The Left Must Take Back Labour 363


The hundreds of thousands of Corbyn supporters who carried him though multiple leadership challenges have not vanished from the face of the earth, even though many have vanished from the Labour Party.

If you believe that the Starmer project was a genuine belief that a right wing agenda would get Labour back into power, then the Starmer Project has totally failed on those terms.

If you believe that the Starmer project was a scheme to neutralise any threat from Labour to the vast disparity of wealth in the UK and internationally, then it has spectacularly succeeded.

Firstly, it seems to me that anybody who believes the Starmer project was ever the former is a fool. It was at best an insurance policy, so that in the improbable event of a Labour victory nothing radical would happen to discomfit the rich. The Labour victory was in itself seen by Starmer’s backers as an event to be avoided, and Starmer’s job was to mitigate any Labour victory.

Corbyn never returned any election result remotely as bad as Labour suffered on Thursday. At previous council elections, we were told by Blairite after Blairite that Corbyn would have to resign if he achieved a result even 10% better than Starmer just achieved. Does anybody remember all those Guardian front page articles featuring focus groups led by right wing charlatan Professor Rob Ford of Manchester University, at which small groups of denizens of the M4 corridor or Northern England were led to repeat unbecoming things they had read in the papers about Corbyn, and it was claimed disaster loomed were he and his policies not immediately removed?

It was not becoming of Jess Phillips, Ian Austin and others to display openly their delight at Labour defeat in the last general election. But I cannot understand the passivity of the left now. Get off your backsides, you lazy defeatists, and start to lay into Starmer very heavily indeed. You owe him no loyalty – he lied through his teeth in the leadership campaign about willingness to maintain left wing values, then went straight into ditch and purge the left wing, and supercharge the witch-hunt, once he had won.

Starmer is down now. To quote a left winger who did know how to grasp the moment, I beseech you in the bowels of Christ. It is time now to announce a leadership challenge. It has to come from John McDonnell. Get people back into the Labour Party. Give the people of England some hope and inspiration again, and at least a chance to hear about, and vote for, the possibility of a truly fairer society.


363 thoughts on “The Left Must Take Back Labour

1 2 3 4
  • Simon

    Please can someone remove Sir Keir as soon as possible! He is a disaster.

    I have never seen a left wing party in power, and maybe never will, but at least under Corbyn the people labour is supposed to represent had a voice. Now they don’t even have that. If there is no big change now then I give up hope.

    • Andrew S Hatton

      What is needed here is a forum not a blog with single replies.

      I am not the one to set it up with my hidden neurological disability


      [ Mod: You’re welcome to use the discussion forum, where you can start your own conversations. ]

      • ftmntf

        @Mod. Perhaps a link to the forum could be more prominently displayed on the site home page? At the top somewhere, rather than half way down the right hand column? I didn’t even know it existed until today.

  • SA

    “The Left Must Take Back Labour”

    But how? Easier said than done. The left within the labour party machinery is weak and easily silenced by the apparatchiks who are centrists and the MPS. The strongest voice on the left in Labour in the last few years has been the members of the party especially those who joined when Corbyn was elected. Unfortunately the thrust of Starmer’s policy since he was elected leader was to weaken the left, sacking Rebecca Long Bailey at the first opportunity and now scapegoating Angela Rayner. Many members have been purged.
    It is interesting to look at the rather superficial analysis by the Blairites and their supporters. Her is an example, Andrew Rawnsley from the Guardian.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/may/09/keir-srarmer-act-urgently-rescue-labour-from-plight

    In this analysis the elephants in the room are purposefully ignored.
    A simple setting of the scene should outline the background, four general elections failures for Labour and analyze the backgrounds.
    Both Gordon Brown’s and Ed Milliband’s failures had meant a need for change and this change came with the astounding results of the 2017 elections where Labour gained a big share of the national vote and 30 seats. As this had posed a serious threat to the establishment, everything was from then on thrown at Corbyn and the antisemitism allegations were made to stick and even owned by Starmer when he was elected. To make things worse there was a complete policy vacuum. The once vibrant discussions within the party about policies have been stifled, partly because of the pandemic, but partly by the leadership gag on CLP members on discussing anything to do with Corbyn. It was the biggest demonization of an ex party leader since Khrushchev denounced Stalin and made Corbyn a virtual non-person. This is unprecedented.
    So the biggest elephant in the room is that serious disloyalty and disunity in the Labour party was what led to the astounding defeat of 2019, the party was fighting the leader and they won together with the Tories. There was relief at this. But having won back the party, the ‘centrists had no clue of what to do with it as they have elected a lackluster leader with no grasp of the issues.
    Sadly I can see no easy mechanism as to how the ‘The Left can Take Back Labour”

    • Brian c

      “serious disloyalty and disunity in the Labour party was what led to the astounding defeat of 2019”

      Those conditions prevailed from day one of Corbyn’s leadership and didn’t stop him winning 40% of the vote in 2017. No, the 2019 defeat was attributable to the 2nd referendum policy forced on Corbyn by Starmer, John McDonnell and the centrist media when 80% of target seats voted to Leave. The whole bogus, anti-Corbyn “Remain” movement predictably evaporated into thin air after that election, job done. The final and permanent coup de grace was delivered by the Labour membership who elected Sir 2nd Referendum in a landslide to win back all the Leave seats. You are 100% right there is no way there will ever again be a leftwing leader of Labour. That was a glitch in the system that will never be allowed to reoccur.

      • SA

        I agree with you, I should have mentioned the insistence on remain. But the main debilitating attack on Corbyn came between 2017 and 2019. After the second leadership challenge the disunity within the party became more muted leading to the 2017 results.

        Labour had a very difficult task in 2019, the Brexit elections. After all Labour could not ignore the 48 % who voted remain but there was a failure of finessing the message. It is indeed ironic that one of the main architects of this insistence on labour being the remain party was Kier Starmer, but he has continued to ignore this particular problem.

        For me it is also difficult to envisage why Brexit produced such a reactionary response from supposedly previously staunch labour supporters in the North. Surely it was a bizarre thing that many defected from Labour to UKIP and from there to the conservative party. The current analysis must include Starmer as a serious impediment to Labour recovery.

        • Bramble

          A majority of Labour voters supported Remain – just not in the Redwallia seats that are currently getting all the attention. Labour would have been more damaged by supporting the far-right pantomime that is Brexit: it would have seen an even larger exodus of members and voters. The truth is that the far right and Brexiters are now encouraging Labour leavers to assert themselves knowing that this will ensure divisions will continue and that most voters will abandon a Party four-square behind the racist, militaristic, flag waving, shameless farce that is Brexit.

          • Brian c

            By that logic Labour should have been wiped out in 2017, when Corbyn had committed them to respecting the referendum result. Instead they won their highest share of the vote since 1997.

            It was that blood curdling scare that sparked “anti racists” Starmer, Mandelson and Co into starting the “People’s” Vote psyop — abandoned immediately once they’d succeeded in destroying Corbyn’s unlikely threat to neoliberalism and warmongering.

          • N_

            …a development that would make any remaining left-wing Labour members with a knowledge of the history of the party immediately think of Oswald Mosley in 1930.

            Any idiot who thinks Powellism in its “Brexit” form is “people power” might as well vote UKIP or BNP or Tory or, more to the point, for whatever is going to replace UKIP because it will be something. The Tories with their blue rosettes may find it hard to hold their newly won support in (parts of) the North of England, but that doesn’t mean it will go back to Labour.

        • Johny Conspiranoid

          “Surely it was a bizarre thing that many defected from Labour to UKIP and from there to the conservative party.”

          This is just an assumption.

          • N_

            Or from Labour to UKIP, back to Labour in 2017 (Tory miscalculation under Theresa May), and then to the Tories in 2019 and 2021.

            For some reason, many are saying the “let men who say they’re women be recognised by everyone else as women” brigade is primarily something to do with London versus the North. What a successful bit of manipulation: getting someone to talk absolute sh*te is a good way of making sure they lose votes.

        • Brian c

          SA

          Brexit would have been taken out of the equation in the 2019 election if Labour had remained committed to a soft exit, as in 2017. The Labour Right (or anti racists if you prefer) were never going to allow him to retain the vast majority of seats which had voted leave after the giant scare of 2017. Something had to be done.

        • Bayard

          “For me it is also difficult to envisage why Brexit produced such a reactionary response from supposedly previously staunch labour supporters in the North.”

          I think it was simply that the secret weapon of the Tory party is loyalty. Thus Labour Leavers voted for Leave (Tory), but Tory Remainers voted for the party.

        • Squeeth

          Don’t forget that Corbyn’s most effective enemy was Corbyn. Anyone with half a backbone would have trounced the zionist antisemites and Bliarite fascists.

        • Rhys Jaggar

          I think you need to think about the nature of a painful divorce/end of relationship and what happens thereafter. You must have heard of ‘rebound relationships’?

          My take on what the traditional working class Labour Voters are doing is that they have divorced themselves from the Labour Party and are now ‘playing the field’, voting for whichever party satisfies their most pressing needs. It’s not assigning new loyalties, it is merely confirming a permanent divorce from the Labour Party.

      • mickc

        Yes…there was always a “get Corbyn” agenda, which is why I voted Labour in the first “Corbyn election”. An honest man was being traduced.
        In the second “Corbyn election” he had been undermined into supporting a second referendum..
        I voted by spoiling my ballot paper…none of the above..

    • DunGroanin

      SA, Brian & others,
      Great discussion.

      The Great Knight Hope.

      Starmer is doing his usual professional assassins job that he has been groomed for (extremely well coiffured in fact – to contrast with Bozo the clown’s). To destroy the Labour movement once and for all and kick the broken pieces away rather than allow them to rebuild.

      He did it with the master move at the party conference in 2018 which guaranteed a disaster.

      https://labourheartlands.com/keir-starmer-just-broke-the-labour-party/

  • Ingwe

    All the talk of who should be the new leader of the Labour Party, be it Ian Lavery, John McDonnell or Uncle Tom Cobbley, to harness the political power of the 600,000 Labour members might be comforting to some in this bleak time but offers nothing.

    The Parliamentary path is pointless. Do people not recall, at the height of the Corbyn wave, the ‘security’ agencies, along with Pompeo and others saying they wouldn’t allow Corbyn’s ascent to power to happen? Even the latter’s weak, at best, social democratic policies weren’t going to be permitted. A general, from an army supposed to be politically neutral, said it too.

    Even had Corbyn won a Parliamentary majority, and survived either or both actual or reputational assassination, does anyone really believe that the City of London and the trans-national corporations, far too powerful to control by one government, would have allowed anything like the required radical transformation of society, to occur?

    Fail to accept that the game is rigged, the institutions, like parliament, the judiciary, the civil service exist to keep it rigged will lead, inevitably, to disappointment, frustration, anger and a feeling of hopelessness. But this is not a counsel of despair. For strangely, the answer is in our collective hands. Abandon the thought that this or that party can be transformed. Even if they are, if they operate within the constraints of the current institutions, they will fail to deliver the required social and political transformation.

    Instead, we should organise, discuss how to best destroy the “false consciousness” held by the bulk of the population, that the system is there to further their interests. Local committees formed from the bottom up, not as in Alba, imposed from the top, putting forward, forming a true political organisation that can grow with the knowledge of what’s really required to bring about a world that cares for all its people and environment coexisting together for the common good. We need to fight ignorance wherever we see it, confront bigotry at every point and stop believing in false solutions. Hard truth but no real alternatives in my view.

    • SA

      Ingwe
      You have hit the nail on the head, the system is rigged. But sadly therefore there is no plausible answer as to how this can be overcome unless the system is destroyed or implodes. I also cannot see any mechanism by which this will happen soon. The ‘people’ are disunited. Even on something that should unite everyone, like a serious pandemic, there is disunity and disharmony. Moreover I cannot see any appetite for socialism being expressed by anybody, least of all the electorate who despite increasing disadvantage, vote for their oppressors.

      • Ingwe

        SA – that is entirely my point on false consciousness. The fact that socialist policies are not popular to the majority is because that majority still falsely believe that their interests are being furthered by the current policy makers. Hence the need for education and raising awareness of this false consciousness. No one said it’d be easy or quick. But nothing is going to change as things stand, so let’s make a start, rather than hand wring.

        • Jive

          I think evidence was that Corbyn’s socialist policies were indeed pretty popular when plainly presented. 8139 lurk don’t stand a chance within the current structure of media, power, politics, and money

        • Peter M

          @Ingwe. “Hence the need for education and raising awareness of this false consciousness.”
          For education and raising awareness, one needs balanced and impartial media. Sadly this is what missing entirely. No doubt on purpose, to AVOID educaton and raising awareness.

      • Jive

        Maybe when we get a serious pandemic there will indeed be unity. This one has enough holes to make Swiss cheese grumble

        • SA

          Jive
          This pandemic was bad enough and was made even worse by the way it was handled. I hope you are not one of those claiming it’s just like seasonal flu.

      • Rhys Jaggar

        You start at the bottom, very locally, is the only possible solution.

        But remember you have to do it in a way that doesn’t demand others pay for your solutions. You don’t have a solution if you require funds from other people. That way people will badge you as spendthrift socialists, spending other people’s money.

        Reality is that if you just focus on essentials, a lot can be done quite cheaply you know.

        We have a notionally ‘Conservative’ council where I live but the things they do are just the things the Labour Party wants done. They resurface roads regularly, the bin service is excellent, they funded £150m capital building programme to upgrade local school provision/capacity, they upgraded local libraries, including suites of PCs for use by residents. They are close to completing one of the largest housebuilding programmes on the old RAF Uxbridge site, including the establishment of a new net-zero-energy school building on the site. Council tax bills are kept strictly under control and the borough has more Green Flags for green spaces awarded in the annual Britain in Bloom programme than any other region in the country.

        Schools, libraries, housing, roads, bins, green spaces.

        Sound like what you would want your local council doing?

        Forget they are conservatives, ask if you approve of their policies.

        Policies are what matter, not party labels.

    • Ross

      It seems that no matter how many times it is made explicitly clear to people that their democracy is a sham, they continue to seek recourse by engaging with it. There was a quiet political coup undertaken in this country a few decades back, and the population at large still seems largely ignorant of it. The neoliberal bandits took control, and defined a destiny for the UK, which sought to preclude any possibility of a government not founded in the same ideological bedrock from ever emerging.

      When that possibility did emerge in the form of Corbyn’s leadership, we saw just how far they would go to defend their prize.

  • Tim Glover

    There seems to be an extremely toxic emotional charge around women’s rights and trans rights. Clearly there are differences between cis-gender and trans-gender women. Can we all agree that it is possible to have a debate about in which contexts the difference matters? Clearly in a diagnosis of ovarian cancer or haemophilia the difference matters; in deciding whether people should have the vote it does not matter. Some people think that trans women should not participate in womens sports, since the whole point of women’s sport is to allow for genetic differences which affect for example the skeleton – surely that is a defensible position? And doesn’t the abuse heaped on people that express that position by a small minority of trans people reflect badly on them, and taint the whole movement by association?

    • Tim Glover

      As an addendum; much as I respect the intention and passion for justice in those who support trans rights, I think that abuse and cancellation of those who have defensible objections to the identification of cis- and trans- women is a mistaken piety.

      • Alex Thurley-Ratcliff

        what’s your point – seems off topic for this discussion?

    • Ross

      There seems to be a conflation here between biological sex, and gender. The former is chromosomally determined, and not alterable (at least within the scope of existing medical science). The latter is a social construct, which has varied over time, and across different cultures.

      A trans woman, can seek to alter their appearance to better confirm to the gender role they identify with. They can avail themselves of various rights and legislative accommodations, in order to make it easier for them to live within that gender role. What they cannot do, is become biologically female. This isn’t a cruel spiteful barb, intended to remind them that the thing they feel so strongly that they are, they can never truly be. It’s a biological reality, no different than the ones which impose limits on all of us. Few of us are as we would have made ourselves. Nature isn’t cruel, but it is indifferent.

      • Paul Torgerson

        Biological sex is not as well defined as you think. XX is female and XY is male….but there are XY females..they are born as biological females and only realise there is something wrong when they are diagnosed as infertile…androgen insensitivity syndrome…XY foetus develops female rather than male genitals. And what about chromosomal abnormality XXY or XXY or XO…when are these biologically male or female…and babies born as haemaprodites with both male and female genitalia…biological sex determination is far more complex than the possession of XY or XX chromosomes. There is a complex effect of hormones on the genital development of an early foetus

        • Ross

          So, rare genetic anomalies, are the exception by which you would seek to define the rule.

          Monopedalism is a congenital issue affecting a small percentage of the population. Would you argue that those so afflicted are in fact bipedal, and it is merely outdated societal ideas that (no pun intended) stand in their way? That’s what fanatical trans activists, with their ‘people who menstruate’ insanity, are arguing

  • Kaiama

    Corbyn was removed for 2 reasons:-
    1 He supported Palestine.
    2 He supported ordinary people rather than the elites.

  • Chris Herz

    Please consider allowing better sharing of your writings. FB and Tw are yielding to censorship pressures. I could suggest a look at say, Telesur or Commondreams to see how they do social media sharing.

    Best regards, and thanks
    Chris Herz

  • DoctorK

    I think it’s been obvious for some time that Starmer is a security state plant to neutralise Labour and boy has he succeeded. His meteoric rise is sound evidence. The only way forward now is a new party to bring in Corbyn’s 600,000 supporters and take it from there. Labour is finished.

        • Goose

          Investigative journalist Matt Kennard has explored this topic in relation to Starmer.

          Whether Starmer is connected to the UK intel services is an open question. Fair to say he certainly wouldn’t have got a Knighthood had he pursued the torture allegations, dropped, despite painstakingly gathered Met evidence; or if he had dropped the CPS’s relentless pursuit of Assange. It was recently reported Starmer was furious when Theresa May blocked the extradition of Scottish systems administrator and hacker, Gary McKinnon. Starmer apparently wanted McKinnon to rot in jail. Obnoxious stuff, considering McKinnon has Asperger’s syndrome.

        • Rhys Jaggar

          I saw MI5 infiltration into the Liberal Democrats back when Charlie Kennedy was leader. Nothing new about that….

          • Goose

            Is it our security services though, or the US, or even Israel perhaps?

            We need laws expressly forbidding UK intel agency contact and interference in both political parties and the media. Goes without saying that using privileged intel positions and permitted secrecy to manipulate politics, the media and the population, is totally unethical. The can do what they like as private citizens, comment on here, but a state agency should have rules delimiting interference.

            Foreign agents are going to have to register under a disclosure law (Act) like the US has under FARA; it’s needed and long overdue. But will the US and Israel be given a special exemptions? Because prima facie there’s been damning evidence on WikiLeaks about Ruth Smeeth’s past activities. Strange that at Starmer’s first big speech he was accompanied by a beaming Ruth Smeeth, towering over him.

    • Squeeth

      That’s the historic role of the Liarbour Partei. Bridle the working class and deliver us trussed up to the boss’s door.

  • Goose

    Mandelson : “hard left factions attached to trade unions have got to go” and party reform should be a priority for Starmer.

    If he keeps listening to this creep, there’ll be no party left to reform. How Mandelson went from a one bedroom flat to an exclusive Regent’s Park home is a question the Evening Standard pondered, quote:

    Land Registry records show he paid £2.4 million for his Regent’s Park house – or £2.5 million including stamp duty and legal fees. This was almost 16 times his income, a mortgage which even in pre-credit crunch days no lender would contemplate.

    • Goose

      Report today quoting ‘Starmer loyalist’ Ian Murray, the shadow Scottish secretary, saying Angela Rayner is to get a bigger role. Doesn’t the promotion of Ian Murray tell you all you need to know about Starmer. So appalled at the prospect of a vaguely left-wing govt, Ian Murray was all set to defect with the Change UK(TIG) shysters, until a last-minute er..change of mind. It’s becoming a case of whether there is anyone who damaged Labour’s electoral prospects that Starmer hasn’t sought to reward?

      • Goose

        Labour needs to be an insurgency, or it is nothing. For a time under Corbyn, it had that esprit de la révolution. The party’s historic role it was that of a movement to take power back from various elites.
        If the overpaid media commentariat despise the party and its leader, then that’s a commendation in my mind. A sign Labour is on the right track. Equally , any Labour leader the likes of Freedland, Rentoul; Rawnsley and BBC(various) wish to support won’t be a Labour leader worth supporting. The SNP are undoubtedly strongest when running against Johnson and the Westminster establishment plus UK media, as opponents they’re perfect foil for retaining power.

        • SA

          Goose
          When Corbyn was first elected all the centrists were saying was that his aim was not to win but to be a pressure group. When he got closer to winning the real undermining happened.

          • Crispa

            I agree with that. The assault was in indirect proportion to the perceived threat following the better than expected results of the 2017 election when a real head of steam was building. I did not think it at the time but I think now that the pressure from the Remain side was at least in part motivated at destabilising Corbyn further while he was walking the Brexit plank along with the anti-semitism stuff.
            Labour is now burnt out. Riddle the ashes and start a new fire with the gleeds. Scottish (and Welsh) independence with the upheavals they will cause might just provide the historical opportunity for the proverbial phoenix to rise.

          • Goose

            “Who voted for Peter Mandelson?” A sweary John McDonnell finally stating his views today on Owen Jones’ Youtube show. Good interview.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2V0sZ6RkS3g

            It’s starting to dawn on them that Starmer’s creating an electoral ‘Suicide Squad’. He , Mandelson and Evans are an existential risk to the party’s continuation.

          • Goose

            Jon Trickett very honest too.

            This is a very good interview from Owen. More honesty in this than I’ve heard anywhere in a long time.

          • Goose

            @Crispa

            Some of the lengths the media went to to smear, were surreal, looking back. Like when the BBC led its news all day with the covertly recorded Chris Williamson footage, in which he merely questioned the basis for the antisemitism allegations. And it was a Jewish audience at that meeting that applauded him for calling the nonsense out.

            The BBC in particular were Goebbels like in their ‘repeat a lie often enough’ dedication and methodology. That’s why many feel so bitter still. To lose an election on policy arguments is one thing. To lose an election due to a state organised smear campaign focused on one candidate isn’t acceptable.

    • SA

      Mandelson needs to be told that the origins of the Labour Party were inextricably linked with the trade Union union movement. He is the odd one out.

    • Rhys Jaggar

      Depends what he got from selling his previous place, doesn’t it?

      Nowadays, salary is irrelevant if you have been on the housing ladder for 20 years. You can easily have £2.0m in equity in London through having played the MPs’ ‘second home provision’ game.

      • Karen Mellstrom

        Why does every comment you make support the status quo and the corrupt beings who hold it all together? Asked quite sincerely from my buddhist perspective.

      • Goose

        True.

        But buying a place like that is just the start, there’s rent, rates utilities… furnishing it in an opulent style to which Mandy and his Epstein jet set friends would no doubt be accustomed; entertaining costs etc. Basically, it’s living a multi-millionaire’s lifestyle and according to the Evening Standard and others who’ve looked into it, there’s no sign he had the financial means to fund a millionaire’s lifestyle back then.

        The context being Mandelson recently accused the left of being corrupt. Corbyn had the lowest HoC expenses claims for years, riding his bike everywhere he could.

        • Goose

          rent? I meant council tax.

          Although that’d probably be a small cost relatively speaking for someone like Mandelson, I guess? Without expenses , weekly & monthly bills incl. shopping, water, heating; electricity, broadband , fuel et al are a concern however, for mortals like the rest of us.

  • Giyane

    The Anglo Saxons are still patting themselves on the back for having acquired such a green and pleasant country only a millennium ago. It is that little Anglo Saxon suburban mentality we call Thatcherism that has taken over Britain for the last 40 years.

    She de-industrialised the North in order make the entire country a nation of shopkeepers buying stuff from Far East. That universal Pax Toriana can only last as long as China is cheap and cheerful, which is not long at all.

    China is a manufacturing engineering country like the North of England used to be pre- Thatcher. Pax Toriana won’t last another ten years because quite simply you can fool some of the people some of the time and permanent QE will devalue our currency soon.

    Starmer is playing with the deck-chairs on the Titanic to fill in time before proper Labour ways of working inevitably return. The problem is not a political one, it is an engineering one. How can a country that has become used to making nothing except weapons and cars adapt to making stuff again?

    When the necessity of making stuff here instead of buying expensive from the Far East arrives the toolbag of Left wing politics will be dusted down and put back into service. The bleeding heart liberal wokes and over heated financial services wonks will be under the whip of manufacturing again. Job done.

    .

    • M.J.

      “The Anglo Saxons are still patting themselves on the back for having acquired such a green and pleasant country only a millennium ago.” Eh? I thought it was the Normans who did that, _from_ the Anglo-Saxons. But then the two intermingled and became the English. So it wasn’t like a colony where the subject people are of a different religion.

      • Giyane

        MJ
        I think that was my point. Early evidence of the English ability to coalesce with the opposition and become one fatuous self-serving ruling class. It was fantastic to have Jeremy Corbyn scaring the Red and blue Tories witless by the idea that Corbyn’s government could , in office, expose all the skeletons of Libya; Syria; the 2007 crash; Daesh. Enough anyway for both parties to fix the 2019 election for Bojo.

        Good question, if crime is consensual, does English Law say it’s legit?

    • Rhys Jaggar

      Where you buy the cheap and cheerful stuff will change, it will just migrate to Indonesia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, somewhere in Africa. It won’t stay static.

      It’s like the Swiss Tourism sector targeting the well-to-do. Where they come from may change, but there are always well-to-do folks who fancy a holiday in Switzerland. As the British fall, so the Russians and Chinese rise.

      That sort of thing….

  • Tom74

    In the absence of democracy, at least in England, taking back Labour is pointless. Labour and their alleged failings are merely window-dressing for a dictatorship, most likely one not even controlled from the UK but from the US. Voting for opposition parties actually helps the Tories because it makes it look as though there is a fair fight – when in fact our elections are a sham. So in that sense, Thursday’s election results were quite positive – for if democracy itself has visibly failed through either lack of a viable opposition or postal vote-rigging and media manipulation scuppering their chances, then the Tories can no longer plausibly claim a democratic mandate.

    • mark golding

      Pointless indeed Tom74. There will be no political pluralism (Israelization) unless Scotland breaks free from the Union. The jackboot of George Orwell’s 1984 stamping on one’s face is our reality.Britain, far from being a true democracy, is in reality an oligarchy that promotes the interests of a privileged domestic elite. The idea that Westminster is the “mother of all parliaments,” representing a democratic model for the world, is a cultivated myth.

      The need for a transformation away from centralised, unaccountable governance to a system that is much more participatory, and where citizens are informed and empowered is anathema to Sir Starmer and his brief according to military intelligence is to push for Covid delay and legal challenges to Scotland’s indpendence.

      • Rhys Jaggar

        There won’t be pluralism either if you break from England but join the EU.

        If you can’t see that the EU is a neoliberal dictatorship controlled from Washington since inception, now trying to break free to become an imperialistic hegemon itself, then you need to open your eyes.

        The EU is a supranational administration that has zero elections to its most senior positions. Zero.

        If you want independence and political plurality, you have to stand on your own two feet.

        Outside the EU…..

        • mark golding

          My eyes are open Rhys to the fact that Scotland joining the EU is a myth; perhaps a ‘secret weapon’ of the British Establishment to offer Scotland ‘single market’ access in return for Union.

          It was the UK in fact that injected the poison of neoliberalism into the EU under Thatcher. The EU in its current form is a latter-day prison house of nations locked inside a neoliberal straitjacket and single currency. It cannot survive and it’s people will decouple from it and from their leaders no doubt in a not too distant future..

  • Alex Thurley-Ratcliff

    The Labour left doesn’t appeal to me any more than the Labour right. By being short on green policies and genuinely innovative social change, by being weak in the face of Brexit, by not being bold and progressively leading (just sustaining the tired old arguments) I find myself at a loss as to who to vote for.

    • Goose

      The Labour left are an uninspiring bunch. But you’ve got to look beyond the personalities to what they’d actually do.

      Rebecca Long-Bailey promised to introduce open selection, for example. Some will say ‘so what?’, but this single step by itself could’ve radically transformed the Labour party, removing the careerists and ‘bad faith’ actors in the PLP. One reform leads to another, under Starmer, no reforms other than those that underpin the status quo will be countenanced.

  • Joseph Mellon

    Of course that is what the sacking of Angela Raynor was all about. She was the heir apparent to the right wing agenda having betrayed the Left. (Maybe she was playing a clever game, maybe she really is treacherous). If she had led the charge calling for Starmer to go, Starmer could not accuse her of being a Corbynite Lefty. So he ‘got his retaliation in first’. Plus he needed a scapegoat, and to show that he was ‘doing something’.
    So Angie had to go: if she asks for Starmer’s head now she is just selfish disaffected complainer, not willing to take responsibility for the screw up.

  • Bill Marsh

    How about a party that eschews neoliberalism, is open to MMT, regards the EU (and especially the Euro) as a busted flush. Any of that evident in a nominal left wing party? Certainly not in Labour. And certainly not the SNP.

  • stealth cabbage

    “It was not becoming of Jess Phillips to (insert multiple Jess Phillips unbecoming situations here)”

  • Kuhnberg

    The leader’s loss of authority starts with unpopular mutterings, but the mutterings grow louder and more widespread regardless of their unpopularity, and within a matter of weeks, after repeated failures and inadequacies, the mutterings swell to a crescendo and the leader starts to topple, By this metric Starmer should be doomed. Unfortunately his toppling will probably be a slow-motion affair, the death by a thousand minor back-stabbings. If there are any who still want him to succeed, I would give them, free of charge, this piece of advice, Keep him out of the public’s eye. Like a poor wine, he doesn’t improve on further acquaintance. The more we see of him, the more awkwardly robotic he appears to be. Every interview a car-crash. He is the most useless and malign party leader of my lifetime – worse even than Ian Duncan Smith.

  • Paul Torgerson

    Corbyn got more votes in the “disaster’ of 2019 than Blair got in 2005 when he won a comfortable majority.

    • mark

      Labour did indeed.

      Won twice in Hartlepool yet it’s Corbyn’s legacy that ruined a Blairite candidates victory.

      Johnson only managed in 2019 to add 333k to May’s total vote numbers from 2017.

      Yet the Tories added 80 seats in general.

      It was the distribution of the seats that was very lucky in 2019.

      A massive postal vote ( I think it doubled ) was another unusual thing that happened.

      I like a bet and I’ll tell you what if I’d have done an accumulator bet on the horses that landed like the Tories seat distribution in 2019 I’d be writing from a Barbados beach.

      Not the luck of the Irish the luck of the Tories.

  • Bill Marsh

    I have no interest in whether or not Scotland votes for independence from the UK. However I do know that you cannot support neoliberalism and pretend to be left wing. Unfortunately almost all political parties in the UK(including Labour and the SNP), Europe, and the US support neoliberalism. Neoliberalism is also the bedrock of the EU. You cannot profess to be left wing in any meaningful sense and support the EU which is a technocratic neoliberal organisation.
    See here for an analysis of the neoliberal takeover and the EU

    http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=40650

    To say again you cannot be leftwing and be pro EU. Craig, you need to take a close look at yourself if you still consider the EU to be a force for good.

    • SA

      According to this pronouncement you can’t even be an active politician in this system if you are not neoliberal. Let’s wait for the Revolution.

  • Will McMorran

    Was/is Blair an Establishment plant? Is Starmer ditto? Does Capital’s terror of the power of working people’s labour run that deep? The look of mystified dismay on the faces of Labour Parliamentarians upon the election of Corbyn in 2015 is unforgettable. They still don’t understand. Time for a new Left party?

    • Goose

      Who knows?

      Strange how people seem to get nervous when such questions are raised about Blair.

      His father was active in the Conservative party. Why would a privately educated Oxbridge barrister, from a Tory background, a man who adored his father, become a Labour MP at the height of of the v.left-wing Foot era in 1983? Young Blair had an agenda even back then to pull the party rightwards.

      If you were to ask whether Gordon Brown or Ed Miliband were recruited similarly , it’d provoke a wry smile maybe a chuckle. Ask about Blair and the smiles vanish however.

  • Mighty Drunken

    I don’t think Starmer has intentionally destroyed Labour’s popularity, I think he like many others believe the poisonous narrative of the media.
    One reason I believe this is because if we assume that “The Establishment” hate Corbyn and socialist policies in general. Destroying Labour, which they apparently have some control over, would be a bad idea. The Conservatives will not win forever, even without the Labour party. With a healthy Labour party you can easily predict who will replace the Conservatives. Without Labour many other things could happen.
    It is almost common knowledge that Corbyn was a disaster, his policies were unpopular and he is a dangerous far left radical. None of these points are true but I think many in the Labour party PLC believe that. What the UK needs is a media which actually analyses with reason. Instead it appears to be more of a bandwagon.

    • Goose

      Agreed.

      Johnson and the rest of the establishment would worry if the controlled opposition were looking like it’d be wiped out. What would emerge in its place ? Would they be as malleable? Doubtful.

      The reason Corbyn was so disliked was because he wasn’t controllable, he wasn’t part of the big neoliberal, Bilderberg attending, ‘shared values’ club. Offers from post-election patrons of cushy non-executive directorships of £250k speeches and million quid book deals for toeing the line would’ve cut no ice. Being ordered around by these international cliques is apparently what’s regarded as doing ‘grown up’ politics in the US and UK. The public are excluded of course.

      • Giyane

        Goose

        Middle class women are trained to seek male partners with cushy perks but males who refuse them causes a mixture of absolute panic, pity and affection. How could you ever micro- manage a man who had no interest in power money or sex? The only thing they could do with such a man is take a job micro- analysing him , like trying to fly a drone without a joystick.

        Gravielli gets rich doing this to Alex Salmond..one way to get your mits on the 250 k perks without having to do the boring part of being married to him. Go direct to the money source.

    • Johny Conspiranoid

      “None of these points are true but I think many in the Labour party PLC believe that.”

      Again this brings us back to the Labour Part rules. The PLP is like a different party to the membership.

    • Rhys Jaggar

      No, what the UK needs is a population that gets off its backside and stops reading the MSM. It needs the DM, Express, Telegraph, Guardian et al to all go belly up. And it needs the BBC purged in a way that would make BBC employees think that Stalin was a namby-pamby Liberal.

      As long as the nation is lazy and trusts a totally corrupt media, the UK will get what it deserves. Crap.

      People need to stop blaming the media and take control of their own lives.

      It is your choice to read the MSM, watch it, listen to it.

      I stopped doing it 5 years ago and I still educate myself easily.

      I use Mr Murray’s Blog, John Ward’s blog, about 15-20 other non-MSM sources. They cover a wide spectrum of political bias, but it allows you to get a semblance of the greater reality.

      If there isn’t a media source out there that fits your desires, maybe you need to get out there and create one yourself??

    • mark golding

      The main media is the Establisnment’s tool for direction and movement of policies. The direction is fed to cutouts within the editorial role.

      We can now expect the MSM to publish a Covid delay to Indy2 until at least year end…

      Corbyn was not a disaster, Corbyn was hope that never came to pass, never entified, albeit that wish, that love will remain in folks hearts and is the impetus, the motivation and the power for time to come.

  • Seamus Ariat

    We had Kate Hoey and now we have Jess Phillips. Two more horrible people it is hard to imagine. We were promised that things would be so much better if only we’d let women……No reason to believe that now.

  • A transgender woman

    Craig I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for many things. The incredibly valuable work you do for all of us through your reporting of the truth as opposed to the “narrative”. For your reporting on and support of Julian Assange and for so many others, like the Chagos Islanders and from a personal point of view, your support of transgender people like me.

    Being a transgender woman, I dont know why I am the way I am. I do know that I am just a woman trying to live my life in peace and to be the best person that I can be. There are said to be, to take the middle estimate 0,005%, of the worlds almost 8 billion population, that means that there are around 4 million of us. From each and everyone of us, I say thank you and wish you all the best and the best possible outcome for your court case.

    I have made a small donation and urge every other transgender person to do the same.

  • Philip Roddis

    As the recriminations fly between left and right of the party, my sympathies lie more with the left – and a shamefully vilified Jeremy – but I’m conscious of two things.

    One, such is the extent of the divide within Britain today that Blair’s successes (and it should be remembered his 1997 majority declined in 2001 and again in 2005) is for the foreseeable future unrepeatable by a right or left leader. Blair’s trick was to reach out to the middle classes, knowing the heartlands had no feasible alternative to voting Labour. That is no longer the case. The interests, real and perceived, of ‘Islingtonians’ and those most shafted by neoliberalism are no longer reconcilable.

    Two, objectively speaking – the undoubted sincerity and passion of many on the Labour left notwithstanding – the role of left reformism has always been to sanitise the brand after each betrayal. On this subject I can recommend a classic by Ralph Miliband (Ed and David’s dad) – Parliamentary Socialism: a Study in the Politics of Labour. Though first published in 1961, and last updated in 1972, it contains little that is not instantly recognisable today.

    For all my pessimism about parliamentary socialism – which frankly I see as an oxymoron – I’ve even less faith in a hopelessly outdated revolutionary vanguard model premised on concentrations of workers, often thousands in a single factory, under conditions no longer applicable in the West.

    This won’t be popular with many – whether of right, left or liberal stripe – but my greatest hope now lies with the rise of China, with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank challenge to the IMF and petrodollar hegemony, and with One Belt One Road’s to the willingness of five successive Washington administrations to bomb and/or impose lethal sanctions on any state looking to break free of the US orbit.

    Back to the immediate issue at hand, the most convincing analysis I have read of the 2019 defeat is by Dan Glazebook. His 7500 worder, The Tragedy of Corbynism places the reality of Britain as a major imperialism at the very heart of the matter.

    • DunGroanin

      Good to see you here Mr Roddis.
      I having been perma spam foldered at the Off-Guardian, agit propist Red-Brown bridging site, just like its progenitor Spiked and the RCP whose leader Ms Fox was rewarded with a title and a seat in the Lords, for her help in delivering BrexShit, as I was some years ago at the On-Guardian.

      Hence I am denied the uncensored conversation that I enjoyed there – where your articles are the only consistent honest pieces. Not that I necessarily agree with you on all things. I hope you hang around and contribute regularly to the topics here.

    • DunGroanin

      Btw I read the linked article.

      I feel it is a hagiographic piece on Mason !

      And ignores Starmers role in the destruction of the Labour gains of 2017 that led to the disaster of 2019 , and his continued efforts to destroy the Old Labour principles and aims for a fair society.

  • DavidH

    “The Left Must Take Back Labour”???

    Labour must take back Labour – the working class roots that distinguish it from those entitled Tory Toffs. Unfortunately, that’s not a large constituency any more, and they don’t care much about those things that now define the left, such as gender issues, Palestinian rights, black lives matter, the global crusade against neo-liberalism. That’s why they didn’t connect so marvelously with Corbyn, either. The fact they might connect at all with Boris Johnson, well, the mind just boggles, but there you go.

    • Johny Conspiranoid

      Labour never controlled the Labour Party. Its rules leave control in the hands of the PLP and the full time staff. It might be a good idea if they had control but that has never happened yet because Labour has always been managed opposition. It was set in a manner which facilitated that. As for “gender issues, Palestinian rights, black lives matter, the global crusade against neo-liberalism” neo-liberalism has certainly had a bad impact on white working class lives and continues to do so, we are all palestinians now and while gender issues and BLM may have been co-opted to sell imperialist wars to americans they still might matter to working class brits depending on their gender and race.

    • Goose

      Corbyn wasn’t a charismatic politician, nor was he particularly intellectual. But he was incorruptible and principled, and everyone knew that. A real political rarity today.

      According to Guardian, Labour’s new emphasis is on ‘reconnecting with the working classes’, which is basically patronising bunk. The first rule of business is keeping your existing customer base happy. Labour should build on existing demographic strength (they absolutely dominated in certain age & social class demographics under Corbyn in 2017,even in 2019). Pandering to a new audience, an audience that’s far from likely to be receptive to any message Labour are pushing , is absurd. And let’s face it, if ‘guacamole & Mushy Peas’ man Mandelson has had anything to do with shaping this new message, it’ll probably just cold-shoulder existing supporters and fail to attract any new ones. An electoral Svengali he ain’t.

  • Al Dente

    “The left must take back labour”. Does that mean putting more people on the front bench who are totally disconnected from working class voters? How can Labour ever hope to get through to the Red Wall by promoting people like Thangam Singh, who in an attempt to appeal to “proper Labour voters”, changed her name to Thangam Debbonaire. Really, you could not make up stuff like this. In the end, voters will give their votes to whoever they believe will see them with more money in their pockets at the end of the month.

    • Johny Conspiranoid

      Al Dente
      I don’t think Thangam Singh is who or what Craig had in mind. More like Jeremy Corbyn.

    • DiggerUK

      “voters will give their votes to whoever they believe will see them with more money in their pockets at the end of the month”……..

      …..unlike those who vote for the SNP and make sure that SNP MSP’s don’t have a cash flow problem at the end of the month.

      When are the pennies going to drop that in the war between two gangs, Murrell Ice Creams have effectively melted Salmond Gelato. What now?

      It’s no use saying there is a majority for independence unless you ignore those who didn’t vote for parties supporting Indyref.
      Irony is that we all know the SNP ain’t interested and not all greens support the policy. It also appears there are more Labour voters in favour of Indyref…_

  • John Cunningham

    To go off topic a little – Just because you are paranoid does not maan they are not out to get you…Good luck for tomorrow, Craig, though the consequences of your unlawful scribblings is unlikely to be a period of martyrdom. And your lucrative blog subscriptions will cover the rest. Not undermining your expensively-procured counsel, it may help if you retract in particular your fatuous claim you tried very hard not to identify Salmond’s accusers. Being sane her ladyship will realise that not doing something requires no effort.

    • Giyane

      John Cunningham

      If Craig , the great communicator , tried to tell us any of the identities we’re not allowed to know, he should certainly take up another profession because I still haven’t the foggiest idea who any of these people are.
      99.9999 % failure to convey a message sounds more like Enigma . He should have been working at Bletchley Park not the FCO.

      • John Cunningham

        Giyane. High Court judge has ruled, and who are we to disagree. And it may be a slight exaggeration to describe blogging as a profession – no matter how lucrative. I don’t know any of the alleged victims either, and neither, as I’ve written previously, do I want to.

  • SA

    Is there perhaps a misconception that the Labour party represents ‘The Left’ in politics? Attempts for this to happen under Foot and more recently under Corbyn have failed dismally and were vehemently fought by the party establishment. Labour is supposedly a broad church representing working people, encouraging trade unions and working with them, but with a left wing socialist mostly intellectual group applying theoretical political philosophy, as well as clearly careerists who are more affiliated with the establishment. The theoretical intellectuals do not always attract the working class whose interests and concerns are more practical and non-ideological. Even the trade unions are partly a creation of the establishment to channel dissent into a manageable form as GBS has shown. So the left to capture the agenda at all, will have to change the very nature of the party to a much more practical and pragmatic one. This is not to say that the party should act in the very blatantly manipulative way that Blair used to get into power, but it means finessing the argument to appeal to working people. In addition, the left must show more discipline and more appearance of competence and unity. I am not sure how this can be achieved but the current trajectory of the left is not promising.

    • Sarge

      Not sure which left Labour policies you think have repelled working people. Working people of all ages overwhelmingly supported Labour’s policies under the previous leader in 2017. The only group who didn’t were propertied OAPs.

      The new rightwing leader thinks working age people are in the bag for Labour and wants to win the home owning retirees with flags, Anti PC messaging and by trying to outflank the Tories from the right on economics.

      Predictably the only group he has impressed with this approach is establishment journalists and New Labour Big Beasts and dinosaurs.

  • N_

    The big question in the background to whether or not any person should vote for the official “opposition” – whether they are a metropolitan hipster, they live on a red wall, they are a transvestite, they are “white working class”, they are “BAME”, or they belong to some other demographic that is currently considered talkworthy – is why should they bother when Labour has supported the British Tory government 100% on all the big things the government has done since March 2020, such as banning public gatherings, banning people from coming within 2 metres of anybody they don’t live with, encouraging them to get vaccinated, etc.

    • SA

      Come on N_ there are more important issues than these public health measures. Why not mention things that really matter such as the crony capitalism, the delays in lockdown, the PPE fiasco and so on and so forth.

  • frankywiggles

    Keir Starmer’s reshuffled team is of course going to be a disaster.

1 2 3 4

Comments are closed.