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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 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)

Post by Phil Hornby on Fri Dec 02, 2016 5:16 pm

"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."


I don't think that is too far wide of the mark. There is just no public appetite - however bad the Tories are - for a left-wing approach which looks a bit too much like militant socialism. Corbyn's aspirations are all very commendable ( and understandable to a degree) but they just won't win elections in modern Britain.

For my money, the only movement likely to unseat the Tories and any small element of the vile UKIP, is a broad-based social democratic conglomeration based around a coalition of the election-savvy and realistic wing of the Labour Party and the Liberals and Greens - with possibly the SNP piggy-backing.

Unless there is some effort to get these factions talking about the prospects for undermining the Tory government , we shall have to endure a right-wing nightmare of the unspeakable...
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by Penderyn on Fri Dec 02, 2016 7:07 pm

The difficulty is that the mass of the voters have been brainwashed by the personalising of politics to think MPs ARE the Labour Party. Let's face it, if we go on like this, with this gang of careerists, we can just forget anything but grovelling to bosses forever, which seems to me a waste of life. Who is really going to bother, except a few brainwashed mugs and the careerists' relatives? We have to get rid of the whole useless gang and start arguing with people: there is no point in doing anything else.
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by oftenwrong on Fri Dec 02, 2016 7:46 pm

Quite right too, I think, Penderyn.  One of the best bits of advice I ever received has been the short sentence, "Examine the alternatives."

If not Jeremy Corbyn, then who?  Brown shouldn't have been allowed to assume the Leadership, but given that he was - should not then have ducked the chance of being confirmed by calling a General Election.  He muffed it, and had to resign.  The reins were taken over by Miliband, who is a nice enough chap, but demonstrably ineffective, and if you want an explanation for his failure you have only to read the list of Labour MPs who supported his candidacy:

Ed Miliband (63): Adrian Bailey, Margaret Beckett, Anne Begg, Hilary Benn, Luciana Berger, Roberta Blackman-Woods, Paul Blomfield, Karen Buck, Margaret Curran, Wayne David, Geraint Davies, John Denham, Frank Dobson, Jack Dromey, Maria Eagle, Clive Efford, Natascha Engel, Bill Esterson, Frank Field, Hywel Francis, Helen Goodman, Tom Greatrex, Lilian Greenwood, Peter Hain, David Hamilton, Jimmy Hood, Graham Jones, Susan Jones, Sadiq Khan, Ian Lavery, Mark Lazarowicz, Andy Love, Ian Lucas, Shabana Mahmood, John Mann, Gordon Marsden, Jim McGovern, Ann McKechin, Catherine McKinnell, Michael Meacher, Alan Meale, Madeleine Moon, Grahame Morris, Paul Murphy, Lisa Nandy, Sandra Osborne, Albert Owen, Stephen Pound, Rachel Reeves, Emma Reynolds, Lindsay Roy, Joan Ruddock, Alison Seabeck, Jim Sheridan, Andy Slaughter, Owen Smith, Emily Thornberry, Stephen Timms, Chuka Umunna, Alan Whitehead, Christopher Williamson, Rosie Winterton.

Can anyone spot more than one 2020 General-election vote-winner for Labour in there?
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by Ivan on Fri Dec 02, 2016 11:28 pm

witchfinder. The Richmond by-election result was spectacular, on a par with the Liberal win at Orpington in 1962. After that it only took them 48 years to build up enough support to be in a position to betray their progressive supporters by forming a coalition with right-wing Tories. They then agreed to treble tuition fees after pledging to abolish them, allowed the passage of the Health and Social Care Act of 2012, stood by while Iain Duncan Smith persecuted the poor, the sick and the disabled, and achieved nothing of consequence in return, not even their supposed ‘red line’ of proportional representation. Was it all worth the wait?

No, I don’t think anecdotal evidence from down the pub carries much weight, and I doubt if my personal response to the Richmond by-election is any better. However, I will say (and at risk of being thrown out of the Labour Party like my colleague boatlady) that had I lived in that constituency, I would have voted for the Lib Dem candidate yesterday, and I strongly suspect that a number of Labour supporters did so. Why? Because politics is the art of the possible. There was no way that Labour was going to win the seat, but anything (short of voting for UKIP) which might reduce the slender Tory majority in the House of Commons has to be worth a punt. I wouldn’t vote tactically in a general election because I want my vote to be included in the national total, but by-elections aren’t about electing a government and their importance is often exaggerated. Quite simply, third parties are regularly ‘squeezed’ on these occasions, and trying to turn that fact into yet another attempt at rubbishing Jeremy Corbyn smacks of desperation. We get the picture – if Labour wins anything, it’s due to the candidate, if it loses it’s all Corbyn’s fault. The BBC and the Tory tabloids would be proud of your spin.

Hilary Benn is not a decent man; instigating a coup attempt against Corbyn at just the moment when the Tories were in disarray after the referendum vote was treacherous. It was also pathetic, in that the hapless Owen Smith was the best that the rebels could offer as an alternative. The result was a second landslide win for Corbyn in a year, strengthening his position and ensuring that he isn’t going anywhere for the foreseeable future. However, in the meantime you can enjoy the success of your new friends in increasing their number of MPs from eight to nine, and if you’re lucky you may live long enough to see them sell out to the Tories again one day.
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by witchfinder on Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:29 am

Ivan - by admitting that you would have voted Lib Dem if you had voted in Richmond shows you are facing up to what is realistically possible, rather than hanging on to the impossible, so it then begs the question - why dosent this ability to accept reality trannsfer through to Mr Corbyn's chances of ever been Prime Minister. ?

In todays broadsheets and tabloids, left leanning and Tory leanning, the focus is on the fact that there are now few safe Labour seats, and the consensus of opinion is that a resurgent Lib Dems of the moderate left, and the xenophobic tones of UKIP to the right could act as a pinser movement, slowly stranggling Labour until it ceases to exist as the second party of Britain.

I can now see that there is a very slow acceptance even amongst some avid and loyal Corbyn fans that this is just not working, and the only future is electoral oblivion.

I thought very long and very hard about where my loyalties lie, and it was not simply that I disagree with the militant left, it was also the absolute hatred and vile comments been made against Tony Blair, Labour members branding him with as many insults and disgraceful names you can imagine, been personally told to "leave" and "get out" of the Labour Party - well I have.
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by Penderyn on Sat Dec 03, 2016 12:34 pm

When I watch Question Time from northern constituencies where UKIP did well (the BBC chooses plenty of them) , I understand what was once meant by 'the insensate fury of the mob', as individual fascists assure us that whatever was in their stupid heads when they voted was 'the will of the British people' and the mob howls and brays. As a result, I'd certainly have voted for anyone who had the guts to stand up to the bully-boys, as did the Liberal candidate at Richmond, because I am sick of these buggers ranting. What that might have to do with the elected leader of the Labour Party I do not understand - the Blairite theory is that he was lukewarm on the issue, but that is just tactical lying, as usual, and none of us saw any sign of it at the time. It is getting too like the mobs of trumpers attacking minorities, and I have had enough of the whole stinking gang. It's is time to fight.
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by Ivan on Sat Dec 03, 2016 12:41 pm

witchfinder. I would have voted for the Lib Dem candidate in Richmond to help defeat the racist Goldsmith, who ran such a vile campaign in his attempt to become mayor of London, and in the hope of reducing the Tory majority in Parliament. That has nothing to do with who will or won’t be prime minister in 2020; I don’t know the answer to that and neither do you. What I do know is that Jeremy Corbyn has twice been elected by a landslide, whether you or I like it or not, and plotting against him has proved not only pointless but damaging to the party. In a democratic organisation, members (and especially MPs) have a duty to accept the result of internal elections and to make the best of them, or to get out as you have done.

There are two explanations for your fact that Labour has 1,600 members in Richmond but the party’s candidate only received 1,515 votes. The first is the usual one – ‘third party squeeze’ – and clearly some members have voted tactically. The second explanation concerns the Labour candidate, Christian Wolmar, who is an outspoken Corbyn critic. If Richmond Labour Party is typical of the national average, around 60% (nearly 1,000) of those 1,600 members will be Corbyn supporters, and having Wolmar as the candidate may have persuaded some of them to vote tactically or not to vote at all. Maybe instead of trying to pin the blame on Corbyn for the lost Labour deposit in Richmond, you should be pointing the finger elsewhere.

The blog in the link below also points out that an anti-Corbyn candidate in a Sheffield council by-election performed badly, while in by-elections with pro-Corbyn or neutral candidates, Labour has seen substantial swings in its favour. As to your other favourite pursuit of quoting opinion polls, some recently predicted that Goldsmith would win Richmond by a margin of around 20%!

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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by boatlady on Sat Dec 03, 2016 3:47 pm

I think we do have to take account of the fact that a majority of Labour party members support Mr Corbyn (see recent leadership vote) - which may in turn impact their willingness to vote for an openly anti-Corbyn Labour candidate (see the problems Labour's current infighting are causing for the party's reputation)

Like Ivan, I might well have been unable to force myself to vote for an anti-Corbyn Labour candidate because we actually want to get the buggers out of the party or toeing the current party line so as to get a proper opposition going - introducing yet another 'traitor' who will take any opportunity to talk down the leadership of his own party isn't a very sensible move - surprising in fact that so many did vote for Christian Wolmar, given that reasoning. I'd have probably voted LibDem meself - although I'm horrified and alarmed to hear that the dear lady has the utmost admiration for the shambolic Theresa May and considers her an inspiring and very competent woman - but at least it's not one of 'ours' making such stupid statements
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Corbynstein’s Monster

Post by Chas Peeps on Sat Dec 03, 2016 6:34 pm

Brexit | Chicken Coup | May | Trump

Which is the odd one out?

I’d say Brexit because all of the others have the effect of focusing the left on the political enemy whereas Brexit is like a rocky coast with UKIP the main force behind the storm forcing the left’s ship towards the wreckers.

Ever since SLab lost Scotland to the SNP and forty or so Westminster seats with it in 2015, I thought Labour had the north face of the Eiger to climb if it was to win GE2020. That north face may as well have been coated with anti-climb paint following the ongoing ‘boundary review’.  Add to that Labour’s creation of Corbynstein’s Monster where an economically left wing leadership and mass membership head has been grafted grotesquely onto a small neo-liberal PLP body where the body seems to be deciding the direction of travel or more accurately, which section of the fence to keep sitting on.

Labour’s founding core objectives were to act as the political wing of the trade union movement and to represent the interests of the working class. During 13 years of power it chose to do nothing to reverse the weakening of the unions by the Tories and inequality was worse when Labour was defeated in 2010 than it was in 1997. The rise of the SNP, UKIP and Brexit are Labour’s harvest of 13 years of neglect of its core supporters. It no longer appears to be able to agree what it exists for, what its ‘use’ is. The current Labour leadership and hundreds of thousands of Corbynite members have far more in common with the Green Party than they do with their own because the Blairite policies have largely remained the same. New mood music (and public rows); same old policies.  The Blairites in the PLP display values that are already on offer within the Liberal Democrats.

We have centrist Liberal Democrats. We have left wing Greens. We have a Labour Party that has lost Scotland to the Scottish Nationalists and England to the English Nationalists. Post Brexit UK is on the verge of disintegration. The English working class is being seduced by the hard right with its lies, scapegoating and easy answers.

As a former Labour Councillor, I feel physically sick to witness the state of the Party. It has failed the UK people at their time of greatest need due primarily to egotism and factionalism. It is unspeakably self-obsessed and narcissistic. Labour must understand once again that until we get a fair voting system and constitutional reform in this country, its crucial role is to be the biggest part of the vehicle for that reform not a roadblock to it.

Labour needs to ask itself who it wants to represent and help going forward. Does liberal socialism even fit what most working class people want any more? Should Labour become an unashamedly populist left party requiring it to embrace a harder Brexit, immigration controls and pledge a more secular state to satisfy Islamophobic forces? This could all be done alongside curbing the power of The City, progressive taxation, investment in public services and creating a more equal society. Does it need to leave so-called ‘wishy washy do-gooder’ libertarian policies to the Greens, allowing us to remain the willing lightning conductors for bigoted vitriol?
 
I was rightly asked to correct a tweet saying in error that Labour’s Richmond Park candidate was pro Heathrow expansion. He wasn’t for which I apologised but his Party is and why was he even standing at all? Why did he not stand aside like the Greens did as part of a progressive alliance to defeat Goldsmith, the Tory stooge? Blind tribalism. Pride. Paralysis. We have no room or time for any of these any more.

For pity’s sakes Labour, decide where you stand, swallow your pride and join the Progressive Alliance that unseated Goldsmith in Richmond Park. That is how we will ALL defeat the Tories in 2020. Labour cannot do it on its own any more.


Last edited by Chas Peeps on Sat Dec 03, 2016 6:37 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Insertion of space between paragraphs.)
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by witchfinder on Sun Dec 04, 2016 12:12 pm

The Labour Party cannot continue on with such a narrow and completely outdated approach, the party simply cannot be elected to power by the working class, or trade union members, those days have long gone and they aint coming back.

Why would a serious political party, hoping to atain power and government, focus its campaign on 5.8 million union members, many of which are not Labour Party affiliates, many of which dont even vote Labour, and ignore the vast swathes of middle class voters who often come from working class backgrounds, many of whom have made it in life through hard work and determination, it is these people who are most likely to determine the outcome of a general election - the swing voters, the floating voters.

The entire rhetoric of Corbyns supporters is antique, outdated and sounds like echoes from the past "the masses of the working classes will deliver a Socialist utopia" - and many actually believe this crap, for God's sake wake up

The Labour Party has been hijacked, if the last leadership election had been limited to pre 2015 members, Corbyn would not be leader.
I strongly believe that forces will be at work behind the scene's to wressle the party back from the Militants, and I support them fully, by foul means or fair - go back to your SWP or WRP and stop been the parasites that you are.

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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by Penderyn on Sun Dec 04, 2016 12:39 pm

If you just want another tory party, go on supporting Murdoch, but what is the point? The mugs having been hugely brainwashed as a result of Blair's long treachery, it will need a fight to rebuild a decent Britain, and if you're not up to it, the best bet is to emigrate, if anyone'll have you. But what is the point of staying here sabotaging all decency as you do?
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by Ivan on Mon Dec 05, 2016 12:15 am

The Labour Party cannot continue on with such a narrow and completely outdated approach
witchfinder. The most outdated concept around here is your idea that we can find another Tony Blair, turn the clock back to 1997 and all will be well. As Chas Peeps has explained above, Blair may have won three elections but he largely ignored Labour’s core supporters, assuming that they had nowhere else to go. But they did – many turned to the SNP and UKIP, and many helped to give us the impending disaster of Brexit.

The Labour Party should not waste its time trying to court people who have been voting Tory. Anyone who supports the trebling of tuition fees, Iain Duncan Smith’s cruelty, the bedroom tax, the creeping privatisation of the NHS and the xenophobia displayed at this year’s Tory conference, and who puts their head in the sand while a million people need to use foodbanks, will keep voting Tory. How do you suggest that Labour should appeal to the greedy, the callous and the selfish – by being a little less cruel and a little less xenophobic than May and her cronies? It would be futile to even try; most of them would probably carry on supporting the real Tories rather than opt for a pale imitation.

When Labour lost power in 2010, its middle class support was similar to what it had been in 2005. It was the working class vote which didn’t hold up. That was hardly surprising; why should Labour take funding from the trade unions, only to take them for granted and give next to nothing in return? The party should firstly be trying to shore up its working class base, and secondly trying to motivate those who have only voted rarely or not at all in the past. Both tasks will be difficult; many of the first group have been seduced by tabloid and UKIP bile about foreigners, while many of the latter have felt alienated from the democratic process and see politicians as “all the same” and “only in it for themselves”. Jeremy Corbyn has made a start with the second group; the breathtaking attendance figures at his meetings and rallies show that many people think he offers them something different, it's called hope.

If you want to “hijack” a political party, you would need to choose a small one to gain sufficient influence, not a party that has trebled its membership in two years, so I’m afraid you’re just talking nonsense, and once again it’s you that has the outdated ideas. This is not the 1980s, the WRP is so small as to hardly be worthy of a mention; it fielded seven candidates in the 2015 election, and between them they achieved 488 votes. The SWP has also declined after being beset by various problems, including a rape allegation several years ago. Neither of those groups is in a position to make a serious infiltration of a party which has over half a million members, and to suggest as much is both absurd and an unsubstantiated smear against those who have joined Labour in the last two years. Maybe if you’d stayed in the party and met some of the new members, you might have an informed opinion about them.

In any case, I doubt if the remnants of the WRP and the SWP would consider Labour under Corbyn as of much interest to them. Is it Trotskyist to want the railways to be publicly owned, as they were from 1948 until 1997, and as many southern commuters would like them to be now? Is it Trotskyist to want the NHS to be run as a public service, without tax exiles like Branson cherry-picking the profitable parts? Is it Trotskyist to want to put the top rate of income tax back up to 50% and to want to make a genuine attempt to stop tax evasion and avoidance? Which of Corbyn’s policies are so ‘extreme’? Presumably his refusal to be prepared to murder tens of thousands of people with nuclear weapons?

Any more shenanigans in the Labour Party will rightly lead to local constituency parties deselecting those MPs who, after two landslide wins for Corbyn, still won’t accept his democratic mandate. In the meantime, perhaps you’ll spot the irony in advocating “foul means” to defy the will of 330,000 members, while at the same time condemning an imaginary “hijacking” of the party by a handful of Trots?
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by Phil Hornby on Mon Dec 05, 2016 12:14 pm

Time will tell whether Corbyn can win for Labour.

But if he cannot justify that expectation which diehard Labour supporters have, then it is to be hoped that there is no falling back on the tired excuse that it will all be due to 'Tony Blair' and even current MPs who don't fall in behind his every wish.

As I have said ad nauseam, he was not exactly the first to be relied upon by previous democratically-elected leaders to respect the Party line.

I await evidence emanating from future elections that Corbyn is the man who will unseat the Tories. Doubtless he will bring joy to those who are disciples of a particular bygone brand of socialism, but the problem may be that he will bring even greater joy to those who benefit from an Opposition led by a man - and with some policies - reliant upon what sounds so much like the class war rhetoric of the past...
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Dec 05, 2016 1:03 pm

Of course it's not productive to keep sifting through the ashes of the past, and the Labour Party of today is pretty much satiated with recrimination of the Blair regime. Though it is a pity that thirteen years were not sufficient time in which to reverse Thatcher's more spiteful anti-Trade Union legislation or to resume Council House building of homes for rent.

The price for that has increased fatally for some people during the past five years.

Most people's "knowledge" of Jeremy Corbyn's proposals for enlightened socialism has been gleaned from right-wing propaganda, but the fact is that what he proposes has for a long time been no less than justice for the less privileged segments of our society. Many a tune is improved by being played on an old violin. The important thing about Labour Party policy should be that it does not coincide with Tory philosophies.
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by boatlady on Mon Dec 05, 2016 3:26 pm

I think that's right - if Labour does nothing else it needs to provide a real alternative to the current neo-liberal consensus - and not doing so would be a betrayal of the party's roots.

If the electorate doesn't want social justice in the form of fair and rational policies about housing, a fully national NHS, fair taxation and renationalisation of the railways well so be it - but if I'm voting Labour those policies need to be on the table.

If the majority of the country want to close the borders and bomb other countries I'm disappointed in them, but I won't be voting for any party that advocates such dangerous and nasty nonsense
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by Chas Peeps on Mon Dec 05, 2016 7:28 pm

I'm glad that as a Green Party member I can comment on Labour as an outsider without vested interest because a left of centre progressive Labour Party would always be an ally of the Greens.

To be blunt, if it weren't for history, tradition and political tribalism, it could be argued that labour has a crisis of positioning created ONLY by its role as the only party other than the Tories that can win under our unfair and corrupting electoral system.

If we had PR, I think the Tory and Labour parties would no longer NEED to hold themselves together so would both split. Conservatives would split into Little Englander Isolationists and Big Corporatists. Labour members would go one of three ways - Blairites would be equally at home in the Liberal Democrat or Big Corporatist Tory Parties, Corbynites would find a ready made home in the Green Party where approximately 80% of existing policy is in line with where Corbyn wants to take Labour buit has been blocked by the PLP.

In the existing Labour Party, that leaves what I call the iliberal politically 'conservative' left - Brexiters, defenders of first past the post, believers in a much more secular society and the discouragement of diversity. As I said in my first post, being socially 'authoritarian' can be compatible with left wing economics. That is a distinct political niche between the Liberal Democrats and Green Party and members of such a Labour Party would not feel at home in either of the other two parties either because they are too far right economically (Lib Dems) or too socially libertarian in the case of the Greens.

The challenge labour has, along with all progressive parties is how to remove the Tory Government in 2020 that won with only 37% of votes cast in 2015. As I said in my early post, I don't believe that will be possible without a formal electoral pact with the SNP (assuming Brexit has not already caused a Scotland breakway), LIberal Democrats (reaching for a clothes peg now), Plaid Cymru and the Green Party. That will first require Labour to come to terms with the fact that it cannot win on its own (unless the Tories themselves split before 2020) and secondly to abandon its track record of tribal behaviour to join a movement that may be nothing less than one required to prevent fascists governing our country.


Last edited by Chas Peeps on Mon Dec 05, 2016 7:30 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : corrected spelling of 'corporatists')
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Dec 05, 2016 7:46 pm

Time perhaps for "The Electoral Reform Society" to be given some teeth - and relevance?

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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by Ivan on Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:45 am

Phil Hornby wrote:Time will tell whether Corbyn can win for Labour.
I’ve said several times on here that I doubt if Corbyn will ever be PM, but I equally doubt if any other Labour leader would win an election at this point in time, so we might as well have someone who is principled. The electoral system is being gerrymandered to give the Tories even more seats in Parliament, Labour’s rebellious MPs have made sure that the Tories and their press poodles have an arsenal of ammunition with which to attack Corbyn in an election campaign, and both the national and international mood has swung towards populism, nationalism and xenophobia.

I don’t think the tired theory that all Labour needs is to keep following the Tories further to the right under the leadership of Liz Kendall, Owen Smith or David Miliband has any validity in the current political climate. They would be about as effective as the Weimar Republic was against Hitler. Right-wing Labour MPs who abstained when the Tories made more welfare cuts last year don’t have much credibility when they then complain about the increase in child poverty.

A lot of people are feeling left behind, many haven’t had a pay rise for almost ten years, and the anger with the political establishment is worldwide. Austria has just had a close shave, with 47% of voters wanting Norbert Hofer, a fascist from the Freedom Party which was set up by a former SS officer in 1956, as their president. The candidates of the so-called ‘moderate’ parties of the centre-left and centre-right in Austria failed to reach the final round of voting.

A progressive alliance may well be the only way to defeat the Tories, but it would be extremely difficult to achieve. It would require Labour, as the largest opposition party, to accept that it can’t win on its own. There is still, understandably, a lot of hostility towards the Lib Dems, who were in government with the Tories until just nineteen months ago. Furthermore, a lot of Labour people wouldn’t countenance any deals with the SNP, although personally I have respect for both Nicola Sturgeon and Angus Robertson. I suspect that we just have to hope that enough voters show sufficient political nous to vote tactically to get rid of the Tories, as seems to have happened in Richmond last week.
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by Phil Hornby on Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:28 pm

Labour might as well admit it cannot win on its own if it wants the Tories out, since that appears to be the reality.

Taking that step need only be the first step on the road back to power. The Tories 'used' the Clegg Liberals to attain and retain office and such a strategy can work again. Besides, I personally am not unsettled by a coalition of left of centre parties to keep out the rabid Tories.

'Rebellious' MPs are only so disposed because they do not believe that the direction of travel with Corbyn is likely to achieve the task of unseating the government. That does not make them Tory-lite - it makes them realists , and without such realism we shall simply see a continuation of a Tory domination.

If there is reliance upon how the Labour membership in the country voted, to measure whether Corbyn should be loyally followed , I would point out that we only have to look at how a wider public voted on Brexit to see just how devoid of commonsense elements of the public can be!

It is a new political alliance which is, indeed, needed, and if that is difficult to achieve it is as nothing compared to finding any other means of flushing the Tories down the proverbial...
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by Penderyn on Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:52 pm

Phil Hornby wrote:Time will tell whether Corbyn can win for Labour.

But if he cannot justify that expectation which diehard Labour supporters have, then it is to be hoped that there is no falling back on the tired excuse that it will all be due to 'Tony Blair' and even current MPs who don't fall in behind his every wish.

As I have said ad nauseam, he was not exactly the first to be relied upon by previous democratically-elected leaders to respect the Party line.

I await evidence emanating from future elections that Corbyn is the man who will unseat the Tories. Doubtless he will bring joy to those who are disciples of a particular bygone brand  of socialism, but the problem may be that he will bring even greater joy to those who benefit from an Opposition led by a man - and with some policies - reliant upon what sounds so much like the class war rhetoric of the past...

'Unseating the tories' is neither here nor there.: the question is whether we can make the UK a place worth living in. You, like the MPs, keep echoing the same Blair-blather: 'We must obey Murdoch or lose, therefore we must change nothing important so that we can throw scraps to the people who produce things. They have, you see, nobody else to vote for'. As even you characters are beginning to gather, they have, oh God they have!
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by Phil Hornby on Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:29 pm

I think I am beginning to see why we have a Tory government... Smile
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by oftenwrong on Tue Dec 06, 2016 4:06 pm

Looking on the bright side, perhaps wringing our hands over the perceived difficulty of electing a Labour government may persuade the Tories to soften their aggressive tactics.
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by Penderyn on Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:58 am

Phil Hornby wrote:I think I am beginning to see why we have a Tory government...  Smile
We have a tory govenment because of Murdoch and his merry chums, and the treachery of the Blairites, as you know.
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by Ivan on Wed Dec 07, 2016 12:11 pm

It's not surprising that we have a Tory government when we have dipsticks like this loose on our streets:-

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Another possible factor is that you sometimes get people who clearly loathe the Tories but then don't bother to vote when given a once-in-five-years opportunity to kick them out.
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by boatlady on Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:32 pm

nice legs - shame about the politics
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by witchfinder on Sat Dec 10, 2016 10:07 am

Jeremy Corbyn and the legacy of the militant socialists

The legacy of this period in history will be of a period in British political history when the governing Tories could literally get away with just about anything without incurring any harm to their electoral prospects, because the opposition is as good as been non-existent.

To back my assesment of Labours shocking standing amongst the electorate are the polls, all of them, not least the very latest which if repeated in a general election would give Theressa May a whopping 148 majority; Ok so I accept these polls recently have tended to not get things quite right, so lets say the polls are out by say 50%, lets give the Tories a majority of only 74 - there, thats better - isen't it ?

But its not just opinion polls, its also real polls, a by election where the number of party members in the constituency is more than the number of votes cast for Labour, and a seat where Labour slipped from second down to fourth place.

All this at a time when the government is in turmoil over Brexit, the Tory party is disguising the rifts and fighting between hard brexit and soft brexit, the state of our NHS is close to the point it was in just prior to 1997 when it was rescued by a Labour government and turned around.

Thankfully the Corbyn supporters are fast running out of excuses and places to hide, for while they are culpable in the first degree of allowing the Tories to get away with almost anything, they can offer absolutelly no glimmer of hope to those of us who want an end to a Tory run Britain, they [ the Corbynista's ] are guilty of preserving a Tory run Britain, and they should not be forgiven.

But here's the worst of it - virtually all respected political analyst's point to the situation for Labour gradually getting worse, and a very good article now appears on Mike Smithson's respected website "Political Betting" entitled "Can Labour Really Sleep Walk Another Three and a Half Years Into Disaster".

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Bunker Mentality

The die hard Corbynista's tell us that things will improve, the polls are all wrong, the political commentaters and analysts are wrong, and its the right wing media whats doing it, not forgetting of course that other excuse - the PLP, the elected Labour MPs who are all "traitors".

Beyond the debunking of the bunker mentality excuses, you then come up against another line of defence, this time even more crazy, and it goes like this ...... I / we would rather face defeat that surrender "true" socialist principles.

It seems that it's fine, ok, to allow a Tory government to rule with a free hand, unhindered, rather than abandon the kind old socialism which we thought we had left behind in the 1980s.

Thankyou to all the new grass roots members of the Labour Party, and to the long standing members who support them, thanks a lot for handing the 2020 election to the Tories on a gold plate.

Thanyou to the Corbyista's for letting the side down, the low waged, those that are in insecure jobs, the sick, the defenseless, our doctors and nurses, people with the Bedroom Tax inflicted upon them, the young man in Middlesbrough who committed suicide because Job Centre staff made him feel worthless.

The people who are in most desperate need of a compassionate government should not forgive what you have done to the Labour Party, you need to be ashamed and you should feel guilty.
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Dec 10, 2016 10:39 am

witchfinder wrote:Thanyou to the Corbyista's for letting the side down, the low waged, those that are in insecure jobs, the sick, the defenseless, our doctors and nurses, people with the Bedroom Tax inflicted upon them, the young man in Middlesbrough who committed suicide because Job Centre staff made him feel worthless.

The people who are in most desperate need of a compassionate government should not forgive what you have done to the Labour Party, you need to be ashamed and you should feel guilty.

Not long ago we were blaming the Lib-Dems for facilitating the vicious attack on the poor by a Tory-led Coalition.  But political trends flicker in the way that fashion clothing does.  I think it will be worth working towards a reintroduction of caring socialist principles like the welfare system which followed WW2.  If it happened then it can be made to happen again.
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by Phil Hornby on Sat Dec 10, 2016 10:44 am

"...the Corbyn supporters are fast running out of excuses and places to hide..."

I am sure they have plenty of each left- alas!

Forget the Labour Party - the hope for the future - if there is any - lies with a new left-of-centre alignment, if it can be achieved by those who will not tolerate the thought of a perpetual Tory/UKIP government...
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by Penderyn on Sat Dec 10, 2016 12:36 pm

Phil Hornby wrote:Forget the Labour Party - the hope for the future - if there is any - lies with a new left-of-centre alignment, if it can be achieved by those who will not tolerate the thought of a perpetual Tory/UKIP government...
 Well, that's why so many did forget the Labour Party - because it believed in a perpetual tory government, sometimes calling itself 'Labour'.   Heil Blair and the extinction of decency!
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by Phil Hornby on Sat Dec 10, 2016 1:42 pm

Blair and New Labour hated the Tories as much as anyone , but it was also -wisely-conscious of the lack of electoral attractiveness of a hard left agenda and the public's likely perception of a union -dominated type of Labour Party.

If an obsession with Blair and all his works helps folk to explain and endure the lack of success which Corbyn will achieve, then no doubt they will stick with that comfort blanket...
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by Ivan on Sat Dec 10, 2016 2:15 pm

Blair and New Labour hated the Tories as much as anyone
Really? Is that why they failed to undo any of the Tory privatisations, even after promising to renationalise the railways? Is that why they left the top rate of income tax at 40%, even though it had been 60% for nine of Thatcher’s eleven years in power? Is that why they only tinkered at the edges with the anti-union legislation which the Tories had passed, instead of recognising that strong trade unions lead to less inequality? Is that why Mandelson was “relaxed” about some people getting “filthy rich” and even spent time with scum like George Osborne on a Russian oligarch’s yacht? Is that why they had Thatcher back to Downing Street for tea, and conversely why Thatcher saw New Labour as “her greatest achievement”; doesn’t that tell you anything? Mad
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by boatlady on Sat Dec 10, 2016 2:21 pm

I think it will be worth working towards a reintroduction of caring socialist principles like the welfare system which followed WW2.  If it happened then it can be made to happen again.

At present I can only think of one group of politicians promising this - Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters in the Labour party - and I agree with OW - THAT is what we can hope for and what would maybe begin to mend some of the damage caused by our succession of right-wing governments
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by Penderyn on Sat Dec 10, 2016 3:17 pm

Phil Hornby wrote:Blair and New Labour hated the Tories as much as anyone , but it was also -wisely-conscious of the lack of electoral attractiveness of a hard left agenda and the public's likely perception of a union -dominated type of Labour Party.

If an obsession with Blair and all his works helps folk to explain and endure the lack of success which Corbyn will achieve, then no doubt they will stick with that comfort blanket...

The trades unions, even after the long decades of union busting, still have hugely more members than the tories and liberals combined. I think they are a little more important than licking Mr Murdoch's posterior clean.
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by Phil Hornby on Sat Dec 10, 2016 5:30 pm

A quick read of Alastair Campbell's diaries will indicate how much effort was made to undermine the Major-led Tories and the dislike felt for Tory MPs and their policies. Admittedly, many of the wilder Labour MPs at that time did their best to scupper the necessary modernisation and keep the Tories in power.

But, as I said, if Blair is a convenient scapegoat for Labour's current woes, don't let me seek to dissuade anyone... Smile
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by Penderyn on Sun Dec 11, 2016 12:25 pm

Blair is no more a scapegoat for the treachery of the Blairites than pox is a scapegoat for the tory failure with the NHS. The only trouble the Labour Party has is the squalid treachery of its careerist 'representatives' in Parliament, as well you know.
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by oftenwrong on Sun Dec 11, 2016 5:19 pm

As may be observed, there is a long line of former supporters ready to attend the funeral of the Labour Party, but the queue of Right-wing commentators is even longer. The anti-Corbyn tirades continue at every opportunity. THREE adverse articles in today's Sunday Times alone (plus one critical of Obama for balance).

The Tories don't appear to think that suggestions of a Jeremy Corbyn administration may safely be discarded.
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by Ivan on Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:15 am

Perhaps one of our 'moderate' posters can explain to us what is so 'extreme' about these pledges?  scratch

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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by Penderyn on Mon Dec 12, 2016 1:22 pm

The point is that everybody might well vote for that sort of thing if the Murdochites didn't keep screaming 'Trotskyites' at the top of their voices, all day and every day, while the saboteurs honk, 'The Labour Party is ruined' as they work all out to ruin it. Our masters have got used to quiet, obedient mugs, and we can't possibly expect them to adjust to a lot of bloody people!
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by Phil Hornby on Mon Dec 12, 2016 1:38 pm

As always, it is not what politicians propose which brings them success - it is getting voters to believe it and put them into office - and Corbyn won't , however much any of us would like it to happen.

Like it or not, the British voter wants a potential Premier to (a) look like one, and (b) sound like one - and no amount of pointing a finger at Tony Blair, 'traitors', or anybody or anything else ( including the ritual shooting of messengers), will alter that fact. If and when I am proved wrong, I shall be the first to admit it...
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

Post by Penderyn on Mon Dec 12, 2016 2:38 pm

Phil Hornby wrote:Like it or not, the British voter wants a potential Premier to (a) look like one, and (b) sound like one

You mean like a big-mouthed crook?   I think you are wrong:  people are beginning to look back to the period since the fall of Callaghan and draw deductions.    At the moment it just means they spit at the word 'politician', but I think they are also beginning to wonder about Murdoch's fuherprinzip, I do believe.
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Re: What now for Labour? (Part 2)

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