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Optimism, determination and, above all, unity

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, September 14th, 2016 - 15 comments
Categories: Left, uk politics - Tags: , ,

One year on, Jeremy Corbyn has transformed British politics:

… if you really want to analyse Corbyn’s achievements, it is important not to fall for the cliche that we have transformed the party but failed at “grown-up” conventional politics. In the past year, the Tories been forced into retreat after retreat. On personal independence payments, tax credits, police cuts and Saudi prison contracts, a sharp, oppositional stance has produced results.

As a member of the most diverse shadow cabinet in history, I witness every day the change that is happening at the heart of British politics. As we hold the government to account over the Panama Papers and tax avoidance by Google and other multinationals, and put forward a genuine economic alternative, we are winning the argument that austerity is a political choice, not an economic necessity. With a million food bank visits a year, a housing crisis, public services crumbling and work increasingly precarious, something has to give.

Read the whole thing at The Guardian.

15 comments on “Optimism, determination and, above all, unity ”

  1. Garibaldi 1

    Well ,well, well. This should bring all the Corbyn-hating NZ Labour supporters out. New Zealand needs a Corbyn or a Sanders. Little is no opposition to neoliberalism.

  2. Sanctuary 2

    Anyone else heard from the Hillary Benn led Blairite PLP or their chosen vehicles Progress and Labour Friends of Israel lately? No? Their silence as Owen Smith is thrown to the wolves is ominous. That’s because they are busy being “presidential”, tweeting lots of photos of the PLP sitting in solidarity, fixing roads, attending children’s music recitals.

    Being serious people. http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Very_Serious_People. Being grown up, concerned middle class MPs. Make no mistake, they are busily preparing the ground for a mass defection and becoming the official opposition and with the name Labour, if they can win the legal battle they will undoubtably launch to steal the name. Basically, they’ll act to lock in neoliberalism for the duration of their parliamentary careers, and longer if they can destroy Labour.

    They will NEVER, NEVER, NEVER accept a socialist as leader.

    • Wayne 2.1

      Sanctuary,

      An interesting analysis. By the end of the year we will know.

      But it does seem to me a split is inevitable. I was in the UK when SDP formed for much the same reasons. When they merged with the Liberals, the Liberals became a genuine third force, though they have faded now.

      The pressure for a split within Labour seems much greater now than in the 1980’s. Micheal Foote might have been ineffective, but he never challenged his MP’s in the way that Corbyn does. Probably because the selection process for the leader remained confined to the MP’s.

      In parliamentary democracies there is a very good reason why the Caucus has to have the predominant voice. Unlike a Presidential system, the parliamentary leaders has to directly lead the MP’s, therefore they should have the biggest say in who that person is.

      For instance in the Conservatives the members only get to vote once the MP’s have reduced the choice to two. And in the last round that did not happen because all the challengers stepped down leaving May to win by default.

      • Stuart Munro 2.1.1

        As usual you misrepresent democracy Wayne – caucus is a convenience for oligarchs, never a democratic instrument.

        “therefore they should have the biggest say…”

        But some animals are more equal than others.

        Hang your empty head in shame!

        • George Hendry 2.1.1.1

          Agreed, Stuart 🙂

          Democracy, ‘the worst form of government until you look at all the others’, is relatively inefficient with its insistence on the government being accountable to all its voting public, many of whom lack expertise. And that machinery of accountability will always be clunky when compared with efficient, smooth, streamlined fascism,

          Wayne inadvertently explains where ‘the missing million’ have gone, and why. I suspect that had the MPs who backstabbed David Cunliffe been exposed and removed, the party would by now have been challenging the government much more effectively.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2

        In parliamentary democracies there is a very good reason why the Caucus has to have the predominant voice.

        No there isn’t. The members need to actually have their say and not just do what caucus tells them to. In fact, caucus needs to be doing what the members tell them to.

        For instance in the Conservatives the members only get to vote once the MP’s have reduced the choice to two.

        Yes, we’re quite aware of the dictatorial bent of conservatives – and how damaging that is to any sort of democracy and societies in general.

      • Psycho Milt 2.1.3

        Unlike a Presidential system, the parliamentary leaders has to directly lead the MP’s, therefore they should have the biggest say in who that person is.

        You mean, like in workplaces, the army, basically anything that needs a disciplined team to work together? /sarc

        In workplaces, the army etc no-one ever gets to say who’s going to lead them and it would be regarded as a recipe for poor performance if they did. As with any other job, the Labour MPs should accept the boss the organisation’s given them, or find a different job.

      • framu 2.1.4

        ” the parliamentary leaders has to directly lead the MP’s, therefore they should have the biggest say in who that person is.”

        doesnt work like that for the average worker does it

        the MPs are just workers – they should do what the board bloody well tells them to do – or get another job

        • Wayne 2.1.4.1

          The MP’s see themselves as colleagues of one another, more like partners in a firm rather than employees. So in that case they should get the largest say in who the managing partner is. Not necessarily the sole say but at least the predominant say.

          Anyway, this is a purely academic discussion. If UK Labour wants to run itself the way that it does, they can.

          But as we can all see there will likely be consequences.

          • the pigman 2.1.4.1.1

            Anyway, this is a purely academic discussion. If UK Labour wants to run itself the way that it does, they can.

            If it’s an academic discussion, would you kindly stop abusing the apostrophe like a West Auckland orcharder’s blackboard?

            AVOCADOE’S: 1.99 ea
            APPLE’S: 2.99 k/g
            ORANGE’S: 3.99 k/g
            UNDER-OCCUPIED TORY EX-MP’S OBSESSIVELY STALKING LEFT-WING POLITICAL BLOGS: TAKE FREE (PLEASE)

          • Molly 2.1.4.1.2

            “The MP’s see themselves as colleagues of one another, more like partners in a firm rather than employees.”
            And therein lies the problem, they are essentially in a service industry not a law firm.

  3. Sanctuary 3

    Wayne seems to think democracy is a top down process, where no matter how dysfunctional the machinery of democracy is, it is legitimate due to deference to the resultant authority.

    Now, I consider democracy to be a bottom up process. The parliament is simply the end result of a complex civic society seeped in democracy. True democracy has/had been built on a civic society made up of drainage boards, elected hospital boards, harbour boards, water boards, elected regional and local councils, elected Union officials, duly elected presidents and treasurers of the Plamerston North Pigeon Fanciers society or Ekatahuna brass band association, federated farmers, the list of elected democratic structure is, and should be, almost endless. Democracy should be steeped in the DNA of a free people. When the passengers of United Flight 93 took a vote before trying to fight back on September 11th, they showed why I consider the USA to be a democracy despite the corrupt logjam of Washington – free people making a collective decision in the best way they know to die fighting.

    of course, that means I am not as hung up with the machinery of democracy. MMP vs STV vs FPP is meaningless if the civic society is dyfunctional and hollowed out.

    So it follows that if your parliamentary party is broken, when 171 people of privilege and power are at war with 600,000 members of civil society, the method of electing must also be broken, and therefore it had to be changed in the interest of democracy.

  4. Red 4

    Optimism, Determination, Unity and Mass Delusion, U.K. Labour is finished as a political force, a break up to a number of feuding minor parties is now inevitable

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