The Corbyn Conundrum 232

Having shared a platform with Jeremy Corbyn several times, I have to admit I had doubts about his leadership capacity. I had none about his heart, his motives, or his intellectual capacity. My doubts were about his interpersonal skills and charisma. I had him marked down as not very sociable and even shy.

I have just watched his interview on Marr where Corbyn performed much better than I would have imagined possible. He was calm, reasonable and even wise. He came over as an attractive personality. He was, in short, excellent.

Marr did the job his masters paid him to. He started, instantly, going for the jugular on the tabloids’ favourite attack line on Jeremy Corbyn. Having stated he was going to kick off with foreign policy, did Marr then ask whether Corbyn would continue to support the Tory policy of selling weapons to the Saudis to kill children in Yemen? Would continue uncritical support of Israel and diplomatic protection of its illegal occupation?

No he went for the tabloid favourite. Would Corbyn push the button and fire nuclear missiles? It says a very great deal about our politics that it is taken by the media establishment as axiomatic that anybody who will not participate in the probable destruction of the entire human race, is the crazy person in the room. It says still more about our media, and who controls it, that this is the very first thing Marr wanted to discuss with Corbyn. Corbyn picked his way through the minefield with a tact and patience which I suspect came over well.

I look forward to Marr seeking to move his interview with Theresa May away from her preferred areas and ask her repeated questions about child poverty, social care, arms sales to terrible regimes, benefit cuts for the disabled and Tory electoral fraud. I much fear extreme disappointment awaits me.

It is extraordinary that this is the first time in nearly 40 years that the UK electorate has been offered the chance to vote for a leader not prepared to sound enthusiastic about global destruction.

It is also the first time in 40 years that a real choice in other areas has been offered the electorate in England. In just this interview things Corbyn outlined – a renationalisation of privatised areas of NHS provision, an end to selective education – are the polar opposite of the Tory Lite offer of Blairite Labour.

That is of course why Marr was so keen to skate over, interrupt and divert those areas and spend far more time and detail on highlighting Corbyn’s lack of support for aggressive militarism, with repeated questions such as “would you kill the leader of ISIS”.

I have been reading “The Candidate“, a fascinating book by Alex Nunn, detailing Corbyn’s rise to the leadership of the Labour Party and the extraordinary (if inept) efforts of the Blairite establishment to stop him. As I do not come from a Labour Party background, the Byzantine structures of the party and its relationship with organised labour are peculiar to me. But one thing comes over very clearly. The Blairites had firm control of the major areas of party machinery and in truth they still do.

The large majority of Corbyn’s MPs would love to drone kill people and have lots of nuclear buttons to push, and would happily privatise anything to any company which sponsors them. The Party also dictates Labour’s aggressive Unionist stance which is why everybody in Scotland should oppose it.

It is not just the MPs. The Boilermakers’ union are not only extreme enthusiasts for nuclear missiles, they would support mass sarin production if it employed their members. I wish Jeremy every success, but I find it impossible to say that I therefore recommend anybody to vote for John Mann or Simon Danczuk. I am not sure that success for Jeremy would be to find himself in No.10 as the hostage of Mann, Danczuk, Watson, Cooper et al.

That is the Corbyn Conundrum.


A number of puzzled Corbyn supporters have asked me who I am advocating they should vote for. A number of people who generally agree with me are upset I am not urging everyone to vote Labour. Well, it is your vote and you should vote for the candidate you like best. But this is my advice.

IN SCOTLAND everybody of progressive mind should vote SNP. It is the most successful anti-neoliberal option. Scotland has a very different political culture to the UK. The break-up of the UK is essential to our well-being and to shaking England out of the peculiar continuing imperialist delusions which grip it.

Westminster elections are the only First Past the Post elections in Scotland. In these elections alone, I do not think it is tactically wise of other pro-Independence parties to stand candidates against the SNP. Let’s first achieve independence, then myriad flowers will bloom.

IN WALES Plaid Cymru because it is high time you found your courage, and they have a decent radical platform. Labour or Lib Dem when its needed to stop a Tory.

IN ENGLAND Whoever has the best chance of beating the Tory. So generally Labour, very often Lib Dem, occasionally Green. With the caveat that you should not vote for Labour (or Lib Dem) candidates who are very obviously just another brand of Tory. If you are Simon Danczuk’s constituent, for example, I would vote Lib Dem there. But if people find they have to vote for a New Labour candidate as the only conceivable way of keeping out a Tory, I could understand that too. You are better placed than me to weigh individual judgements.

I hope that helps.

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232 thoughts on “The Corbyn Conundrum

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  • Sarah Richards

    Great stuff. Thank you.
    (5th para has “arms sails” which I know you didn’t intend, but provoked a curiously entertaining image!)

  • Heather

    But Craig, if Corbyn actually wins an election, the PLP’s claim that they can’t support him because he is ‘unelectable’ would become a nonsense and so they’d actually have to engage with his policies, which they’ve so far claimed to support. If nothing else, it would be hilarious.

  • Anon1

    Asked whether he would be prepared to authorise a drone strike on Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Isil leader, Corbyn refused to commit:

    He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “What I would tell them is give me the information you have got, tell me how accurate that is and tell me what you think can be achieved. What is the objective here?”.

    What an absolute tit.

    • Republicofscotland

      Seems a logical answer to me, to first see the evidence before launching an attack.

      The illegal war in Iraq springs to mind, but Gung Ho Charlies such as yourself don’t rely on logic do you now.

    • reel guid

      Aren’t you supposed to be a soldier?

      Isn’t calmly assessing all available intelligence, keeping an open mind about it’s accuracy, then deliberating on the military usefulness and not least the humanitarian and political ramifications of any action the definition of a good commander?

      • Anon1

        So you know where the ISIS leader is, you have a drone ready to take him out, and you start dithering over the “humanitarian and political ramifications” of taking out the leader of the most barbaric terrorist group on earth? Corbyn made no such deliberations over his support for the IRA, did he?

        • Republicofscotland

          Your wild hairbrained knee jerk reactions over drone striking on supposedly and often cagey military intelligence has killed thousands of innocent civilians.

          Which inturn has led to terror attacks across the EU and Britain.

          • Habbabkuk

            Like Mr Cor-byn, you are prevaricating. That is no answer to Anon1’s point at 11h34.

          • J

            Why should a ‘point’ be answered, it’s neither a question nor a statement, usually not backed up by any evidence and frequently less than an assertion. You know empirical method an all that.

            So the ‘point’,

            “Asked whether he would be prepared to authorise a drone strike on Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Isil leader, Corbyn refused to commit…What an absolute tit.”

            Appears to be that people should consider it natural to be herded or corralled by vague intelligence presentations, often inaccurate, misleading, cherry picked or deliberately biased to provide a false urgency, usually on behalf of serial undisclosed interests and in this case against one of our own ostensible ‘allies’ in Syria.

            What a pair of tits.

        • craig Post author

          So tell me, if the British Prime Minister had simply had snipers take out Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness, would that have brought forward peace in Northern Ireland or exacerbated the conflict?

          • Nibs

            A very good point. Plus we already had the slightly risible series of Al Qaeda firsts and seconds who were regularly “taken out” by bombs or done strikes to….little avail.
            But will we ever be able to have a calm dialogue about foreign policy, our wish to be a nuclear power etc? Doubt it.

          • Graham Saunders

            No, but if he had dropped a missile on them,and any innocent passers by you bet your bottom dollar it would have inspired *MORE* people to take up their cause/strengthened those already fighting resolve and pushed back the peace process by years, if not decades.

        • Anon1

          Exacerbated it. The IRA at least had reasonable political aims and you talk with them.

          I’m afraid all that ISIS understand is violence. Even John Goss understands that.

          Perhaps Jeremy would like to engage in peace talks with them?

          • MJ

            ISIS has “reasonable” political aims. Assisting in the overthrow of Assad and the destruction of the Syrian state. Helping to prevent the construction of an Iranian gas pipeline to the Mediterranean. Facilitating the creation of a “greater” Israel and the theft of Syrian natural resources. There are a number of jihadi jackasses on here who support these aims y’know.

        • Richard Heron

          You are the kind of troll who gives the Internet a bad name. If you are not prepared to identify yourself you are not worth listening to!

          • John Goss

            If Habbabkuk works for some kind of intelligence-gathering organisation he must be considered the most inept gleaner that ever walked behind the scythe in the fields of Moab.

          • Chris Rogers


            You leave our GCHQ Bunker colleague alone, he’s got enough on his plate fathoming out who most posters are. And that’s the one’s using their real identity – POOR HABBABKUK!

        • Muscleguy

          The Labour Party has a pact with the Natonalist SDLP, they caucus with them at Westminster and have recently disciplined two members agitating for Labour to stand against them in NI.

          This alliance with supposedly hated ‘Nationalists’ shows up their SNP Baaaaad mantra to be hypocritical hogwash. Labour don’t want people to know about this pact, it’s the political love that dare not speak its name.

          The next time you hear a Labour person inveigle against ‘nationalism’ or the SNP and their dastardly aim for self determination remember this and note the rank hypocrisy.

          • Muscleguy

            Note I don’t have an axe to grind with the SDLP and I would quite like to see the indefensible partition of Ireland ended, peacefully. It is Labour’s hypocrisy I am aiming at.

        • Andrew

          The recent book “Shadow Wars; The Secret Struggle for the Middle East” by the Durham University academic Christopher Davidson argues that the US doesn’t want to defeat IS, because the group’s activities serve their broader purposes in the region.

          Ditto for Turkey (which was supposedly instrumental in helping IS get off the ground), Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

          Among many other things, it quotes an American academic: “The Islamic State exists as a political structure whose function outweighs the political and military costs of defeating it, not just for the US but also for the Sunni sheikhdoms of the Persian Gulf…the Islamic State fights Shia in Iraq and Syria. The threat they pose is tolerated even by the Gulf sheikhdoms as long as the Islamic State is focused on stopping Iranian hegemony.”

          In other words, the situation there is much more ambiguous and opaque than the British government and mainstream media would have us believe.

          (The book is very long and tedious to read but contains interesting information and analysis)

    • Ian Seed

      To kill the leaders of ISIS he would need to do a drone strike on Langley

      True fact.

      • Tom Fryer

        Langley, Berkshire may have a large Muslim population but I think that’s being a little unkind. It does make me wonder though – what’s Ali G up to these days?

          • D_Majestic

            Nice to see at least one person who has knowledge of Mr. Betjeman. Shared a first class carriage with him in 1966. A very cultured gentleman.

      • amanfromMars

        Joint Intelligence Committee members playing Great Ineffectual Games with the British Cabinet Office can easily also be thought to be foundational leaders in that fight organising ISIS as a foreign target with allied targets, Ian Seed, with Uncle Sam always foolish enough to be primed to act as almighty arrogant proxy and ignorant paymaster patsy alike.

        It is the way such Great Games are played, is it not? All smoke and mirrors with little quiet chats over the port in the library, although probably today has that evolved to accommodate the regular snort too.

        Whenever you fight against an enemy for years and there is no real progress, is the enemy you be fighting not the enemy leading the fight. It aint rocket science, is it, whenever it is simple common sense thought too fantastic to be true. And such does provide a fabulous stealth while it lasts. When it ends though because of the emergence of smarter intelligence, is there inevitably a heavy price to pay for the abuse and misuse suffered by the wilfully misled.

    • Eric Davies

      A tit feeds everyone regardless of colour, creed or religious belief or not. You of course forgot to mention Jeremy said he was concerned about the killing of innocent people in such attacks. Do you also not understand bombing merely creates more terrorists. How would you feel if your innocent friends and family were killed in this way. Please respond to these comments of mine Anon.

    • Richard Heron

      The troll who describes Corbyn as a real tit because he gives a measured answer to the question of drone strikes is of course Anonymous. My biggest problem with Obama was his eagerness from the beginning to approve drone strikes that are the biggest recruiters for Terror ever. Imram Khan screwed some horrifying figures from his government on drone victims – something like only 50 out of 1000 deaths were proven terrorists!

      • Habbabkuk

        What do you expect if the terrorists embed themselves within the civilian population?

        But perhaps you’re one of those people who deny that there are any terrorists at all?

        And, BTW, stop calling other posters trolls. You may be one yourself.

        • Why be ordinary

          The question is whether strategic bombing works – whether of terrorists or anyone else. The evidence of WWII is that it wasn’t very effective unless nuclear.

          • Habbabkuk

            To discuss that question, Why Be Ordinary, and to assess whether drone attacks constitute “strategic bombing” we should have to know how exactly what you mean by “strategic bombing”. What is your definition?

          • Harry Vimes

            Quelle suprise.

            This site’s serial hypocrite practicing what he accuses others of by prevaricating and avoiding a question. What a plonker.

    • John O'Dowd

      “Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is the numbers of people all over the world who have obeyed the dictates of the leaders of their government and have gone to war, and millions have been killed because of this obedience… Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world, in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves, and all the while the grand thieves are running the country. That’s our problem… people are obedient, all these herdlike people.” — Howard Zinn

      I don’t use words like ‘tit’. But if I did……

    • wendy

      can you tell me what killing saddam, gaddafi, bin laden has achieved thus far. thanks.

  • Stephen McKinnell

    I agree with your assessment generally, and was very disappointed by Marr this morning, I guess I had hopes that he might be more progressive, sadly not.

    What is clear to me, is that should the people vote the Tories in, possibly by a large margin, it will be a true reflection of their consciousness. If people like Marr can’t rise above the ‘politics of fear’ I think we may have some distance to go.

    It is what it is.

    • Anon1

      Oh he’s “progressive” alright. Someone should dig up that Observer article about using state power to stamp multiculturalism into kids.

        • michael norton

          It frightens the shit out of me.

          The people of The United Kingdom have voted for Hard Brexit, let us get out as soon as possible and just go back to being British, when the people of the U.k. rubbed along alright, before this nonsense movement in Ccotland threatened to rend us apart.

          • reel guid

            Basically Michael, you want to return to the Britain of the Ealing Comedies. Except it never really existed. And even if it did, you couldn’t go back to it.

          • michael norton

            i do not want people cutting peoples heads of in the street in the name of Islam.
            I do not want people being run over with trucks in the name of Islam.
            Why should we be multiculturized?

          • craig Post author

            Reel Guid at 11.42 I have a certain sympathy for this idea. Margaret Rutherford for PM and Alisdair Sim for Chancellor. Frankie Howerd to be Boris Johnson.

          • kailyard rules

            “…this nonsense movement…”. You mean a democratically elected Party of a country making up the UK of GB and NI? It’s politics Norton. It’s democracy Norton (as you are wont to lecture on). Just not the democracy you see through your rose tainted specs.

  • Republicofscotland

    It’s a almost impossible task Corbyn has to try and restore Labour’s long lost values. The media appears dead set against him, and the Blairites in the party despise him.

    If Corbyn had an unobstructed term in office as prime minister, I think he’d be very good for Britain as a whole, (Scottish independent aside though).

    One has to wonder why Britain predominantly England, has moved so far to the right. I doubt very much Andrew Marr will give Theresa May a testing time when she next appears on his show.

    • Anon1

      Labour’s long lost values seem very close to those of Marine Le Pen. Funny old world.

      • Republicofscotland

        I’m thinking along the lines of Bevan and Attlee, not Blair and Brown.

        • Habbabkuk

          Professor Lord Peter Hennessey has done sterling work on uncovering (from PRO material) the attitude of Labour ministers in the Attlee govts to immigration from the then Empire, especially from the West Indies.

          Not to mention Foreign Secretary Bevin’s wish (thwarted by a revolt in both Parliament and the country) to send around 100.000 Polish servicemen back to the tender mercies of the newly-installed Communist puppet govt in Warsaw**

          ** NB to Laguerre – you still owe me an apology on that question 🙂

        • Richard Heron

          So right. Atlee was the most effective Prime Minister we had in the 20th Century – Churchill’s popularity is built on the Tory myth rebuilt to get power in 1951. Bevan was the pioneer of the NHS. But not all his cabinet were as good. Herbert Morrison was a disaster for Britain’s position in the Middle East then – just as his grandson Mandelson was in our own time!

        • K Crosby

          Attlee? The man who preferred to import Ukrainian SS divisions and Latvian SS units rather than the survivors of their atrocities? The man who oversaw the law change that legalised charging to see the doctor? Attlee is the proof that if there was ever anything socialist about the Liarbour Partei, it was strictly the national variety.

          • Susan Smith

            Which law was passed by the Atlee government to legalise charging to see the doctor. I’d always imagined that the NHS service this government introduced was “free at the point of use” .Though Bevan did have to compromise with the BMA to allow the system to include private practice. Before the NHS there were a variety of charging methods ( apart from the Higlands of Scotland which had The Higlands and Islands Medical Service” ). The charges intoduced in 1951 for false teeth and glasses ( hardly count as being charged to see the doctor.

          • John A

            Reply to Susan Smith. Bevan famously said he had had to stuff medical consultants’ mouths with gold to get them to agree to the creation of the NHS and they could do private work on the side.

          • K Crosby

            He legalised “prescription charges” in 1949 (i.e. you pay for a prescription that you can only get from a doctor but it is collected by the chemist). If anyone advocates charging for consultations, ask them if they will abolish the charge for consultations first….

  • Syzygy

    If JC were to be in no.10, he wouldn’t be controlled by the Labour Right… that’s why they have been doing their utmost to stop him using the byzantine structures of the LP. It says a great deal about the foresight and paranoia of the New Labour project that the structures were redesigned to prevent a left wing leader like Corbyn exercising power. It isn’t just the number of PLP nominations acting as a gate-keeper but who could imagine that there was a committee for deciding suspensions and expulsions of members which was not under the overall control of the NEC … and further that the membership was by invite of the general secretary (who ensured that it was dominated by the right). The silver lining of the last two years is that the ordinary members can see the manipulations, the true colour of their MP, the awfulness of the rule book and above all the perfidy of the MSM.

    • Lesley

      The Labour Party was founded on Socialism. Without Socialism this country would still be stuck in the Victorian era of disease, starvation, slums and virtual serfdom.

      Socialism is as valid and necessary as it was at the beginning of the last century. Social justice should be at the forefront of all we do. The Tories want to make it a pay-as-you-go commodity.

    • K Crosby

      He wouldn’t be controlled by the right because he capitulated three days into his tenure and because he did the Judas on Ken Livingstone. Notice that even GG has trod water lately over Corbyn’s evidence that he’s just like the rest; because there’s a sham election on? We don’t need leaders, we need democracy.

  • michael norton

    Ed Balls, has claimed he is not going to stand for election, this time around/ or ever again?
    This is because he does not want to get in the way of the career of his wife.

    Expect his wife to storm the battlements and rest the crown from J.C.

    The right wing of the Labour Party have not given up, just yet.
    I expect Blair will be right behind her.

    • reel guid

      The nuclear power industry would certainly rejoice if Yvette Cooper became Labour leader.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Corbyn ought to have been ruthless when he became leader and got the Blairites deselected and dislodged them from key positions. A purge was required. He’s not that sort of man, but a leader does have to be politically ruthless. Because of this, he’s had to fight with one arm pointing outwards from his back. I’m not sure he has the political nous. I agree with his policies and I hope he wins. Everything is stacked against him, though.

    • Anon1

      What policies? That we plant a magic money tree and it grows and grows until there is a million pounds for every man, woman and child in the country so that we can invite the whole world here and give them all a million pounds each as well until everything is eqwul and fayre?

      • reel guid

        A magic money tree policy would be no dafter than ‘Red White and Blue Brexit’ and ‘Empire 2.0’.

      • Manda

        A magic money tree has been dishing out billions to bail out banks and stimulate, erm… banks and wealthy investors who can borrow at close to zero interest for share buy backs and gambling on markets.

      • K Crosby

        Is that the tree that managed to provide £3tn out of thin air to subsidise bankster fraud, theft and false accounting?

      • labougie

        “Magic Money Tree” is what the Right call it when the left want it.
        When the right want it (and want it to go to the bankers) it’s called “Quantative Easing”.

    • Anon1

      “A purge was required…”

      Good old-fashioned Marxist stuff.

      “…He’s not that sort of man, but a leader does have to be politically ruthless. ”

      He’s a one-baller, Suhayl.

  • michael norton

    who will go to prison first
    will it be the conservative M.P.
    the S. N. P. M.P.

    Glasgow East MP Natalie McGarry has been charged with fraud offences.

    She had been under investigation by police after a pro-independence group reported a potential financial discrepancy in its accounts.

    Ms McGarry, 35, had been one of the 56 SNP MPs elected in last year’s general election.

    • Muscleguy

      You write as though this were news. Yes, she is a bad apple, the SNP’s vetting failed but then she seems something of a fantasist and gulled a lot of people for quite a while.

      Considering the result in 2015 was beyond the SNP’s wildest dreams and more than one person was elected quite unexpectedly, they were standing for the experience and win brownie points for when a winnable Holyrood seat came up, or space on the List. The SNP’s A team has long been in Holyrood so it is unsurprising that a couple of rogues slipped through. Though Michelle Thompson seems hard done by to me. The police have not even interviewed her about anything, let alone under caution and yet they will not clear her by closing the file. Justice delayed is justice denied.

  • Habbabkuk

    Firstly, apologies for having remained silent during the flurry of recent posts, I was otherwise engaged.

    Having now read them carefully and having skimmed through the slew of comments, it seems clear that the PM’s decision to call an early general election has given rise to an almighty and generalised …panic. Now, on the basis that anything which causes panic among the usual deniers, negativists, far lefties, anarchists and unpatriotic elements and so on must be a good thing, it appears undisputable that Mrs May has played a blinder.

    Turning now to Craig’s latest post: this of course follows the often-used roman fleuve pattern where X (in this case, an interview with Mr Marr) is used as a swift introduction – with, presumably, evidential intent – to Y and Z (in this case, the usual condemnation of New Labour).

    Leaving aside the question of technique and looking at Y and Z : does anyone really think – bearing in mind inter alia the 1983 election result – that a Labour Party shorn of its New Labour Blairite elements would have a better chance of winning this general election than the Labour Party as presently constituted? Would such a Labour Party be more credible or less credible in the eyes of the electorate?

    • Chris Rogers


      Please stick your neoliberal pursuits and fandom of continual interventionist wars (regime change) up your rear end – Blair and Mandelson nearly destroyed the Labour Party, luckily its a cherished institution to many who have now flooded back to be actual members, despite gerrymandering of the worse order by Blairites in the Party machinery.

      For what it is worth, Blair’s and Mandelson’s antics ensured Labour was actually devoid of any Parliamentary talent, to the extent we have a minimum number of political heavyweights within the PLP ranks – give me a dozen Bevan’s and Castle’s and this election would be in the bag as the fight this time really is on the streets and on the doorsteps – stop fucking moaning and get stuck in, otherwise, please campaign for the bloody Tories.

    • J

      “Firstly, apologies for having remained silent” Astonishing ego, check.

      “Firstly, apologies for having remained silent” Pronounced lack of irony, check.

      “it appears undisputable that Mrs May has played a blinder.” Indisputably repetitive, check.

      “deniers, negativists, far lefties, anarchists and unpatriotic elements” Use of jargon language, check.

      “unpatriotic elements” Misunderstanding of the basic concepts invoked, check.

      “Turning now to Craig’s latest post: this of course follows the often-used…” Insufferable arrogance, check.

      “…in the eyes of the electorate?” Frequently claiming to speak for the masses, check.

      We all suffer from at least one or two but really, you’re over qualified to write a book or start your own blog. Off you pop.

      • Habbabkuk

        Beneath those ad hominems I detect a comment of considerable substance, J. A straight beta for that and a beta ++ plus for the way in which you’re managing to hide your sense of panic. Keep it up!

        • George

          The comment does indeed have considerable substance. I would just add that this reference to “the eyes of the electorate” is an old con. It basically means –“You better vote for X because everyone else is going to anyway.” cf. “There is no alternative.”

          Also – I wouldn’t object to the bit about “unpatriotic elements”. That’s always a belly laugh.

          • Habbabkuk

            Actually, “in the eyes of the electorate” simply means that Mr Cor-byn and his Labour Party are going to form the next govt – or not – as a result of how real people will have voted on 8th June. And not as a result of the utterances of a host of armchair internet warriors on this blog and others like it 🙂

        • Sharp Ears

          Habbab-Kuk why do you write Jeremy Corbyn’s surname as Cor-Byn? We should be told.

  • giyane

    My MP Liam Byrne is a blue rose. Do they put dye in the hydroponics or is it genetically modified?
    Thanks Syzygy for explaining how completely Blair eradicated socialism from the greenhouse.
    Liam Byrne like many MPs has related family problems in public, in his case his father’s addition to alcohol, in order to boost his own legitimacy. David Cameron lost a disabled child, but it did not prevent him from disabling many innocent Syrian, Afghani, Pakistani, Somali, Iraqi, and Libyan men women and children.

    If Jeremy Corbyn is sensitive enough to acquire pacifist instincts from lesser human perishane/ difficulties, then he is an obviously great spirit and Cameron is an obviously restricted soul, unable to learn from the trials life has shown him. Craig presents Corbyn as a conundrum, but to me it’s a no-brainer, Jeremy is the man to lead the UK out of years of politcical darkness, lies and fathead thinking. I wish he could unite his party under his vision. Why can’t he understand that the workforce of 2017 is equally relaxed in self-employment as it is in direct employment?

    In fact the Tories have created a management tier of utterly self-seeking job’sworths who will sack anyone who can conveniently be shafted by shifting the blame for mistakes onto them. Self-employment gives two clear fingers up to them. It serves as an agent of social justice, just as the welfare state has sometimes become an agent for social injustice. My present boss will never take any notice of my complaints about company policy so long as I am a direct employee. Tomorrow I’m going to change to becoming a sub-contractor and if they choose not to listen, they can fuck off, not me.

    The practice of charities employing New Labour gravy-trainers who have learned the talk but not the walk of social justice, will have to be binned. But surely not all New Labour MPs are money-fied? Sounds like the height of hypocrisy to me. There must be some of them who aren’t hypocrites like my MP.

  • Chris Rogers

    Regrettably CM you are absolutely correct in your analysis in your closing paragraphs, particularly in recognising the sad fact that the Labour machinery is operated by those opposed to democratic change within the Party organisation – as for the Trades Unions, well they are there to enhance benefits for their members and many jobs are associated with our MIC.

    With regards change, well the NEC these past 36 hrs has imposed a tyranny on the CLPs across the UK and regrettably we’ll have many more backstabbers within the ranks of the PLP after June’s GE. Indeed, and with a heavy heart, I too am forced to go to the Polls with a cloths peg attached to my nose in order to vote for our local Labour MP. However, and, and it’s a big if, if Labour does not get eviscerated in June Corbyn’s hand will be strengthened. Fact remains, Corbyn could have followed Blair in his deviousness to by bypassing the existing Blairite Party machinery, that he did not follow this course after Septembers re-election leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.

    Corbyn is all we’ve got though, so I’m 100% behind him and will do my bit to try and eradicate Toryism within Wales this June – one is mobilising as they say.

  • Peter Munks

    Craig, you obviously didn’t watch the LP leadership debates, particularly Corbyn’s first. He is a natural TV performer though obviously not good at leaping up & down in Parliament- which of course the general public never watch.

  • Manda

    I have never doubted Corbyn, if you favour a better, fairer deal for people in UK and around the world there is no other choice at this time. One thing is certain, Corbyn is not a weak man. Those who support his policies need to get behind him 100% now. If Tories re elected with a big majority, it looks like the boundary changes will ensure Tory rule for decades.

  • Corbyn Supporter

    Totally logical and understandable. I will be voting Labour in my constituency.

  • Manda

    Re your update Craig. I am aghast people are asking for pointers who to vote for! All I can say to voters, is go to source, read policies, watch unedited speeches ignore MSM filter and make you own minds up!

    Personally I don’t agree with splitting the Labour vote for regional gains at this election, it is too vital to get Tories out. I also have my doubts as to how progressive some of the regional parties are. Corbyn has enough in his own parliamentary party opposed… progressives can help if Labour gets into power…

    • reel guid


      The Labour left have always felt superior to the ‘regional’ SNP and Plaid. Just for a change they might like to ask themselves why it is they automatically regard themselves as more progressive, rather than doubting the ‘regionalists’ who have amply proved their progessiveness in opposition and as minsters.

      • reel guid

        Also I might add that it is the SNP who prevent the Tories winning rural seats in Scotland and not Labour.

      • fred

        These people who think they are superior are a pain in the ass for people who actually are superior eh?

      • Manda

        Well Labour is effectively finished in Scotland for this GE, there is surely no hope of a Labour come back there in 6 weeks. The fight there is SNP v Tories as far as I can see. I think tactics should be between parties to agree to stand down in favour of allied candidates not tactical voting. I am prepared to admit I may be very wrong. I see little difference between Tories and Lib Dems so for me choosing Lib Dems to oust Tories is pointless.
        I am sure Tories are hoping this election will bury a more socialist, progressive labour for good and it may very well achieve that. The first days going well for Corbyn only makes me more nervous as to what will come out of the MSM/progress/Israel lobby woodwork… will progressives be prepared to stand up in support?

  • Martinned

    Let’s see if Corbyn will actually vote against the government before we consider letting him be leader of the opposition. So far, he voted the way May told him to (three-line whip & all) whenever it actually mattered. If Corbyn insists on being one of a kind with the Tories, there’s no reason not to vote for the LibDems (or the SNP in Scotland).

  • Beeston Regis

    To be quite frank I don’t give rats arse about who Corbyn would or wouldn’t drone nuke or otherwise remove from the gene pool.
    My concerns are with things like the destruction of the NHS, child poverty, homelessness and the 1001 other issues facing the majority of people in this country. Corbyns reticence over using deadly force is another example of the Rights attempts to derail his campaign by focussing on minor issues.

    • Loony

      Strange how the things with which you are concerned are inextricably linked with the things you don’t give a “rats arse” about.

      You live in a bankrupt country and so the NHS will be dismantled and child poverty and homelessness will increase. Choices are limited to choosing a managed collapse or a cataclysmic collapse. If you are not prepared to accept this then your government will respond to your expressed selfishness and greed and go out into the world and steal all of the resources that you demand. As the owners of these resources will not just hand them over in order to please you then it will likely be necessary to take them by force – and that will include killing them..

      It is not a Left vs. Right matter. It is a sanity vs delusional matter.

      • K Crosby

        Countries don’t go bankrupt; Britain doesn’t have a money shortage, it’s full of it but there is a distribution fiddle that ensures that peoples’ earanings are stolen and doled out to rich bastards. Turn the tax and benefit system the right way up and everything will be beautiful and no-one will get hurt.

        • Loony

          What is bankruptcy?

          Assuming that you are talking about the UK then you need to import over 50% of your food and energy requirements. Without food you cannot live. Without energy then you are back to pre-industrial type living.

          What do have to offer the people who supply you with food and energy? Answer not much, Certainly nothing of the equivalent value to the goods that you demand. Was it not Oscar Wilde that spoke of people who “know the price of everything but the value of nothing”

          Ipso facto you are bankrupt.

          • fred

            “What is bankruptcy?”

            When referring to countries it usually means them defaulting on their loan repayments. Most countries have defaulted at one time or another including Britain, Greece six times.

          • K Crosby

            As I pointed out, Britain is full of money (apols for the typo it’s “earnings”), stop pissing it up the wall on rich bastards.

      • J

        You keep justifying the theft of natural resources and increased extraction of limited resources on the basis that we’re running out of those same resources. Okay. You cite the mantra “it’s what we all want” and point to the world as it is. Okay.

        How much of the public relations industry do you work for? And why isn’t it (the propaganda industry) a central feature of your argument for that part of your evidence which amounts to “this is the world we have,” as though it just happened organically? Given the eye watering amount of evidence available that none of our ‘western’ appetites and desires are natural, inevitable, beneficial or even what we would choose without a century of propaganda, how do you propose to begin modifying your argument?

        You’re hopelessly muddled or you get paid to produce mud from clarity. You may also be a loony.

        • Loony

          I do not propose to begin to modify my argument. I propose to ignore to the maximum extent possible propaganda and fake news and I encourage other people to similarly ignore these things..

          I accept that this is not easy – as it is everywhere. You don’t know what you got until you lost it as they say. This is true and when I arrived back in the west from a land far away the first thing you noticed was the overwhelming amount of advertising urging you to buy something you have never heard of for reasons that are never explained. After a surprisingly short period of time this assault on the senses appears to fade and all seems normal – you have to keep telling yourself that it is not normal.

      • bevin

        Beeston Regis doesn’t live in a ‘bankrupt country’ he lives in a country which spends massive amounts of many annually in order to purchase goods and services on behalf of the state. A bankrupt country would be unable to do this.
        He appears to be arguing that this money is badly spent by a government whose priorities are seriously askew. It is something with which I would agree. You appear to have no views on the subject, being in a state of denial so far as the reality of state expenditures and taxes are concerned.

        • Loony

          You are an avowed Trotskyist and as such such you have denied yourself freedom of thought. Without the ability to think freely it is likely that you continue to struggle to understand a reality that diverges from textbook theory.

          Ask yourself where this money comes from? If you derive an answer that is not “printing” then you have done it wrong.

          Next ask yourself how printing up money and forcing foreign people to take this freshly printed money and hand over real goods differs from the people who acquired title to entire lands in exchange for a few string of beads or a piece of a mirror.

          Try to remember that the descendants of these people are routinely subject to your contempt and vitriol. Finally ask yourself why the descendants of thieves and con men are so contemptible while contemporary practitioners of these activities are so laudable. See if you can spot any contradictions in your thinking.

  • bevin

    A “drone strike”is a bomb, delivered at no risk to the people employing it. That is its main advantage. Its disadvantages include the likelihood that, as a result of the missile explosion, a large area and everything in it will be devastated. Most ‘drone strikes’ kill large numbers of people whose identity is unknown, written off afterwards, when it is impossible to deny it, as “militants.”
    Drone strikes are a coward’s weapon: if Mr Baghdadi’s whereabouts are known there are many ways of dealing with him apart from dropping a bomb on his neighbourhood.
    I said that ‘drone strikes’ are a coward’s weapon. They certainly are: the great object in them is to kill, rather than capture, the ‘target.’ Nobody in authority in Washington-it is impossible to believe that these decisions are actually taken in London, which is something that Corbyn might very well have mentioned to Marr- wants Baghdadi alive and able to answer questions regarding the origins of his organisation, its financing, its armament and its access to ‘allied intelligence’ of the kind that allows it to take advantage of US strikes against Syrian soldiers and overrun their positions.
    Anon 1 calls Baghdadi “he leader of the most barbaric terrorist group on earth”. He isn’t of course, that person is the power that has mobilised not just ISIS but Al Qaeda, in its various forms, and the “moderate” rebel groups which funnel resources to them and their well paid militias.
    Corbyn is making the mistake of ‘pulling his punches’ the truth is that the ‘war on terror’ is a massive and bloody fraud perpetrated on the people of the world by warmongering imperialists using wahhabi militias to pull down anything resembling independent governments in much of the world. Al qaeda began as a CIA mission to cripple Russia, it has always had that objective, it continues to be so tasked. And its head is in Washington. And always has been.

    • Habbabkuk

      “I said that ‘drone strikes’ are a coward’s weapon. They certainly are: the great object in them is to kill, rather than capture, the ‘target.’”

      Is the point of combat operations to kill the enemy or merely to capture him?

      If drone strikes are a coward’s weapon, should the same not be said about the introduction into warfare of muskets? Idem artillery? Idem air power?

        • bevin

          You can’t ‘brainwash a child’ into becoming a suicide bomber. And those who do employ children, and others, as suicide bombers are almost invariably agents of western imperialism.

          • Loony

            Brainwashing children into becoming a suicide bomber is remarkably easy. Here is how it is done.

            Go up to a child and tell him that Allah has especially selected him to blow someone up. Take this bag of explosives and walk up to those people over there. When you are in the correct position Allah will detonate the bomb for you.

            You hide along with all of the friends of the child, and the selected child walks up to his target. Someone else is hiding somewhere else. That someone else holds in his hands the remote detonation device – and he chooses when to trigger the explosion.

            The person hiding with all of the other children invites them to all praise Allah and cites the explosion as being a manifestation of God’s will. Hey presto you have one dead child and a host of converts to the cult of suicide bombing.

            Ideally what you are looking for is children that hold beliefs as deeply as this person.


            If you know where to look they are not hard to find.

      • bevin

        No. The attraction of ‘drone strikes’, particularly evident in people like Obama, is that they offer a war/video game option in which only the ‘enemy’ run risks. We saw this when the Israelis killed Sheikh Yassin, and wrecked his wheelchair, by attacking an undefended apartment building in Gaza. The building was full of families. And most of them died.
        During the US war on Syria the estimated casualties run into hundreds of thousands-but none of them are Americans, or Scots so there are no angry parents and relatives in Kentucky or Glasgow calling for peace and negotiations. Just wankers at home getting excited about the number of ‘terrorists’ being killed and cataloguing the dead seven year old girls and the fifteen year old boys as ‘militants’ etc.

        • J

          They’re also unfathomably expensive, complex and come with a limited shelf life. If you make them, they will have to be used, more will have to be procured and the use of them guarantees a continuing market for their use. The banality of evil.

  • Vronsky

    Provoked about pushing the nuclear button he should have said no. Just no.

    Also, he should not have supported an early General Election. Does he not understand what’s going on? If the CPS goes ahead with electoral fraud charges, the present Tory government is illegitimate. Instead he hands them a lifeline – we’ll help you bunk off now before anyone ends up in pokey.

    Perhaps a decent man, but no chess player.

    • reel guid

      Totally agree with you Vronsky.

      He means well but naively thinks you can dispense with strategy.

    • Mark Cunliffe

      I quite agree. As tantalising though the prospect is of asking the nation to dispel this barbaric Tory government now rather than in 2020, we run the risk of allowing them to continue when several in their number should be behind bars.

      “I look forward to Marr seeking to move his interview with Theresa May away from her preferred areas and ask her repeated questions about child poverty, social care, arms sales to terrible regimes, benefit cuts for the disabled and Tory electoral fraud. I much fear extreme disappointment awaits me.”

      This is so true. The BBC’s bias line is always ‘why aren’t you like the Tories?’ when speaking with Laour, but never ‘why aren’t you like Labour?’ when speaking to the Tories. Because the implication is that the Tories are the only way.

      • Herbie

        “The BBC’s bias line is always ‘why aren’t you like the Tories?’ when speaking with Laour, but never ‘why aren’t you like Labour?’ when speaking to the Tories. Because the implication is that the Tories are the only way.”

        Not really.

        When Blair was at his height, it was always “why aren’t you more like Blair”, to the Tories.

        Back to Thatcher and Major, and subsequent leaders, like Howard, Hague and IDS, the BBC always favoured the emerging Blair faction over these.

        So, the key, so far as media are concerned, is not Labour versus Tory.

        It’s global financial interests versus national interests.

        The BBC, like The Guardian, support the global elite, and their representative here on earth.

        If that’s a Labour bod, that’s OK.

        If it’s a Tory, that’s OK too.

        Macron is their French candidate. That’s why they keep calling him centrist.

        When he is actually the real fascist candidate.

        “The banker takes all” candidate.

        Whoever the BBC supports is the elite candidate.

  • reel guid

    Your right in your update Craig. Independence for Scotland is the best thing that could happen to England.

    In recent years UKIP has exerted a pull to the right in English politics which has resulted in the disaster of hard brexit.

    An independent Scotland showing just what social democracy can achieve will swing England back towards moderation and away from chauvinistic nationalism and neoliberalism.

  • Stephen Townsley

    I do get why you thought Corbyn spoke well on Marr. I have these observations.

    The Tories will attack Corbyn on defence and the Marr question was what would Corbyn write in his letter to the nuclear submarine captains to carry out his orders. He waffled.

    His answer should have been. I am personally opposed to nuclear weapons and believe peaceful negotiation is best way forward. However in the event of the need to use nuclear weapons I would give the captain’s a clear chain of command of persons who had the authority to use nuclear weapons and I will give the Secretary of State for Defence the authority to order a nuclear strike using the Crown’s powers should that need arise. The Prime Minister does not have to be the member of the Cabinet to authorise the use of Britain’s deterent.

    On the question of Brexit he could have been clearer. He should have said.

    We believe in honouring the voters’ wish to leave the EU. However the leave campaign promised Britain would not be poorer after the leaving the EU and workers’ rights would be in the hands of a UK Parliament. Labour would negotiate on that basis prioritising the economy which may disappoint the most strident leave supporters but we will govern for all of Britain not just a clique. Upon leaving the EU we will legislate to bring the highest standards of employment rights into UK law to honour expectations of working people.

  • RobG

    Oh, and with regard to the subject of Craig’s post, for the last year or so Corbyn has been caught between a rock and a hard place (with a large percentage of the PLP stabbing him in the back and an incredibly hostile media). In my lifetime I’ve never known a party leader to receive such flak, yet Corbyn is still here and in six weeks time the nation will vote on whether they want him as prime minister.

    The Donald will help matters along if he continues dropping bombs.

    You could simplistically say:

    Vote Tory if you want World War Three.

    Vote Labour if you want peace.

    It’s the The Corbynite Maneuver (for all you Trekies out there).

    • J

      Has there been a potential leader of the country who’s been more thoroughly tested than Corbyn in recent memory?

      • Manda

        Good question, no is my answer. The thing that has been tested more than anything is his strength of character and he has impressed even me on that score.

  • reel guid

    Perhaps Tim Farron shouldn’t be entirely confident of seeing off the fish finger standing against him in Westmoreland.

    After all didn’t a penguin get more votes than a Lib Dem candidate in Edinburgh a few years ago?

    • Sharp Ears

      I completely agree with Craig’s opinion on the Marr ‘interview’ aka an intended hatchet job but Jeremy was far ahead. His intellect is obvious. His performance was impressive and he exuded confidence cf Theresa’s prattle and wittering.

      My comment on the previous thread refers to the BiBiCee’s promotion of the arch war criminal earlier today on Radio 4 The World This Weekend. Chutzpah or what!

      • RobG

        Sharp Ears, most times I can only get to this board late in the day, and it’s often hard to keep up with what everyone is saying.

        I completely agree with what you say about Tony Blair.

        It’s absolutely gobsmacking stuff.

        Would you gleefully incinerate hundreds of millions of people? and anyone who answers in the negative is not considered a ‘fit leader’ of the nation.

        That’s how completely mad it has now all become.

        • Sharp Ears

          I agree with what you say. There is no way Jeremy Corbyn would become a war criminal like Blair, Brown and Cameron and Clegg since 2001- Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria…….

          May? Who knows. She would do what the gangsters-in-charge tell her to do. With the likes of Fallon making this sort of comment**, anything is possible with Israel calling the shots (all the Cons are CFoIs without exception). Has May been ordering attacks on Syria?

          ps I had only just put up that comment on Blair. I was not getting at you nor would I ever do so.

          Who is going to succeed in France? Exit polls at 8pm here they say.

          **Arms company that sold missiles to Gaddafi is a ‘role model’ for post-Brexit trade, Fallon says
          The Defence Secretary also said the Government is backing more arms sales to Saudi Arabia

          Evil personified.

          • Manda

            May is already complicit in Saudi probable war crimes in Yemen. She just hasn’t started a war of aggression yet but continues the same foreign policies which in any moral and ethical world view would be under severe question.

    • Herbie

      Tony Blair says, vote for Lib Dem or the Tories over Labour candidates.

      Can’t he be expelled for not supporting Labour candidates?

      Perhaps that’s the Blairites latest trick.

      Blair expelled from the Labour Party!

      Should have been expelled around 1983.

      Him and the rest of the gangster clan who sold out to the global bankers.

  • Sharp Ears

    The stronger Craig’s arguments are, the more the trolls arrive in number to comment negatively. It’s really funny to observe time and time again.

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