Friday 21 April 2017

Abject: Inside Corbyn's Pathetic Decision-Loop

Team Corbyn is not fit to take the battlefield.  I'm not sure Team May would prevail against a worthwhile foe, but clearly they've no need to.

A basic military tenet is this:  there is rarely any strategic surprise; but there can always be tactical surprise.  I could give a thousand examples. 

So - was the Snap Election a strategic surprise?  Absolutely not: any Team Corby chappies wargaming the political future after he was re-elected in September would have had it on their list, and - fatally - indeed they obviously did.  We'll come to that in a moment. 

Was it a tactical surprise?  Oh, yes.  And conforming nicely to British military doctrine:  a deception plan in advance, totally secrecy and radio silence beforehand (fascinating to speculate exactly who knew - the true Teresa Trustees); then strike like lightning.

With tremendous success, because the announcement clearly got right inside Team Corbyn's decision-loop.  So all they could do was react with tremendous predictability and trot out their rehearsed line:  "bring it on; we're not afraid", hotly followed by putting on a 3-line whip for the Parliamentary vote required to crystalise May's intent.  So now everything that follows is on May's chosen battlefield, and - even if she didn't consider it prudent to fire up CCHQ ahead of time [see 'secrecy' above] - at least Core-Team-May is a hundred times better prepared than, well, anyone else on the field.

This reveals the stupidity of the opposing forces, who have forgotten Drew's 4th law of politics:  the lines of logistics in politics are short.  Very short, assuming everyone (except Gordon Brown of course) has a mobile 'phone.  This means, inter alia: no-one in politics needs to be bounced into an instant reaction because (a) any politico worth their salt can play for time (being measured here only in hours, or a day at most);  and (b) in a matter of hours you can convene your best brains, thrash out a serious response, and hurl it back into the fray.  

In this instance, they should at very least have blown up the narrow bridge across which May was forced to march, namely the requirement for a two-thirds majority.  Even if she had a Plan B (and we may guess she did) you've already won yourself even more time: and if you can't come up with a workable slogan to counter the inevitable chorus of "frit frit frit" you've no place in Team Corby HQ. 

Instead, they remembered that the last time they discussed a snap election - several months ago, in the abstract, with nothing concrete in front of them - they concluded we'd better say OK.  And that was what they had in the locker.  "OK."  And not enough coolness under fire to sit down quietly and come up with their own plan in time for the 6 O'clock news.  Something really unexpected, from out of left field(!)  And we know May looks utterly out of her depth when that happens: so, an opportunity to score heavily.  Instead, yet another in the line of prostrate Parliamentary performances, kowtowing to the Empress.  "The real fight starts now" -?

Abject.  Pathetic.  Deserving of utter oblivion.



Blue Eyes said...

If they had not wanted an election, they should have been calling for one from May Day One. That used to be the staple of Labour opposition. That, and calling for the head of whoever needed sacking - to make it embarassing to sack whoever needed sacking.

I think you might be forgetting something, though. This snap election actually suits the Corbynistas quite nicely. By 2020 the sensible Labourists might have been able to regroup. As it is they all seem to be standing down - cementing the Hard Left's position in the party.

Clumsy said...

Slightly off topic but have you seen the appalling Labour PPB based in a primary school classroom? It would appear they don't have any hotshot media types working for them.

dustybloke said...

This is not an original thought, but what, exactly, is the worth of a hundred thousand activists who refuse to leave their keyboards and their bedrooms?

Suff said...

Yep it was dreadful but you would be shocked how many people don't consider, how things are paid for.

Nick Drew said...

John - that phenomenon really troubles Paul Mason, he writes whole books about it, I won't attempt to summarise

actually, this 2017 lot are willing to turn up at rallies etc to worship at the feet of JC: but that's about it, ask any traditional Labour member. It's real Childrens' Crusade stuff - odd and (in its own way) kinda impressive, but not really going to achieve anything

PPB - Mrs Drew also said it was dreadful: she was pissed off with using kiddies as actors for such stuff

Bill Quango MP said...

On the tactical, today Jez went onto the classroom size as an attack.
A good choice of battlefield.

Completely uncontroversial. May wouldn't have had anything ready to say about it as its barely ever raised. Its core labour schools 'n 'orspitals message. Hardworking teachers with too many children to cope with. And it can be plugged straight into their comfort zone message of a few weeks ago. Public School rich kids [in small class sizes}benefiting from charity status, while your kids are rampacked in like a Virgin train.

However, its Team jez. So immediately after Corbyn says his piece to the interviewer, she says, straight back, "Gosh, overcrowded schools. That is bad. What will you do about it?"

And he has no answer. None at all. Not even a rubbish one. not even a lying one ..more money. Higher wages. Extra portacabins in the car park. Nothing at all.
He just says 500,000 kids are in classrooms of over 35.

The interview says "Golly! 500,000! How did that happen?" and he waffles a bit and she says "is this to do with the 500,000 children who have arrived in the UK since the open borders of Eastern Europe?"

And Jez says "Absolubtley not. This is not related in any way to immigration. Immigrants are a huge benefit to schools and the NHS and everyone in the UK. Studies have proved that."

And then it ends.

So all he has achieved is to highlight the first problem which he has no idea how to solve. And the second, to raise Labour's desperate weak spot, immigration, and dent it is an issue.

I would expect all our readers here, if they were going to go out today and make a pitch on class sizes would have foreseen both of those questions as being the most likely and would have had a reasonable reply to them.

Team Corbyn are going to have to do an awfully lot better than this.

dearieme said...

Thanks for the post Mr Drew. I'd been flummoxed by their decision to accede to the election. So the explanation is that they are utterly incompetent. Could well be.

Electro-Kevin said...

The important thing for May is to gain seats and not lose them.

Anything that looks like buyer's remorse on Brexit must be avoided.

Pictures of the Med migration crisis, daily in the Mail, Sun and Express will do all the work for May.

People need to be reminded that there is a worse choice than Brexit and that is to Remain in an EU which is committing cultural suicide.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Corbyn could have parroted Cameron's stuff when he passed the 5 year legislation, accused May of whatever Cameron said 5 year terms would prevent, and faced down the "frit" taunt.

(Unless, subconsciously, Team Corby is worn down by the remorseless campaigning against him in his own party and the Guardian/BBC axis of evil, and just wants to take the plunge and get it over with)

James Higham said...

It's the gift which keeps on giving.

Charlie said...

May's initial opening gambit seems strange to me. Surely this election is all about getting your core vote out in large numbers, taking votes from UKIP now that a) the referendum is a done deal and b) traditional Labour voters have experienced voting UKIP as a gateway drug to the right.

Spending the first day reaffirming the 0.7% GDP commitment to foreign aid and refusing to rule out tax increases will not do any of those. In fact as the campaigns stand at the moment, I can't see me doing anything other than spoiling my ballot paper; the choices are that bad.

Electro-Kevin said...

Charlie - Ostensibly the GE is to take the wind out of the Remain/Miller crowd's sails. So that May can say them "THERE is my indisputable Brexit mandate - now pipe down."

Anything less than an increase in seats will will not do this. Any reduction in seats (to wherever) will further empower Remain/Miller and their claim that "48% of the population do not want this !"

Charlie said...

Exactly EK - and it seems to me that, post-referendum, there are more votes to come from right of the Tory party than the left, which is why I'm surprised about foreign aid and tax increases being day 1 items.

tolkein said...

Can you imagine the pounding May would get from a competent Opposition, never mind if she'd been facing a professional Opposition like that led by Blair?

Nick Drew said...

Charlie - she is worse than Cameron for being leaned on. She has an idea (sometimes a good one, e.g. relaxing the 0.7%), she trails it, someone glares at her, she backs down immediately

Hinkley Point was just that, writ even larger

so: yup, Tolkein (- & I think those were my very opening words!) She's just a run-of-the-mill professional senior politician with the usual Jim-Hacker determination to get to the top if at all possible. No special abilities at all, that I can see

andrew said...

Special abilities :
I was told she could replace the foil on the top of instant coffee jars just by staring at them so no one could tell she had had a sneaky cuppa

MySundayMorningName said...

Was just thinking about this election this morning and rather worriedly assigned more intelligence to May than she possibly has.... the conclusion I came to was this:

May is starting to realise that Brexit (esp 'hard' Brexit) could be an economic disaster and doesnt want that albatross around her neck.
She calls an election ostensibly to 'strengthen' her hand in negotiations.
Her real motive then is a hung parliament or a coalition where she cannot make moves or take responsibility for anything and can complain loudly to her base when she is 'stopped'.

We will know this to be true if the Tories stagger from PR gaffe to PR disaster in the following weeks. Could it be May is the craftiest politician of a generation?

The game is afoot!

Electro-Kevin said...

"... which is why I'm surprised about foreign aid and tax increases being day 1 items."

Get them out of the way first. She did say, though, that foreign aid would be better targetted and I think most people would be happy with that. Foreign aid is soft power, not aid at all really.

Electro-Kevin said...

MSMN - Peter Hitchens has an interesting take on this. That 30 Tory MPs are under investigation for electioneeering overspend and that the trials (if any) will probably be due next year, when the economy has dipped and negotiations are well under way.

I'm with you. It's going to be tough. There's no backtracking now though.

Blue Eyes said...

Oh come of it. May wants a coaltion? If she is concerned about the economy tanking (big if) then she wants five years before the next election for a good recovery to have taken hold.

Electro-Kevin said...

BE - You're right. The next best thing to a coalition (excuse-factory) is what she has already, which is a tiny majority and a real awkward Remain cross-party (in both senses !)presence.

I hope it doesn't backfire. I will rejoice more than any if it is a Tory landslide and Ms Miller is given another set-back.

Electro-Kevin said...

Am I saying too much ? I'm starting to get sick of the sight of my dog's face !

andrew said...

As long as war does not break out etc, the economy is not going to tank until about a year after we exit the single market if we get no deal or a bad deal.
Even then we will adjust much like the mining areas did when the mines closed ie take about 30 years to not quite catch up to where you could have been.

AndrewZ said...

"Ostensibly the GE is to take the wind out of the Remain/Miller crowd's sails"

It's probably more about buying time. If Britain doesn't have a comprehensive deal with all the technical details sorted out by the end of the 2-year Article 50 process in 2019, then the Tories would be facing an election in 2020 with the public blaming them for a bodged or half-finished Brexit. Holding an election now means that the next election can be pushed back to 2022, giving the government an extra two years to sort things out and sell whatever deal they actually get to the public.

Charlie said...

Interesting insight ND. Opinion polls may well be sky high for the Tories and, if I were canvassed, I'd say that's where my vote is going. But the more I hear from team May, the more I start considering exactly how big a cock and balls I'll be drawing on my ballot paper. I don't think this is going to be the easy 60-odd seat majority her team are expecting.

Blue Eyes said...

I am not sure that Nick's description fits Mrs May any more than any other earlier PMs I can think of.

Gordon Brown was possibly slightly less vacuous than many, for all the good it did him.

Maybe some people think that Thatcher had a fixed mindset but I would challenge that. Thatcher managed to be quite pragmatic and sought out advice from a range of sources. Although once she had made her mind up she tried to stick to it, and that got her into plenty of trouble at the end.

So what are we saying here, that May is going to be worse than Blair, Cameron or Major?

AndrewZ said...

Team Corbyn doesn't really have a "decision-loop". They just go round and round in circles without actually making any decisions.