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What now for Labour? (Part 2)

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What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by Penderyn on Mon Oct 26, 2015 12:41 pm

First topic message reminder :

Phil Hornby wrote:I feel that Corbyn is sincere, polite, interesting and likeable - so are my neighbours but, like them, he isn't electable as Prime Minister.

In which case, why should we pay some phoney twicer to be something else?
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by oftenwrong on Wed Nov 02, 2016 7:19 pm

Now nothing's impossible, I've found for when my chin is on the ground,
I pick myself up, dust myself off, and start all over again.
Don't lose your confidence if you slip, be grateful for a pleasant trip,
And pick yourself up, dust off, start over again.
Work like a soul inspired until the battle of the day is won.


If good people give up, the Murdochs of the World have won.

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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by boatlady on Wed Nov 02, 2016 8:15 pm

I love you sunny
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by Ivan on Sat Nov 12, 2016 1:58 pm

What now for Labour? The party must never consider “understanding” (or to use a more appropriate word, appeasing) racist and fascist views, and adding to the legitimacy which they seem to have been given by both Brexit and Trump won’t make them go away. We must at all times stand up to such filth. Below are extracts from articles by two journalists on opposite sides of the political spectrum, but they offer the same message – don’t pander to this ignorant, right-wing populism.

Polly Toynbee has written this for ‘The Guardian’:-

Most Labour MPs are in Brexit seats, where white supremacism won the day, and now you can hear some of them humbly promising to “listen” to those voices. But when you have listened, what then? Build walls and more deportation camps?

There is a patronising pity in the idea that the poor left-behinders know no better. But the only way is to challenge this outlook at every turn, because if you give way, the demands of racism are relentless and insatiable. Labour should listen to Margaret Hodge on how she chased the BNP and Nick Griffin out of her Barking constituency – by outright challenge, not by bending towards them.

There are no magic solutions: not Brexit, not Trump. Labour needs to find the language to express these universal truths that most people know in their heart of hearts: you get what you pay for, and foreigners are not to blame for the failings of our shrinking state. Conviction, diligence and seriousness will win over fantasy politics that will self-destruct before long.


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Matthew Parris has written this for ‘The Times’:-

We just have to make sure that before this wave of madness subsides, we don’t indulge a cartload of xenophobes and pea-brains who would wreck the West. Stuff the windbaggery about engaging with these people. Kick away the condescension and forsake the quest to determine what’s really worrying voters. These people are just wrong. We free-market, free-speech, open-society liberals owe the Trumpists and little-Englanders absolutely no duty to understand, sympathise, reach out, or meet them halfway.

Although the story about rising inequality is important, it is not the electoral force that drove the Trump and Brexit votes. A big part of the “rage of the dispossessed” now sweeping the West is simply fashion. Like zips, distressed jeans or nuts and bolts through our noses, it’s a craze: a craze in ideas. Farageism, Trumpism, has become a viral idea. We face an epidemic. As its political prescriptions are tried and fail, it will fade away like hula hoops or flares. It should be mocked, not indulged. It is important not to take this crackpot stuff too seriously. Trump can’t last.

But one ground for alarm does exist. Anti-immigration sentiment among less-educated white voters has been a powerful ingredient in the rise of the populist right, and remains critical to its vigour. There’s just no point looking the other way. It wasn’t inequality that clinched it for Trump. It was racism and jingoism, and the comforting discovery by racists and jingoists via social media that they are neither aberrant nor alone: there are millions like them out there. Giving not an inch we must now wait and hope for this storm to blow itself out. Don’t panic. Don’t reach out. Don’t concede.


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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Nov 12, 2016 6:13 pm

What both of the above seem to have in common is a nervousness for describing what used to be called "White Supremacy"

Current opinion seems to be expressed without reference to those words.  

Why did they stop using the obvious description for a popular stance?
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by Ivan on Thu Nov 17, 2016 12:31 am

The former Greek finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, has given an interview to ‘The New Statesman’. Let’s have a look at three of his comments:-

1. “When people are tired of the status quo they demand change. Democracy can offer them change which will in the end bite them like Brexit or Trump, or it can offer progressive change. I am convinced that Bernie Sanders would have walked this election. If you think that Trump won because there are lots of racist white Republicans out there, you are mistaken. What clinched it for him were the independents, Democrats —many of whom could not be bothered to get out of bed and vote for Hillary — and others who are not natural Republicans.

It seems to me that Hillary Clinton represented the ‘centrist’ or ‘moderate’ point of view, and yet the ‘extremist’ Trump won the election (if not quite the popular vote). Is there really any reason to think that people would “get out of bed” to vote Labour if Liz Kendall or Owen Smith was the leader?

2. “The financial collapses of both 1929 and 2008 were caused by capitalism crumbling due to its own excesses. This collapse is then typically followed by a great recession, or a great deflation as we have now, and the result is that the political centre follows the economic equilibrium into crisis. When the political centre crumbles you have an almighty clash between progressives and xenophobic nationalists.

The Tories claimed at their conference this year that they occupy ‘the centre ground’, but only a fool would believe that, as their party has become UKIP-lite. If there is ‘a centre party’ in the UK it must surely be the Liberal Democrats, and they were decimated in the 2015 election. So maybe the stale old line, peddled by the right-wing press and parroted by a few people on this forum, that Labour can only get elected by being ‘moderate’, no longer applies, if it ever did. Has the political centre crumbled? Could it be that Jeremy Corbyn is just the man to offer a strong, progressive message as an alternative to those “xenophobic nationalists”, and that wishy-washy consensus politicians will just be swept away as the Liberal Democrats were?

3. “We must stop explaining away our political failures as the result of a conspiracy among the establishment and the media. It is nothing but a litany of excuses. We don't win because we can’t appeal to a substantial segment of the electorate. The entire American establishment was against Trump, even Fox News and the Koch brothers who have always in the past funded the worst right-wing candidates. What Trump, and Nigel Farage, know is that political revolution is possible. Brexit proved it, and in Greece for a short five months the Syriza government proved it before the leadership caved in.

Does Varoufakis have a point? Should we stop blaming the rabid right-wing press for the failures of the left, or does it poison the minds and reinforce the prejudices of the more gullible? If the tabloid owners didn’t believe that their vile propaganda had an effect, would they bother to keep spewing it out?

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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by sickchip on Thu Nov 17, 2016 12:50 am

Labour are not making enough noise. They are not stirring up enough debate. Disappointing.
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by oftenwrong on Thu Nov 17, 2016 11:23 am

Wednesday PMQs in Parliament descended into rather pointless knockabout comic farce a long time ago. Radio broadcasts sound as though the setting is a farmyard. Nevertheless it can provide a general impression about the relative status of Administration and Opposition.

Theresa May deploys the customary pre-written jibes at Jeremy Corbyn, but when he lands a "hit" on current Tory policy as is increasingly the case, the PM can only fall back on personal insult in reply.

Continuing "noise" of that nature will accumulate in voters' minds in a positive way, unlike ritually stirring a pot on the verge of boiling over anyway because of the fiasco which is Brexit.



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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by witchfinder on Sun Nov 20, 2016 12:01 pm

I can still remember vividly what a great time May 1997 was, first of all we got rid of the Tories, but with a victory that I never dreamed of, and with the biggest Labour landslide in history.

My home town was buzzing, for the first time in its history we had a Labour MP, it was almost incomprehensible that Whitby should ever have a Labour MP, and what a great bloke Lawrie Quinn was.
The local football team "Whitby Town" reached Wembley in the final of the F A Vase and beat North Ferriby that same week.

Everywhere was the sound of "Things can only get better", and people had hope of getting away from sleaze, the running down and deteriorating NHS, the Poll Tax, Black Wednesday and the subsequent recession and fighting over the EU.

Look today at our National Health Service, and compare it to 2007, ten years after Labour came to power, it is in a deplorable state and sinking further, with swingeing cuts about to be announced and dozens of hospitals and health trusts in deep financial trouble.

What we need more than anything else right now is moderation, a party, a leader, a government which can heal the deep divisions in society caused by the referendum, the hard right, Trump and dare I say it - the hard left too.

We need someone to start using our NHS as the number 1 weapon against what the Tories are doing to it, and also to what they are doing to society, a concerted campaign, relentless and with key slogans, some facts, some top notch health professionals with white coats telling the public what is actually happening.

Our society needs a fair government, one that will repair public services, repair the divisions in society, we need to look at moderation and think hard about that Labour victory in 1997 which gave hope to millions.

It would be great if it was Britain which halted the rightwards march, as seen in Europe and America, the trend towards the hard right must surely only be halted by persuading people that moderation, compromise and common sense is the best way ahead.

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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by Ivan on Sun Nov 20, 2016 12:41 pm

witchfinder. When will you wake up and realise that the rules of the game have changed? 'Moderation' was supporting the status quo with regard to our EU membership, and what happened? 'Moderation' was voting for Hillary Clinton, as opposed to supporting the 'extremist' Trump. How did that turn out?

As Jeremy Corbyn said yesterday: “Political upheaval is becoming the norm. People know there can be no more business as usual, but the question is what will replace it. Voting for the status quo is not attractive to people because they know the status quo is failing them. The fake anti-elitism of rich white men like Nigel Farage and Donald Trump is farcical at one level, but in reality it’s no joke. So it is down to Labour to restore hope – and give people the chance to take back real control.

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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by Penderyn on Sun Nov 20, 2016 2:47 pm

Ivan - Exactly. As always in a crisis, we have the choice between socialism and some form of fascism (though probably without the old props). Nice normal compromise doesn't work when they are picking your pockets openly and kicking you if you object.
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by oftenwrong on Sun Nov 20, 2016 5:45 pm

It's all about to change: Tony is poised to stage a come-back.

Blair is setting up offices close to Westminster to house his 130 "operations and finance taskforce" staff, according to the front page of today's Sunday Times.
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by Phil Hornby on Sun Nov 20, 2016 5:56 pm

I think we can safely forget any tangible Blair comeback.

As for Labour, the next General Election could see an unholy Tory / UKIP alliance which might relegate Labour under Corbyn to a party much like the Liberals in terms of parliamentary size and influence.

Regrettable, depressing , but inevitable, given the decisions Labour members have made...
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by witchfinder on Sun Nov 20, 2016 6:14 pm

The moderate centre and centre left have had some bad luck and made some very bad choices in the past 10 years, the financial crisis and recession just happened to come along when Labour was in power, and enough people believed the dishonesty o0f the Tories when they said it was "all Labours fault".

Then came the wrong choice for leader, and I am utterly and totally convinced that David Miliband could have been Prime Minister now, but hey ho, the unions wanted Ed, and the rest is history.

My point is that Gordon Brown was not New Labour, and he did not lose the 2010 election because he was either not left wing enough, or that he was too close to the centre ground - he lost because a lot of people though that he was was somehow responsible for the banking crisis and the recession, people believed the lies the Tories were peddling.

No no no, the choice is most definitely not between "socialism and fascism", and the choice is also not between socialism and what we have currently got, I reject both.

Socialism is dead, its finished, its like the Norwegiean Blue Parrot, it has been soundly and resolutely rejected, and the insistence that you are going to somehow revive Socialism is sad, its a pipe dream that is only going to give us many more years of a destructive Tory government.

Some of the ideas and thinking of Mr Corbyn are as crazy and as ridiculous as the vile and nasty ideas and sound bites coming from the likes of Amber Rudd, Jeremy Hunt and Nigel Farage.

Who is shouting at the top of their voices about what they are doing to our NHS, where is the campaign, where is the fire and brimstone, the Labour leadership is tame, nice, polite and too courteous, they need to bang the fist on the table and point fingers.



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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by boatlady on Sun Nov 20, 2016 8:28 pm

Some of the ideas and thinking of Mr Corbyn

can you give some concrete and specific examples of crazy and ridiculous ideas put forward by Corbyn please?

I'm finding myself substantially convinced by his ideas about renationalising the railways, rescuing the NHS, building more social housing etc - not sure why these ideas are silly?
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by Ivan on Sun Nov 20, 2016 11:17 pm

witchfinder wrote:I am utterly and totally convinced that David Miliband could have been Prime Minister now
Such speculation is pointless. In any case, the tabloid press would have been just as relentless. For bacon sandwich, read banana. For the attacks on Ralph Miliband, read….....attacks on Ralph Miliband. What might have helped is if, having lost to his brother, David had joined his team instead of having a tantrum and leaving the country. But, as we now know, throwing your toys out of the pram is the standard practice of right-wing Labour MPs who won’t accept the results of party democracy.

Socialism is dead, its finished
Utter rubbish. There is a greater need for socialism in this country than at any time since 1945, and it’s not just here. Astonishingly, in the USA a socialist came reasonably close to securing the Democratic Party nomination for the presidency. Many people are convinced that Bernie Sanders would have beaten Donald Trump because he didn’t carry the baggage of the ‘moderate’ Hillary Clinton. But as I said, speculation is pointless.

Some of the ideas and thinking of Mr Corbyn are crazy and as ridiculous
I posted a summary of Corbyn’s policies on this thread on 2 November and invited you to tell us which of them you consider to be ‘extreme’, but you didn’t respond.

Who is shouting at the top of their voices about what they are doing to our NHS, where is the campaign?
This is an email I received on 17 November:-

Dear Ivan,

Under the Tories our NHS is underfunded and understaffed. 3.9 million people are on waiting lists and it's become harder to see your GP. These are the choices the Tories have made - but it doesn't have to be this way.

Labour created the NHS to care for us all - and now it's time for us to care for the NHS. On Saturday 26 November, thousands of Labour members will be joining one of the hundreds of local campaigning events across the country. Join us as we call on the Conservatives to give the NHS the funding it needs.

Don't worry if you've never joined one of our campaigning events before - there will be plenty of experienced people there who can introduce you to what we'll be doing. In our hundreds of thousands, we can spread the word to communities the length and breadth of Britain. Join us to protect our most precious national institution and help spread the word on Saturday 26 November.

Jonathan Ashworth,
Shadow Secretary of State for Health
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by Penderyn on Mon Nov 21, 2016 11:57 am

oftenwrong wrote:It's all about to change:  Tony is poised to stage a come-back.

Blair is setting up offices close to Westminster to house his 130 "operations and finance taskforce" staff, according to the front page of today's Sunday Times.

Duw, there's lovely!   War with  Lichtenstein next!
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Nov 21, 2016 12:13 pm

War with Lichtenstein next!

We can send a gunboat to teach 'em a lesson!

Oh, hang on a mo!
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by witchfinder on Mon Nov 21, 2016 12:22 pm

boatlady wrote:Some of the ideas and thinking of Mr Corbyn

can you give some concrete and specific examples of crazy and ridiculous ideas put forward by Corbyn please?

I'm finding myself substantially convinced by his ideas about renationalising the railways, rescuing the NHS, building more social housing etc - not sure why these ideas are silly?

You have always had the nack of bending and twisting what people state - a trait which is well used by the new left and Mr Corbyns storm troopers. Perhaps you might like point out where I have ever stated that re-nationalizing the railways is a bad idea, or how you come to the conclusion that I am opposed to the building of social housing or rescuing the NHS.

The point is that I do agree with Corbyn on many issues, but it aint enough, and it aint enough to get him elected.

He has many ridiculous ideas which are completely out of step and out of tune with the electorate, his stance on defence alone will ensure he is never leader of this country, his comments on ISIS and dealing with the likes of "Jihadi John" made him and Labour the centre of ridicule, and rightly so, his thoughts on Israel and Jews and the way in which he dealt with anti Jewish sentiment is not good enough.

I believe Corbyn is at least partly responsible for Brexit, his half hearted and wishy washy approach was out of step with the majority of us who campaigned to keep the many rights and protections that Europe has given us.

His economic plans are a strange mix of experimental fiscal jiggery pokery and the tryed and failed policies of yesteryear, something a cross between Francoise Hollande's failed plan and that of Syriza, investing money using notes of promise written by yourself with no flesh or assets to back them.

His ideas on Putin and Ukraine are at odds with everyone ( well except President Putin. Donald Trump and Nigel Farage ), somehow Mr Putin is the victim, and Russia's violation and interferance in Eastern Ukraine is Ukraine's fault, and also the fault of the EU - you could not make this rubbish up.
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by boatlady on Mon Nov 21, 2016 1:29 pm

Sorry if you feel I was trying to twist your words, Witchfinder - I'm not really very politically experienced and was citing some of the Corbyn policies I have particularly agreed with.

In relation to foreign policy and defence I'm aware not everyone would be happy with Corbyn's stance - but I think a lot of us might agree that other versions (eg the 'war on terror') don't always pan out very well - even though they may be popular.

I believe the economic plans being put forward by the Shadow Chancellor are quite well in tune with many expert views (not an economist myself, but investing in social housing, education and other forms of infrastructure seems to me to make sense)

One of the things I find refreshing and authentic about Corbyn (and I may not be the only one) is his acceptance that matters are not straightforward - there is no black and white or easy one size fits all answer - this led to him making I believe more public appearances in the run up to the referendum where he was the politician most frequently telling the truth and giving people information - something that neither camp did particularly well.

I feel the performance of the last Labour government in bringing forward social improvement and change have not stood the test of time particularly - it has taken the Tories less than 7 years to completely dismantle any improvements brought about by Blair's government - and the decision to engage in the Iraq conflict was disastrous - we need a change - we don't need 'politics as usual'

To my mind, the mainstream Labour party has become right wing and authoritarian and no longer really represents the ordinary people of the country - that is why Corbyn has twice convincingly won the contest to be party leader - on this last occasion, despite the fact that many of his supporters were disenfranchised.

I say let the man get on and do the job he was elected to do
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by Ivan on Mon Nov 21, 2016 3:42 pm

witchfinder wrote:I have not changed - the Labour Party is changed
The world has changed. It seems to me that some of us still think we’re in 1997, when enough voters decided that they’d had enough of the Tories after eighteen years and pinned their hopes on Tony Blair. Whatever anger they felt about the incompetence, in-fighting and sleaze of John Major’s government was assuaged for a few years by backing Labour. The desire for change was temporarily satisfied in the traditional way, by switching between the two main parties.

The UK then had the longest period of continued economic growth for at least 200 years, something which political commentators conveniently forget when they parrot the Tory lie that Labour can’t be trusted with the economy. A number of good measures were introduced, but all of them were easy enough to reverse once the Lib Dems handed the keys of Downing Street to Cameron in 2010. The Tories may not dare to abolish the minimum wage, but they don’t go out of their way to enforce it, and they find ways such as ‘workfare’ to circumvent it. So what is the legacy from 13 years of ‘moderate’ Labour government? Civil partnerships, later upgraded to equal marriage, I guess. But it’s the Iraq war and the global credit crunch for which those years will mainly be remembered.

Rightly or wrongly, much of the working class felt let down by Blair and Brown’s governments. Inequality didn’t increase at the same pace as under the Tories, but little was done to try to reverse it, and Mandelson told us how relaxed they were about some people getting “filthy rich”. Then when austerity kicked in and the man in the street had to pay for the recklessness of the bankers, the anger started to boil over and scapegoats were sought. The Tories and their tabloid press henchmen successfully diverted that anger towards those receiving benefits, immigrants and the EU.

History is littered with political trends across national boundaries; for example there were revolutions in a number of European countries in 1830 and 1848, and student riots in 1968. The current anger towards ‘the establishment’ is no exception, and it is expressed in movements on the left and the right. We have Syriza in Greece, Podemos in Spain, Beppe Grillo in Italy, Marine Le Pen in France, AfD in Germany and Sanders and Trump in the USA. Corbyn, UKIP and Brexit are all part of the same manifestation that the status quo is no longer viable. A so-called ‘moderate’ Labour Party, failing to oppose austerity and welfare cuts for some of the poorest people in society, is not the answer to this outpouring, and the idea that David Miliband would have been effective in the current political climate is absurd. This isn’t 1997, the world has changed, and people who try sitting in the middle of the road are likely to get run over.
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Nov 21, 2016 5:27 pm

A memorandum saying "I agree" adds nothing to the debate, but it is comments of the quality demonstrated there which make me regret the ephemeral nature of an internet discussion such as Cutting Edge.

It would be nice if there could be a compendium of Ivan's succinct distillations which have been so helpful in summarising complicated matters on this topic. Might even rival The Thoughts of Chairman Mao in time!

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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by Phil Hornby on Mon Nov 21, 2016 5:59 pm

And not just Ivan's - excellent though they always are...
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by sickchip on Mon Nov 21, 2016 6:31 pm

The commentariat, and other political opinion making the assumption that the 'left' need to learn from Brexit, Trump, and the lurch to the 'right' by 'working class' voters is wrong.

The 'left' need to stick to their principles, and should not compromise to satisfy this current political trend. The 'left' need to steadfastly stick to arguing their case, persist with questioning everything the 'right' are doing, and persist with providing an alternative to people on the doorstep. Sooner, or later, people will see this lurch to the right is doing the majority no good, and the wheel will turn towards the left. I realise it is tempting to compromise principles for power, and that doubts can set in, but believe the left just need to stay strong and not bend with the current ill wind that is blowing throughout politics.

The current 'neo-liberal' system is already creaking under the weight of the inequality it creates. It will eventually collapse into an unrecoverable mess, and that is when the idea of 'government for the people' will return.

In years to come people will look back at this period in history - Brexit, Trump, etc and say "what the f--k were we thinking".
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by boatlady on Mon Nov 21, 2016 7:57 pm

it is tempting to compromise principles for power

beautifully put - and where Labour has in fact been going wrong - sticking to the message - fairness, social security, social housing, education for all etc etc - is the only strategy that makes sense if the world is ever to recover from this mad descent into hatred and xenophobia
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by Penderyn on Tue Nov 22, 2016 12:36 pm

Quite. Who outside of an institution now takes Blair or his dogs seriously now, for instance. Comeback, him? What a laugh!
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by oftenwrong on Tue Nov 22, 2016 12:39 pm

After the political upheavals of 2016, I'd accept the comeback of David Lloyd George without surprise.
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1983 or 2016?

Post by oftenwrong on Thu Nov 24, 2016 12:35 pm

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1983 "The longest suicide note in History"

June 23 2016  "The briefest one"
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by Penderyn on Thu Nov 24, 2016 1:01 pm

The only suicide notes ever put about by members of the Labour Party were the squeaky lies of right-wing careerist MPs such as those who supported MacDonald, those who betrayed the Movement by forming the SDP and those who are now manoeuvering in Parliament to make toryism eternal.   I prefer choral singing to these eternal solos by prima-donnas myself.
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by Ivan on Mon Nov 28, 2016 9:31 am

We’ve been told, regularly in the media and by a couple of people on this forum, that Jeremy Corbyn is unelectable because his policies are too left-wing, and that such policies formed Labour’s platform in the 1983 election and resulted in a heavy defeat. Those people may be right, but I don’t think the issue is that simple. I tend to subscribe to the adage that governments lose elections rather than oppositions win them. And in 1983, Thatcher didn’t lose.

Placing too much reliance on opinion polls should carry a health warning, but in the latter part of 1981 the Tories were slumped in third place with around 27% support. After two years of broken promises (such as over VAT), savage cuts, 20% inflation, national insurance increases and inner-city riots, Thatcher was the most unpopular prime minister since records began. Then General Leopoldo Galtieri came to her rescue.

According to the journalist Michael Cockerell, Tony Blair told Robin Cook that “the thing I learned is that wars make prime ministers popular”. It didn’t work too well for him, but presumably he ‘learned’ that from Thatcher and the Falklands War, which saw Tory popularity increase to 51% in May 1982 and remain above 40% right through to the general election of June 1983. As Labour under Michael Foot supported the government’s Falklands action, it can’t be claimed that the Tory boost was because Labour was anti-war.

Blair sings to a different tune these days: “Those of us who lived through the turmoil of the ‘80s know every line of Corbyn’s script. These are policies from the past that were rejected not because they were too principled, but because a majority of the British people thought they didn’t work.” The unique political environment of 1982-3 suggests that Labour could not have won the 1983 election whatever the party said or did, or whoever was leading it, and to make a comparison with Labour under Corbyn now is spurious. In the current nationalistic and xenophobic atmosphere which is polluting much of the western world, I wouldn’t place a bet on any left or centre-left party winning power in Europe for the foreseeable future.

However, at some point the pendulum will swing. By the time of the next election in 2020, the negative effects of the insane decision to leave the EU could well be hurting people, and maybe more of us will wake up and react to what the Tories are doing to the NHS. Perhaps it will also become more obvious that Theresa May is out of her depth and capable of little more than repeating meaningless platitudes like “best possible deal”. As I said, governments eventually lose elections rather than oppositions win them.
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by Phil Hornby on Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:21 am

Yet another good, thoughtful and informed analysis for which we should be grateful.

However, I do feel that Corbyn as an individual is ( sadly) a liability because he doesn't look or act like a traditional British Prime Minister should. He is also prone to being too honest and fails to adopt the subtleties of language and approach by which most politicians skirt round the reality of what their policies might mean over time.

It is 'unfair' that such straightforward honesty can go unrewarded, but that is the hard fact of politics which, in many ways, is a game where- thanks to the gullibility and shallowness of the voting public -   those who manipulate the rules best and expose themselves to ridicule the least, are the most successful.

If life was fair we would never have a Tory Government and the likes of Farage's UKIP and its attendant hangers-on like the BNP and EDL would never have seen the light of day.

Labour needs a leader with guile if it is to win , and if it persists in having a leader whose public persona attracts more negative attention than any recognition of its worthy policies, it will be waiting long time for power...
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by boatlady on Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:44 am

Thinking about current politics in England, I'm mainly struck by the fact that, although the Tories are daily and openly harming us all by their unnecessarily harsh and destructive policies, it was in fact a Labour politician who was attacked and brutally murdered 'for the good of the nation'.

This seems to show just how far the pendulum is currently swinging against anything like socialism in the public view - Like Ivan, I only hope it will swing back when people realise just how much recent developments have hurt us all
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Nov 28, 2016 12:15 pm

It's also difficult to imagine Jeremy Corbyn stooping to the rabble-rousing untruths and meaningless rhetoric of a Trump.  

In the USA, television has an enormous significance in any kind of electoral presentation, and the public tend to prefer the better-looking and showbiz-savvy candidates.

Politicians on our side of the pond will have to grasp that too.  There are votes in a pretty face and/or ease facing the Camera. It shouldn't be that way, but it is.

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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by boatlady on Mon Nov 28, 2016 3:46 pm

the public tend to prefer the better-looking and showbiz-savvy candidates.

which to my mind tends to deepen the mystery of how an ugly specimen like Trump got so many votes - for heavens sake, he even had to import a wife as none of the locals would have him
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Nov 28, 2016 5:18 pm

As to that, Mr Trump himself is obviously VERY happy with his appearance - he never varies it. Our own (much-missed) Caroline Aherne covered the "wife" part when she enquired innocently, "and what was it that first attracted you to this millionaire?" in similar circumstances.
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by boatlady on Mon Nov 28, 2016 7:05 pm

Men of a certain age, I've found, often do lack insight lol!
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by Penderyn on Thu Dec 01, 2016 1:01 pm

oftenwrong wrote:It's also difficult to imagine Jeremy Corbyn stooping to the rabble-rousing untruths and meaningless rhetoric of a Trump.  

In the USA, television has an enormous significance in any kind of electoral presentation, and the public tend to prefer the better-looking and showbiz-savvy candidates.

Politicians on our side of the pond will have to grasp that too.  There are votes in a pretty face and/or ease facing the Camera. It shouldn't be that way, but it is. [/b]

The difficulty is, in that case, how long can any sort of democracy survive, and do we want to live in a bad tv programme.
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by boatlady on Thu Dec 01, 2016 4:47 pm

do we want to live in a bad tv programme.


Good question - I sometimes wonder if we've gone past the stage where we have a choice any more
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by witchfinder on Fri Dec 02, 2016 9:57 am

What conclusions do posters draw from the result of the Richmond Park By Election result. ?

The most obvious conclusion is a spectacular win for the Lib Dems and defeat for the incumbent MP, but its also a very very bad result for Labour too, and yes we do know that there is, and was little chance of Labour ever winning this seat, but never the less it is still a terrible result for Labour.

Here is a remarkable fact about Labour in this constituency - the party has 1,600 members in this constituency, the total number of votes cast for Labour yesterday was 1,515.

The Labour share of the vote yesterday was less than a third of what it was at the 2015 general election, but no doubt all the JC supporters will come out with all their theories - it was an unusual election - it was the media what did it - etc etc.

What it tells me is that all the enthusiasm, the rallies, the increased grass roots support is from the allready converted, and the much wider electorate wont touch Labour with a barge pole, but when will people accept this. ?
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by oftenwrong on Fri Dec 02, 2016 11:02 am

Doesn't explain why the voters have chosen a chipmunk to represent Richmond Park and North Kingston.
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by Penderyn on Fri Dec 02, 2016 1:42 pm

witchfinder wrote:The Labour share of the vote yesterday was less than a third of what it was at the 2015 general election, but no doubt all the JC supporters will come out with all their theories - it was an unusual election - it was the media what did it - etc etc.

What it tells me is that all the enthusiasm, the rallies, the increased grass roots support is from the allready converted, and the much wider electorate wont touch Labour with a barge pole, but when will people accept this. ?

Well, if the members of Parliament betray the movement and are hugely publicised by the Murdoch scumbags, what do you expect?   The best hope is they slink off and join the Liberals, like their SDP predecessors, and give us the chance to organise a decent party that supports and is supported by working people.
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by witchfinder on Fri Dec 02, 2016 3:16 pm

Penderyn wrote:Well, if the members of Parliament betray the movement and are hugely publicised by the Murdoch scumbags, what do you expect?  

I have heard this theory many times over - that it is the fault of the "traitors", in other words the majority of the PLP, but think about this theory, does it really stand up to scrutiny ?, are voters really abandoning Labour because there is desent amongst MP's, or is it because of the radical shift in policy thinking ?, to be honest I really dont believe that Labour's unpopularity has anything to do with the PLP who in reality have not shifted their stance on issues since they were elected in May 2015.

I think that what you are really saying is that - Yes the party leadership and new members are radically shifting the position on many issues, and if you dont agree with this change, then your a traitor.

But is it not the fact that good and decent men like Hillary Benn are sat in the House of Commons based upon what they stood for and campaigned for ?, and not some altered version taking us back to the Militant socialists of the 1970s.

I know that Ivan hates me when I quote what I hear on the ground, in pubs and amongst traditional Labour voters, but the other night something really did suprise me - a miner who goes into the club where I have a drink said that he thought Theressa May dident seem too bad, I nearly spit my drink out, this from a man who stood on the picket lines during the miners strike in Sunderland, he thinks that May is a better alternative to Jeremy Corbyn.
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

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