What, actually, is going on in Labour?

I suppose I could go and read it all but seriously, life’s too short. What I’ve gathered is that despite losing the vote 170 odd to 40 odd, Jezza is staying. Stating that the vote has no “constitutional validity” or summat.

All of which reminds me terribly of the student Trots of my own day where the sub sub committee on rules making for the proposing of matters for consideration by the sub committee was where all the power was. Control the rule making agenda and you control the whole organisation – or at least those 50 people who took student politics seriously. And that sub sub committee was where all the Trots were of course.

And Tom Watson as Leader?

The past isn’t a proof of the future but it is indicative. What used to happen when the will of the majority was frustrated by some ruling from the sub sub committee on what motions could be tabled was that 90% fucked off round the pub and went and joined the racing club or the rugby team instead of doing student politics. Sure, the Trots ended up running the student union but no one gave a fuck quite frankly. Even they weren’t going to do something stupid like close the cheap bar.

Wonder is that past actually will be a guide to the future?

42 thoughts on “What, actually, is going on in Labour?”

  1. It would be a shame if Jezza finally toppled, because there’s always the possibility Labour might then be led by someone electable.

    *looks st current Labour lineup*

    Oh. On the other hand…

  2. Jezza has given sterling service.

    But his work is not yet complete.

    Let us stand by him in his hour of need.

  3. I suppose it depends on where you think democratic legitimacy lies.

    MPs know that with Corbyn as leader, many of them will lose their seats and, less importantly, they won’t be able to ‘do good’.

    Labour members, many of whom are not known for their connection to the reality-based world, being supporters of the SWP, the TUSC, Momentum etc., are the actual electorate for leader. Rather like the Supreme Soviet in former years.

    It is, according to Ed Miliband (who introduced the current system), ‘democratic’ that party members should decide the dear leader, even though they haven’t the first idea how to write a manifesto which sufficient voters would support in an election. Nor do they want to.

    The unelectable left is thus in control of the leadership of the Labour party. With anti-democrats now in charge at the Guardian (see: Why elections are bad for democracy – http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/29/why-elections-are-bad-for-democracy) the Regressive Left is once again revealing itself in its true colours.

    The implosion cannot be long in coming.

  4. Ah the 70’s, I went to a meeting where the IMG had a huge row with the SWP about whether having a Black section was racist or not, the fact that everybody present was white seemed to escape them
    Remember the Left always believe that you gain power and then ignore the people until you’ve “educated” them enough to agree with you

  5. Bloke in North Dorset

    MR Ecks,

    Shouldn’t that be “our” hour of need?

    Interesting position for Labour. They’ve gone in to a panic because their English and Welsh heartlands voted Leave. They blame their leader because he didn’t campaign with enough vigour for a Remain vote.

    They now want to elect a pro Remain leader who will presumably tell their own voters that they didn’t understand what they were doing.

    There’s nobody hates the working man more than the Labour Party.

  6. “Remember the Left always believe that you gain power and then ignore the people until you’ve “educated” them enough to agree with you”

    Quite. And the recent referendum is another in a long line of disappointments that the Proletariat has visited upon their Vanguard.

    I wonder if any of ther far-left remainers are revisiting the “dictatorship of the proletariat” thing after having been served a big fat dose of it last week…. nah, that would require mature reflection.

  7. The best comment I’ve seen on the current goings on in the PLP was to the effect of “This is disgraceful treatment of an elderly Leave voter.”

  8. Labour are our century’s Liberal Party. Splits, decline, irrelevance.

    They’ll never form a government again. Blair was their Lloyd George.

  9. It’s all delicious, but ….. we do actually need an opposition.

    Credit where it’s due, the Conservatives provided one during the Referendum, but that’s done now.

  10. bloke (temporarily not) in spain

    “Remember the Left always believe that you gain power and then ignore the people until you’ve “educated” them enough to agree with you”

    I find it quite amusing you assign this property solely to the left. It’s the universal basis of politics in action, isn’t it? Certainly been watching Cameron doing exactly the same thing, during his tenure.

  11. Who will the Right-On rally to next?

    Before the referendum, the Evil Tories were evil, vile, fascists, while Corbyn was the Second Coming. Outers were evil, vile, racists.

    You wake up on Friday to find that The Glorious Workers have voted Leave, and that your Messiah was one of them. (Not a surprise to anyone paying vague attention of course, but can you imagine?)

    Having demonised, and I mean demonised maybe 85% of your fellow citizens, where do you go?

  12. The Trots control the party now tanks to Milipede – Ed was probably fulfilling a plan hatched by Ralph long ago. I’m old enough to rember the Milipedes long before they were figures in the Labour party – and were noted ones in hard left agitator circles.

    The Trots are ultras, they’ll not tolerate any return to a “moderate” leadership, and in numbers they are big enough to get a landslide for Jez again, or some other hard leftist. For what my opinion is worth, I can’t see how the grip of the Trots on Labour can be loosened – the Miliband coup has seen to that. They’ll eventually deselect most of the current parliamentary party. Labour is, I think, finished. this will leave room for Ukip to massively expand itself in the old Labour heartlands, as their white working class vote are faced with the choice of a bonkers Leninist Momentum candidate, a Tory (who they less likely than ever to vote for if the party is led by the odious, and useless “Remainer” May), and a Kipper. What happens to the soft left in all this I don’t know – nor do I care, right now – the posturing little Quislings have proved themselves to be traitors to our democracy. To Hell with them.

    I hope Ukip doesn’t become more and more a party of reactionary puritanical conservatism – but goes in the direction of liberty, libertarianism, the small state, and protection for our citizens against the worst aspects of globalist corporatism.

  13. Jezza is doing a sterling job. He may have single handedly tipped the referendum to Leave with his quote that there was ‘no upper limit to immigration’ if we Remained, and he’s currently destroying the Labour Party by turning it into a home for all the unelectable parts of the Left, and driving out all the electable bits.

    In fact in the 10 months he’s been leader he’s done more to realign the UK’s political landscape than any other politician since Attlee. Only shifting it rightwards, not leftwards.

    Well done, hang on in there Jez!

  14. My pet theory. The voters will leave the Labour party, either going to UKIP or staying home. Initially this gets the Conservatives in power, but once it becomes evident the Conservatives will split.
    Based on the idea that many people vote to block the party they don’t like, rather than support the party they do.
    Expect name changes.

  15. Corbyn and the small group of nutters around him (Milne) are more than willing, eager even, to burn it all down. If they can nuke their own party then they can gloriously begin the glorious work of starting from scratch. It’s the Pol Pot theory.

    Trots hate other leftists far, far, far more than they hate tories and UKIP.

    On a more practical note – looks like there’ll be an official stop JC candidate in the next day or two. IF the PLP have any sense they’ll look to block Corbyns access to the ballot. If they don’t then he’ll likely win and we’ll see his MPs resign the whip en masses and two labour parties sitting in the HoC.

    Raises an interesting point – who would be the Official Oppostion? The 170 odd of the mainstream PLP or Corbyn and a rump of 20-30 moon howlers?

  16. Soarer,

    The problem is that not many of them will lose their seats. This wasn’t a tight result because of lots of Labour marginals, but because so many Labour seats went to the SNP. There’s maybe 20 fairly marginal seats.

    And the problem these people have is that you have people who will just vote Labour. If they create NuSDP, people might not vote for them. And there’s really no leaders in parliament. Who in parliament has much name recognition with the public? Hilary Benn, maybe? Tristram Hunt?

  17. I would call the current Labour membership ‘entryists’, but that implies some sort of covert entry. Labour in fact opened the gates and charged them £3 on the door. Now they are stunned that their club is full of lunatics who want to exterminate them.

    Corbyn was elected by the membership with a huge majority. Their club, their rules. Labour MPs are going to learn where true power lies, and it isn’t with Blairites writing articles for Prospect magazine.

  18. “IF the PLP have any sense they’ll look to block Corbyns access to the ballot.”

    Expect a spate of mysterious fires at Blairite constituency offices. Seriously, I think if they tried that someone would get killed. The people are fucking nuts.

  19. Rob,

    Yes, William Hague described it as a disastrous policy, in the “running a political party 101”. You need people with commitment. The Conservatives have a 3 month waiting period. I was thinking of joining about a year before the next election to vote for their next leader, but events have beaten me to it.

  20. @ Longrider

    I did read the article. He wants a small number of ‘representatives’, chosen by lottery, to be guided by ‘expert’. like him, no doubt:

    It could invite experts, rely on professionals to moderate debates and put questions to citizens. Legislation could arise from the interaction between it and an elected chamber.

    Small groups are much easier to manipulate than populations.

    He gives the game away here:

    What if this procedure had been applied in the UK last week? What if a random sample of citizens had a chance to learn from experts, listen to proposals, talk to each other and engage with politicians? What if a mixed group of elected and drafted citizens had thought the matter through? What if the rest of society could have had a chance to follow and contribute to their deliberations? What if the proposal this group would have come up with had been subjected to public scrutiny? Do we think a similarly reckless decision would have been taken?

    He clearly thinks his idea would have lead to the ‘right’ decision – i.e. Remain.

    He knows more words than David Lammy, but he is no more of a democrat.

  21. Longrider,

    Personally, I think this is an argument for reforming the system. If people felt less like tactically voting, we might have been able to have more Eurosceptic seats being won, which would have sent an earlier signal to the politicians. FPTP doesn’t allow for subtle variations. Or alternatively, use primaries – allow the locals to decide the type of Labour/Tory politician they want first.

  22. Anon
    June 29, 2016 at 9:28 am

    Agreed. Mr Corbyn may well be the best possible leader for Labour.


  23. At Guido’s people are boasting that their dogs, goldfish, etc., became £3 members simply to wreck the Labour Party. One guy even said a slug in his garden voted for Jez, whereupon someone else nominated the slug for the Shadow Cabinet; whereupon someone else said the slug would make a better fist of the leadership.

    Myself, I’d like to see Dianne Abbot in charge.

  24. What if this procedure had been applied in the UK last week? What if a random sample of citizens had a chance to learn from experts, listen to proposals, talk to each other and engage with politicians? What if a mixed group of elected and drafted citizens had thought the matter through? What if the rest of society could have had a chance to follow and contribute to their deliberations? What if the proposal this group would have come up with had been subjected to public scrutiny? Do we think a similarly reckless decision would have been taken?

    The group would be as ‘random’ as your average Question Time audience.
    The ‘experts’ would be political hacks, journalists, sociologists and paid agents of the EU.
    Any result against the grain would be ignored.

    He has no interest in democracy, whatever bleatings we have heard from him in the past. And why should he? When has the far left been interested in democracy?

  25. What, actually, is going on in Labour

    An assortment of counter-revolutionaries, Marxist revisionists, aligned and supported by Menshevik insurgents are attempting to usurp the legitimate authority of party leader Corbyn and frustrate the will of the people as represented by the people’s commissars of Momentum.

    All Labour party members and supporters should speak with one voice and with unity of purpose that party leader Corbyn be allowed to continue and if there is to be any leadership election then his (and preferably only his) name MUST be on the ballot.

    The attempt to remove glorious party leader Corbyn is simply another battle in the ongoing class struggle of the proletariat against the bourgeoisie in which comrade Corbyn must prevail.

    After the recent temporary reversal of our internationalist faction in the EUSSR due to corruption by the fascist / nationalist collective, it is critical that comrade Corbyn be allowed to continue his platform of pro-Marxist/Leninist/Maoist wibbly-bollocks so that Labour can continue to remain as un-electable as possible.

    After all, you don’t want Banana boy coming back do you?

    Vote Glorious Party Leader Corbyn or we’ll break your windows and knife your tyres…again.

  26. “When has the far left been interested in democracy?”

    When it serves their aims, natch. And then they turn on a sixpence when it no longer does.

  27. soarer, he is not suggesting doing away with elected chambers, he is exploring better approaches to informing them. His preferred model being akin to the Athenian one. He is not in the same mould as Lammy. At least not from the evidence of this piece.

    As I said, I simply do not feel that this is a good example to illustrate the point you are making – despite the point being a sound one.

    My own preferred system would look more like the Swiss one, though.

  28. Bloke in North Dorset

    The other glorious piece of schadenfreude is watching those MPs who nominated Jeremy in the interest of “fairness”.

  29. Longrider, I do not go along with the article’s criticisms of elections and democracy but might be an idea to fill the HofL by sortition. I’d be happy with that , with the elected body still supreme.

  30. I’ve been proposing for some years that the House Of Lords be replaced by a lottery chamber. I’d be inclined to call it “the people’s jury” but that’s too New Labour sounding. You appoint at random half the chamber every year from the electoral roll. The members should be handsomely rewarded to ensure that they can participate (no problem since nobody can choose to be on it).

    The jury would be able to veto any legislation, send it back for amendment or kill it dead. It might be sensible for them to vote by secret ballot (since they are not representing any constituents as delegates) to prevent peer pressure.

    The jury system is one of the best parts, probably the best part, of our legal system. Far more important than the Common Law. It should be more widely applied as a means of breaking the power of Establishment networking groupthink.

  31. I went to a student union meeting once, was hardly anyone there. The SU officials were dozen or so students who stood for different posts each year (were all at least 2-3 years past the point they should have graduated)

    “Even they weren’t going to do something stupid like close the cheap bar.”- actually in my final year they had to shut the bar 2 weeks prior to the end of term as they didn’t have enough of their budget left to pay the staff (the fact half the SU officials had gone to Israel on a ‘fact finding and solidarity mission’ was entirely unrelated…)

  32. Also, I like Ian B’s Jury HoL.

    Modest proposal- how about putting our soon to be unemployed EU parliamentarians in?

  33. I’m inclined to think there may be something in the theory that entire Labour Party meltdown is a distraction for the chilcott report release. Maybe there will be a deal offered to Corbyn that the Rebels will back down if he says the right things and backs Blair et

  34. @ Andy
    I never went to a student union meeting ‘cos my college’s JCR voted to disafilliate from the Student Union. We were told that we couldn’t disafilliate from the NUS so the sole, sad, guy in the college who wanted to belong to the NUS was elected unopposed as our NUS representative. Our college Communist (actually a highly intelligent guy, the only one with whom I could have intelligent political discussions during the phase of stupid students believing that Harold Will-soon was goinmg to leads into the land of milk and honey, and now a Professor) did not want to be a NUS rep.
    Someone inaugurated a debate about closing the JCR bar which didn’t fully cover its costs that year, claiming that the JCR was subsidising heavy drinkers so I got up and pointed out that the regular drinkers paid their way – it was people like me – I only drank on Thursday lunchtimes – who were being subsidised. I do not know whether I swayed opinion or just confused people but the bar wasn’t closed.

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