the anti-Tory vote-the LibDems AREN'T anti-Tory and proved it by choosing a leader who would have fit in comfortably with the pro-Tory "National Liberals" of the 1930s and 1940s-and which were often designed specifically to do harm to Labour-there was at least one instance in which a tactical voting guide instructed people to vote LibDem in a constituency with a Labour MP.  

Corbyn is the past.  Labour has nothing to gain from going to his right on policy, and going to the right of Corbyn's ideas on policy can only mean turning into the second Tory party.

The heartlands weren't angry with Corbyn for opposing war and austerity; they were angry because he'd been forced to agree to a second referendum on the EU, which meant that Brexit, which the heartlands regard as their only chance for any sort of economic revival, was in question-it goes without saying that the EU can never be a positive thing for the heartlands if it have never helped them thus far.

Why were you so fixated on pushing the party to go all-out Remain?  It wasn't going to be good for anyone but the economically privileged.  The EU never creates highly paid unionized jobs, it never lifts anyone out of poverty.  And the voters of the heartlands desperately wanted and needed that issue settled.

You do understand that Labour can't win if it drives Corbyn's supporters out of the party or silences them, right?  

You do understand that Labour needs to generate enthusiasm from the electorate and that it can only do that as a socialist party, right?

You do understand that if the youth leave, Labour pretty much dies, right?

Nobody, even Corbyn claims he made no mistakes.

But it simply isn't fair to put everything on him and it's delusional to imply that Labour would have beaten the Tories if only it had stayed centrist.  2010 and 2015 proved that nobody wants Labour to be centrist and that it can't be popular with centrist policies or by doing a witch hunt on people.

And for the last time, there IS no such thing as Corbynism-there is simply a broad-based grassroots movement for democratic socialism, a movement Corbyn didn't start and that will not die without him.

It's time to admit that "social democracy" no longer means anything and can no longer solve anything.  Every election on the European mainland in the last thirty years proves that "centre ground" social democracy is politically extinct.

The miserable 11% showing of the LibDems proves that "modernizing social democracy" is extinct.

The 10,006 votes nationally for Change UK proves that "modernizing social democracy" is extinct.

And if you're going to denounce Corbyn, could you please, just once, explain why you refuse to assign any responsibility for the 2019 result to the Labour MPs who refused to stop trying to sabotage Corbyn EVEN when the election was underway and it would have been impossible either for the man to resign and be replaced-no replacement would ever have been accepted as legitimate by the Labour rank-and-file, a group who matter just as much to the party's fortunes as do the MPs-and who didn't care that they were helping the Tories.  Why can you not, even once, admit that they went too far with their anti-Corbyn sabotage campaign and should apologize to the party for the damage they did?  Why can't you acknowledge that they are as responsible for the result as Corbyn did, since nothing they were doing was ever going to lead to Labour getting any better outcome?

I don't think Corbyn should have agreed to the election-but at the same time, I don't think there was any excuse for the relentless campaign against him within the party and the adamant refusal of the PLP-the only sector of the party that wants the party to move to the right on the issues-to listen to or try to come to some meeting of the minds with the majority of the party who didn't want Corbyn forced out.

Labour doesn't ever need a leader who tells socialists to go to hell, who forces the party to abstain on Tory cuts rather than vote against them, or ever again backs any use of force against the Arab/Muslim world-sucn as the bombing of Syria, bombing which had no effects other than to kill huge numbers of innocent civilians and was never going to lead to a better government for that country.

 

Ken Burch

It goes without saying that any leader who did what you wanted and went all-out Remain, and therefore antiworker and anti-heartlands-would have led the party to a wipe out in the heartlands-that Labour's support had been sliding in the heartlands throughout the Blair era, with its only increase in support in that region happening during the 2017 election.

It goes without saying that Labour would have been wiped out in the heartlands with any leader who ran on a low tax and low spending platform, because a low-tax, low-spending Labour government could not have done anything that made any significant difference in the conditions in the heartlands-no impoverished area can ever be lifted out of poverty by "market forces", for god's sakes.

And it wouldn't have made any difference to be overbearingly "British" and make a fetish of the Union Jack.

At this stage, it looks like Starmer will win, but it also looks as though Starmer won't do a purge of the left and won't vilify Corbyn.  You might as well accept that it's time to move on and that Labour needs a positive approach that isn't based on punishing or anathemizing anyone if it is to win.

nicky

While Starmer may not be campaigning on a pledge to purge Corbynism it is obvious that he will take a very different course than Corbyn if elected leader.

 There is no doubt for example that he will move to limit Momentum’s malign control over much of the party machinery. That is why Momentum is fighting so feverishly to smear him. Just have a look at Twitter.

  Membership in the NEC will alter.

He will replace the Corbynite incompetents on the front bench like Burgon with talented MPs whom Corbyn banished to the bank benches.  

And Ken, you keep parroting that Corbyn has “apologized” to the party for the defeat due to the second referendum policy.

This is ridiculously disingenuous. I have posted several studies that show that Labour defectors switched because of Corbyn rather than Brexit by a four to one margin. And of those who cited Brexit as their motivation at least half were Remainers appalled by Corbyn’s incoherent position on a second referendum.

You have never addressed this, instead cutting and pasting the same nonsensical Corbynite talking points over and over.

Corbyn should really apologize for his own incompetence and acknowledge that he himself was the overwhelming cause of the election debacle. 

nicky

CLP nominations for the Labour leadership so far:

 

Keir Starmer - 31

Rebecca Long-Bailey - 7

Lisa Nandy - 6

Emily Thornberry - 3

Ken Burch

Here's the thing:  there is no good reason to move policy to the right, to abandon the utility and rail nationalization pledges and the spending and tax increases.

Labour would not gain any votes from doing anything that looks like a return to Blairism, or from adopting policies which make it impossible to show solidarity with the people of Palestine-everyone in the party, including all Corbyn supporters and Corbyn himself, opposes anti-Jewish bigotry-and it's important to refer to antisemitism as bigotry, not "racism", because the world's Jewish communities are not a race or "a nation".  And it is not necessary to regard them as either a race or a nation to oppose any forms of oppression being inflicted upon them.  Agreed?

Criticism of the actions of the Israeli government or opposition to Zionism as an ideology are not expressions of hatred against Jews.  If they were, people who ARE Jewish would never make such comments, as they increasingly do, both in Canada and the US.

 

Ken Burch

As to the MPs consigned to the back benches under Corbyn...that happens to all MPs in all parties who engage in treachery and sabotage against their party's leader.  It was just as legitimate to send those people to the back benches as it would be for any other leader to send their MPs to the back benches in any other party in any other parliament.  That's how party discipline works.

Aristotleded24

You're absolutely right nicky. The most important thing in the world to worry about right now is stopping Jeremy Corbyn! Never mind that he stepped down, he must be STOPPED! Forest fires in Australia? Rapidly melting glaciers? Close-to-zero temperatures in the Prairies in January? New viruses emerging in China, triggering fears of a global pandemic? Worsening poverty and income inequality throughout the world? Rising millitary tensions in the world amid talk of possible war with Iran, moving the Doomsday Clock closer to midnight? First Nations protesters in BC threatened with police violence? None of that matters! None if it is important! The only thing that matters is we need to STOP CORBYN!

nicky

Oh boy Aristotle, maybe I have been high or something but I don’t remember comparing Corbyn to the fires in Australia or the ticking of the Doomsday clock. Perhaps you are right that he has exacerbated both of these calamities by enabling the election of a hard right Conservative government so there may well be a connection.

You are right that Corbyn as a person is a diminished threat to the Labour Party but Corbynism itself remains an existential threat.

Thankfully, the Corbynite candidate seems to be fading and may possibly run third:

https://www7.politicalbetting.com/index.php/archives/2020/01/24/with-49-clps-now-having-decided-jus-under-two-thirds-are-going-to-starmer/

josh

nicky wrote:

It is regrettable that Jess Phillips has withdrawn. She is popular with the public and was running third with 11 to 13% in all three polls of the membership, ahead of Thornberry and Nandy who are persevering. The arcane nomination rules were her problem, more so than popular support.

Phillips’ great strength was that she was not afraid to speak the truth about Corbynism.

Her candidacy has had a salutary effect. According to Stephen Bush in the New Statesman, (firewalled) she attracted a large number of new members who, with her departure are likely to vote heavily against the Corbynistas.

this is reflected in the new poll I posted yesterday which shows her vote flowing overwhelmingly to the non Corbynist candidates.

 

LOL.  She withdrew because she wan't going anywhere.  And she's popular with that portion of the public who believe Peter Mandelson is as far lest as Labour should go.

josh

nicky wrote:

CLP nominations for the Labour leadership so far:

 

Keir Starmer - 31

Rebecca Long-Bailey - 7

Lisa Nandy - 6

Emily Thornberry - 3

 

CLP?  That's a shocker!

nicky

CLP means "Constituency Labour Parties", Josh.

One route to getting on the ballot is to get nominated by 5% of them or 33. As of a couple hours ago Starmer had 34, RLB and Nandy each 7 and Thornberry 3.

You (Ken and perhaps Aristotle) will be encouraged to know that of Starmer'34 CLP nominations, 20 of them had nominated Corbyn in the previous leadership contest. That means that RLB seems to be losing significantly even among members who preferred Corbyn before.

Ken Burch

We know you vilified and despised Corbyn, but RLB ISN'T Corbyn(and granted she isn't doing super well at this point)but it's pointless to anathemize people simply because they were linked to Corbyn.  RLB doesn't need to be destroyed in the leadership contest for the party to be saved.

The ideas Corbyn's supporters stand for aren't an existential threat to the party.  The Green New Deal isn't an existential threat to the party.  The nationalization pledges aren't a threat.  The restoration of the NHS as an organization free at the point of service isn't an existential threat.  Meaningful tax increases on the rich isn't an existential threat.

Restoration of internal party democracy is not an existential threat.

An apology for the Iraq War was never an existential threat.

And it was never an existential threat to acknowledge that the people of Palestine have legitimate grievances with the way they've been treated by the Israeli government or with Zionism as an ideology and in practice, given that "actually existing Zionism" treats Palestinians exactly as Jim Crow treated blacks in the U.S. and as apartheid, which was modeled on Jim Crow, treated people of color(whether designated "Black" "Mixed", or "Asian")under white minority rule in South Africa, and made the majority community in Israel no safer at all in doing so.

BTW, you talked about Corbyn looking "weak".  Wouldn't a major part of the perception that he was weak the fact that the majority of the PLP spent the entire Corbyn era disrespecting and sabotaging the guy, while facing no consequences for doing so.  In a way, I agree that he looked weak on that front-because, probably out of fear of another SDP-style mass defection from the antisocialist, antiworker wing of the party, Corbyn never felt he could seriously discipline any MP that undermined him.  Would you agree that he should have been able to impose at least some discipline on-should have at least been able to withdraw the whip from Margaret Hodge-who was verbally abusive to Corbyn in a way no , party leader could ever possibly deserve from one of his own party's MPs- or Ian Austin-who should have been made to move away from the Labour benches after he defected to sit as a right-wing independent, or allow the deselection of Tom Watson, the most treacherous and damaging deputy leader in Labour history, without having to worry that their co-conspirators would repeat inexcusable deeds of the Eighties Gang of Four?

Given the way parliamentary decorum normally works, you'd have to admit he'd have been justified in disciplining any of those people, and that he'd have been justified in demanding that the anti-Labour Labour MPs who defected to the hilariously ineffective Change UK party stand down from the seats they'd only won standing as Labour candidates and fight by-elections for those seats under their new banner, or under the LibDem banner when most of them abandoned the CUK and switched to the next flag of convenience.

In hindsight, would you not agree that, whatever feelings they had about Corbyn, the PLP should have felt some obligation to the Labour Party itself to stop trying to undermine the guy once 2019 came in and it was clear that there could be an election at any time?
 

And also in hindsight, wouldn't you pretty much have to acknowledge that,  given the particular damage the push to get Corbyn to accept a second referendum did to Labour in the heartlands, that, for the greater good of the party, the Remainers should have accepted that, at least after the 2017 election, the EU issue was settled and that what mattered was building the best possible future outside of the EU?   

BTW, if you wonder why I keep making posts like this, it's not out of a wish that Corbyn would stay on-he won't, and an RLB victory in the leadership contest would not be anything remotely similar to Corbyn staying on-it's out of loyalty to the truth and out of the natural revulsion any decent person feels towards the relentless sliming and maligning of a person who, while certainly flawed and fallible, simply doesn't deserve the hate campaign he has been subjected to.

Corbyn led the party.  He won't lead the party anymore.

He was far from the worst Labour leader ever-that designation would obviously be shared by Ramsay MacDonald and James Callaghan, both of whom destroyed the governments they led by imposing austerity budgets that were a criminal betrayal of everything Labour ever stood for-and as a lifetime antiracist/antibigotry campaigner, he never did anything at all to desrve the accusations-accusations the BBC and the supposedly "progressive" Guardian STILL won't stop repeating-that he was responsible for an increase in bigotry within his party.

I'm going to keep responding to and discrediting your pointless demonization of the man as long as you won't stop spewing it.  

The war is over, nicky.

You got what you wanted.

Corbyn is gone.

There's no reason to post about RLB as if she is a puppet.  She isn't.

She is entirely her own person.

She is not the Vietnamese village the Labour Party needs to destroy to save itself. 

 

 

Aristotleded24

nicky wrote:
Oh boy Aristotle, maybe I have been high or something but I don’t remember comparing Corbyn to the fires in Australia or the ticking of the Doomsday clock. Perhaps you are right that he has exacerbated both of these calamities by enabling the election of a hard right Conservative government so there may well be a connection.

You are right that Corbyn as a person is a diminished threat to the Labour Party but Corbynism itself remains an existential threat.

Thankfully, the Corbynite candidate seems to be fading and may possibly run third:

https://www7.politicalbetting.com/index.php/archives/2020/01/24/with-49-clps-now-having-decided-jus-under-two-thirds-are-going-to-starmer/

You couldn't tell that I was mocking  your obsession with stopping what you call as "Corbynism" as if "Corbynism" is the worst thing the world has ever had to deal with? I mentioned these issues because you have never honestly engaged anyone, you have blasted Corbyn and "Corbynism" without discussing what you feel is an appropriate public policy vision, and the fact that you devote all your time to "Corbynism" speaks volumes. That's why many of us have concluded that you are not here in good faith.

Ken Burch

nicky...if you're going to keep ranting about "Corbynism", could you at least explain what you MEAN by the term?  And what you spefically support as an alternative to it?

 

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Here's an article in Jacobin about the failure of Jess Phillips' leadership campaign.

Dawn Foster wrote:

Most centrists and those on the right have shown little to no interest in understanding what led to the popularity of Corbynism or why Jeremy Corbyn won two leadership elections. Instead, they denounce the phenomenon as a personality cult — as though millennials have always been irresistibly attracted to teetotal middle-aged men interested in jam-making and working their allotments. Momentum was disregarded as a hardened group of fixers, rather than a very benign but effective campaigning group, and Corbynites were dismissed not for their belief in policies and socialism, but for being obsessed with “Magic Grandpa” Corbyn.

In response, then, the centrists and Labour right tried to advance a personality cult of their own. If it worked for Corbyn, surely it would work for them? The section of the British commentariat that regularly tweets “If [X] were head of the Labour Party, we’d be twenty points ahead” fully backed their chosen candidate and were convinced of her ability to upend the race. But the first hustings was her ultimate undoing. What should have been an opportunity for Phillips’s bold personality to shine quickly revealed she had no policies of which to speak, and though her pitch was to unite the party as well as the country, she offered no proposals on how to do so. In response, she wrote an article that would be an instant career-ender for anyone on the Left, then missed several planned media slots and a second hustings before announcing she was dropping out. It remains unfathomable that after spending five years wrecking within the party, she simply had no ideas or policies and seemingly expected to win on the strength of backing from centrist newspaper columnists.

Ken Burch

Phillips was never going to win the leadership.  There was no possible case for choosing a leader whose only agenda was punishment and exclusion, whose election would have caused the departure of hundreds of thousands of left-wing socialists, with no one coming in from any other part of the political spectrum to replace them and no policies on the issues of the day-Phillips never actually offered ANY policies at all-that would possibly have been more popular or electable.

And the plain and simple fact is that Labour has nothing to gain from exiling or anthemizing anyone.  The electorate aren't demanding that anybody be driven out of the party or silenced.

What is really needed is a better strategy for communicating the policies-all of the policies the people who backed Corbyn support are popular in their own right-and the establishment of a culture of respect towards the leader

Had the PLP treated Corbyn with the same respect as it showed to Kinnock, Smith, Blair, or Brown, had it refused to participate in the bogus AS smear, had it not pushed relentlessly for Corbyn's resignation, even during election campaigns, Corbyn would not only NOT have become unpopular, it is likely, based on the results Corbyn achieved in 2017 even with the PLP sabotaging him all the way to polling day, that Labour would be in government at this moment.  I assume even nicky would concede that that outcome would be far better than what came of the PLP's refusal to ever give the hate and smear campaign a rest.  

None of his policies or actions as leader actually merited condemnation and disrespect from his own MPs

And there is simply no justification for ever, under any circumstances undermining a leader in the way Corbyn was undermined.

He is gone now, but if RLB were to win-and I acknowledge she is in difficulties-there will be no possible excuse to treat her as Corby was treated.

If Starmer wins, one of his first actions as leader should be to insist that the PLP apologize for giving aid and comfort to the Tories by refusing to accept that the 2016 leadership re-vote meant that the leadership issue was settled and that the war against the leader needed to end.

Whatever anyone thinks about Corbyn, there is nothing he could possibly have done as prime minister that justified apparent decision by the majority of sitting Labour MPs to give aid and comfort to the Tories by continuing to slander Corbyn during the 2017 and 2019 election campaigns-they knew that there was no way that what they were doing was going to lead to Corbyn standing down and they knew that there wasn't anybody they could possibly have imposed as his successor who could possibly have had the support and trust of the Labour rank-and-file, let alone the electorate at large.

Based on the way she campaigned for the leadership, Jess Phillips could easily have led Labour to a wipeout at the hands of Plaid Cymru in Wales, and the loss of 20 or 25 seats to the Greens.  She wouldn't have led the party to gains in any reason and, as a Remainer, she'd have done worse than Corbyn in the North-no Remainer ever offered a meaningful economic revival program for the heartlands and, as a centrist who believes in "market values", Phillips would not have offered one either.  

 

nicky

Ken, unfortunately I am extremely busy today and have little time to reply to your myriad of repeated arguments. You might look at some of my previous posts for comprehensive demolitions of your various points.

I will try to address your somewhat new denunciations of Jess Phillips and your assertion without any evidence whatsoever that she would have been an electoral disaster for Labour , even losing every seat in Wales to Plaid Cymru!!!!

Let me direct you to some objective evidence. She has stood three time in Birmingham Yardly and been elected each time by overwhelming majorities, including in 2015 when she defeated an incumbent MP.

In 2015 she increased Labour’s vote by 9% in Yardley, in 2017 by 15% and last year saw her vote decrease by 2%.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birmingham_Yardley_(UK_Parliament_constituency)

 In those elections Labour throughout the country saw its vote increase by 3% in 2015, 9% in 2015 and decrease by 8% last year.

so you will see that she has consistently run ahead of her party. Additionally she would have a wide appeal to the 80% of Briton’s aghast at the prospect of Corbyn becoming PM.

Perhaps you can develop your psephological analysis beyond cliched  Corbynite mythology.

Ken Burch

Given that her policies would have essentially been rehashed Blairism-remember, she offered no actual policies of her won in her failed leadership campaign and no meaningful alternative policy ideas during the Corbyn era, you can't extrapolate Jess' personal victories in her own constituency into anything on a national scale.  It's a common thing for individual MPs to win by increased margins no matter how their party does overall.

She failed as a leadership candidate because all she stood for was denuncing socialism, because she offered no policies that were in any meaningful way different than those of the Tories, no message of unity within the party, and no offer to work together in anything like a constructive way with the majority of the party whose socialist convictions Corbyn's era represented.

As to the ideas some who backed Phillips-no socialists ever did-in the leadership race-none of those ideas would have improved Labour's vote share.

A welfare policy emphasizing "personal responsibility" -a term which has never meant anything other than subjecting the poor to vicious judgmental sanctimony from bureaucrats and politicians-was not going to gain Labour more votes.

Nor would an immigration policy which equated "Britishness" with subservience to the myth that the UK exists to be a "white, Christian nation", as most of those who backed Phillips would prefer.

Nor would a notion of patriotism which sees military intervention in the Arab/Muslim world as something which has to go on forever or blames the Northern Irish "Troubles" solely on "republican terrorism"-as if violent resistance to British rule in the North was going on for no reason at all or as if the Catholic/Nationalist minority in the North would have been just fine with having no choices other than political and economic powerlessness and violent persecution by the pro-British minority exile or permanent exile to England, North America and the Antipodes as the only alternative to that, were it not for Sinn Fein causing trouble for the sake of causing trouble have gained any votes.

Nor would endorsing the delusion that the only way people can prove they aren't antisemitic is to keep public silence about-which is the same thing as giving unquestioning support for-everything the Israeli government does to Palestinians.

Ken Burch

The most telling comment on Phillips' failed leadership campaign was that hardly any of her fellow MPs were willing to nominate her.  If she couldn't get the support of her co-conspirators in the war against Corbyn and socialis, whose support COULD she win?

The message is clear:

The Labour rank and file, AND the PLP, who are united in little else, ARE united in the realization that Labour needs a POSITIVE approach to the future-it needs creativity and innovation, not denunciations and purges.

Ken Burch

Latest report on CLP nominations:

Leader: 

Starmer:  39                                                                                                                                                                                                Long-Bailey: 16                                                                                                                                                                                              Nandy: 9                                                                                                                                                                                               Thornberry 3:

Deputy Leader:                                                                                                                                                                                               

Rayner: 45                                                                                                                                                                                                       Butler: 8                                                                                                                                                                                                         Burgon: 6                                                                                                                                                                                               Allin-Khan 4                                                                                                                                                                                                    Murray 4

number of CLPs left to make nominations:  583

The CLP votes are simply a about nominating candidates to the leadership ballot.  They have no real connection to the overall support levels each candidate holds among the Labour selectorate.

with 16 CLP nominations at this stage, RLB obviously go well over the number she needs to be nominated in a relatively short period of time, and it's an open question as to how the Labour selectorate will vote when it comes time for them to actually choose a leader.

It's far from clear that there will be a place on the leadership ballot for either Thornberry or Nandy.

Thornberry may have destroyed her chances with the selectorate by with her embarassing "we should get on our knees and beg for forgiveness" screed about the AS smear-the people who will be voting on the leadership ballot are mainly going to be people who are disgusted by the false equation of legitimate critiques of the Israeli government's persecution of ordinary Palestinians with bigotry against the world's Jewish communities, and will not vote for somebody who supported the smearing of Corbyn or who continues to support the campaign to ban solidarity with Palestinians within the party.

There will also be great difficulties for Nandy, who is now trying to take Jess Phillips place as the candidate of the punitive vindictive Labour far right with her appeals to "social conservatism"-btw, most of the social liberalism Labour is currently associated with was introduced by Harold Wilson, Michael Foot, Neil Kinnock and Tony; there was no greater "social liberalism" under Corbyn than under any of those past leaders-so it is weird for Nandy to be blaming Corbyn for whatever it is that she's condemning in using that term.  And it's hard to work out what Nandy wants Labour to do-does she want Labour to demonize single mothers?  Try and push LGBTQ people at least party back into the closet?  Make everyone who isn't of white Christian ancestry officially LESS welcome in the UK-and if that's what she wants, will her first act as prime minister be to deport herself?

 

Ken Burch

Here are two points RLB can use to devastating effect against Starmer if she has to:

1) "Keir-you voted for the non-binding and totally unofficial "no-confidence" motion against Jeremy Corbyn which forced the party to hold its second leadership ballot within a year-a process which may have helped cost Labour the 2017 snap election, an election in which the party, under Corbyn's leadership, fell just barely short of victory.  Why should anyone who played any role in undermining our outgoing leader, and therefore in damaging our chances of electoral victory, be elected to serve as our next leader?".

2 "Most political analysts believe that the main reason we experienced heavy seat losses in our party's traditional heartlands such as Wales and the North/North East/and Midlands of England, was that heavy pressure was applied to change our 2017 position on Brexit, in which we stated, simply "we respect the results of the referendum".  You were one of the people who placed the heavies pressure on Jeremy Corbyn to change this position-after which you helped keep up the pressure to push Labour to an all-out "Remain" position, a position, it now seems clear, would have cost us even more seats in the heartlands without giving the party any increased chances of gaining seats anywhere else.  It is true that you have now said that Labour needs to accept that the EU issue is settled, why do you think that, as a Londoner and a former Remainer you would lead this party to a better showing in the heartlands than I would as a Northerner and committed Leaver?  Also, given that a significant reason for Leave support in the Labour heartlands which voted Leave is that EU membership provided few if any economic benefits for those regions, regions which also suffered economic neglect from Tory and "New Labour" governments alike, what policies are you willing to propose to create widespread economic revival and to address the feeling many voters in the heartlands have that the political and economic leadership of this country, in addition to that of the EU, quite frankly don't seem to care whether they live or die?".

 

nicky

And he could answer to devastating effect:

1. Uhm no, the only reason the Conservatives won the last two elections was that the vast majority of voters did not want Corbyn to be PM. For the good of the Labour Party and the country we were justified in trying to replace him. It is a tragedy for our party and our country that we did not succeed.

2. Umh no, most political analysts believe no such thing. They believe that the overwhelming cause of our defeat was Corbyn and not our Brexit policy.

nicky

So far, 75 CLPs have nominated candidates to be leader of the Labour Party.

 

Keir Starmer: 44

Rebecca Long-Bailey: 18

Lisa Nandy: 10

Emily Thornberry: 3

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