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Why I spoke for Corbyn by David Prescott

Please note this blog originally appeared at https://davidprescott.wordpress.com/2016/07/25/why-i-spoke-for-corbyn/

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I’m neither a Corbynista or a ‘moderate.’

But I spoke and voted for Corbyn. 

I’m Labour. 

And hopefully after this leadership election, we’ll all be Labour again.

No cliques or factions. Just Labour.

 

 

In these turbulent times, people want to see us set a political direction that’s truer to their own moral compass. 

 

 

So tonight we held our Newark Labour leadership nomination meeting.

It was a comradely, good natured affair and Corbyn won the CLP nomination 42 votes to Owen Smith’s 11.

We had many members speak for their preferred candidate. And I could see the merit in both Owen and Jeremy.

But I spoke and voted for Corbyn. 

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Now I was proud to be part of Andy Burnham’s campaign team last year. And you could argue that my politics have more in common with Smith.

But I spoke for Jeremy because in my opinion nine months is far too short a period for him to be judged as a leader.

We didn’t expect it of Ed or Gordon. We shouldn’t for Corbyn.

And I have to respect someone who has single handedly doubled the party membership. 

From speaking to friends who’ve joined or rejoined in the last year, the big attractions are his values and beliefs.

As one mate said to me:

“I’d run through walls for Corbyn. I’ve never felt that way about any political figure before.”

For many, the turning point was seeing the Shadow Cabinet initially consider supporting tax credit cuts before eventually abstaining.

Jeremy rightly opposed it. And from that moment, his campaign took off.

As Benn said, you’re either a weather vane or a signpost.

In these turbulent times, people want to see us set a political direction that’s truer to their own moral compass. 

However, as I said in my speech, I don’t want Jeremy to continue as he is.

I want to see a much sharper operation in Corbyn’s office and an increased level of professionalism in being a Leader inside and outside the Commons. 

It will mean managing some people out and bringing more experienced people in. Those who can build a consensus not a barrier.

It would also involve Jeremy and his team accepting some of the constructive criticisms made by certain MPs.

Likewise, the PLP must accept the result. 

I genuinely believe the majority of MPs who voted no confidence in Jeremy did so in haste after the brutal shock of Brexit.

The fear of an impending snap election in October with Boris as PM drove most of them to do it. 

But I sense the mood is slowly changing.

Sarah Champion returning to the front bench will hopefully be the first of many shadow ministers.

Because forcing another leadership election next year will only end up with the same result and an even more fractious relationship between the leader and the PLP.

I reckon most members would agree we can’t allow that to happen.

I’m neither a Corbynista or a ‘moderate.’

I’m Labour. 

And hopefully after this leadership election, we’ll all be Labour again.

No cliques or factions. Just Labour.

Both sides will have to listen and work together. 

There will have to be some form of Truth and Reconcilliaton. 

Trust will need to be earned. Concerns must be acknowledged and acted upon.

If Labour can do that, it’ll become the effective opposition and Government-in-waiting this country desperately needs.

If not, Labour we’ll be out of power for at least decade.

David Prescott

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commented 2016-08-10 09:45:17 +0100
“the real enemy is the Tory party not each other , and like it or not I suspect JC will win massively "
Well yes it seems fairly inevitable that Corbyn will win, the way things are going. But you never know!
What we all have to contemplate is the future thereafter, which undoubtedly looks interesting. There’s a lot to be optimistic about; increased membership, income and enthusiasm, set against the struggles of the collapsing tory party with their huge problems and crazy agendas.
commented 2016-08-09 17:35:43 +0100
Guys pse forgive me if I am telling you how to suck eggs but the real enemy is the Tory party not each other , and like it or not I suspect JC will win massively ( I hope so anyway ) .More concerning is post leadership election , here in our own little neck of the woods can we at least rely on each others co-operation and whole hearted help in sticking it to the Tories as we move forward . let those at the top of the pile hate and be divided but not us here at CLP level , my hope anyway .
commented 2016-08-09 08:26:12 +0100
OK sorry if you offended. It’s only a turn of phrase – not a personal insult!
But if what they are doing is not “disloyalty”, to their leader and to the vast majority of the membership, then we are speaking a different language.
They might have got away with it;
if their tactic of “shock and awe” resignations had worked, but it didn’t;
if there had been a credible alternative leader in the offing, but there wasn’t (let’s be realistic Smith is very unconvincing);
if Corbyn had simply given in – but he is made of stronger stuff than they thought;
but more than anything – if they had majority support from the membership, but they haven’t.

Membership is more than it ever was, bigger than any other party in the whole of Europe.
Membership receipts are more ditto, more even than the tories get, even with their mega rich donors (as far as we know!).
We have a revitalised party with a strong and sensible socialist agenda. It may seem radical but that’s only in comparison to the dreadful nonsense we have suffered under since 1979.
The tories are in total disarray, what with Brexit and only stupid tory ideas on their agenda, not even the LiB Dems to help them from making a fools of themselves.

Things have changed and are continuing to change. There seems to be no going back – and a lot of people really don’t want to go back to how things were!.
commented 2016-08-09 07:44:34 +0100
Jacob,

You have changed your position on deselection and have started on personal abuse. Your opinion on where an MP’s prime loyalties should lie are not mine nor I expect the UK electorates. If the serious concerns on Jeremy’s performance cannot be debated without threats (deselection), and personal attacks (from another planet etc) then I see no point in further engagement. You are back on your own!
commented 2016-08-08 21:41:31 +0100
Unfortunately for Smith we are a democratic organisation; all he has to do is persuade the membership that he would make a better leader. So far he has failed completely – nobody takes him seriously in spite of his belated radical posturing.
A party split seems very unlikely – the membership are solidly behind Corbyn. I can’t see a repeat of the SDP manouvers being any more successful second time around.
“Claiming it’s a lack of loyalty is just an absurdity” yes – if you are from another planet or from Alice’s through the looking glass world! Look up “loyalty” in a dictionary; by any definition the 172 are being utterly disloyal to both their democratically elected leader and to the membership. They are also giving support to the tories by weakening the opposition. I think they should simply go and join them, then we could clear the decks and prepare for serious action, instead of all this tedious nonsense.
It’s very simple – they have to find someone who could be a better leader AND they have to persuade the membership of this. If they could do it then I’m sure Corbyn would be relieved to step down.
If they can’t do both then they are finished; the “New SDP” beckons!
commented 2016-08-08 19:18:28 +0100
Deselect them and you will ensure that Labour will be out of power for a generation. It will split the electorate even if none of the deselected stand separately. Jeremy could avoid all this by resigning and let us decide on a leader credible to the electorate. Jeremy is now so desperate to prove his benefit that he is boasting about a council byelection in Stoke won with a swing of 70 votes and the winning candidate stating his victory was nothing to do with Corbyn (given the small size of that electorate he doesn’t need an opinion poll but probably knows them all!). Jeremy demonstrably lacks the skills to lead a party into government and yet none of the articles you quote addresses this. An abysmal rating in the opinion polls, 80% of his MP’s unable to support him and quite a few more struggling to. Claiming it’s a lack of loyalty is just an absurdity and avoiding the truth of his failings, to get MPs and the electorate to follow he has to persuade them and he cannot.

Owen Smith supports the same principles as Jeremy but has policies to deliver them and has not got the luggage of Jeremy’s leadership failures. The PLP passed the no confidence vote because they saw his failures, common sense would see that as the key issue going forward. A party fighting to be the official opposition under Jeremy or a government in waiting with Owen. Seems simple to me and bemused that the debate is not about that.
commented 2016-08-08 18:28:46 +0100
Choices facing the 172:

“They can walk their way to deselection.
Or they could do something truly radical.
They could dust themselves off, smell that the winds of political change are blowing, and direct their considerable platforms to supporting the anti-austerity, pro-democracy policies of their party and leader. They could, in short, act like grown-ups.”

http://www.thecanary.co/2016/08/08/its-game-over-for-owen-smith-and-the-labour-coup-so-lets-start-acting-like-grown-ups-editorial/
commented 2016-08-07 10:32:02 +0100
“To threaten them with some sort of retaliation is therefore inappropriate. Any attempt to follow through on such a retaliation would be electoral suicide "

Not in my power to threaten anything – I have one vote just like everybody else, so rest easy!
As I’m sure you realise; what I meant were the simple inescapable facts that, 1 parliamentary candidates are ultimately selected by the membership, 2 the membership is largely pro Corbyn, 3 the membership will favour pro Corbyn candidates. It’s not a question of who has or has not entitlement to views, its about democratic process.
So unless the anti brigade can completely reverse the current trends it’s just a matter of time. If there are moves to continue the assault on democratic process this could destroy the party. Instead they MUST win the argument, or concede defeat (gracefully!)
Interesting times – things have been changing very speedily.
I don’t see the Cameron peerage debacle as anything to do with Corbyn. Though the PLP have been a bit slow on commenting. But Corbyn made a good choice in Chakrabati – we need people like her in the house – people who show a strong commitment to human rights and equality, not Cameron’s PR men, hair stylists and mega-rich donors.
commented 2016-08-07 08:26:53 +0100
Jacob,

We have diametrically opposed assessments of Jeremy which we keep expressing in this blog with the knowledge that we are both entitled to hold such different views. Equally the vast majority of sitting labour MP’s who have a view on on Jeremy different to yours are also entitled to have and express those views. You may not like the views nor the way they are being expressed but they have breached no constitutional rule. To threaten them with some sort of retaliation is therefore inappropriate. Any attempt to follow through on such a retaliation would be electoral suicide and a few moments playing out potential scenarios would make that obvious. Some people may see the bloodbath an acceptable price to pay to get a party in tune with their aspirations but it will result in a decade out of power. A decade in which the communities requiring help will be denied it as it is Parliament which passes legislation not parties or movements. The Labour Party is a coalition of views and needs a leader who can unite those views and persuade over 10 million electors to vote for the resulting synthesis. The debacle over the peerage nomination has once again demonstrated that it is not Jeremy, the opinion polls indicate it is not Jeremy and 172 sitting labour MP’s think it is not Jeremy.
commented 2016-08-06 14:27:34 +0100
“PM question time used to show then it does not take much to out debate Jeremy.”

Really? I thought PMQT was Corbyn’s strong suit – he’d ask a whole series of pertinent questions to which the PM would be incapable of giving an intelligent answer but instead would resort to sarcasm, insults and weak jokes, with the tories behind him all braying like donkeys (with a large part of the PLP sitting on their hands).
No need to and no point in debating with that lot, he made his points very well every time and their repeated failures to answer were noted!
But he could do with support from the PLP – their failure is also being noted by the membership for whom they are supposed to be acting. It’s truly shocking that the PLP are helping the tories – this also will not be forgotten.
commented 2016-08-06 13:28:25 +0100
Jeremy Corbyn employs an Alastair Campbell, the bloke is called Seamus Milne. This wishy washy article, which does not cover its own title ( I would hope he would mark a student down for such carelessness) is therefore a call for Seamus to up his game which would be helped by highlighting the PR failures so far.. The 24 uturns lie where most of the incidents had nothing to do with Jeremy at all, the local election victories lie which have not resulted in a single extra seat and the peerage scandal unraveling by the hour. Perhaps Seamus could go and work for Trump.

The future prosperity and equality of outcome for all in this country requires a government dedicated to those goals operating in parliament not a social movement sitting outside of parliament trying to influence it. It therefore requires over 10 million voters to tick the Labour candidate box at the next election. The polls state unequivocally this is not something Jeremy’s leadership can deliver.

I watched the hustings debate, Owen came over better than Jeremy despite the hostile front row of Corbyn luvvies who glared at Owen and simpered at Jeremy. Watching them kept me sufficiently entertained to keep awake during Jeremy’s content free droning. Owen wasn’t stunning but as PM question time used to show then it does not take much to out debate Jeremy. In fact Jeremy was there when Hilary Benn delivered the master class a few months ago but hasn’t improved but then one of the telling PLP criticisms is that he does not listen.

Now here is a far more intelligent article which potentially shows the challenges ahead. Jeremy could not navigate these given his obvious failings as a leader which have been well covered by everyone from the PLP to McClusky but perhaps Owen could.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/aug/04/labour-fight-for-working-people-progressive-ideas
commented 2016-08-06 09:33:45 +0100
Corbyn and the media:

“Corbyn’s strength depends not on the skills of another Alastair Campbell, but on his ability to nurture a social movement that can truly articulate the concerns and hopes of millions of British people. That would be a hard story to ignore.”

http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/staggers/2016/08/jeremy-corbyns-media-strategy-smarter-his-critics-realise
commented 2016-08-05 17:23:35 +0100
David

The PLP’s duty is to do what is best for the party and in the current climate that would be to support their leader.
If he really is so bad as a leader then they should be making every effort to help him improve his act (it’s called team work). But in fact he’s doing pretty well and reviving the party in a big way.
If they had a credible replacement waiting in the wings then there’d be more sense in it but Smith is a very dubious quantity, rather a dull boy and shows little promise as a leader.
Unless they can pull some dramatic PR stunt out of the bag Smith doesn’t stand a chance. No doubt they are working hard on it as we speak!
commented 2016-08-05 16:55:12 +0100
Jacob,

Jeremy’s duty is to do what is best for the party he leads and that is clearly that he should resign. It is not strength to hang on but courage to resign which is required. The losing of the open goal I refer to is nothing to do with anybody but himself, it is not due to the disagreements with the PLP, it wasn’t a bandwidth issue as he had to select the name and put her forward. He did not even talk it over with his deputy. There is no defence, it is his usual flaw, he has no ability to work with a team.

Are the PLP within their democratic right to deliver votes of no confidence in their leaders? Given our constitutional system is based on the supremacy of Parliament then clearly they have that right. All MP’s have loyalties to various groupings especially but not limited to the political parties sponsoring them but their mandate does not come from any of those groups, it comes from their electorate and that is where their prime loyalty therefore lies. That is clear from parliamentary rules as if a party removes the whip from an MP then they do not lose their seat. So they are not acting un-democratically under the UK’s constitution nor can you describe expressing their views within the Parliamentary system as bullying. I am the same age as Jeremy and have no sympathy for him at all, he should not be in his position if he cannot take criticism about his performance whatever his age. The criticisms directed at Jeremy are nothing compared with the sheer hostility hurled at Hilary Clinton who is older than Jeremy but nobody is defending her as some frail old being but are expecting her to take possibly the most stressful job in the world.

The PLP perceived, as I do, and according to the polls most of the population do, that Jeremy has not exhibited the qualities of leadership required of his position so had a duty to their own party to raise that. Also a healthy parliamentary democracy requires that there is an effective opposition to the government so signalling up Jeremy’s inabilities to lead this is also their duty to the UK electorate. We have read lots of their reasons for seeing Jeremy as a poor performer and no one has come up with any defence of those shortfalls. Jeremy merely denies them as my experience shows the worst performers often do usually because of fear. Basically the PLP’s totally legitimate actions have been criticised as coups and undemocratic rather than welcomed as an essential part of healthy political discourse which it obviously is. They tried to persuade Jeremy to resign so a proper leadership contest could take place with a wide cross section of potential leaders offering themselves up but ,since he sadly has not, we are limited in having just Owen.

Let’s stop talking about fictitious undemocratic coups but talk about the qualities required for leadership. Then we can all recognise Jeremy’s shortfalls and find someone not just better equipped which, based on last nights debate, includes Owen but work to get the best candidate within the PLP. We should put Jeremy behind us as a mistake and move on. Hoping somehow he is going to turn out good is the sleep walking over the cliff edge. No improvement in Labours position in the local elections whereas there should have been in the electoral cycle (Jeremy even confessed to that last night), a weak performance in the referendum and a dismal performance in the opinion polls. It is also the same set of leadership shortfalls being highlighted each time, an inability to work as part of a team, a refusal to listen to alternative views, a reluctance to engage with people outside his comfort zone and an inability proffer polices rather than placard platitudes. Janet Street Porters criticism last week was intemperate but on target. The evidence is there, the U.K. electorate will not elect him and the PLP are merely reflecting that reality.
commented 2016-08-05 11:13:12 +0100
“Jeremy’s disgraceful hold onto power at the expense of party unity”?
Have you forgotten – he was elected as leader by the majority of the party? He still has a majority – even amongst older members (like me) not just the new entry.
He has a duty to stay in post – it would be disgraceful of him to resign in the face of bullying and undemocratic pressure. and he is showing great strength as a leader
So where the the rest of the PLP with respect to the “open goal”? Sitting on their hands as usual? What did Smith have to say about it – nothing at all? But Corbyn can’t cover every angle unaided – the party has been weakened and he has been disgracefully let down by the 172.
Instead of wasting everybody’s time over this fatuous leadership contest, Smith could to do something really useful by supporting Corbyn and rallying the rest of the PLP, who currently are sleep walking to nowhere.
commented 2016-08-05 09:39:46 +0100
Dear Jacob,

Nothing here which is anything but criticism by allusion, in fact when he gets specific he is wrong. Owens position on immigration last night was exactly what the Labour movement should be, open, welcoming and inclusive and Jeremy’s response typically just platitudes which he continues to offer up as opposed to actual clear thought through policies.

Of course it has been overshadowed by Jeremy’s leadership failings being on display again yesterday. Knowing that there was a Tory open goal over David Cameron’s honours list he appoints Shami Chakrabarti and effectively sidelines Labour from criticising the use of the list. Once again handing the dialogue to other parties eager to take the mantle of opposition as Labour relinquishes it under Jeremy. He did not even consult Tom Watson, perhaps he talked it over with Seamus Milne instead as his spin doctor. I would not put Owen as my first choice to replace Jeremy but as a result of Jeremy’s disgraceful hold onto power at the expense of party unity then he is the only candidate out there.
commented 2016-08-05 08:02:36 +0100
commented 2016-08-04 18:17:46 +0100
David – I don’t find it difficult to discuss views – I’ve been doing it all my life over a range of topics – it’s one of my favourite pastimes!

“I wish Jeremy had campaigned for us to remain.”
Er – he did! It’s well documented – even Angela Eagle said so. The idea that he didn’t is just another bit of the black propaganda. Trying to blame Corbyn for Brexit is very over the top. In any case he probably made the same mistake as Cameron and everybody else and assumed the remainers would win.

Good to see Smith adopting some more radical policies – this is the Corbyn influence – he has shifted the whole argument leftwards. But I can’t see any point in Smith’s leadership bid. It looks doomed to fail and to be divisive, even if he succeeds. He’s very unconvincing as potential leader and his policies seem to lack conviction – more opportunistic than anything.
If Smith wanted to do something useful for the party and to show leadership, the best thing would be for him to get behind Corbyn and start showing some team spirit. The party could be powerful and influential if the defectors would stop sitting on their hands and start doing the job they were elected for.
Corbyn won’t be here forever and the party should look to the future and run with the ball!

Can’t be at tonights meeting hope it goes well and nobody falls out!
commented 2016-08-04 16:50:44 +0100
Jacob,

I am sorry you find discussing views with people you disagree with so difficult. I read the article you reference this morning and thought it a set of platitudes devoid of real policies to move the economy and our populations life chances forward. Now it appears you read the same article and were enthused enough to express your frustration. I hope that you will be just as enthused by Owens contributions tonight, if you turned that enthusiasm to supporting him then you could help save Labour from electoral oblivion. Incidentally my calculations show that the BoE downplaying of next years economic activity means a reduction of £10 billion in tax take next year due to Brexit and we will still be paying our subs to the EU! I wish Jeremy had campaigned for us to remain.
commented 2016-08-04 10:14:52 +0100
Todays Grauniad:
“The Labour leader is laying the foundations to more fairly distribute Britain’s wealth”
These things are so glaringly obvious: “without adequate purchasing power people cannot stimulate the economy”
or:
“A reversal of the £15bn corporation tax cut announced by the chancellor in March alone would fund the abolition of the £10bn tuition fee.”
Arguing with anti Corbynistas is like talking to sleep walkers – they need to be woken up carefully and slowly!
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/aug/03/corbynomics-new-deal-low-paid-workers-labour-leader
commented 2016-08-02 11:29:30 +0100
“I think that the best twist you (or Seamus) can really put on them is that they held up,”
Yes, against all the forecasts!
Early days! He’s only been there since September with a lot of major scene stealing going on, what with Brexit, Cameron and the leading Brexiters all chickening out (did they leave a plan of any sort?), the weird behaviour of our own PLP, the huge increase in party members, antagonistic media.
Interesting times!
We have an extremely popular leader, democratically elected and doggedly sticking to his guns in an exemplary leadership sort of way. If the PLP could just pull their fingers out we are on to a winner.
Corbyn isn’t forever – he’s old and probably a bit frail – it’s only a matter of time before he is replaced, hopefully by a civilised and democratic process. In the meantime he is bringing the party back to life and radicalising the whole debate.
I think there are big changes on the way.
commented 2016-08-02 10:14:30 +0100
Jacob,

Claiming the local election results as a victory is a romantic fiction. There was no improvement that I can see, I think that the best twist you (or Seamus) can really put on them is that they held up, however usually in the circumstances there should have been a move up not staying much the same. No indication at all of making inroads into the conservatives, the gainers were The Libs and UKIP. The real news was some Corbyn critics expected a trouncing which did not happen. The best victory was in the London Mayoral election and that was Sadiq’s victory as they kept Jeremy out!

So we can put that myth to bed, there was no evidence based on the results that Jeremy can lead the party to victory. Now his failure to unite the PLP behind him is the proof I refer to. To lead the country he has to show the ability to lead his MP’s and he cannot do that, the 40 who did not vote for the no confidence motion are not all shouting their support either (Andy Burnham for one). However you (or Seamus) try and spin that it is a fact. The opinion polls support my view and the increased party membership has not improved them. All that has happened is that there is an increased polarisation which can only be dealt with by Jeremy resigning.

The one nation line of Theresa May is traditional Tory fare and is not a move left. Owen is trying to attract Jeremy’s supporters as he can bank on the support of the rest of us. The divisions which will get worse in the conservatives will continue as they share the common view that Jeremy is unelectable so can spat, fall out, go to the country and come back with a bigger majority.

It is the executive committees of the unions which are supporting Jeremy, the view of their membership who pay the political levy will be counted next month along with yours and mine. I have stated my view that despite the suicidal nature of the result then Jeremy will probably win. However the resulting marginalisation of the Labour Party will be a disaster for the country never mind the movement so I have to try. Probably not here though.

.
commented 2016-08-02 09:52:18 +0100
I agree with Jacob , the time for the slick suited and booted sound bite politician is past and the fact that JC is what he is , is the very reason that many many people support him and are voting for him .

It is this visible authenticity that builds something that has been missing from many (not all ) politicians in recent time and that is trust .It is a pity the 172 MP’s cannot find it now in their hearts to at least try and trust not only JC but the membership who have voted for him in all likely hood not once but twice now .

It is all totally unnecessary in my view and has been a disaster for us , the Tories are having a field day .You can’t blame the membership for voting for JC but you can remonstrate with the 172 who instead of going back to their CLPs and making the case arguing the debate and seeking the support democratically , just downed tools and walked out so to speak .That was and is completely counter productive and has entrenched the views in many member’s minds. If they take this kind of fundamentally undemocratic action , how can I trust them with other issues and decisions to make the right call,,,,,, I can’t .

There will be plenty of us member’s who have differing views on JC and we are all entitled to respectfully and considerately voice them without fear of reprisals from the Labour administration and other internal groups both on the right ( Progress ) and left , however the PLP has and must listen and respect the views of the membership who have already democratically elected the Labour leader ( probably twice now ) .

Some of you many recognise this statement just to remind us of what Labour is :-
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.
commented 2016-08-02 08:53:42 +0100
“Do we have to go through another general election to persuade him that he has failed when the evidence is to hand now?”
All the evidence so far seems to suggest that he is succeeding and will be electable; massive increase in membership, massive attendance at meetings and rallies, success at by elections, support from unions. What other evidence is needed?
His agenda is so popular that even May and Smith are picking up on details which would have seemed radical only a year ago. He has managed to move the whole dialogue leftwards – Smith is having to “position himself as a radical”!!!
An astonishing turn-around especially when you consider the appalling team performance of the PLP – imagine how it could be if they were behind Corbyn instead of making the party a laughing stock!

Teresa May will have a brief honeymoon – but the problems (self inflicted) the tories face are huge, and she is not very clever. They have been in decline since they won an outright majority and lost the feeble but steadying influence of the SDP. They have enough rope and now will hang themselves!
If the various opposition groups could get closer, and if the PLP could get behind their leader, things could be very different in a few years time
commented 2016-08-01 17:46:41 +0100
Jacob,

I would think that Seamus Milne would be regarded as a professional communicator (PR/Journalist/spin merchant) or doesn’t he count because he is working for Jeremy. The effective rhetoric of the 90’s got Labour into power through three general elections and probably would have made it a fourth if Gordon Brown had gone to the country on being made leader in 2007. But few anticipated the economic crisis cascading out of the USA and its effects.

A man who did foresee it, Danny Blanchflower as reported today, summed up the reality driving the vote of no confidence and the feelings of millions of labour voters when he states

“Corbyn is “absolutely, completely unelectable”. He said Corbyn was unable to form a strong opposition.”

I could quote Janet Street Porter who expressed it more viciously last week but I think its far too much a polemic and you will have seen it.

Yes the referendum brought it to a head for most of us who saw his separate position not as “principled” but “ineffective” and “lacklustre”. Who knows if he could have persuaded the 5% of existing labour voters to move camps and deliver a remain victory had he joined in fully with the Remain camp but he did not and we have the right to judge him on that decision. However based on his performance in the referendum then it is extremely unlikely he can persuade nearly a million of previous labour voters to return to the fold and also keep the nearly half of existing Labour voters who also seem to think he is not a viable PM.

The current government have yet to trigger article 50 and then take any resulting required legislation through a Parliament in which they have a tiny majority and contains a very disparate set of views of what Brexit should mean. The possibility of an early general election therefore still looms and all the indicators are that the conservatives today would win an increased majority on a platform driven to the right. Jeremy has not therefore got years to dramatically prove his leadership skills but months which is not going to happen based on his record of the last few months. So it is not about the fairness of only having had 9 months, or the mandate he received but the fairness to the Labour movement of having a leader who can lead now.

My preference remains Jeremy resigning and a range of candidates putting themselves forward but he will not do that because he hopes that a membership mandate will miraculously lead to an electoral one. He blames his leadership failure on the people he is required to lead which would be pathetic in any walk of live and ridiculous in politics. He is wrong and must go, it becomes clearer by the day that the economic downturn forecasted by the Remain camp is not a campaign trick but reality and, as always, it is the communities most in need of support who will suffer.

We need a leader who can unite not just the membership but the MP’s and the people who have voted Labour in the past, that has proven to be not Jeremy Corbyn. We are voting for a person who can help win a general election in 2017 and that is certainly not Jeremy Corbyn according to every single poll. Add to the mix the suicidal view of deselecting sitting MP’s thus forcing a split in the labour vote then failure under Jeremy seems assured. Do we have to go through another general election to persuade him that he has failed when the evidence is to hand now?
commented 2016-08-01 11:37:30 +0100
I’d agree with all of that except for a detail – I’m not at all convinced about the need for “professionalism” – it’s now a much tarnished concept, following the Alistair Campbell/Malcolm Tucker experience of recent years!
Being an honest broker with conviction, carries far more weight and being media savvy seems to mean saying and doing just what the media will allow. As Tony Benn said – it’s between being a wind vane or a signpost.

It says it all here: http://www.thecanary.co/2016/07/29/just-3-buzzwords-away-success-claim-owen-smith-camp/
“The ”tweet-url hashtag" href=“https://twitter.com/#!/search?q=%23ChickenCoup” title=“#ChickenCoup”>#ChickenCoup backers behind Owen Smith are assuring Labour members that the party is now only three buzzwords, slogans, or soundbites away from success – failing to realise that their insistence on the hollow rhetoric of the 90s is what doomed them to the sidelines in the first place."

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