Corbyn hasn’t won, but Labour got its biggest vote share since 2001 (41%), and the biggest swing from one party to another since 1945.
Thanks to an abysmal nineteenth-century voting system, those gains haven’t translated into a majority Labour government, let alone a landslide (in 2005, Blair got a majority of 66 on the back of just 35% of the vote, because of the way those votes were distributed around the country) — but a Tory Prime Minister who said, ‘if I lose just six seats, I will lose this election’ lost twelve.
Whether you like the man fronting them or not, Labour’s manifesto pledges would transform lives
If you’ve voted Labour in the past but don’t like Corbyn, vote for the policies.
The manifesto he launched last month contained proposals that would measurably improve the living standards of almost everyone in Britain.
It sets out to create what generations of Labour members joined the party to try and help achieve – a fairer, more equal society.
No more fawning over ‘wealth creators’ and dead-eyed social vandalism under the guise of ‘balancing the books – here’s a 1945-style vision of a country that works for the majority of the people who live in it, not just big business and the rich.Continue reading “Forget Corbyn – vote for the policies”→
I’d seen the fuss about this but hadn’t read it before now — largely because I think Owen Jones has been saying the same thing over and over again for about six months.
Now I have, and it’s basically what he always says. Labour’s heading for calamitous defeat, Corbyn’s got to get his act together, otherwise he’s got to go.
I think he’s right that Labour will lose the election. Then again, I’ve thought that since 2015. Regardless of who was in charge.
In my view, Jones always massively underestimates the level of bias and hostility Corbyn or anyone radical faces in the media. The way he tells it, it’s a challenge for Corbyn to get his message out, but, if he and his team were clever enough, they’d have a fair shot. I think the slickest media operation in human history can’t help you when you’ve got an agenda that far outside the neoliberal consensus.Continue reading “Someone asked me what I thought of the Owen Jones thing so I wrote them this”→
Next election-ism is the biggest threat to radical Labour
Edit: I’m delighted to say the argument I made in this article has been proved wrong – Corbyn supporters were right to throw themselves into electoral politics, and it’s much more possible than I ever thought for a radical party to win an election. But I still think that left-wingers need to not get sucked into seeing politics purely in electoral terms. I don’t think a Corbyn government, or a socialist project more broadly, will ever be successful without widespread grassroots organisation to build institutions outside the mainstream.
The charge most often thrown the Corbynistas’ way is that they don’t want to win elections. They’re supposedly fixated on ideological purity at the expense of getting into government.
Settling into the most outrageously ridiculous period in modern political history, as this stupidity-blighted few weeks is surely now destined to be remembered, it’s quite difficult not to be overwhelmed by angry, pulsating disgust at almost everything.
Having cattle-prodded the most vulnerable, abused, and ill-informed bit of the population into authorising as seismic a political shift as we’ve seen in this country, it now turns out the Leave camp has given absolutely no thought to what would happen if they actually won – and if their wake-like victory press conference was anything to go by, it’s looking increasingly like they wish they hadn’t.
Around the UK, thousands of people opted for Out having got so used to the anti-democratic absurdity of First Past the Post that they didn’t expect it to count – with even lowlife ex-Sun editor Kelvin Mackenzie reporting symptoms of Brexit remorse. Encouraged and legitimised by poisonous campaign rhetoric, racist abuse has soared all around the country. And now, as was always inevitable, a Parliamentary Labour Party stuffed with time-servers, careerists and establishment lickspittles has launched a coup against Jeremy Corbyn.
I was always going to have to write this post eventually. It’s about an annoyingly difficult moral problem I’ve found myself faced with since September.
That month, Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell, two men I’d seriously consider sacrificing one of my lesser appendages to see put in power, became leader of the opposition and shadow chancellor. It was stupendously unexpected, and probably the best thing that’s happened this decade.
But it quickly raised a big, fat, inconvenient moral-strategic question: what do you do when the two people you’ve long considered the finest protectors of the public good in parliament end up leading the Labour Party – and, in addition to a vast array of stuff you completely agree with, end up doing, saying or standing for one thing you majorly don’t?
Do you start publically disagreeing them with them on the one and only issue that separates you? Or settle into the groove of loyally bigging them up in each and every way you can, and countering the fusillade of media hate and state-backed propaganda that’s being hurled at them? Unfortunately, when the contentious issue in question concerns the most important thing in human affairs, silence isn’t an option.Continue reading “Disagreeing with Corbyn about growth”→
I started writing something about the Corbyn-Kuenssberg-Dugher-Doughty debacle myself, but then found this post by Media Lens which basically says all I wanted to say better (and more exhaustively researched) that I could.