Tag Archives: Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn and Seumas Milne as Good Cop, Bad Cop?

Writing in The Daily Telegraph, James Kirkup suggests we should blame Jeremy Corbyn rather than Seamas Mlne for Labour’s poison,

Treating Seumas Milne as the evil genius controlling a hapless Jeremy Corbyn lets Mr Corbyn off the hook, and perpetuates the idea that he is some sort of ingenue, too unworldly and witless to know what that nasty men around him do in his name. A tool of men like Mr Milne and John McDonnell, not their leader.

And of course, that idea is false. Mr Corbyn is the Labour leader and an adult in full possession of his faculties. He bears responsibility for the actions taken by those who work for him.

If Mr Milne poisons and knifes, he does so with Mr Corbyn’s authority and permission. If Momentum’s online thugs abuse and threaten female MPs and Jewish members of the Labour Party, they do so with Mr Corbyn’s approval.

It’s a good point. A lot of us have boight into the myth of Jeremy Corbyn as a decent honourable man led astray by the thuggish Seamas Milne, when the evidence suggests otherwise.

Perhaps it’s more a case the pair of them playing “Good cop, Bad cop” while working closely together?

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What now for the British Centre-Left?

So, as was widely predicted, Jeremy Corbyn has been re-elected as Labour leader.

The YouGov exit poll is quite telling, and reveals the extent to which Labour has been the victim of a successful infiltration and take-over by the far left. 60% of those who were Labour members before May 2015 voted for Owen Smith, while 83% of those who joined after the May election defeat voted for Jeremy Corbyn

It does look as though the hard left has assumed total control, and given that Corbyn’s supporters do not seem to care about winning general elections, not even a thumping defeat at the hands of the Tories in 2020 is likely to shake their faith. The bastard offspring of 70s sectarian Trotskyism and millennial Tumblr identity politics is not interested in reality, only the mantras repeated within their bubble. It’s more a religious cult than a political party, every election defeat can be explained away by blaming the unbelievers.

Where does that leave the British centre-left? And more importantly, where does this leave the Liberal Democrats?

I have a strong suspicion that we’re only in the early stages of a much bigger political realignment in which existing parties will break up or change out of recognition, and new parties will emerge. A lot depends on what happens to the Tory party in the coming months and years.

The expected post-referendum implosion of the Tories hasn’t happened only because Theresa May has carefully avoided taking an actual position on implementing the result that referendum. The moment she comes unequivocally down on either side on the Single Market vs. Hard Brexit question, there’s a good chance that half the party will see the decision as betrayal. If that happens it will be hard for any leader to hold the party together.

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Jeremy Corbyn and the two UB40s

Yes, I know this is fake. Owen Jones didnt actually say that.

You just can’t make stories like this up.

On Tuesday, Corbyn appeared in London with the UB40 led by Robin Campbell, the guitarist and singer from the original Birmingham band which enjoyed dozens of chart hits during the 1980s and 90s, including three UK No 1 singles.

At a press conference at the Royal Society of Arts in London, Campbell said: “We support Jeremy Corbyn because he is the only one willing to speak up for working people, who have been badly treated by successive governments, including New Labour, in recent decades.

Unfortunately for Jeremy Corbyn, there are now two rival UB40s following an acrimonious split a few yeara ago

However, in a microcosm of Corbyn not reflecting all views within Labour, it transpired that this statement did not speak for every version of UB40.

The other band is fronted by Ali Campbell, Robin’s younger brother and the original group’s lead singer, and features other original members Mickey Virtue and Terence “Astro” Wilson. Asked whether they shared the other UB40’s views on Corbyn, the group declined to endorse him.

“Ali, Astro and Mickey have always been great supporters of the Labour party, and they look forward to the new leader taking the Labour party back into government at the earliest opportunity,” the band said in a statement released through their PR company, which said it was the only comment the band wanted to make at this time.

Have UB40 turned into a metaphor for the Labour Party? Where do the two rival Wishbone Ashes and Barclay James Harvests stand on the issue?  Has anyone asked Andy Powell, Martin Turner, John Lees or Les Holroyd? Are the Oliver Dawson Saxon or any past or present members of Yes available for comment?

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Pushing the Self-Destruct Button

Labour are two parties, and it was only a matter of time before they split. According to James Kirkup in The Daily Telegraph, Jeremy Corbyn’s deselection threat means Labour’s civil war is now a fight to the death .

Jeremy Corbyn has today confirmed that the struggle underway in the Labour Party is now the political equivalent of total war.

He did it with these words, at the launch of his campaign to keep his job, when he was asked whether Labour MPs should face mandatory re-selection to stand again as Labour candidates at the next election:

“There would be a full selection process in every constituency but the sitting MP… would have an opportunity to put their name forward.

“So there will be a full and open selection process for every constituency Labour Party through the whole of the UK.”

The hard-left takeover of the previously moribund grassroots of the party means it’s not just the “Blairites” who are under threat. It’s everyone who won’t follow an agenda set by the Trotskyite hard left.

Yes, we all remember the breakaway SDP was all but wiped out in the 1983 General Election. But once you start deselecting MPs, don’t expect them to ride off into to the sunset without a fight. They will no longer have anything to lose from forming a breakaway party.

It’s not impossible that the breakaway party may end up with more than half of the Parliamentary Labour Party, which means that they, not Labour will become the official opposition.

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Labour is going to split now, whatever happens. Any leadership election will be about which faction gets to call itself the Labour Party. Classic rock fans will recognise the situation; Angela Eagle’s Labour Party vs. The Labour Party featuring Jeremy Corbyn. Like Barclay James Harvest only without the tunes.

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This World is Totally Fuguzi

When I checked in to a hotel in Worcester for a gig on Friday night I told the Polish receptionist it was the middle date of a three-day trip and I’d spent the previous night in Bristol.

“I hope you voted”, she replied.

There was a subdued mood at the gig; what happened affected band and audience. There were doubts at the back of the mind over how well this little grassroots scene would survive the coming storm. There were conversations about future gigs and festivals that ended with “Assuming of course it still takes place”.

Almost everyone I know has been completely devastated by the referendum result. Many are in fear of their livelihood, some are in fear of their personal safety and even their lives. Not only is the entire economy heading down the toilet, but the result has emboldened the very worst people in the country; especially the stupid, violent racists who now believe that 52% agree with them and think they have a licence to hurl crude abuse at anyone who looks foreign. If you voted Leave, you have helped enable these knuckle-draggers regardless of your reasons for voting that way.

But I can’t bring myself to hate everyone who voted Leave. Yes, some of those who voted Leave were unpleasant small-town xenophobes. Yes, others were the worst kinds of sociopathic libertarians. And many more were ignorant fools who were too willing to believe obvious lies. But there must have been many more who voted in protest against a political establishment that had ignored or taken them for granted for decades.

This doesn’t mean we should not be angry at those who should have known better, and there are many of them.

But I am far angrier at out political elites for getting us in this mess. David Cameron, whose catastrophic political misjudgement is the direct cause. And George Osborne whose ideologically-driven austerity program has screwed-over the poorest communities.

Then there’s the entire Leave Campaign, every single one of them lying two-faced slime. Boris Johnson is revealed as an utterly cynical charlatan. Farage has revealed his true nature as an out-and-out racist. UKIP are the natural successors of the BNP; the decline of that openly racist party not so much a rejection of their values as UKIP hoovering up their base. And don’t even get me started on the Daily Mail and the Daily Express for printing out-and-out race hate on their front pages.

And last, but not least, Jeremy Corbyn. There is increasing evidence that Corbyn, or at least his inner circle, actively sabotaged Labour’s contribution towards the Remain campaign. In a way that duplicity is even worse than Boris’ lying. It may be that Corbyn himself is innocent and the blame lies with people surrounding him such as the odious Seamas Milne, but the truth is the leadership did not support the party on the ground. That is why the party is now in meltdown.

We are now two nations who inhabit different cultural universes, and we must ask ourselves how the hell we got here. What happened to the confident outward-looking Britain of the 2012 Olympics? What made 52% of the voters believe the only way their voices would matter was to utterly screw over the other 48% in revenge?

It may well be that in the end we won’t actually leave the EU after all. The referendum was technically advisory and not legally binding, a deliberate loophole that neither campaign wanted to draw attention to. David Cameron did not send notification under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty on Friday, and that may prove to be very significant. For all the talk of respecting the will of the people, a democracy is not the same as tyranny of the majority, and democratic systems have checks and balances for a reason. The majority was less that 4% and both Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain. The only thing stopping Parliament from overruling the referendum is how they’re going to sell it to the voters at the next election. But anything could happen and a lot could change in the next couple of months.

Healing the deep divisions in England and in Wales is going to take a lot longer.

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Brexit would be Jeremy Corbyn’s fault.

Good post by Robert Peston on Facebook, in which he puts his finger on the problem with Jeremy Corbyn’s handling of the EU referendum campaign, in a rather better way that Mick Hucknall’s ham-fisted twittering.

So the question is why Corbyn has not been more conspicuous and passionate in campaigning to remain.

There are three arguments put to me by his despairing colleagues:

1) his heart isn’t in it, because he loathes Brussels, and he detests Cameron more;

2) he doesn’t have experience of campaigning in the mainstream on mainstream issues;

3) he thinks Brexit or an ultra narrow victory for Remain would see the PM toppled and the Tory party fracture.

If any of that is true, Corbyn would be taking a huge personal risk.

The point is that whether he likes it or not, he is the head of a major party campaigning to keep us in the EU.

And his colleagues tell me that if we opt for Brexit, when Cameron is bundled from office, Corbyn would be defenestrated and ejected from the leadership too.

If the worst happens on June 23rd, it will be as much the fault of Jeremy Corbyn as Cameron or Osborne.

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You’re not one of the cool people unless Mick Hucknall has blocked you

It seems that Mick Hucknall of Simply Red has blocked me on Twitter.

Yesterday he got into a Twitter fight with Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters, in which Labour officials called him a political and musical has-been. He then started blocking everyone who even mentioned his name, regardless of context, and not just people who mentioned him by his @mjhucknall Twitter ID. For a while his name was a trending topic on Twitter, and half the tweets were “Why has Mick Hucknall blocked me”?

What sort of person doesn’t just look at their Notification column but ego-searches their name too? Previously I’d had absolutely no opinion on Mick Hucknall or his music. His world simply didn’t intersect with mine. Now, on the evidence of his behaviour he comes over as a narcissist who dishes it out but can’t take it.

The irony was that his criticism of Corbyn was at least partly justified. I’ve said very similar things myself.

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Jeremy Corbyn, a leader in search of a plot

When Jeremy Corbyn was elected as Labour leader I was prepared to give him a chance. Even if Labour fell short of becoming electable, they could at least move the Overton Window on economics by challenging not just George Osborne’s misguided austerity programme but the whole dubious premise of neo-liberal trickle-down dogma.

It’s something that The Liberal Democrats cannot do effectively because of the way they tied themselves to Osborne’s austerity politicies during the coalition.

Occasionally they do, and score some direct hits. But they spend too much time on subjects where they are dangerously wrong.

Former Labour pollster Deborah Mattinson warned that the party are heading for a heavy defeat under Corbyn, due to the fact that the public simply don’t trust him to govern. She was followed by columnist Owen Jones who, while much more supportive of Corbyn, warned that Labour must stop talking so much about foreign affairs and defence issues and concentrate instead on the sort of domestic issues which both party members and the public can rally around.

Within 24 hours the Labour leader was on the airwaves calling for unilateral disarmament and our negotiated surrender of the Falklands.

When even Owen Jones thinks you’re wrong, you’re wrong.

Corbyn gives the impression that the prime purpose of giving the Falklands to Argentina regardless of the wishes of the people who actually live there is to spite the ghost of Margaret Thatcher. While that might warm the hearts of the activist base, it’s not the sort of thing that will win over the hearts of the people who’s votes Labour need if they are to win an election.

Every time Corbyn opens his mouth on foreign or defence policy what comes out sounds like unreconstructed student activism from the 1970s. It’s not about making difficult judgement calls in a complex and dangerous world, it’s all about symbolic posturing.

Surely anyone over the age of thirty ought to know that the toytown politics of student unions isn’t fit for purpose in the real world?

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The Reshuffle Omnishambles

The omnishambles of the Shadow Cabinet reshuffle has laid bare what many of us have been thinking for a long time; Jeremy Corbyn is completely useless, and is quite out of his depth as Leader of the Opposition. It makes me wonder what proportion of those who voted for him as leader are now themselves wondering what on earth they were thinking at the time.

He’s neither a natural leader nor a deep political thinker. His principled leftism is little more than simplistic dogmatism that’s unable to cope with any kind of out-of-context problem. He is probably an honourable man personally, but he’s nevertheless surrounded himself with awful people like Seamas Milne, doctrinaire Stalinists who behave as though they consider the moderates of their own party rather than the Tories are the real enemy.

As long as this goes on, it’s hard to imagine anything other than a deeply-divided party going down to catastrophic defeat at the hands of the Tories at the next election. For us Liberal Democrats, the only silver lining might be a Liberal revival filling the vacuum left by the disintegrating Labour party. But even then we face the prospect of a Tory administration with a thumping majority, as happened during the 1980s.

There is one thing even worse, though unlikely. It’s Corbyn somehow managing to beat a Tory party that imploded after Cameron’s idiotically ill-advised EU referendum. If you think Corbyn is disastrous as Leader of the Opposition, imagine how bad he’d be as Prime Minister.

Meanwhile, while the media focuses of Labour, the Tories can do what they like without opposition or scrutiny.

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