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Sat Nov 28, 2015, 09:09 AM

the inevitable Jeremy Corbyn thread....

so, your views?

i was going to put a poll on, but apparently i have to pay DU in order to do that...

political genius smoking out the hated counter-revolutionaries and guiding the prolatariate to a 200 seat endless majority in 2020, or a student politics clown who'd be out of his depth organising the proverbial?

11 replies, 2023 views

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Response to Ironing Man (Original post)

Sat Nov 28, 2015, 10:21 AM

1. If he doesn't allow a free vote on Syria.....

Last edited Sat Nov 28, 2015, 12:32 PM - Edit history (1)

.....then I doubt he'd last until Christmas.

I will admit to being exasperated by the current Labour leadership. However, I remain disgusted by the behaviour of Labour's Blairite faction, who seem determined not to learn any lessons whatsoever from their recent downfall.

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Response to Ironing Man (Original post)

Sat Nov 28, 2015, 10:52 AM

2. I find it mindbogglingly shortsighted

for the anti-Corbyn PLP to make military action in Syria a hill to die on (or on which to have others die on their behalf).

On the basis of past events (yet to be resolved in any way by Chilcot), by the time the next election comes around, we may have some idea how this is all panning out. If it's a mire and a bloodbath and an even greater and widespread mess than it is now, as many fear, then they'll have no legs to stand on (an affliction which will also apply to countless others).

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Response to Ironing Man (Original post)

Sat Nov 28, 2015, 11:55 AM

3. If you placed Jeremy Corbyn in charge of a whelk stall

you would come back to find that the whelks had organised a gastropod collective and taken over.

But the problem goes much deeper than that.

Corbyn is genuinely representative of the Labour party's membership - much more so than the PLP are - and he has a mandate from them.

By contrast, the PLP are, for obvious reasons, representative of the much larger group of people who vote Labour in general elections, but aren't committed enough to join the party and vote for leader. And they have a mandate from *them*.

The conflict between Corbyn and the PLP is a symptom. The underlying cause is that the difference in spread of opinions between labour voters as a whole and labour members is immense and increasing.

Under the new leadership rules, it's not obvious that any one person will be able to win both enough support from Labour members to win the leadership, and enough support from the electorate as a whole to win a general election.

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Response to Donald Ian Rankin (Reply #3)

Sat Nov 28, 2015, 02:11 PM

4. If the PLP can't represent their own activists....

.....they don't have much hope of representing the wider public. No wonder that they've lost seats in every general election since 2001!

Labour needs to be a broad church, but the domination of the party by the Blairite faction has ensured that this hasn't been the case.

And now that the Blairite bubble has burst we've got Jeremy Corbyn in charge of a party more interested in fighting each other than fighting the Tories.

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Response to T_i_B (Reply #4)

Sat Nov 28, 2015, 03:13 PM

6. I think that's a non-sequitur.

A truer statement would be "The Labour party is going to find it increasingly difficult to represent both its own activists and the wider public".

I think you're also wrong to say that the Labour party has not been a broad church - it has, as witnessed by e.g. the fact that Jeremy Corbyn has been a member of it all along.

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Response to Donald Ian Rankin (Reply #6)

Sat Nov 28, 2015, 03:52 PM

7. to illustrate...

i agree entirely with your premise - the leader is completely at odds with the PLP, the PLP is completely at odds with the members/activists, and the members/activists are completely at odds with those who, in 2015, voted Labour...

yougov have a good poll from the last week that revolved around Syria/IS - now, i'm not using the Syria issue as the crux of this, but its interesting: its generally assumed that around 60% of the PLP want to support the government motion over IS in Syria. among the LP members/activists its around 20-25%, yet among Labour voters (a vastly larger group than the members..) its around 66%...

in effect, the leader broadly represents the members/activists, while the PLP broadly represents the Labour electorate. Labour got around 9 million votes in the 2015 GE, those who voted for Corbyn in the subsequent leadership election roughly equate to around four hundred people per parliamentary constituancy, or less than 1000 per Labour won constituancy.

the phrase 'cul-de-sac' leaps to mind...

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Response to Donald Ian Rankin (Reply #6)

Mon Nov 30, 2015, 07:29 AM

10. From Scotland to South East England......

....The coalition that gave Labour landslides in 1997 and 2001 has fallen apart. At the last election Labour was losing votes to just about everyone other than the Lib Dems. That's a pretty clear sign that they've stopped being an effective broad church party.

And now we have a situation where there are factions of the Labour party who simply cannot abide or work with each other, which makes it virtually impossible for them to reach out to a broad church of voters.

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Response to Donald Ian Rankin (Reply #3)

Sat Nov 28, 2015, 02:23 PM

5. "By contrast, the PLP are, for obvious reasons, representative of the much larger group ...

of people who ... vote Labour in general elections."

As a point of fact, the PLP, like all MPs, are supposed to represent their constituents (whatever way they voted) and those who voted for them at the last election. At that point, what was on offer was so inspiring that many people didn't bother to vote at all, or held their nose and voted for them because of distaste at the alternatives.

There is no doubt a rump who will vote on party lines (if they vote at all) for Labour no matter who stands. That is evidently diminishing, and diminishing fast, for various reasons, not least of which are the paucity of choices on offer and spectacles like the current one, where principles and consistency are sacrificed for what the PLP (always craven before a hostile press) considers to represent electability. Those are your "people who vote Labour in general elections".

Others are looking for more. The party has the option of incorporating their views and reflecting them, or treating them with contempt and going on as before. In which case somebody else may fill the gap and pinch those voters, or we'll see even more people giving up on the idea that their vote matters and letting the more motivated but retrograde parties who do manage to drive people to the polls take power.

We've seen this happen over many years in Scotland (by poaching votes from the left and displaying general competence rather than a predilection for constant in-fighting). There's a lesson to be learnt there.

Some folks are living in the past. I don't think it's (just) the dreaded Corbynites.

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Response to Ironing Man (Original post)

Sun Nov 29, 2015, 03:23 AM

8. In my opinion, neither...

Last edited Sun Nov 29, 2015, 06:52 AM - Edit history (1)

He is IMO someone who has the advantages and disadvantages of being a political leader who doesn't really want power all that much. Thus, he is principled and IMO personally more decent than most. But he has little political experience except as a backbench MP; and may not be manipulative enough(!) to combat his opponents among the Tories and even more within his own party.

As regards policies, I think he is right on the economy. I think he is rather out-of-his-depth on foreign policy - on the other hand, is there anyone around who isn't? Blairites who lit that powder-keg in Iraq and thus have contributed to, among many other disasters, the rise of 'ISIS' in the first place? Tories who mostly supported the Iraq war, are prepared to involve a highly undemocratic country like China in our nuclear industry and helped Saudi Arabia get onto the UN Human Rights Council?

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Response to Ironing Man (Original post)

Sun Nov 29, 2015, 07:47 AM

9. I think most people learned from the last election to treat polls with a pinch of salt.

But here's a monthly average of public polls from Britain Elects, FWIW:



The Labour/Conservative crossover point reflects the most reliable recent poll we have - the general election, after which some pollsters may have revised their methods. Prior to that, it's worth bearing in mind that the parties' private polls showed the crossover actually having taken place following the 2014 conference season, with the Tories consistently thereafter polling 4-6 points higher than the public polls.

One thing the graph doesn't tell us is the margin of error. Bearing that in mind, it doesn't (yet, anyway) show a catastrophic decline in Labour voting intentions after Corbyn became leader. Labour's worst dip came immediately after the election to just below 30% in June, when Labour was in even worse disarray than usual as the messy leadership contest and pre-vote in-fighting was taking hold.

It's open to argument whether the relatively small dip October-November (which may be within the margin of error anyway) is because of Corbyn or because of the vocal anti-Corbynites. It may also reflect a return to norm after a brief and not particularly stellar Corbyn honeymoon period. We obviously have no way of knowing what this graph would look like if another of the contenders had won the Labour leadership - could be worse, could be better.

The other thing such a broad picture (with all the caveats mentioned above) doesn't show is what's happening at constituency level. Given the role of key marginals in the last election, that's crucial. But the next general election is so far off anyway - literally anything could happen. There are also quite a few Tory chickens flapping their wings as they prepare to come home to roost.

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Response to Ironing Man (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2015, 08:31 AM

11. I see him as a Foot or a Smith (or a Livingstone or a Benn) rather than a Kinnock or a Blair ...

 

i.e., someone who actually has principles that extend beyond
"filling my pockets and those of my friends".

If there were a few more Labour MPs with integrity & principles then
Corbyn would be in a very good place. As it is, he is surrounded
by braying Tories no matter which way he looks.


Right man, wrong time? (i.e., he arrived in place before the Blairites
had been shitcanned.)


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