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Highlights and lowlights from last night and this morning June 9, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Quite a few. Quite a few. Clegg gone. Rudd so near and yet so far. Goldsmith in, Davies too. But Labour retaking seat after seat. And the key takeaway, that Labour is nowhere near the parlous state so many of us feared it would be even a short few weeks back. Corbyn’s campaign and that of BLP members was inspirational. The most successful leader since Blair! May is now hugely damaged. But this has – just as Brexit before it, shaken up the UK political landscape significantly. The SNP has lost considerably – albeit more to the Tories, much much more to the Tories (which tells us that perhaps leftish right politics has broken out there again after SNP dominance but with the SNP still in the LP’s place). What is Brexit in this? Its rupturing effect continues but in contradictory ways. It giveth and taketh away. Beneath all this the old dynamics persist of two party dominance though weakened, Scotland is not what it was for the LP. It may be again but who can say? The BBC has a compelling analysis showing that the LP has made hay in strongly Remain constituencies and also lost big in Exit seats. So the divisions persist. All has changed, some has changed back.

As to the North… ironic to see the DUP back in poll position to support the now weakened Tory government. The more things change…

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1. ar scáth a chéile - June 9, 2017

Highlight :the big sour puss on Mandelson at breakfast this morning

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WorldbyStorm - June 9, 2017

And Jack Straw was likewise upset last night heheh. Just on the north not one nationalist MP at Westminster, that’s real change

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Dermot O Connor - June 9, 2017

Watching Straw unable to force himself to admit error, skirt and skim around his inability to say “I was wrong”, was something.

“I was in this party before Jeremy Corbyn” actually came out of his mouth, classless pillock.

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2. Michael Carley - June 9, 2017
GW - June 9, 2017

Figures – a marriage made in their own regions of hell.

And the price – Brexit and close coupling to the UK for NI – also figures.

How will our own Tory Taoiseach react, I wonder.

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Lamentreat - June 9, 2017

This morning feels all wrong. This mad May rush to form a new government with the DUP, when a) she failed so utterly and lost so badly and b) there was barely a word about C/DUP as an governing outcome all the way through the campaign. Kind of feels like May’s own private little putsch. As if if she does it fast enough, everyone might go “Huh? Oh, OK then.”

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GW - June 9, 2017

More a demonstration of weakness than a putsch I’d say. She’s finished in the medium term.

The thing is the Tories have run out of options. They can’t to straight into a leadership election and can’t have another election immediately.

They also don’t know what position to take on Brexit now, given their weaknesses.

I suspect she’s been told that she has to cobble something together until they agree something internally.

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FergusD - June 9, 2017

Labour should put up giant posters across the land showing Jeffrey Donaldson with a tiny Theresa May in his top pocket (the Tories put up Sal/monMilliband posters like this in 2015).

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/mar/13/spin-it-to-win-it-what-does-that-miliband-salmond-poster-tell-us-about-the-battle-of-the-political-brands

Problem is probably 99% of English/Welsh/Scots voters would have no idea who Donaldson is or what the DUP is (NI version of UKIP, and some?). Direct rule of the UK from Stormont!

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sonofstan - June 9, 2017

When did he become ‘Sir’ Jeffrey Donaldson? Did they mean to give it to Daniel O’Donnell instead?

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3. GW - June 9, 2017

With a participation rate of just 69% there’s clearly more people out there who could be reached and mobilised.

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4. RosencrantzisDead - June 9, 2017

First-past-the-post is a great wheeze, isn’t it?

Corbyn obtains 40% of the vote. This is just seven-tenths of a percent shy of Blair’s win in 2001. Blair snatched 413 seats and plaudits for his ‘centrism’.

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Pasionario - June 9, 2017

Yes and no. There was a big Lib Dem vote too and some of that was tactical. I’m all in favour of Corbyn, but it’s not quite right to say he’s equaled Blair’s mandate.

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5. depps - June 9, 2017

A question rather than a highlight – how will our own Labour Party read this result? Howlin was already hypocritically trying to jump on the UK Labour bandwagon earlier this week… are they going to rediscover Connolly all of a sudden, and will this wash with the Irish electorate?

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6. Jolly Red Giant - June 9, 2017

Highlight for me – Corbyn proving all the pessimistic comments on here a month ago wrong and the election demonstrating that the Brexit vote was not all about racism and xenophobia.

As for Howlin – he went over to canvass for an arch Blairite candidate – and he will wrongly assume that the LP result was because of the ‘record’ of the Blarites (which has been the mantra of every Blairite giving their acceptance speech last night).

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RosencrantzisDead - June 9, 2017

Yes, you are CLR’s very own Nostradamus.

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leftcooperation - June 9, 2017

I’m more of a lurker than a poster but I find these type of comments quite irksome and unnecessary and as such I wanted to respond.

There was an objective basis to the ‘pessimistic comments’ based on the polls, based on the media vilification campaign against Corbyn and the fact the whole swathes of the PLP were actively undermining Corbyn and the Labour election campaign. Corbyn has done better than most of us expected including you I dare say and probably Corbyn himself.

Corbyn has been strengthened and he is safe as leader for a period at least, the Blairites will be cowed for a period but they won’t go away, the Tories will oust May at a certain stage and they will not run such an inept campaign again. It is far from certain that Corbyn will win the next election whenever that is.

‘the election demonstrating that the Brexit vote was not all about racism and xenophobia’

This is somewhat disingenuous, if you want to make a critical point, it would be more valid if you had an accurate representation of the broad view of participants here which was not to say that Brexit was ‘all about’ racism and xenophobia but that those issues were very strong components of the reasons why many people voted for Brexit, I think that’s fairly indisputable.

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WorldbyStorm - June 9, 2017

“This is somewhat disingenuous, if you want to make a critical point, it would be more valid if you had an accurate representation of the broad view of participants here which was not to say that Brexit was ‘all about’ racism and xenophobia but that those issues were very strong components of the reasons why many people voted for Brexit, I think that’s fairly indisputable”

+1 and much appreciated Left cooperation – it is very very irritating to keep being misrepresented about this and a range of issues on a continual basis and berated for same.

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ivorthorne - June 9, 2017

I linked you some research on the Brexit voter profiles the other day. If you’ve read it, you’ll know that the groups were nationalistic, anti-immigration and concerned about identity. There was clearly a rather significant element of xenophobia and racism involved.

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WorldbyStorm - June 9, 2017

I think it was good of you to do that IT but given jrg has just admitted that the highlight of last nights events is not the remarkable and fantastic success for the BLP but rather how he thinks that impacts on people on this site (as if anyone here is anything but delighted and relieved) clearly his interactions here are neither comradely or about engaging usefully.

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FergusD - June 9, 2017

Some serious analysis of where the UKIP vote went is required, as it collapsed. I suspect most went to the Tories, tehy targeted it, and the BLP uplift came from young, newly registered voters, but maybe the numbers could tell us for sure. Sadly, I think there is evidence that many voters went Labour to UKIP to Tories over the last few elections. They have to be won back but it will be a real struggle. Maybe only experience of Brexit will help with that. Not that I am a EU fan but the nationalistic alternative is a massive illusion.

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dmfod - June 9, 2017

Part of the reason labour did so well is that a good chunk of the UKIP collapse went to them rather than the Tories who still got most of it but nothing like the 90% or whatever they were predicting. A good lot of the constituencies were 66/33 Tory/Labour but some were much closer than that or even labour benefiting more.

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7. GW - June 9, 2017

Well that was quick. Government formed and Brexit negotiations begin theoretically Monday week.

On what basis who knows. But you can bet your bottom that the EU will make public any approaches they receive, because of the vulnerability of the other side to an open process.

And I’ve no idea how May or her follower is going to satisfy both the head-banging hard-line Brexiteers and the we’d-really-rather-not-but-if-you-must-then-Norway Remainers in her party. A small rebellion by either group could bring down the government.

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8. Jolly Red Giant - June 9, 2017

in response to ‘leftcooperation’ – there was only an ‘objective basis’ in the pessimistic comments if you looked at the surface of the local election results and the polls. I was ridiculed on here for weeks – first over Brexit and then over my optimism that Corbyn could win the election – or at the very least create the potential for a mass left movement after the local election result. I argued that there were specific reasons for both the locals and the polls – with the local elections the fact that it was Blairite LP councils that were imposing cuts to public services and why should anyone vote for them on that basis – and with the opinion polls with the Tories, the media and the Blairites all believing that left-wing policies are not popular (coupled with a wrongly held belief that the Brexit vote was based on little englander racism and xenophobia). However, if you looked at what was actually happening on the ground – the surge in LP membership – the ongoing local campaigns against austerity (and particularly cuts to the NHS) – the reality that much of the Brexit vote was designed to give the Tories (who campaigned for Remain) and the EU a kicking for imposing austerity – then there was every reason to be optimistic that once the Corbyn campaign on the ground got going and the left-wing manifesto (and it may have been limited but it was the most left-wing LP manifesto in 40 years) the LP vote would surge. Corbyn could have actually won the election if the Blairites hadn’t sabotaged the campaign as best they could.

The basis of the pessimistic comments – ‘the sky is falling’ – on here was because people did not and could not look beyond an election result and media opinion polls and see what was actually happening. I am not claiming to be any kind of prophet – but I am part of an international socialist organisation that has a base in the UK and was making the same arguments I was before and during the election campaign.

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WorldbyStorm - June 9, 2017

JRG you don’t read what others say you don’t actually address their arguments, most of the time you seem to be having an argument with a caricature you hold of others views but now you’re rewriting your own history, you said and i paraphrase that the Tories were likely to win but that wasn’t inevitable. That’s a long long way from what you’re now saying you said re ‘optimism corbyn would win’. If you can’t even keep your own story straight in a bid to prove yourself so much better than us so why would you think anyone should listen to a word you say?

There’s so much that you say above that’s questionable, re the most left wing manifesto in forty years (I’ve already pointed to 1987 being considerably more left wing but you don’t bother to address actual points ever) or Blairittes sabotaging the campaign which just isn’t true, they sent very very quiet because suddenly COrbyns stock was rising, but what is the point? All you’ll do is come out with vague nebulous language that on examination is detached from actual political terrain or actions ‘create the potential for x…’ which means nothing concrete in any serious analysis. There’s a further utter hypocrisy on those of us who are or have been supporters and members of the BLIP being lectured at such length for our supposed failings by someone who is not and would not be a member of the BLP.

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9. Jolly Red Giant - June 9, 2017

As for ‘ivor’ – I have never claimed that anti-immigrant and nationalistic attitudes weren’t a factor in the Brexit vote – what I argued was that they weren’t by any means the most decisive factor – the main reason for the Brexit vote (and it was a complicated vote – many on the left voted Remain because they were taken in by the little Englander campaign of Farage, Gove and Johnson) was an anti-austerity, anti-establishment vote – a vote that could be, and was, tapped into by an anti-austerity, anti-establishment, left campaign by Corbyn.

This election campaign – far from being the ‘sky falling is falling’ as was claimed here four weeks ago – was always going to unleash a potential for the building of a new mass anti-austerity, anti-neo-liberal, anti-xenophobic movement. This process is only starting. The Tories have been dramatically weakened by the election – and the conflict within the Tories that has been ongoing behind the scenes will likely break out into the open. Similarly the Blairites have been considerably weakened – and now will have to decide whether to hang in with the LP and hope to shaft Corbyn in the not too distant future – or jump ship to form a Remain party with the LDs. Corbyn, McDonnell and the handful of left MPs in the PLP have a major role to play – starting with forcing the mandatory reselection of MPs – and moving from there to mobilise the hundreds of thousands that potentially could be developed into a mass movement of activists that could transform the political landscape in Britain. We will see if they are up to the task.

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Ivorthorne - June 9, 2017

But that is not what the findings were Jolly. The findings were that the most commonly cited reason across the three main groups was immigration.

Now maybe you can argue austerity etc. contributes to creating an atmosphere whereby racism thrives, but racism is racism regardless of its cause.

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10. Jolly Red Giant - June 9, 2017

As for WbS and my ‘highlight’ – you will forgive me for indulging in a bit of sarcasm – something that I believe is richly deserved.

It is ‘remarkable’ that WbS is now celebrating this ‘remarkable and fantastic success for the LP’ when a month ago he was predicting a ‘disaster’ for the LP.

Yet I now have to correct WbS again – it was not a fantastic and remarkable success for the LP – because the LP is in effect two parties. The Blairites played absolutely no role in this ‘success’ – instead the actively attempted to sabotage it. It was a remarkable and fantastic success for the British working class, for left wing policies and for Corbyn and the handful of MPs who support him (and for all those on the left – inside and outside the LP who campaigned for Corbyn). Furthermore, the election was a continuing disaster for the working class in the North with the sectarian headcount becoming more deeply embedded than ever before.

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WorldbyStorm - June 9, 2017

No not good enough JRG. Why do you think there’s a contradiction between pessimism or concern more accurately at the prospect of massive structutal problems impeding the LP and delight at those problems vanishing. Why would that be remarkable. I’m an LP supporter and former member. That’s my party and I’ve supported Corbyn from the off. Politics isn’t about uncritical enthusiasm or optimism and expressing caution or hesitation is not disloyalty.

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sonofstan - June 9, 2017

“I am not claiming to be any kind of prophet – but I am part of an international socialist organisation that has a base in the UK ”

Whereas some of us are just ‘in the UK’. So what would we know?

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Ed - June 9, 2017

I was just thinking when I was out canvassing the last couple of weekends, and chatting to friends who were out canvassing in other seats, ‘this is okay, it’ll do I suppose, but I really wish I could be back in Ireland reading the SPEW’s internal bulletins, then I’d actually know what was going on’.

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Jolly Red Giant - June 9, 2017

You and a couple of pals down the pub having a chat about how bad things are does not equate to analysis.

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Ed - June 10, 2017

Yawn. Can you even hear yourself JRG? Consistently the most tiresome, boring, pompous, self-satisfied voice on this blog, delivering dreary monologues, never listening to anything people say in return, arguing with points nobody has ever made. Your tedious ex cathedra pronouncements certainly do not ‘equate to analysis’; I’ve never found anything of any value in them, a mixture of banal observations dressed up as profound insight and empty bombast. The Labour Party has factions, does it? The Blairites are opposed to what Corbyn stands for, are they? Golly gosh, thanks for that mate. Maybe for your next trick you can tell me that Manchester is north of London and Glasgow is north of Manchester.

The idea that anyone who doesn’t hang on your every word must be ‘down the pub having a chat about how bad things are’ suggests the most extraordinary vanity on your part. Since my circle of friends and acquaintances includes a few dozen people who were working very hard for Labour in this election, in seats all over the country, I will indeed be trusting what I hear from them and what they make of the current political moment far more than another tiresome lecture from afar, delivered by a man of seemingly infinite pettiness. But maybe you can take something from the wise words of Jebediah Springfield:

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WorldbyStorm - June 10, 2017

+1 Ed.

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ivorthorne - June 9, 2017

+1

You get that kind of attitude in sport and music fantom. People act as though those who talk about barriers or say that Leitrim have no chance of beating Mayo are being disloyal. Acknowledging that Leitrim or the Labour party have an uphill battle and probably won’t win is not the same as not turning up to support them.

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Jolly Red Giant - June 9, 2017

The purpose of analysing political and social developments is to facilitate the development of a strategy to take the working class movement forward or during times of retreat to minimise the impact. Marxist forces then put forward a perspective for taking the movement based on this analysis.

Time and again over the past few years the only international Marxist organisation that has formulated the correct perspective has been the CWI – from the development of the strike wave in the mining industry in South Africa, to the mass movement around SYRIZA in Greece, to the movement that developed around Sanders in the USA, to the development and now the re-development of Podemos in Spain, to the analysis of Brexit and the movement around Corbyn in Britain, to the rising mass opposition to neo-liberalism in Brazil. In some areas the workers movement has made small gains (like in South Africa which is complicated by the Stalinist approach of the NUMSA in building a new mass workers party) – in others the workers movement has made huge gains (like in the USA where the campaign for a $15 an hour minimum wage that was initiated by Socialist Alternative in Seattle has now spread right across the US and resulted in many cities now implementing a $15 an hour wage).

In all cases the perspective of the CWI has also created a situation where significant numbers of workers have been won to the ranks of the CWI and in many situations the CWI has been the only international socialist organisation that has grown – from hundreds who have joined in the USA (and a wider periphery of thousands), in South Africa, in Spain to the dozens (and possibly hundreds) in Britain over the past six weeks and similar numbers in Brazil.

Over the past six weeks in Britain the perspectives of the Socialist Party have ensured that it has succeeded in making a connection with a wide layer of workers, in some areas creating community wide support for Corbyn (particularly where the LP candidate was a rabid right-winger – and there were an awful lot of them), having a major influence in many colleges in the drive for registration and voting for Corbyn, and in developing the left in many trade unions (many of whom had their conferences over the recent period) and using this base to build support for Corbyn’s campaign.

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RosencrantzisDead - June 10, 2017

Do you cut-and-paste this stuff from SP missives? Typing it out would surely evoke acute embarrassment. I think I could only do it from behind a cushion, periodically peeping out to input a sentence or two.

You did not have any credible predictions, JRG. You claimed somewhere ‘Tory victory was far from certain’. The Conservatives winning the most seats was very, very likely and proved correct. The claim it was ‘far from certain’ is and was wrong.

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Jolly Red Giant - June 10, 2017

Last point I am going to make on this –

It is absolutely crucial to recognise that the LP is in reality two parties – one a right-wing neo-liberal party based on the PLP, the councillors and the LP bureaucracy – the second based on a handful of left MPs and the bulk of the LP membership with the potential to develop into a new mass workers party.

What is happening in Britain is a reflection of developments on a global basis where there is a realignment of politics and the beginnings of the reemergence of a class consciousness among working class people. Coupled with this is the beginnings of the reemergence of workers parties – initially on a left populist basis – but slowly developing as new left workers parties.

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RosencrantzisDead - June 10, 2017

It is absolutely crucial to recognise that the LP is in reality two parties…

A trivial statement.

FPTP electoral systems encourage broad coalitions under a single party banner. Put more bluntly: it engenders a two-party system. The main parties in an FPTP system will always have this characteristic. How many factions do you think make up the Conservatives? Given the Labour Left and Labour Right have been struggling since before the days of Tony Crosland, I do not see how this is new information.

What are you suggesting should happen with this new ‘mass workers party’? Should it split from Labour and join Militant?

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ivorthorne - June 10, 2017

Sorry JRG if you meant the whole thread when you said the above was your last point, but I’m just checking: given the findings of the study, would you accept that given immigration is the most cited reason given for Brexit and that these voters also frequently thought it was a more important issue than the economy, health and education, would you not accept that a large section of the Brexit voter was probably racist/xenophobic ?

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dmfod - June 10, 2017

I don’t think it’s “trivial” to say the LP is two parties. It’s true there’s always been a Labour left and right but usually one side is heavily dominant as the right was from 1997 onwards. The current situation where the party is split right down the middle like it is at the moment and like it was prior to the SDP split is unusual and highly significant. Probably the most important formal development in British politics from a left wing perspective at the moment is this split in the LP and who will win out. This election has obviously massively strengthened the left but the parliamentary party is still dominated by Blairites so there’s a long way to go before the left is really in control of labour.

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WorldbyStorm - June 10, 2017

But it kind of is trivial because it doesn’t have any great explanatory power and it’s also a gross simplification – there’s not just a left and a right but there’s also centre and all of these are plural left(s), right(s), centre(s) etc.

All my adult life and long before the LP has been a broad church – I can’t really recall any time when the centre and/or right wasn’t in power. It certainly was under Callaghan, Wilson, etc and back again – although they signed off on programmes well well to the left of Corybn’s manifesto, and that’s an important caveat that the centre of gravity, what was ‘right’ in LP terms across the years shifted rightwards. Even when the SDP split away the centre and right remained in pole position. In that sense the ‘left’ has never really been in control of Labour.

I was a member myself in the early 1990s in London for a few years and it was very clear that at local and regional level it wasn’t “split” two ways, which is a simplification, but in many directions with various currents. Corbyn himself reflects that. Many around him, Murray, Milne, come from CPB or CPB proximate positions. He himself is I’m told from a brief IMG background but really slots in close enough to Livingstone etc. That’s just him. Oh and Paul Mason too. At least three separate currents and obviously many more if we throw in other figures. Cast the net wider and we have a myriad of currents.

The idea of a split now is overstated – it’s in no one’s interest, and the outcome would cripple both elements that remained. More likely an outcome will be a certain rhetorical unity behind Corbyn for at least a while. Whether that survives until the next election is another question. But significant ruptures are unlikely. What is good is that Corbyn has some forward momentum to work with and an huge amount of goodwill both within and without Labour. And what he’s doing is in a sense winding the clock back to a point where what was ‘centre’ in the LP is more leftwards than it has been in a long time. But again we’re still quite some way from the sort of centre that was signed off by Wilson or Callaghan for election after election.

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RosencrantzisDead - June 10, 2017

The current situation where the party is split right down the middle like it is at the moment and like it was prior to the SDP split is unusual and highly significant.

‘Highly significant’ of what precisely?

Are you saying the Labour Party will split? If so, Are you saying that split is imminent.

The statement about Labour being ‘two parties’ is trivial. You are giving a rather generous interpretation to what he wrote. My suspicion is that JRG (and whever writes the CWI pamphlets) makes these statements with a sufficient ambiguity in order to ‘motte-and-bailey’ – move between a contentious and weakly supported statement and an trivial one so as to avoid defending the former or concede the argument.

JRG’s election predictions certainly fit the bill, as does much of what is found on socialistworld.net.

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Pasionario - June 10, 2017

The Blairites’ Trump card has always been electability, with the ’83 election serving as exhibit A.

The importance of this election is to show that left-wing politics can be electorally viable and, under current circumstances, in all likelihood more viable than technocratic centrism led by a lightweight like Burnham or Kendall.

Politicians are professionals who care deeply about holding onto their jobs. Many in the PLP formerly hostile to Corbyn will be looking at their increased majorities this week and saying to themselves: Hang on, maybe there’s something to this after all.

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Ed - June 10, 2017

That may be true of some formerly hostile Labour MPs, perhaps even many, but there’s still going to be a hard-core determined to sabotage the party at all costs. Already today we have Chris Leslie, one of the worst offenders over the past two years, rushing into the studios to attack Corbyn, deny him any credit and talk down Labour’s achievement. Barely 36 hours since the exit poll came in and we have another ‘Labour MP attacks Corbyn’ story. Corbyn and his allies need to press hard with the advantage they now have after confounding their critics: there can’t be any compromise with MPs like Leslie, they need to be made an example of.

A nice juicy head on a spike would be just the right message to send to other determined saboteurs. Leslie needs to be slapped down aggressively; Corbyn allies (not Corbyn himself – better he stays above the fray) need to put the boot in hard, putting the message out that Leslie is a bitter, discredited loser and a disgrace to the Labour Party; and if he keeps it up he has to lose the whip and go into the next election facing an official Labour candidate who supports the leadership and its programme. These people can’t be won over by persuasion or pragmatism; fear of losing their cushy post is the only thing that’ll break their resistance, and it needs to be broken decisively. We’ve seen what Labour can do when the internal critics and saboteurs aren’t able to wreck its prospects; we can never allow them to drag things back to where they were before.

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Jolly Red Giant - June 10, 2017

The Blairites do not exist in a vacuum – they are the political representatives of the monied class based on the EU and its drive to be an imperialist power bloc. The Tories represent the more traditional British capitalist class who have lost much of their power due to the decline of British Imperialism and the emergence of globalisation.

This election is a disaster for all sections of the capitalist class in Britain. The Tories have been undermined and their ability to implement a ‘hard Brexit’ has been hit – the Blairites have been considerably weakened in their efforts to remove Corbyn and return the LP to its role of representatives the pro-EU capitalist class and their plan of re-running the Brexit vote to reverse the result.

Furthermore – the past situation in the LP is not relevant to the current developments – the LP has traditionally been the party of social democracy in Britain, particularly in the post war period, But globalisation and the crisis of global capitalism dramatically undermines the possibility of the development of the LP as a new social democracy – global capitalism cannot afford the political and financial cost of social democracy. The closer analogy would be the initial development of the LP at the time of Kier Hardie when intense class struggle forged the LP as a weapon of that class struggle.

And Ed – making an example of a couple of Blairites is not enough – they have to be removed as a bloc from the LP otherwise they will engage in an ongoing guerrilla campaign against Corbyn and the left wearing down the hundreds of thousands of new members and eventually emasculating the potential for a new left developing through the LP.

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dmfod - June 10, 2017

RiD I never said a split was imminent or that there should be one. It would be much better for the left to take over the LP fully and kick out/sideline the Blairites through deselection and democratising the party – as Ed says now’s an opportune moment to get started. This could help transform the LP into a mass workers’ party.

WbS yes there are different left/right factions but that’s within an overall left/right division – the key significant change at the moment is obviously that the left is stronger than it’s been in decades and is challenging for real dominance! I don’t think compromise is possible with the right, the only way is to defeat them. That’s certainly the approach they’ve taken to Corbyn and most of them will continue with that.

I also think you’re being a bit static in your analysis – the same left reform proposals have a different resonance now after decades of neoliberalism than they did in the 70s or 80s as it’s starting to turn things in a different direction when it’s been all one way right wing reaction for as long as I can remember.

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WorldbyStorm - June 10, 2017

I’m sure my analysis is indeed vastly more static than yours – given your no doubt close proximity and knowledge of the BLP over the years, acquaintance with contemporary members and loyalty and work inside it. Best of luck with that dmfod – hope it turns out the way you think it may.

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WorldbyStorm - June 10, 2017

“A nice juicy head on a spike would be just the right message to send to other determined saboteurs. Leslie needs to be slapped down aggressively; Corbyn allies (not Corbyn himself – better he stays above the fray) need to put the boot in hard, putting the message out that Leslie is a bitter, discredited loser and a disgrace to the Labour Party; and if he keeps it up he has to lose the whip and go into the next election facing an official Labour candidate who supports the leadership and its programme. ”

+1 Ed. A solid example for the others should soften their cough. Couldn’t agree more. What’s striking is how manyof that soft opposition to Corbyn that developed a year in has streamed back behind him. It will be a challenge to take out the hard core but a couple of obvious examples made is a priority.

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Jolly Red Giant - June 10, 2017

Maybe we can put Howlin’s head on a spike and all join the Irish Labour Party to transform it.

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11. GW - June 9, 2017

Hats off to the exit pollers – they were remarkably accurate. Slight overestimate of Labour and Lib Dems – but apart from that spot on.

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Tawdy - June 9, 2017

Ahem !

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12. ivorthorne - June 9, 2017

One of the highlights of the campaign was probably actually the effectiveness around impartiality in the broadcast media. It helped Corbyn and Labour to get their message out and ensure they got the airtime they were denied during the Brexit campaign.

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FergusD - June 9, 2017

Iimpartial – you must be joking! Corbyn photoshopped with Osama Bin Laden by the BBC!

https://www.thecanary.co/2017/06/06/bbc-photoshops-corbyn-next-terrorist-broadcasts-image-right-election-image/

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Dermot O Connor - June 9, 2017

Yes and no. Craig Murray makes a similar point. It’s not so much that the coverage was impartial, but the fact that the media were forced to cover Labour at all. Check out the graph on this page also.

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2017/06/britain-flawed-democracy/

QUOTE: So the coverage was hardly fair and balanced, but despite this it was a great deal more fair and balanced than it normally is, because it was impossible for broadcasters to avoid giving a certain amount of unmediated time to Jeremy Corbyn and Nicola Sturgeon, and even to Caroline Lucas and Leanne Wood. The result of even this limited fairness was that collapse in the Tory lead.

Here is the important bit. This is not because Theresa May was below par, or Jeremy Corbyn was above par. The speeches of Jeremy I have watched have been a little below his normal standard, possibly due to overwork. May has always been this wooden. She is completely lacking in charisma and not very bright. Cameron kept her in position as a sop to the right wing of his party and precisely because he did not want a more capable right winger in high office.

No, the truth is that the media have been systematically selling us a lie for years; a totally false image they had portrayed of Theresa May’s competence and personality, and an equally false image of Jeremy Corbyn, had been drummed into people’s minds. Remember the only impression 99% of people had of either was what the media had told them. And it was a lie. It was a lie so blatant and obvious, that even the limited exposure to the truth over this past four weeks, with every attempt by the media to counterbalance that truth, has led to massive changes in the public perception of both May and Corbyn.

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13. Dermot O Connor - June 9, 2017

Most important: JC didn’t just ‘win’ the election, he broke the spell. In this case, the spell of Blairite/Clintonite triangulation claptrap.

JC has demonstrated (as Sanders did) that you can run as a leftie, and hoover up votes. Now he may not be a far lefty, but that’s how he was portrayed by the UK media, and I suspect, how he is seen.

40%! And in the teeth of horrendous media bias.

Had only .5% or 1% more swung towards Labour, he’d now be the only viable PM, and deep in talks with SNP/Libs/etc., on the way to #10.

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ivorthorne - June 9, 2017

There’s also the fact the media have effectively cried Wolf once too often. Saying someone is far or hard left has less value than it once had. It is no longer scary.

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Dermot O Connor - June 9, 2017

Bingo. They’re subject to the law of diminishing returns.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diminishing_returns

The guttersnipes have to put more and more energy into ever decreasing incremental returns. According to Joseph Tainter, this phenomenon is what sinks complex civilisations, so good luck to the bashers.

Ah well, TINA RIP.

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14. Aonrud ⚘ - June 9, 2017

I think the sheer entitled bitterness of the Tories is quite nicely summarised by this video. Feel free to insert that single transferable Brecht quote 🙂

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WorldbyStorm - June 9, 2017

Jesus Christ.

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Lamentreat - June 9, 2017

Interesting: “the people” have presented “the country” with a difficult situation.

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WorldbyStorm - June 9, 2017

+1

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15. NollaigO - June 9, 2017

After the uprising of the 17th of June
The Secretary of the Writers Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Stating that the people
Had forfeited the confidence of the government
And could win it back only
By redoubled efforts.

Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?

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16. sonofstan - June 9, 2017

One myth this killed is that the ‘far’ left are hopeless strategically and you need hard-headed non-ideological focus grouped to hell centrists to run an effective campaign. Between labour and Momentum the media campaign, using the kind of media people actually use these days, was exemplary.

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17. ar scáth a chéile - June 10, 2017

The repositioning contortions of the liberal commentariat in this weekends IT and Guardian is gonna be another real treat . Put the kettle on .

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WorldbyStorm - June 10, 2017

+1 Anne Perkins yesterday an early adopter of that line!

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WorldbyStorm - June 10, 2017

And the Guardian editorial likewise though if you want something more familiar this struck me as very typical of the stuff we all read only a few short weeks before. http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/the_good_fight/2017/06/jeremy_corbyn_is_the_wrong_man_for_this_moment.html

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18. sonofstan - June 10, 2017

This is my favourite memory of this election; JC at a festival in the Wirral, talking to the crowd before the Libertines played. Imagine Teresa May, or any previous Labour leader come to that, being able to talk to this crowd, and the chant at the end is glorious
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/video/2017/may/21/jeremy-corbyn-music-festival-tranmere-rovers-ground-video

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19. Jolly Red Giant - June 10, 2017
20. sonofstan - June 10, 2017

Last one:

For Tony Blair to trash his reputation like this, it took ten years in power and two wars. Theresa May managed it in six weeks. That’s Conservative efficiency in action for you

James Elledge in the NS

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21. Aonrud ⚘ - June 10, 2017

A post-election highlight, but this breaking of ranks to call out May’s advisors is interesting:

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jun/10/theresa-mays-rude-abusive-and-childish-advisers-face-calls-to-quit

I expect many people immediately think of Malcolm Tucker in the Thick of It. I wonder if that programme has come full circle and normalised for some that the way to conduct government and express power is through that kind of aggression?

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