Jeremy Corbyn has been elected leader of a Labour Party that hate each other

To the shock of nobody barring possibly  a now weeping John McTernan, Jeremy Corbyn has, again, been elected Labour Party leader creating a new unified party. A shufty through social media shows that already there’s people angry about Corbyn’s victory & I’d lay money on by Monday morning someone carrying on the nonsense within Labour we’ve seen for months.

Now, I’ll not vote Labour again. I’ve made my thoughts clear on that, nor do I think Corbyn’s the monster some paint him to be, nor do I think he’s a saviour. I find some of his 20th century Labour ideas outdated, especially when it comes to the current state of the UK, and he’s utterly clueless about Scotland where he’s simply picked up where Ed Milliband left off.Some of his ideas however are very good, and wouldn’t have seemed out of place in Tony Blair’s early social democracy phase before he became a murdering psychopath.

However the question is now is whether the Labour Party can unite to fight the Tories, including on Brexit, something Corbyn clearly wasn’t exactly strong in fighting against. The Welsh branch of the Labour Party last week voted with the Tories to support leaving the single market, a decision which is promising disaster, and Kezia Dugdale, the leader of their Scottish branch can’t even press a button. Then of course there’s the inevitable descent into farce coming as Blairite Labour MP’s sit in a strop on backbenches behind their leader, and yes, John McTernan will be wheeled out to probably call Corbyn a cunt and the Guardian will nary bat an eyelid being the proud defender of the British middle class liberal establishment they are.

Yet, the journalist Ian MacWhirter has made an interesting point.

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I think there’s not a chance in hell of Labour winning an election in 2020. The damage to Corbyn among voters in the marginal seats in England has been done, plus in parts of the north of England, Labour have been caught in a state they were in Scotland of being complacent, entitled and callous in taking people for granted. Scotland is lost to Labour with another Scottish branch leadership election probably due between now and May.Wales looks split as the Welsh branch face losing election to Plaid Cymru and even UKIP.

But can Corbyn take advantage in England? MacWhirter’s point that the honeymoon period Theresa May’s having over Brexit not lasting is a good one and indeed, there’s signs of that cracking already. If Corbyn keeps the English branch of Labour united, if he can present his ideas better, if he can stop the disgraceful media attacks, if he’s willing to actually speak to parties of the left like the SNP, Plaid, Greens and the Northern Irish parties and if he can fight against the more insane ideas the Tories are having over Brexit then he may well not just run May tight, but even create a hung parliament. For me though, the EU referendum was a weak point for him and something he’s justifiably taking flak for. If he’s just going to let his party side with the Tories as they are in Wales, or support losing free movement, then he’s lost in 2020.

Then again with Brexit all bets are off. Making any predictions is a risky business, but one thing is for sure, John McTernan will carry on writing angry articles and there will almost certainly be another challenge to Corbyn if Labour do badly in next year’s local elections regardless of the size of Corbyn’s mandate because Labour are now two parties fighting for the name.

If we think this resolves anything with the right wing of Labour, think again.

What the creator of Millifandom tells us about the attempts to get rid of Jeremy Corbyn

I’ve not done a political post in a while because politics are in a mess and it’s nearly impossible what to say because so much is going on. Do I talk about Donald Trump’s willingness to use nuclear weapons?

There’s journalist David Torrence’s quite spectacular flounce from Twitter because he got pulled up for being an idiot, then there’s the ongoing clusterfuck of Brexit. There’s so much to pick from but in all of this insanity one story sailed under the radar and it’s this one from the Huffington Post (I know, I’m ill, I do a lot of reading) about Abby Tomlinson talking about rallies in support of Jeremy Corbyn.

Tomlinson you may remember was the person who came up with that cringeworthy Millifandom thing about Ed Milliband last year and has since been adopted by Labour as a face of Labour’s youth, and indeed, it seems the party are doing their best to absorb her into their matrix.

Reading her blog post about Corbyn is an interesting exercise in confirmation bias. This isn’t to say I don’t disagree with her, rallies are only a part of the democratic process and they serve not just as social events where activists can meet, and hopefully, mobilise in the future to convince others to vote for the party they’re part of. Where we diverge is that this is a ‘ego trip’ for Corbyn, because it isn’t Corbyn that’s decided to hold rallies this summer out of his own choice, it’s that part of Labour wanting to kick Corbyn out. If his party had united behind him this wouldn’t be happening, not to mention they could have held him more to account over things like calling for Article 50 to be invoked, something lost in the chaff of lies, smears and bullshit.

I’m no Corbyn supporter, he’s got massive issues to overcome of which he’s not got answers for, plus, as he’s a Unionist politician I have little time for his 20th century Red Unionism in a post-Brexit UK. But watching his support I can’t help but be reminded of how Scottish independence supporters were marginalised using the same argument-you can’t win elections with rallies-until the point when the SNP and did so consistently because they were smart enough to tap into the Yes Movement and use the activist network already built up to help them win every single election since September 2014, and look like winning for the foreseeable future.

There’s absolutely nothing to stop Corbyn supporters from using Scotland as a template to help him grow support in England. Rallies don’t win elections, the people there can. By adopting part of her party’s line it seems Tomlinson answers the question as to what Mhairi Black would have been like if she’d joined Labour and it’s a pity. In my time in Labour I saw people her age reshaped into being cogs in the party machine and it seems she has followed in a long line of people who’ve swallowed the Kool Aid.

The reason this wee story stood out is it tells us how the mainstream media shape one person’s views, and how the media use a person like Tomlinson (who is no longer an ordinary member of the public, but a media commentator) to launch an attack on Corbyn based upon a logical fallacy. It shows how quickly the media and the establishment can adopt, shape and then use people to help promote the status quo.

And what’s worse is there’s still weeks of this contest to go. God help us all…

How has Jeremy Corbyn affected polls for Scotland in 2016?

The answer is ‘not much’.

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There’s a few things to note. Corbyn’s initial effect is pretty non-existent. Labour’s constituency MSP’s are wiped out, and they’re consigned to picking up MSP’s from the list. Now it might be a case in a few months once Corbyn has bedded in that things change, but tonight Labour voted against devolving trade union law to Scotland so it seems business is going to be carrying on as usual for Scotland.

So those Corbyn supporters in England hoping waving Jeremy Corbyn in front of people in Scotland is going to swing people back should realise politics has moved on from just protecting the Union and hoping the past is a place that we can return to.

As I’ve said in previous blogs, Corbyn is essential for the people of England to provide an actual opposition to the Tories, but his position to devolution across the UK is outdated and just totally out of skew with the majority of people not just in Scotland, but across the UK. We’ve known that Corbyn is a Unionist for some time, but I find it odd that Corbyn who is so much for democracy and self-determination finds it so easy to deny it to the people of Scotland.

I hope he changes his opinions, and these polls should make grim reading for Labour, but it’s 2015. Things have moved on and the Union is broken and doesn’t work so denying further devolution to Scotland or a federal solution isn’t going to gain Labour votes in Scotland.

The Corbynite Maneuver

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There’s a brilliant episode of the original series of Star Trek where the crew are confronted by a vastly superior alien craft that could easily destroy them. Captain Kirk tells the aliens the Enterprise is made of Corbomite, a fictitious substance which would detonate and destroy utterly everything if it was fired upon. The aliens back off, every makes friends, Kirk, Spock and McCoy share a joke, and Kirk shags a green slave girl. The End!

Of course this is an analogy for the the Cold War and Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) , as well as being a great bit of science fiction. Corbomite doesn’t exist. It’s a bluff designed to scare the other side because the other side doesn’t know if Kirk is lying or not so it plays it safe and backs off.

So it is with the ongoing Jeremy Corbyn story. In this case the Labour Party are using Corbyn as a thing that will cause everything to explode! Women only carriage (he didn’t actually say that), QE for the people is insane! (but for banks it’s perfectly fine), renationalising industries are mental! (Yet this is supported by a large majority of the public) and the public will never accept any form of left wing government because they rejected it in 1983! (forgetting the fact that only people over the age of 50 voted in 1983 and the SNP’s successes in Scotland since 2007).

In effect it’s the establishment playing their own massive bluff in the hope Corbyn and his supporters back down. They think that playing these lines will make people back off and things return to ‘normal’ because in the minds of the establishment Labour Party, anything that threatens the status quo is a threat and must be destroyed.

Now there are issues with Corbyn’s ideas and I’ve said his ideas on Scotland are hopelessly outdated and out of touch, but he’s trying to be easily dismissed by such intellectual titans like Yvette Cooper (the person that introduced ATOS) and Liz Kendall. I a couple of weeks we’ll find out who Labour have elected as leader but for those still to vote don’t believe the giant bluff that’s being played by the Labour Party and their cronies  the media.

Hell Yes! I’m Abstaining! The end of the Labour Party as we know it

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Last night the Labour Party abstained from voting against the brutal, cruel and genuinely evil bill that I’ve seen in my life put forth by the Tories and that’s saying a hell of a lot. Today Labour leadership candidates, Labour MP’s and the handful of Labour supporters that think this was a smart thing to do are desperately trying to spin it but it’s not working. It’s pretty hard to present a party supposedly fighting for social justice when all their MP’s bar 48 abstained. In fact here’s a list of those Labour MP’s that did abstain so I suggest if your MP is on that list you let them realise your displeasure.

In fact Labour abstaining isn’t new. They’ve been doing this for five years, and only at the start of the year they did a similar thing in regards Osborne’s budget and essentially rubber-stamped Tory austerity. Even more in fact people have been pointing this out all the time but people like Owen Jones or various columnists at the Guardian and New Statesman would dismiss such claims, or you’d get crap that Labour have to be ‘pragmatic’ yet all the time Labour were standing for nothing and failing to stand against something. It went into an election like this, lost and still tries to carry on the same policies of abstaining when it can which results in last night when even the most ardent Labour supporter has to admit they fucked it last night, possibly they’ve fucked their party forever.

After all if the Labour Party doesn’t stand for social justice, or fight against a brutal Tory welfare bill and the SNP, Greens, Plaid Cymru, SDLP, Lib Dems and even the hardline DUP vote against it as a party then Labour should realise they’re not in Star Wars speeding away from an exploding Death Star, but are actually sitting there supporting the Empire destroy millions. They’re on the wrong side and today, they realise that but you’d think they’d have learned from last night?

Nah, today was a debate and vote on George Osborne’s finance bill. Yes it’s the last day before the summer break but all the SNP MP’s were there and in a gigantic bit of brass neck decided to take the official opposition benches as there were no Labour MP’s to be found.

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I’m sure the sight of 56 SNP MP’s sitting where Labour normally would is going to hurt some Labour supporters but Mhairi Black has a point here. Surely the point of an opposition is to oppose rather than sit back or support even the most abhorrent bill? If Labour can’t get their heads round that over the summer holiday then that’s it, they never will. At that point the left, especially in England, need to work out what to do next because there’s no point supporting a supine, spineless, cowardly Labour Party that’d rather throw the most vulnerable to the floor if it meant putting the party first.

Of course there’s still Jeremy Corbyn possibly coming in on his white stallion but with talk of a coup if Corbyn is elected leader, I don’t think he’ll save Labour. They’re too far gone. Their only hope is to split in two with the Red Tory faction carrying on and the more socially democratic faction joining with the Greens, SNP, Plaid and SDLP to oppose austerity. I can’t see any other future for them otherwise apart from irrelevance and a slow demise.

A quick word about the long death of the Labour Party

There’s been an almighty fuss over the last 24 hours about the comments of temporary Labour leader Harriet Harman in regards Labour’s support for parts of the most regressive and brutal Tory budget in my lifetime, which is saying quite a bit. Labour supporters in England are apoplectic as they see Labour supporting the basic principles of the Tories, Owen Jones is spitting teeth, Twitter has melted.

Yet it’s all so predictable to anyone paying attention, especially those in Scotland where this sort of Tory enabling bullshit has been common for some time, hence why the people of Scotland kicked out their Labour MP’s for SNP ones. This isn’t suddenly Labour veering suddenly out of control to rubber stamp austerity or the Tories as they’ve done this before, and they look like they’ll do it again, and again, and again or at least for as long as people futility think ‘if we give Labour one more chance they’ll come good!!‘.

Of course the four leadership candidates have spoken about Harman’s comments with Jeremy Corbyn speaking out against it, Yvette Cooper and Andy Burnham trying hard to condemn it while trying not to look scared and Liz Kendall to the surprise of nobody fully supports the idea because she’s a Tory in every single sense bar the party she’s in. In fact one has to question not only why she decided to join Labour, but why the party allowed her to get so far in it? Then you remember Jim Murphy and it all becomes more clearer..

Kendall is simply extraordinary. Burnham and Cooper are faceless planks, but Corbyn represents what Labour should try to be and though no means a perfect answer to Labour’s many, many (mainly) self-inflicted problems he at least understands the power of standing up against austerity. Kendall seemingly wholeheartedly endorses austerity and a quick look at her Twitter feed reveals this jaw dropping Tweet.

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Not only is it patronising to the people that are going to be driven into suffering, but it clearly shows Kendall’s main priority which is winning. Sure, she might kill the Labour Party off once and for all but hey, she’ll have won!

It’s a fucking horrendous situation. There’s no rage, no anger coming from Labour, Just endless attempts to talk to the same sort of Southern English middle class voter that may have voted Tory in May in vaguely Tory language while failing the most basic thing Labour was set up to do which is represent the people at the bottom. As this splendid Bella Caledonia article says, this is Orwellian and if Labour play the Tory game then we’re fucked.

This is a turning point for Labour as it’s opened eyes to people especially in England about what they’ve become in their slow journey from left til right. It could change them for the better, but I doubt it. Corbyn is being monstered not just by the right wing press but by within his own party as ‘left wing’. In 2015 the term ‘left wing’ has become a pejorative to some in Labour. That’s how fucked they are because they carry on as they’ve done today then the death of the party in Scotland will spread to England and Wales so that all that’ll be left is a mindless husk shambling around agreeing with the Tories because they’ve got not one original idea left.

Perhaps it is time for the Labour Party to die?

Jim Murphy is leaving his disastrous leadership of ‘Scottish’ Labour but not before throwing a stink bomb into the mix by taking on Len McCluskey directly, and in return, Unite in Scotland are going to vote in July to see about cutting support for Labour in Scotland.

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Added to this, the STUC have decided to support the SNP government in Scotland in standing against Tory austerity and their government generally. In England and Wales, the party is in the middle of a bizarre conversation about replacing it’s former leader Ed Milliband as candidates talk of ‘aspirational voters’,  John Lewis shoppers and endless reams of entitled self-indulgent soul searching that spreads the shite everywhere apart from at the feet of Labour itself or the fact the party has supported austerity for the last five years and has voted with coalition policy or abstained over the last five years.

The clear favourite for leader, Andy Burnham, is coming out of support for an EU referendum and is using language that just about stops short of sounding full-fat Tory, especially on the subject of immigration. All the other candidates are actually worse, and none have any idea as to why the Labour Party failed so, so badly in the election.

Andy Burnham could do himself a favour and read this splendid article by John Harris in the Guardian from last week, and actually understand it. Labour lost not because of the SNP, or UKIP, or anyone standing on a grassy knoll but they failed primarily because Labour don’t know what they’re actually for anymore apart from gaining power and keeping it. They’ve become a party of power for the sake of power itself, and in seeking this power they’ve driven many people away into the arms of more left wing parties like the SNP, Plaid Cymru or the Greens, false hopes like the Lib Dems, or the chancers of UKIP. In Scotland it’s even worse as Labour supporters and voters voted Tory in order to ‘keep the SNP out’ and in doing so added to David Cameron’s share of the vote and denied Labour an increase in short money.

As a serious anti-Tory campaign starts to form Labour are nowhere to be seen as they fight among themselves, or indulge in wheezes like attacking the SNP for not voting in the forthcoming free vote in regards the fox hunting ban in England and Wales. They know fine well the SNP don’t vote on England only issues, and that there already is a ban on fox hunting in Scotland that was introduced in 2002 introduced during a Labour government in Holyrood, and supported by the SNP. Rather than unite with the anti Tory movement and help protect the Human Rights Act, or even try to find Tory MP’s that could vote to retain the ban, they’ve continued this tactic of attacking the SNP, but this is going to blow up in their face as it not only provokes the West Lothian question (not that it’s a concern for Labour as they only have one MP left in Scotland) but it will invoke the question about why then did Labour spend so much time supporting the previous government or abstaining?

So as Labour is being eaten alive from within what’s it actually for? It doesn’t support the unemployed. It doesn’t especially seem to care about the poor. It doesn’t seem to understand the purpose of government is to serve, not to use power to curb people’s freedoms. Yes, Labour will tell you they formed the NHS, the Welfare State and brought in massive reforms in the 1960’s but that’s the past. Telling us what better men and women than the people in the core Labour Party now did isn’t painting a vision of the future under any sort of Labour government. I understand the Tory vision of the future, it’s horrible but I get it. I understand UKIP’s, the SNP’s , Plaid’s and the Greens (the Lib Dems have an even worse problem than Labour but fuck them) but I have no idea what Labour are actually for now?

Perhaps then it’s time to kill it? Give it a quick painless death now rather than hope that maybe one day Labour will be that party it was when we were either young or not born. Sure, it might change but then again I might be Batman, so the hope for the left in England especially is to take things into their own hands. Scotland has a healthy left in the SNP, Greens and SSP. Wales have Plaid Cymru and the Greens. All England have as a realistic left wing option now is the Greens.This isn’t to say Labour need to become fire breathing socialists, but a centre left socially democratic party would be nice, but as said, that’s not even remotely going to happen.

And that’s why Labour needs to die. Stop the endless hope it’ll reform. It won’t. It’s too corrupt, too bloated and too complacent to take the fight to the Tories, and from right now that fight needs to be taken to the Tories every single day. The majority of people that didn’t vote Tory, that don’t want £12 billion worth of cuts or the Human Rights Act removed and anything the Tories want as they intend to dive into neo-fascism need a voice and that isn’t going to come from Labour.