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This is not a problem for Starmer

Labour has lost members at a rate of nearly 250 a day since Sir Keir Starmer was elected last spring, with supporters of Jeremy Corbyn leading an exodus from the party.

Membership fell by just under 57,000 people, or 10 per cent, between April and November, according to official figures from its internal elections.

It is the first time that party figures have shown Labour’s membership falling below half a million since 2016, when Mr Corbyn’s leadership prompted a surge of new members.

A reasonable and accurate analysis of British politics would tell us that the one great battle is between the loons and the lefties. The lefties being just those who are misguided enough to think that a bit more governance is the solution to a problem. The loons being the Corbynites and before them Militant and before them the Tankies and on and on. Those who believe that government doing everything is, well, is.

And the big battle is within the Labour Party as to who gets to use it to smuggle their left/loon into actual power. That the loons are leaving really, really, isn’t a problem for the left. It’s actually a win.

33 thoughts on “This is not a problem for Starmer”

  1. A conflict in all parties is activists vs voters. Activists generally want more little red books, more birchings, alcohol banned or zero alcohol taxes.

    What clever parties do is to use minor characters to keep the party on side. The leader keeps it broad and middle ground, but you have political panel shows and wheel out other characters who say “the leader is very keen on banning abortion/nationalising rail/(insert the dog whistle of the party faithful)”. So, the activists and hardcore vote rub their hands thinking they’re going to get their thing, but it doesn’t happen. They just got played.

  2. Pls explain this ‘Labour has lost members at a rate of nearly 250 a day since.’

    Is this people contacting the party and telling them they ain’t going to be Labour any more?

    If we in the Colonies decide we’re not going to be a Libertarian, e.g., any more, we just ignore them going forward. Most are too lazy to contact the county registrar to change their affiliation. When it comes to voting, it has no effect at all. One can vote in anyone’s primary, but just one. Some years ago, Limbaugh suggested Republicans vote in the Democrat primaries to goof the results (to nominate a goofball like Joe Biden. Oh . . . wait . . .).

    Are Brit voter registered with the parties? Does Labour actually know who their members are? Are members really members?

  3. So Much For Subtlety

    If the loons are leaving. What if the Labour Party has reached a tipping point and the Lefties are leaving?

    After all, didn’t they just re-admit Corbyn?

  4. Gamecock,

    I presume it’s people who have joined the Labour Party and pay the subscription each year are not renewing their subs at a rate of 250/day.

  5. Thanks, John. Perhaps there are people in the U.S. who pay dues to their parties, and I’m too rural to know about that stuff.

    After further review . . .

    I got on duh web and found that I could actually join my county GOP. Even a coupon code for a discount. So the system here may be the same as there. Though I am confident the direct participation here is way less than there.

  6. GC: Though I am confident the direct participation here is way less than there.

    I’ve no idea whether you’re correct but membership of the major parties isn’t that great. Under David Cameron Tory membership shrank from around 250k to <100k.

    The figures for Labour are/were a lot larger thanks to Ed Miliband lowering the sub to £3 with each member having a vote on the election of the party leader. This resulted in a surge in membership amongst the Trots, jokers and loonies who voted in Jeremy Corbyn. The rules were subsequently changed which is why these now disaffected Trots have gone away to sulk and save themselves £3.

  7. Yes Gamecock- no-one registers their allegiance. It seems counter to secret ballot principle to me. Primaries don’t generally exist.(a Cameron era experiment lead to the adoption of someone lets just say Mr Eks has her on a list and the Dr is no longer an MP) The selection of a candidate is done by local party bigwigs, with head office often providing shortlists and or vetting. Some people will join a party because they have club facilities – like a bar a toilet and well some chairs in a good location in town.- conservative club, liberal club not sure about labour club- ostensibly working men’s will be but not officially. not sure. Anyway the decline in Cameron era membership was not so much disgust but much more serious than that – it was death.

  8. @TMB

    Not quite right, the “three quid voters” weren’t paying for Labour membership but rather a temporary registered supporter status (or somesuch wording) to be eligible to vote for the party leadership. But at the same time, a lot of people did fully join the party (often leaving the Greens or minor left-wing socialist/communist parties to do so) and it’s mainly those people who are leaving the party now.

  9. The members they are losing are the ones who signed up with enthusiasm in the run up to the general election a year ago, and aren’t committed enough to translate the enthusiasm into annual renewals. There was exactly the same with Cleggmania expiring a year after 2010, and this summer after last year’s Zombie Euro Elections.

  10. Bloke in North Dorset

    In the ’70s when we lived in Pickering the Conservative Club had the best snooker tables around, which was the main, if not only, reason for them having a large membership.

  11. Richard West of Wales

    I think Keir Starmer seems a sensible socialist. He has moderate, tolerant values. He has fought for human rights his entire life. I hope he wins the next election. He would have a decent liberal, best of socialism and capitalism government. Starmer does not seem the type to force us into wars.

  12. Starmer does not seem the type to force us into wars.

    I bet you would have been saying the same about that nice mr blair, circa 1996.

  13. “Keir Starmer seems a sensible socialist.”

    Given the 20th century was a blood soaked experiment that proved socialism is an evil philosophy, the concept of ‘sensible socialism’ should be no more acceptable than of ‘sensible nazism’.

  14. Richard West of Wales

    There have been blood soaked socialists. But that is not the sort of socialism I support.
    There have been blood soaked capitalists and imperialists.

    Look at the British Empire which killed over 100 million under capitalist imperialism. Look at the potato famine in Ireland which starved 2 million Irish to death, and caused 2 million to emigrate. That was a capitalist famine. Look at the many tens of millions of Indians starved to death in various British Empire capitalist famines.
    Look at the tens of millions killed by the Spanish Empire.
    Look at the tens of millions killed by other imperialist and capitalist states.
    I support the best of socialism and capitalism in a democratic state. We must learn from history.
    Starmer is a good sensible socialist who will take the best of free market and socialist values, and he has fought for peace his entire life.

  15. RWW: The general view seems to be that there isn’t any socialism that isn’t blood-soaked. Current examples just prove the rule. Of course, you might have confused yourself and are really some kind of Social Democrat. They aren’t as blood-soaked, but are completely shit at running proper economies.

  16. RWW – I’m very taken with the notion of various British Empire capitalist famines so can you please point me in the right direction to research this further. If you could provide emphasis, if possible, on the particularly capitalist nature of the famines you refer to I should be grateful.

  17. The potato bight was an evil capitalist conspiracy. Famines in India were created by the construction of railways. Despite the fact that viruses weren’t discovered until about 1920 the American settlers deliberately soaked blankets with smallpox. You learn something new every day on this blog.

  18. Richard West of Wales

    Tractor Gent – There are plenty of socialist governments that have not caused blood soakings. Look at the modern Scandinavian socialist governments. Look at New Zealand under Jacinda Ardern. She is hardly a tyrant.
    As I said I agree there have been blood soaking socialist governments, but that is true of imperialist and capitalist governments.

    The Meissen Bison – There plenty of books and internet pages on the subject.

    But food was exported out of Ireland while people starved. The fact the crops failed was not enough of a reason to cause a famine. It was extreme capitalism that caused the deaths. Where food was exported out while people starved, because the export markets paid a higher price. Where food was not given to Ireland because of free market capitalism. The same happened in India in many famines.

    Imperialism and capitalism can cause famine. Look throughout history.

  19. Bloke in North Dorset= yes a good reason, i mean that’s the real reason for clubbing together- enjoy facilities that would be prohibitive for individuals.

    RWW- “That was a capitalist famine.” – corn laws were a bad thing obvs, we might call that mercantalist or down to the aristocracy, but in any case I’m hoping we’ve learned our lesson on that front, not too many PMs in the Lords nowadays. But nota bene it’s the kind of thing Caroline of the Green would have us implement.

  20. RWW: There…[still are awaiting publication]…plenty of books and internet pages on the subject.

    I’m not surprised that that’s the best you could come up with. Check out a bookstore near you for forthcoming publications:

    My First Indian Famine and How Capitalism Caused It
    The Rumble of Tummies – Rice and Dahl Under the Raj
    Pass the Salt and How The Mahatma Defied British Imperialists
    Lakh of Chapatis Sticks in Profiteers’ Crore

  21. So Much For Subtlety

    Richard West of Wales November 23, 2020 at 8:16 pm – “Look at the modern Scandinavian socialist governments. Look at New Zealand under Jacinda Ardern. She is hardly a tyrant.”

    They are not actually socialist governments. Although Sweden did forcibly sterilize the “asocial”, mainly drunks, thieves, gypsies and Lapps, until the 1970s. I assume you are endorsing this policy?

    “As I said I agree there have been blood soaking socialist governments, but that is true of imperialist and capitalist governments.”

    Socialist deliberately killing people is very different from other governments accidentally killing people. Stalin created a famine. The British did not.

    “But food was exported out of Ireland while people starved. The fact the crops failed was not enough of a reason to cause a famine.”

    How do you know it was not enough?

    “It was extreme capitalism that caused the deaths. Where food was exported out while people starved, because the export markets paid a higher price.”

    As in the Soviet Union. Not extreme capitalism. The cause of the Irish famine was a fungus. Not capitalism.

    “The same happened in India in many famines.”

    The British undertook enormous government-led efforts to make sure people had food during famines. There was not one since before the 1870s where the government did nothing. They got good at it too.

    “Imperialism and capitalism can cause famine. Look throughout history.”

    I have looked. No they do not.

  22. Look at New Zealand under Jacinda Ardern. She is hardly a tyrant.

    Jacinda has made it very clear that at no time is she going to have any truck with anything resembling Socialism. Without that she would have no chance of being elected.

    There will be no nationalisation of any industry. There will be no grand expansion of government. Compulsory unionism is off the cards, along with central bargaining. Tax changes will be minimal (the rich are going to have a slightly higher rate, but she is firm that she is not going to have anything to do with the Greens suggested wealth tax). There’s some annoying things like raising the minimum wage and changing working conditions likely on the way, but no attempt to “direct” the economy.

    Sure pure Social Democrat. Mind you, while she is much lauded overseas, she hasn’t actually done very much at all yet. What she has done is all lefty social things such as abortion reform and gun control.

    Find me a single policy of her government that Marx would recognise as Socialist.

  23. Find me a single policy of her government that Marx would recognise as Socialist.

    Has she blamed all the world’s ills on the Jews? Marx would certainly agree with that!

  24. @Richard West of Wales
    He has fought for human rights his entire life.
    No such thing as rights, matey. Only obligations. Starmer’s spent his life trying to get us pay to get him elected.

  25. Richard West of Wales

    Chester Draws –
    Ardern was president of the International Union of Socialist Youth. So she sounds like a socialist to me.

    Bloke in Wales – Marx does not define socialism on his own. Socialism is a broad church. You are using straw man tactics to claim only Marx defines socialism.
    Plus Ardern is a republican and has described homelessness as a blatant failure of capitalism. She supports same sex marriage.

    The Meissen Bison – I feel I should warn you. I don’t suffer fools gladly. LOL.

    So Much For Subtlety – You are just ignorant. There were tonnes of famines under the British Empire. And 2 million people dying in Ireland is a genocidal famine. The British Empire capitalist imperialist rule was to let the market decide. That is why tens of millions died in famines under the British Empire in numerous famines in India, and 2 million in Ireland in one famine. Many in Ireland feel the British government deliberately let Irish people die to decrease the catholic population. And whether it was deliberate or through lack of concern for people who weren’t English. The fact is it is a genocidal level of famine.
    I am British, but I accept killing tens of millions of Indian and 2 million Irish people is a terrible evil British crime capitalist imperialist crime.

  26. @Richard West of Wales

    tens of millions died in famines under the British Empire in numerous famines in India,

    But can you connect an effect back to a cause here? The “British Empire” only ruled India after the mid 1800’s. Before that, the East India Company – a private enterprise – had commercial interests under the rule of various local governments. India wasn’t one country. It was the warfare between the individual rulers resulted in the armed intervention by the EIC & leads to India becoming part of the Empire under British administration. Famines had always been endemic in India. You reckon the Brits could somehow change a sub continent of several hundred million people of diverse cultures, overnight, at the stroke of a pen? How bad would it have been if the Brits hadn’t intervened?

  27. Look what happens after Indian Independence. You immediately have a war of separation between its constituent parts with massacres & famine. The people of the sub-continent were authors of their own problems

  28. The population of India exploded under the British. Presumably the people were being better fed than previously, notwithstanding that famines still occurred.

  29. The population of India exploded under the British.

    Nowadays it’s just the population of a former part of India.

  30. The population of India exploded under the British.

    Rather the story of the Irish under the potato, wasn’t it? A crop that was high yield & easy to grow. So the Irish bred up to the capacity of the harvests. Came unstuck with the danger of relying on a monoculture. The interesting question is why the English didn’t suffer the same fate? Spuds grow just as well your side of the Irish Sea.

  31. Ardern was president of the International Union of Socialist Youth. So she sounds like a socialist to me.

    No, that makes her an aggressive political climber on the Left.

    Pol Pot was ruler of Democratic Kampuchea. Does that make him a politician of democratic beliefs?

  32. Richard West of Wales

    Because before the British, famine had never ever, ever occurred in India.

    ”Famine has haunted India since time out of mind. The reason we know so little of it before English rule is that the native chroniclers of India were always more interested in reporting court intrigues than the condition of the people. But take this by Fernand Braudel:
    “The cataclysms were often irremediable, such as the terrible and almost general famine in India in 1630-1. A Dutch merchant left an appalling description of it: ‘People wandered hither and thither,’ he wrote, ‘helpless, having abandoned their towns or villages. Their condition could be recognised immediately: sunken eyes, wan faces, lips flecked with foam, lower jaw projecting, bones protruding through skin, stomach hanging like an empty sack, some of them howling with hunger, begging alms.’ The customary drama ensued: wives and children abandoned, children sold by parents, who either abandoned them or sold themselves in order to survive, collective suicides…. Then came the stage when the starving split open the stomachs of the dead or dying to ‘eat their entrails’. ‘Hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people died,’ the merchant continued, ‘to the point where the country was entirely covered with corpses which stayed unburied, and such a stink arose that the air was filled with it and pestilential.’” [Capitalism and Material Life, 1400-1800, Harper & Row, New York, 1975, p.41]
    The problem with India under English rule was that every improvement in circumstances was attended by an increase in numbers among the lowest classes.”

  33. *The population of India exploded u dear the British*


    “Take, for instance, the biggest of these nations: India. Under the British system, British capital — predominately British capital, but also capital of other European countries — was invested in India. And the British exported to India something else which also has to be mentioned in this connection; they exported into India modern methods of fighting contagious diseases. The result was a tremendous increase in the Indian population and a corresponding increase in the country’s trouble.“

    Foreign Capital Investment: The Antidote to Global Inequality | Ludwig von Mises

    And we don’t hear a lot about the Muslim invasion of India.

    “Muslim historian Firishta [full name Muhammad Qasim Hindu Shah, born in 1560 and died in 1620], the author of the Tarikh-i Firishta and the Gulshan-i Ibrahim, was the first to give an idea to the medieval bloodbath that was India during Muslim rule, when he declared thatover 400 million Hindus got slaughtered during Muslim invasion and occupation of India. Survivors got enslaved and castrated. India’s population is said to have been around 600 million at the time of Muslim invasion. By the mid 1500’s the Hindu population was 200 million.

    Will Durant argued in his 1935 book “The Story of Civilisation: Our Oriental Heritage” (page 459):
    “The Mohammedan conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history. The Islamic historians and scholars have recorded with great glee and pride the slaughters of Hindus, forced conversions, abduction of Hindu women and children to slave markets and the destruction of temples carried out by the warriors of Islam during 800 AD to 1700 AD. Millions of Hindus were converted to Islam by sword during this period.”

    Francois Gautier in his book ‘Rewriting Indian History’ (1996) wrote:
    “The massacres perpetuated by Muslims in India are unparalleled in history, bigger than the Holocaust of the Jews by the Nazis; or the massacre of the Armenians by the Turks; more extensive even than the slaughter of the South American native populations by the invading Spanish and Portuguese.”
    Under the Ghaurivid rulers (Turks) eg Muhammad Ghauri (Afghani) and his military commander then ruler, Qutbuddin Aibak (r1206-1210), the Delhi sultanate was set up. Mass beheadings, enslavements, forced conversions, plunder and the destruction of temples continued. Slaves were incredibly plentiful. In 1195, Aibak took 20,000 slaves from Raja Bhim and 50,000 at Kalinjar (1202) (Lal [c] p 536).
    “even the poor (Muslim) householder became owner of numerous slaves.’ (Khan 103, Lal [c] p 537).
    Through the 13/14th century ruled by the Khilji (Khaljis) and Tughlaq’s, slavery grew as Islam spread. Thousands of slaves were sold at a low price everyday (Khan p 280). Alauddin Khilji’s (r 1296-1316) capture of slaves was stupendous and he shackled, chained and humiliated slaves (Lal [c] p 540). In the sack of Somnath alone he:

    “took captive a great number of handsome and elegant maidens, amounting to 20,000 and children of both sexes ..more than the pen can enumerate. The Mohammadan army brought the country to utter ruin, destroyed the lives of inhabitants, and plundered the cities and captured their offspring.” (historian cited in Bostom p 641, Lal [c] p 540)

    Many thousands were massacred. Alauddin Khilji (r 1296-1316) had 50,000 slave BOYS in his personal service and 70,000 slaves worked continuously on his buildings.(Lal [c] p 541)
    Women practised Jauhar (burning or killing oneself to avoid enslavement and rape) and sati.
    The Sufi Amir Khusrau notes “the Turks, whenever they please, can seize, buy or sell any Hindu” (Lal [c] p 541)

    The Khilji dynasty’s court historian wrote (abridged),

    The (Muslim) army left Delhi in November 1310. After crossing rivers, hills and many depths, the elephants were sent, in order that the inhabitants of Ma’bar might be made aware of the day of resurrection had arrived amongst them; and that all the burnt Hindus would be despatched by the sword to their brothers in hell, so that fire, the improper object of their worship, might mete out proper punishment to them.

    – Amir Khusrow, Táríkh-i ‘Aláí

    Riots and mutinies by Hindus erupted in various parts of the Sultanate, ranging from modern Punjab to Gujarat to Madhya Pradesh to Uttar Pradesh. These riots were crushed with mass executions, where all men and even boys above the age of 8 were seized and killed. Nusrat Khan, a general of Allauddin Khilji, retaliated against mutineers by seizing all women and children of the affected area and placing them in prison. In another act, he had the wives of suspects arrested, dishonored and publicly exposed to humiliation. The children were cut into pieces on the heads of their mothers, on the orders of Nusrat Khan.

    The Muslim army led by Malik Kafur, another general of Allauddin Khilji, pursued two violent campaigns into south India, between 1309 and 1311, against three Hindu kingdoms of Deogiri(Maharashtra), Warangal (Telangana) and Madurai (Tamil Nadu). Thousands were slaughtered. Halebid temple was destroyed. The temples, cities and villages were plundered. The loot from south India was so large, that historians of that era state a thousand camels had to be deployed to carry it to Delhi.

    An order was accordingly given to the Brahman and was brought before Sultan. The true faith was declared to the Brahman and the right course pointed out. but he refused to accept it. A pile was risen on which the Kaffir with his hands and legs tied was thrown into and the wooden tablet on the top. The pile was lit at two places his head and his feet. The fire first reached him in the feet and drew from him a cry, and then fire completely enveloped him. Behold Sultan for his strict adherence to law and rectitude. – Tarikh-i Firoz Shahi

    Firuz Shah Tughlaq wrote in his autobiography,

    Some Hindus had erected a new idol-temple in the village of Kohana, and the idolaters used to assemble there and perform their idolatrous rites. These people were seized and brought before me. I ordered that the perverse conduct of this wickedness be publicly proclaimed and they should be put to death before the gate of the palace. I also ordered that the infidel books, the idols, and the vessels used in their worship should all be publicly burnt. The others were restrained by threats and punishments, as a warning to all men, that no zimmi could follow such wicked practices in a Musulman country.

    – Firuz Shah Tughluq, Futuhat-i Firoz Shahi

    Timur’s massacre of Delhi (1398 AD)
    (Timur’s) soldiers grew more eager for plunder and destruction. On that Friday night there were about 15,000 men in the city who were engaged from early eve till morning in plundering and burning the houses. In many places the impure infidel gabrs (of Delhi) made resistance. (…) Every soldier obtained more than twenty persons as slaves, and some brought as many as fifty or a hundred men, women and children as slaves of the city. The other plunder and spoils were immense, gems and jewels of all sorts, rubies, diamonds, stuffs and fabrics, vases and vessels of gold and silver. (…) On the 19th of the month Old Delhi was thought of, for many Hindus had fled thither. Amir Shah Malik and Ali Sultan Tawachi, with 500 trusty men, proceeded against them, and falling upon them with the sword despatched them to hell.”

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