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Another Labour leader elected! And deputy leader too… April 4, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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This time for the British Labour Party, a party many of us know well having been involved in it one way or another. Predictably, Keir Starmer is the new leader.

Sir Keir Starmer’s victory, winning 56.2% of the vote in the race to become Labour leader, is almost on a par with that of Tony Blair in 1994, when he won 57% of the vote, and Jeremy Corbyn in 2015, when he took 59.5%.

The other candidates…

Starmer, a former director of public prosecutions, won in the first round as the top choice of members, affiliates and registered supporters, with 490,731 votes cast overall. His nearest rival, Rebecca Long-Bailey, got 28% of the vote, and Lisa Nandy 16% in the final leg of the race.

And:

Angela Rayner was elected deputy leader in the third round on 53%, with the doctor Rosena Allin-Khan in surprise second place on 26% and Richard Burgon on 21%.

I wonder is the following a little too certain:

Starmer’s victory marks the end of the Corbyn era, during which the party took a sharp turn to the left. The Corbynite left of the party had backed Long-Bailey for leader and Burgon for deputy, but neither came close to challenging the eventual winners, indicating appetite among the membership and supporters for a change of direction following Labour’s election defeat in December.

Starmer’s victory is… well a victory, and a very very solid one. But Starmer is unlikely to jettison too much of the past number of years. Any more than the membership of the BLP is likely to.

The former shadow Brexit secretary is consideredsofter-left than Corbyn, but he has promised the former leader’s supporters not to steer too far away from his predecessor’s radical policy programme of nationalisation and fighting austerity.

So, could it be we’ll see a slightly softer Corbynism with a Starmer face?

Comments»

1. sonofstan - April 4, 2020

“So, could it be we’ll see a slightly softer Corbynism with a Starmer face? ”

I hope so, but not amazingly confident. He strikes as a man ripe for co-option by ‘sensible’ opinion.
I make it a rule not to entirely trust people who accept honours. It’s also disappointing that Labour is now one of only two Westminster parties – or parties with elected MPs – not have had a female leader; as, indeed, have all the parties bar one in the various devolved administrations. (the exception is the UUP – there might be others?).
Pleased with Angela Rayner though.

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oliverbohs - April 4, 2020

Long-Bailey’s leadership campaign was lagging behind Starmer’s from the off and had more than air of timidity about it. When she was agreeing that some Change UK-ers should be invited back into the party, presumably to offset her image as Continuity Corbyn, her race was run. She’d have lost anyway but she cd have come out of this looking less weak.
Starmer needs to kill stone dead any talk of a national government, v suspicious if he doesn’t

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WorldbyStorm - April 4, 2020

OB, very much agree, a very timid campaign. It never really caught fire. I’m sure she’s a very sound person but surely there was a better one for the campaign. A national govt is a terrible idea isn’t it?

SOS, 100% agree re honours. Okay, he doesn’t use the title (though tellingly the Guardian is all over it) but it always sets up some cognitive dissonance with me.

AR’s election good news.

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ar scáth a chéile - April 4, 2020

re SOS,s honours rule it can hardened up to complete distrust of any Irish person eg Sir Bob

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sonofstan - April 4, 2020

Absolutely. The converse is general admiration for anyone who persistently turns them down: Bowie made few missteps, but not becoming ‘Sir Ziggy’ was a big plus.

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WorldbyStorm - April 4, 2020

Always admired him for that and he didn’t make a big thing of it either …

Totally agree re ‘sir’ bob

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Pasionario - April 5, 2020

I think there’s a difference between some celeb picking up a gong and taking a knighthood after serving as Director of Public Prosecutions, where the award is automatic just as it is for High Court judges. Has anyone in those positions ever turned it down? Sometimes refusing to follow a convention draws more attention to the convention than the convention merits. I feel the same way about parliamentary dress codes. There are bigger hills to die on.

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WorldbyStorm - April 5, 2020

That is a fair point Pasionario.

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2. roddy - April 4, 2020

Coming from the nationalist community and being vehemently anti SF is a surefire route to a British honour.EG – Fitt, Devlin, Richie and various other lackeys.

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WorldbyStorm - April 4, 2020

Well one thing I know we can be sure of in this mad world – there’ll never be a ‘sir’ roddy and a good thing too!

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ar scáth a chéile - April 4, 2020

Didnt know that about Bowie fair play to him.
Michael Colgan is another for our list of shame .
The CLR Honours List of refusniks includes Danny Boyle , the film director

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WorldbyStorm - April 4, 2020

Good for him! And Benjamin Zephaniah.

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sonofstan - April 4, 2020

And Alan Bennett.

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oliverbohs - April 4, 2020

Paul Weller and Alan Bennett both turned down honours. Pity Elvis Costello didn’t 🙁

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ar scáth a chéile - April 4, 2020

Not quite the same level of opprobrium…but just letting the French authorities know I wont be accepting a Legion d’Honneur . established by Boney, the man who banned La Marseillaise.

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sonofstan - April 4, 2020

Didn’t know about DP McManus OBE…it’s like establishment kryptonite: wave a gong in front of normally intelligent people and their brain goes all mushy.

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3. Tomboktu - April 4, 2020

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4. ar scáth a chéile - April 5, 2020

Anyway here’s Sir Keir’s acceptance speech in full :

Judge for yourselves.

At least he thanked Jezza. His reference to anti semitism, an age old scourge across society, legitimises what i felt was in the main a bad faith weaponisation of the issue by the anti Corbynites. But the latter were so successful with this tactic that maybe KS had no choice but to mention it. Distinguishing anti semitism from anti Zionism would ve been good but i dont think that distinction is appreciated in BLP these days.

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ar scáth a chéile - April 5, 2020

Ah i see KS full speech already in post by WBS – but no harm in giving it a second listen

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WorldbyStorm - April 5, 2020

That’s great ASAC, I didn’t realise the link was in the post! I read it by a more roundabout route.

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sonofstan - April 5, 2020

I’ve no doubt the election of KS as Labour leader will fix the anti-semitism problem. It’ll be a miracle.

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5. 6to5against - April 5, 2020

I think I’ll always like Angela Rayner – regardless of anything she might do in the future – for the many layers of distaste and disdain she managed to get through as she answered the ‘will you nationalise sausages?’ question:

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6. sonofstan - April 7, 2020

Very interesting minor slip in the Guardian, where they refer to KS as ‘the New Labour leaer’ – interesting capitalisation, eh?

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7. gregtimo - April 8, 2020

I note that 27% of full members abstained and 65% of ‘Affiliated Supporters’ (union members in the main afaik) . Long-Bailey did worse among the latter so Unite werent very effective in getting their vote out.
https://labour.org.uk/people/leadership-elections-hub-2020/leadership-elections-2020-results/
But worse was the evident left feud apparent in the NEC by-election, between Momentum (or at least the dominant Lansman faction) and a harder left around LLA (a still much smaller organisation in a plethora of overlapping organisations like LRC chaired by McDonnell, Lansman ally . The suspended Jo Bird was the hard left candidate and a 4th left candidate indicated wider disarray so the 4 left candidates were defeated by 2 right/centrists wingers with app 2/3rd of their vote (and more dissension about who was really ‘left’)
https://labourlist.org/2020/04/corbynsceptics-sweep-the-board-in-labours-ruling-body-by-elections/
I would speculate that because of the fued many abstained , explaining the dissapointing Long-Bailey result . She was associated with both Lansman and McDonnell ?(of course she would likely have lost anyhow because of a desire for wider unity but gotten a more solid vote ?)
Gossip is (and i stopped looking at Skwawkbox until this week, because it was incessant and too depressing to read) that the expelled Greenstein is behind Labour against the Witchhunt which supports Jo Bird and the LLA (and not just Skwawkbox) https://skwawkbox.org/
Anyhow lets hope whatever the hell is going on exactly, that they get acts together soon and dont fall into a terminal tailspain of fueding and/or witch-hunts (suspect a lot is not being said publicly).
I note that the young lefties on NovaraMedia are willing to give Starmer the ‘benefit of the doubt’ despite campaigning for Long-Bailey . Bastani pointed out the obvious in saying that unfortunately Corbyn;s team had no discernable coherent media policy , and that Starmer at least seems to have one starting off . But that was on Monday . Anyhow as a Tony Benn fan quoted something to the effect ‘It’s a permanent fight with successes and defeats’. It’s best not to give up if possible
https://novaramedia.com/

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WorldbyStorm - April 8, 2020

Thanks for that, that’s very thought provoking. What’s your feeling about the Starmer victory? Certainly a split on the left potentially allowed him a freer hand than otherwise. I guess ‘benefit of the doubt’ is perhaps the best position at this time. So he doesn’t have absolute latitude in all this. If the broad outlines of policy as developed in the last five years can be adhered to I’d be happy enough personally.

Then again, as I like to bore people saying, I’m old enough to remember (barely) travelling across the UK in the 70s on nationalised railways, staying in nationalised BR hotels, etc, etc. And all that under Jim Callaghan, hardly a tribune of red revolution, but… in fairness still a markedly more left social democrat dispensation than anything subsequently and even Corbyn’s programme is somewhat less left wing than that. Though an improvement without question on the BLP’s positions in more recent times.

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8. gregtimo - April 8, 2020

Dissapointed but felt inevitable . Even NovaraMedia were dissapointed at Long-Bailey’s poor performance . As media heads I can see why they were critical of the Corbyn team’s media seeming ineptness . The Gramscians have been banging on for decades about the importance of media . I expect many (more) articles and books will be written on the theme of what went wrong . Of course overdoing Gramscianism can help result in an Italian outcome where you dilute yourself to the level of the PD under Renzi or Blair for that matter. No easy answers and all that

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WorldbyStorm - April 8, 2020

+1 It’s a bit like when Kinnock did up the LP’s media/presentation game in the 80s (and other parties did similarly) but as time went on seemed to forget that upping the game is futile if there’s no content. I was at the merger conference of the Irish Labour Party and Democratic Left (I’d left the latter years before but went along out of curiosity) in 99. There was so much focus on the logo redesign and ‘unveiling’ it and though nothing would have me join the ILP that just underlined my sense of a politics that was going well askew.

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