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Thu Jun 23, 2016, 10:26 PM

 

Hopefully, Jeremy can use the closeness of this result to argue for a clear break with Blairism

And the adoption by Labour of policies closer to his, rather than to those of the Labour right.

The attitudes within Westminster politics that the voters in Labour heartlands are voting against are largely Tory/New Labour values...the notion that working-class people are less important than upper-class and "knowledge economy" voters in London and the south, that it's no big deal that the Northern economy to be essentially left to slowly die out, that it's fine for the power of working people to be weakened by the unions being crushed.

All of these things led to the conditions in which voting Leave was seen by a lot of people who should be Labour voters as the way to cry out about their situation, and allowed a demagogue like Nigel Farage to deceive hard-hit voters by creating false scapegoats for their conditions.

And given that there could be a snap election at any time, Corbyn, who campaigned well and represented the best face of the Remain side, will now have the ability to face down the wreckers who have tried to undermine him throughout his tenure as leader, the same wreckers whose neoliberal policies have helped built what now looks more and more like a victory for Leave. Corbyn can now make it clear that if Labour does badly in that snap election, it will be the sole responsibility of those in the party who have never accepted him as leader. They can either work with Jeremy now, or be known by one and all as the people who caused an easily avoidable Labour defeat.

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Reply Hopefully, Jeremy can use the closeness of this result to argue for a clear break with Blairism (Original post)
Ken Burch Jun 2016 OP
geek tragedy Jun 2016 #1
Ken Burch Jun 2016 #2
muriel_volestrangler Jun 2016 #3
Ironing Man Jun 2016 #4
T_i_B Jun 2016 #5
Ken Burch Jun 2016 #8
T_i_B Jun 2016 #9
Ken Burch Jun 2016 #23
T_i_B Jun 2016 #24
Denzil_DC Jun 2016 #10
LeftishBrit Jun 2016 #6
Ken Burch Jun 2016 #7
Donald Ian Rankin Jun 2016 #11
Denzil_DC Jun 2016 #13
Ken Burch Jun 2016 #21
Denzil_DC Jun 2016 #22
Ken Burch Jun 2016 #14
Donald Ian Rankin Jun 2016 #12
Ken Burch Jun 2016 #15
LeftishBrit Jun 2016 #16
Ken Burch Jun 2016 #17
Spider Jerusalem Jun 2016 #18
T_i_B Jun 2016 #19
Ken Burch Jun 2016 #20
T_i_B Jun 2016 #25
Ken Burch Jun 2016 #26

Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Thu Jun 23, 2016, 10:29 PM

1. Scottish independence is a given if they secede, no? nt

 

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #1)

Thu Jun 23, 2016, 10:37 PM

2. EU withdrawal does make a second Scottish referendum a much greater possibility.

 

The only way to forestall it will be for Labour to make its "No" campaign in Scotland completely independent of the campaign the Tories and the remnants of the LibDems will run.

Labour will need to champion the idea, as it did not in the "Better Together" campaign it was involved in with the other parties last time, of a social democratic, anti-austerity UK, of a UK that puts humane, egalitarian values on the same level with short-term gain for the few.

It will also mean making sure, in snap Westminster election if one is called, that most of the Labour candidates in Scotland are NOT Blairite types.

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Fri Jun 24, 2016, 05:47 AM

3. They can't hav a snap election without Labour wanting it

Under the new fixed term parliament law, if the government calls for one, it has to get a majority of 2/3rds in the Commons for it. The opposition can call for it, and that only needs a simple majority, but either way, it would need significant Labour support.

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Fri Jun 24, 2016, 06:15 AM

4. ...

its certainly true to say that the loss of the old Labour heartlands in the North and the Midlands to 'Leave' is an enormous backlash against what could be described as the Blairite version of Labour - southern, middle class and 'liberal' - its also been an utter repudiation of the Corbynite take on immigration.

some Labour people will try and tell you that 'immigration' as an issue is shorthand for everything from School places, hospital waiting time, house prices and jobs, and to some degree that is correct, but on the doorstep in the Labour heartlands of the Midlands, i can tell you that 'immigration' is shorthand for little else but really nasty, racist, xenophobic hatred.

quite how people who spout 'Britain First' memes and values can call themselves Labour voters/supporters is beyond me, but they do - and when you try and dig a bit deeper, you find very little that could be described as Causal - there isn't a back story of rents going up due to new comminuties moving in, or schools being full, or hospital waits going up because of an increase in population. its just good, old fashioned xenophobia and worse.

from where i sit, the tories have lost a PM who will be replaced by a more popular one, Labour however have lost half our electorate.

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Response to Ironing Man (Reply #4)

Fri Jun 24, 2016, 06:54 AM

5. Best thing Corbyn can do is resign

He comes across as a decent and honourable man, but he has done nothing to unify the party or present a more competent, engaging face to the electorate. And his interventions in the referendum were half-arsed at best, which is not what's needed when it's our economic future on the line.

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Response to T_i_B (Reply #5)

Fri Jun 24, 2016, 05:11 PM

8. Well, unenthusiastic support of the EU was probably the only decent position.

 

It is an institution that represents a bizarre combination of forward-looking social liberalism, bureaucratic arrogance and naked corporate greed.

And there was no possible way for any conceivable Labour leader to create a unified position for his party.

If Andy Burnham, the runner-up to Corbyn (and most conspicuous "Northerner" in the leadership contest, had led a passionate defense of the status quo, voters in Yorkshire and Sunderland would have been burning him in effigy as a regional traitor. If anything, Burnham campaigning for Remain at all as leader would likely have gained votes for Leave.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #8)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 04:40 AM

9. Wrong

The EU has also done a huge amount for the enviroment, and a lot for workers rights. The European Single market is vital for the sort of blue collar jobs that the UK in general, and Labour inparticular needs. Labopur was created to serve the working man, and we cannot do that if we cut off access to the trade and investment that we need to create employment.

Corbyn was neither convincing or persuasive in this referendum. He's done more to lose supporters than gain anything. This isn't a matter of right v left. It's a matter of unity and competence, neither of which can be provided by Jeremy Corbyn.

I should also say at this point that I don't think David Cameron also did a poor job during the referendum as he was more interested in holding his party together than doing what's right for the country. The Tory "remain" campaign was largely invisible, and the Tories local to me all went en masse for "Vote Leave". Given how flagrantly dishonest the leave campaign was that is very poor indeed.

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Response to T_i_B (Reply #9)

Mon Jun 27, 2016, 10:17 PM

23. There was no way to campaign passionately for Remain

 

without being an unquestioning supporter of all of the bad things...like the mandatory eternal austerity budgeting and the persecution of Greece.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #23)

Tue Jun 28, 2016, 01:46 PM

24. As somebody who actually did campaign for remain

I can tell you that your statement is wildly untrue.

Our argument is not that the EU is perfect, but that you can only reform it from within. Be it agriculture, fisheries, transparency or anything else, you can't make it better if you are locked out of the room.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #8)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 07:07 AM

10. Corbyn's problem in campaigning on this

was that he's constitutionally (i.e in terms of his own personality) unwilling or unable to play the game.

Nuance - acknowledging the EU's flaws in broad terms, and like most UK DUers who've posted about it here, not being 100% gung-ho about the EU - goes against the grain of the hype expected in our increasingly reality TV-style political campaigns.

What he said was entirely reasonable, and might appeal to folks like me who appreciate honesty in politicians expressing views that don't insult my intelligence (such as it is). Filtered through the media and low attention spans, it has serious pitfalls.

Sturgeon sometimes faces similar problems at the hands of the press. An honest answer to probing media questions after public statements or in interviews will inevitably be headlined in simplistic and sometimes sensationalist terms by some sectors of the media. It just goes with the territory.

So should we reward politicians who continue to obfuscate and play the game, or should we accept that the price of plain speaking is that sometimes their message will be warped at the hands of those with ulterior motives, and support them when it happens?

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Fri Jun 24, 2016, 09:00 AM

6. To be honest, nothing is going to be anyone's 'sole responsibility'. Except maybe the RW media's.

The Labour high-ups have been ineffective, dithering, more preoccupied with fighting each other than the opposition. Of course, the same is true of the Tories. There have been few more ineffective, dithering Prime Ministers than Cameron - EVER. He's not the worst Prime Minister of recent years - that honour would go to Thatcher - but he's the weakest: including Major; including Brown. Miliband would have been a much stronger leader, which doesn't mean he'd have been a very strong leader.

But I think the issue is too important to be made mainly the subject of within-party politics, of any party. The anti-xenophobes, even those who might otherwise hate each other's guts, have to get together to fight against possible disaster.

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Response to LeftishBrit (Reply #6)

Fri Jun 24, 2016, 05:06 PM

7. I agree that this involves far more than internal party politics.

 

The point of this OP was simply to speculate on whether, horrible as the referendum result was, something good could come of it.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #7)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 06:29 PM

11. The leadership challenge suggests that something good may come of it.

I think your obvious visceral hatred of Blair clouds your ability to think clearly.

Getting a left-wing government in Britain is more important - to me, even if not to you - than sticking it to the Great Satan Blair and his minions.

The only hope of that happening is if Corbyn goes. He's just not any good at politics.

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Response to Donald Ian Rankin (Reply #11)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 07:25 PM

13. People seem to have forgotten that the next major act in the political circus

is going to be the release of a certain very long-awaited report.

Given how that's likely to portray Blair and the cabal around him, and Labour's conduct in office at the time, I don't think the Labour Party's going to be in any shape or have much serious appetite to go through the crisis of a leadership battle any time soon, not least one that seeks to depose someone who was very much on the right side of history during the events in question and in the aftermath.

The anti-Corbyn faction need to settle down and grow the hell up. He's going to be the least of their problems for the next couple of months.

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Response to Denzil_DC (Reply #13)

Mon Jun 27, 2016, 09:40 PM

21. Perhaps that is why the Blairites are so obsessed with getting rid of Cornbyn now.

 

They want to have a leader in place, before the report comes out, who will fight to suppress as many of the report's findings as possible.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #21)

Mon Jun 27, 2016, 10:02 PM

22. Something similar had occurred to me since I wrote that.

- In terms of timing, anyway. I don't think there's anything on earth a leader could do to suppress the findings.

It's more a window of opportunity thing I was thinking of - that once the report's published, turning on Corbyn may not look such a bright move after all for a while.

It's probably more likely blind panic at the possibility of a snap election. Plus they've been salivating for any excuse since he got elected, and thought the referendum result provided it, and everything else going on is obviously less important than their agenda. Can't imagine why the party's not commanding more support in the country.

Not that the performance of Alan Johnson, Corbyn's yappiest critic over the referendum campaign, impressed anyone, as I've pointed out elsewhere on this board. He was supposedly the leader of Labour's campaign. Calling the Brexit crew "extremists" from the get-go and saying they're "sounding like Trump" etc. might be satisfying, it might even be true, but it's not exactly addressing the concerns of those who eventually voted Leave, and you only get so many news cycles to make your arguments.

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Response to Donald Ian Rankin (Reply #11)

Sun Jun 26, 2016, 02:04 AM

14. Yvette Cooper could never be a left-wing prime minister

 

She was the second-most right wing candidate(after Liz Kendall) in the leadership race.

Moreover, if she(or Burnham) becomes leader, they will prevent the restoration of internal democracy...and if the party retains a Blair designed leadership, if the party conference is kept powerless, it will be impossible for Labour to do anything radical or even mildly left-of-center in government.

A Labour government can only be worth electing if ordinary party members have a say in what the party stands for again.

No Blairite politician cares about workers or the poor.

You can't care about workers and the poor and argue that Labour must accept the budget charter and the benefits cap(i.e., if you agree that Labour must agree not to use the only tools any government has at its disposal to help the powerless). You can't care about workers and the poor if you still insist on keeping Thatcher's anti-worker laws(laws that made unions helpless against the management onslaught that has never stopped since the Eighties.

You can't care about those groups if you think the party should be run solely by an cynical, unaccountable, principle-free elite that cares only about what the forces to Labour's right want.


Blairism has nothing to offer and no one in the UK want Labour to reduce itself to Blairism again. The center ground is a soulless, passionless dead zone now. Everyone knows now that social an economic justice can't coexist with market values and that no use of military force can ever have progressive or humane results again(as the total failure of the bombing campaign in Syria to do anything at all to stop ISIS has demonstrated.

If Labour is not to be a member-controlled party, if it is not to be an anti-austerity party(it couldn't be anti-austerity under any of the leaders you have said you prefer) it can't be worth having...because if it can't be those things, Labour has no reason to exist.

"Not quite as brutal" isn't anything. Neither is "We will cut slightly less".

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 06:36 PM

12. In no sense of the word could Corbyn have been said to have campaigned well.

That's just barmy. As a campaigner to remain, he was as effective as a catflap in a space-station. On the eve of the poll, he chose to make a speech drawing people's attention to freedom of movement, for crying out loud!

If Labour had voted for Burnham or Cooper, we would almost certainly be staying in the EU.

And for supporters of Corbyn to accuse anyone else of risking causing an easily-avoidable Labour defeat is absurd. The only hope of a Labour victory is to ditch Corbyn.

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Response to Donald Ian Rankin (Reply #12)

Sun Jun 26, 2016, 02:11 AM

15. And replace him with a leader who stands for nothing.

 

If Cooper or Burnham became prime minister, no one would be able to tell they were leading a Labour government.

They both support the benefits cap, the budget charter, Thatcher's anti-worker laws, no more nationalization and the continued bombing of Syria. That means they agree with the Tories on every major issue...after being right-wing on all there aren't any other areas of policy that matter. Anything else would be a trivial side issue.

The voters no longer want Labour to be the second Conservative Party, and they never demanded that internal democracy be abolished and the entire left to be either driven away or made totally powerless.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #15)

Sun Jun 26, 2016, 10:51 AM

16. Yes, one could tell the difference

They may not be as economically left-wing as some, but they are much more so than Cameron, and certainly than anyone likely to replace him. Burnham supports renationalization of the railways; abolition of zero hours contracts; increasing the amount and age range of the minimum wage; replacing tuition fees with a graduate tax; etc. Cooper has similar views, and has been particularly staunch in defending refugees.

This is not the time for a campaign to topple Corbyn, or for any Labour infighting; but that doesn't mean that any likely Labour leader wouldn't be better than Dave/Gideon/Boris/Teresa/etc/etc. - or especially MICHAEL GOVE!

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Response to LeftishBrit (Reply #16)

Sun Jun 26, 2016, 05:54 PM

17. It would reduce a lot of the suspicion and trust about the anti-Corbynites

 

If all possible anti-Corbyn leadership candidates were to promise to carry on with Corbyn's commitment to restore internal party democracy.

A lot of Corbyn supporters see what's going on as a plot to prevent grassroots Labour members from regaining a real say in what the party stands for, how it is run, and who is chosen as parliamentary candidates.

I hope you would agree that there is no possible reason to retain the ultra-centralization and cynical, dismissive elitism of the Blair
era.

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Sun Jun 26, 2016, 06:50 PM

18. Hopefully Corbyn is gone by next week and replaced with a leader who can campaign credibly

Corbyn is not that leader. (Labour also need a leader who will explicitly NOT trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty; Corbyn, again, is not that leader.)

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #18)

Mon Jun 27, 2016, 01:04 PM

19. Agree 100%

This is not about right v left, it's about competence

Blairites want electability, but you cannot have that without competence.

Corbyn's supporters want principle, but again, you need competence for that.

You need to work together as a team with others either way. Corbyn comes across as very decent and honourable, but it is difficult to escape the conclusion that he is also a weak, ineffective leader unable to unite, motivate and move forward.

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Response to T_i_B (Reply #19)

Mon Jun 27, 2016, 09:01 PM

20. The problem is, the two people most talked about as anti-Corbyn leadership candidates

 

are Angela Eagle and Tom Watson, are reactionaries who don't disagree with Cameron on any major issues at all.

Either of them, as leader, would pull the party to the right of Tony Blair.

Neither would deviate from the Tory/Euston Station ultra-militarist line on foreign policy.

Both wanted Labour to support the benefits cap and the budget charter(which would mean agreeing not to be to the left of the Tories on domestic policy in any meaningful way). This means neither of them cares about the poor.

Both want Labour to keep Thatcher's anti-worker laws in place. This means they can propose nothing that could ever protect the rights of working people.

Both back neoliberalism, market values and austerity, which makes it impossible for either to propose any policies which would win back former Labour voters in the North of England.

Both oppose restoring internal party democracy, which means Labour could never again win the votes of activists and idealists if either was chosen leader.

There is simply nothing at all appealing in either one of those people.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #20)

Tue Jun 28, 2016, 01:54 PM

25. Utter rubbish

Your portrayal of Eagle & Watson is wildly off the mark. If the best you can do is shout accuse anyone with concerns about Corbyn's leadership of ideological impurity then you have lost the argument.

Corbyn can't build a team, which makes him unsuitable as a leader of a major political party.

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Response to T_i_B (Reply #25)

Tue Jun 28, 2016, 06:53 PM

26. If those people had any strong principles, the rebels wouldn't want them.

 

This is being run by the Spawn of Blair...they would rather destroy the party than let it win with anyone who deviated from the 1997-2007 program in the slightest.

And you need to remember that Labour can't win the next election if all the energy brought in by Corbyn and his supporters is driven away. None of the candidates the rebels support had any significant blocs of youth or activist support. None inspires passion, none present a vision for change.

And it would be a lot easier for Jeremy to build a team if the MPs had just accepted that his victory as leader was as legitimate as anyone else's would have been. He has been treated worse by his own parliamentarians than any previous leader in Labour history.

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