Author Topic: General Political discussion with kesey-style vibes & tantric breathing stuff...  (Read 159726 times)

Offline Mutton Geoff

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For the same reasons as with the Tory party 100 mp's are not going to split , the majority of MP's in both parties are career politicians and risking their seats by jumping ship will not be in their career planning.

We can also see that Change is dying on its feet and Chuka is now a Lib Dem he moved again because he needs to be in an established party. 

Change didnt get the traction he expected when he left the labour Party.
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Offline Robinred

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Watching the programme, my main response was to cringe at the 'Labour Party response' it referred back to throughout, which repeatedly blamed "disaffected former employees", with "personal and political axes to grind". It read exactly like the response of a big business to any act of whistleblowing. It was horrendous. And then it descended into the borderline maniacal tone of "smears" and "politically motivated" attempts to undermine the Corbynite project. No doubt all coordinated by the Israeli embassy and its plants in the BBC...


I’ve only watched this morning on Catchup.

I take account of John Ware’s back story, and his and the BBC’s alleged agenda. But the overwhelming feelings having listened carefully are that a) the Leader’s Office responses, and the siege mentality they elicit are ‘pure’ Milne, and b) that the most compelling interviews were those with Prof. Alan Thompson and Dave Rich.

It’s become evident to this observer that Corbyn is a dissembler. I cannot believe him when he makes impassioned statements as leader decrying anti-semitism. The apology regarding his initial support for ‘that’ mural was belated and telling - even he cannot have failed to interpret it’s message for exactly what it was.

You posted a while back that the one thing that might persuade you to finally relinquish your membership was AS. I’m interested to know whether the Panorama programme tipped the balance?
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Offline Alan_X

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Why should they? Why should I, for that matter? I've seen people like Jess Phillips make the point directly - she's been a member of the Labour Party all her adult life - certainly longer than most Corbynistas...


I understand why you say that and I went through the same thought process for a while. But I realised there was no way of differentiating myself from the Corbynistas. 

Jess Phillips has a platform and can speak out but as long as I stayed a member of the Labour Party or voted for them at elections, I would continue to be co-opted by those c*nts as part of Jezza's project.

"80%  of the electorate voted for pro-Leave parties..." Remember that? In 2017 I voted Labour despite the bunch of shite we had leading the party and in the hope that they might recognise the strength of feeling in Remain/Labour areas where the Tories, as the party responsible for Leave, were rejected.

Instead we had it thrown back in our faces and told a) that we had actually shown support for Leave and b) that it was the genius of Corbyn that turned his appalling polling figures into a slightly less than disastrous second place in the election.

I think we have to starve Corbyn/Milne and the rest of financial support and the smokescreen of membership numbers. It may kill the Party but it's worse than useless as a political force anyway while those wankers are in charge. Maybe, once the blood supply dries up they'll fall away like the leeches they are and go back to the SWP and the fringe parties where they belong.
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Offline Nobby Reserve

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Why should they? Why should I, for that matter? I've seen people like Jess Phillips make the point directly - she's been a member of the Labour Party all her adult life - certainly longer than most Corbynistas. It's not simply a 'brand' to run for election under; the party has staff and an apparatus - and longstanding relationships with other organisations within the party. We've already seen with the Change MPs that you can't simply setup a new party and hit the ground running.

The Corbyn 'project' is a takeover of the party, albeit the leading public figures have been (obscure/marginal) members themselves for decades: their advisors, backers and mass support have not. It's extreme and - in the eyes of most MPs, clearly - premature to abandon to the entryists just now. If there's one thing the harder left have always managed, it's to fall out over tactics, split, get bored of entryism and/or fronts and retreat back to a purer 'core'. There's no reason to think that won't happen again; and a number of signs that that moment may not be too far away.



Since the very inception of the Labour Party, there has been a battle between the left- and right-wings of the party.

Be critical of Corbyn's leadership, certain policies and some of the antics of the people purportedly within that faction by all means (many on the left of the party would agree with much of what you say, especially about Corbyn's leadership).

But it's ridiculous - and pretty Stalinesque - to create a narrative that only the right-wing of the party has any legitimacy, and any move in direction to the left is a 'takeover'.

If it is to have any electoral success, the Labour Party must be a broad church, encompassing all aspects of the party from centre-left (even centre-right, as in the NuLabour period) to the traditional left.

You, wanting to return the Party into presumably the control of its right-wing, are doing similar to Corbyn has done in sidelining much of the right-wing.


(PS - I wouldn't include Starmer as someone from the left. Within the Labour Party, he's pretty centrist)
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Offline Sangria

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Since the very inception of the Labour Party, there has been a battle between the left- and right-wings of the party.

Be critical of Corbyn's leadership, certain policies and some of the antics of the people purportedly within that faction by all means (many on the left of the party would agree with much of what you say, especially about Corbyn's leadership).

But it's ridiculous - and pretty Stalinesque - to create a narrative that only the right-wing of the party has any legitimacy, and any move in direction to the left is a 'takeover'.

If it is to have any electoral success, the Labour Party must be a broad church, encompassing all aspects of the party from centre-left (even centre-right, as in the NuLabour period) to the traditional left.

You, wanting to return the Party into presumably the control of its right-wing, are doing similar to Corbyn has done in sidelining much of the right-wing.


(PS - I wouldn't include Starmer as someone from the left. Within the Labour Party, he's pretty centrist)

You do know, don't you, that Redmark was brought up SWP. His criticism of Corbyn's ideological background comes from his knowledge and experience of it.
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Offline Robinred

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Since the very inception of the Labour Party, there has been a battle between the left- and right-wings of the party.

Be critical of Corbyn's leadership, certain policies and some of the antics of the people purportedly within that faction by all means (many on the left of the party would agree with much of what you say, especially about Corbyn's leadership).

But it's ridiculous - and pretty Stalinesque - to create a narrative that only the right-wing of the party has any legitimacy, and any move in direction to the left is a 'takeover'.

If it is to have any electoral success, the Labour Party must be a broad church, encompassing all aspects of the party from centre-left (even centre-right, as in the NuLabour period) to the traditional left.

You, wanting to return the Party into presumably the control of its right-wing, are doing similar to Corbyn has done in sidelining much of the right-wing.


(PS - I wouldn't include Starmer as someone from the left. Within the Labour Party, he's pretty centrist)

I think you’ll find a big majority of posters in here agreeing with the bolded bit.

As for the rest I think you do Redmark a disservice. What his posting history reveals is that he wishes the Party to be electable and professional, not amateurish and shambolic.
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Offline Nobby Reserve

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I think you’ll find a big majority of posters in here agreeing with the bolded bit.

As for the rest I think you do Redmark a disservice. What his posting history reveals is that he wishes the Party to be electable and professional, not amateurish and shambolic.


If so, then my apologies to Redmark. I do tend to just dip in and out of threads (they build so quickly!) and can't always have the time to catch up on all posts.

I too want an end to the shambles. I've been waiting my whole life for a manifesto along the lines of that 2017 one and to see a properly left-of-centre government. To see the incompetence and paranoia of the current leadership inner circle wasting a once-in-several-generations opportunity is heartbreaking.
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Offline filopastry

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With the latest push for deselections looming I'm not sure the idea of Labour as a "broad church" will have much relevance for a great deal longer.

Offline Sangria

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If so, then my apologies to Redmark. I do tend to just dip in and out of threads (they build so quickly!) and can't always have the time to catch up on all posts.

I too want an end to the shambles. I've been waiting my whole life for a manifesto along the lines of that 2017 one and to see a properly left-of-centre government. To see the incompetence and paranoia of the current leadership inner circle wasting a once-in-several-generations opportunity is heartbreaking.

That's the issue with wanting something properly left wing, and dismissing Blair and Brown as not properly left wing. In substance, they did stuff that any self-admitted left winger should be proud of, helping those who are least able to help themselves. That's the fundamental basis of the left, or at least it should be. If they didn't do as much as we'd like, they certainly did more than any other government in my lifetime. Much, much more. We should be celebrating them and aspiring to their achievements, and maybe do more, in a more current context, when we get the chance. We certainly shouldn't be demonising them for not doing enough.
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Offline Nobby Reserve

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That's the issue with wanting something properly left wing, and dismissing Blair and Brown as not properly left wing. In substance, they did stuff that any self-admitted left winger should be proud of, helping those who are least able to help themselves. That's the fundamental basis of the left, or at least it should be. If they didn't do as much as we'd like, they certainly did more than any other government in my lifetime. Much, much more. We should be celebrating them and aspiring to their achievements, and maybe do more, in a more current context, when we get the chance. We certainly shouldn't be demonising them for not doing enough.


It would be churlish in the extreme to deny that they put in place many decent policies.

But they had the biggest mandate that any Labour govt had had. And stuck to Tory budget constraints for the first 3 years. They expanded PFI/PPP. They cut over 100,000 admin-grade Civil Service jobs. Bit-part privatisation of the NHS grew. Academy schools were introduced.

Under their tenure the Gini Coefficient increased.
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Offline Nobby Reserve

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With the latest push for deselections looming I'm not sure the idea of Labour as a "broad church" will have much relevance for a great deal longer.


It isn't. Corbyn and his inner circle are destroying it.

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Offline redmark

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Since the very inception of the Labour Party, there has been a battle between the left- and right-wings of the party.

Be critical of Corbyn's leadership, certain policies and some of the antics of the people purportedly within that faction by all means (many on the left of the party would agree with much of what you say, especially about Corbyn's leadership).

But it's ridiculous - and pretty Stalinesque - to create a narrative that only the right-wing of the party has any legitimacy, and any move in direction to the left is a 'takeover'.

If it is to have any electoral success, the Labour Party must be a broad church, encompassing all aspects of the party from centre-left (even centre-right, as in the NuLabour period) to the traditional left.

You, wanting to return the Party into presumably the control of its right-wing, are doing similar to Corbyn has done in sidelining much of the right-wing.



(PS - I wouldn't include Starmer as someone from the left. Within the Labour Party, he's pretty centrist)
For most of my adult life, I'd been a member of no party, involved in various campaigns and politically somewhere between the SWP (my mum was an activist for decades) and the left of the Labour party. I'm certainly not on the right of the party, or a Blairite/Brownite or anything similar. If I recall correctly, I did join after election in 97, but in some hope of having a vote/voice to move the party left, not as a Blair fan. I left after Iraq, and rejoined in 2010.

But it's that background that makes me entirely confident in describing it as a 'takeover', because I know people who have joined to support Corbyn - including family (and went to school with a now very senior figure in Momentum). I've done SWP meetings, I've done the nonsensical paper sales as a 20-year old know-nothing student to 'generalise the struggle' to strikers at Halewood. I've done Stop The War rallies (and posted on here about the strange experience of stewarding one of the biggest marches against the Iraq war). It's the same people. The reason for institutionalised anti-semitism within the party now is a direct result of that part of the left elevating the Israel-Palestine issue above all others. The complete mess that comes with the word 'Zionism' and being 'anti' it.

The Labour party is indeed supposed to be a broad church - and it should be broad enough for 'Zionists' (the self-declared Zionists, not the subtly different definition imposed by the anti's, of which I was once one) as well as those highlighting the rights of, and crimes against, Palestinians. But the party has been taken over by a grouping for which that single issue is the primary - almost the sole - issue on which someone's political integrity is to be judged. It has become such a fundamental fault line that anything and anyone who is on the 'right' side of that line is accepted and defended - hence the descent into 'real' anti-semitism, as pro-Palestinian Islamist extremism meets anti-American banking and shadowy cabal conspiracies. But they're all on the 'right' side of the only issue they care about. If a 'friend' who is politically sound on the issue paints a more than slightly dodgy mural, any attempt to remove it is obviously to suppress his views on the rights of Palestinians. Right.

So yeah. That's what I meant. I still regard my views as 'left wing', though I'd prefer something a bit more modern and relevant than nationalising the energy companies and the railways (both policies that strengthen specific union allies of the leadership, far beyond their political/social/economic value as 'left wing' policies). On general issues of tax, economic policies and protection of the welfare state/health/education, I'm still plenty left wing enough. I'd just like it to be a bit more competent, a bit more nuanced, a bit less shouty and a bit less... well, a bit less SWP. Less social media bombardment of the 'NEC slate', where 'democratising the party' actually means giving them a list of people to vote for to prove you're a good lefty.


Just recalled, as a young SWP/left-of-Labour political geek in Leeds, John Trickett was a right wing leader of Leeds City Council who enacted enormous cuts, gutting the public/voluntary sector (and inaccurately blaming 'dodgy accounting' in doing so). Now he's a Corbynite loyalist and useful thicko within the shadow cabinet. And yet he's now an example of what a 'good lefty' should support?
« Last Edit: July 12, 2019, 03:32:34 PM by redmark »
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Offline oldfordie

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Since the very inception of the Labour Party, there has been a battle between the left- and right-wings of the party.

Be critical of Corbyn's leadership, certain policies and some of the antics of the people purportedly within that faction by all means (many on the left of the party would agree with much of what you say, especially about Corbyn's leadership).

But it's ridiculous - and pretty Stalinesque - to create a narrative that only the right-wing of the party has any legitimacy, and any move in direction to the left is a 'takeover'.

If it is to have any electoral success, the Labour Party must be a broad church, encompassing all aspects of the party from centre-left (even centre-right, as in the NuLabour period) to the traditional left.

You, wanting to return the Party into presumably the control of its right-wing, are doing similar to Corbyn has done in sidelining much of the right-wing.


(PS - I wouldn't include Starmer as someone from the left. Within the Labour Party, he's pretty centrist)
I think arguments like this have helped to keep Labour out of power. no right wing government would have implemented the policy's Labour did 97-10.  I class the last Labour government as center left.
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Offline redmark

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I understand why you say that and I went through the same thought process for a while. But I realised there was no way of differentiating myself from the Corbynistas. 

Jess Phillips has a platform and can speak out but as long as I stayed a member of the Labour Party or voted for them at elections, I would continue to be co-opted by those c*nts as part of Jezza's project.

"80%  of the electorate voted for pro-Leave parties..." Remember that? In 2017 I voted Labour despite the bunch of shite we had leading the party and in the hope that they might recognise the strength of feeling in Remain/Labour areas where the Tories, as the party responsible for Leave, were rejected.

Instead we had it thrown back in our faces and told a) that we had actually shown support for Leave and b) that it was the genius of Corbyn that turned his appalling polling figures into a slightly less than disastrous second place in the election.

I think we have to starve Corbyn/Milne and the rest of financial support and the smokescreen of membership numbers. It may kill the Party but it's worse than useless as a political force anyway while those wankers are in charge. Maybe, once the blood supply dries up they'll fall away like the leeches they are and go back to the SWP and the fringe parties where they belong.

I ask myself quite regularly at the moment what will be the final straw, and I couldn't honestly give a good reason for still being a member of the party - apart, perhaps, from that stubbornness hinted at in my previous post - why should I leave? especially to the people who I've listened to talking shite in SWP/StW meetings?

As for having a voice, that's a fair point. I did briefly start to use my virtually dormant twitter account to 'debate' some of these points, particularly on AS. That went well. I've argued the points with friends and family on the Corbyn wagon, with a bit more success. Funnily enough the closest person I know who accepts that Labour should be a broad church open to Zionists and pro-Palestinians alike is my mum, who had no faith in 'taking over' the Labour party anyway, because she's still a proper revolutionary socialist :) (who nevertheless does drift close to AS positions by her easy acceptance of anyone supporting Palestine, or opposing US/Israeli imperialism, blah blah blah).

Locally, I realised after two sets of leaflets sat undelivered, that I wasn't motivated enough to do that any more. However, my local MP is a robust Remainer and the sort of thoughtful, modern, technology-led socialist I think the party needs more of (and the non-Jewish son of Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany; he was barracked at a local hustings a few years ago for being a 'Friend of Israel' - he isn't - and asked whether he was Jewish or not). I can vote for him (if not deliver national party leaflets that irritate me) easily enough.

My wife and I met a couple very similar to ourselves on holiday - a Jewish couple members of their local party in the nearest neighbouring city. They resigned from the party three or four months ago; my wife followed. Why am I still a member? Stubbornness, certainly; a determination to have a vote if and when the opportunity arises to change the leadership. But yeah, they're not strong reasons and probably not something I can justify for long. If nothing else, I am aware that my subs are funding the party machine and jobs for Milne, etc.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2019, 03:10:34 PM by redmark »
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Offline ShakaHislop

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I ask myself quite regularly at the moment what will be the final straw, and I couldn't honestly give a good reason for still being a member of the party - apart, perhaps, from that stubbornness hinted at in my previous post - why should I leave? especially to the people who I've listened to talking shite in SWP/StW meetings?

As for having a voice, that's a fair point. I did briefly start to use my virtually dormant twitter account to 'debate' some of these points, particularly on AS. That went well. I've argued the points with friends and family on the Corbyn wagon, with a bit more success. Funnily enough the closest person I know who accepts that Labour should be a broad church open to Zionists and pro-Palestinians alike is my mum, who had no faith in 'taking over' the Labour party anyway, because she's still a proper revolutionary socialist (who nevertheless does drift close to AS positions by her easy acceptance of anyone supporting Palestine, or opposing US/Israeli imperialism, blah blah blah) :).

Locally, I realised after two sets of leaflets sat undelivered, that I wasn't motivated enough to do that any more. However, my local MP is a robust Remainer and the sort of thoughtful, modern, technology-led socialist I think the party needs more of (and the non-Jewish son of Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany; he was barracked at a local hustings a few years ago for being a 'Friend of Israel' - he isn't - and asked whether he was Jewish or not). I can vote for him (if not deliver national party leaflets that irritate me) easily enough.

My wife and I met a couple very similar to ourselves on holiday - a Jewish couple members of their local party in the nearest neighbouring city. They resigned from the party three or four months ago; my wife followed. Why am I still a member? Stubbornness, certainly; a determination to have a vote if and when the opportunity arises to change the leadership. But yeah, they're not strong reasons and probably not something I can justify for long. If nothing else, I am aware that my subs are funding the party machine and jobs for Milne, etc.

Do you think MPs are doing all that they can to fight back against the leadership?

Offline redmark

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Do you think MPs are doing all that they can to fight back against the leadership?
I don't know - and some of what they *should* be doing may not be visible publicly, such as building relationships towards possible split/realignment with affiliated organisations and unions, for example.

People like Jess Phillips, Tom Watson and Stella Creasy are steadfastly public in their sticking to principle, opposing anti-semitism and bullying when they see it, and in holding the leadership to account on Brexit. People like Cooper and Benn are acting as responsible, serious, consensus-building parliamentary figures in opposing a no deal/hard Brexit. People like Starmer, Thornberry and even McDonnell appear to be active in dragging the leadership toward the views of the membership on Brexit.

Some are certainly keeping their heads down; whether waiting for the dice to roll their way, or hoping to keep their jobs without the dual threats of deselection or antagonising Leave voters. But many are doing good work. It's false nostalgia to imagine a time when there were 650 top quality MPs in parliament, all talented and vocal about the issues they were passionate about. Some of the quieter ones will be good constituency MPs, some won't. Some will be active in trying to keep AS and bullying out of their local party meetings, some won't. Some are stuffed vegetables, representing Leeds East.

Much of politics is tactical. I don't think its helpful to expect MPs to constantly fall on their swords on every point of principle, when there is a longer game to be played and more significant battles to come.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2019, 03:28:56 PM by redmark »
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Offline Nobby Reserve

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For most of my adult life, I'd been a member of no party, involved in various campaigns and politically somewhere between the SWP (my mum was an activist for decades) and the left of the Labour party. I'm certainly not on the right of the party, or a Blairite/Brownite or anything similar. If I recall correctly, I did join after election in 97, but in some hope of having a vote/voice to move the party left, not as a Blair fan. I left after Iraq, and rejoined in 2010.

But it's that background that makes me entirely confident in describing it as a 'takeover', because I know people who have joined to support Corbyn - including family (and went to school with a now very senior figure in Momentum). I've done SWP meetings, I've done the nonsensical paper sales as a 20-year old know-nothing student to 'generalise the struggle' to strikers at Halewood. I've done Stop The War rallies (and posted on here about the strange experience of stewarding one of the biggest marches against the Iraq war). It's the same people. The reason for institutionalised anti-semitism within the party now is a direct result of that part of the left elevating the Israel-Palestine issue above all others. The complete mess that comes with the word 'Zionism' and being 'anti' it.

The Labour party is indeed supposed to be a broad church - and it should be broad enough for 'Zionists' (the self-declared Zionists, not the subtly different definition imposed by the anti's, of which I was once one) as well as those highlighting the rights of, and crimes against, Palestinians. But the party has been taken over by a grouping for which that single issue is the primary - almost the sole - issue on which someone's political integrity is to be judged. It has become such a fundamental fault line that anything and anyone who is on the 'right' side of that line is accepted and defended - hence the descent into 'real' anti-semitism, as pro-Palestinian Islamist extremism meets anti-American banking and shadowy cabal conspiracies. But they're all on the 'right' side of the only issue they care about. If a 'friend' who is politically sound on the issue paints a more than slightly dodgy mural, any attempt to remove it is obviously to suppress his views on the rights of Palestinians. Right.

So yeah. That's what I meant. I still regard my views as 'left wing', though I'd prefer something a bit more modern and relevant than nationalising the energy companies and the railways (both policies that strengthen specific union allies of the leadership, far beyond their political/social/economic value as 'left wing' policies). On general issues of tax, economic policies and protection of the welfare state/health/education, I'm still plenty left wing enough. I'd just like it to be a bit more competent, a bit more nuanced, a bit less shouty and a bit less... well, a bit less SWP. Less social media bombardment of the 'NEC slate', where 'democratising the party' actually means giving them a list of people to vote for to prove you're a good lefty.


Thanks for your very good response.

There is a philosophical question about membership that's arisen since 'the left' joined in such numbers as to become a majority of the membership. People opposed to the position taken by Corbyn's leadership have been almost condemnatory about people of 'the left' joining, calling them entryists, etc. My point made earlier about the broad church nature of the party is that it cannot realistically exclude people on 'the left'. The political orientation of the party should be dictated by the membership. And if the majority of the membership wants the party to take a more leftist line, then it should do that.


PS - WRT nationalisation, I view the provision of essential services such as water and power to be something which should be provided on an 'at cost' basis, and not used to generate £billions in profit each year for shareholders, and enrich directors & executives with 7-figure 'packages'. It's an absolute point of principle for me.


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Offline redmark

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Thanks for your very good response.

There is a philosophical question about membership that's arisen since 'the left' joined in such numbers as to become a majority of the membership. People opposed to the position taken by Corbyn's leadership have been almost condemnatory about people of 'the left' joining, calling them entryists, etc. My point made earlier about the broad church nature of the party is that it cannot realistically exclude people on 'the left'. The political orientation of the party should be dictated by the membership. And if the majority of the membership wants the party to take a more leftist line, then it should do that.

To an extent, yes. But the Labour party has core values. People joining the party should share those values, not seek to subvert them.

The Labour Party is a democratic socialist party. It believes that by the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more than we achieve alone, so as to create for each of us the means to realise our true potential and for all of us a community in which power, wealth and opportunity are in the hands of the many, not the few, where the rights we enjoy reflect the duties we owe, and where we live together, freely, in a spirit of solidarity, tolerance and respect.

Leaving aside the fact that there is a movement to replace this with the original clause:

To secure for the workers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry and the most equitable distribution thereof that may be possible upon the basis of the common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange, and the best obtainable system of popular administration and control of each industry or service.

Where in the new Corbynite wing of the party is the commitment to "solidarity, tolerance and respect"? Does it include 'Labour Friends of Israel', or the Jewish Labour Movement? Why do revolutionary socialists join an avowedly democratic socialist party? Is it actually an acceptable 'shift' to change core values entirely? Can I organise a mass infiltration of the League Against Cruel Sports to campaign is support of fox-hunting?

I don't want to exclude people 'on the left'. I'd like a more left wing Labour Party than we had under Blair, for instance. (I've said here before, and still believe, that the party could be better served with a left wing NEC and policy making, fronted by a more media friendly 'centrist' figurehead). But the party needs to expand it's coverage of the left with modern, progressive, inclusive areas of policy - on environmental issues, on moving away from the 'authoritarian' streak under Blair/Straw, on opposing the abuses of 'gig capitalism', etc. Essentially, being more 'green', being more 'liberal', with a solid democratic socialist underpinning of economic policy suited to the 21st century. But not fighting battles from the 1970s on public ownership of utilities (as a priority), and certainly not a party where the whole of domestic policy is regarded as secondary to where someone stands on the question of Israel/Palestine, or whether they were a junior minister who followed the whip on the Iraq war.

PS - WRT nationalisation, I view the provision of essential services such as water and power to be something which should be provided on an 'at cost' basis, and not used to generate £billions in profit each year for shareholders, and enrich directors & executives with 7-figure 'packages'. It's an absolute point of principle for me.

I agree with that, certainly. My point about renationalisation is more about cost-effectiveness, real benefits and urgency. It's not the first thing I'd spend any money on. I once tried to estimate on here the figures that people would save under nationalised energy companies - it's virtually nothing - and it's universal, not targetted at those most in need. Nationalising the railways (which could at least be done cheaply and gradually as contracts expire) likewise results in marginal savings, for a rather narrow section of the public, most of them in relatively well paid jobs that require (and pay for) a commute into London. It just doesn't make much sense as a priority. Of course, both are a priority for certain significant unions close to the Labour leadership.
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Thanks redmark for your recent series of posts. You argue persuasively with intelligence, knowledge and moderation. Your position is similar to mine regarding the Labour party, except that I am no longer a member. I resigned in May 2018, but I do understand the arguments for staying even while the party is now led and officered by people who come from a Trotskyist or Stalinist position. Hey, maybe that will be the Labour party's last great contribution to left-wing politics in the end? The party that stopped the fratricidal civil war between the Trots and the Stalinists? Although, as you point out, the truce between them (and all the other strange far left-wing factions) is bound to splinter at some point. It always does.

I'll say this though. A good proportion of my personal friends have spent years in the Labour party, including one or two who are/were elected politicians at council level and one former MP. Most joined when they were at school or university, as I did. I don't think a single one of them would call themselves 'Blairites'. But today, right now, over the past 12 months, most of these people have torn up their party cards. A handful of them even voted for Corbyn as leader too (despite my warnings!). The reasons they have left are because they are Remainers and despair of Corbyn's inaction on that issue or because of the leadership's indifference to anti-semitism in the party.   

(PS Andy from Allerton is absolutely right when he points out that this thread is generally excellent and a good place to debate things if you have the mind).

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With the latest push for deselections looming I'm not sure the idea of Labour as a "broad church" will have much relevance for a great deal longer.

Will be late September/early October before it properly kicks off, I'd imagine. Watching some of the shortlisting currently going on has raised a few eyebrows already. Pegasus pills have been mentioned.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2019, 05:10:11 PM by Zeb »
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Some good posts on this last page

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I think arguments like this have helped to keep Labour out of power. no right wing government would have implemented the policy's Labour did 97-10.  I class the last Labour government as center left.

This whole rewriting of what new labour did and calling them right-wing has always seems quite pathetic, while they obviously should have gone further left once they were in power they still did a lot of good too and taking a more centre-left approach to start out would be a good starting point for the next labour government. It would be much easier for them to shift things further left gradually once they are in power than it would be to try and make any switch in one go, but then again Corbyn and his pals probably prefer the impotence of being in opposition instead.



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If so, then my apologies to Redmark. I do tend to just dip in and out of threads (they build so quickly!) and can't always have the time to catch up on all posts.

I too want an end to the shambles. I've been waiting my whole life for a manifesto along the lines of that 2017 one and to see a properly left-of-centre government. To see the incompetence and paranoia of the current leadership inner circle wasting a once-in-several-generations opportunity is heartbreaking.

I understand the motivation but do you understand that your wish for a ‘properly left-wing’ Labour Party is essentially a selfish ambition? A political party is useless unless it wins power and is only really effective if it has at least two terms to consolidate its policies.

That means a level of support across the electorate, not just appeal to one section.

The line we were sold by Corbyn supporters was that the electorate want a ‘real choice between left and right’ and that given a ‘real left-wing’ Labour Party the Overton Window would shift and all of the non-voters would come out in support of the left.

None of those things happened. There is no Overton Window and the politics of the major parties is polarised and fragmented. And most of the population are left in the gap between the two looking for some semblance of sanity. The hard left make a fundamental error in focusing on party politics instead of the wider country. That’s why they think a leadership election has any relationship to electoral success.

Any party exists somewhere on the political spectrum between far right and far left. The Labour Party isn’t as far to the left as the SWP or CPGB (or wasn’t) and its ‘right wing’ was somewhere in the centre. The Tories traditionally started somewhere around the right of the Labour Party and stopped somewhere short of fascism.

Outside of seismic events like major conflict and natural disaster the distribution of voters is probably a bell curve with the majority not particularly engaged and just looking for a decent life.

So where does that leave us?

The two major post-war parties have, essentially, lost their minds. Internal squabbles and entryism have resulted in parties that are obsessed with internal arguments and dominated by extreme factions. They have both deserted the centre ground and our FPTP system means the logical consequence - a coalition of centrist parties - is difficult to achieve.

What we won’t get is a clear working majority for a Corbyn Labour Party or a clear working majority for the Tories.

I asked the question four years ago. Is it more important to have a leader who says the things you want to hear but never achieves power? Or a party that appeals across the divide but achieves power and enacts a less than perfect social programme?

It might be that the Corbynite project was sound but he was (predictably) incapable of carrying it through. Or more likely in my view, the UK is a small-c centrist electorate that can be persuaded of the social benefits of left-wing policies if they are part of a broadly platform of social democracy.

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@redmark

Superb few posts...

Thanks
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Offline Sangria

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This whole rewriting of what new labour did and calling them right-wing has always seems quite pathetic, while they obviously should have gone further left once they were in power they still did a lot of good too and taking a more centre-left approach to start out would be a good starting point for the next labour government. It would be much easier for them to shift things further left gradually once they are in power than it would be to try and make any switch in one go, but then again Corbyn and his pals probably prefer the impotence of being in opposition instead.

Rather than a move towards being more "left wing", which Corbyn and his like get to define, I'd rather any prospective leftist movement tend towards "green liberalism", moving the economy and society towards greater sustainability and less waste, and aiming for the most effective and efficient government towards this end, rather than soundbites like "for the many not the few", "people's ownership of the means of production", and similar stuff that is frankly irrelevant in today's world.
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Offline Alan_X

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That's the issue with wanting something properly left wing, and dismissing Blair and Brown as not properly left wing. In substance, they did stuff that any self-admitted left winger should be proud of, helping those who are least able to help themselves. That's the fundamental basis of the left, or at least it should be. If they didn't do as much as we'd like, they certainly did more than any other government in my lifetime. Much, much more. We should be celebrating them and aspiring to their achievements, and maybe do more, in a more current context, when we get the chance. We certainly shouldn't be demonising them for not doing enough.

Just a quick point. A true left-winger would regard those at the bottom, the ‘lumpenproletariat’, the criminal underclass, with suspicion and susceptible to collaboration with the bourgouisie.

We live in a complex technological world and anyone whose politics are based on a manifesto written in the 19th century is a fucking idiot.
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I don't know - and some of what they *should* be doing may not be visible publicly, such as building relationships towards possible split/realignment with affiliated organisations and unions, for example.

People like Jess Phillips, Tom Watson and Stella Creasy are steadfastly public in their sticking to principle, opposing anti-semitism and bullying when they see it, and in holding the leadership to account on Brexit. People like Cooper and Benn are acting as responsible, serious, consensus-building parliamentary figures in opposing a no deal/hard Brexit. People like Starmer, Thornberry and even McDonnell appear to be active in dragging the leadership toward the views of the membership on Brexit.

Some are certainly keeping their heads down; whether waiting for the dice to roll their way, or hoping to keep their jobs without the dual threats of deselection or antagonising Leave voters. But many are doing good work. It's false nostalgia to imagine a time when there were 650 top quality MPs in parliament, all talented and vocal about the issues they were passionate about. Some of the quieter ones will be good constituency MPs, some won't. Some will be active in trying to keep AS and bullying out of their local party meetings, some won't. Some are stuffed vegetables, representing Leeds East.

Much of politics is tactical. I don't think its helpful to expect MPs to constantly fall on their swords on every point of principle, when there is a longer game to be played and more significant battles to come.

What if the longer game fails to succeed, as it hasn't over the past 3 years, within the next few months before a possible early GE is called? If Corbyn's still leader at that point, what do they do then? Still stand as Labour candidates anyway? What message would that send out to Jewish people?

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I think arguments like this have helped to keep Labour out of power. no right wing government would have implemented the policy's Labour did 97-10.  I class the last Labour government as center left.
also this country overall is not left wing, more right/centre right so if you want power you have to adapt

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This whole rewriting of what new labour did and calling them right-wing has always seems quite pathetic, while they obviously should have gone further left once they were in power they still did a lot of good too and taking a more centre-left approach to start out would be a good starting point for the next labour government. It would be much easier for them to shift things further left gradually once they are in power than it would be to try and make any switch in one go, but then again Corbyn and his pals probably prefer the impotence of being in opposition instead.
I think it backfired on Corbyns Labour in 2017 as well. how can people argue the last Labour government were just as bad as the Tories and then ask everyone to vote Labour as soon as Corbyn gets in, I remember watching a video of Momentum talking to younger people when campaigning during the GE, asking them to vote Labour.  these were young people who had no interest in politics, they said they wouldn't be voting Labour as Labours done nothing for me. all they've heard is Labour are just as bad as the Tories.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2019, 06:43:30 PM by oldfordie »
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also this country overall is not left wing, more right/centre right so if you want power you have to adapt
Yeah, voters for some reason look at the Tories as a safe pair of hands. the Tories record while in power is actually atrocious yet people still sit down and consider what they say and vote for them.
I do think one of the most important things is a good leader though, a good leader can defend Labour and win the arguments, I think Blair did this well. it's no good having right on your side when you can't win the arguments.
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He claimed bits of the programme were fabricated.

I asked which bits.

Your answer is fine, but has nothing to do with my question.

His answer echoes my thoughts.

Why was there absolutely no attempt at counter balance attempted at any stage of the ‘documentary’? There are many Jews within the Labour Party whom are of the opposing opinion to those shown. Why were their views neglected? To the casual interpreter, the content of the program may lead to one thinking the Labour Party is absolutely 100% anti-Jewish, which is not the case.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2019, 07:26:27 PM by bornandbRED »

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His answer echoes my thoughts.

Why was there absolutely no attempt at counter balance attempted at any stage of the ‘documentary’? There are many Jews within the Labour Party whom are of the opposing opinion to those shown. Why were their views neglected? To the casual interpreter, the content of the program may lead to one thinking the Labour Party is absolutely 100% anti-Jewish, which is not the case.
[/b]

Well that's hyperbolic nonsense! Did you miss the response to literally every single serious allegation? It was voiced over and shown in writing..

Just in case echoing Geoff's opinion in full, you should be aware Dianne Abbott said that her interview was excluded in 2015, not this panorama. YOu can see the tweet (she's deleted it, along with a scummy pre-emptive attack on the documentary before seeing it) in the last 24 hours. You can see it here. Sorry if repeating something yo're aware of, but it's important to challenge false information (even if its an innocent mistake) being spread

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Not sure where to put this story, but this could be big if they get to the bottom of it.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jul/12/met-police-open-investigation-into-leaked-kim-darroch-cables?CMP=share_btn_tw
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Offline Alan_X

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His answer echoes my thoughts.

Why was there absolutely no attempt at counter balance attempted at any stage of the ‘documentary’? There are many Jews within the Labour Party whom are of the opposing opinion to those shown. Why were their views neglected? To the casual interpreter, the content of the program may lead to one thinking the Labour Party is absolutely 100% anti-Jewish, which is not the case.

Nice straw man there. The whole thrust of the programme was that it was the leadership that were interfering in investigations into particular people and there was no part of the documentary (that I saw) that implied the Labour Party was 100% anti-Jewish.
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His answer echoes my thoughts.

Why was there absolutely no attempt at counter balance attempted at any stage of the ‘documentary’? There are many Jews within the Labour Party whom are of the opposing opinion to those shown. Why were their views neglected? To the casual interpreter, the content of the program may lead to one thinking the Labour Party is absolutely 100% anti-Jewish, which is not the case.
Again, nothing to do with my question.

You stated that it was fabricated.

You haven’t yet been able to substantiate that allegation.  One last time then , Which bits were fabricated?
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Offline Alan_X

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Again, nothing to do with my question.

You stated that it was fabricated.

You haven’t yet been able to substantiate that allegation.  One last time then , Which bits were fabricated?

There’s no evidence it was fabricated. He’s repeating the talking points the Corbynista propaganda machine was putting out before anyone had watched it.

The Guardian analysis suggested the Seamus Milne email may have been edited on a way that might have changed the meaning. Otherwise it was people giving verbal evidence.

And you just need to look at the way Chris Williamson was allowed back to see the institutionalised anti-semitism in the party. Or the endless tweets by Corbynista anti-semites. Or talk to Jewish ex-Labour supporters who have been abused and disgusted by the antipathy and prejudice.
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Offline Lush is the best medicine...

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Why was there absolutely no attempt at counter balance attempted at any stage of the ‘documentary’?
because the evidence is overwhelming in one way? Those type of documentaries aren’t done so both sides get the same airtime as it’s clear as day who is right and who is wrong here, they gave them right of reply and published it. If one person says it’s raining and the other one says it’s sunny the job of the media is to look outside the fucking window and tell you which one is right, not give the same amount of time to both, so in this case they’re dead right not to give the likes of JVL any time

Not sure where to put this story, but this could be big if they get to the bottom of it.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jul/12/met-police-open-investigation-into-leaked-kim-darroch-cables?CMP=share_btn_tw
getting oakeshott in for an interview is a good start, as well all know she’s more than willing to shop her sources for the right pryce

I do think one of the most important things is a good leader though, a good leader can defend Labour and win the arguments, I think Blair did this well. it's no good having right on your side when you can't win the arguments.
to be fair it wasn’t just Blair, the likes of brown and cook to name two were very good and had a far more formidable opponent. It’s not so much the message and the vision it’s how you present it and argue it

And you just need to look at the way Chris Williamson was allowed back to see the institutionalised anti-semitism in the party. Or the endless tweets by Corbynista anti-semites. Or talk to Jewish ex-Labour supporters who have been abused and disgusted by the antipathy and prejudice.
and the likes of Livingstone and ken ‘all history is up for discussion’ loach are still in the party, whereas Campbell gets booted out for saying he voted Lib Dem in the euro elections after votes were cast
« Last Edit: July 12, 2019, 09:56:45 PM by Lush is the best medicine... »

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Not sure where to put this story, but this could be big if they get to the bottom of it.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jul/12/met-police-open-investigation-into-leaked-kim-darroch-cables?CMP=share_btn_tw

Quote
On Friday, Neil Basu, assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan police, said: “Given the widely reported consequences of that leak, I am satisfied that there has been damage caused to UK international relations, and there would be clear public interest in bringing the person or people responsible to justice.”

I think the same argument could be made with regards to the Huawei leaks from earlier this year, which the Met chose not to pursue further.

Quote
The US has warned that its intelligence sharing with other countries would have to be re-evaluated if those countries use Huawei to build their 5G networks.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-48098362
« Last Edit: July 12, 2019, 10:20:05 PM by ShakaHislop »

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There’s no evidence it was fabricated. He’s repeating the talking points the Corbynista propaganda machine was putting out before anyone had watched it.

The Guardian analysis suggested the Seamus Milne email may have been edited on a way that might have changed the meaning. Otherwise it was people giving verbal evidence.

And you just need to look at the way Chris Williamson was allowed back to see the institutionalised anti-semitism in the party. Or the endless tweets by Corbynista anti-semites. Or talk to Jewish ex-Labour supporters who have been abused and disgusted by the antipathy and prejudice.
That’s how I see it too.
Although I don’t see that the editing of Milne’s email changed the meaning of it in anyway.

I find it very uncomfortable to see so many earnest anti racists explaining to the vast majority of Jews that what they perceive as racism in fact isn’t racist.  The idea that they were wrong about racism towards them, that real racism is far worse.... etc etc Palestine, Zionist etc etc.

It genuinely breaks my heart.

We are all born with unbuilt biases, and at times I guess we have all fallen subconsciously  in to passive stereotypes.  I don’t think it’s possible to live your life and never discriminate in some way. But you can stop, check, think and change your practice. So we’re all human in that way, none of us are prefect. But something has gone so very very wrong with these people. 

As I say, it breaks my heart.  I know many of them mean so well, yet are blinded totally to what they are doing.  They don’t believe they are antisemitic.  They don’t see it. They see only conspiracy and threat.  And it’s nit that, it’s just them not recognising their own racism.

I feel very low about all this.
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That’s how I see it too.
Although I don’t see that the editing of Milne’s email changed the meaning of it in anyway.

I find it very uncomfortable to see so many earnest anti racists explaining to the vast majority of Jews that what they perceive as racism in fact isn’t racist.  The idea that they were wrong about racism towards them, that real racism is far worse.... etc etc Palestine, Zionist etc etc.

It genuinely breaks my heart.

We are all born with unbuilt biases, and at times I guess we have all fallen subconsciously  in to passive stereotypes.  I don’t think it’s possible to live your life and never discriminate in some way. But you can stop, check, think and change your practice. So we’re all human in that way, none of us are prefect. But something has gone so very very wrong with these people. 

As I say, it breaks my heart.  I know many of them mean so well, yet are blinded totally to what they are doing.  They don’t believe they are antisemitic.  They don’t see it. They see only conspiracy and threat.  And it’s nit that, it’s just them not recognising their own racism.

I feel very low about all this.

Fuck them. Labour isn't a creche.