Thursday, July 23, 2015

Labour is doomed if Corbyn really is the answer

After last night's LBC Radio leadership debate I am starting to think that the UK Labour Party is doomed. Perhaps the best hope is the proposed party reform to trigger a new leadership election with a small amount of MPs' support (and possibly some members' backing too)....but only if the party thinks about the need to build a national (UK) coalition to win a general election and about who has the personality and intellect (gravitas even) to do it. This possibly means persuading/begging a few people to leave the back-benches/semi-retirement including Alan Johnson and David Blunkett. It certainly means thinking seriously about people like Hilary Benn. 

Corbyn "won" last night's radio debate because even a bearded prig from the old People's Republic of Islington (who like the other 3 hasn't had a real job in his life despite what they all claimed last night) can "do human". The other 3 forfeited their claims on this test, and confirmed that after the public revulsion at spin and expenses they still don't "get it", when they wouldn't answer whether they'd give Ed Miliband a job in the shadow cabinet that one of them will have to put together in 2 months time. 

I screamed at the radio at this point and almost voted for Jeremy on the spot. God help us (and I mean that).

There is a wider revolt going on and it's affecting the leadership election. The most democratic one ever (and perhaps that needs to be changed in the future too). Many of the new and old party members, quite a few of those who have bought their vote at £3 a pop in the appalling "registered supporters" scheme brought in by right-wing Labour lovers of US primary style elections, and no doubt a large number of the 50,000 plus trade union members (whose unions contribute to the Party) who are registering to vote individually, are in revolt. They are UK Syriza/Podemos/English SNP, and they aren't going to take it any more. And the three "serious" candidates still don't get it......

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Kendall was a director of a research institute and director of a charity before politics. Is that more "proper" than your job? Kieran

Nature Strikes Back said...

Ah... I wasn't aware Neil was running... does this mean I have to do both dog walks?

Neil Partrick said...

I noted that she reeled of a whole list of Saturday shop jobs presented as jobs. In her case bit more westminster experience would be good. Cooper said her first job was driving a tractor. Wasn't that the queen's first "job"? Oh and andy was a journalist. Was that before oxford and the Westminster bubble he barely seems to have been out of?

Neil Partrick said...

I am putting up when i become an mp at 80 years of age. An accurate cv will be available.

Anonymous said...

You can't be serious about Blunkett and Johnson? That's just as nostalgic as people backing Corbyn. Labour doesn't have a credible "succession pipeline" and a long drawn out leadership contest is only highlighting the weaknesses. Sarah

Anonymous said...

Won't respond to the blog direct (publicly) but will tell you I'm supporting Jeremy. All you say about him may well be true but I want to send out a clear signal that we need to go left and reclaim the 'democratic socialist party' tag on the back of our membership card, rather than the social democrat one we seem to be embracing at present - or, worse, Christian Democrat if we go for Liz Kendall!

If this makes us unelectable, so be it. Maybe then the people will take to the streets and finish the job for themselves if we can't or won't do it for them. Sod representative democracy, let's have participative big time! Aux armes, citoyens!

If Jeremy wins I can see it splitting in the party. So be it, I'm sick of being expected to be a crypto Tory.

Hope country life continues to amuse and divert?

Vive la revolution, comrade!

Neil Partrick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Neil Partrick said...

Many thanks for all the responses. I may be being a bit hard (and even inaccurate) in saying that none of the four candidates have ever had a real job (and agreed, whatever “real” means), but I remain sceptical about their claims in this respect, even if Liz apparently jumped straight from Oxford University to running a charity and a think tank. The three "mainstream" candidates often seem to conflate weekend jobs while at school/college and or (Oxford) university with a full-time job. To Sarah, I concede that suggesting David Blunkett be persuaded to be in the running for the next leadership election (which could well take place sooner rather than later) might be a bit backward looking. I don’t think I am being nostalgic though, other than perhaps a tad affectionate for when Labour leadership (and deputy leadership) contests were between heavy hitters. The last time this was the case was 1994 (and that is being a bit generous). I am also interested in older candidates (see the USA) who are not from the Far Left and are thus capable of getting some way toward winning the additional 100 seats (with boundary changes) that Labour will need in 2020. Alan Johnson is still active and does not seem interested in stepping down as an MP anytime soon (he may even be in the next shadow cabinet). However most of all it is Hilary Benn who should be seriously persuaded to be in there in a possible 2017 leadership contest (pray to God that one can be triggered more easily next time).

Anonymous said...

I see the call for a democratic socialist party, which in all likelihood won't get anywhere near government. Why not a party of social democrats, which would share the principal values while perhaps containing this strange fear of anything perceived to be too left of centre? Isn't social democracy a concept Labour could work with in terms of approach to social and economic frameworks (or is this too close to the Scots)? This may be a naïve question, please let me know your thoughts. E.

Neil Partrick said...

Not naive at all, "E". I think Labour has been essentially social democratic since the late 80s. Of course the German SPD were social democratic even when they were parliamentary marxists, and the Bolsheviks were formed from the Russian Social Democratic Party..Yawn.. I digress. In Labour's case it's always been muddled because arguably it was created as a party of the organised proletariat, even to some extent created by members of the organised proletariat, and this cultural hangover remains and is arguably valuable despite how much Tony Blair and Ed Miliband tried to destroy it. But if you mean a role for intervention, even strict and tough regulation, in an essentially privately owned economy with at least mild redistribution, then yes I agree. Labour should be prepared to cut public spending in good times AND to say that it will push up the top rate of tax way over 50% (but set at a very high band so we don't scare the horses too much)

Bandit said...

Idealism is lovely, but doesn't get us anywhere. England (where most the votes are to be had) is not Scotland (unfortunately). I hated Blair but a version of Labour kept the Tories out (which has to be the main consideration). Few decent Labourites around to step up for sure & I like Neil's compromise position for a call to Hilary & Johnson as a connection. Different times now & people like Creasy & Watson appeal - must be some others out there to bridge the gap?

A