A Moment in History 967


Sometimes we do not know when small actions could have the most momentous effects. The Archduke Franz Ferdinand loved his wife, which was most unusual for a Hapsburg. She was not of royal blood and strict protocol meant she could not appear in public ceremonies with him in Vienna. Which is why he chose to undertake a royal visit to the obscure Serbian provincial city of Sarajevo for her birthday. The rest, as they say, is history.

AJP Taylor liked to list Franz Ferdinand’s love for his wife as a cause of the First World War, a reminder that history is the study of human beings. Of course the massive arms race between the imperial powers, and the nationalist and democratic forces acting on old heterogenous dynastic empires, lay at the root of the First World War. But Taylor’s absolutely correct point is that even the greatest store of paraffin will not ignite without a spark, and perhaps the spark may never come. I am with Taylor on this, against the rigid determinists.

The vast transfer of wealth from everybody else to the bankers in the great banking collapse, and the huge growth in wealth inequality and obscene concentrations of wealth in a tiny number of private hands, are the underlying causes of the collapse in old political party structures across the western democracies and the rise of insurgent politics in all its various forms, mostly under the careful control of the elite using all their media control to misdirect popular blame for mass poverty against immigrants.

There are however genuine examples of insurgent politics seeking to craft a fairer society in the UK, of which the SNP and Yes Movement in Scotland, and Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters in England and Wales, are the most important examples.

Unusually for me, this article is addressed primarily to Corbyn supporters down in England and Wales. You don’t have to be an Austrian Archduke to stand at the moment when your own small actions can have profound, indeed historical ramifications. If just a few score less ordinary people had listened to and acted on Camille Desmoulins’ great speech as the revolutionary impulse teetered, the world might have been very different. Corbyn supporters are at that moment of historic decision right now – and mostly do not realise it.

Jeremy Corbyn represents the only realistic chance the people of England and Wales have been given in decades, to escape from the neo-liberal economics that have impoverished vast swathes of the population. But he leads a parliamentary party which is almost entirely comprised of hardline neo-liberal adherents.

The majority of the parliamentary Labour party are the people who brought in academy schools, high student tuition fees, PFI, who introduced more privatisation into the health service than the Tories have, and who brought you the Iraq and Afghan Wars. They abstained on the Tory austerity benefit cuts and on May’s “hostile environment” immigration legislation. They support Trident nuclear missiles. Many hanker after bombing Syria, and most are members of Labour Friends of Israel.

Even before the current disintegration of UK political structures, there was no way that these Labour MPs were ever going to support Corbyn in power in seeking to return the UK towards the mainstream of European social democracy. They have spent the last four years in undermining Corbyn at every turn and attempting to return Labour to the right wing political Establishment agenda. In the current fluid state of UK politics, with sections of Labour MPs already having split off and others threatening to, it is even more important that the very large majority of Labour MPs are replaced by people who genuinely support the views and principles for which Jeremy Corbyn stands.

Regrettably Labour MPs do not automatically have to run for reselection against other potential party candidates, but under one of those hideous compromises so beloved of Labour Party conferences, they have to notify their intention to again be the party’s candidate for the constituency, and there is then a very brief window of a couple of weeks in which local branches and trade union branches can register a contest and force a challenge.

That process has now been triggered and it is ESSENTIAL that every Labour Party member reading this blog acts NOW to try to get rid of those dreadful Blairite MPs. If you do not act, the historic moment will be missed and the chance to move England and Wales away from neo-liberalism may be permanently surrendered.

The right wing forces have the massive advantage of inertia. The local MP is very likely a crony of the chairs of the relevant local branch institutions and of the appropriate local trade union officials (and there is insufficient public understanding of the fact that historically the unions are very much a right wing force in Labour politics). I am willing to bet that in the vast number of constituencies local officials and MPs are pretty confident of getting through this without the large majority of their members – especially the vast new Corbyn supporting membership – even noticing that anything is happening.

Which is why you need to act. Phone the chair of your local constituency today and demand that they tell you how to go about forcing a reselection battle. Make sure that they give you the phone numbers for any local branches or institutions you have to go through. If you do not know the phone number for your local constituency chair, phone Labour HQ and get them to tell you. If you are a member of an affiliated trade union or organisation, take action there too

Do not be put off. Do not follow any instruction from anyone, not even Momentum, about MPs who ought not to be challenged. Politics is a dirty game and full of dirty deals. Use your own judgement. Certainly any of the Labour MPs who abstained on Tory welfare cuts, failed to oppose the “hostile environment” immigration policy or voted to bomb Syria must be subject to challenge. I would recommend that you challenge any Friend of Israel, given that Israel is now openly an apartheid state. Remember, you may be able to influence two constituencies – that where you live, and through your trade union branch that where you work.

Whether or not you are a Labour Party member (and remember I am not), please bring this article to the attention of any and every Labour Party member you know. Progress reports in the comments section would be extremely welcome, as would anyone willing to take the time to draw up “hit lists” based on the kind of criteria I outline above.

While the media are concentrated on the Tory shenanigans, it is the Labour Party members who have the chance to make choices which could have in the long term much more important effects upon society; if people act as I recommend, this could be a historic turning point. Otherwise it will just be one of those moments that passed, and the Corbyn insurgency a small footnote of might have been.

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967 thoughts on “A Moment in History

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  • Trowbridge H Ford

    You should stop grabbing for straws, Craig, about Scotland gaining independence some way. The UK will spend its last dying breath to keep the Union.

    • RandomComment

      It probably exerts significant pressure on the UK to stay within the EU.

    • Muscleguy

      It is unlikely Labour will get a majority so will require a coalition or confidence and supply agreements to govern. This means the SNP get to dictate terms, including indyref2. But if the current crop of Labour MPs are there they will act to kill such a govt and blame the SNP as they did in the past.

      So this effort is absolutely required to try and head off this happening and give Corbyn a proper group of actual left wing MPs.

      And of course it is not in iScotland’s interest to have a right wing xenophobic England just across the border. Also I strongly suspect that negotiating our Independence with Corbyn will be much easier than with Boris. Can you imagine a reality denier like Boris in that scenario? Positing bonkers schemes left right and centre?

      So long as we tell Jeremy he can come up and look at manhole covers whenever he wants and present him with some he will be happy.

  • Jimmeh

    In my view, Corbyn should back Remain, not Referendum. The history of re-referendums is that the voters resent having their original vote rejected, and vote even more strongly for what they voted for the first time.

    I voted Leave, as it happens. May’s (a Remainer) negotiating team promptly gave away all our strongest cards in the first days of the negotiations; we are now saddled with a completely unacceptable withdrawal agreement, as a prerequisite to any further trade negotiations. To put it kindly, May was out-negotiated; but my suspicion is that the dreadful withdrawal agreement matched her plans perfectly. It is worth noting that every one of her many Leave-supporting Brexit ministers all resigned inshort order, once they realised that everything was under the control of May’s (unelected) apparatchik Olly Robbins. Who would want to serve in Cabinet as a mere fig-leaf?

    So I say now that those of us who want to leave should simply surrender the field, and return to fight again another day. The shape of European politics is shifting beneath our feet, and a new attempt in say ten years time might have a quite different outcome. If we leave on the terms of the withdrawal agreement, however, Europe could change the rules (and we would have no veto) to make it impossible for anyone ever to leave again; we would be bound forever into an unwanted customs union.

    • Jimmeh

      I would like to add that I never thought it would be a brilliant idea to leave the EU under a Tory government; I just thought it was our best chance of getting out at all. Now I have reconsidered; I still want to leave, but under a Labour government (a proper, socialist Labour government), one that will not sell all our national assets to the US in exchange for a very bad trade deal.

      • MJ

        I think the Tory party fears Farage more than it does Corbyn. Perhaps it could engineer a General Election to be held on 31 October. Parliament would have to be suspended for the duration of the campaign so the wreckers wouldn’t be able to stop Brexit. The Brexit Barty would have the wind taken out of its sails and its voters would return to the Tories. It would be an election for the UK’s first post-Brexit government. Corbyn might do well.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Jimmeh June 26, 2019 at 11:33
        I also voted ‘Leave’, but given the choice between a Tory deal tying us into a ‘Trade Deal’ with the Great Satan, or staying in a Customs Union/Trade Deal with the EU, I prefer the EU option.

    • MAB

      If Labour back remain, they will be destroyed.

      Johnson as PM will call an election and form an alliance with Farage’s Brexit party.

      As we saw in the euro elections, the Labour strongholds in the midlands and north east will be decimated. Either losing seats directly to the Brexit party, or losing enough votes to let the tories in.

      Consequence: A tory/Brexit party alliance with a 100 seat majority to push through no deal.

      • Jo1

        Labour is definitely in a terrible position.

        That said, it’s now known that people in the Boris team are already working with Farage. Clearly he is happy to go for coalition with such people.

      • michael norton

        Completely correct, Boris wants to be made Prime minister, he wants No Deal Brexit, he wants to lose a vote of no confidence, he will will then call a General Elction, this will mean there will be no M.P.s so no functioning Parliament.
        No Deal Brexit, falls over the cliff, Boris is reelected with a massive working majority.

      • Tom

        A pact would simply finish off both parties. The young professionals and mums who get the Tories over the line in marginals wouldn’t turn out for a party in a pact with Farage.

        • Jo1

          Members of Boris’ team, including the insufferable Priti Patel, met with Farage last week in a London club. Deals are being done.

      • Coldish

        MAB: but a remain-supporting Labour will gain votes from libdems and greens. The Tories, whether a majority of their MPs like it or not, are the party of Brexit. If Brexit doesn’t happen they will get the blame and lose votes to Farage’s party. Yes, there are a few Labour voters who would prefer Brexit to happen, but they are easily outweighed by the Remain supporters and by those for whom there are more important considerations, like reversing austerity (especially the obnoxious Universal Credit) and not getting involved in foreign wars.

        • Northern

          “Yes, there are a few Labour voters who would prefer Brexit to happen, but they are easily outweighed by the Remain supporters”

          I think you’d be surprised if you were to put that to the test. I think there’s more party members (and also voters) than you think who recognise what’s going on but have thus far been hoping if they can ignore it long enough it will somehow resolve itself without them having to be tarred as a racist and an antisemite or whatever else the new labour wing’s flavour of the month is. Those MP’s dictate the fate of Labour’s current incarnation. Labour becoming an official remain party will collapse their vote in the North in the event of an election being called. Ultimately Labour are still walking towards a reckoning between their utterly divided support bases and the opposing dynamics of socialist policies and neo liberal global institutions. To that end, Craig’s post of information on how to influence that direction of travel for party members should be commended.

        • Jo Dominich

          Coldish, I agree. However, my view is Brexit will be over and we will be out of the EU by the end of October 2019. It won’t be an issue for the General Election then will it and with that, I strongly suspect Farage’s Brexit Party will seriously falter.

    • Dungroanin

      Unless there is a general election called there will not be a manifesto APPROVED that the voters will be asked to support.

      Horse. Cart. Not the other way round as many seem to want!

      There is ZERO point in hypotheticals when the actuality of NOT being IN government nullifies all wishfulness.

      The only REAL actions that allow any modification of Govt policy are via Parliamentry proceedings – Labour against all odds have succeeded in that.

      Labour won the Meaningfull Votes. There was no hard brexit on 29 March at 11 pm GMT, or 2 weeks later;

      Labour have shown that May’s personal Red Lines are the problem and that the Tories and neocon/libs of various shade ONLY want the hard brexit as their plan A, and no amount of handwringing and mealy mouths by ‘wet’ tories amounts to a hill of beans,if they don’t walk their talk! Grieve!! Clark!! All these back bench worthies who are mainly there to stop a general election. One that will undo 40 years of reversal of the postwar social democratic covenant and MORE. They are even seriously talking about an unelected government! In the ‘Mother’ of parliaments? Using MP’s who have disowned their electorate but refuse to let their constituencies choose someone else. They refuse to let their local members having a say on who these members want as candidates… except for a shoddy un-advertised procedural few days.

      As CM knows – there can be no meaningful success in a possible GE while there are embedded mountebanks who have no desire to reaffirm these post war ideals and kowtow to the aristo anglo-imperial global robber barons.

      There is a lot more to do than a single issue.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Craig,

    My political instincts tell me that the British people are going to choose Boris Johnson.

    The whole BREXIT issue and what the majority has chosen leans towards the exit and thus the Conservatives.

    • Jimmeh

      Hopefully a BJ PM will trigger an immediate vote of no confidence in the government. The Tories currently have a majority in the commons of just three (I think), and many of those that remain have no taste for BJ as PM.

      If the government loses a vote of confidence, there is a period of time in which MPs can huddle together and try to scrape together a coalition that can win the support of a majority of MPs. I think that will fail, and then a General Election becomes inevitable. I think Labour could win on a Remain ticket, even though that would cause a bitter taste in Corbyn’s throat.

      To be honest, I think it would be best to replace Corbyn with John McDonnell. McDonnell is smarter, has no history that could be used to smear him as an antisemite, is a very good orator, and has a bunch of very impressive sociailst policies. But I believe that’s a matter for the PLP in the first instance, then for the wider membership. So there would have to be a lot of reselection done before that could happen (most of the PLP are not socialists).

      The Labour Party constitution makes me want to cry.

      • Kangaroo

        Bojo will be PM as the blue rinse set will pick him. He will then go to the EU for appearances sake and come back and say they will not move. We then go “No Deal” by default on 31 Oct, that will destroy the Brexit Party and Bono can arrange a VONC and win a GE handsomely.

        • Natasha

          Leaving the EU without a deal on 29 March 2019 is not the “legal default”, as has been repeatedly, but wrongly, asserted. It would, in fact, be in violation of the supreme law at both the domestic and supranational level, namely the UK constitution and EU Treaties (or more broadly, the General Principles of Community Law which includes ECJ jurisprudence alongside the Treaties). As such, without an Act of Parliament authorising Brexit in whatever form, the legal default is that the Article 50 notice issued will lapse, if not unilaterally revoked.

          https://ukhumanrightsblog.com/2019/03/19/no-deal-brexit-may-be-unlawful-a-view-from-rose-slowe/

      • Sharp Ears

        Jimmeh -There is an implication in your message that Jeremy Corbyn in anti-Semitic. He is not. He supports the Palestinians and has done so over decades.

        • Garth Carthy

          SE: I may be wrong but I think Jimmeh means that Jeremy Corby is perceived to be anti-Semite because of his support for the Palestinians and his talks with Hamas leaders etc.
          I don’t think Corbyn is anti-Semitic at all but I don’t think Jimmeh thinks that either. As I say, I could be wrong.
          I also think that John McDonnell might – I emphasise “might” – be a better leader but I still have every respect for Jeremy Corbyn because he has made an enormous contribution to waking at least some of us up to the evils of our Tory “Dystopia”.
          I fervently hope that Corbyn is remembered well in the History books for his – on the whole – rational and humane principles and approach to political life.

          • Johny Conspiranoid

            Jeremy Corbyn percieved as anti-semitic by whom? Its in those newspaper things a lot but how many believe it?

          • Jo Dominich

            Garth, I think actually Jeremy Corbyn is a very good Leader well supported by John McConnel. Remember Ed Milliband, he had similar policies and the Press made up all sorts of things about him and ran a savage campaign against a perfectly reasonable, ordinary Politician. I think the MSM tank is empty against Corbyn now with only the anti-Semitism BS left and people can see through that.

            I think Corbyn will do what he did last time, very well on the election trail.

        • J Galt

          If they can make up stuff about Corbyn what makes you think they can’t make up stuff about McDonnell?

          • Garth Carthy

            To J Galt:
            Fair comment. That’s why I said McDonnell “might” be a better leader. I think we can agree that any Labour leader who tries to be genuinely socialist and tries to redress the inequality is going to get hammered and smeared by the establishment via the media (or via Israel and the US interference).

        • Jimmeh

          I certainly meant no such implication; JC hasn’t an antisemitic bone in his body. He was my local MP 30 years ago when I lived in Islington North, a constituency with many Labour-voting Jewish residents. I liced there for about 15 years. JC is the opposite of a racist.It is his opposition to the recist, apartheid state of Israel that has brought these accusations down on his head.

          I wish he had called out all those Labour Friends of Israel as liars, loudly and clearly, as soon as this nonsense first kicked off; and then gone on calling them out in emphatic terms. Instead he quietly went along with the endless series of enquiries and suspensions.

          He is badly advised, I’m afraid. I don’t know who is advising him.

          • Jo1

            Your final two paragraphs are spot on.

            Corbyn should have reacted furiously to the AS smears immediately and called out those behind them for using something so damaging as part of their strategy to bring him down.

      • Doghouse

        Essentially you are saying that a man who has devoted his life promoting the democratic process, anti war, anti racism and denouncing rule by apartheid, should abandon the democratic vote in order to attain power, and then be ousted because people lie about him?

        • Jimmeh

          Referendums are not a customary part of the “democratic process” in this country. The Brexit referenddum was a particularly egregious example:the hustings were full of lies, and the question was far too complicated for voters to make a rational decision on.

          What I am advocating is a General Election, with revocation of Article 50 as a key plank of the Labour manifesto. That’s how the public customarily make decisions around here.

          And I don’t want Corbyn ousted, even though that would not be the first time a leader has been ejected by the Labour Party immediately after winning an election (GLC? When Livingstone replaced McIntosh?) I would like him to stand down in favour of his trusted lieutenant, McDonnell. Unfortunately there is no provision in the party constitution for such a handover..

      • seydlitz

        the Labour Party is not in shape or form socialist.The aim of a socialist is to change society not to try and run capitalism. the history of the labour party in its hundred year existence is one of betrayal of any belief in a workers right to a country run by the workers for the workers.

    • Tony_0pmoc

      Courtenay Barnett,

      Whilst I agree, that is irrelevant to the very important point, that Craig is making re “a very brief window of a couple of weeks in which local branches and trade union branches can register a contest and force a challenge.”

      “That process has NOW been triggered and it is ESSENTIAL that every Labour Party member reading this blog acts NOW to try to get rid of those dreadful Blairite MPs.”

      I suspect the vast majority of local Labour Party Members, are completely unaware of this very small window, where they have the possibilty to start a selection process which could result in someone different, than their sitting MP.

      If the locals don’t act now, they will simply get the same candidate.

      Tony

    • Bob

      The British People have no say in the Johnson/Hunt contest. The new PM will be chosen by Conservative Party members of which there are around 150,000. The Tory Party has fewer members than the campaign for real ale. It is scandalous that we have ‘democratic’ system where so few people select the Prime Minister.

      • julian

        Why do you believe the conservative party has 150K members? Cos they said so? They lie about everything else. Their published accounts reveal 30-40,000 paying members. I do not believe it will ever come to an election because that would reveal how few they have – J.*unt will step aside, letting Bojo the clown in.

    • Jo1

      Courtenay

      The trouble is, the majority referred to amounts to just 37% of the UK electorate! That simple fact has been ignored since day one.

    • Jo Dominich

      Courtney, I am not so pessimistic on this front. However, where you may well be right is that the MSM will bend over backwards to make Bojo look electable, a bit of a maverick may be, a bit of a loud mouth but they will present him as a charismatic able politician despite this being utter balderdash and piffle and they will do everything they can to make him look electable.

      However, I think they might be on a wrong’un there. The man is a tyrant, a menace, a rank misogynist, a rank Racist, ignorant, a violent person towards women and a habitual liar. The mood amongst colleagues, friends, locals in the pub is one of disbelief that he is even close.

      Also, as I have posted previously, once Corbyn hits the campaign trail he will come into his own as he did the last time.

  • Jo1

    Craig is right. What is also important, and sinister, is the fact that the media has assisted Labour’s Fifth Column all the way.

    As Andy McDonald said two weeks ago, every word from within PLP meetings is now “live-streamed” straight to the media by these MPs. It’s so common that the likes of Kuennsberg openly admit it. She announced on Politics Live the week before last that she’d just received “the briefing papers” for the PLP meeting that day. She then told us all what would be discussed. This is the sort of thing going on. Later, snippets from the actual meeting itself were being sent straight to journalists. It’s unbelievable.

    The MSM is already reporting that the legitimate process Craig is describing is now going to be used by the “bad guys” to take the “good guys” out.

    • Shatnersrug

      John Lansman is the biggest risk to the labour movement. He is a ‘liberal’ Zionist and his loyalties are compromised, he has the ‘celebrity’ left of Zara-Cousins, Owen Jones and Ash Sakur doing his business he leaks NEC confidential meetings to the press and is responsible for Chris Williamson’s suspension. He is very bad news me the soon labour members wake up to him the better.

  • Goose

    Democracy, real democracy, is like Kryptonite to the Blairites. The one thing they fear is a democratically empowered membership.

    It’s a self-evident truth that unrepresentative elites can only wield power in any organisation so long as they go unchallenged. Both major UK parties need to introduce something akin to US primaries (preferably ‘closed’ primaries i.e. those affiliated to the party only to prevent mischief). Some MSM commentators say this would result in parties becoming like religious ‘sects’ with ideologues dominating. But democracy is self-correcting and if you believe in democracy, truly believe, you’ll accept if a party becomes too left-wing, or in the case of the Tories, too right-wing, the public simply won’t vote for that party and and another party will emerge to replace it. Ultimately, those against the democratisation of local parties are revealing they don’t really believe in democracy at all.

    • Martinned

      Democracy, real democracy, is like Kryptonite to the Blairites.

      In the last 40 years, the only time Labour won an election is when it was run by Blairites… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      • Deb O'Nair

        In other words, in the last 40 years, the only time a party has won an election is when it has the complete and full support of the MSM.

  • Johnny Rottenborough

    most are members of Labour Friends of Israel

    Corbyn is not a member of LFI but he might as well go the whole hog and sign up. Gilad Atzmon wrote in 2016: ‘I’ve been reporting on Jeremy Corbyn’s shameless capitulation to the Jewish Lobby. The long time campaigner for Palestine has, in just a few weeks, been reduced into a sad Zionist puppet whose position on Israel has descended into a copy of a Likud pamphlet.’

    • Sharp Ears

      That’s rubbish from Atzmon.

      Few have any idea of the strength and power of the lobby for Israel within the Labour PLP, led by Hodge, Smeeth, Mann etc of course.

      • Jo1

        You missed Watson, SE. A look at his personal donations tells all. Oh, and of course, Luciana Berger.

    • Goose

      Corbyn isn’t just taking on the Tories though, if only. He has close to the whole PLP against him. Then there is the six-figured salaried London-based, centrist largely Oxbridge MSM, who operate hand in glove with the PLP, in undermining him. These, collectively, obviously represent a formidable challenge to overcome.

      He desperately needs to rebalance the PLP in his and the membership’s favour, as Craig states.

      As a silly thought experiment; imagine if you can 70 MPs holding similar views to Chris Williamson in the PLP, and you quickly realise how much easier things could be for Corbyn, if he had just a bit more like-minded support. Some claim, such a party would be unpopular, personally I don’t think it would. The idea the Blairites are hugely popular isn’t true.

  • Ali

    Isn’t it the case that the unions, by backing the wrong Milliband, gifted us Tory rule and eventually Brexit? Now by backing Corbyn they are likely to give us even more Tory rule? I’m sympathetic to the idea here, but not at all convinced that England will vote for Corbyn no matter how many sympathetic MPs he has. Maybe I’m too pessimistic, but I just don’t think they can win. I would hope, with the caveat that anything speeding on Scottish independence is a good thing, that Corbyn has moved the conversation enough to make Labour realise there are votes in the left if you don’t stray too far. i can’t remember where you stand on Brexit, but Corbyn, like other lefties, would disentangle Britain from the EU neoliberal project and without doing so Britain is not going to be permitted to deviate from the EU hymn sheet? Much of what Corbyn wants to do is going to be verboten.

    • Xavi

      All the evidence across Europe and beyond suggests there is no longer any appetite for David Miliband’s brand of Tory-lite. Except among MSM political commentators.

    • RP

      “Maybe I’m too pessimistic, but I just don’t think they can win.”

      I mean, Labour under Corbyn came within 3 percentage points of the Tories in the last election, the timing of which was specifically chosen by the Tories to their maximum advantage (they deliberately called it at a time when Labour was at a low point in the polls), after two years of endless damaging attempts by the PLP to bring him down. Imagine what could be done in an election called when the Tories are weak (as is currently the case) with the PLP united behind him. Clearly they could win.

      • Coldish

        Thanks, RP, well said. Under Corbyn in 2017 Labour increased its share of the national vote by 10% as compared with the previous general election. I don’t think that had happened since Atlee in 1945. With a manifesto fully supporting Remain, but otherwise with Labour’s 2017 manifesto policies, they could wipe the floor with a Johnson or Hunt Tory party.

        • Blissex

          «With a manifesto fully supporting Remain, but otherwise with Labour’s 2017 manifesto policies, they could wipe the floor with a Johnson or Hunt Tory party.»

          That what every anti-Corbyn propagandist says, as they wish Labour to lose the next elections, and know well that the most realistic estimates are that with a commitment to “Remain” 40% of the Labour frontbench would resign, and 30-40 Labour MPs would lose their seats because of shift of votes to the Brexit Party. It would be very difficult to replace them.

          “Remain” is simply not a critical issue for most Labour-leaning “Remainers” at general election time, but “Leave” is a critical issue for many more Labour-leaning “Leavers”.

    • Johny Conspiranoid

      Leaving the EU neo-liberal project means direct neo-liberal rule from Washington.

  • Goose

    Just watching PMQs, and your points illustrated very clearly Craig. Corbyn making powerful points on Yemen and the KSA’s brutality there and the PLP sat in near silence, no support for Corbyn whatsoever.

    May, in response, despicably, made the farcical claim that the Saudis in bombing the sh*t out of Yemen, are merely upholding democracy. That great bastion of democracy in the ME Saudi Arabia.

    • Sharp Ears

      Here is a recording of PMQs – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iJXAnwNxOc&feature=youtu.be

      and the Guardian report on the proceedings. Commencing towards the top of p 3 here and continuing on p2 and p1.

      https://www.theguardian.com/politics/live/2019/jun/26/tory-leadership-latest-news-boris-johnson-liam-fox-accuses-johnson-of-peddling-supposition-not-fact-on-brexit-trade-options-live-news?page=with:block-5d13516c8f081e872734f175#liveblog-navigation

      The Saudi bombing of Yemen did feature strongly as you say.

      PS Ian Blackford followed Corbyn –
      ‘Blackford says it is no wonder May is leaving, that was no answer. The Tories are asking the country to put their faith in the worst foreign secretary in the last 100 years, “a man who has made his career out of lying”. [..]
      Blackford also criticises Jeremy Hunt, but it is hard to hear because so many Tories are shouting “withdraw”.
      He says neither candidate is fit to be PM.
      May says either candidate would be better than the MPs sitting on Blackford’s bench.’

      • Goose

        May also said Corbyn backed the Russians over Salisbury, a real low blow from her. He merely called for all the evidence to be evaluated properly before joining the hawkish choir.

        Has anyone seen or heard from the Skripals?

        Not suspicious at all, is it, that they aren’t allowed to speak.

        • Andyoldlabour

          Goose

          What happened to the Gosport hospital deaths affair, where 450 patients at least were killed? That has just been swept under the carpet and I suspect the Skripal farce played a large part in that, as well as the investigation into Grenfell – no arrests, no blame, no conclusions.

          • Dave Lawton

            Andyoldlabour
            June 26, 2019 at 14:33
            Yes and Sir Brian Jarman who was investigating the deaths at Gosport hospital was blocked by a super management group no other than the EU created and funded Common Purpose group which ran the Matrix program and has infiltrated throughout the Civil Service and the NHS and the rest of the State system. Fact.

      • Goose

        One thing that confuses me…

        The SNP keep going on about how Boris Johnson would be atrocious(quite possibly); how’s he’s offended Scots and makes Scottish independence far more likely (going on recent polling).

        So why oppose his rise?

        I thought Blackford and the SNP wanted Scottish Independence?

        • Jo1

          Goose
          As someone who supports Scottish independence I am glad the SNP isn’t seeking to capitalise on Johnson’s presence in this race.

          I want all parts of the UK to flourish and be good neighbours. Even if Scotland got independence I would not wish to see the rest of the UK suffer under a selfish government that thinks only of the rich.

          • Goose

            Jo1

            Even if Scotland got independence…..

            But that’s the thing : ‘if’ Scotland got independence

            ……and Johnson might represent the best chance of turning ‘if’ into ‘when’.

        • Vivian O'Blivion

          Blackford’s target audience is not the 120 K, Tory membership. The idea that THEY would be in anyway swayed by Blackford’s opinion is very odd. Blackford’s target audience is the soft No voters who may potentially be swayed by emphasising Johnson’s unsuitability for elected office as a dog catcher.

  • Athanasius

    Tough choice. An impoverished electorate under neo-liberalism, or the traditional mountain of skulls under socialism. I think we’re all evolved enough here to smile benevolently on those poor souls who still give credence to the ridiculous idea of traditional (non-divorcing) family, hard work and deferment of gratification, all accompanied by – and you’ll laugh here – prayer and worship. I know. Hard to credit that it worked for thousands of years.

    • Xavi

      There were no mountains of skulls in Britain or anywhere else in western Europe between 1945 and the advent of neoliberalism. In fact it is generally considered the golden age.

      • Mazunga

        Er, I’m not aware of any mountains of skulls here *since* the advent of “neoliberalism” either.

        • Xavi

          You didnt understand the point I was making. I won’t explain because the inverted commas around neoliberalism signal you don’t even recognise the hegemonic political ideology of the past 40 years.

          • Clark

            Corbyn is a peacemaker; indeed, it is that he sat down to negotiate that has been used to smear him as an anti-Semite and “supporter of terrorism”.

      • Goose

        Surely, that’s more due to the fact nuclear weapons arrived on the scene. facts:

        • No nation with a nuclear weapon has ever been invaded by another nation.

        • The number of deaths in battle worldwide has declined 95 percent in the 70 years since the invention and spread of nuclear weapons;

        • The number of Indian and Pakistani civilian and security forces’ deaths in two disputed territories declined 90 percent after Pakistan’s first nuclear weapons test in 1998.

        As much as I’d prefer a nuclear weapons free world. Those who say they may keep the peace may have a point.

        • Goose

          With Trump threatening to ‘obliterate’ Iran it’s made me reassess my views. If a country supposedly as sophisticated as the US, can elect a game show host who, who appoints his family to key positions, proceeds to threaten to ‘obliterate’ non-nuclear armed countries in tweets, and is advised by an unelected ultra-hawk in the form of John Bolton – a man who nobody would elect, ever!

          Maybe everyone needs them.

        • Tony

          As David Cameron has admitted, nuclear deterrence is only a theory:

          “All our political lives we have been nurtured on the theory of nuclear deterrence.”
          “Call Me Dave” by Michael Ashcroft and Isabel Oakeshott, p169.

          If it fails, billions of people could die. It is reckless to assume that it will not fail at some point. That is why we must get rid of them.

          https://www.icanw.org/

          • Jo Dominich

            Tony I wholeheartedly agree. Whether we like it or not, we are better off without them.

      • Loony

        Xavi – An excellent rebuttal to a point that was never made. There was a reference to “a mountain of skulls under socialism” Only you introduced a reference to western Europe. By handy co-incidence that means you can safely ignore the USSR, China and Cambodia.

        Socialism is normally all about its international applications and yet suddenly you seem to prefer a far more parochial approach. I have no idea why this could possibly be.

      • Athanasius

        Xavi – neither were there any socialist countries. There were capitalist countries with some redistribunist programs in place, but that’s not the same.

        • Xavi

          Corbyn’s manifesto is far less socialist than what prevailed in most of western Europe throughout the post-war era.

    • Jo1

      Your post made me think that you personally want to impose your own set of rules on everyone else and woe betide anyone who thinks differently. That’s hardly reassuring either. Your “benevolent smile” sounds more like a sneer to be honest. Not attractive.

    • pete

      Too true, no mountains of skulls here.
      Thanks to our proxy wars the mountain of skulls are in Africa and the Middle east.

  • N_

    Who put Labour on a general election footing?

    What is the ruling class playing at here? Will they install a Johnson-Farage government by the end of the summer?

    Much stuff will happen when the food and fuel shortages start…

    (Fully agreed with Craig that Labour members should seek to deselect sitting white phosphorus Labour MPs.)

    • N_

      If the Tories go into an election under a new leader who has just been humiliatingly defeated in the Commons five minutes after his appointment as prime minister – and this is the scenario that the media are pushing – then either the ruling class will indeed install a Johnson-Farage (or Farage-Johnson) government, or else they’ve slipped Jeremy Corbyn a note saying “You can be PM if you revokeA Article 50 or if you call a referendum which results in revocation” – and I think the latter is unlikely.

      There’s money in “chaos”. There’s money in starvation and megadeath.

      Watch for a move by white phosphorus Labour. They are as big a pile of scum as ever New Labour under Blair were.

    • Johny Conspiranoid

      Will people deliberately vote against white phosphorus MPs at the general election, who would otherwise vote Labour?

  • Ben Kavanagh

    > They have to notify their intention to again be the party’s candidate for the constituency, and there is then a very brief window of a couple of weeks in which local branches and trade union branches can register a contest and force a challenge.

    Can you please outline which document describes the new trigger process? In particular, which events cause the ‘window’ to open and how long does the window stay open?

    What communications will be sent to branches? Are there any mandatory notifications of the window opening/period that must go to members so they are aware they must act?

    There is not enough clear information about this process available for members. I cannot even find a clear single source document which outlines the new agreed processes.

    Any help would be appreciated

  • Wat Tyler

    “the elite using all their media control to misdirect popular blame for mass poverty against immigrants.”

    This is standard, only nominal Leftist analysis. It is plausible on its face, as it correctly says that the presstitute media is always likely to serve the rulers.
    It held good decades ago as the amount of immigration was low. It holds good today in regard of austerity as well.

    But cultural alienation and fear, and the destruction of everyday interpersonal trust enjoyed in 1980 or 1970 by the indigenous European who was at that time “inter pares”, if not “primus”, transcends the merely economic.

    Blair and Roche in dar al-harb massively increased the numbers of incomers. The same has been done in line with the WTO and UN Migration Compact in all white indigenous countries, (white since 10,000 BC according to US geneticist Prof D Reich) and those in the New World that are white by ethnic cleansing.

    The reason is, notwithstanding CO2 at 413ppm and the oceans at unparalleled acidity, to preserve economic growth at a time of low indigenous birthrate by importing great numbers of future low wagers, mortgagees, consumer debt slaves; but I do not think given AI and drones that a lower wages bill per se is driving the MENA “invasion” .to the EU.

    Hence Mr Murray, like the young worldwide antifa who bash patriotic “nativist” working class demonstrators, is a useful idiot, as it were, for a plan that has been long in the hatching and which indeed has been frankly advertised long since by its progenitors, if one only reads the FT and other corporate press.

    The access of country shopping welfare migrants to the EU along with climate refugees and adventurers and chancers is thus not a trend that deserves Left support. Any more than the preferential hiring of the imported Irish in the 1840s to do navvie work was, cf. EP Thompson “The Making of the English Working Class”.

  • M.J.

    I can see many Labour MPs losing their heads at the next election for the same reason as many Tories: promising to deliver Brexit and then not doing it. Bojo made the same promise, but having compared Theresa May’s commendable effort (in the sense of being probably the best that anyoen could manage under the circumstances) to the capture of Caractacus, he will have to tweak it at least a little and then attempt to persuade Parliament to approve it for fear of a Cporbyn government if they don’t. I predict that he will fail, and that will precipitate a vote of confidence and a general election. But if the Brexit party doesn’t take a large number of seats (by virtue of a pact with the Tories), it might be the LbDems’ big moment, at least as king-makers, and they will be wary of offered coalitions this time! Unless, perhaps, in exchange for implementing Roy Jenkins’ AV-plus voting system, whihc Tony Blair shelved. I wonder what Corbyn thinks of AV-plus.

    • nevermind

      I hope he does not even look at AV plus if he has the many and not just the few in mind. For starkers, its not proportional its a gold painted excuse for first past the post.
      I expect that he will agree that the electoral system electing him as party leader is fair and proportional enough for us all, and for every election? Local and national.
      Any politician that does not want a fairer system for voters, who prefers a system that is mallable, unfair and disproportional is not worth being a representative.

  • opportunity

    This could work….

    ….if party members can pull their heads out of their arses and stop obsessing about a non-existent climate emergency and neo nazis hiding behind every lamp post.

    • Clark

      (cough) Well I’ve been spreading the word about this opportunity for reselection of Labour MPs, and I spent ten days camped on the Marble Arch traffic island with Extinction Rebellion. I already have confirmation from other XR activists that they’re spreading the word too.

      It’s a very real climate and ecological emergency; indeed it was Corbyn who put forward the Declaration of Climate and Ecological Emergency adopted by parliament.

      • Rhys Jaggar

        There is absolutely no climate emergency but it is a manifesto for chancers, embezzlers, fraudsters and charlatans to fleece billions out of well meaning, ignorant idiots.

        The drought in California is no more, indeed it has disappeared all over the Rockies. The planting season in the US midwest has been badly affected by late snow, flooding, cold weather and anything but global warming. Switzerlands mountains had more snow on them in late May than at any time for nearly fifty years and even though this week will see a heat wave in Western Europe, spring has been anything but hot.

        The most rigorous science suggests that solar activity is now undergoing a quiet phase akin to that in the early nineteenth century. If a major volcanic eruption ensues, we may endure a summer without a summer. Despite propaganda saying otherwise, solar cycles play a primary role in climate variability, with oceanic modulation being a part of the mechanism by which that happens.

        The rigorous science also points to significant likelihood that el Nino will die out this autumn, pointing to a downturn in temperature next winter and spring.

        Carbon dioxide does not control temperature, it is not a poison and photosynthesis will increase in rate at fixed temperature as carbon dioxide increases.

        Deforestation, bad hydrology and poor water management are legitimate areas to target.

        Carbon capture should be effected by TREES…..

        • Clark

          Rhys Jaggar, thank you for kindly regarding me as a “well meaning, ignorant idiot”.

          FFS, the polar icecaps are melting, and faster than predicted, despite “that solar activity is now undergoing a quiet phase”. The reason it’s an emergency is the time-lag involved.

          “Despite propaganda saying otherwise, solar cycles play a primary role in climate variability”

          Despite propaganda saying otherwise, you’ll find solar variability accounted for in the IPCC WG1 material.

          Thanks, on behalf of all humanity, for at least recognising the ecological emergency.

          • Ash

            Yeah, don’t you love this persistent idea that the world’s top climate scientists haven’t thought to include solar activity in their models? Derp.

          • glenn_nl

            R: “That’s not how Piers calls it.

            That’s because “Piers”, as you affectionately call him, is an unprincipled, unscientific charlatan. He’s popular among useful idiots to the fossil fuel lobby, though, fair play.

          • Clark

            RandomComment, 17:58: – “That’s not how Piers calls it.”

            I’ve tried looking for coherent scientific argument on Piers Corbyn’s site but I couldn’t find any. I found lots of decontextualised snippets, ie. soundbites, that give his site a superficial resemblance to science, but no sign of the real thing ie. a self-consistent theory. Plus, Piers refuses to disclose his weather forecasting techniques, and does not submit his claimed climatology to peer-review and the scrutiny of other scientists via the scientific literature. Until he remedies these failings, he’s merely marketing his forecasts, not doing science.

            But the need for scientific proof has passed, because the polar ice is melting before our very eyes. The thirty year warning that science offered us has been squandered, and that is the origin of the emergency.

          • Johny Conspiranoid

            “Plus, Piers refuses to disclose his weather forecasting techniques, and does not submit his claimed climatology to peer-review and the scrutiny of other scientists via the scientific literature”.
            Perhaps he can’t get published.

          • Clark

            “Perhaps he can’t get published”

            I haven’t heard of any articles of his failing peer review. But in any case he has his own website, or he could publish in one of the non-reviewed journals. But his website is just a mish-mash of unrelated assertions, all of which are essentially identical to typical, debunked denialist soundbites. It really is an effort to make any sense of his site; no one’s preventing him from presenting his material in a coherent, scientific format.

            Other challenges to the consensus do get published:

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

            Piers Corbyn’s just don’t build into a coherent theory, nor address specific points of the consensus. Conversely, I think he has been published within his own field, which is astrophysics, so he does know what it takes. It seems to me that he’s just doing OK selling weather forecasts to a niche corporate market – but the vast majority get their forecasts from the big national weather agencies.

        • Ian

          face palm. all of your examples don’t disprove climate science and the emergency we are now in. but they do prove you haven’t grasped the most basic fundamentals of climate change and what it means for the climate. As for your claims of ‘rigorous science’ – that is pure bunk, and anyone honest would admit it, or anyone with a passing acquaintance of what actual science is.

          • glenn_nl

            It’s the Dunning–Kruger effect at work, Ian. Rhys is so astonishingly ignorant of this subject (and possibly much else, if this performance is anything to go by), that he thinks he knows and understands “rigorous science” when he’s reading utter tosh.

            Conversely, if he looked at genuine science put out by real climate scientists – you know, the sort who do actual research, and produce peer-reviewed work – Rhys would think _that_ was junk.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect

        • Ascot2

          Rhys, you seem to be confused by the difference between “weather” and “climate change”. All the examples you give, with the exception of the Sun, as a climate forcing mechanism, are weather related.

          Yes, the sun does play a role, but through a cyclical change in its tilt relative to the earth, not the solar activity you seem to imply. The regular solar cycle has a 25,000 yr tilt change that either warms of cools the earth. We are at the end of a warming cycle that should now be taking us into a new glacial age reaching its peak in about 10,000 years. However, because of the greenhouse gases we are emitting ( and yes excessive CO2 is one of them ) the present warming period is continuing, and increasing at, what are by geological standards, breakneck speed.

          This has happened before, around 50 million years ago. The paleological record has been well examined and is well understood, so we are past the point of there being any argument about it any more. We have to stop and get rid of the excess greenhouse gases or try to learn to live with the changes they are causing. It may already be impossible to do that.

          It is an emergency because we are coming close to a point where melting ice, methane from melted permafrost and other factors will start a runaway amplification of the warming effect. Like feedback on a sound system. If that happens the results could quite quickly lead to massive animal extinctions, possibly even mankind.

          When previous runaway warming periods have occurred, there has been no ice left at the poles and sea levels were 200+ meters higher than right now. As I recall 80% of mankind are less than 200 meters above the current sea level.

          It’s all well explained in James Hansen’s book, “Storms of my Grandchildren”.

          • glenn_nl

            I don’t agree that Ascot2’s comments are a waste of time. It is illustrative here that the denialists run for the hills as soon as they come across anyone who knows what they are talking about, and back it up with reputable sources where necessary.

            Of course, the denialists can do away with all that nasty need for “proof” and “peer review” – they don’t need it, because it’s all a scam! Yes – every single scientist is in on it. A massive worldwide conspiracy. And the proof is that no evidence for this conspiracy exists – that’s how dastardly they all are!

            Don’t hold your breath for any worthwhile response from denialists. But fully expect them to come up with the exact same long debunked talking points the next time the issue of climate disaster is brought up – often spontaneously, by the denialists themselves, in a hit-and-run job.

          • Vicki

            All I can think is – thank ‘Deity’ that this happened at the *end* of a warming cycle and not the *start*. We have lucked out a bit there I sometimes think!

        • Johny Conspiranoid

          Man made climate change and natural climate change can happen at the same time.

          • Clark

            And indeed they are; quantifying the contribution of each is what the IPCC’s Working Group 1 does. Why not try reading their material and seeing if it looks well-founded?

        • Jo Dominich

          Rhys, well, I have thought this for some time but thank you for posting it. Let common sense prevail.

          • Clark

            How can you call such denial “common sense” when the polar icecaps are melting away? Heating due to greenhouse gases is now a matter of simple observation rather than scientific theory – the climate science community predicted this, but it is happening faster than predicted.

            At the current rates of greenhouse gas emissions Earth is on course for 3 to 5.5 centigrade by 2100, but with the average temperature still rising, levelling out at around 8 centigrade increase by 2300. This is a human extinction scenario, and you call that “common sense”?

  • Clive

    I would add;- challenge any sitting Labour MP who has not signed the International Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) parliamentary pledge in support of the UN Nuclear Weapons Global Ban Treaty (except Corbyn). The list of MPs who have signed this pledge can be found at http://www.icanw.org/projects/pledge/ . Very few Labour MPs have signed this pledge, although all of the SNP, Plaid Cymru, and Green Party, MPs have signed it.

    My own constituency Labour MP was member of the CND national council and ‘Shadow Defence Secretary’ until he failed to vote against Trident renewal, after which, he resigned from CND, and said that he couldn’t vote against Trident renewal because he is a ‘multilateralist’. Despite this, he still hasn’t signed the multilateral ICAN Parliamentary Pledge. He is largely financed by the pro-nuclear GMB trade union.

    I am no longer a Labour Party member, having resigned from the Party twice. The first time after the leaders of all three main UK political parties marched down Whitehall in support of the first Gulf War, in 1991. The second time after I rejoined the party, very briefly, after Corbyn was elected as alleged ‘party leader’, when it became clear to me that, despite promises to the contrary, there is still no real internal grass-roots democracy in the Labour Party, and the Party are not going to follow their ‘leader’. I am not intending to get sucked in again!

    • Andyoldlabour

      Clive

      I fear that like myself and others, you now find yourself politically homeless?

      • Clive

        Andyoldlabour,

        Yes, I am rather politically homeless. But, as my views are to the left of Labour, I am a member of ‘Left Unity’ which was intended to provide a Left alternative to Labour. But, unfortunately, since Corbyn has been elected as, so-called, Labour Party leader, many of Left Unity’s active members have now defected to Labour, instead of continuing to be an alternative. Many years ago we (on the radical left) had some discussion about whether it is better to for us to be inside or outside the Labour Party. Hilary Wainwright (editor of ‘Red Pepper’ magazine) argued that we should act ‘simultaneously inside and outside the Party’. I argued that we should wholly remain outside the Party. I have mostly stuck to that since then, except for a brief period of less than a month, after Corbyn was elected as so-called ‘Party Leader’. I am still in Left Unity, and I anticipate that the Labour Party will split, and there will be many disillusioned Corbyn supporters, after the right-wing Labour MPs succeed in getting rid of Corbyn.

        • portside

          Better perhaps to fight for a left wing Labour party as Craig advises here. Left unity will never come close to winning one parlianentary seat anywhere let alone forming a government.

          • Clive

            portside,

            Isn’t it also the case that the Labour Party (or any other party) will never find the Parliamentary Road to Ecosocialism, with, or without, Corbyn?

            It seems to me that the real point of putting up candidates in elections may be, not so much to get our candidates elected, as to use the election campaign to try to get our views heard. (if our candidates do also get elected, that may be a bonus)

            For that reason, I supported Craig Murray when he stood as a candidate for Norwich North in a by-election, although his politics differ in some respects from mine. But I agree with some of his views on foreign policy, which I was familiar with from having read some of his books. But Craig was not allowed to air his views on the BBC, they said, because he was an ‘independent candidate’, even though they had previously extensively promoted Esther Rantzen’s candidacy, when she stood as an independent candidate in another election (but she had worked for the BBC and she is not a whistle-blower)

            We don’t really have a parliamentary democracy. That is just an illusion. That is why they are all out to destroy Corbyn, who would challenge the warmongers, if he wasn’t so timid and mild-mannered and respectful of his own party’s undemocratic procedures.

            But the important thing is to try to evade the censorship, so that our views can be heard.

            Isn’t that also what this blog is all about?

            We cannot do anything from inside the Labour Party Tent because the are the ‘jam tomorrow’ party and always hold ‘party loyalty’ considerations above our heads until ‘after the next elections’, and tomorrow never arrives….. So, I prefer to be on the outside pissing in, as the saying goes.

          • Jimmeh

            A mariner, perhaps? The mnemonic goes ‘left is larboard, the other side is therefore starboard’. So larboard is left. Nice handle.

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    “… genuine examples of insurgent politics …. the SNP and Yes Movement …”
    Insurgent – forcible opposition, resistance, rebellion.
    Fair enough to have “insurgent” and the Yes Movement in the same sentence but the SNP?
    Having achieved a degree of power the SNP have (inevitably) been infiltrated by careerist neoliberals peddling “identity politics”. Councillor Rhiannon Spear and her ilk.

  • Caratacus

    Craig, as usual you raise several important points for us all (esp. me, one of the blunter tools in the tool-box) to ponder upon. But Diane Abbott as Home Secretary? Really?? Heaven forfend.

    • Goose

      Because a right-wing populist cum mob-pleasing reactionary like Sajid Javid is sooo irreplaceable?

      I don’t hold much enthusiasm for Abbott(not socially liberal) but Javid is appalling and out of his depth.

  • Michael Droy

    Yes getting rid of the rump of Blairite MPs is the main task for everyone right now.

    “The vast transfer of wealth from everybody else to the bankers in the great banking collapse, and the huge growth in wealth inequality and obscene concentrations of wealth in a tiny number of private hands, are the underlying causes of the collapse in old political party structures across the western democracies and the rise of insurgent politics in all its various forms, mostly under the careful control of the elite using all their media control to misdirect popular blame for mass poverty against immigrants.”

    Almost. But it is not a tiny number of hands at all. The real issue is the large number of people earning £100k to £1m. Everywhere. Living in the same towns as you and me, working in the same buildings.
    Headmasters earning 6 to 8 times that of a qualified teacher. Senior civil servants (or better quango officials) earning 10x juniors. GPs on £100k to £200k.
    And that is the state sector – god only knows what the private sector is like.

    Hence the schadenfreude over the banking crash in 2008. Hence the total lack of fear over anything Brexit might do to the economy. IN 35 years GDP doubled, and median income went up by about 10%. Essentially 95% of all wealth generated in that time went to the top 30%. Based on history, Brexit and a 10% lower GDP figure is low cost high schadenfreude for Brexit voters.

    • Rhys Jaggar

      Nothing wrong with heads earning plenty more than newly qualified teachers. More responsibility, more reward…

    • Loony

      According to you someone earning £100,000 pa represents some kind of problem.

      Consider that you earn £100,000 pa then it takes someone like John Paulson under 11 minutes to earn your annual salary. Earning £100,000 pa means that you only need to work for 49,000 years to earn as much as Paulson earns in a single year.

  • Martin

    You say things need to change but you think remaining in the EU bloc will help?
    You’re halfway right!

  • Republicofscotland

    It’s very unlikely that Corbyn will be PM in England anytime soon. Labour run Wales isn’t exactly a prime example of good socialism at work.

    Is England heading for a revolution? The French Revolution of 1789, was successful because the upperclass, and the bourgeoise/peasantry, and the proles all combined forces against royalty.

    Those circumstances rarely align often, so the real poser is how go change the British Labour party back to a caring socialst party, a real unenviable task I might add.

    After Scotland leaves the union once and for all, a battle for the political heart of England will ensue.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    In the 1950’s and 1960’s, I gained the distinct impression that the vast majority of MP’s were honest men and women of integrity, regardless of their political label. Admittedly we were recovering from WWII, and in financial terms, we were almost all “poor”. Yet under both Labour and Conservative Governments, we had a fully functional Welfare State, with completely excellent health care, and education, free for everyone.

    After school, as young as 15, if you wanted a skilled apprenticeship in any trade, you could get one, and be paid whilst you were training on the job, and go to free evening classes too. If you were academic, and wanted to go to university, they would pay you to go there, and give you a grant to live on. Sure, you might have wanted to do some work in the holidays, but such work was easy to find.

    Gradually almost everything got better, and many including myself, could afford to buy our own homes, in our early 20’s, with exceedingly well paid jobs, with ongoing training.

    What the hell went wrong?

    Now it seems almost everything is corrupt. All political parties, and all major institutions, have been infiltrated, by exceedingly evil forces, where the main objectives seem to be failure and war.

    Western Civilisation is disappearing down a black hole of corruption, and almost no one will tell the truth about anything important.

    No one has any solutions, and there is absolutely no Leadership, and no Respect.

    How did this happen?

    Tony

  • Jo1

    Chris Williamson has been readmitted to the Labour Party.

    Cue outrage from Watson et al plus the usual suspects, ie, entire media.

    • michael norton

      They had that disgusting Hodge person on Newsnight, on Wednesday spouting forth her bile.

  • remember kronstadt

    Thank you for your piece Craig. The shallow blairites find themselves increasingly isolated, hopeless and homeless. The irresistable truth is that that the boom in membership trumped all arguments and consequently tempered all reactions. How the mighty, easy come easy go, have blithly surfed westminsther now find themselves in a state of panic and nothing of substance left to attack Jeremy Corbyn with. Their solidarity and party discipline has collapsed, if it ever existed, and with it the ‘job for life’ prospects of the parachute regiment. Likewise branches, some of which are clique and cabal controlled, are facing scrutiny for the first time. My inner london labour mp has been conspicuous by his lack of support for the leader which isn’t good enough and hiding behind ‘representing the electorate’ simply isn’t good enough. The good news is that farage is eroding tory base.

  • Goose

    Quote : Otherwise it will just be one of those moments that passed, and the Corbyn insurgency a small footnote of might have been.

    I fear it’s already too late.

    Corbyn was elected leader September 2015. He simply hasn’t been determined or decisive enough. There’s a line in a TV series, I don’t recall which one, and its goes something like this: to take down a wolf, you have to be a wolf. Corbyn isn’t a wolf. Sure, he’s angry about various matters; things many people are angry about when they see through the MSM lies. But he’s not ruthless and calculating like Blair was. Blair pushed through Clause 4 and completely reshaped the party in his own image in opposition; brought in his own cronies and had Alastair Campbell as his right hand man enforcing discipline. Corbyn, McDonnnell et al and Momentum, despite having the numbers and NEC power, they are disorganised and ineffective by way of contrast.

    • remember kronstadt

      ‘But he’s not ruthless and calculating like Blair was. Blair pushed through Clause 4 and completely reshaped the party in his own image in opposition; brought in his own cronies and had Alastair Campbell as his right hand man enforcing discipline’

      Did I miss JC winning a general election? Change has come to the party and that will inform future leaders.

      • Goose

        Labour won power in 1997.

        In 1995, under the leadership of Tony Blair, a new Clause IV was adopted. This was seen as a significant moment in Blair’s redefinition of the party as “New Labour”, but has survived beyond the New Labour branding. – wiki

        Blair wasted little time in reshaping the party. People can argue the merits of ‘New Labour’ and whether it was necessary , but that’s a different argument.

        • Jo1

          Goose
          I actually didn’t have a problem over Clause 4. I was never comfortable with the idea of some random TU figure going to Conference with several million votes in his back pocket.

        • remember kronstadt

          the sick creature that bliar inherited was already wounded by kinnock and smith to the point when any analgesic would do and welcomed his ‘smile and learn to love yourselves’ promise

  • Carl

    Thanks Craig. Did not know about this re-selection opportunity until yesterday when I received an email from the appalling Wes Streeting asking if I would affirm my support for him. He made the error of alerting me to the local party meeting where we will definitely go and vote against him. Not holding out great hopes in this case since our constituency is also the home to the leader of Progress and the local party seemed dominated by that ilk on the evidence of the only other meeting I went to. But hopefully there is a silent majority of local members who will seize this unexpected opportunity to retire Wes. It would be a lovely scalp to take.

    • Jo1

      Yes, Wes Streeting is, bizarrely, always at his happiest when he’s tearing lumps out of his Party.

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