Organise the Proletariat!

A vast and vibrant grassroots movement has to be built in communities across the country.

We’ve already got one of those. Called “society”.

The vast majority of which spots Corbyn, Murphy and here Owen Jones as the Roddy Spodes they are.

Perfect perishers.

Democratising the economy, too, with strategic democratic public ownership, rather than the top-down nationalisation of the past.

Umm, what does that actually mean? the unions run it just as in the days of yore?

29 thoughts on “Organise the Proletariat!”

  1. I think he means selected local correct thinkers get paid to stroke their bearded chins (including the 50% quota females) over details of business-running they know little about.

    We could call it the “new aristocracy”.

  2. It’s like one of those linguistic reasoning games:

    “…strategic democratic public ownership…” is to “top-down nationalisation…” as “People’s quantative easing” is to “printing paper money”.

  3. In all seriousness, how do the loonies expect any form of public ownership to work in practice other than simple top-down nationalisation?

    What model are they proposing? What are the nuts and bolts of it? Has it been tried in practice anywhere else, and what were the results?

    Otherwise, to me it’s just a different set of words to try to sugar-coat the same old same old.

  4. There were some very successful pilots of a new model in the 1970s, which neoliberals would rather you didn’t know about. I refer of course to the Scottish Daily Express, the Meriden Motorcycle Cooperative and Kirby Manufacturing and Engineering.

  5. “it must love-bomb its opponents” – oh, is *that* what was meant by “Fuck tory scum”? Pretty risky strategy, but go for it.

    “vast and vibrant grassroots movements” isn’t that how Labour started? Is this his vision for (“a new kind of”) government, endless populism?

  6. I presume your reference is to this:

    “The trouble with you, Spode, is that just because you have succeeded in inducing a handful of half-wits to disfigure the London scene by going about in black shorts, you think you’re someone. You hear them shouting ‘Heil, Spode!’ and you imagine it is the Voice of the People. That is where you make your bloomer. What the Voice of the People is saying is: ‘Look at that frightful ass Spode swanking about in footer bags! Did you ever in your puff see such a perfect perisher?”

    Obvious, perhaps, but worth quoting all the same.

  7. @Niels,

    ““it must love-bomb its opponents” – oh, is *that* what was meant by “Fuck tory scum”? Pretty risky strategy, but go for it.”

    That was all the love they could bring themselves to show. Heaven knows what the conspicuously compassionate and tolerant *really* think about Tories, and does it include walls and lines of riflemen being too good for them?

  8. Ha. There won’t be a “grassroots organisation”. Most of these hundreds of thousands that joined the party or paid their £3 are fly-by-night voters. They got to vote for the leader with little more commitment to the party than posting a hashtag on Twitter. Think they’ll put down their iPhones to post leaflets through doors? Think again.

  9. @Anon

    There has *always* been a gap between “activists” and “members” of the party, as I imagine is true for all parties. In Labour the activists have always been a small minority of the total membership but have generally been somewhat more left wing. We may well be about to see a reversal of that if the bulk of the “passive” membership becomes those who joined for the Corbyn surge.

    In terms of how deeply Corbynism has infiltrated Labour, and how hard it will be to remove, even inactive members matter because their votes will make a difference in future leadership elections, as well elections for positions within the party apparatus, selection of local MPs, any policy role that gets devolved to the membership…

  10. Plus of course how many people paid £3 just to shaft the Labour Party?

    But I’m not as confident about Corbyn failing as most people as they seem to forget that he has been elected as a MP and I still remember my clashes with the hard left in the 1970’s believe me they are capable of anything

    Plus if he plays his cards right he could come across as the nice genuine beardy man who just wants to make thing better and is being attacked by the horrid posh Tories

    Remember the perfect democracy is where 51% of the electorate vote for the other 49% to pay for everything

  11. I don’t think what we’ve learnt anything about the natural political sentiment of the brits, nor about people’s desire for an alternative politics, or any other thing like that from the election of Comrade Corbyn.

    I think we’ve learnt what the cash market value of looking more virtuous than your mates on Facebook and Twitter is. I think we’ve learnt it’s three quid.

    I leave the irony (the election of a hard left political leader to prove a point of market theory) to the reader to enjoy.

  12. From Corbyn’s wiki entry:

    ‘ Corbyn attended the independent Castle House Preparatory School in Newport, Shropshire, and Adams’ Grammar School, a boarding and day school also in Newport…. He gained two A-Levels with ‘E’ grades before leaving school at 18.’

    High achiever.

  13. “Democratise the economy”? It’s difficult enough to get people to go to the pub, never mind endless nights arguing about stuff they don’t understand, or have the slightest interest in.

  14. @Julian,

    “Plus if he plays his cards right he could come across as the nice genuine beardy man who just wants to make thing better and is being attacked by the horrid posh Tories”

    I’m not sure he can when all they need to do is repeat his own words, as they’ve already released a video doing.

    Difficult to spin that in the era of the Internet.

    Also, they don’t need (or want) to hit him hard – they need him to last until May 2020. And there’s plenty of creepy material he’s put out over the years to present him as a beardy crank without ever getting “nasty” in a way that Allister Campbell might recognise.

  15. Indeed, abacab

    Murphy and the New Economics is irrelevant. Once the British people see the beards Corbyn shares a platform with they will recoil in horror.

  16. @myburningears

    The thing with the activists and most members is that they at least care about winning power, even if they’re wrong. And have had sometimes a long commitment to that. Every year they pay their subs and the party isn’t in power, every time they tread the streets and the candidate doesn’t win is a waste to them. After a while, people get more real about what has to be done. It’s why Blair got loyalty from nearly all the Labour Party – they’d got sick of being in opposition for years and wanted to win, even if it was a compromised win.

    To be able to vote immediately for a leader straight after joining will encourage the worst sorts of members – short-termers with no commitment, who will join the party, and if the party loses, bugger off to a new home. So then, your leader goes, you have an election, and well, a load of new kids comes along. Or maybe the £3 voters just give another £3 shot.

    Those are the rules and they got the hard left in. The hard left aren’t going to change those rules, if it keeps the hard left getting elected. And once they lose a bunch of moderate seats at the next election, it’s easier to meet the percentage to get a hard left candidate on the ballot. I think it’s possible that the Labour party is now going to be a hard left party, and will eventually go to the wall as a new party emerges to fill the centre-left vacuum that they leave.

  17. It’s worth remembering that more than a fifth of Labour members couldn’t be arsed to vote for a new leader. Bearing that in mind, it’s hard to see how the Jez effect will cause non-voters to get to the polls come the next general election.

    Of course this ‘grassroots organising’ means the Corbynista wing wants to gather enough rioters, cranks and online angry people to bully their way to success. The claim that they’re not worrying about elections might be just right.

    The poll tax rioters, the PC lobby, the pro-immigration, the ‘Muslim Community’ and the legions of the permanently aggrieved have managed to change the political landscape and the law despite a large majority of the population not supporting their aims.

  18. Julian Howe,

    “Plus if he plays his cards right he could come across as the nice genuine beardy man who just wants to make thing better and is being attacked by the horrid posh Tories”

    And who cares about that? I don’t hire a plumber because he’s a nice guy that runs a kitten sanctuary in his spare time. I hire him to fix a leaking pipe. If he can’t hire a leaking pipe and I don’t have another option, I’ll hire the guy who can fix a pipe and collects 3rd reich tableware.

  19. If BluNu/NuNulabour had the brains of a gnat they would be on this breaded bastard right from the start. Pushing to make everyday a “Gaff of the day” day.

    Since they have neither the brains or balls of a gnat it is all up for grabs.

  20. “Of course this ‘grassroots organising’ means the Corbynista wing wants to gather enough rioters, cranks and online angry people to bully their way to success. The claim that they’re not worrying about elections might be just right.

    The poll tax rioters, the PC lobby, the pro-immigration, the ‘Muslim Community’ and the legions of the permanently aggrieved have managed to change the political landscape and the law despite a large majority of the population not supporting their aims.”

    And of course such uncouth behaviour plays so well with the Tory/Lab swing voter that Labour need to win…..

    I look forward to the professionally unwashed attending every PermaProtest about every stupid little thing with their Che Guevara protests. Nothing drives people into the arms of Blue Labour and UKIP any more than that. And Blue Labour and Ukip are the best offerings for those not concerned with ideological purity.

  21. @Anon

    “I think it’s possible that the Labour party is now going to be a hard left party, and will eventually go to the wall as a new party emerges to fill the centre-left vacuum that they leave.”

    I have discussed possibility with some other people.

    The more skeptical response is that Labour centrists will be able to “win their party back”, if their MPs pull off a decent coup and make sure Corbyn’s replacement is a boring centrist – in response to which the membership base will shed its lefties back to TUSC/Greens, and normal order will be restored.

    But I think there is an outside chance of MPs forming a breakaway party, if they feel their backs are against the wall. (One possibility that crossed my mind is that with a possible reduction of parliamentary seats to 600, lots of MPs are going to face selection races for the new constituencies – if their local parties have been heavily “infiltrated” this is politically equivalent to the imminent threat of a mass deselection.) Very few Labour MPs are hard-leftists (compare the ease with which Liz Kendall garnered so many nominations, versus Corbyn scraping through on “borrowed” nominations.) A breakaway party could potentially become the official opposition, which means funding would likely follow. Private donors are going to be particularly important if there are harsher rules on union political donations; private donors may be far more keen than unions to back a potential winner rather than focus on ideological purity. Getting an activist and councillor base put together would possibly be hard. Getting an organisational structure and staff together might not be so bad: Corbyn’s purging of the Labour staffing operation (many of whom are currently vanishing off into thinktankland) means there is a pool of relatively centrist, experienced party workers available for rehire.

    Historical precendents for a centrist/right-wing split from Labour (or indeed from the Liberals back when they were the main opposition to conservatism) are pretty grim and it’s a risky strategy. Generally centrists who have sat out a period of left-wing domination have done well when the pendulum swung back in their favour and those who jumped ship have done poorly. So there’s lots of reasons to think MPs won’t actually do it. But then, the Corbynite takeover of their party is pretty much unprecedented and will be a tricky thing to fight against.

    I think a lot comes down to how hard it’s going to be get Corbynites to quit the grassroots: among MPs his position is not strong at all. But at that level, many fellow-travellers are joining in response to his victory, and a decent chunk of committed folk from the Greens and TUSC etc are quite likely to step over. If Corbyn gives a greater policy-setting role to the membership they may become more and more closely involved, and at that point even axing the man himself may not sever the attachment of his followers to the party.

    Someone made an interesting comparison: UKIP managed to purge its activist base of the Kilroy-Silk faction after the “sensible” wing axed him. That was a similar response to what was effectively a political takeover, and one that actually worked. But this is a bigger number of people, and they aren’t so much committed to Corbyn (they’d have clamoured just as much for Diane Abbott or John McDonnell, I’m sure) as to the ideology, which is harder to kill.

  22. @MyBurningEars,

    A lot of this will come down to MPs own self-preservation. If I was in Mary Creagh’s shoes, with a 2000 majority, I’d consider myself unemployed in 2020. There’s enough moderate voters who will not vote Labour because of Corbyn’s batshittery to lose that seat. So, do you start/join a coup, or start a party? I doubt Burnham will rebel – he’s safe enough. He might think he can stick with the party until it bounces back.

    You’re right about the precedents. I’m just wondering if this voting system now permanently knackers them, and if the party yeah, gets overrun by lunatics. It may be we don’t see this until after an election when Corbyn loses and another Corbyn takes his place. If that happens, anyone left on the right of the party will be gone to other parties.

    Yes, this isn’t like getting rid of the Kilroy-Silk faction or militant by Labour. This time the lunatics are running the asylum. And yes, this has encouraged all the greenies and loonies to jump to Labour as a new home. After the result, 15,000 people joined Labour. That’s 15,000 Corbyn/hard left voters.

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