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Ken Burch

nicky wrote:

Ken, remind me.

1. how many elections did Corbyn win?
2. How many elections did Blair win?

Not a valid comparison- Blair didn't have the corporate press, the BBC and 80% of his own MPs working all-out to destroy Labour's chances when he was leader.  And Blair and his core supporters weren't being subjected to relentless false accusations of a bigotry everyone of the accusers knew they were innocent of.  

NO one could have led Labour to victory under those conditions- and it was the Labour Right, a group that had no reason to place a higher priority on preventing the party from winning with Keir's predecessor as leader than they did on beating the Tories, and nobody has won an election on Blair's policies since 2005- the 2010 and 2015 GE's were run on continuity Blairite manifestos and each time Labour was held to 30%, a lower vote share than it took in 2019- and as I've repeatedly pointed out, the miserable showing of Change UK, which fought the '19 election on the continuity Blairite manifesto you want Labour to lower itself to, took 10,000 votes OVERALL, which proves, just as the disastrous May 6th local results, the humiliating by-election defeat in Hartlepool, and the just-barely scraped through- thanks to the hard work of left-wing Labour activists who campaigned hard for an unnecessarily right-wing Labour candidates and saved her from the defeat Keir almost consigned her to- that there is simply no broad public support for the idea that Labour should either go back to the outdated, useless irrelevant 1997 policies, or do what Jess Phillips clearly wants and go to the RIGHT of those policies- probably back to the obscenely right-wing and antiworker policies Ramsay MacDonald destroyed the party with in the early Thirties, when "Ramsay Mac" betrayed everything Labour stood for by responding to the Depression with cuts in already nearly-non existent benefits and the implementation of a demeaning, humiliating "means testing" process.

And I'd like you to answer me this for once...why would it be asking too much to expect Keir to be the leader he PLEDGED to be in the 2020 leadership contest- the leader who pledged NEVER to move the party to the right of the 2017 manifesto, and, in pledging to expand, not crush internal democracy, promised he would not do Kinnock-style purges as leader?  Why couldn't Keir just have been THAT leader- and why couldn't he START being that leader now?  Labour's poll ratings prove the voters didn't want the party to focus solely on attacking socialists-and yes, the people he's purged are just decent left-wing democratic socialists- next to none of them are "Trots" and quite frankly Trotskyism doesn't even exist in the UK anymore- while bowing and scraping to the Tories and making it sound like he'd change next to nothing if he did get elected?

So a return to the now non-existent "centre ground" is not an answer, and would justifiably be considered a betrayal to the half of all left-wing paid party members who voted to elect Keir leader.

If he wants to win, he needs to do the following:

1) End the purges- the party of democratic socialism should NEVER make it an expulsion-worthy offence to be a socialist;

2) Make it clear that, despite the way he's acted, Keir will NOT move the party back to the discredited and now-useless 1997 policies.

3) Apologise to young Labour activists for the way he has treated them- they are decent, hardworking, committed activists and idealists and Labour not only can't win if it drives them away, it can't survive into the next generation if they are kept as unwelcome as they are now.

4) End the AS Frenzy- The tiny number of people who actually were antisemites have been gone since before 2020 and nobody ever deserved to be accused of AS simply for being non-Zionist or simply critical of what the Israeli government does to Palestinians.  Replace the IHRA- a document its own author has repeatedly stated he never meant for use as a legal document or in disciplinary proceedings-  with the definition of AS in the Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism:

"Antisemitism is discrimination, prejudice, hostility or violence against Jews as Jews (or Jewish institutions as Jewish)".  

This covers any and all instances of ACTUAL antisemitism and excludes those things that should never have been called AS- there was never any reason, for example, that it should ever have been considered AS simply for a group of left activists to get into an argument with an MP who simply happens to BE Jewish, especially when the argument is on a subject that has nothing at all to do with the Jewish identity of that MP, such as that MPs treatment of a leader those activists support OR that MPs views on the I/P conflict.

It's time for Keir to admit that any issue regarding AS within Labour has been resolved and put to rest, and to make it ABSOLUTELY clear that comment on the I/P issue is essentially never AS.  He also needs to stop acting as if AS is somehow the fastest-growing and most-prevalent form of bigotry in the UK- it';s actually the slowest-growing and least-held, and the Left has always opposed it just as much as he does.

4) Restore and expand internal party democracy- Labour has nothing to lose or fear from ordinary party members having a real say in what the party stands for, who it selects as candidates, or how the party is run.  

5) Related to that, end the apparent ban on the selection of left-wingers as Labour candidates- Labour can't be WORTH electing if every candidate it nominates against a sitting Tory or LibDem or SNP incumbent is a "moderate", for god's sakes- nobody thinks there's any difference anymore between "Labour moderates" and the candidates of any party to their right.  Even you, for example, can't seriously argue that it would matter who won in a parliamentary contest between Jess Phillips and her BFF Jacob Rees-Mogg.  Labour can't win without the votes of the young and the Left, and it has no right to even ask for those votes if it's not going to allow anyone who isn't a right-wing cynic like Jess to be a Labour candidate.

6) Tell the right wing of the PLP to stand down at the next election- that wing of the party did nothing but damage in the teens- it has ideas, no policies, no vision of a different, better life other than getting its turn at the trough, and most of those people only hold their seats because they were imposed- in constituencies where the Labour candidate automatically wins, no matter what- against the will of their constituency parties.  They are deadwood, they're past their sell-by date, they are hated by most of the Labour rank-and-file, and they need to just go.

7) When they go, let their CLPs select whichever candidates the CLPs themselves want.  The people who do the work of electing and re-electing Labour MPs are owed at least some say as to who the candidates they are to work for actually are- and it's quite clear, based on the May 6th and Hartlepool results, that Keir and his "advisors" have no better idea of what makes an effective Labour candidate than anybody else in the party.

8) Keir has finally started doing mild attacks on the Tories- he needs to go further, attack them on a clearly ideological, structural level- he needs to attack greed, he needs to attack inequality, he needs to attack austerity and he needs to come out clearly against any notion of any further UK military intervention in the Arab/Muslim world.

If Keir goes big, Labour COULD win.  If he keeps listening to reactionaries like Peter Mandelson- a man who hasn't been part of a winning election campaign in sixteen years- he can't.

 

Ken Burch

BTW, it's not a valid response to the assertion that nobody to Keir's predecessor's right could have done better in 2017 and 2019 would have done any better- something that is clearly proved by the vote share in 2017 compared to those in 2010 and 2015- by saying that none could have done any worse.  In 2010 and 2015, right-wing leaders DID do worse than Labour did in 2017 or even 2019- and in any case, would it have been an improvement in your view, nicky, to replicate the 2010/2015 showings whenever the next GE after those had been held, just so long as that showing occurred under a leader that wasn't socialist, that didn't bring young people to the polls, that didn't move the party's policies out of dreary, irrelevant right-wing stagnation?

That's basically the same thing as arguing that it's better for the NDP to have lost more than half its seats in 1974 under David Lewis, who was still an obsessive "anticommunist" in the Sixties and Seventies- and who held on, in that era, to the delusional notion that anybody to his left was a Commie agent or something- than to be led by James Laxer, or that it was better for the party to lose more than half its seats under Mulcair in 2015- when his pledge of a balanced budget made it clear to voters that he'd essentially govern just as Harper did if he did get elected- and nearly half of the remnant Mulcair hadn't lost under Singh, just to make sure Nikki Ashton or some other left-winger wasn't leader.

I bring up Lewis because it appears that he is your model of what a left-of-center party leader should be:  an arrogant authoritarian who hates the very idea of grassroots, bottom-up politics.  You need to remember how badly it ended under Lewis- not only the loss of more than half the seats in 1974-including a near-wipeout in B.C. because Lewis strongly implied that he'd rather work with the PCs in another minority parliament- because that future is very likely what you're wishing on Labour in endorsing the brutal nastiness of Starmer's treatment of the Left.

What is this about with you, nicky?  Do you simply start from the assumption that a left-of-center party must ALWAYS have the most right-wing leader possible?  That such a party must have essentially no internal democracy at all?  That such a party must reduce its policy offer, for the rest of eternity, to "it's enough that it's US running the status quo"?

Have you not noticed what that approach has done to the vote shares of every "social democratic" party on the European mainland?  Have you not noticed what that approach did to the Irish Labour Party in recent elections?  What it's done to the pitiful remnants of the Israeli Labor party?  How many years that approach has kept the Australian Labor Party out of power there?

I don't care what you think of me, nicky, but why ARE you defending the "stay the course" approach on all of this when that course is having the effect the defective GPS system in Michael Scott's rental car had here? :  Michael Drives Into A Lake - The Office US - YouTube

 

nicky

I too developed serious reservations about Tony Blair, especially over the invasion of Iraq, his mendacity about its justification and his lamentable record on law and order issues. By the time of his third election I was rooting for the LibDems.

That all being said it is quite absurd to claim, as Ken endlessly and mindlessly fulminates, that his government was no better than Thatcher’s.

Blair had a long series of accomplishments, not least the Good Friday Agreement which brought much peace to Ulster after this seemed impossible.

Here is a list of things he accomplished which you can readily find on the net.

1. Longest period of sustained low inflation since the 60s.

2. Low mortgage rates.

3. Introduced the National Minimum Wage and raised it to £5.52.

4. Over 14,000 more police in England and Wales.

5. Cut overall crime by 32 per cent.

6. Record levels of literacy and numeracy in schools.

7. Young people achieving some of the best ever results at 14, 16, and 18.

8. Funding for every pupil in England has doubled.

9. Employment is at its highest level ever.

10. Written off up to 100 per cent of debt owed by poorest countries.

11. 85,000 more nurses.

12. 32,000 more doctors.

13. Brought back matrons to hospital wards.

14. Devolved power to the Scottish Parliament.

15. Devolved power to the Welsh Assembly.

16. Dads now get paternity leave of 2 weeks for the first time.

17. NHS Direct offering free convenient patient advice.

18. Gift aid was worth £828 million to charities last year.

19. Restored city-wide government to London.

20. Record number of students in higher education.

21. Child benefit up 26 per cent since 1997.

22. Delivered 2,200 Sure Start Children’s Centres.

23. Introduced the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

24. £200 winter fuel payment to pensioners & up to £300 for over-80s.

25. On course to exceed our Kyoto target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

26. Restored devolved government to Northern Ireland.

27. Over 36,000 more teachers in England and 274,000 more support staff and teaching assistants.

28. All full time workers now have a right to 24 days paid holiday.

29. A million pensioners lifted out of poverty.

30. 600,000 children lifted out of relative poverty.

31. Introduced child tax credit giving more money to parents.

32. Scrapped Section 28 and introduced Civil Partnerships.

33. Brought over 1 million social homes up to standard.

34. Inpatient waiting lists down by over half a million since 1997.

35. Banned fox hunting.

36. Cleanest rivers, beaches, drinking water and air since before the industrial revolution.

37. Free TV licences for over-75s.

38. Banned fur farming and the testing of cosmetics on animals.

39. Free breast cancer screening for all women aged between 50-70.

40. Free off peak local bus travel for over-60s.

41. New Deal – helped over 1.8 million people into work.

42. Over 3 million child trust funds have been started.

43. Free eye test for over 60s.

44. More than doubled the number of apprenticeships

45. Free entry to national museums and galleries.

46. Overseas aid budget more than doubled.

47. Heart disease deaths down by 150,000 and cancer deaths down by 50,000.

48. Cut long-term youth unemployment by 75 per cent.

49. Free nursery places for every three and four-year-olds.

50. Free fruit for most four to six-year-olds at school.

 

This may not entirely satisfy all the ideologues but it goes far beyond what a Conservative government would have done. The reforms benefited a wide majority of Britons and considerably improved the lot of many.

For all of his vaunted “purity”, Jeremy Corbyn’s “accomplishments” pale next to Blair’s. This is because he had none. He was never able to put a single one of his proposals into law, having done so much to make the Labour Party unelectable.

 

Ken Burch

I never said Blair had NO accomplishments.  He managed to do things Harold MacMillan could have done, I'll give him that.

My points on this are

1) That Labour never had to go as brutally far to the right as Blair took it- in particular, it was never necessary to reduce Clause IV to nothing, OR to essentially apologize for the party ever having fought to stop Thatcherism by making Matron his first guest at Number 10.  

2) That Labour not only doesn't have to go that far to the right either in policy or internal governance- most people in the UK aren't demanding that left activists have NO say in what the party stands for at all- as it did then, but that the 2010, 2015, the 2019 Change UK showing, and May 6th/Hartlepool by-election showings prove that going that far to the right, or even sounding like he is going close to that far to the right, is simply never going to be the path to victory again- it will forever not only lose Labour the votes of everyone now under 4o- there is essentially no such thing as a young "Labour moderate", at least not in the vindictive, mean-spirited reactionary Luke Akehurst/Jess Phillips way you seem to think of- and Labour cannot win if there is only a significant voter turnout among people 40 or older- I say that as a 60 year-old who knows the vast majority of people my age are reactionary and would never vote or any party other than the Tories or whichever party Farage is leading(in the UK), the Cons or the comically misnamed "People's Party" in Canada, or the GOP and Democratic politicians like Hillary and those to her right in the States.  

4) This is no longer about Corbyn as a person- while I insist that Labour does not need to vilify either him or his supporters- as we all know, Labour cannot win if Corbyn's supporters are driven away and it will never be possible for Labour to get their votes again if it moves back to Blairism- especially under a leader like Starmer who, unlike Blair himself, is completely devoid of personal popularity and charisma and will never gain either- and repeats its failed strategy of the May 6th/Hartlepool campaign of standing for nothing while simply DEMANDING the votes of everyone on the Left side of the spectrum.

Blair's strategy worked in one era, for a little less than one decade.  It has no applications now, in an entirely different era, an era in which, unlike the "End of History" Nineties there is a massive rebellion against capitalism and austerity going on around the globe.

There are also these fact, and you have yet to address it:  Keir stood as a "Unity" candidate- he literally PLEDGED no swing to the right and, in presenting himself as a supporter of increased internal party democracy, clearly implied that he would never do Kinnock-style purges.  These pledges won him the votes of 150,000 paid party members who HAD voted for Corbyn.

Does he not owe these 150,000 people ANYTHING?  Does he not, at a bare minimum, owe it to them to NOT move the party to the right on policy- especially since the Change UK showing in '19, the '10 and '15 GE results under continuity Blairism, and the disaster of the May locals and Hartlepool, combined with every poll taken in the last year prove Labour can never gain by betraying those 150,000 people and doing everything he promised never to do to the party?

Corbyn will never be leader again and wouldn't want to be.  Blair will never be leader again and wouldn't want to be.  What is needed is a leader who largely keeps the 2017/19 policies- AS KEIR PLEDGED- but is a more effective campaigner and is not being stabbed in the front by his MPs.  

Why doesn't Keir just do that, rather than spend most of his time driving socialists- it should never be a crime to be a socialist in the Labour Party, for god's sakes- out of the party either through unjustified suspensions and expulsions- we've seen JEWISH Labour Party members be accused of AS, for god's sakes- something a person who is Jewish is not capable of being guilty of- or by making these people- virtually NONE of whom are or ever have been "Trots"- a term which is totally outdated and inaccurate now- feel so hated and unwelcome that they leave in utter despair.

Why couldn't Keir be a unity leader, rather than a revenge leader?

Why is he STILl attacking leftists when a Labour leader should never attack anyone, never has any decent reason to attack anyone, other than the Tories?

And what use would Labour be as a party that renounced socialism when the polls prove the voters don't WANT Labour to be that party and when it couldn't do any good now as that party even if it did so, since it couldn't win as that party?

Check your pm's, btw, I provided a link to the Simon Heffer column I mentioned- a link which proves how brutally wrong the AS Frenzy was.

nicky

About the only thing you're right about Ken is i do think Jess Phillips is great. She had the courage to tell the truth about Corbynism.

more power to her

Ken Burch

nicky wrote:

About the only thing you're right about Ken is i do think Jess Phillips is great. She had the courage to tell the truth about Corbynism.

more power to her

Jess wants Labour to be centrist...i.e., to be indistiguishable from the Tories.  Also, her best friend is Jacob Rees-Mogg, and no one who hangs out with somebody like that is ever going to be capable of "speaking truth to power" as her book was comically mistitled.

Again, there was no such thing as Corbynism, there was simply support for socialism- that's ALL what got called "the Corbyn project" was ever about..opposing austerity, greed, and war.  If Labour isn't going to oppose austerity, greed, and war, it has no reason to exist- especially since there will never be any decent reason for Western forces ever to use military force against a non-Western country again.

What would be the point of electing Labour with Jess Phillips as leader when she'd essentially change nothing?  When she'd spend far more time attacking and marginalizing socialists than she ever would doing anything to reverse Thatcherism/Cameronism/Johnsonism?

And why insist on erasing everything Labour stood for between 2015 and 2019 when that can only mean making Labour into a second Conservative Party again?

The polls prove the voters in the UK don't WANT the political spectrum reduced to nothing but Tory vs. centrism- 

I'll ask again...why can't Keir just be the leader he PLEDGED to be?  The one who PLEDGED no swing to the right  and pledged no purges?

No good has come to Labour from any of Keir's betrayals of his pledges, and the people he has purged or caused to leave in despair did nothing to deserve the vendetta Keir waged against it.

 

Ken Burch

What "truth" did Jess ever tell, btw?  Corbyn's supporters were not antisemites- there was no increase in AS in those years and it's the least-prevalent prejudice both inside the party and in the UK- they weren't "Trots"- there is no such thing as Trotskyism in any significant sense in UK politics and, as the "People's Front of Judea" subplot in Monty Python's THE LIFE OF BRIAN proved, UK Trotskyists were never able to do any effective organizing on anything.  There were also no policies Labour had in the 2015-19 that were alien to Labour's traditions or core values, or ever imposed on the party against the will of the rank-and-file.

Labour has no future as a centrist party, and the polls prove it can't even gain votes as a centrist party.

Socialism is not the problem.  Corbyn is not the problem.

Moving to the right and bashing the left is not the answer to any of Labour's dilemmas.

NDPP

TMOATS: George Galloway, Ep 110 (and vid)

https://twitter.com/georgegalloway/status/1419355774917255177

Tokyo Olympics, Climate Change, Maxwell-Epstein Israel spy case, COVID-19, US/UK politics and more!

nicky

Ken you say Blair only did things McMillan would have done?
 

Really? That attitude reflects the disdain you Corbynistas have for measures that actually help individuals.

Unless your brand of "socialism" in all its impossible purity is imposed, all other reforms are irrelevant, however much they might actually help people.

That is why you so often say idiotic things like anyone to the right of Corbyn is a Thatcherite, or no one under 30 will ever vote Labour again if it has a leader to the right of Corbyn.

It also explains to a everyone not in a state of Trump like denial why Corbynism is electoral poison.

Ken Burch

nicky wrote:

Ken you say Blair only did things McMillan would have done?
 

Really? That attitude reflects the disdain you Corbynistas have for measures that actually help individuals.

Unless your brand of "socialism" in all its impossible purity is imposed, all other reforms are irrelevant, however much they might actually help people.

That is why you so often say idiotic things like anyone to the right of Corbyn is a Thatcherite, or no one under 30 will ever vote Labour again if it has a leader to the right of Corbyn.

It also explains to a everyone not in a state of Trump like denial why Corbynism is electoral poison.

The polls say the policies are actually popular.  Why assume the policies themselves are poison when the polls say they aren't?

Also, if the voters WANTED Labour to lower itself to Blairism again, how do you explain the fact that Labour got LOWER shares of the popular vote on continuity Blair manifestos in 2010 and 2015 than it did even in 2019, and that Change UK, which was the continuity Blair party in 2019, took 10,000 votes OVERALL?

Corbyn himself was made into electoral poison by the false accusations that he and his supporters were tolerant of AS made by the Labour right- before those lies were spread, he actually wasn't "reviled" personally- and the polls on the issues show the policies associated with his era aren't reviled.

Also, Starmer was only elected because he PLEDGED no swing to the right at all and because, in supporting the expansion of internal party democracy during the leadership campaign, he implicitly promised no Kinnock-style purges- the pitifully bad showing the quasi-Tory Jess Phillips made prove there is no widespread support within the party for going back to the outdated and now-useless 1997 policies, none of which would help anyone now and some of which- such as the agreement to shame and demonize single mothers just as much as the Tories and Murdoch do- did more harm than good and must never be repeated by any other Labour government or any other government led by any sort of decent human beings at all.

Starmer hasn't made Labour any more popular by spending the last year and a half driving the Left away will supporting most of what Boris did so far- this proves that he can NEVER make the party any more popular by continuing to pretend that everyone on the Left is a "trot"- in reality, essentially none of them are and none of what the Left supports is alien to Labour's traditional policies- and he can't get the votes of the young if he repudiates everything Labour stood for between 2015 and 2019 as he PLEDGED- that was his actual term- never to do.

It's time for Keir to admit he shouldn't be fighting anybody BUT the Right.  It's time to admit that electoral history after 2005 proves that Labour can never win again on Third Way policies.  And it's time to admit that support for Corbyn was about the issues, NOT about any damn personality cult, and that there was nothing unhealthy or illegitimate in fighting for Labour to adopt those policies.

And it's time to admit that the last forty years prove that capitalism and humane values can't co-exist- and that, since the polls show the voters don't want to try to make those things co-exist, it's not worth trying.

Blair did some good things, but he never had to renounce all vestiges of socialism and make virtually all socialists either unwelcome or powerless within the party to be in a position to do it.  

And in any case, the present situation and 1997 have nothing in common.  In that era, the vast majority in the UK thought capitalism had been proved to be the only way to run things- now, there is massive dissatisfaction with post-1979 austerity capitalism and almost no one there thinks that all that could be done is bits of tinkering around the edges- if that were what people thought, the LibDems or Change UK would have made massive gains instead of languishing in an electoral dead zone.

Ken Burch

Also, don't ever compare me to a Trump supporter again.  I'm not going around claiming that a candidate I supported who lost actually won the election and I'm not trying to get the last election results in the UK overturned.  All I'm saying, and all anyone who isn't a Thatcherite like you-Blairism is Thatcherism, as anyone in the UK would tell you, especially any of the workers Blair betrayed by keeping Thatcher's unjustified restrictions on the power of unions in place- is saying is that the polls prove that ditching socialism and returning to a now-nonexistent "center ground" can never bring anyone under 40 to the polls- centrist policies have nothing to offer to anyone who isn't already financially secure for life and cannot do anything end poverty, no use of Western military force can ever be anything to younger voters but a reactionary betrayal of any hope for a better world, no perpetuation of any austerity measures or any sanctions on people on benefits can ever be popular with anyone who isn't a middle-aged, misanthropic lover of power and privilege- the young want something different, and centrism can't OFFER them anything different.

There is also the fact that most of the young in the UK hold Keir personally responsible for the years he spent sabotaging Corbyn- who, whatever else you can say about him, is the ONLY figure in UK politics in decades who ever listened to the young, took their hopes and dreams seriously, and gave them a voice.  How can you think someone like Starmer, someone who, like you, preferred to see the Tories win than help them end the nightmare of Tory governance, could ever get the votes of the generation whose dreams he stomped on?  What can Keir possibly offer them if he takes the party back to Blairism as he PLEDGED never to do?

What good could any government pledged to useless things like market economics, balanced budgets and perpetual "humanitarian" interventions- in reality, interventions which have always been bloodsoaked and utterly pointless in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya and could only be bloodsoaked and reactionary if carried on into campaigns to bomb Syria and Iran, what could any party that was committed to all of that AND committed to Blair style unquestioning worship of the police do for anyone in this century who wasn't born privileged and comfortable?
 

And given that the polls and electoral results under Keir have shown no public support for a Labour government that goes in THAT direction, why KEEP going in that direction when we already know that direction is never going to make Labour any more popular at all?

Why can't Keir, instead of that, tell Mandelson and Evans and the rest of his "advisors" and henchmen that he's going to stop all that and, instead of that, be the leader he PLEDGED to be during the leadership campaign- a leader who'd work for "unity" not devote himself solely to retribution against those whose only crime was preventing the PLP from having its way for a few years?

Why not admit it's time to be positive, inclusive, and radical, and that Labour has no reason to exist if it refuses to be those things?

Not only would no one celebrate a "Labour" victory under the policies you want to drag that party back to, no one would NOTICE...since literally nothing would change.

nicky

Ken , you take the prize for the longest and most incomprehensible single sentence ever submitted to Babble:

 "All I'm saying, and all anyone who isn't a Thatcherite like you-Blairism is Thatcherism, as anyone in the UK would tell you, especially any of the workers Blair betrayed by keeping Thatcher's unjustified restrictions on the power of unions in place- is saying is that the polls prove that ditching socialism and returning to a now-nonexistent "center ground" can never bring anyone under 40 to the polls- centrist policies have nothing to offer to anyone who isn't already financially secure for life and cannot do anything end poverty, no use of Western military force can ever be anything to younger voters but a reactionary betrayal of any hope for a better world, no perpetuation of any austerity measures or any sanctions on people on benefits can ever be popular with anyone who isn't a middle-aged, misanthropic lover of power and privilege- the young want something different, and centrism can't OFFER them anything different."

If I understand you, which is a struggle, you are still clinging to the nonsense  that no young voter, and in fact no one under 40, will ever support Labour under Starmer unless he deifiesCorbynism.

You may have missed this but recent polling has Labour within a couple points of the Conservatives, cutting the deficit in 2019 by 10 %.

Survation ( the one poll that predicted Corbyn's temporary popularity in 2015) now has the gap at 39 to 37%

https://www.survation.com/23-july-uk-politics-poll/

Unfortunately the cross tabs do not break this down by age. Still if you are right all of the 37% supporting Labour must be voters over 40.

And no, I didn't call you a Trump supporter ( although you slur me as a Thatcherite). What I said was that the psephological nonsense you cut and paste at such lengths demonstrates a Trump like level of self-delusion. 
It is almost as big a problem as your run-on sentences.

Ken Burch

You keep trying to make this about either Corbyn as a person or me as a person.  It's about ideas and policies.

Even the Survation poll you cite- which was the sort of poll rating the party often HAD under Corbyn- is an embarassment, because we were all assured that, as soon as Corbyn was gone and his policies- all of which were popular- were repudiated, Labour would be "Twenty Points Ahaead".  That "Twenty Points Ahead" figure was a verbatim quote from Tony Blair.

It hasn't happened.  

A major reason it hasn't happened is that Keir has spent the first year and a half of his tenure as leader doing something no party leader should EVER do- attacking his party's core supporters and driving them away.

That doesn't work and it can't work.

No party can gain votes by anathemizing its own voters.

And no, I don't want Starmer to deify anyone or anything- just to be the leader he promised to be-the "unity" leader who promised never to move the party to the right- it's in his Ten Pledges- and to never launch Kinnock-style purges.

Given that his refusal to keep those pledges has done nothing but harm, why shouldn't I call on him to be the leader he promised to be?

Ken Burch

And as I'll remind you yet again, the 2010 and 2015 GE's, and the complete failure of Change UK, which stood on the policies you want to drag Labour back to in the 2019 Ge and took only 10,000 votes in the whole of the UK, plus the May 6th local and Scottish and Hartlepool by-election results and the near-defeat in what should have been a win with a sharply increased majority at the Batley & Old Spen by-election, demonstrate that the voters, whatever they may think of Corbyn, don't WANT the Third Way back.  If they did still want the Third Way, Labour would have won in at least one of those GE's, would have made major gains in Scotland instead of losing two MORE seats at Holyrood, would have at least held its ground at the locals and would have held Hartlepool.

It's not about me.  It's not about Corbyn. It's about the fact that the voters don't want Labour to make itself into a socialist-free zone and the fact that Labour cannot win by attacking the young, Muslims, the poor, the Irish, the Travellers, and left activists.

All Starmer ever needed to do was to be the leader he literally pledged to be- one who would never move the party to the right- there actually aren't any policies to the right of the 2017 manifesto that would be more popular than those policies, or even be of use- there's no way to improve the way water, electric and the rails are handled without taking them out of private, for-profit hands.

Starmer has had everything going for him- a PLP that supports him rather than stabbing him in the front, a press that cheers him on instead of relentlessly slandering him, a party bureaucracy that isn't sabotaging him.  He has no excuse for NOT having Labour in a solid lead.

It's time to admit that the Left isn't the problem and that the party can't win by renouncing socialism and going back to nothing more than tinkering around the edges.

And it's time to admit that the groups Keir has attacked are groups Labour cannot win WITHOUT.

Finally, there was never any such thing as Corbynism.  There was only socialism.  The things Labour stood for in the 2015-2019 era were simply traditional Labour values.  None of them were alien to the party.  None were actually even unpopular.

What was so terrible about opposing war and greed and austerity?  The UK doesn't need any of those things.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

So, here's more evidence that Starmer is not only a neoliberal drone, but also a hypocritical slimeball. If one wanted to destroy the Labour Party, it is hard to see how any leader could do more than dumbass Sir Keir.

NDPP

Sir Keir Starmer seeks cash as Labour Party struggles to pay staff

https://twitter.com/gletherby/status/1421383824471216128

"I was one of the tens of 1,ooos who as well as paying my monthly membership dues, would regularly donate to UK Labour. So many of us have been expelled or driven away. Almost impossible to believe a thriving energetic party full of hope has fallen so low."

 

'A party of the working class, led by the middle class, in the interest of the ruling class.'

josh

Starmer urges Labour to embrace Blair’s legacy as he vows to win the next election

The leader of the opposition tells the FT he is ‘acutely aware’ he has to rebuild the party’s relationship with business

   Starmer urges Labour to embrace Blair’s legacy as he vows to win the next election (ft.com)

Ken Burch

josh wrote:

Starmer urges Labour to embrace Blair’s legacy as he vows to win the next election

The leader of the opposition tells the FT he is ‘acutely aware’ he has to rebuild the party’s relationship with business

   Starmer urges Labour to embrace Blair’s legacy as he vows to win the next election (ft.com)

in other words, to embrace THIS:

 

Ken Burch

And THIS 

Ken Burch

And THIS

Ken Burch

Starmer also wants Labour to reduce its policy commitments to nothing but reallocating existing funds-i.e., to agree to not spend enough to do anything that matter.  AND to go back to Harriet Harman's toxic idea that Labour should be a party of "the middle class, not the (undeserving) poor"- in other words, to take the side of the poorbashers against the poor, as Tom Mulcair did when he pledged a balanced budget.

Ken Burch

With that speech, Starmer made it clear- even though the Labour rank-and-file ONLY elected him because he pledged no swing to the right-that's the only valid interpretation anyone could possibly make of his statement that he was broadly committed to the 2017 manifesto- Starmer is going to lower the party to the discredited, outdated, and utterly useless 1997 policies that the May 6th results- as well as the totally failure of Change UK in the 2019 GE to get any significant number of votes at all- prove the electorate doesn't want Labour to reduce itself to.

OK, Blair did some good things twenty years ago-but the 2010, 2015 and May 6th results prove that the voters don't think those policies would have anything to offer now.

 

josh

If the Labour left sits still for this garbage, they'll deserve being relegated to irrelevancy.  They need to seriously contemplate bolting and joining forces with the Greens.

nicky

It would be a good thing for Labour if the Corbynite fringe bolts. It is the single greatest electoral albatross Labour has.

 

 

josh

Fringe?  If it were a fringe, he never would have won the leadership.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

nicky wrote:

It would be a good thing for Labour if the Corbynite fringe bolts. It is the single greatest electoral albatross Labour has.

If the NDP were solely composed of liberals like nicky, it truly would be the No Difference Party, just as he wishes the UK Labour Party to be. What a phony.

Ken Burch

nicky wrote:

It would be a good thing for Labour if the Corbynite fringe bolts. It is the single greatest electoral albatross Labour has.

 

 


 

That "fringe" is the majority of the paid membership- half of the votes Starmer got in the leadership race were from Corbyn supporters.

Labour can never win another election if all those people goes, and it's time to admit that Labour needs them.

This isn't about Corbyn as a person at all, it's whether Labour can win or not.

Without these people, the party permanently goes back to the 30% it took in 2010 and 2015.  There is no growth potential for Labour as a party of fiscal conservatism-i.e., perpetual austerity- acceptance of capitalism as the permanent way of things, and perpetual war- especially perpetual war in the Arab/Muslim world.

The 2010, 2015 and May results prove that THAT kind of a party- a party with no ideals, no dream of a different better world, no fundamental disagreement with the reactionary, imperialist post-1945 "Western" foreign policy consensus- has no chance of ever being popular again.

Why even pretend otherwise?

nicky

No Ken. Wrong once again. Half the votes Starmer got were FORMER Corbyn supporters who bitterly regretted the mess he made for Labour.

I would have thought you would have agreed with me that The Corbynites should split from Labour and form their own party. Perhaps the Eco- Socialist Workers Revolutionary People's Front for Judaea Vegetarian Silly Party. (ESWRPFJVSP). Nice ring I am sure you agree.
After all Labour is becoming too sensible for them.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Ken Burch wrote:

Why even pretend otherwise?

Because nicky is a bad faith actor, who cares nothing for the truth, only the continuation of his own comfortable life as an evangelist for the mushy middle.

Edited to add: as the post above this one lavishly illustrates.

nicky

What do you know about my life that you can proclaim with such condescension that I am confortable, Michael?

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

You are a Toronto lawyer, a fact which you posted during the leadership campaign which chose Mulcair. You live in Toronto Centre, a pretty expensive place, no doubt in a residence befitting your station as a defender of the status quo and the current ruling class.

nicky

So all lawyers are "comfortable", right Michael?

that must be why you hate Starmer who is  a very prominent and successful lawyer . It is much better of course to have leader who achieved noghing of note in his life before politics - like Justin or Corbyn.

incidentally, if you know so much about me why do tou keep calling me "he"?

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

You aren't Jane Pepino, are you? Nah, I remember now that she was a Conservative.

Ken Burch

I'll ask you this again, nicky:  why can't Starmer just be the leader he PLEDGED to be?  Why is that asking too much?

And why do you persist in the canard that Corbyn's election as leader was some sort of Trotskyist plot against the party, when you know full well the tiny number of actual surviving UK Trots could never pull something like that off?

The 2015 leadership contest result was a valid expression of rank-and-file Labour feeling- It was paid up Labour members themselves who decided that the party needed to distance itself from the Third Way, because they knew that the last two general election results proved Blairism-Thatcherism to be exhausted as an electoral force.  Corbyn took half the votes of paid party members, of the people who'd always been Labour, because THEY saw that something needed to change.  The 2017 results-the ones you keep treating as though they never happened- proved that Labour could gain votes by being a party of radical change, just as the 2010 and 2015 results proved they could never win again as a party of bland incremental centrism.

Rather than accepting those realities, the PLP- who COULD have chosen to work with the Left and create a Labour victory- which wouldn't have had to mean Corbyn staying on as leader, just an acceptance of the policies associated with him were the policies Labour needed and that Corbyn's supporters- virtually none of whom were or ever had been "Trots"- had a legitimate place in the party.

Instead, the PLP and the Likudniks at the BoD and JLM launched the completely unwarranted AS Frenzy, smearing Corbyn and his supporters with accusations of a form of bigotry nobody had ever accused any of them of before he was elected leader in a landslide.

Those groups themselves created a previously non-existent climate of fear in the UK Jewish community, by spreading outlandish lies:  The Jewish Chronicle claimed that, if Corbyn were elected, he'd launch an official campaign to drive Jews out of the UK- I assume you'd admit he and his supporters did nothing to deserve that.  Simon Heffer, a columnist in the Times, accused Corbyn and his supporters of wanting to "reopen Auschwitz".  Any public figure who defended or supported Corbyn was slandered as "self-loathing" or "the wrong kind of Jew", or even a "kapo".

Jewish Voice for Labour, which defended Corbyn, was actually accused of NOT being a Jewish organization at all- something nobody, especially any gentile, had any right to accuse that organization of lying about.

In some cases Jewish party members who supported or defended Corbyn and his policies were themselves accused of antisemitism- a prejudice no one who is Jewish can be guilty of, obviously.

After all that, only 0.06% of Labour members were ever accused of AS in disciplinary proceedings- Corbyn was tbe one who got all ACTUAL antisemites out- which proved that the claim that the party was institutionally antisemitic or that Corbyn didn't care about AS were lies.  

The only thing even the EHRC found him guilty of was the nebulous charge of "not doing enough" to fight AS- what does that even mean?

You like to claim I think Corbyn was flawless.  Not true.  I don't think that at all.  He did have flaws

His major flaw was that he wasn't tempermentally capable of fighting back against the slurs and the lies his own MPs relentlessly launched at him.  He SHOULD have fought back.  He SHOULD have sacked all the right-wing party bureaucrats who spent his tenure sabotaging the party- probably costing it victory in 2017.  He SHOULD have brought in Open Selection for all sitting Labour MPs and restored full internal party democracy, making Labour once again a party that is run from below, as Keir Hardie meant it to be, not by cynical antiworker/poorbashing careerists in tailored Italian suits.  He should have stood his ground on being willing to accept those parts of the IHRA that addressed ACTUAL AS, not those that equated any and all criticism of the Israeli government with AS, since actual AS is attacks on or bigotry against Jews as Jews, not legitimate comments about what a government does.

He should have forcefully repudiated the claims that he supported Hamas and the IRA- it goes without saying that he supported neither, but simply worked to get both groups into negotiations to end their respective conflicts.   Since there was no way to end The Troubles in N.I. without getting voluntary buy-in from SF, and since there is no way to end the I/P conflict without getting voluntary buy-in from Hamas, what he did was justified.  There is no progressive, humane way to address either conflict by robotically joining in the establishment chorus that those organizations are or were the sole cause of the conflict, he HAD to take the stands he took if he was to do anything that would even come close to getting peace in those places.  What else could he have done?

And now, it's not about Corbyn as a person at all- it's whether the party is to be electable, and the polls still show that all Starmer has managed to do is get the party back to slightly below where it was in the polls before the AS Frenzy was artificially set off.  

Labour can't win without the young and without socialist activists.   The 2010 and 2015 results prove there simply aren't enough votes out there for Labour to win as the party YOU seem to want it to be- a bitter, cynical, left-hating, youth-hating, poorbashing "we don't like peace campaigners 'round here" kind of party.  So why put Labour through certain defeat at the next election by reducing it to being that kind of party.

Blair didn't win because he told the Left to go to hell- he won because he had personal charisma-something Starmer is incapable of ever displaying- because he was a great speaker- again, something Starmer can never be- and because he actually managed to communicate a genuine progressive vision of the future- sending British troops to the unwinnable forever wars in Iraq and Afghanistan proves he never actually had a progressive vision at all.

Starmer has no charm, no charisma, no vision, offers no hope.  

Why would ANYONE vote for any party with a leader like that?

And why would you still treat the idealistic, hopeful positive young activists who were drawn to the party in 2015 as the enemy? 

Shouldn't Labour always WANT to be increasing in membership size? 

Shouldn't it WANT to give people hope?

Is it even possible to offer hope by once again becoming a centrist war party, once again reducing itself to being the Lloyd George Liberals of 1916?

It's not as if it can win while losing members and sending no other message but the disturbing delusion that socialists are the enemy of what was created and always meant to be the socialist party.

nicky

Interesting guess Michael but alas you are wrong

if i were Jane Pepino I would truly be "comfortable."

nicky

Interesting guess Michael but alas you are wrong

if i were Jane Pepino I would truly be "comfortable."

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Well, Jane and I both graduated from Osgoode Hall in 1970. We were never close friends, but we did team up to win the Ontario moot court championship that year. Her middle name is Nicholas (not sure about the spelling) and her friends often called her Nicky.

Ken Burch

BTW, nicky, non-political question here:  are you a woman?  I'd always assumed you were male, for some reason.

nicky

Ken, it is sexist of you to even ask.

What difference can it possibly make to you.

Ken Burch

nicky wrote:

Ken, it is sexist of you to even ask.

What difference can it possibly make to you.

Out of simple human respect, I'd prefer not to misgender you.  I live in a town where getting pronouns right is a big deal.

nicky

Call me anything you like (except a Corbynite!)

kropotkin1951

Ken Burch wrote:

nicky wrote:

Ken, it is sexist of you to even ask.

What difference can it possibly make to you.

Out of simple human respect, I'd prefer not to misgender you.  I live in a town where getting pronouns right is a big deal.

If you do life in a town like Vancouver then indeed most left wing organizations have many people who are very pro-active in ensuring respectful pro-noun usage. In this era one must never, ever presume what sex or gender people are even when they are standing in front of you and you think you have it nailed. My understanding is that the polite thing to do is ask someone what pronoun they prefer you use when addressing them. Asking someone's gender is extremely passe. On this board I don't mind if people use Prince as my pronoun. 

nicky

And I thought you were the other prince.

just shows how misleading our assumptions can be.

Ken Burch

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

nicky wrote:

Ken, it is sexist of you to even ask.

What difference can it possibly make to you.

Out of simple human respect, I'd prefer not to misgender you.  I live in a town where getting pronouns right is a big deal.

If you do life in a town like Vancouver then indeed most left wing organizations have many people who are very pro-active in ensuring respectful pro-noun usage. In this era one must never, ever presume what sex or gender people are even when they are standing in front of you and you think you have it nailed. My understanding is that the polite thing to do is ask someone what pronoun they prefer you use when addressing them. Asking someone's gender is extremely passe. On this board I don't mind if people use Prince as my pronoun. 

Point taken.  I should have asked for your pronouns.  Apologies for that.

NDPP

Poor Ken: Corbyn ally, director Ken Loach expelled from Labour Party in Starmer 'Purge'

https://sptnkne.ws/Ha2c

"The 85-year old director said he had been expelled for failing to 'disown' other targets of Sir Keir Starmer's 'witch-hunt' against left-wingers and that the Labour chief would never lead a 'party of the people.'

josh

A day after the left made huge gains in internal party elections, Labour have expelled life-long socialist Ken Loach.

Ken Burch

josh wrote:

A day after the left made huge gains in internal party elections, Labour have expelled life-long socialist Ken Loach.

He's been expelled for OPPOSING expulsions: specifically for refusing to renounce the group "Labour Against The Witch Hunt", an organization guilty of nothing more than opposing mass expulsions of party members over spurious accusations of AS- in virtually all cases, since actual AS has never existed to any significant degree within the party, these were accusations based solely on people expressing anti-Zionist opinions, even though anti-Zionism and actual AS have nothing in common, and in many cases they were expulsions based on the obscene injustice of JEWISH party members being accused of antisemitism just for being anti-Zionist, even though it's not actually possible for someone who's Jewish to be an antisemite at all.

That is ALL Ken Loach is guilty of- and it's party of Keir's pointless fight to make Labour totally nonsocialist, and therefore reduce Labour to having no reason whatsoever to exist, since no policies to the right of socialism could ever even be progressive or make any meaningful difference in the lives of those who need help.

Ken Burch

The unjustly expelled Ken Loach, Britain's greatest socialist filmmaker and possibly its greatest living filmmaker of any kind. aptly describes Starmer Ken Loach: Keir Starmer Is Mr Bean Trying to Act Like Stalin (jacobinmag.com)

Ken Burch

The unjustly expelled Ken Loach, Britain's greatest socialist filmmaker and possibly its greatest living filmmaker of any kind. aptly describes Starmer Ken Loach: Keir Starmer Is Mr Bean Trying to Act Like Stalin (jacobinmag.com)

NDPP

'I'm proud I nominated Joe Biden for the Nobel Peace Prize'

https://twitter.com/YvetteHenson/status/1429381339778883587

"Has UK Labour become a parody?"

(Starmered. Like the NDP's similarly embarrassing nomination of Al Qaeda's 'White Helmets' for a peace prize several years back.)

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