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Conference Call As the Labour Party Conference gets underway this weekend, W Stephen Gilbert looks ahead to the coming General Election

Jeremy Corbyn speaking the the LPC in 2018

This year’s Labour Conference will determine the result of the upcoming general election and, ultimately, the fate of Jeremy Corbyn as party leader. As a rule, I don’t go in for political predictions, a fool’s game if ever there was one.

As William Goldman wrote repeatedly about Hollywood in his seminal book of 1983, Adventures in the Screen Trade – and always in capitals – NOBODY KNOWS ANYTHING. This is no less true of Westminster and the mainstream media.

All I am anticipating is the nature and impact of the conference. The outcome I leave to the myriad dogmatists of all persuasions. These blowhards know what will happen, know what the impact of what happens will be and know how they will then play the hand they have been dealt. That they have been consistently mistaken for the whole of this century thus far does not deter them.

Ever since his election as leader – can it really be four years ago and can he really have survived this long? – Corbyn has performed a high-wire act of heart-stopping delicacy.

He has survived threats from the military, allegations of snubs to the monarch and the sovereignty of the nation, Ian McNicol, advocacy of killing him by the Mail on Sunday (just ten days after the murder of Jo Cox), Laura Kuenssberg, the wholesale resignation of his shadow cabinet, a succession of by-elections that were supposed to be disastrous but weren’t, Owen Smith (who?), accusations of terror-loving and security-risking, resignations from the party in and out of parliament, Margaret Hodge, frontal assaults from his deputy leader (repeatedly) and the party leader in the Lords, the Tory press (including The Guardian), Chuka Umunna, and a general election in which Labour was expected to be obliterated.

No leader has ever been so assailed on all sides. That he remains calm, even serene, says a lot for making your own jam.

Labour has never been in the driving seat during the open-ended melodrama that has been Brexit. The Tories determined that there would be a referendum. David Cameron fought a losing campaign. Theresa May failed to secure a deal to leave. The rise of Ukip and now the Brexit Party has been entirely a response to government failure.

All Labour has been free to do is react and oppose, which is the traditional function of Her Majesty’s loyal opposition.

Labour devised a six-tests response to the developing deal that Cameron negotiated and May renegotiated. It was a credible and reasonable response.

Corbyn resisted the rising clamour from remainers for a further vote, a so-called “people’s vote”, presumably based on the proposal that only donkeys voted to leave in 2016.

While the prospect of a deal sanctioned by Labour remained out of reach, a further vote would only have benefitted remainers because, in a binary ballot, the answer to remain would have been “yes” and to leave “it depends”. By the same token, more than two options on such a ballot paper would never have been acceptable to leavers because their vote would have been split.

But now it’s increasingly feasible that an in-coming Labour government would be able to renegotiate the deal with the EU and then could offer the choice of the new deal or remain in a further vote. Brussels has shown sympathy for Labour’s evolving position, markedly different from the increasing exasperation with the Tories.

There’s every reason to hope that Keir Starmer would come back with an understanding that features the UK staying in the customs union, retaining a cordial relationship with the single market and finding a solution to the Irish backstop that doesn’t need to satisfy the DUP, all of which would leave Britain much less dependent on crumbs from Trump’s table. That’s a good prospect for everyone and it satisfies Corbyn’s democratic instincts.

I’ve always maintained that his devotion to the democratic process takes precedence in Corbyn’s mind over policy. Everyone knows that he has ever been a Eurosceptic, less antagonistic to the EU than his mentor Tony Benn but much less enthusiastic than Tony Blair, Cameron, Starmer and now such Johnnies-come-lately in his shadow team as Emily Thornberry and John McDonnell.

That Corbyn believes he should leave the final decision to the electorate in a stay-or-leave-with-Labour’s-deal referendum is an earnest of his democratic fidelity, not – as is readily alleged by his opponents – weakness or lack of leadership.

I have no doubt that Corbyn will allow his MPs to have a free vote in the proposed referendum. After all, not to do so would surely split the party and lead to more shadow cabinet resignations.

On The World at One on Wednesday, Sarah Montague repeatedly recast Corbyn’s position of presidential neutrality as further indecision by the whole party, an extension of the MSM’s persistent characterisation of Labour as being “all over the place” on Europe. This has been one of the ripest examples of the kind of deliberate misreporting that has accompanied Corbyn’s leadership from the moment he became a candidate.

No other party will be offering something positive to both leavers and remainers, while making a serious attempt to reunite the countries of the UK.

As the social media commentator Sean Hawie put it:

Labour is the only party which has not said ‘up yours’ to either the 48% or the 52%. Every other party has. This wasn’t a fight Labour picked, yet they’re still there, trying to unite this divided country, as well as tackling inequality and the other effects of austerity, which ironically are not unrelated to the reasons the good people of this country voted to leave”

Professional political commentary is fixated on all the ways in which the major parties will supposedly lose votes at the general election. Unless the proportion of votes cast is going to fall into the low teens, all these alienated votes will go elsewhere. And it stands to reason that much of the churn between parties will cancel itself out.

Yes, we can all posit reasons why large numbers of people – some of them indeed adulthood-long Labour voters – will not vote Labour this time. Some will feel that Labour has fatally reneged on its promise to respect the 2016 referendum result, especially when they hear so many Labour MPs claiming that the party at large wants to stay in the EU, even though they, the voters, only know people who wanted to have come out last March.

Some do indeed wish to stay in the EU, reckoning that they weren’t told the truth by Boris Johnson’s leave campaign and believing that Labour collaborated with that and will still take us out, come what may. Some have been persuaded that Corbyn is a terrorist sympathiser, a security risk and/or an anti-Semite. Some have moved to the right as they’ve got older, which happens in every generation.

Equally, no doubt large numbers will not vote Conservative this time.

They’re saddled with a leader whose reputation is as a liar, a buffoon and a Mr Micawber. He’s been rubbished by revered Tory figures, several of them his predecessors as prime minister. Many Tory voters fear leaving the EU with no deal and suspect that Johnson has no means of protecting them against the ramifications that so many predict will result from leaving peremptorily.

Moreover, the BBC, caught between its corporate loathing of Corbyn and its corporate opposition to leaving the EU, has an easy story in Johnson’s troubles and his reputation for being unreliable and, as a result, is discernibly giving him a much harder ride than May or Cameron received.

But the other parties will shed votes too, partly because people who vote to make a gesture in by-elections and local and European elections revert to their preferred parties when the future governance of the land is at stake. Moreover, the Brexit Party, the Lib Dems and the Greens will be widely seen as single-issue vehicles and many thoughtful voters will consider much more than the short-term impact of Brexit when casting their votes.

Jo Swinson has taken her party away from any credible claim to the democratic ingredient in its title of Liberal Democratic Party. In the fantasy position that they were to form a government, the LibDems would simply renege on Article 50 and laugh at the 2016 referendum result.

Swinson may well be underestimating the numbers who voted to remain but who hold to the view that the democratic result should stand. That should cost her party a good few votes in the next election. It also hands a useful argument to Labour. Those who wish to stay in the EU will be much more likely to achieve that ambition if they vote for Labour’s promise of a further referendum than if they pretend that Swinson is going to be the next prime minister.

Further, the Brexit Party and the Greens lack recognisable, credible teams of potential ministers and, while the Lib Dems now have hands-on experience of government and some more familiar faces, few swing-voters are attracted by their well-remembered record in office.

No one should underestimate the appeal of big parties, or indeed these big parties with these leaders.

The Tories have centuries of experience at organising and close-quarter fighting, at propaganda and calling on funds. Many powerful people and organisations would up sticks and move abroad rather than allow any other than the Tory party to form the government.

There is a natural bias in many of the nation’s old-established institutions to the continuity of the ruling class. And the Johnson government can parlay the Brexit mess as the fault of May and the whole of parliament, while the present members of the cabinet mostly argued relentlessly for leaving at once.

What’s more, many voters think, as an ordinary-looking man in the west country shouted at me as I marched past him in protest: “Boris Johnson is the best thing ever to happen to this country”. People vote for preposterously meagre reasons and Johnson’s celebrity – he’s on the telly – will win him votes. Some people think him brave, determined and visionary. And of course people in the States see Trump the same way. There are votes in that.

But Labour has plenty of ammunition too.

They will fight the election across a wide front, with plenty of weaknesses in the Tories’ position to be probed. They can present the mess of Brexit as a creation of the government rather than parliament and, by implication, the opposition parties.

In offering a further referendum, a notion that only now begins to look like a smart move, they can slough off the broad unpopularity of politicians and claim the democratic high ground again (c.f. the Lib Dems).

Corbyn still has a strong personal following that sees him as an honest straight-talker who can’t be spun by advisors. And remember that Corbyn has fought a slew of elections at every political level since he was first nominated as Labour leader, and in every one he has done better than the polls and the pundits predicted. He wows a crowd.

Labour will rise in the polls as they enjoy a balanced share of the media coverage, at least on television and radio. The lies that the Tory press tell will be tolerated by fewer readers as social media gains more and more influence.

I make no prediction about the election result, save that the opinion polls and the pundits will be at best misleading. We will be told a mass of lies.

We’re always told that an election is the most important of our lifetimes, but this one will certainly be the dirtiest these islands have ever seen. It won’t be pleasant. But it will certainly be interesting.

W Stephen Gilbert has been a writer, journalist and sometime television producer since 1971, when his first play appeared in the first season of Play for Today on BBC1. His books include first biographies of Dennis Potter and Jeremy Corbyn. He mostly passes his twilight years indexing other writers’ books.

Filed under: Brexit, latest, UK, UK domestic politics

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W Stephen Gilbert has been a writer, journalist and sometime television producer since 1971, when his first play appeared in the first season of Play for Today on BBC1. His books include first biographies of Dennis Potter and Jeremy Corbyn. He mostly passes his twilight years indexing other writers’ books.

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vexarb
vexarb

General Confederation of Portuguese Workers in solidarity with the Syrian people and workers
Portuguese original text and English translation

http://www.cgtp.pt/cgtp-in/areas-de-accao/internacional/solidariedade-e-paz/10483-cgtp-in-solidaria-com-o-povo-e-os-trabalhadores-da-siria

[Any Links to UK Labour expressions of solidarity with the Syrian people and workers? I’m willing to translate them (machine translation) into Portuguese]

vexarb
vexarb

Dave McKee via Eva Bartlett — media attack Canadian Labour leader for standing in solidarity with Syrian people by attending the Third International Trade Union Forum in Solidarity with Syrian Workers in socialist Damascus on September 8-9:

https://www.patreon.com/posts/canadian-media-30174826?utm_medium=post_notification_email&utm_source=post_link&utm_campaign=patron_engagement

[LaFleur did not attend as official Canadian Trade Union delegate, he paid his own way.Did any British Trade Unionists attend this Trade Union Forum to show solidarity with Socialist Syria?]

jo.dominich
jo.dominich

What everyone is forgetting here is that Corbyn has been the victim of a sustained, vicious, malicious, personal campaign and vendetta by the MSM. The worst in our Parliamentary history I believe. The lies, misinformation, mockery and abuse hurled at him by the MSM is a disgrace. He is the Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition and deserves more respect. I thought Milliband was the victim of grossly unfair journalism based on nothing really, but Corbyn has really been hounded, harassed and bullied by the MSM.

I have watched the Labour Party conference this week – it is nothing like as reported by the MSM. No Civil War, disagreement yes. People like Margaret Hodge MP who vowed to continue her campaign against Corbyn until he was removed as leader says it all for those MPs who are stupid enough not to see integrity and decency when the are confronted with it. Instead, there are great Policy initiatives, a lot of Unity, great speeches from Trade Union Leaders and a focussed, necessary view on the state of this Nation and how to repair the damage three successive Tory Governments have inflicted on the country’s economy, international standing, shambles of Brexit negotiations, 150,000 deaths caused by Universal Credit etc etc.

However, all the MSM have made claims that have not been proven to be true. The BBC’s coverage and The Guardian’s coverage is scandalous to say the least. Kuessnberg appears to be BoJo’s most sycophantic, fanatic fan defending him when his actions and words are indefensible. The Tories have been the Architect of the biggest constitutional crisis this country has ever known. Yet the MSM support them to the hilt, failing to report corruption, greed and racism. BoJo has segued into the role of a Dictator supported by the official Tory Propaganda machine that is the MSM. God help this country if the Tory’s win the next election.

I hope and pray every day for a Corbyn led Labour Government. The only conclusion I can come to is that, the Polls are not being reported accurately as, if the MSM has to conduct this malicious, personal, vindictive campaign against Corbyn founded on nothing, then they must believe he is someone to be feared, greatly feared. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be so obsessed by it.

Trying to get Labour Policy out there is almost impossible in a climate where the MSM are no more than peddlers of Government propaganda. I do, however, believe in miracles.

jo.dominich
jo.dominich

I sincerely hope and pray every day for a Corbyn-Led Labour Government. However, what is being missed is that he has been the victim of the most vicious, malicious, sustained personal campaign of hate and disinformation by the Tabloid MSM. The worst in our Parliamentary history I believe. Just look at the MSM and the BBC how they grossly distort, lie and doctor Labour MP interviews, what Corbyn says. I have been watching the Labour Party Conference this week and I don’t see the ‘civil war’ or division in the Party in the way the MSM are reporting it.

What I do see is great policy initiatives, great commitment by all the speakers to a more equal, prosperous UK, to a sensible Brexit deal and so on and so forth. Of course, it is understood that the MSM will not, under any circumstances, publish any of the Labour Party Manifesto because it is very favourable to public opinion for Labour. Corbyn has to stay calm because anything he does will be grossly distorted, turned into misinformation and probably fake news. The Party has to deal with Tom Watson of that I am clear. Also Margaret Hodge who, true to her paymasters, the Israeli Embassy, said she will not stop her campaign against him until he is removed as Leader of the Party. Best to keep a cool head, watch and listen and stay focussed on Policy and the GE.

Laura Kuessnberg’s coverage of the Conference is appalling. She is clearly just a sycophantic, fanatical fan of BoJo defending him when his conduct and his lies are indefensible. I have just made a very serious complaint to OffCom about the BBC’s propaganda (it cannot be called impartial journalism under any circumstances).

I am not sure how Labour is going to get any message across with the massed ranks of the media being the official propaganda machine for the Tory Party.

However, there were some great speeches at Conference this week from Trade Union Leaders, I mean great speeches. The next GE must not be about Brexit but about infrastructure, social investment, creation of jobs and a sensible deal with the EU.

The Labour Party vote is holding up quite well actually in these severely censored times. Miracles do happen and I believe, may very well show itself.

crank
crank

To any of the Corbyn supporters on here:

What do you think about today’s episode at the Lab conference with the poster outside the meeting being taken down and Corbyn’s tweet that it was removed at their own request to the police and declaring it ‘antisemitic’ ?

‘..Labour is a party for zionists and anti-zionists…‘ – Corbyn

Francis Lee
Francis Lee

‘..Labour is a party for zionists and anti-zionists…‘ – Corbyn. Jesus f****** wept! What an utterly ridiculous statement.

A bit like being in favour of Ebola and strong anti-biotics. I am not against broad churches but there is a limit. He doesn’t want to upset anyone does he? What a strange conception of politics. Even the thuggish Tom Watson can grasp the genuine nature of politics, but Corbyn just seems to want to be Mr Nice Guy.

crank
crank

I no longer take this line.
If he (or whoever he lets run his twitter feed) can condemn that cartoon as ‘disgusting’ and ‘antisemitic’ and proudly say that he has asked the police (!) to take it down, he is no Mr.Nice Guy. He is an authoritarian silencer of free political speech acting to enforce the ideology of fascists.

jammy codger
jammy codger

” Labour is a political home for Zionists and anti-Zionists.
Neither Zionism nor anti-Zionism is in itself racism.”

Taken from http://labour.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/No-Place-for-Antisemitism.pdf

Sounds bonkers initially but taken in context it does make sense

crank
crank

In waht context is zionism not a racist ideology ?

vexarb
vexarb

@crank: “In what context is zionism not a racist ideology ?”

In this context:

“I shall not rest from mental strife / Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand /
Till I have built Jerusalem / In England’s green and pleasant Land.” — Wm.Blake

or this:

“I’m talking about Jerusalem”. — Arnold Wesker’s English socialist childhood

crank
crank

Perhaps in those contexts ‘Jerusalem’ is not referring a city of racists, but did Blake or Wesker campaign for an ethnostate in Palestine ?
I’m lost on this.
As the Bund closes its last chapter in Israel and more and more people get to read the history which runs coounter to the narrative that ‘zionism is not Judaism’, I wonder how long it will take for the Left to realise just what is going on in these times.
“….but, but conference just voted for the right of return..” .
Yeah, right.

vexarb
vexarb

@crank: “did Blake or Wesker campaign for an ethnostate in Palestine?”

Neither did many Jews; neither among the Diaspora nor in Israel. In fact, the most surprising result in the Israeli election was the rise in votes for “Arab” parties ie, parties which contained both Muslim, Christian, Jewish and Atheist supporters eg Hadash (New). And of course the (partial?) ousting of Zionazi Yahoo as Leader.

As far as I can make out, after seeing the British Empire, the French Empire, Nazi Germany, Apart-Hate South Africa and Apart-Hate Israel, they all seem to show pretty much the same distribution of good and bad sheeple behaviour. Which is why I lay so much emphasis on The Good Shepherd.

“The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed”. — Dante, Paradiso

TFS
TFS

I’m a Brexiteer.

I don’t like JCs stance on a further vote which includes the Remain option (Remainers lost).

BUT

I’ll happily forgoe leaving just to see JC in power. End of prescriptions, re-nationalisation of gas etc, free education, Ban on Arms sales to Saudi, Recognition of state of Palestine, Banning of all goods from the occupied territories……the list goes on.

jenny 234
jenny 234

Corbyn and labour are betraying their working class roots. labour has done nothing for the poor, the disabled and the excluded for over 10 years – it is an arm of the London establishment. It will hopefully be wiped out at the next election for undermining the vote by the electorate to leave the eu

different frank
different frank

I wonder how many Labour members, after reading this report, will still think Watson belongs in the Labour Party?
• Frequently abstains on funding & support for public services and social care
• Frequently abstains on proposals to combat violence against women
• Appears not to support Women’s equality issues
• Abstained on proposals to write off child support arrears
• Abstained from supporting measures to address the concerns of WASPI women
• Repeatedly demonstrates a lack of support for Trade Unions
• Supports foreign wars
• Does not supporting investigations into illegal wars
• Does not support favouring jobs for public sector operators
• Does not support refugee family reunion and abstained to support refugee children being brought over on the Dubs scheme
• Abstained on most matters concerning Tax Avoidance & proposals to investigate banking industries
• Generally abstains on proposals to increase taxes on banks
• Abstained from supporting an increase in central government finance for councils.
• Abstained on a proposal to increase taxation of Private Finance Initiative Companies deemed to be making Excess Profits
• Tends to abstain on most measures to address inequalities experience by people with different levels of income or who belong to a minority grouping.
• Abstains on proposals to investigate Real Estate Investment Trusts
• Frequently abstains on any proposals to increase tax on high income earners.
• Abstains on bills that’s aim to address serious issues concerning mental health patients
• Abstained on a vote to reverse reductions to the work allowance element of universal credit and employment & support allowance
• Abstained on a motion calling on the Government to reverse its decision to cut tax credits
• Abstained on a proposal to increase certain benefits, payments and tax credits so that they would be in line with inflation.
• Demonstrates a lack of interest in attempts to reform the Health and Social Care act or in attempts to reveal the effect of outsourcing and privatisation in the NHS.
• Abstains on proposals to produce reports on the sufficiency of social care funding or even to call on MPs to reflect official treasury spending statistics when making public statements on health spending.
• Didn’t support allowing Clinical Commissioning Groups having an input in arrangements offered by health service providers.
• Abstained on a vote to drop the 2012 Health and Social Care Bill
• Abstains on a significant number of Brexit motions including a number that outline post Brexit arrangements with (and regulation of) financial services organisations, employment rights, investment fund regulation and UK Immigration Controls for EU Citizens for example.
• Watson did not vote to remain in the EU during the parliamentary vote in June 2016
• Watson abstained from supporting restrictions on the Ivory trade.
• He consistently avoids voting on any proposal to bring in taxation and other remedial measures that would benefit British businesses
• He consistently avoids voting on any proposals to tackle dodgy Landlords and abstains from voting on any measures that could address homelessness and rough sleeping.
• He recently abstained from supporting a bill that required UK secondary legislation to extend same-sex marriage to Northern Ireland.
• Watson also abstained on a vote to ban MPs Holding Paid Directorships and Consultancies.

Full report below…

https://www.dropbox.com/…/Watson%20v%20Corbyn%20differences…

Antonym
Antonym

Simply vote for the Brexit party: only there you know clearly before hand what they will deliver: Brexit.
No “war on CO2” thrown in for good measure: Jeremy Corbyn doesn’t even listen to his own brother’s good advise on that. This CO2 crap will wrack any (Western!) economy much more than any EU (Bre)xit for~ 0.0002% “gain”. The economic losers will be the bottom 97%.

PS:
Farage is as much a character as a Johnson, Corbyn, Blair or a May so fair play please.

different frank
different frank
William
William

Farage will sell off the NHS at the drop of a hat..he’s even on video admitting as much..he’s a charlatan and a racist. I won’t be voting for him or his bigoted party.

vexarb
vexarb

“Corbyn resisted the rising clamour from remainers for a further vote, a so-called “people’s vote”, presumably based on the proposal that only donkeys voted to leave in 2016. ”

Thanks for this reminder of Corbyn’s essential decency — a rare trait among Western politicians. I am an R&R (Remain & Reform from within) and I believe Corbyn is too; but like OffG (which I suspect Corbyn wots not what of) Corbyn respects a democratic vote: he plays the game.

“Play up! Play up! and Play the Game!” — Sir Henry Newbolt

[There, in the panic of battle the boy is stirred to heroic action by schooldays memories:
“his Captain’s hand on his shoulder smote – / Play up! Play up! And play the game!””]

Francis Lee
Francis Lee

”Corbyn respects a democratic vote.” Really? Then why didn’t he support the verdict of the majority who voted Leave in 2016.

vexarb
vexarb

Francis, because he was not PM so could not implement Brexit?

Also, in my view as an R&R (Remain&Reform) because Brexit is a 2% red herring which is diverting the British pack from following their proper track of improving Britain’s industrial productivity and social welfare, and expunging Britain’s reputation for industrial scale money laundering, perfidy and terrorism.

Rhys Jaggar
Rhys Jaggar

This will be the first election where I will go into purdah. I will not watch a single minute of TV news, carefully avoid all MSM websites and will at a maximum read official manifestos, if parties even deign to produce them. Boris has form on that score….in principle I refuse to vote for anyone who says ‘Trust me: err….that’s it’.

I gave up trusting British people in 1983 and although individuals occasionally prove themselves trustworthy, my default position is you are a liar, a swindler, a chancer and an unpleasant shit to boot. At least that way, I am rarely disappointed and can occasionally be pleasantly surprised.

Until the majority of voting Brits are as skeptical as I am, politicians will keep lying for votes and winning.

Trying saying this to a spinning poltician: ‘if you knew your children would be sold to West African slaveowners if you lied during an election campaign, would you wish to change your last statement?’

Very direct, very confrontational, very much badging politicians as habitual liars.

Very much in order for this to be the mode of engagement by Joe Public during an election…

No omelettes without breaking eggs and all that…..

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE

Everyone in the United Kingdom needs to repudiate Brussels & the European Union by voting for hard BREXIT instead of splitting the votes and ending up mired in yet more of Brussels’ economic capture that renders everyone slaves lacking autonomy.

BoJo is resolute which is the appropriate stance to take on exiting the superstructure of the EU.

P.S. Don’t forget that Goldman Sachs built the finance superstructure so that they could control everyone in the union of greater fools. Goldman Sachs first made you their slaves by building your lives into their own financial prison complex called the EU.

And you want to stay in the EU because you are fearful of what lies outside of the EU.

It’s no wonder that the people of the UK can’t make a decision.

Lemmings all!

MOU

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE

Note: Downvoters have Stockholm Syndrome.

MOU

Mike Ellwood
Mike Ellwood

Labour is the only party which has not said ‘up yours’ to either the 48% or the 52%.

Yes it has. Leading members, including shadow cabinet members, have said it should be a party of Remain, and to offer a 2nd referendum based on “Remain” and “Deal” is in fact a kick in the teeth to the 52%.

The only valid 2nd referendum would be between “No Deal” and “Deal” – We’ve already voted to Leave, so now it’s just a question of how we should leave.

mark
mark

This is far too generous to Labour. Their Brexit policy has been a series of incomprehensible contortions and double dealings, trying to sit on the fence to avoid alienating the millions of Labour Leavers and pretending to respect the referendum result whilst trying to sabotage and delegitimise it almost as much as the Liberals, SNP and the Tory Brussels groupies.

Jezza has been backed into a corner and had to adopt a hard line Remain position, with much waffle about a renegotiation to provide a fig leaf of integrity. Labour is now as profoundly anti democratic as the Liberals. Anyone who convinces themselves otherwise is just deceiving themselves and engaging in wishful thinking.

Vote Jezza and you get Watson, Benn, Bradshaw, Bryant, Phillips, Ellman, and all the rest of the old Blairite scum. That’s the hard reality. Sad, but you have to be realistic. A vote for Labour is a wasted vote. You might as well bring back Blair.

different frank
different frank

Ah, The mythical fence.

Steve Hayes

Your presentation of the Labour Party’s position on the European Union is far too generous. The party’s position has constantly shifted, but it has never, not withstanding the commitments to honour the result of the referendum, been to leave the European Union. The closest it has come is to leave in name, whilst remaining in practice. Its current position, as clearly articulated by such notables as Emily Thornberry, is to renegotiate the withdrawal agreement (for a leave in name only deal), put it to the country in a referendum with remain as the alternative (an issue that was determined in the 2016 referendum) and campaign against their own deal. This is nothing more other than an all out repudiation of democracy. The Labour Party’s current position is we can remain or remain.

Basher
Basher

The referendum result will be honoured by Corbyn. Where did it specify on the ballot paper the type of ‘leave’? No to neoliberal Brexit with US, which is the ONLY Tory response to Brexit. Yes to neoliberal-lite EEA deal, which then can be lightened over a period of time, until the people ‘take back control’, not elitist establishment goons. But this can only happen under a socialist govt. As for the Blairites, let us members deal with them, but that too will take some time.

mark
mark

As far as people like you are concerned, no Brexit is acceptable unless it simultaneously solves the problems of world hunger and global warming, and brings about universal peace and brotherhood.

Basher
Basher

And there it is. ‘People like me’. You don’t know me, my family, our lives, what I do for a living, etc, etc, etc. But ‘People like me’…..blah, blah, blah. This guy has a lot to say on here, but very little is evidenced. Most is just endless spewing of ‘ I thought it, therefore it must be true’. Just like ‘people like you’.

Cesca
Cesca

I seriously love this man, JC is an apt nick for him, his level of empathy, intellectual nuance and sense of what’s right are rare qualities in one person.

My only slight quibble is thinking he should have done more to defend Labour and himself against the fake antisemitism smears, in literally everything else he’s played the spot on card, inclu Brexit. I’m sure he’d like changes he’d make to be pretty strong Socialism, knows you can’t frighten the horses tho so is happy to set up a strong framework which can be built on easily.

wardropper
wardropper

The antisemitism smears are an example of bullying, and with bullying you only have two choices:
You stand up and smack the bully hard in the face (much to his surprise), or you ignore him (as long as possible).
The thing with the first option here is that the bully has a history which is so old that a large crowd, backed by the entire might of that history, would show up on your doorstep and engulf your home and your family.
The second option is far better, since it simply allows the facts to speak for themselves – and they do.

Cesca
Cesca

Seriously think you’re lovely Missus or Mister Wardropper, that’s a very wise reply from you too, totally agree. JC is right to pick an election timeslot of his choosing, I’ll be gobsmacked if he doesn’t win, albeit he’ll need to do some horse trading to hold power.

He;s also well respected in the EU and likely to get us a decent exit deal.

wardropper
wardropper

Thank you Cesca.
Since wanting to “drop war” transcends all gender boundaries, I think I’ll leave you in the dark about “wardropper”, although I probably give away the secret in other posts here…
The media are certainly gobsmacking us relentlessly with evidence of the new lows to which they are prepared to sink, but at least I think most of us are used to it by now.
I hope Corbyn has a strong and loyal team of colleagues and advisors around him, because possessing common decency today does tend to isolate people, don’t you think?

Cesca
Cesca

“I hope Corbyn has a strong and loyal team of colleagues and advisors around him, because possessing common decency today does tend to isolate people, don’t you think?”

Totally agree again Wardropper, the conference articles in the Independent prove your truism. PPL are losing the essential faculty of critical thinking, even MP’s who should know better are demanding JC takes a Remain stance now, which would prob be disastrous come the G.E.

He wants to stay neutral offering us a decent Brexit deal or Remaining in a ref. That’s perfect, what the hell do these idiots want? Blood? Like him i’m a lukewarm Remain in some capacity, the EU is now Globalist/Deep State for sure. Think a soft leave would be right for me, so we can take advantage of the options countries like China and Russia are offering more easily in the future. Willingly putting ourselves in the clutches of the fastdelining, tyrannical US, would be a disaster.

wardropper
wardropper

Most politicians are no longer guided by their own convictions, and so they are controlled by others.
I’m more in favour of a clean break with the EU, since its corrupt initiatives come from Washington, and I really think it’s time for something new and different.
I’ve given this a lot of thought since 2016, and we can’t go on forever giving what I call Washminster a new coat of paint and pretending that the rust underneath is eventually going to cause a total structural collapse.
We’ll eventually get something new whether deliberately or not, but I’d rather go for the deliberately option, since it will have more of our input.

wardropper
wardropper

Typo: NOT going to cause a total structural collapse, of course…

Harry Stotle
Harry Stotle

I hope Corbyn wins because he is the least worst choice, but even if he does it will do little to alter the inexorable drift of power away from politicians towards banks and corporations – a process that is now so deeply embedded it is probably reaching some sort of endgame.

The EU as we know is simply a form of institutionalised neoliberalism so that any crises in Europe such as the fate of southern European states, especially Greece are only ever framed as externalities of a financial system that puts the interests of those who control wealth ahead of those suffering because of poverty.

The rise of the right in Britain, Germany and elsewhere is due in part to the consequences of long term wage freezers and general disaffection amongst communities on the bottom third of the income distribution curve as they are hit by dwindling welfare and failing public services – in some respects northern states are simply catching up with what was already happening elsewhere in the EU.

For such reasons Corbyn has almost no chance of reversing such sinister forces primarily because the public do not understand what austerity actually means (a project of huge wealth extraction) but also because a fair percentage of his own party are complicit, aligning themselves with right wing authority figures in country’s like Israel and the US, as well as the banking and corporate sector in Europe.

And lets not forget Britain is also a country with a long running record of facilitating horrific war crimes and millions of deaths.
We get away with it because apologists for such policies speak in a posh voice while the MSM pretend our country acts with honorable intentions, parroting ludicrous myths about humanitarian aid in order to rationalise the true nature of violence being inflicted, and, of course the huge profit associated with international conflict through things like arms sale and territorial advantage.

What Britain is experiencing today is has been many years in the making; a process made easier so long as enough people turned a blind eye while those being damaged were sufficiently distant (be it southern Europe or the Middle East), and while they deferred to political representatives who argued that selling off national assets was in the public interest.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QM9EYrE3wqA

BigB
BigB

Harry:

You said it yourself: JC is the least worse choice who stands no chance of real progressive change. A vote is a vote for the banks and corporations. So why vote at all? The game is to seek mock-democratic legitimation and pseudo-mandates: then they do what the City tell them to do via the FCO and Civil Service. And if Sedwill keeps his job: that’s one man (not including his role as National Security Advisor).

And if Sedwill goes – from one or all of his positions – that does not necessarily mean that the Prime Ministers Office has re-asserted itself. Just the opposite: McDonnell has had a long campaign of grovelling and brown-nosing the City – under the ‘pro-business’ mantra. Anyone who has scratched the economic surface knows ‘pro-business’ is ‘pro-City’ is ‘pro-neoliberal’. The City’s business is collecting tributary rent from the rest of the globe (the so-called ‘Spider’s Web’): keeping the global South in needless poverty and ensuring the periphery remains perpetually in dependency. Only die-hard bourgeois socialists pretend otherwise. For their own intentional self-optimisation.

There are other serious problems with the EU; the pro-EU democratic coup that is ceding our military to non-command EU vassalship; as well as the green neoliberal GND pseudo-agenda to extend corporate control over all of nature. All of this requires resistance, not endorsement, IMHO. You allude to it yourself: but they are going to carry out their agenda: with or without your vote.

Your ‘hold-your-nose’ and vote for the least worst (like Donald Trump?) gives validity to an illegitimated government. It puts the democratic veneer on a political system that is deeply mired in an an existential legitimation crisis. All options suck, as you say.

I do not know how, necessarily: but the trick must be to find a legitimated and democratic humanism. Not a vote for war, corporatocratic inverted totalitarianism (we are not quite there yet; but we will be after a few more election cycles. Then they will finally remove the vote and instantiate the tyranny we voted for).

Whilst there are only a few outliers: the position may seem hopeless. But it is even more hopeless with the vote than without it. I do not and would not choose to be apolitical: but the political plane is a democratic line of flight to destruction. And the way capitalism is set to extract every last ion of decency from humanity and the planet – with or without the depoliticised vote …what choice is there?

At least my conscience is clear. I have lost my appetite for destruction. With trans-national suprastate; trans-national financial state (inc Wall St and City: plus WTO/IMF/WB/BIS etc); trans-national corporate state; NATO/EU suzerainty and super-sovereignty (including potential control of our Foreign and Defence policy; and non-command integration of out military (including our nuclear deterrent)); administrative coup and FCO/Civil Service/Privy Council sovereignty all before you even get to the PM’s office (is he really in the deliciously skillful control – with “heart-stopping delicacy” – Stephen alludes to?) …to be fair: what’s the fucking point really?

The brute fact is that UK politics is permanently broken. Unless the electorate witness that and are prepared to do something about …the architecture of invert totalitarianism is already in place. Voting is just seen as a sign of weakness and becomes a totalitarian mandate to enact more corporatism. Which is what they will do anyway: until we wise up.

Harry Stotle
Harry Stotle

“the architecture of invert totalitarianism is already in place. Voting is just seen as a sign of weakness and becomes a totalitarian mandate to enact more corporatism. Which is what they will do anyway: until we wise up.” – the million dollar question being how to combat the form of corporate fascism that permeates just about every political institution west of Kiev: a development the MSM pretends has not taken place.

Is it too much say the authentic left is dead, if we take that to mean a credible electoral threat to yer Swinson’s, yer Johnson’s, Farage or the Blair rump?

Corbyn has ploughed a lonely furrow not least because the Labour party has barely distinguished itself as any different for moderate elements within the tory party.
Needless to say there has been an abject response to those who have attacked Corbyn’s natural allies making false claims against Chris Williamson, Ken Livingstone, Jackie Walker, Marc Wadsworth, and Asa Winstanley (loyal lefties censured or expelled by the party).
And as far as I know Diane Abbott is the only MP to raise concerns about the torture of Julian Assange – presumably Corby has not taken on this fight for fear of being called a ‘rape apologist’ by shrill voices at the Guardian?

Having backed a succession of right wing governments, including Blair’s NuLabour, the British public can hardly complain about what is now being done to them – not that this stops gullible individuals from believing ‘men of the people’ like Johnson or Farage will finally speak on their behalf.

The rot is too deep to envisage any significant change to this overall dynamic and even though much of Britain is gripped by poverty those who are suffer the most still don’t seem to understand who their real enemies are.

BigB
BigB

Harry

You missed my comment way back when. Abbot and Corbyn initially spoke out for Julian: then recanted the next day. Not only that: they endorsed the shameful missive abandoning him to his fate in Sweden (who were not actually calling for his extradition). Effectively, they countersigned the missive of Pilateaen shame – and Thornberry joined them making the signature count 73.

To add injury to shame: JC effectively deplatformed Julian on Press Freedom Day. No mention. And who should have been at the top of everyone’s list for that day?

My Dad’s 90. He turned to me the other day and said: “This capitalism will kill us all”. He gets it. A bit late, but he gets it.

Harry Stotle
Harry Stotle

Indeed BB – the way JA has been mistreated is a prism through which Labour is judged and found wanting – as I say all along I see Corbyn as the lesser evil (although not by much).

Harold Wilson and Dennis Healey were complicit with over one million deaths and atrocities in Indonesia, then later supporting the Nigerian generals who inflicted untold terror in Biafra.
Yet Blair outdid them both, so the emergence of Julian and Wiki was a huge thorn in his side while highlighting the symbiotic relationship between the corporate media and our war loving politicians.

For a while I corresponded with my MP but needless to say she soon took refuge in the self-serving narrative about seeking justice (lol) – anyway here is an extract.
Dear Catherine, thank you for your reply.

I’m afraid the outrage expressed by 70 MPs comes across as highly selective and self-serving.

For example Creasy makes no mention of the fact charges against Assange had actually been dropped 2 years earlier (after he was interviewed by the Swedish authorities in the Ecuadorian embassy) yet for reasons never made clear Britain continued to exert legal pressure on Sweden to pursue a prosecution against him at all costs. Why wasn’t she honest about this?
And despite other sex offences that must have been committed across Europe (during the last decade) I cannot recall a single occasion when a group of MPs took such close interest in disputed allegations raising questions about motive given the exceptional nature of their subsequent actions.

I, nor indeed should any other fair minded person should support a political movement that acts in certain ways because at heart it is still in deep denial about the egregious behaviour of its leader during the war in Iraq and elsewhere.
This is why Assange is so feared by politicians and probably why the corporate media have been complicit in denigrating his reputation because Wiki revealed certain truths that did not reflect favourably on the way western governments acted.

Needless to say no group of MPs wrote angry letters after the UN found Assange was arbitrarily detained by the UK and Sweden.
No MPs wrote after he was dragged out of the embassy thus undermining a vital diplomatic principle (political asylum) even though they must have known Moreno had been paid off by the USA.
No MPs wrote after Assange’s personal effects were handed over by Ecuador to the USA in order for the US to concoct charges that will almost certainly lead to terrifying punishment in the American penal system (in prisons that may be even more backward than ours).
And of course no MPs wrote after US political figures issued death threats against Assange, perhaps because it is hard for them to keep up with the level of violence perpetrated by the USA so instead prefer to turn a blind eye or even pretend such things aren’t really happening.

I also find it impossible to square your claim that ‘whistle blowers deserve protection’ unless you regard ‘protection’ as a high security prison for the longest possible term while being held in solitary confinement 23 hours per day for non-violent technical offences.

Maybe you will raise with these points with your colleague and maybe you won’t but it seems clear that justice is simply not possible in a country like ours when those who can influence the legal process always have the upper hand when it comes to asymmetrical power knowing it is unlikely that they will be asked to account for themselves in the way Julian Assange and other whistleblowers have.

Kind regards, Stotle

BigB
BigB

Downvoters: check out the illegitimate statute’s of Blair. We have our own mini-Patriot Act state thanks to him …just the Lord Chief Justice’s signature away. And the administrative coup that put people like Sedwill with all the levers of power in one hand: that was Blair’s doing to. Labour support brought us to this sad and sorry state of affairs. That, and five wars in six years …partly under ‘Robin Cook diplomacy’ to which we are set to return.

Corbyn just saved Watson. He likes working with him. So much for purging the party of neolib/neocon Blairites. More like ceding control to them. You are not only lying to yourselves – the country is the worse for your bad-faith delusions.

[Form an orderly cue: only one downvote per person.]

crank
crank

upvoted

Francis Lee
Francis Lee

With due reference to the Beatles. All we are asking, is give social-democracy a (second, third, fourth …) chance. Yeah right! I think it has had sufficient chances by now, but the loyalists can’t bring themselves to admit that their political love-object, social-democracy, which had its golden days in the Trente Glorieuses 1945-1975, is now in the dustbin of history: finished, over, kaput. Take the trouble to open your eyes. Hollande and the Parti Socialiste, Tsipras, and Syriza, the SPD, PASOK the US Democrats, on and on. Please explain the difference between the above political organisations and the Labour party.

The fact of the matter is that the centre-left in Europe has defected en masse to a soft neo-liberalism – neo-liberalism with a human face (the oxymoron to cap all oxymorons). What is left of social-democratic parties capitulated to neo-liberal forces, or, in some cases – Germany – have allied themselves with directly with the bankers and investors running the Eurozone-wide pan European institutions like the European Commission and ECB. More specifically the Labour party is a political party that is a loyal member of NATO, allows a Zionist front organisation – Labour Friends of Israel – to endorse the IHRA which means that Israel is always right and the IDF is given a pass to massacre Palestinians, and ,suffice it to say, the LP is also riddled with every type of opportunist and careerist chancers, particularly in the PLP. Why this organisation is accorded any political credence beyond its supporters can only be explained in terms of a religious cultism.

Now for it: ”But what is your alternative” is the usual retort. Which roughly means we mustn’t upset the powers that be otherwise we will become ‘unelectable’. Clutching at straws the Labour party doesn’t really have what amounts to viable alternative . Of course this must never be openly admitted, and there are some vague promises that a Labour government might nationalise a few industries, a few crumbs to keep the loyalists happy, but, as for the free movement of labour, capital and commodities – the essence of neoliberalism – they are sacrosanct. The Labour party true to form waters down its programme in order not to frighten business interests – see Phil Mullen in Spiked for a rigorous analysis – thus class collaboration becomes the ‘alternative’.

What political movements of the left which may emerge in the not-to-distant future is difficult to predict, but social-democracy which is like a ball and chain on this development, will be a hindrance, a well-trodden path which leads nowhere.

John Thatcher
John Thatcher

Well,what is the alternative? You asked yourself the question then unsurprisingly provided no answer other than a suggestion to read Spiked magazine,a magazine funded by those well known revolutionaries the Koch brothers. If you and others commenting here are arguing that there is no way to change society through the ballot box,an argument that has history behind it,then say so.We can then consider the implications of such a position.But the juvenile jeering at attempts to bring change via the vote,which is certainly preferable to the alternative,is in no sense an argument.

Francis Lee
Francis Lee

I didn’t say read the WHOLE magazine did I. I recommended a very good article by a very good economist. Try it, you might find it enlightening. Spending some time reading enemy publications – The Financial Times or the Economist – should be pretty much mandatory for socialists and radicals I would have thought.

But to the point: the argument between reform and revolution has a long history, going back to the debates between Rosa Luxemburg and Eduard Bernstein in Germany, and in the UK between the Fabian Society led by the Webbs and G.B.Shaw and the Social Democratic Foundation led by the firebrand Henry Mayers Hyndman. Of course both reform and revolution as strategies have failed. The question now is to find an alternative; or is the bi-polar fixation going to thwart any attempt to reconstruct society into a system which at least works. This task has hardly begun but clinging to out-of-date, tried tested and failed, notions and hoping for the best is not going to be fruitful. And besides as I have already noted the European centre-left has deserted to a soft neo-liberalism, merging with the centre-right into a technocratic apolitical blob. What was it Einstein said. “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

History has taught us that political parties keep on doing the same things. With the Tories this is not a problem. The Tories are an openly elitist party whose historical mission been to make rich people even richer, and damn the poor. Given this historical mission they have a remarkably good record, from their point of view of course. Social-democrats, however, make the claim, namely, they are not an elitist party, and they work for the benefit of society as a whole – yes, but talk is cheap and both of which are not true. Moreover, we can say with some certainty, that these claims will continue to be not true. The only time this has not been true is that of the 1945-51 Attlee government. But in retrospect that episode was very much an aberration – a product of the golden age of social-democracy, now a distant memory.

John Thatcher
John Thatcher

You still haven’t answered your own question.Sigh!

Mike Ellwood
Mike Ellwood

Professor Bill Mitchell has a lot of good analyses of what went wrong with Social Democratic parties of all nations. These are some of his articles:

http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?s=social+democrat

For those who wonder where he “comes from” (apart from Australia), he gives his “political compass” points here:

http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?page_id=2

(He’s “left liberatrian”).

Mike Ellwood
Mike Ellwood

oops, sorry “left-libertarian”.

Mike Ellwood
Mike Ellwood

BTW, there is a chance to hear Bill Mitchell speak and ask questions on Monday 23rd Sept, at a Labour Conference Fringe event, free and open to non-Labour members:

https://gimms.org.uk/event/gimms-labour-fringe-event/

Details
Date:
September 23
Time:
2:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Cost:
Free
Website:
https://gimmslabourfringe.eventbrite.co.uk

bevin
bevin

I think that you idealise the Attlee government, which not only began the Cold War but sacrificed the working class on the altar of usury. Apart from that, its colonial wars and its betrayal of Palestine… The one thing that shone through was the determination of the people to change the society which was based on the New Poor Law. In my old Constituency, a Labour marginal seat in the North, the MP, a right winger was subjected to regular monthly reports before meetings, of hundreds, in the Coop Hall.
It was the dedication and political consciousness of the Party membership and the Unions that ensured that the NHS and the “welfare” state were not-as most right wingers wanted- ‘postponed’ until Lend Lease had been paid off or the colonials (eg the Malays) screwed harder for those crucial dollars.
The point is that mass membership and political education (in the forces, via the Left Book Club, through the Adult Extension services etc) made the difference.

bevin
bevin

The real issues are all related to austerity: the dismemberment of the NHS, the return to the worst sort of Victorian Poor Law persecutions of the vulnerable, the ineffectiveness of the Unions, crippled by legislation designed to weaken them, the massive increases in housing costs and the erosion of pensions, the steady declkine in life expectancy.
All these things are related to Brexit but only in the sense that their solution demands strong government action and financing of the sort that Brussels will not condone. Nor will Washington.
There are few times in our lifetime that there is a real chance to take history by the scruff of its neck and set the country on a new course. This is one of them. People need to stop listening to the media, stop reading the Guardian and look at the homeless, the food banks, the precariat, the queues outside surgeries, the reversion of education to minimal standards, the rebirth of privilege in every sector.
The overthrow of Thatcherism is long overdue, now that it a real possibility, it is everyone’s duty to rally to the Good Old Cause.
Miss this chance and there may not be another for a long time.

crank
crank

Corbyn took the stand yesterday to the cheering crowds of climate strikers and promised that Labour offered a ‘new industrial revolution’ which would provide jobs and prosperity as well as addressing the environmental crises.
Bevin, what do you think of this -which I think is fair to say is the central big vision put forward by the Corbyn Labour movement ? What exactly is the ‘new course’ that you write of?
https://www.weforum.org/agenda/archive/fourth-industrial-revolution

BigB
BigB

Crank:

I’ve tried to engage on these issues for around two years with Bevin. With little success. For pointing out the astroturf genealogy of the GND – philanthrocapitalism; climate strike; WEF; Justice Democrats; Soros; AOC; XR Rebellion; Zack Exley’s trip to London …then the ‘grassroots’ ‘Climate Emergency’ declaration – just as the WEF ordered. I was told that this was ”beneath me”. A few days later and connections to Soros were deemed ”antisemitic” by JC’s direct diktat (as you know). I am absolutely not linking this to Bevin: but Labour supporters in general are intentionally blindsighted to the corporate climate agenda.

The real issue is the environment. No environment – no NHS. No enviroment – no humanity. The appliance of science is pointless. An EROI of 6.2:1 for the UK is a Martian heiroglyph. Why we need 14:1 for a functioning NHS, education, anti-austerity, anti-homelessness policy needs decoding by the Rosetta Stone. And then they would throw away the Stone.

Labour support entails permanent austerity for all humanity. Until the inevitable the inevitable collapse that Labour supporters demand by their willful ignorance. When the UK has nothing left; no NHS; no education; no lights; no energy; permanent foodbanks; permanent austerity, and we are all sleeping on the streets …they will blame the Tories before they accept any self-responsibility. Bevin does not even live in the UK: so he will not have to face the consequences of a corporate-owned Labour government.

I do not have to tell you: the WEF agenda GND is a complex death protocol. Here is a talking point I was going to raise the other night. The GND contains the BECCS protocol. Currently, Drax have one fully-functional plant – the GND wants three. Aside from the £6mn *a day* [absolutely sic!], and the fact they will be the biggest source of CO2 in Europe, the demand for clearfell logging will be tripled. That means the entire Southern forested USA will be clearfelled. Then what: because the rate of regeneration (70-90 years) does not match the rate of consumption (which is why it is carbon positive not ‘net neutral’).

Well, there’s a big forest a few hundred miles South of the denuded S USA. Yes, Labour policy entails deforesting the Amazon – directly or indirectly. Will a Labour supporter admit this? Never. It’s the Tories fault for creating austerity.

Labour supporters pose an existential threat to all life. I say that not lightly. I’ve tried fact and reason to little avail. A vote for Labour is life-blind vote for planetary Thanatocide. Brought to you by the WEF/WTO/IMF/WB/BIS consortium of TNC power that shitfucked the planet in the first place.

Still, it was a good speech …shades of Mosley in the blind fanaticism of his anti-ecological cargo-cult followers. And he has just saved Watson’s reduced fat bacon. I’m actually sick of bourgeois Labour supporters telling me they are going to purge the Party of Blairites. Come the Conference …next year.

BigB
BigB

PS

Nothing to see in the Soros-Avaaz-Justice Democrat-AOC-Exley-Thunberg-Climate Emergency-Labour for the GND connection. Not know AOC pulled out of giving the keynote speech this week.

crank
crank

Was in the Forest of Dean yesterday. Dawn sunlight. Deer. Boar.
Thinking, “enjoy these trees, for when we are cold and in need they will be gone.”
Politics itself is root and branch a dead tree. It’s a painful admission.
We need to form a movement around food banks : distribution networks run be real people, not algorithms, not the techno-death-cult. For we will all be at the food bank soon enough when the credebt banks close their doors to us.

crispy
crispy

comrade Stalin summed it up perfectly

in his communications with the Communist Party of Great Britain, he made it very clear to stay well away from the Labour party, he correctly started they weren’t socialist
but the left wing arm of the Tories

what’s changed?….nowt!

Francis Lee
Francis Lee

”I’ve tried to engage on these issues for around two years with Bevin. With little success.”

Your mistake BigB is that you think you are dealing with rational people, you are not. You are dealing with a type of religious cultism. You are profaning the Labour party love object. This will never be tolerated! Don’t you know that next time the Labour party takes office (I say office rather than power) everything is going to be different. The adherents to this faith view this as being axiomatic. An unquestionable a prori truth.

They remind me of football supporters. As a long suffering supporter of West Ham Utd, I always believe next season we will win the Premiership. Of course we won’t because we are just a mid-table mediocre outfit and will stay that way, or even get relegated. Of course it is completely irrational, but there you are – religious faith is not amenable to logic or empirical evidence. Like the man said, ‘Credo quia absurdum’ ‘It is to be believed because it is absurd.’ Tertullian

BigB
BigB

Maybe a little harsh, Frank? Bevin is a highly intellectual commenter …but I know what you mean. “Shades of Mosley …” as I put it on another forum. Not Corbyn: but the fanaticism of his following (if I hear one more person sing “Oh, Jeremy Corbyn” I might lose my sense of responsibility!)

The Labour mythmaking is underpinned by the fantasy of eternal growth. Which, in itself is a faith-based mythology …beliefs predicated on pure imagination. In the real world: the Fed is resorting to injections of $75bn a day …a day! Into a perpetual motion infinity of expansion?

What pisses me off is that the cargo occultism Corbyn commands has – at least in part – totally blindsided us to preparing for a capitalistic permanent crisis. I left you details on your own article: but there is no return for capitalism. And these twats are in Brighton pretending we will return to growth if only we vote for them. This is more than naive: it amounts to a criminal deception. In terms of finance, food, and energy we are made completely vulnerable by such profoundly naive imagination and hopium. We could have been transitional and prepared for decades but for the “progessive” propaganda of economic and ecologically illiterate and willfully ignorant idiots.

And still they pretend we can grow!

Francis Lee
Francis Lee

Blatcherism, as I prefer to call it – was, as pointed out by Max Weber, the staged transition from the period of charismatic rebellion, to the inevitable phase 2 – a transition to legal-rational new order. From Mrs T as Danton, and Blair as Talleyrand. The ultra-radical enrages had to be tamed (and at times murdered) and order restored, but it was and had to be, a new order. This is an historical leitmotif. From Trotsky to Stalin, Mao to Chou En Lai, Ernst Rohm and the nationalist revolutionaries of SA to Hitler and the SS Praetorian Guard, a clear historical pattern emerges. Stabilisation always follows and must follow the period of upsurge and chaos.

Any notions of a reforming radical Labour party should not be taken seriously; it has become, and perhaps always was a part of the ideological structure, a pillar of British imperialism, NATO and the rest.

This time is not different since Labour is and perhaps always was, a part of the status quo and will remain so. But if this is what you want to hang on to I hope you’re getting ready for disappointment. What needs overthrowing is Blatcherism which is a continuation of Thatcherism by other means.

bevin
bevin

Thank you for your reply, the first sense I ever got from a West Ham supporter. You miss however two opportunities, the first to explain how ‘Blatcherism’ is to be overthrown and the second to tell us why what always has been always must be.
My view is that capitalism is in a crisis and that the crisis is unlike any previous conjunction of events and that, inter alia, such a crisis can break up institutions such as the Labour Party, fracture them and produce something different and appropriate to the needs of the moment.
The whole point of revolution is that it changes everything-the Social Democratic Labour Party becomes the Bolshevik fraction. The SPD gives birth to Spartakus.
Your argument is not against the Labour Party but against the possibility of Labour emerging to fight Capital. For all the radicalism inherent in your identification of Labour’s past failures yours is a profoundly conservative argument in that it denies-as unrealistic and impractical-the possibility of transformative change.

Glasshopper
Glasshopper

The Brexit “Party” isn’t a party. It’s a pressure group with the potential to kick flip-flopping Labour into the dirt.
Turn coat Corbyn’s failure to live up to his values will ensure that he shares the opposition vote with the Lib Dems.
Tony Benn must be spinning in his grave.

crank
crank

Still reeling from GE 2017 myself.
I campaigned for Labour.
‘ISIS’ or MI6 or Mossad or Salman Abedi (or are they all the same frickin thing ?) blew up loads of kids down the road from me, in the middle of the campaign, just as the media conversation was turning to Corbyn’s past interactions with Irish nationalism.
This election, I will be not campaigning and not voting.
If Swinson ends up holding the balance of power then disasterous civil unrest will follow – if we even get that far.

Arnold Didley
Arnold Didley

“If Swinson ends up holding the balance of power then disasterous civil unrest will follow – if we even get that far.”

Yet you’re not prepared to cast your ballot to try and prevent this scenario.

crank
crank

No. I’ll try to prevent it other ways..

Arnold Didley
Arnold Didley

What are these ‘other ways’…?

crank
crank

Talking to people.
Studying suppressed political history and drawing attention to it.
Donating some of my time to community ptojects.

not much maybe, but I have come to the position that participating in the fraudulent ‘democratic process’ lends unwarranted legitimisation to currupt power.
Nobody in this election represents my views.

crank
crank

Note Labour’s response to the Manchester bombing was to promise more money and consequently more power to the security services (incl MI5).
When I tried to discuss it with fellow party members and campaigners, nobody wanted to entertain the notion that the government account of what had just taken place might be incomplete or false.
When it comes to fundamentals I don’t see Labour as any different to any who are in power now. Short of a major revolt, the Establishment abides, and those in Corbyn’s circle know that.

John Thatcher
John Thatcher

Well,at least you are offering some evidence when calling for a violent revolution,that is what you are calling isn’t it? which is more than can be said for some of the other posters here.

crank
crank

What’s the difference between the phrases ‘major revolt’ and ‘violent revolution’ ?
I am not ‘calling for’ either.

John Thatcher
John Thatcher

There is no difference ,or would not be any difference in practice.Perhaps you could explain exactly what you are asking for.

crank
crank

I disagree. A ‘major revolt’ could mean anything from a mass civil disobedience campaign to a general strike, to violent insurrection.
‘A violent revolution’ has a pretty clear meaning : the attempt to take over the state and replace it with a new structure through force of arms. Arguably the last major ‘revolt’ was under your namesake some thirty or so years ago. There never has been a ‘revolution’ proper in this country.
I’ve not said that I am ‘asking’ for anything, it is you and Arnold who insist that I must be asking for something by pointing out what many many people are pointing out : that there is no route out of Neoliberal and Neoconservative governance through the current system of parties, polls, ballots, pundits and politicians. We are told from infancy that we live in a ‘democracy’ whereas the reality is that we live in a plutocracy/ cryptocracy. Some widespread recognition and acceptance of where we are at now might be a good starting point.

crispy
crispy

a good start would be to encourage people to read Lenin

Imperialism;the highest stage of capitalism

crispy
crispy

Crank stop wasting your time campaigning for a pro capitalist/imperialist bunch of fakes

my recommendation is you stand,you put yourself forward,you put your programme to the people

if you fail so what,at least its what you genuinely believe in