Saturday 24 September 2016

Where there is discord, may we bring harmony.

‘Where there is discord, may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. And where there is despair, may we bring hope’ 

Margaret Thatcher on becoming Prime Minister
Not very likely. Probably the best that Labour can hope for is no overt resumption of the civil war and outright hostilities.
Just a few weeks ago, 172 labour MPs failed to back their newly reappointed leader on the grounds he was a terrible leader. 
their publicly expressed concern was not that he was a comedy-lefty Marxist throwback to the 1980s. But that he wasn't very good at being the leader. Well, he is the leader. And has cemented himself even more firmly in place.
Partly, because he has a lot of support from labour in the country. Partly because of his own iron will. Partly because his PLP opponents were, unbelievably, even more inept at ousting their leader than usual.
Choosing the unknown Owen Smith and endorsing his campaign of agreeing with everything Jeremy Corbyn says but just not how he says it, has left the bulk of the elected Labour party with an even bigger problem than they had before.
They have actively supported all the wild eyed talk of renationalising everything. No to any selective education. Building 25 billion new homes a week. 200% taxation of banks etc. The only disagreement was on the MPs preference to remain in the EU and to renew trident. Something Corbyn opposes and probably has far more support on than his MPs.
So, what can those MPs do now? What options do they have? Another coup is preposterous. Corbyn has shown he won't quit  even if  3/4 of his MPs have no confidence in him. He has won the leadership with an increased majority. He cannot be toppled from his High Sparrow cult by 'outsiders'.
There seems to be no appetite at all for the breakaway option. Forming a new labour party with the remnants of the Liberal Democrats. If all 172 MPs set off into  new party, they would probably become the official opposition. That gets Corbyn silenced in the House of Commons. They could vote their own new moderate leader and have the left wing media concentrating on their message whilst trying to portray Corby's labour as extremists. Far easier to do that if you are a separate party. Rather than the same party trying to back and sack the Corbynites at the same time.
If they can become the official opposition they can use the boundary review to reduce the power of the Corbynistas.
Most likely is the wait and see and hope option. Hope that Corbyn falls down some stairs. See if Brexit causes financial Armageddon and people are forced to vote labour. Wait until after the election and the expected wipe-out, and then pick up the pieces and start again.
None are really very attractive. 
if I was over on their side I think a Gandhi approach might be the answer. Passive disobedience. 
When the leader makes a speech, don't attend. When policies are announced, do nothing. No applause in the House. No boos either. Just a silence. Don't engage with the cabinet or the leader at all. behave as a seperate party within a party. If ever asked their view by the media, then damning with faint praise.

"This is one of Jeremy's least worst ideas yet. So we are making steady progress"
"He is improving. Very slowly of course. We have to accept that .. But all the time a slight improvement, don't you think?"
"He rso is trying his best..and you know that really should count for something....effort should be recognised, don't you think?"
"So, we lose a fifty odd seats at the next election..Does that really matter..? Ok..So the Tories will be in power for ever..But we...We, under the firm leadership of Jeremy and John,  will be in full control of the moral high ground.  And that's almost as good as being in government, isn't it?"

What other options are there?



Nick Drew said...

Corbyn has shown he won't quit

my observation that he's a resigner looks to be in need of some qualification, doesn't it ..?

Antisthenes said...

Labour is the low achievers party and nothing more emphasises that than having a leader who has all the attributes and opinions of a low achiever in abundance. The old adage goes "he who can do and those who cannot teach" to that I would add "and those who cannot hack even that become left wing politicians".

Barnacle Bill said...

One thing that everyone seems to miss, outside of the wEstminster bubble and MSM spin world, is that Corbyn is popular.

Okay at the moment it is with-in a "basket of deplorables" but that basket is growing day by day with ordinary people who are sick to the teeth with the way party politics have evolved.

Just look at the majority of Labour MPs that rebelled, are they truly representative of what the Labour Party should be about? No they are a middle class bunch of self-serving, greedy little piggies. They are only throwing their toys out of the pram because they feel that their "entitlement" to their position at the Westminster trough is threatened. Not from any real concerns about the difficulties their constituents face in their day-to-day lives.

In fact now that the mask has slipped post Brexit they are revealed as sneeringly despising they very people they are supposed to serve!

As for what they should do? Do a Balls get out whilst they can, Channel Four maybe looking for a lot of chefs soon!

andrew said...

"So, we lose a fifty odd seats at the next election - Does that really matter..? So the Tories will be in power for ever.. But under My leadership, we will be in full control of the moral high ground. And that's better than being in government, isn't it?"

... I suspect that BQ has been listening in to JC's interior monologue on a fuzzy line.

JC has spent his entire career on his moral high ground and out of power, and is very happy there.

There is an interesting divide within Lab.
It was reported Smith won 63-37 amongst voters who were members before may 15 and lost 85-15 amongst the post may 15 joiners.

Don't forget:
History turns on small things
If the cons do something stupid, or there is a recession
and Lab is able to make use of all those enthusiastic young people to knock on doors / make nice facebook|youtube|twitter posts rather than riot
.. you may well magically see an outburst of party unity.

After all half the cons have cordially loathed the other half for 20 years but they held together with the prospect of power.

david morris said...

"If I was over on their side I think a Gandhi approach might be the answer. Passive disobedience."

Looking forward to PMQs when Jeremeh is reading out his email of the day & the MPs behind all give him the Hunger Games 3finger salute.

Lord T said...

Well he could easily be the next John Smith. If it works for Blair then it could work now for some other weasel.

and if I haven't said it before your Captcha is a pain.

Anonymous said...

When Corbyn stood for the leadership there was a lot of talk (and Guardian articles) about his sharing a platform with Hamas, and how bad that was. No one who counted in the Labour party cared about his meeting Adams and McGuinness after the Brighton bombing. IMHO the core of anti-Corbyn was and is the pro-Israel strand of Labour, worried that he might be neutral in an Israeli-Palestine context.

I'm not sure there was much policy difference between Michael Foot and Corbyn save for this issue. Yet you didn't get the Labour front bench resigning en-masse when Footy got in.

Straight after the referendum the Cameron administration was stunned and he was personally crushed. And at that moment of maximum Tory weakness and division, more than half the PLP decided it was a really good time to destroy Corbyn's leadership, on the ostensible grounds that a whole 1% more Labour than SNP voters had voted Brexit (37% to 36%).

Now Corbyn is low in the polls - but who wouldn't be, when more than half your MPs are not passively, but vociferously against you?

Bill Quango MP said...

Barnacle Bill. Corbyn is very popular with people who like what he likes. To win an election he has to convince people who don't like what he likes to vote for him. His ability to do this is minuscule. He has spent an entire year talking to people to the left of himself.
It's long long odds on a Corbyn prime minister.

However, populism should not be dismissed. rank outsider, no hope Trump, might be President of the world in a few months time.
The U.K. Defied convention and buggered off from the EU. Nigel Farage changed the forty year established foreign and domestic policy of the UK, against the will of all four main UK political parties without ever being elected. Corbyn has been elected. Twice.
Last year, I was confidently expecting to be tapping away here whilst Prime minister Miliband was struggling to keep his coalition Scots Nats from demanding ever more of his dwindling tax revenues.

The mood is changing. But I doubt it will help corbyn enough to get him over the next election hurdle. Even though I fully agree the political wind will, post Brexit woe, the expected next recession, the EU dragging us down with their many upcoming problems, be with Jez.

James Higham said...

Still stunned how anyone could even think of electing a Stalinist.

Demetrius said...

In the late 60's and early 70's listening wearily to Mrs. Thatcher speaking had anyone suggested she might become a Prime Minister we would have been rolling in the aisles with laughter.

hatfield girl said...

'What other options are there?'

The Corbyn Tendency largely holds power within the Labour Party by procedural manipulation - not that other tendencies have not done the same - while claiming 'popular support'. The Labour Party Rule Book enables that procedural domination by factions. The Rule Book has recently been heavily criticized by a judge for its inadequacies.

As the Labour Leader's office is funded by Short money, derived from all of us, not just Labour party members, donors, supporters (even voters enter the calculation) who pay taxes, then the Rule Book is fair game for consideration as to its competence to provide a proper constitution for an organisation enjoying tax-payer support.

It needs to be justified as a source for rule-setting for conduct of the Party and, more importantly, the control of millions of pounds by those holding office under current interpretations of the Rules.

And it's not just the Labour party's business.

Penseivat said...

Just like Livingstone was the real power behind the old LCC, so McDonnell is the real power behind Corbyn's Labour Party. Corbyn is electable as the kindly grandfather image of Labour, while McDonnell is more of the 1984's Big Brother and is not electable. However, McDonnell has his Momentum followers and, just like the Brown shirts and KGB, they will try to destroy anyone who has different points of view. If Labour ever win an election, then Corbyn will be Prime Minister for a while, resign over health matters and allow his deputy, McDonnell, to take his place. Then the fun will begin.

Electro-Kevin said...

UKIP still exists, for those who might be pissed off if TM doesn't deliver on Brexit.

Therefore Corbyn might benefit from their loss.

Anonymous said...

The worry is if the Tories fuck up and Labour stop the infighting, making them look like a reasonable choice even with Corbyn at the helm.

Luckily I don't think the infighting will stop. The left have a history of enjoying the freedom to dissent - until they're in power then they clamp down to ensure others don't get to enjoy it, including fellow comrades who may have differing views. This will trigger fighting.

It's why socialism nearly always trends towards authoritarianism, the circle of True Followers contracts ever tighter with every new Bright Idea, leaving more 'enemies' to deal with. So what starts off as a well-meaning aim to make the world better for the people, ends up with stuffing the ungrateful wretches into jail and, eventually, mass graves.

CityUnslicker said...

Lord T - I know, but without it the comments become a run of unintelligible Chinese gibberish pseudo-links.

Professor Pizzle said...

From day one there has been a complete misunderstanding in the MSM as to who Corbyn and McD are, what their aims are, and what they have been trying to create.

The MSM are very, very, slowly wising up to the reality that Momentum have nothing to do with democracy. It is run by people who have spent their sad lives praying for the revolution and the destruction of democracy.

They are unelectable, but they're not bothered about being elected!

When you've spent the period from your teens to your fifties in rooms above pubs preaching the message to six spotty farts and a dog, suddenly getting short money and invited on TV is success.

All that has changed is they have lived long enough for a generation to come along that has forgotten the misery that state socialism causes.

The huge irony is that the very idiots that have made Corbyn possible; the tweeting, Apple-toting, Latte-sipping, jet-set urban millenials, are the very people whose Universe of choice and opportunity will be destroyed by the system they want to create.

It would be funny if it weren't so dangerous.

Nick Drew said...

Prof - more on this tomorrow

Anonymous said...

Peace is most unlikely to break out in the Labour Party as long as Corbyn is neutral on Israel/Palestine. Did anyone hear Wes Streeting's hysteria on Today this morning? Not the voice of compromise.

But the frontal attack has failed dismally, so other methods will be tried. Money is the obvious one (sudden dearth of individual donations), but perhaps too obvious. Corbyn and his cohorts had better keep their cupboards clear of skeletons, avoid financial impropriety, intoxication and the inexplicable advances of attractive young women (or men).

This one will run and run. It'll be interesting to see what happens next.

Jan said...

Barnacle Bill, I agree 100%

The Blairites are toast.