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Speaker: Britain: the crisis isn't Brexit, it's Labour

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  • 81stcolumn,

    But when all commentary plays the man not the ball Labour has nowhere to go.

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to 81stcolumn,

    But when all commentary plays the man not the ball Labour has nowhere to go.

    He's (a) the party leader and, (b) constantly championed on a personal level by his fans. I don't see how you can talk about it without talking about his personal performance.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I think a broad TL;DR on that is that Corbyn isn't a centre right politician, and thus the right don't accept him as a safe pair of hands for a Labour-labelled interregnum between Tory governments.

    The problem with Corbyn is that (I guess) he sees the EU as un-reformable and favours a dislocation with it. Either that, or he aligns to the (self-contradicting) fallacy that a 52/48 vote for EU withdrawal is immutable and cannot be opposed (without explaining why a 67/33 vote for EU membership in 1975 did not similarly settle the issue in perpetuity). Apart from anything else, such a view distances him from most of his natural constituency.

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

  • Barry -,

    I make no comment on Corbyn's competence or his suitability to be the leader of the left. However, a portion of the blame still has to rest with the parliamentary wing of the party that have not supported him.

    Labour has been a broad church for a long time, but since Blair it has seemed to the lefter membership that they have continually been ignored in favour of "electability".

    The problem is a left Labour party is seen as unelectable, but without the work of the rank and file membership (who want a left party) there is no-one to get MPs elected.

    I guess the membership got sick of being used and voted for someone who espoused their values.

    Labour needs to make up its mind what it stands for and the others need to leave. If that means that neither wing is relevant then at least it is realistic.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2015 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    Perhaps I am having a genuinely dense day. Two thirds of this article talks about how bad things will be or how bad Corbyn is. It does not discuss what could have been done, what might be done or what may be done. Indeed I would argue that the antepenultimate paragraph here reflects everything that is wrong with the large portion of the analysis I have read. I get that the man is toxic and the arguments around him are similarly so.

    The most important paragraph is here:

    Towards the end of her doomed Labour leadership campaign, Yvette Cooper made an impassioned speech in defence of Labour in government, and its internationalist values. Whilst it was far too late to affect the result, the failure of the Labour Party to address the questions she raised are likely to shape the upcoming election .

    The speech was indeed far too late as was the mobilsation of a more inclusive policy platform.

    But you see some of us who have been around a lot longer than this mess have grown tired of a patronising rhetoric that amounts to;

    "Fuck off and join the SWP"

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Barry -,

    I guess the membership got sick of being used and voted for someone who espoused their values.

    I dunno: I know of some longtime UK Labour members who are utterly distraught at what's happened.

    There's also the fact of 26,000 members bailing since mid-last year, 7000 in the month after Corbyn's Brexit whip alone.

    And this is after Momentum altered its constitution in January to force its members to join Labour.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to 81stcolumn,

    “Fuck off and join the SWP”

    To be fair, that's where quite a few of the new members came from in the first place.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • kiwiwolf,

    Nice piece of Tory Party propaganda Andrew, a long way from the truth that I hear from the UK. Just read one article that reports Tories lead dropped 8% in a week.

    Whangaparaoa • Since Sep 2014 • 30 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to kiwiwolf,

    Nice piece of Tory Party propaganda Andrew, a long way from the truth that I hear from the UK. Just read one article that reports Tories lead dropped 8% in a week.

    They'll have been cheered by that. But other polls are considerably less happy. And they all have Corbyn's approval rating well short of his party's support. His approval is the lowest of any of the four main party leaders.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    To be fair, that's where quite a few of the new members came from in the first place.

    I dunno: I know of some longtime UK Labour members who are utterly distraught at what's happened.

    Agreed on both counts;

    The SWP now inhabit a vacuum left behind by parliamentary Labour, this wasn't inevitable.

    My argument is that attacking Corbyn does not re-establish a franchise with the people who have left.

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • kiwiwolf, in reply to Russell Brown,

    True, but most are conducted and published by right wing publications that reflect what they want to be known. I have seen polls where his approval rating is way ahead of May. As with all elections It depends on what and who you read and what you choose to believe.
    The thing that stands out most from all this is how far right the majority of Labour politicians have moved and that they no longer represent what the party is about.

    Whangaparaoa • Since Sep 2014 • 30 posts Report Reply

  • Zach Bagnall,

    Interested to see if the Lib Dems rebound this time around.

    If there's a chance my old electorate is in play, I'll be checking out https://tactical2017.com/ for ideas.

    Colorado • Since Nov 2006 • 120 posts Report Reply

  • kiwiwolf, in reply to Barry -,

    Labour needs to make up its mind what it stands for and the others need to leave. If that means that neither wing is relevant then at least it is realistic.

    Barry the majority of the "Party" knows what it stands for, just the centre right politicians who have been riding on its coat tails for so long that it needs to be rid off and yes it will unfortunately become irrelevant.

    Whangaparaoa • Since Sep 2014 • 30 posts Report Reply

  • kiwiwolf, in reply to Zach Bagnall,

    Tories in disguise.

    Whangaparaoa • Since Sep 2014 • 30 posts Report Reply

  • Zach Bagnall, in reply to kiwiwolf,

    Yeah, centrist parties are weird. They're probably the biggest anti-Brexit choice though, and hopefully learned their lesson the last time they were in government.

    Colorado • Since Nov 2006 • 120 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Vink, in reply to Zach Bagnall,

    http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2017/04/exclusive-conservative-poll-showed-party-would-lose-seats-liberal-democrats

    "Last month, Conservative MPs from Cornwall and Devon urged May not to go to the country for fear they would lose their seats... According to multiple sources, a survey conducted by Crosby Textor showed the party would lose most of the 27 gains they made from the Lib Dems in 2015, including all those in south London, all those in Cornwall and most of those in Devon."

    Wellington • Since Apr 2017 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Nick Russell, in reply to Barry -,

    However, a portion of the blame still has to rest with the parliamentary wing of the party that have not supported him.

    I find this endlessly amusing. Some day someone is going to explain to me why a man who voted against his own party over 500 times now deserves the loyalty of his caucus. Sure Corbyn has a mandate. But so did Tony Blair and that never bothered Corbyn. So he is getting exactly what he deserves as far as I can see.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 125 posts Report Reply

  • martinb,

    If he's so terrible, just roll him.

    Still- remember "He and hardcore supporters carry most of the blame for Labour’s current predicament."

    That's right, I'm sure. Two terrible election losses. The Scottish independence referendum and the terrible joint campaign with the Tories which has wiped out the Scottish seats.

    The leadership campaign Corbyn ran in order to give a bit of balance, cos it was kind of his turn. You know- to remind people that the UK that once they had had different values than punish the poor. He didn't mean to win that either.

    This is another diatribe low on humility, high on how the party is being vicitimised by Corbyn. Not sure if this is the Mail, the Telegraph or the Guardian.

    In any case, I did get a lot of references to Sinn Fein in the other thread when I posted this:
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/25/vote-labour-jeremy-corbyn-theresa-may

    and no engagement with it.

    There's certainly a lot of paid P.R. around trying to sink Corbyn and this little, unscripted insurrection.

    There is a big problem in Labour for sure. Mr Miller and his ilk seem to suggest...well again, nothing. At least Hillary had an agenda and a platform.

    Auckland • Since Jul 2010 • 203 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    The whole Sinn Fein thing is interesting (and the use of the term Sinn Fein/IRA is telling - it's a Tory/Unionist meme to conflate the two).

    Northern Ireland came into being through the threat of anti-constitutional violence. The Asquith government was elected on a promise to grant home rule to the whole of Ireland. This was opposed by, in addition to the votes of Tory peers, the formation of an illegal armed militia (the original UVF) in Ulster and the threatened mutiny of the British Army's officer class.

    Subsequently, the Six Counties were separated from Ireland and given their own protestant majority government, which proceeded to repress the majority catholic population.

    By the 1960's tolerance for this had evaporated and the catholics, inspired by the US civil rights movement, embarked on initially peaceful protest, which was violently suppressed by the protestant forces. This led to the emergence of the Provisional IRA, of various protestant/unionist terrorist organisations and the introduction of the British Army into the conflict.

    All three sides engaged in atrocities, with the overt or covert backing of their political supporters, including the unionist parties and British mainland politicians, as well as Sinn Fein.

    After around 30 years, a settlement was reached by which unionist and nationalists share power (mostly) in a devolved government.

    Because of this, there is no real moral difference between NI politicians of the unionist/protestant tradition, who have enjoyed the enthusiastic support of various Conservatives and those of the republican/catholic tradition, who it is considered the height of extremism for Labour to engage with.

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

  • Moz,

    Brexit may mean tough times ahead for May’s government, but for now the crisis of truly historic proportions belongs purely to the left.

    Yes, it's very much a "dog catches car" moment - the left have got the Labour leadership, now what are they going to do with it? The evidence so far suggests that not only do they have no real ideas, their opponents in the party don't either. My feeling is that the entire reason Corbyn was elected was that no-one had a better idea. Which tells you an awful lot about the calibre of his opponents in the Labour leadership elections. Even after the dismal losses you talk about, the start of the scandals, the campaign by the PLP, Corbyn won again.

    I think the lesson here is that if you're going to give the members a say you need to be very careful that the members are aligned with the organisation, and in this case that the MPs are also aligned with the members. The problem of campaigns joining the party to subvert it is not special to Labour, it's been done repeatedly both inside and outside politics (branch stacking, anyone?). A bunch of anarchists joined BicycleNSW at one stage and elected their own chaircreature - it took about 50 people. The Greens here are very aware of that and have a bunch of restrictions on who can vote and when. I trust that Labour have something similar.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1198 posts Report Reply

  • kiwiwolf, in reply to Nick Russell,

    I find this endlessly amusing. Some day someone is going to explain to me why a man who voted against his own party over 500 times now deserves the loyalty of his caucus. Sure Corbyn has a mandate. But so did Tony Blair and that never bothered Corbyn. So he is getting exactly what he deserves as far as I can see.

    Simple Nick when he voted against he was voting against the neoliberals who had taken it over with their Tory Light policies. Corbyn is a man of strong principles which govern his thinking. Blair was never ever a Socialist, just a wishy washy opportunist.

    Whangaparaoa • Since Sep 2014 • 30 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Moz,

    The evidence so far suggests that not only do they have no real ideas, their opponents in the party don't either. My feeling is that the entire reason Corbyn was elected was that no-one had a better idea. Which tells you an awful lot about the calibre of his opponents in the Labour leadership elections.

    I think the problem is that the electorate is not so interested in the Left-Right dichotomy as espoused by the current Labour Party leadership, and making the party all about that plays only into the hands of the Right. Perhaps what's going on had to happen, if only to show that times have changed and a Left/Right that is defined around what theorists think about it, rather than around what the population thinks about it, is becoming less relevant to political choice of the population.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Sam Bradford,

    When Corbyn won the leadership (before he'd even announced policy preferences, preferred shadow cabinet etc), a large number of Labour MPs immediately said they would refuse to work with him in leadership positions, assuming they could get him rolled quickly by refusing to cooperate.

    He was voted in by the membership of the party.

    To me, that seems like the MPs saying 'fuck you' to the members, and essentially holding the party hostage to their own preferences (who are unpopular with both the membership AND the general public, ie not even particularly electable, because 'Blairite' is still an insult, and rightfully so)

    At that point they're not even pretending to represent the party anymore. The party IS the members. The MPs have done everything possible to kneecap him and then complained about disunity.

    How is this defensible? Corbyn is deficient as a retail politician, but the behaviour of his parliamentary colleagues has been utterly reprehensible. They didn't for a moment give him a chance, or show any respect at all for the party members they are supposed to represent. There's also the complete missing-of-the-point that at this political moment, 'centrist status-quo politician' is political poison across the Western world (and with good reason).

    Anyway, thank fuck for MMP or we'd probably be in the same boat. They're even worse off than the Americans in some ways.

    New Zealand • Since Jul 2014 • 30 posts Report Reply

  • Nick Russell, in reply to kiwiwolf,

    Simple Nick when he voted against he was voting against the neoliberals who had taken it over with their Tory Light policies. Corbyn is a man of strong principles which govern his thinking. Blair was never ever a Socialist, just a wishy washy opportunist

    And this, right here, is why the Labour Party is f*cked. I hope the last person to leave will turn out the lights, and leave Corbyn in charge of an empty room. Maybe then he and Momentum will finally be happy.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 125 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Sam Bradford,

    At that point they’re not even pretending to represent the party anymore. The party IS the members.

    It is, but winning members is a sideshow to winning voters in the whole point of the democratic process, selecting the leadership of the country. You could equally say that the members aren't even pretending to represent a significant constituency. They don't have to, they're not the ones who end up being held accountable for losing elections.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

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