The Tipping Point 215


The UK currently has a Prime Minister who is held in widespread contempt by the ordinary public. It follows that the power of the mainstream media to dictate public opinion has been broken. The broadcast media reached new levels of election campaign bias, and the print media was fanatical, during the election campaign in promoting May. But the Tories nonetheless lost their majority. The press is trying to cover up its loss of power by switching towards the anti-May camp, but it is running hopelessly behind. We have passed a key tipping point where the cloud power of social media is now more important than mainstream media in shaping public opinion.

That has been crucial in smashing the surrounds of the Overton window. There were a set of beliefs which the political and media Establishment believed it was essential to hold, or you would be “unelectable”. These basic beliefs included:

1) An unwavering commitment to nuclear weapons and an enthusiasm about their use
2) Privatisation of public services including natural monopolies
3) State funded services to be provided through intermediary private organisations
3) An untrammelled free market in rents, wages and the other major factors in the life of the poor
4) Low taxes on the wealthy and corporations
5) Ever greater deregulation
6) Neutered trades unions and removal of employee rights
7) Inequality of wealth as a consequence of a healthy economy
8) Unquestioning support for Britain’s retention of Imperial possessions and for military interventions abroad.
9) Politicians must talk tough on immigration to reassure “indigenous communities”
10) Unwavering support for Israel

There are more. Every single one of these were taken as absolutely fundamental to “accepted” political thought. Anybody questioning any of these was regarded as at best an amusing eccentric, at worst a dangerous fanatic. Portrayal of Corbyn was sometimes the former, during the election campaign overwhelmingly the latter.

It cannot be said too loudly or too often that New Labour subscribed absolutely and without question to 100% of the above political orthodoxy. It is what the large majority of Labour MPs have spent their lives believing.

It was the SNP who led the way in showing that attacking this “consensus” did not make you unelectable, and the SNP smashed New Labour in Scotland from the left. Precisely two years ago I wrote a post on why left wing politics do not make you unelectable, which was read by hundreds of thousands.

The terrible tragedy at Grenfell tower has reinforced understanding that benign state regulation is an essential factor in protecting the most vulnerable people in society. It adds to a national mood which was already swinging towards more economic regulation and a bigger role for the state. My last post I hope was nuanced in explaining the situation at Grenfell Tower. Nothing can bring back those who so needlessly lost their lives. But I do hope it may lead to a period of greater social housing provision by councils, working with direct labour forces and sweeping away the intermediary bodies which bedevil provision throughout the public sector.

I am not going to worry too much about the Tories at the moment as they appear to be plummeting to earth with no chance of medium term recovery. But where does Labour stand?

The most important question is whether the Blairites are going to abandon their belief in the neo-liberal consensus and actually support the policies in the Labour Party manifesto. A week ago Peter Mandelson, of all people, gave a television interview in which he said he had no moral problem with Corbyn’s policies, he had merely thought them unelectable. So the question arises: what do these people really believe in?

Some of them really are right wingers and find left wing policies unbearable. I believe that accounts for fifty to sixty of the Parliamentary Labour Party. About the same number are genuine left wingers. But the vast majority of the Blairite remnant are like Blair himself – morally pliable. If getting on board with the Corbyn programme looks good for their money-making prospects, they will do it. They are practising their new left wing vocabulary right now before their mirrors.

Corbyn’s hand is much strengthened, but he still has a major task to strengthen his grip on the party. Compulsory deselection is the obvious way forward but may prove difficult to force through. However pending very extensive constituency boundary changes may give the leverage required. To date, Corbyn has suffered from an inability to influence local constituency labour parties, where young activists are difficult to turn out for procedural meetings and old hacks manipulate arcane procedures. In addition, Labour’s entrenched full time staff is viciously anti-Corbyn, none more so than General Secretary Ian McNicol. The truth is that before the election Corbyn was not winning in the institutional battle within the Labour Party. He needs to exploit his current strength now ruthlessly in internal battles.

In Scotland, a dreadful and unpopular Tory government dependent on the DUP, and a lurch towards a disastrous Brexit which Scotland does not want, should provide a massive boost to the Independence movement. But the SNP is failing as a leadership vehicle for Independence. Having fought a pathetic general election campaign in which it prepared to accept that the very thought of Independence is a dirty little secret that should be hidden under the bed, the SNP appears in almost as great a crisis of confidence as the Tory Party. It needs now to come out and forcefully explain why Scotland would do much better as an independent country. The purpose of the SNP is not remunerative employment for Scotland’s political class. It is, however, beginning to look like it.


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215 thoughts on “The Tipping Point

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  • Leonard

    A GREAT Article which sums up everything I feel. It cannot be under-estimated what damage the Labour Party Executive did to reinforce the ridiculous notion that Corbyn was unelectable. It was only a few months ago that this staggeringly arrogant organisation’s chief executive was actually shutting down constituency party meetings merely because their members did not want Eagle, Smith or anyone else but Corbyn as their party leader.

    We had a succession of evidence-free accusations of intimidation, bricks through windows, crocodile tears, and perfectly democratic meetings banned just because members wanted something different from the executive, which failed to understand that its purpose was to serve its members, not dictate to them. All of this was gleefully exploited by the media and the rebel MPs who piled on the anti-Corbyn smears with staggering ferocity. I recall meetings in Brighton and Lewes which were near flawless examples of civility and respectful discourse which were later portrayed as intimidating and violent by the press, egged on by the executive.

    You cannot blame Labour’s collapse in Scotland just on the SNP’s success. Jim Murphy and John McTernan managed to destroy Labour’s chances in Scotland all by themselves and the legacy of their poisonous campaign lingered on June 8th.

    I’m afraid I have little faith that what appears to be a veneer of a change of heart in some quarters is going to last. We still have a sizeable number of Blairite MPs biding their time, and most of them have barely conceded they were wrong through gritted teeth. As Craig has pointed out, few of these people had any vision or plan beyond being electable at any cost.

    • Shatnersrug

      Leonard,

      Whilst we have to accept that some MPs will only ever be “weathervanes” as Tony Benn put it, you are absolutely correct in your assessment that there are actors within the party that represent controlled opposition. These are all what you might describe as the ‘Atlanticist’ division of the party, and I’m sure they would take their orders from Grosvenor House before they would even consider their constituency.

      But we must not be put off by them, The anger intelegence and sheer hard work I’ve seen from young momentum members has lead me to believe that we can win majority control over the party. It’s a shame as Nevermind has said that this didn’t come to a head 3 years previous, however I believe those truly effecting change now were almost too young to back then.

      We must keep positive. In the words of Gramsci

      “I’m a pessimist because of intelligence, but an optimist because of will.”

      And it the will that will change things.

      • Leonard

        I take your points and I do try to be optimistic. However one thing I left out: It is not even so much the ghastly Blairites or the Labour Execs. Did you see the washed up dinasaurs the BBC and other media dragged on for their comments on the election? I mean, talk about scraping the barrel! In the one week before and after the election here is just a short list of who was paraded on Channel 4, ITV and the Beeb for their insightful and uniquely qualified views:

        Neil Hamilton (no need to explain)
        Neil Kinnock (lost an election almost handed to him on a plate)
        Chris Huhne (no need to explain)
        Alistair Campbell (at least 20 times)
        Chuka Ummana (at least 10 times)
        Liam Byrne (The money’s all gone)
        Assorted neo con economists
        Assorted far right journalists (introduced as “neutral commentators”)
        UKIP Leader (at least 15 times – despite not a single seat won).
        Liz Kendall (at least 5 times)
        Alan Johnson (at least 5 times)
        Yvette Cooper (at least 10 times)
        Margaret Beckett
        Jack Straw
        Jesse Phillips

        …and that’s just a cursory snapshot. Almost none of these interviewees were challenged as to their views by another less Blairite/pro-Corbyn journalist, commentator or member of parliament.

        So even if I were to be an optimist about the Labour Executive and some MPs turning over a new leaf, I have absolutely zero faith that anyone in the media will do much more than accept Corbyn for the time being until the smears start all over again, and here I’m talking not about the usual suspects on the Torygraph, Sun and Dail Mail, but on the Guardian too.

    • BrianPowell

      In fact he was unelectable, Tories have 317, Labour has 262, so in fact he lost. That’s after 7 years of Tories and the Brexit catastrophe. He won the Leader of the Labour Party vote.
      Folks shouldn’t forget Labour with Corbyn signed up to Brexit, as it was presented for the Referendum.

      • Johnny boy

        un·e·lect·a·ble (ŭn′ĭ-lĕk′tə-bəl)
        adj.
        Being such that election, as to high office, is difficult or impossible.

        If you look at the polls, then given another week of campaigning Labour would have won, given a little more support from some of the recalsitrant sections of the Labour party he probably would have won. Corbyn himself had a fine campaign, perhaps it was the party which failed to win the election, as it had the last two?

        You shouldn’t forget that a majority of the population are still in favour of Brexit.

        • J

          “You shouldn’t forget that a majority of the population are still in favour of Brexit.”

          Actually, that’s not true. Only 26.7 percent of the population voted for Brexit.

  • George Brennan

    The wathchword used to be Get Corbyn, but everyone fawns on success. The message now is Get McDonnell. Mandelson admires Corbyn’s visit to Grenfel because perceives it as brilliant electable PR. Tony himself could not have faked sincerity better. New Labour can swallow the modest and popular reforms of the manifesto as long they can be kept within the frame of politics-as-usual. A million-member party that truly calls the shots within reformed structures is what they most dread and still hope to prevent..

    • Adam Burgess

      That “feasting on the corpses” photo-op by Corbyn was indeed a great PR stunt of which Tone himself would be proud. He was there cuddling survivors for a full 30 mins, and then fucked off.

      • Disinterested Bystander

        It’s called being statesmanlike. It’s what great leaders do at times of crisis and tragedy. It’s also why the Queen made a personal visit and made sure that she spoke to some of the survivors. On the other hand, if you are a vacuous nonentity who has got into power by the skin of your teeth, you allow a Bush Ocker to pull your strings and refuse to interact with ordinary people who have been made homeless partly as a result of your Government’s policies.

          • Leonard

            Corbyn does NOT go with Trident. He has said consistently and repeatedly that he wants rid of it. As he is not a dictator and we don’t quite yet have a presidential government or opposition, Corbyn has had to bow to the wishes of Labour’s executive and majority of MPs. That does not mean he “still goes” with Trident. Please correct. Thank you.

  • Max

    Wouldn’t be too optimistic. The Telegraph and The Spectator (and the like) continue to enlist disgusting mercenary authors and churn out the worst kind of uninformed rubbish. Lots of people read this with great enthusiasm as it confirms their beliefs, and allows them to go on unquestioningly embracing neoliberalism. And there are lots of fanatical apologists for May still, like that Harry Potter author who inhabits her little protected world of fairies and wizards. I don’t think we are quite at the tipping point. And on Corbyn, he has such a tough task, as he is so afraid to look like a dictator (which the newspapers will say he is anyway) that he brings back very sleazy politicians like Owen Smith. I suppose if he felt that the public backed him, he would have purged the slime in Labor a long time ago. But we have not yet reached that tipping point.

    • Shatnersrug

      Rome wasn’t built in a Day Max, two years ago the old whingers in this sight didn’t even foresee this coup by us on left of the Party. This isn’t just about JC it’s about an extremely well informed and strong group of under 30s who have every intention of providing a future of democracy and accountability.

      Something many don’t realise about Grenfell tower and you probably wouldn’t if you didn’t live here, is that many involved who have lost so much are already involved in forming a powerful opposition. The reason they went demonstrated this weekend without any rioting is because they know the future they want and I’m very proud to say that among them are members of momentum and the Labour Party.

      • Phil the ex-frog

        Shatnersrug
        “many involved who have lost so much are already involved in forming a powerful opposition”

        That’s quite a claim comrade. High Momentum and LP activity amongst Grenfell residents you say? On what do you base this surprising assertion?

          • Phil the ex-frog

            So, you personally know enough Grenfell residents well enough to say that many are involved in Momentum and/or the LP?

            Let me speak frankly here Shatnersrug. I do not believe you. It’s a bullshit claim. The type of nonsense spouted by the faithful projecting their own certainties on others. I’m pretty sure Momentum is not widely represented in London’s Middle East migrant nor poor working class communities. Even ignoring these demographic assumptions, Momentum,/LP members are a tiny minority. The chances of Grenfell being a hotbed of activism, an unrepresentative hive of card carrying party types, a statistical phenomena, is somewhere around nil. I’ve not heard one other momentum/LP source make this claim you do. If true it would be a remarkable coincidence worthy of international news attention and the conspiracy theories of Trow. No. What you claim is utterly ridiculous.

            Let me explain why it is so offensive.

            Some left groups love nothing more than making wild claims about what the ‘people’ think and need. That’s annoying and misguided. But when a political group tries to hijack a tragedy to promote it’s own agenda it all gets a bit disrespectful. This tension has arisen with the SWP over the last few days. Knowing the area as you do you will know how that went down.

            And you bang on about democracy. That takes the biscuit. Perhaps you might explain about democracy within Momentum. Please do tell us how much influence you, as a paying member, have over the big decisions. The answer is between very little to absolutely none. Tending very much towards the later. You gotta love undemocratic left groups telling ‘the people’ they need to fight for more democracy.

            Over excited you made an outlandish and offensive claim mate. Now, recognise it, learn from it and move on.

          • Phil the ex-frog

            Laguerre
            “re Phil sounds like you who are making the wild claims”

            Would you care to possibly explain wtf you mean?

            Do you accept that many Grenfell residents are active in Momemntum/LP? Or do you think it acceptable to misrepresent victims for political gain? Or do you think that Shatnersug was saying no such thing?

    • Johnny boy

      It might also be unwise to ‘purge’ the party. That is what Blair did and it has back fired. You need a broad church for electoral success, you can’t change the electorates’ views that quickly so the Owen Smiths are ok as their constituencies may not be thick with Momentum members. We hope things will change though.

  • Carl Marks

    A petition is calling on Jeremy Corbyn to table a No Confidence motion on Wednesday, when Parliament officially reopens. The proposed wording is as follows:

    that the House has no confidence in the Government or in its housing policies that contributed to the Grenfell Tower fire“.

    With a large enough crowd outside, and with run-up coverage foreseeing “shame” on any MP – even an Ulster loyalist, indeed even a Tory – who expresses confidence in the government, Corbyn is a shoe-in to Downing Street before the end of the week.

    • Manda

      Another election is needed, Labour needs a clear majority government or it will likely be paralysed on many issues. I am sure Tory/neoliberal/neocon policies are still going ahead in the background such as may’s commitment to implement the Naylor report and other finalising privatisation of NHS leaving a poor safety net service for those who cannot afford decent insurance. Foreign policy in Syria also seems to be continuing and probable further repression of free internet. https://www.rt.com/op-edge/392701-uk-may-tories-internet/

      • Tony_0pmoc

        Manda,

        I don’t think any government can break the internet. It was exceedingly well designed by the US Military to maintain communications in the event of a nuclear war. What the US Military weren’t expecting is that someone like Tim Berners-Lee would innocently come along – and make it generally available to the entire world for free.

        The design of the internet is such that it automatically re-routes around political roadbloacks like fascist governments. Such governments also have problems with their paymasters such as mega corporations entirely dependent on a fast and efficient internet to flog their stuff. There is also always going to be another kid – even brighter than Conway Berners-Lee to produce something that works even more efficiently that no one else has yet conceived.

        95 and still going strong. (Tim’s Dad – it is Father’s Day)

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conway_Berners-Lee

        He probably won’t remember me, but we did work at the same company at the same time.

        Tony

        • glenn_uk

          The Chinese seem to be doing a pretty good job at restricting access, and authoritarian governments during the Arab Spring uprisings quickly eliminated the Twitters and the Facebooks etc. when they felt the need.

          Mind you, a lot of this is done with the full coorporation of the corporations involved. There’s a Chinese government friendly version of google. Type “Tiananmen Square Massacre/ Protest ” into that, for instance, and you’ll get zero hits.

          • Tony_0pmoc

            glenn, Two of my Children’s Best Friends live and work in China. They occassionaly come back home for a visit. I buy a lot of electronic and other stuff direct from China..often it arrives in less than a week. Meanwhile, 2 weeks after my order from a British company – my stuff still hasn’t arrived.

            And if anything goes wrong, The Chinese are not just so polite and helpful they do everything they can to help resolve the problem graciously.

            Tony

          • Tony Little

            Tony

            I was in Ethiopia last year. When there was “unrest” due tot he government’s policy over minorities, they shut down the internet, then only days later allowed access but NT to social media, e.g. Facebook, Viber, What’s Ap etc. Governments can do this. I was unable to communicate for several days. These are dangerous times.

          • glenn_uk

            Tony_Opmoc: I daresay the Chinese are often nice individuals, but I don’t see any connection between your reply to me, and what I actually wrote.

            *

            Tony Little: Indeed – the entire “Internets” service can be removed at a stroke, or parts of it. Possibly we have become rather complacement with our ability to communicate during the good times, and assume we can always do so no matter what governments would like.

            At the other end of the restriction process, you have to be very careful what you say. Far more so than a loud-mouth would on the street, or in a pub. Make threats – or even act like some stupid racist bigot – and you can find yourself jailed for intemperate speech which might not reflect your considered views at all.

            On my mobile, I might ask a mate “Fancy a pint?” but the word “pint” first appears as “riot” and then “shot” with predictive text. Appearing to be inciting others to a riot might a one of those things that get you arrested. And that’s with our wonderfully democrated, enlightened, free-world governments. Imagine what it’s like with less benevolent authorities.

          • Tony_0pmoc

            Tony Little,

            Yes I appreciate what you say. A friend of mine’s son volunteered -probably much like you to help the people at “The Jungle” in Calais a couple of years ago.

            He ended up getting Arrested and Jailed and accused of being a member of some political organisation…Before being arrested and jailed – he was giving interviews to American Media – and getting published. He eventually gets released and comes back home to his mum -and keeps getting summoned by The French to stand Trial..He travels back to France for the court case looking like a skint thin 19 year old kid…and they Do Not Dismiss The Court Case..the French say no -we can’t do this now..You will have to come again.

            Toby did nothing wrong. he is just a Really nice man.

            Tony

    • Tony_0pmoc

      Carl Marks,

      I have no idea what is going to happen next, but this is by far the most exciting time in British Politics since I went to see Harold Wilson give a speech on a Fruit Box at Oldham Market in 1964. I was too young to vote for him…but I was there.

      “Labour won the 1964 general election with a narrow majority of four seats, and Wilson became Prime Minister, the youngest person to hold that office since Lord Rosebery 70 years earlier. During 1965, by-election losses reduced the government’s majority to a single seat; but in March 1966 Wilson took the gamble of calling another general election. The gamble paid off, because this time Labour achieved a 96-seat majority[25] over the Conservatives, who the previous year had made Edward Heath their leader.”

      My eldest Brother was a Member of The Young Conservatives.

      I wasn’t.

      Tony

  • Victor Martin Hunt (Merlin the Magnificent )

    Mr Craig Murray are you prepared to accept my 5 star laurel as “Tweet of the Week ” for your article “The Tipping Point” ?
    You have demonstrated that you are gifted writer with some depth of knowledge in regard to politics, philosophy & the weakness of the human arrogance.
    My apologies in my admission that this award cannot bestowed or is a consideration to royalty, nor cannot it be gained by means of a financial attachment or membership to the House of Lords.
    Your acceptance would I feel sure not go unnoticed among those women & men such as yourself who contribute to the fight with WORDSs that many can & are able to understand.
    My apologies for such grovelling unorthodox request.
    Yours sincerely
    Victor Martin Hunt (Merlin the Magnificent)
    Twitter address -Methusalada74
    A 76 year registered disabled pensioner ( now ain’t that a first experience for you)

    p.s I have been banned from the Labour Party twice ,the most recent time being for 5 years in 2016 ,after I helped JC become nominated as Leader of the Labour Party.(a Close shave).Some how I still manage to live & survive in my hermit shack in North Wales bestowed upon me by Merlin the Magnificent no less. His final gift to me a cockney kid from London.
    My motto is if you cannot laugh , you must be among the living dead !

  • jemand

    More than 70% of GE vote was for parties committed to implementing Brexit. People want it – before and, now, more than ever. As for the rest of the article, it’s the usual tedious, self-serving word salad of opinion and fantasy. Nothing changes. No tipping point.

    • glenn_uk

      Assuming for the moment that a good majority of people really do want Brexit now (have you got any real data for that?), I wonder if that’s down to the way our EU Commission has been coming up with threats, demands and denouncements of us ever since the vote. Not to mention the insistence that we be properly punished for leaving, in case others get the same idea.

      I mean, what sort of club is it where the only reason people don’t leave, is because of the beating they’ll get? Lawless gangs have that sort of BS in their rules. Not legitimate organisations where members join and remain presumably because they like being in that organisation.

      • Dave

        The evidence is people never wanted Remain particularly strongly in the first place, because they lost despite UK being only half-way in.

  • N_

    @glenn_uk
    “On my mobile, I might ask a mate “Fancy a pint?” but the word “pint” first appears as “riot” and then “shot” with predictive text. Appearing to be inciting others to a riot might a one of those things that get you arrested.”

    Maybe you need a malevolent authority to teach you that using predictive text is pathetic 🙂 Would you use an “app” to wipe your arse if Google told you to?

    • glenn_uk

      Actually, N_ , I don’t use google more than I can possibly avoid (when it’s embedded in some website for google maps, for example), and apps not at all. Why is predictive text “pathetic” in your esteemed view? I could hit 7, pause, then 4-4-4, pause, 6-6, pause and then 8 to get “pint”. Or hit 7-4-6-8-#-# to get “pint” which is rather quicker. Perhaps you’ve made some undue assumptions?

        • glenn_uk

          Perhaps we’re talking about different things… I’m referring to the feature whereby numbers on the keypad are typed, and the associated letters (i.e. 1=ABC, 2=DEF, 3=GHI etc.) are combined in the most likely fashion to form a word. If there are ambiguities, for example 7-4-6-8 could be RIOT, SHOT or PINT, you need to toggle through them to get the word you wanted.

      • N_

        Sorry if I was rude. But people give away an awful lot in return for “convenience” they didn’t realise they “needed” until it was advertised at them or offered as a “feature”. I couldn’t handle choosing from a list of words supplied by some company’s software rather than typing out the word I wanted. Would you go further and have a chip implanted in your head, so that when you had a vague thought of what you wanted to say you didn’t have to bother finishing it because you could just choose from a list of sentences that came up on a screen? And in the present day, do you leave the squiggly-underlining turned on in your word processor? I can’t handle that either. If I mistype something, I’ll find it when I read through. What’s so wrong with enjoying the work one has to do in order to produce and craft something of worth, something that’s exactly how we want it, something we’ve put both mental and physical effort into?

        • glenn_uk

          N_ , you still don’t seem to understand what I attempted to explain. It’s not “predictive text” in the way you think. I don’t even have a “smart-phone”, it’s just text produced from a simple numeric keypad on a 16 year old mobile.

          • N_

            Are you saying that e.g. when you press 2 you can’t press it twice to get B or three time to get C?

          • glenn_uk

            N_: “Are you saying that e.g. when you press 2 you can’t press it twice to get B or three time to get C?”

            Yes, you could. If it’s a word this old mobile doesn’t know, you’d have to add the word that way. But this is not figuring out what you want to say, it’s simply going for the words that could be made out of the selection of possible letters. If I type 1-2-2, that’s a choice between A/B/C & D/E/F & D/E/F . The most likely choice is “BED” – so it will offer that. If there are no other words available, I’ll have to type them in the manner you suggest above. That’s hardly predictive text in the way I think you were suggesting I allow a mobile to run my life.

            As it happens, I entirely agree with you – the way people allow the Googles to ask their questions for them as well as then immediately going on to provide the answer, is robbing people of something fundamental about their humanity, IMHO.

      • Robert Crawford

        Craig,

        I thought the tipping point would come when Diana was killed.

        Maybe it will come with this awful tragedy.

        • N_

          @Robert – Yes, the murder of Princess Diana was a risk for the British elite, and over about a decade several weak spots arose in the affair, any of which could have caused things to unravel, and fast. But the elite managed to get through it, assisted by MI5, SIS, the Foreign Office, the media, the army officer class, and typically by fear among those who could have helped – for example several people familiar with what happened to George Smith or Barry Mannakee. You could well be right that it’s more difficult for the enemy this time. Let’s hope so. Above all, we need to keep up the momentum. I really hope the protests regarding this dreadful fire build and build until Wednesday and that Jeremy Corbyn seizes the moment and tables a motion of no confidence in this stinking government and its policies which led to the fire. It is quite something that he is already calling for requisitioning of rich people’s empty properties. That shows how strong and radical the commitment is among large numbers of people in the lower orders. There is potentially far more here than there was in, say, the clapping of Charles Spencer’s funeral oration by the large crowd outside Westminster Abbey in 1997. There is a mass feeling that a) we have had enough, and b) we can do something about it.

          As for Jeremy Corbyn, I have him under continuous assessment, and I would say he is already the best leader the Labour party has ever had. Wilson was more or less kicking against an open door in 1964; Foot had a good manifesto in 1983 but unfortunately he didn’t manage to unite the party around it; and Attlee had a good manifesto in 1945 but he already had a united party. Corbyn has united the party not only around a left-wing manifesto but against resistance (yes, I know there are scumbags who want to get him out, but for the moment fuck them) – and no-one has ever achieved that combination before. It may not sound like very much for a Labour party leader to insist that he would not push the nuclear button and incinerate millions of people in foreign cities, and at the same time to gain 10% in the Labour voteshare, but in the sad history of the last 70 years in this country it is in fact a very great deal.

          Still, relying on leaders to do everything is a road to defeat. He needs the people behind him. He needs extra-parliamentary support, popular action, such as for example the mass autonomous takeover of empty houses owned by the filthy absentee rich.

        • glenn_uk

          Trowbridge – Craig was responding to the “glenn” who ISN’T me. You don’t seem able to recognise who is responding to who, and when I attempted to explain the process to you at length the other day, I got nothing but insults from you in return.

          • glenn_uk

            Trowbridge, I do appreciate that. However, Craig knew what he was doing – replying to the other “glenn” (not me!) and answering their question. Nobody is confused about that apart from yourself.

            You mistakenly took Craig’s post as being directed towards me, and so misinterpreted what he was saying. That’s because you’re continually getting it wrong in your assumption of who is replying to whom. I wish you’d taken notice of my explanation of this the other day.

            Regardless, thank you for the good intentions.

  • Dave

    Except May did very well in the election illustrating the difficulty in either Labour or Conservative ever winning a convincing overall majority again. The puzzle is did the deep state organise to sink Brexit or Corbyn or both with the bobby trapped manifesto and staged events, because it seems to me both objectives failed. Brexit is stronger and so is Corbyn.

    • Tom

      Perhaps some of May’s international ‘supporters’ wanted her to win but the British establishment didn’t? I don’t sense any enthusiasm from the Queen for Theresa May, for example The ‘deep state’ is presumably a set of competing factions rather than one unified body.

    • N_

      Either Labour or the Tories could win a large majority in the future. The deep state as you call it – and possibly secret agencies of more than one state – is certainly involved in events, although it is not clear exactly how. We can be damned sure there will be more surprises to come.

      I have no idea how you reach the conclusion that Brexit has become stronger.

      • Dave

        Corbyn says he will honour the referendum result, McDonnell says he agrees leave the single market, and because Brexit facilitates an anti-austerity agenda.

        • Johnny boy

          The Labour position hasn’t changed, though I’m not sure about waht you say about McDonnel. There are now two, more evenly empowered models of Brexit; it has a giant schism, I’m not sure that makes it stronger.

  • ANDREW SANDERS

    I think we need to be careful not to ignore Corbyn ‘s weaknesses: I heard him in one interview very courageously declaring that he would not press the nuclear button. A few days later he declared that he would pass the code on to the submarine commander. In addition he was in favour of building the Trident submarines. Also, his position with regards to indyref2 changes from day to day. Having said that, were I living in England ( but not in Brighton where greens would get my vote) I would have voted Labour. Finally, while I agree with Craig re the SNP campaign- and I support SNP- we should bear in mind that the media is as hostile to the SNP and Independence as it is (was?) to Jeremy Corbyn.

    • SA

      I think this was a pragmatic stance because it is the one subject where the self righteous politicians and journalists would like to claim the moral ground by showing that they are prepared to commit mass genocide.

    • Johnny boy

      He is smart enough to play with words to dodge a question. In favour of building the submarines rather than devastating the local economy when the Torys would not regenerate the area if the industry was lost. At the time, not running for PM, he was openly against having nukes on board.

    • Ray Visino

      Trident wouldn’t work anyway as Russia must be tracking our two or three submarines all the time and can finish them off with underwater drones at the same time as we are attacked. Ancient technology. So Corbyn nor anyone else wouldn’t be here to retaliate.

  • SA

    11. Complete support for Saudi Arabia and stiffling criticism of any aspect of Saudi support for jihadi terrorists and criminal wars.

  • Tom

    Another ‘basic belief’, of course (if a more recent addition to the list) is Brexit.
    Very few politicians dare admit they support remaining in the EU anymore, for fear of being branded anti-democratic, even though 48% of voters supported Remain in the referendum.
    Even the almost inevitably serious economic consequences of Brexit are left unspoken by a media trying to deceive the public and keep them in the dark until it is too late.
    We keep hearing assertions such as ‘Brexit is happening’, ‘when we leave the EU’ etc thrown in by broadcasters. But in reality Brexit is far from a done deal.
    This is why the media are trying to introduce the soft v hard Brexit debate in the hope people don’t think of other options, such as not leaving the EU at all. This is much the same tactic that Craig refers to over the Tory leadership.

    • Adam Burgess

      Most of the media are on your side, Tom, playing divide and rule tactics. Let me make the terminology clear for you:

      “Soft Brexit” = remaining in the EU.
      “Hard Brexit” = leaving the EU.

      This country voted to leave the EU.

      • N_

        Most of the 52% couldn’t give a tinker’s cuss about staying in the EU or leaving it. What concerned them above all was immigration. “Leave the EU” was just a polite way of saying “Pakis and Poles out” and “Enoch was right”.

        And they weren’t concerned about…ooh, say Chinese immigration, which has happened on a large scale since 1997, but rather immigration by dark-skinned people and by low-paid workers whatever their skin colour. Some even thought that many existing immigrants would have to “leave” the country if “Leave” won. (And I have met people who thought exactly that, in case anyone wants to accuse me of fantasising.)

        • Johnny boy

          There was that element, yes. There was also Lexit, but mostly it was interpreted as an anti-establishment vote. 52% of the population is not racist, although the xenophobic campaign did seem to swing it in the last two weeks.

      • Johnny boy

        Soft Brexit = Economy is prioritised and kept in as good a shape as possible to preserve the standard of living.
        Hard Brexit = Right wingers are prioritised and kept in as much good will as possible to preserve the Consertative party.

        The country voted to leave the EU.

  • mickc

    I agree with your analysis.

    However, I do not agree with Mcdonell calling for mass action to bring down the government. This is counter-productive and likely to turn many, who would give Corbyn a fair hearing, against him.

    I am not sure we actually have reached the tipping point yet….but it is within sight.

    • Johnny boy

      Protest is a vital element of democracy. Those who believe otherwise I doubt would ever support anyone other than torys, it should go without saying really.

  • Alf Baird

    The SNP needs to use its Scottish democratic Yes majorities at 3 levels – Westminster, Holyrood and local government to give notice of the end of the union of parliaments, and in response to Scotland’s pro-EU vote ignored by Westminster, to the refusal of Westminster to sanction a mandated indyref2, to the anti-Treaty of Union EVEL and creation of a UK Supreme Court. Two years should be enough notice to tell the Tories to f-off for good.

    • fred

      1,018,322 people in Scotland voted for Brexit in the referendum.

      977,569 voted for the SNP in the election.

      Brexit is more popular in Scotland than the SNP.

      • Ayrshirelass

        Labour and the conservatives campaigned strongly for remain in the EU referendum.
        Your conclusion is illogical

  • J

    42 bodies found in just one room according to one of the videos posted here:

    https://twitter.com/hashtag/GrenfellTower?src=hash

    The numbers of missing described by many in the videos bears little similarity to official statements and there are very weird stories surfacing from survivors, they are apparently being threatened with “making themselves intentionally homeless” if they don’t agree to be disbursed to remote parts of the UK. Very fishy.

  • Hieroglyph

    I suspect the morally pliable ones will indeed get on board – long enough to shaft Corbyn. They are basically the enemy within. I’ve noted a certain amount of steel in Corbyn recently, which is good, as he begins to understand this is a winnable game. He’s been, dare I say it, even a little cynical, giving the Tories a mighty kicking at every opportunity. Sometimes it’s not especially pretty, but I’m glad he’s showing some fight. He’ll need more of this to get rid of the enemy within, and shouldn’t trust Mandy on jot. Mandy is a creature of slime and malice who should be ignored, forever.

  • Dave

    “So the question arises: what do these people really believe in?”

    It is precisely that question – and lack of answer – which explains why all the ‘moderates’ were smashed in the leadership elections by someone with consistent principles and beliefs.

  • giyane

    I don’t regard Jeremy Corbyn’s policies as particularly Left wing. I regard Tory policies as morally repugnant, un-patriotic insanity. The UK becomes more and more like Erdogan’s modern sultanate, modern because it disposes of morality and patriotism, while re-inforcing bigotry and racism. It’s hard to be proud of a country which clads its high rise buildings with flammable material in order to save money. This is the old Tory trying to save money by feeding sheeps’ brains to vegetarian cows. Accountancy drivel, garbage in , garbage out. About as mad as MI6 supporting terrorists on the borders of Europe. Nothing the Tories ever do is sane.

    • Squonk

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4616452/Man-arrested-van-ploughs-people-outside-mosque.html

      More than ten pedestrians were hit by a white van driver who veered onto a pavement near a renowned north London mosque, in what is being described as a ‘terrorist attack’.
      Several people were reportedly hurt after the van ploughed into a crowd outside Finsbury Park Mosque, where hate cleric Abu Hamza once preached, as they finished Ramadan evening prayers called taraweeh.
      Eyewitnesses reported seeing bystanders wrestle the suspect to the floor and pin him down until officers arrived.

      • glenn_uk

        I wonder if we’ll follow the US model, and call terrorism by white ultra-nationalists the work of a lone nut-job, who was clearly mentally ill. Nothing more significant to be drawn from this – move along, folks.

          • glenn_uk

            Damn those satirists – how come they’re always several paces ahead of a point I’m struggling to formulate, and they’ve already made a good joke about it?

        • Alcyone

          It seems quite obvious the objective is to create terror. And you probably also have to be deranged to do this.

          The pavlovian cynicism expressed here is quite warped and unhealthy in itself.

    • Michael McNulty

      I put Sky on this morning to get the latest on Grenfell Tower and find a van attack takes over the news and now no mention of the tower. All very convenient for the government. A vehicle attack must be easy to fake and I don’t believe a damn word of it. All very sinister, all very dark, and if they’d had TV the Nazis would have come out with all this shit. The terrorists are our own fucking governments.

      • J

        Maybe, maybe not. The pattern is repetitive though. Attack or event, however you see it. Always when the Tories need it most. In a rational world, it wouldn’t be happening at all. In this one, how could you fail to notice?

  • Bob Costello

    It is not just this election that the SNP have tried to sweep independence under the table but every election since the referendum. Whist arranging an independence rally in Dundee which was to take place the week before the 2015 General election ,I was told by a Dundee politician, “we cant have saltires and yes signs being waved around the City Square the week before an election”

  • Ba'al Zevul

    A week ago Peter Mandelson, of all people, gave a television interview in which he said he had no moral problem with Corbyn’s policies…

    I absolutely and sincerely believe this. Mandelson’s miraculous conversion from “I try to undermine Jermey Corbyn every single day”

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/feb/21/peter-mandelson-i-try-to-undermine-jeremy-corbyn-every-day

    to expert on moral problems, is directly derived from his utter lack of morals. This applies to any political or financial situation into which Mandy extends his pseudopodia. But it’s nice to have you on board, Peter, if only until Nat Rothschild or a Russian oligarch deems otherwise.

    This, from Mandelson, is pretty indicative of what the hysterical wing of the Remain camp is up to. It avoids the requirement for Blair to emerge from under his stone and feign support for Corbyn, but signals pretty clearly that the Blairite Remainers’ best option is indeed to support Labour, if possible helping it into power, for the single purpose of defeating any meaningful implementation of Brexit.

    Which may become fact in form, but not in substance, whoever does the negotiating. We will continue to enjoy poor controls on immigration, freeish movement of cheap labour and those EU regulations we have tio obey or lose our European market. Under the Tories, or under a Blairite – dominated Labour, the system will be further fine-tuned for the benefit of offshore hedge funds. And even Corbyn will have his work cut out to oppose this.

  • Ottomanboi

    The National party, I drop the Scottish as we all know the nation concerned is ours, is currently the driver for independence so any setback for the party is psychologically a setback for the notion of national sovereignty. That is the way the media and the unnuanced masses read it. The wise may know differently but failure is failure, it damages and that damage your enemy is going to exploit, mercilessly.
    Merciless is not what we get from the SNP when top dog. It had 56 mps in London; the third largest party. It may as well, given its impact, have had a mere handful. The media generally presented the pushy LibDems and ridiculous Ukip as more relevant. The SNP, seemingly content with scoring, appeared to sit back enjoying the success and leaving Ms Sturgeon, as usual, to do the PR for independence.
    Post snap GE the observant will recognise that what momentum there was has gone. The disastrous loss of seats, which party faithful seem to be so sanguine about protesting ‘we won’, was indicative of complacency and a marginalising of independence as a political worldview to be boldly and imaginatively marketed, in favour of noises about the whens of an Indyref#2
    The apparent stasis or rabbit caught in headlight syndrome troubling the National party since the election is indicative. Will we see a renewed, re-energized, re-galvanized and re-focussed party or the same old conservative line-up attempting to
    muddle through the most significant opportunity our country has had to make a reasoned claim to its space in UK and European politics?

  • nevermind

    Britain is divided like never before, the sign of a waning society are everywhere. The shows and games on TV, endless cookery programs, the conditioning of minds into puddings, add three cup full of right wing fervour and MSM drivel, the antagonism shown towards people of other colour or tribe, the desperate politicians all desperate to argue against history and its outcome.

    The last two millennia have shown us that empires come and go. read what Romans flocked to during the last years of their empire, its no joke, cookery exhibitions were diverting disperate and desperate minds then.

    Whatever happens, this division is not going to be healed,imho. it will take its evolutionary course. How shrill will the voices get in 10-15 years when some 30% of manufacturing is done by AI and robots galore?

    Will our warmongers get more frantic, are these establishment intellectuals actually contemplating survival in a dead and cold world after a major nuclear catastrophe has wiped out most of us and most of all living species?

    Today marks the start of negotiations on terms and niceties will be exchanged. one could expect that the EU negotiators voice concern for the still EU citizens in NI, the international model of the Good Friday Agreement and the state of the EU border in-between, with a forceful removal of NI out of the EU, which it did not vote for in the Referendum being a prospect.

    wishing you all a great hot summer, marching seasons coming up, young minds will be dulled at many festivals and politicians carry on dividing the country.

    So what about this Queens speech, not popular anymore? Can Parliament start without it? If only children would get educated in how their society ‘s cogs work………..

  • Deep Background

    Craig is spot on with his criticism of Labour’s constituency parties.

    I come from a marginal constituency which is controlled by some Labour ‘old hacks’ who belong to a ‘party within a party’ called ‘Progress’. A more disreputable organisation you could not wish for. These people sell expensive tickets to their supporters to attend Blairite functions that are addressed by leading Blairites from within the PLP. It’s all very cliquey, old boy!

    Momentum has established a small (and very benign) presence within the party, but nowhere near enough to mount a serious challenge to the Blairite old guard at AGMs. It’s very dispiriting.

    I left after the party after I was refused a ballot in the leadership election. Ironically enough, I was able to vote for Corbyn anyway, via my Unite membership, but it still angered me, particularly as I have been a long-time supporter of Labour.

    I also became disillusioned by the branch meetings, which are made deliberately dull in order to discourage people like me from attending.

    The final straw came when I suspected (from remarks that were made on social media) that my branch secretary had been using his position as a ‘data controller’ to profile his branch membership. He seems to spend much of his time attacking pro-Corbyn blogs on social media. So it’s sort of like ‘Blairites for a Corbyn defeat’. You can sense the anger from within the party now that Corbyn did well at the polls. There were no photos of Corbyn in the campaign literature, even though their own mug shots would make good promotional material for the Inter-City Firm.

    BTW, what is the point of Liz Kendall?

    This is the woman who promoted the same reformist agenda on welfare as IDS. She backed the cap on welfare and is against state funding of working tax credits or anything that might actually help people on low pay.

  • Michael McNulty

    Regards the Finsbury Park attack one witness who claims to live close by is reporting it as a hoax, and he concludes by saying he will post footage of the preparations in the run-up to the event. Let’s hope if he has it he doesn’t get cold feet, but who could blame him? These are dangerous authoritarian times.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXWOgw9LQbs

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