Speaker by Various Artists

Read Post

Speaker: A Disorderly Brexit

378 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 9 10 11 12 13 16 Newer→ Last

  • Russell Brown, in reply to nzlemming,

    Let me amend that. I expect to see a different Corbyn. You may see what you will.

    I had no strong feelings either way about Corbyn, but what I'm seeing now is a man whose day-to-day job is leading the Parliamentary Labour Party. And 80% of those he is supposed to lead have formally declared no confidence in his leadership.

    Even Liz McInnes, who voted for him in the confidence vote has now resigned her shadow Cabinet post and called for him to step down.

    Your confidence that, having been overwhelmingly rejected by his MPs and had his shadow Cabinet wrecked to the extent that he's struggling to fill it with supporters, he will soon display hitherto unseen qualities and lead Labour to victory (or even run an effective Opposition) is admirable, but I don't share it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    Reminds me of David Lange in 1989. NZ Labour got most of a decade in the wilderness for those crazy five years, and a permanent hole in its left wing support base that's only been filled when it plays nicely with its support parties. Building a majority isn't an easy job.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    In 1983 UK Labour campaigned on a manifesto that was considerably to the left of current Corbyn. That was the famous "longest suicide note", which incidentally included a commitment to withdraw from Europe (as it then was, much smaller than the current version).

    In 1997 the same party won power, under Blair, with a platform about as different as it was possible to be - though it was more different still in years to come.

    But here's the thing. Many of those Labour MPs or candidates were the same people. They were unelectably left, and then they were treacherously right. What happened? Basically two things - Thatcher had shifted the ground, and those Labour MPs had been sitting on the opposition benches for another 14 years. Except the ones that had died - because it was a long, long time.

    Chris Mullin's (enjoyable) diaries illustrate this perfectly. He was the epitome of a Bennite "wrecker", the tabloid enfant terrible, the lefty that Labour's leadership loathed. Then he was a Minister in Blair's government. Still left, still a very decent and principled guy actually, but ... in power.

    I've no idea what will happen in the short term, whether Corbyn will stay, whether a successor will be any good. But let's imagine a time machine, so we can go back and tell 1983's Neil Kinnock and Tony Benn that their sons will be voting 'no confidence' in their leader. "Because he's too right wing?" "Er, no."

    As Alex Ferguson almost said: "Politics, eh? Bloody hell."

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1329 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Your confidence that, having been overwhelmingly rejected by his MPs and had his shadow Cabinet wrecked to the extent that he's struggling to fill it with supporters, he will soon display hitherto unseen qualities and lead Labour to victory (or even run an effective Opposition) is admirable, but I don't share it.

    While he has the allegiance of the membership, he's safe as leader. What the membership need to do is put pressure on their elected reps to get their shit together and actually do their job. It's the same problem the NZ Labour party faces - too busy dealing with internal squabbles and unburied hatchets to actually present a coherent ideology and message to give us something to vote for. Currently, I have little doubt that Corbyn won't win the next general election for Labour because the party is too fractured and fucked up to be something that the membership wants to vote for. That's actually not Corbyn's fault - it's the party's fault.

    You're right in that a leader can't lead unless the followers let him, but the followers need to get over the fact that the party as a whole selected a man they don't like and actually become an opposition. He can't do that by himself anymore than Hodgson could win against Iceland - it's the team that's got to do the job.

    The problem for Labour, both here and there, is that they keep courting the mythical centrist vote. They regard the electorate as a standard statistical distributed curve with a big bulge in the middle, but ignore the fact that the tribalisation of politics has meant that the extreme wings of the spectrum have grown and the general wings have become more entrenched. "My party, right or wrong". The big bulge doesn't exist anymore. And guess who's accentuated the tribalism of politics (in NZ at least)? People like Farrar and Slater. Do you think that's an accident? If so, I've got a bridge to sell you. I'll even throw in a flag.

    Tribalism and centrism plays into Tory hands because they never shift there (regardless of what they say) but they tend to pick up more votes as Labour moves the goalposts rightwards. The centre of the political spectrum are the swing voters (I'm one) who vote on issues rather than party lines, and there are never as many of us to start with that can determine every election, but our numbers swell as conditions get worse. Labour (here and there) are waiting for those numbers to get big enough to topple the government. They're counting on a protest vote that hasn't eventuated.

    And they're ignoring the fact that the electorate can see them being bloody idiots in the House and fighting with each other and potential allies) instead of the government. Labour's alliance with the Greens (here) gives me more hope than Labour alone has given me since the end of Clark's second term, and that's because the Greens give them credibility as a left wing party, something they haven't let themselves be since Helen fawned over Blair's Third Way. We didn't go as far as Blair's government did, but that may have been because Labour was still feeling the burn from Lange's government. But the right of the party still had a huge amount of influence over what you could laughingly call policy (more reaction than strategy, much of the time) and set the stage for the general arseholeness of Key's miserable bastards.

    Labour (here and there) needs to give the voters something to vote for rather than count on us voting against the government, and it needs to be something other than "more of the same, with different coloured ties on".

    Whew!

    ETA I'd like to note that I have never voted National in my life and cannot see myself doing so, but I definitely have not voted for Labour on occasions.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2932 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to nzlemming,

    While he has the allegiance of the membership, he’s safe as leader. What the membership need to do is put pressure on their elected reps to get their shit together and actually do their job.

    Although those representatives aren't elected by the party membership, but by millions of constituents.

    He can’t do that by himself anymore than Hodgson could win against Iceland – it’s the team that’s got to do the job.

    Yeah, but Roy Hodgson has resigned.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    (UK) Labour won in 1974 though. Not because they were particularly united (the Healey supporters were widely at odds with the Bennites) or because the mass of the UK population were particularly in love with them - they won because of a crisis.

    It was more of a material crisis than today (thus far) - the miners were on strike, the "coal dependent" electricity supply was cut off half the time and businesses were on a three day week. Labour won the election because they offered to fix this (by giving the miners the money).

    If UK Labour could manage to offer a fix for the EU situation (basically, concede acceptance of all EU rules without actual membership in return for market access) then, once businesses start closing in droves, they could win without much in the way of public love.

    (The challenge then would be to do what Wilson and Callaghan failed to do and capitalise on this with an Attlee-style program of radical and lasting change).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    There's no doubt that the parliamentary wing of the Labour Party dislike Corbyn taking the party back to the left. Keep in mind that the Chilcot Report into the Iraq war is about to be released on July 6th, following a near seven year gestation. Corbyn believes that Tony Blair should stand trial for war crimes -- a position which does not endear him to the remaining Blairites within Labour.

    I agree with NZLemming... the Labour party (both in the UK and here) needs to rediscover its roots and actually stand for something. Corbyn has inspired a surge in Labour Party membership, particularly amongst the young. Those people are looking for an inspirational leader, not a centrist fence-sitter or yet another closet neolib.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1435 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Although those representatives aren't elected by the party membership, but by millions of constituents.

    And it's the constituents who should be putting the most pressure on, but it's the membership who decide the selection process. The PLP has alienated itself from both.

    Yeah, but Roy Hodgson has resigned.

    Cute quip but missing the point.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2932 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Alfie,

    Corbyn believes that Tony Blair should stand trial for war crimes – a position which does not endear him to the remaining Blairites within Labour.

    I do want Corbyn to be there for that.

    But can we get past the idea that the only people who don't have faith in Corbyn any more are Blaire dead-enders? It's plainly not the case.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    If UK Labour could manage to offer a fix for the EU situation (basically, concede acceptance of all EU rules without actual membership in return for market access) then, once businesses start closing in droves, they could win without much in the way of public love.

    That does seem pretty much the best way through, yes. But who knows what they'll do?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to nzlemming,

    Cute quip but missing the point.

    You did kind of set up the joke!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    I would speculate that if the PLP can focus on Boris Johnson, they could actually win the next election- assuming he is PM he will be the person that a) left Europe b) broke all the promises about what would happen about leaving. He is going to be hated by the Leavers for not "really" leaving and the Remains for causing all the damage of leaving. Or he will back out of leaving, alienating the majority of the Tory supporter base, and still getting blamed for all the damage the process has caused.

    But I honestly doubt the PLP can focus on Boris. Look to the LibDems maybe coming back from the dead as people look for alternatives.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Russell Brown,

    But can we get past the idea that the only people who don't have faith in Corbyn any more are Blaire dead-enders? It's plainly not the case.

    There are a lot of Blair dead-enders, though, and a lot of people who've come into the Houses since Blairism started to rise. They can't imagine politics as any different than it's always been. Their desire is to be elected (never mind that they have little idea of what to do if they are) and they have senior members of the PLP (who are definitely Blairites) telling them that they can't get elected with Corbyn leading them. Of course, they're voting against him. For now.

    And yes, I see the joke.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2932 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to David Hood,

    But I honestly doubt the PLP can focus on Boris.

    That is the metaphor in the woodpile, yes.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2932 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    In a sensible political system, the rump PLP (made up of Blairites, Brownites, careerists and those who don't really care if the government bombs foreigners and throws people out of jobs so long as they use the correct language around their chosen identity group) would accept the loss of Labour, found their own party and contest the next election.

    (Alternatively Momentum would morph into a Podemos/Syriza type party and contest the election).

    That is broadly what would happen in NZ if a party's parliamentary and grassroots support became irretrievably alienated (in the case of the Greens, it would self correct as the list gets reset each election by the membership).

    However, the UK's voter-chosen FPP system means that parties are forever, so that option will be vigorously resisted.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    In a sensible political system, the rump PLP (made up of Blairites, Brownites, careerists and those who don’t really care if the government bombs foreigners and throws people out of jobs so long as they use the correct language around their chosen identity group) would accept the loss of Labour, found their own party and contest the next election.

    It's hard to see how it all hangs together at the moment, for sure. And surely no one wants a repeat of the Militant Tendency era.

    There's a precedent in the formation of the SDP in 1981, when Roy Jenkins, David Owen, Bill Rodgers and Shirley Williams left Labour after – and I had totally forgotten this! – the conference that committed Labour to withdrawal from the EEC .

    Such a party could establish a support base as a pro-Europe party in London, although that could complicate relations with the new mayor, who might well be on their team in spirit.

    (Alternatively Momentum would morph into a Podemos/Syriza type party and contest the election).

    Which you'd think would only happen if Corbyn doesn't remain leader. But maybe it makes more sense. I've been struck by Momentum's almost obsessive focus on de-selecting the errant, which seems to disregard the interests of ordinary people who've voted for their local MP for years and may not wish that MP to be dumped by people who have literally been Labour Party members for less than a year.

    It also seems ironic, given that Corbyn voted against the party whip 500 times without fear of being purged. He also backed Tony Benn's hopeless challenge against Neil Kinnock. (It's also worth noting that in facing that challenge Kinnock was also expected to secure the support of 50 MPs for his nomination – something that the Corbyn team won't do, in part because they would not be able to muster that level of support.)

    The prospect of dumping 80% of the party's elected MPs before the next election (which could yet be soon) was being cheerfully embraced by some of my friends on Twitter today. I'm not sure how that will work out. Or how a Momentum-party would actually go.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • John Palethorpe,

    Here's a collection of background thoughts and future thoughts on Corbyn

    https://shinbonestar.org/2016/06/29/the-long-war/

    Auckland • Since May 2015 • 83 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Russell Brown,

    FPP prevents any of it.

    Only three parties have ever been in government in the UK during the nearly 400 years since they stopped being an absolute monarchy: Tories/Conservatives, Whigs/Liberals and Labour. The Liberal => Labour transition occurred in the late 19th and early 20th century as working class man and women gradually gained the right to vote and thus led to the growth of the Labour party.

    The hurdle to be jumped for a new party to gain office 9or even opposition/influence) is huge, The SDPs best result was 23 MPs (on 25% of votes) and the LibDems was 54 MPs on 23% of the vote (due to a higher concentration of votes in winnable seats).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to John Palethorpe,

    Here's a collection of background thoughts and future thoughts on Corbyn

    https://shinbonestar.org/2016/06/29/the-long-war/

    Well said, John, and far more eloquently than I.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2932 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Alas in wondering land...
    Man, that Farage is a graceless oik (after watching his taunting tirade in the European Parliament in the last few days - the soccer hooligan party) and Cameron calling for Corbyn to stand down - when did we pass through the Looking Glass?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7943 posts Report Reply

  • Dennis Frank, in reply to John Palethorpe,

    Yes, that's an excellent summary and overview. I trust you will apply your considerable acuity to the political terrain of Aotearoa, where endeavours of the intellect are always conspicuous by their absence!

    That `third way' of the blairites was an exercise in fakery. They recycled the concept from the early green movement a quarter of a century prior, and then pretended neoliberalism could front differently wearing it like lipstick on a pig.

    I'm no leftist (nor rightist) so returning to the Greens 19 years after leaving them in disgust at the leftist takeover has tested my capacity for tolerance, but so far so good. Their own credibility problems are rooted in their lack of authentic representation of the broader green movement in this country. Best intro to that for a recent immigrant like yourself would be Christine Dann's history of green politics thesis (online pdf).

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 292 posts Report Reply

  • Dennis Frank,

    I see two scenarios looming - potential futures. The first takes the form of a government `in the national interest' that reconciles the tory divide by bringing UKIP back into the fold via collaboration between Boris Johnson & Nigel Farage. Watch for this media report:

    "Our political reporter has been advised by a tory insider that Boris is organising meetings on a secret project code-named XTC. He's making plans for Nigel."

    The second occurs when folks realise that the referendum, being non-binding, is merely indicative of the public will, and the small margin is a mandate for a creative solution. The longer the players contemplate the problem, the more attractive this escape trajectory will appear.

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 292 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    Angela Eagle is saying she is going to run for Leader, this is going to place the Chilcot Report in the campaign period. Which is probably healthy for Labour in the long run as it lets everyone express their opinion (assuming people accept the result of this campaign).

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Marc C,

    The discussion here is interesting, but most commenters seem to be continuing to be concerned about the "Brexit" and the consequences for the UK. Focus now seems to be on the British 'Labour' Party and who will be the new or possibly re-confirmed leader.

    It appears to me that the vote in the referendum has actually now caused more of political instability and upheaval within the UK. The EU seems to start to refocus and move on with re-consolidating itself, that is the leadership, and working of bringing in changes that allow the various member states and their people some more "democracy" and liberty in how to work as members within the Union.

    But after all, I have started to somehow accept the vote that occurred last week, that is the outcome, it was democratic, although misinformation was apparently part of the campaign on both sides.

    Stock exchanges are stabilising, so is the British Pound at a lower level, and people do of course get on with their lives, although some businesses, particularly banks and financial service industry players face some more significant adjustments.

    People get on with their lives.

    While the decision to leave the EU may not make sense to many of us, I fear that some here may over idealise the EU, as the realities we have are far from the ideal it was once meant to become, this community, or association of states in Europe, to work together. Let us not forget the major failures in handling the refugee crisis, that was just one of many major issues the EU has had to deal with, and in my view it dealt with it abysmally poorly. The Greek financial crisis was another big example of how fragile the EU and in particular the Eurozone within it are, and how they struggled to get a compromise that did not make either side happy, neither the Greeks and nor the governments and people in many other member countries.

    I think we can consider the idea of a federal and united Europe needs to be laid to rest. Also is the EU nowadays a trading block, one single market, where like everywhere else in the global economy, it is big business dominating matters of trade and terms of employment and what else comes with it, the ordinary citizen does indeed in so many cases feel let down and left out. Even the internal financial transactions to try and boost economically poor, neglected regions do not seem to result in sufficient support for the economic and social realities most face.

    I know people who struggle there, in many countries, whether being business people, farmers or whatever, and the gap between rich and poor is widening there as it is here in New Zealand, with many feeling disowned and not having a voice, and not being heard. So we must not be surprised at all about the fragmentation of the political landscape there, the recent Spanish elections show it perfectly, it is hard for governments there to form and to be stable, in many countries.

    Disaffected increasingly vote either left leaning or in more cases more nationalistic and right leaning parties, either in protest or because they actually believe that it is better to return to a situation where each nation looks better after itself by returning to more independence from the EU.

    The EU has major unresolved issues, the ideal it once represented is dead for many, and the UK will have to find internal solutions and peace, which is at the moment hard to see coming any time soon.

    The "Brexit" shows us, how much we are interlinked and inter-dependent globally, and when opting out, it can have major consequences, one way or another. It shows what risks New Zealand may face, standing on its own feet, but there may also be opportunities. But as we have it, most are so afraid now to question the status quo, we have lost a lot of freedom, as workers (unions have marginal power), as citizens (political options are so restrained or limited due to economic and financial networks and dependencies), as voters also, as stepping away from the status quo could bring immense political instability, as many would see it.

    I fear personal and societal freedom has never been more at risk than it is today, while we fool ourselves that we live in democracies and have actual choices. It makes for depressing reading, what happened over the last week.

    Maybe this is proof why so few actually take a firm stand against the TPPA and other trade agreements the government has in the past already signed, or decided to become part of. Business and the allied finance sector rules, governments collaborate with them more than serve their voters, and that is where the world is, and seems to be stuck, unless a revolution on a global scale may happen.

    Auckland • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report Reply

  • John Palethorpe, in reply to David Hood,

    Except, of course, Eagle voted in favour of the war - as did most of the PLP. And that's a real sore point with the membership.

    Ed Miliband didn't, because he wasn't an MP then. Neither did Corbyn.

    Auckland • Since May 2015 • 83 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 9 10 11 12 13 16 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.