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With Corbyn September 27, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Thanks to the person who sent this analysis from Tim Stanley in the Telegraph [!] in. Ignore the source and one will find it, I think, actually pretty good in relation to the dynamics extant across the last year. It notes that:

I started to feel, dare I say it, sympathy for the militants? They have spent generation after generation languishing on the backbenches – carrying the torch for an ideological socialism that Labour has pledged itself to but never actually delivered in government. Throughout all that time, they’ve caused trouble. But comrades like Corbyn have stuck with the party and worked for its candidates. Broadly speaking, they have accepted the principle of democratic centralism – that the party disagrees internally but speaks with one voice at election time. The Blairites insisted upon this to the point of authoritarianism.

But once they lost control… they:

…suddenly started to squeal about the importance of dissent. Cabinet members must be free to ridicule policy; MPs must be able to slag off the leader. Having done everything within their power to force Corbyn from office by making his position untenable, the moderates finally decided to launch a leadership bid against him – in the name of unity!

And this is particularly good.

They cried havoc and unleashed the Chihuahuas of War. Owen Smith. Owen. Smith. A good man, no doubt, and an intelligent one, certainly. Flashes of self-depreciating wit were obvious. But Owen Smith? As leader? As prime minister? His only definitive stance throughout the race was his insistence that Britain should stay in the EU even if the British people don’t actually want to. He managed an astonishing feat: he made Corbyn sound not only more democratic but more patriotic.

Whatever one’s views on the referendum outcome it is clear that a ‘re-run’ isn’t on the cards for a decade – and frankly nor should it be. So there’s some degree of truth in that. Moreover the lack of support for Smith from those who had started that ball rolling – well as Ed put it on this site, one would almost be sorry for him. Almost.

Here’s an interesting set of points.

What hurt the poor man more than his general air of inauthenticity was the impression that Corbyn has quietly grown in stature. In debates, Smith was supposed to come off as the moderate making a rational case for electability. But the more he ranted about racism and extremism, the more Corbyn – calm and often quite funny – came across as an elder statesman being unfairly traduced. That is this campaign’s greatest, most ironic legacy. It has helped Corbyn hone his skills. It has lent him authority.

Again let me quote (at this rate too many times) Michael White who predicted precisely this, albeit against a different Tory ‘team’. That Corbyn could well look like the quiet English town bank manager come in to clean up the Tories mess. I’ve no particular optimism that Corbyn will win the next election – never did (and I don’t think that that is his fault, I think that politically and demographically that would be an impossible task for any LP leader), but you know, perhaps the events of the last few weeks and months have closed the gap a little.

And what’s interesting is the way the following is framed:

Which makes him impossible to dislodge this side of a general election. Labour is now stuck with a leader who could do “this” or “that” and could benefit from “one thing” or “another” – and tiptoe into the orbit of potentially winning an election with a bit of luck. But millions of Britons just can’t vote for him under any circumstances. Why? Take your pick. For me, it was the day he commemorated dead IRA terrorists. Good grief, why couldn’t the moderates even beat that?

Good point in terms of the specific. But… there’s a problem with it too. Just as this polity has discovered it’s a lot more difficult to ignore people once they’ve laid down arms than might be imagined. And for those who argued some sort of engagement was necessary. Well, that’s not necessarily a minus.


1. EWI - September 27, 2016

Good point in terms of the specific. But… there’s a problem with it too. Just as this polity has discovered it’s a lot more difficult to ignore people once they’ve laid down arms than might be imagined. And for those who argued some sort of engagement was necessary. Well, that’s not necessarily a minus.

There’s a whole lot of people, here and there, who lost out (power, prestige, patronage, sense of mission) because the Peace Process happened, and stuck. For everyone else, we’ve moved on I think.


2. CL - September 27, 2016

“Between 1986 and 1992, Mr Corbyn attended and spoke each year at the annual “Connolly/Sands” commemoration in London….
The programme for the 1987 event, on May 16 of that year, praises the “soldiers of the IRA,” saying: “We are proud of our people and the revolutionaries who are an integral part of that people.”
The programme for the 1988 event, on May 8 of that year, states that “in this, the conclusive phase in the war to rid Ireland of the scourge of British imperialism… force of arms is the only method capable of bringing this about”


Alibaba - September 27, 2016

Somebody else in the media made the point that since his re-election Jeremy Corbyn is “politically bomb-proof”. You could take this to mean he won’t be removed from the Labour leadership this side of a general election. And it looks like any on-going carping against him (and the alleged “praised the Brighton bombing”) will backfire too.


FergusD - September 27, 2016

The campaign against him will continue. The Blairites think they own the party. So they will argue for PLP election of the shadow cabinet (Corbyn should argue for the election of the shadow cabinet by the membership, if they want an election). Tom Watson has presented the NEC with a massive list of constitutional changes, you can bet these will favour the right. He already got through a change to the NEC membership co-opting two representatives of some sections or organisations which means Corbyn loses the advantage of the recent election of member reps to the NEC. There are all the suspensions and expulsions, some estimate them in the tens of thousands, of mostly Corbyn supporters, and these may continue. The Anyone but Corbyn brigade aim to wear him down, and the membership, and return the BLP to a rump which is just election campaign fodder.


Joe - September 27, 2016

He won’t be removed from the Labour leadership this side of a general election. His opponents in the party will continue to wreck his leadership and wear him down and damage the party’s standing with the electorate. They aim to make sure that the party will lose the next general election and then they will try to remove him again.
Ultimately the right will succeed in retaking control of the party. Cos that’s what always happens.


Michael Carley - September 27, 2016
EWI - September 27, 2016

Personally I’m hoping for an early Mandelson demise. The man’s a snake in human form.


CMK - September 27, 2016

I wouldn’t be so pessimistic, to be honest, but I think it’s a good example of the politics of the Right wing within Labour that they are prepared to expend colossal amounts of political energy to kill off Corbyn and all he represents. What would happen if they directed even party of that energy to actually struggling against the Tories? Confirms me in my view that there is actually no ‘Centre-Left’ there is the socialist (or ‘Far’ Left) and the Right and that’s it. And that the centre-Left would far rather the growth of UKIP type outfits than a radical socialist Left party or movement.

By the way, I’m reading Richard Seymour’s ‘Corbyn’ at the moment and it is a great read. Wouldn’t agree with some of what he says but it’s worth reading given ongoing developments.


Alibaba - September 27, 2016

I find myself agreeing with some of the thoughts above. The Blairites will be undaunted in chipping away at Corbyn’s victory. I remember a report in the Daily Telegraph which said “They could even launch a legal bid to take control of the Labour Party name and assets.” Could they nick them? Perhaps.

They most likely won’t stomach another leadership challenge yet. But as long as the party machine remains in the hands of Blairites, who knows what can happen? I would be looking at their power bases, the party management, structure, bureaucracy, especially as a Rules Conference is coming along and putting them on the run.

I have no doubt that Corbyn will move the party left, make gains, maybe renew the left and most significantly, build a movement on the streets. That’s what the ordinary people he represents want to do. They are out to dislodge the constraints imposed on the Labour Party in the Blair-Brown years.

That’s also why the undercurrent of party civil war isn’t going away. I’m only hoping Corbyn’s “wiping the slate clean” isn’t the only bullet in the gun.


sonofstan - September 27, 2016

@CMK – the tories have even handed then an issue on a plate: grammar schools.


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