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Can Corbyn win if he cannot hold on to Copeland?

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Can Corbyn win if he cannot hold on to Copeland?

Post by Stox 16 on Fri Feb 24, 2017 3:50 pm

A Easy question. can Corbyn hope to win power if he cannot even hold on too Copland. as Seat Labour held even in 1979 and has held on too for 90 years odd. or are you happy to find anything else to blame for this result. For me this sums up his Leadership in a nutshell. as its one thing talking about winning and a whole different thing come days like yesterday. its almost hard to believe that you can blame the media for this result or say you cannot get your message over when you tell the whole world that you have the biggest membership of any UK Party. yet lose..

please do not move this topic as i would like to read what others say. plus i do not have the time looking for it. as it does put me off posting on here. [/i]
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Re: Can Corbyn win if he cannot hold on to Copeland?

Post by Ivan on Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:03 pm

Stox 16.  It has always been the policy of this forum that threads which are similar are merged in order to prevent the ‘dilution’ of discussions and reduce the temptation of members to post the same message on more than one thread, which is expressly forbidden by the site owners, Forumotion.com. We already have 770 threads on this forum (40 of them started by you), and it doesn’t take that long to see if there is one already in existence on which your contribution would be relevant. Furthermore, it only takes about five seconds to find your messages if they have been moved: go to Memberlist - click on your own name – Profile – Statistics – Posts – Find all messages.

Another consideration is that when you start a new thread, your opening post appears on every subsequent page of it. It would therefore be helpful if it was proof-read before posting; the first two lines of your message above contain at least six mistakes.

Do we really need a Corbyn-bashing thread? Probably not, as the BBC, Sky and the Tory tabloids saturate us with similar material, almost on a daily basis. But then they also dished up tripe about Ed Miliband’s eating habits and his father’s views, and before that it was Gordon Brown’s handwriting. Tony Blair used to have the Murdoch stamp of approval, but not any longer it seems, possibly because of his alleged friendship with Murdoch's ex-wife, Wendi Deng. Rest assured that if Corbyn is replaced as leader by another Labour MP, regardless of whether that person is from the right, left or centre of the party, he or she will be subject to constant vilification.

Corbyn was elected Labour leader twice in accordance with the party rules, each time with massive majorities. In Scandinavia he would be seen as a run-of-the-mill social democrat. In 1970s Britain he would have been seen as mainstream Labour, apart from possibly his views on nuclear disarmament, a topic which has divided the party since nuclear weapons were invented. It just shows how far the mythical ‘centre ground’ of UK politics has moved to the right since 1979 that anyone can consider him ‘extreme’. As Alan Bennett said, “since the 1980s, one has only had to stand still to become a radical”.

I believe Corbyn made a colossal mistake in not opposing Brexit in Parliament, and Professor John Curtice appears to agree with me. I’ve left the party because of it, but I shall continue to vote Labour and I have no plans to join any other outfit, not even your new centre-left and soft-right party that doesn’t yet exist. And I do think it would be more profitable if people directed their anger at attacking this incompetent and extreme right-wing government, which is responsible for crises in the NHS and prisons, cruelty to the poor, sick and disabled, underfunding of schools and local authorities, and which is determined to take us out of the EU on the strength of a slender majority in an advisory referendum.

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Re: Can Corbyn win if he cannot hold on to Copeland?

Post by boatlady on Sat Feb 25, 2017 11:10 am

As usual Ivan, I find myself broadly in agreement - I too am no longer a Labour party member, although I was offered reinstatement on condition that a warning remain on my 'file'
I refused this offer because it seems the party has an attitude to members that amounts to contempt and I get quite enough contempt from the Tories to satisfy my masochistic tendencies - I'm not willing to remain part of an organisation that treats me with such contempt. Like many, I joined the party not seeking any political position but just to be a foot soldier - if they don't want ordinary members, I will return to doing my bit through the advice work, for which there is a continuing and increasing need. Having been close to some of the 'players' for a couple of years, I find politics to be a dirty business - getting votes can often be at odds with the business of actually today improving the situation of individuals in need.

I'm not sure what good opposing Brexit would have done, so can't feel as angry as you about this.
Corbyn's policies, as you comment, are pretty standard social democratic stuff (Trident is always controversial) - I remain in support of those policies and as long as Labour continues to espouse these principles I will be voting Labour - it's very frustrating that so many in the party seem to think getting rid of the elected leader is more important than opposing the Tories - this, it seems to me, is in the hope often of raising their own profile - I, and the country, don't have the time or the energy for these power struggles - we need a socialist government and we need it urgently
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Re: Can Corbyn win if he cannot hold on to Copeland?

Post by Ivan on Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:27 pm

it seems the party has an attitude to members that amounts to contempt
Certainly there is a lack of respect, especially from the majority of Labour MPs. If you join a party, you accept its rules. If you don’t like them, you can try to change them, but if you don’t succeed you either accept them or leave the party. Those MPs have shown no respect for the rules which have allowed individual members and supporters to choose the leader, which they have done twice in the last 18 months and on both occasions handed Jeremy Corbyn a large mandate.

The Labour Party was formed to use parliamentary democracy to transform society by replacing capitalism with socialism. When it was hijacked by New Labour, it became a party whose aim was to manage capitalism in a slightly more compassionate way than the Tories. After New Labour was defeated in 2010, and then a slightly more left-wing Ed Miliband lost in 2015, a great number of Labour members and supporters “wanted their party back”, and the result was that Corbyn was elected leader, twice.

Corbyn didn’t cause the current crisis between what is essentially Old Labour and New Labour, he is merely a symptom. He also didn’t cause the decline in the number of Labour MPs elected in 2005, 2010 and 2015; that preceded his leadership. Similarly, he can’t be blamed for the wipeout of Labour in Scotland. And in the Copeland by-election, local party members rejected Jeremy Corbyn’s preferred choice as candidate, Rachel Holliday, a campaigner for the homeless. The local party should always have the final say in who they want to represent them and for whom they want to campaign, and in Copeland they chose former doctor and Owen Smith supporter Gill Troughton (who has been a dormant member of Cutting Edge since July 2013!).

Neil Hamilton has admitted that the Tories and UKIP worked tactically to defeat Labour in Copeland. But I haven’t got my head in the sand. I understand that Corbyn often came up as an issue on the doorstep during both by-election campaigns, which is hardly surprising when the media onslaught against him is so relentless and when so many Labour figures, past and present, seem to be queuing up to stick the boot in; I see it’s David Miliband’s turn now. But does anyone seriously believe that the likes of Liz Kendall or Owen Smith, and probably Yvette Cooper or Andy Burnham, would have been seen as anything other than ‘more of the same’ candidates who would have fared just as badly as Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband in a general election? What new strategy would any of them have offered?

I do think Corbyn was wrong to order Labour MPs to vote to trigger Article 50. It’s party policy to support EU membership and most MPs, members and Labour voters agree with it. To abandon it because of a small majority in an advisory referendum fought largely on a false prospectus seems cowardly and unprincipled. Anyone who supports our EU membership won’t be joining UKIP, but there is evidence that some Labour members and voters with short memories of that coalition government are deserting to the Liberal Democrats. As most people aren’t political geeks, the messages which are conveyed to them need to be simple. Corbyn’s ten-point policy plan is straightforward enough, but the party’s current stance on Brexit is not and is likely to satisfy nobody.

Centre-left parties have been receiving declining support across Europe as nationalism and xenophobia have risen in prominence as a reaction to both austerity and mass immigration. This is a much bigger issue than a by-election in Copeland and Jeremy Corbyn, but the tide may be about to turn in Germany, where the SDP has risen sharply in popularity since Martin Schulz became its leader. Perhaps when it dawns on people how awful ‘populists’ like Trump are, and how calamitous Brexit is, there may be a general resurgence of support for parties which strive for fairness, social justice and greater equality. Only time will tell.
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Re: Can Corbyn win if he cannot hold on to Copeland?

Post by boatlady on Sat Feb 25, 2017 5:21 pm

Really torn about Brexit -
On the one hand, voting AGAINST Article 50 would have been in many ways a futile gesture - as I understand it, the numbers in the house were always going to ensure that the vote was 'for'. My preference, as a tolerably comfortable retired person with a rudimentary political education, would be to stay in Europe - I think the rational arguments are all for this and we will undoubtedly be worse off out - at least in the short to medium term, possibly forever.
On the other hand, the Brexit issue was responsible for the political engagement of a disenfranchised and disaffected portion of the electorate - they do want out of Europe, they do want radical change, they have been largely ignored and excluded pretty much since Thatcher decided we don't need heavy industry and we don't need social housing and we don't need 'society'. Engaging with the process of negotiating the terms for Brexit and learning something about the complexities of our national relationship with the EU can only be a good thing in terms of encouraging people to vote intelligently on the issues, something that has become rare.

The policy of Tony Blair's that resonated with me most strongly was the idea of 'social inclusion' - this failed because there actually wasn't the political will to make it more than a pious hope. We need an inclusive society where everyone's opinions matter and where 'plebs' don't meekly accept the arrangements made for them by their 'betters' - perhaps the ongoing discussion about Brexit provides an atmosphere where this can start to happen - starting the discussion by saying you think the other side is stupid isn't the way to go.

I really hope we end up staying in the EU, or rejoining later but if a majority wants out, I think we need to be listening to their reasons, trying to give them what they want, explaining why it may not be such a great idea and ultimately avoiding recriminations if they later find out they were mistaken - if we don't do this, my fear is that those disaffected and unhappy people will join the growing ranks of right-wing racist extremists and then we will have civil war
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Re: Can Corbyn win if he cannot hold on to Copeland?

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Feb 25, 2017 5:39 pm

Prior to the 2010 General Election, the Tory party received considerable advice and assistance from the US Republican party. It's quite easy to see how policy statements made by David Cameron before that became reversed after the coalition achieved power.

Is there a Socialist government somewhere from whom Jeremy Corbyn's Labour party might receive helpful input?

and, apropos that question, does anyone know what happened to former Cutting Edge contributor Steve Walker?
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Re: Can Corbyn win if he cannot hold on to Copeland?

Post by boatlady on Sat Feb 25, 2017 6:46 pm

He publishes an online blog called Skwawkbox - very quick off the draw with opinion and evidence pieces about media bias and Labour political manoeuvrings - no longer contributes here but you can find him via Google

skwawkbox.org/
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Re: Can Corbyn win if he cannot hold on to Copeland?

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Feb 25, 2017 7:12 pm

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Re: Can Corbyn win if he cannot hold on to Copeland?

Post by boatlady on Sat Feb 25, 2017 8:27 pm

flower sunny cheers
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Re: Can Corbyn win if he cannot hold on to Copeland?

Post by Ivan on Sun Feb 26, 2017 12:28 am

Is there a Socialist government somewhere from whom Jeremy Corbyn's Labour party might receive helpful input?
In the European Parliament, Labour MEPs belong to the Party of European Socialists (PES). That’s probably as good a place as any for an exchange of ideas and tactics.

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Getting back to the subject of the thread, Stoke Central voted 65-35 for Leave in the referendum, and Copeland voted 60-40 the same way. The Labour candidates in both by-elections were pro-Remain. That might have had a negative effect on the Labour vote last Thursday, but I suspect that if it did it was minimal. Although Brexit is in the news almost every day at the moment, the EU is not the most important topic for most voters, although immigration is a major concern. What is surprising is that so many people in Copeland seem prepared to trust the Tories with the NHS, even though Theresa May refused four times in an interview to oppose the closure of maternity services at one of their hospitals. Turkeys and Christmas spring to mind.
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Re: Can Corbyn win if he cannot hold on to Copeland?

Post by Ivan on Sun Feb 26, 2017 2:07 pm

Working-class desertion of Labour started before Corbyn

From an article by James Morris:-

As news came in of Labour’s loss in Copeland, an argument started between two wings of the party. Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters used Twitter to blame Tony Blair for its decline among its northern working-class base, while Blair’s supporters argued that Corbyn was culpable. The polling says they are both right.

Details here:-
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Re: Can Corbyn win if he cannot hold on to Copeland?

Post by Penderyn on Sun Feb 26, 2017 2:23 pm

Can any fuhrer win when the tories have been allowed so desperately to weaken the trades unions? The question is, rather, whether we are prepared to down tools and be obedient robots.
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Re: Can Corbyn win if he cannot hold on to Copeland?

Post by Ivan on Sat Mar 04, 2017 11:14 pm

Nigel Farage was expected to win the seat of Thanet South in the 2015 general election, but he didn’t, even though UKIP won control of the local council at the same time. Apparently some of the ballot boxes were mislaid for about six hours and the result – a Tory hold – wasn’t declared until 11.00am, some thirteen hours after the polls closed. Did the Tories rig the election in their desperation to keep Farage out of Parliament? Who knows, but they are still under investigation for possible election fraud (not fully declaring expenses) in up to 30 constituencies.

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Now Steve Walker has used his online blog to suggest that there are questions to be asked about the conduct of the Copeland by-election. For a start, he understands that a company of which Tory MP Peter Lilley is a director ran the election on behalf of the local authority, which suggests a possible conflict of interest.

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Envelopes containing postal ballots are normally opened and verified before polling day. The total number of postal votes is recorded, though not the voting intentions shown on the ballot papers. At Copeland large envelopes filled with postal ballot papers arrived late and were left lying around, when they could easily have been counted while they were waiting for ballot boxes to come in from some of the more remote polling stations.

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After the 2010 general election, Phil Woolas was disqualified for lying about an opponent in his campaign literature in Oldham East and Saddleworth. The election had to be re-run. Apparently, the Tories in Copeland put out a leaflet misrepresenting Jeremy Corbyn’s current views on nuclear power:-


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Re: Can Corbyn win if he cannot hold on to Copeland?

Post by boatlady on Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:01 pm

Should Corbyn really take the blame for Copeland? An open letter to Owen Jones

Owen Jones’s recent video and column looked to Labour’s rout in the Copeland by-election to question Jeremy Corbyn’s future. Wider questions remain, but this open letter asks whether it’s fair to blame Corbyn for Copeland.

Copeland council is run by a socially conservative Labour administration that has done nothing for the constituency, and it didn’t help that the by-election candidate, Gillian Troughton, was a former Labour councillor in the area. The local party has been tacky; if you were living there why would you jump to Labour?
the health service is a massive issue in the constituency. Unsurprisingly, the fact that Jamie Reed left his role as MP during a process that will destroy the local health service has really has damaged the Labour brand locally. Sadly the healthcare campaign has been led by a coalition rather than the local Labour party. This is not down to Corbyn, but really poor Labour organising around the health service locally at a time when Labour needed to show real leadership on the health service.



An account of the Copeland by-election by a Labour party member who canvassed for the party, explaining some reasons why Labour's performance may have been less than stellar - bears out the comments made online by Corbyn supporters - the damage to the Labour 'brand' predates his leadership and arguably the problems on the ground arise from New Labour's historic disregard of working class populations. I have observed similar conditions in my home town, in which Labour is currently bleeding support to the Tories and UKIP.
The entire article can be read here
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Re: Can Corbyn win if he cannot hold on to Copeland?

Post by oftenwrong on Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:40 pm

There's no way of glossing over Jeremy Corbyn's failure to take the advantage of Tory confusion at PMQs today when he had the Prime Minister AND the Chancellor in his gunsights.

Instead of withering scorn for their incompetence .... He asked for an apology.

New scriptwriter please!
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Re: Can Corbyn win if he cannot hold on to Copeland?

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