web analytics

Why UK Labour lost? Part 4: Ooooh Jeremy Corbyn

Written By: - Date published: 3:13 am, January 14th, 2020 - 12 comments
Categories: Brexit, International, Jeremy Corbyn, labour, political parties, politicans, Politics, uk politics - Tags: , , , , ,

When a party loses an election, the leader has to take responsibility. Many cite Jeremy Corbyn’s lack of popularity as a key reason for Labour’s loss. These calls have been made particularly by his opponents on the right of the UK Labour Party.

Few expected Corbyn to win the leadership election in 2015. From the start Corbyn was a polarising leader, and never very popular. Corbyn built up a core support base within the Labour Party membership, though always had fierce opponents within the Parliamentary Labour Party.

Jeremy, though polarising had strong supporters. Who can forget 2017 Glastonbury festival, where Corbyn was greeted by thousands of festival goers with the chant Oh Jeremy Corbyn” loud cheers after he recited Percy Shelley’s poem The Masque of Anarchy. After the 2017 election, where Labour’s support increased after the Manifesto was released, Corbyn’s personal popularity also rose significantly. But he remained polarising and continued to have many detractors. Corbyn’s support was and remains much stronger with young voters

.

Image result for jeremy corbyn glastonbury chant

Jeremy Corbyn addressing the Glastonbury Festival in 2017

To those who say Jeremy Corbyn could never have been Prime Minster I respectfully disagree. The 2017 result got him close. However, to get him across the line he and the party needed to keep building support around the manifesto. And they needed unity of purpose and not division within the party, particularly within the parliamentary party. In an earlier post I suggested that Boris removing the Party Whip of Tory MPs who voted against him over Brexit, showed strength and gave the public confidence that the Tories would be united. By contrast Labour showed signs of deep devisions. Corbyn as leader had two options 1) try to bring the detractors into the tent or 2) cast them out.

But I believe there were two other issues that ultimately undermined Corbyn’s leadership after 2017. One was Brexit and the other was Antisemitism. The earlier smears that Corbyn supported the IRA or terrorists resonated with some Conservative voters, but never really harmed him politically. Later when he was being seen as indecisive on Brexit or not strong enough on antisemitism, this alienated voters including some who earlier had supported or at least tolerated his leadership.

Once people have been turned off your leadership, they become open to other critiques or smears against you. These issues weren’t just about Corbyn, but as the leader he was the figure head and he took the hit for them. Further, on both Brexit and antisemitism he and those close to him could have handled these issues considerably better.

Previous posts in this series

Why UK Labour Lost? Part 1: Historical Context

Why UK Labour lost? Part 2: UK Labour’s strange loyalty to First Past the Post

Why UK Labour lost? Part 3: Its Brexit Innit

12 comments on “Why UK Labour lost? Part 4: Ooooh Jeremy Corbyn ”

  1. Wayne 1

    Corbyn putting the flowers on the Munich bombers played badly for him, and not just for traditional Conservative voters. It was seen to shift him out of the space of supporting all sorts of national liberation movements (which was generally tolerated) into directly supporting terrorists. It also gave real bite to the charge of antisemitism. Someone who would sooner put flowers on the graves of terrorists rather than visit Israel.

    It symbolised for many northern voters why they thought he wouldn't, as Prime Minister, defend Britain.

    • mikesh 1.1

      I think that putting flowers on the graves of the Munich bombers would have been seen as support for the Palestinian cause rather than support for terrorists – though many who hated Corbyn anyway may have seized upon this, claiming that this was a good reason for their dislike.

      • indiana 1.1.1

        Murdering people for a "cause" still makes you a terrorist…placing flowers on their graves simply means you are endorsing their behaviour. He was trying to argue that he did not specifically places any flowers on specific graves. But that event was for all buried there, no grave was marked as exclusive for the "cause". Quite simply, he should have not gone to that event.

      • joe90 1.1.2

        If a backbench Tory invited members of National Action to parliament a fortnight after Jo Cox was murdered and then down the track stood, in solidarity with her killer. Would you say the MP was expressing support for their neo-nazi cause, rather than support for murderous neo-nazis?

    • Molly 1.2

      "The wreath-laying took place during a commemorative ceremony for victims of the 1985 Israeli air strikes on the PLO headquarters in Tunis, Tunisia, which had been widely condemned at the time, including by the U.S. Government. " – Wikipedia

      It seems very unlikely that while attending this event, he decided to lay wreaths elsewhere, as initially suggested by the Daily Mail – and quite gleefully repeated by other media. Despite being denied and no evidence to that end being provided.

      "Corbyn putting the flowers on the Munich bombers played badly for him" – can you find a credible source where this is stated as a matter of fact – and not innuendo?

      • Gosman 1.2.1

        Can you please advise why Corbyn never met with members of the Israli right wing nor with members of Unionist paramilitary organisations if he was merely trying to achieve peace?

        • Incognito 1.2.1.1

          Can you please stop with this idiotic line of trolling questioning that is your signature MO?

        • Molly 1.2.1.2

          No. But I can guess you are bursting to tell me why, even though you also don't know.

      • gsays 1.2.2

        Spray and walk a Wayne?

  2. mpledger 2

    According to wikipedia "In 2017 Israel was the second-biggest buyer of UK arms". It would be a huge disadvantage to Israel for Labour to get into power. That's why it seem likely to me that Israel was stirring this issue up for it's own advantage.

    • Anne 2.1

      Whilst not following his leadership as avidly as some here, I concluded after each interview with Jeremy Corbyn that I heard… he was reasonable, moderate and not the polarising figure he was being touted as by his opponents and the British press.

      There was an unholy alliance against him and it included the detractors in his own party. The motivation seems to have been personal. For one reason or another none of them wanted to see him succeed because it wasn't in their respective interests to have a Corbyn Labour government.

      Any inference that they didn't think he was capable of being a good PM or that he was anti-semitic (which he is not) or that his politics are extreme left (which it is not) was bollocks.

      British politics is as dirty and unsavoury as anywhere else on this planet.

  3. Lou 3

    That Corbyn faced a deeply antipathetic right-wing press should not surprise anyone. However, what harmed Corbyn the most was the undermining by supposedly centre-left media, particularly the Guardian and the Independent. Compared to Johnson's blatant and horrifying racism, Labour's supposed anti-semitism was negligible. But this didn't stop said newspapers from constant unfounded harassment, thus showing that their true loyalties lie with status-quo neo-liberal capitalism. Without the support of their traditional supporters, the Labour Party were left deeply exposed in this election and didn't stand a chance. That those same papers are now twisting the knife into Corbyn and blaming him for the entire disaster, which should be laid squarely at their own door, is the height of hypocrisy, and an utter disgrace.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Poroporoaki: Titewhai Te Huia Hinewhare Harawira
    Ka papā te whatitiri, Hikohiko ana te uira, wāhi rua mai ana rā runga mai o Huruiki maunga Kua hinga te māreikura o te Nota, a Titewhai Harawira Nā reira, e te kahurangi, takoto, e moe Ka mōwai koa a Whakapara, kua uhia te Tai Tokerau e te kapua pōuri ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • General Election to be held on 14 October 2023
    The 2023 General Election will be held on Saturday 14 October 2023, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “Announcing the election date early in the year provides New Zealanders with certainty and has become the practice of this Government and the previous one, and I believe is best practice,” Jacinda ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces resignation
    Jacinda Ardern has announced she will step down as Prime Minister and Leader of the Labour Party. Her resignation will take effect on the appointment of a new Prime Minister. A caucus vote to elect a new Party Leader will occur in 3 days’ time on Sunday the 22nd of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Trade and Agriculture Minister to attend World Economic Forum and Global Forum for Food and Agricult...
    The Government is maintaining its strong trade focus in 2023 with Trade and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor visiting Europe this week to discuss the role of agricultural trade in climate change and food security, WTO reform and New Zealand agricultural innovation. Damien O’Connor will travel tomorrow to Switzerland to attend the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government funding relief for flood-affected Wairarapa farmers and growers
    The Government has extended its medium-scale classification of Cyclone Hale to the Wairarapa after assessing storm damage to the eastern coastline of the region. “We’re making up to $80,000 available to the East Coast Rural Support Trust to help farmers and growers recover from the significant damage in the region,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government provides support to flooded Tairāwhiti communities
    The Government is making an initial contribution of $150,000 to the Mayoral Relief Fund to help communities in Tairāwhiti following ex-Tropical Cyclone Hale, Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty announced. “While Cyclone Hale has caused widespread heavy rain, flooding and high winds across many parts of the North Island, Tairāwhiti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government support for flood-affected Gisborne Tairāwhiti farmers and growers
    Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor has classified this week’s Cyclone Hale that caused significant flood damage across the Tairāwhiti/Gisborne District as a medium-scale adverse event, unlocking Government support for farmers and growers. “We’re making up to $100,000 available to help coordinate efforts as farmers and growers recover from the heavy ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Monkeypox vaccination available to eligible people from next week 
    A vaccine for people at risk of mpox (Monkeypox) will be available if prescribed by a medical practitioner to people who meet eligibility criteria from Monday 16 January, says Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall.   5,000 vials of the vaccine have been obtained, enough for up to 20,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago