“If he had, he would know that I voted for Corbyn last year…”

It’s worth sharing this experience of one Labour Party member who voted in favour of Jeremy Corbyn last year attending a meeting of her local Bristol Labour Party last night. It’s getting very rough in there. To the point at which the Labour party no longer looks like a going concern:

Labour’s problem is that it doesn’t seem to know enough to make the arguments needed to preserve itself, any more than it has been able to defend European democracy, or even representative democracy (as I argued here). I don’t believe social democracy deserves to die in the UK, but it’s hard to argue that The Labour Party deserves to live much longer.

It seems to be going nowhere for the party’s public representatives, especially now the big Unions have turned on them and told them they have to run a candidate in the leadership election, final outcome over which the rebels entertain few illusions:

One senior MP told The Telegraph: “It’s finished. He will win easily in a second contest if he is on the ballot, it’s everything we wanted to avoid.”

They added: “He is losing support of the membership by the day, there is no doubt about that, but they just sign up new members to replace them. He is Teflon in that sense.”

There is nothing else on the business agenda for the Labour party, except ‘are you one of us or one of them’. The paranoia is palpable, as this report from a young female activist in Bristol who voted for Corbyn just last year:

At one point I did speak up out of sheer frustration, and point out that those who shout the loudest aren’t necessarily the majority. The man next to me then pounced on me, telling me that “your lot” are trying to oust Corbyn.

He called me a traitor and a conspirator, without even bothering to find out anything about me. If he had, he would know that I voted for Corbyn last year, but have had my reservations and now feel that he’s not the right leader for our party.

I tried to explain that I wasn’t interested in taking sides on the Corbyn issue, that I was just trying to call for some respectful and tolerant discussion, but he continued to patronise me and shout me down. I could feel the angry tears pricking the corners of my eyes and I knew that if I cried I would be dismissed as a weak young woman, so I shut up. Which is exactly what he and the others like him wanted.

All’s fair in love and class war, it seems. All civil wars are nasty, and this is only going to get worse. And it’s only going to go one way, with the actual Labour party taking up the role of the old SDP.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

  • britbob

    Alicia Castro said regarding Corbyn: “In the end, he is one of ‘ours’. Even today, when he comes to our embassy, he arrives with the same bicycle and the same enthusiasm. He is a friendly person with a sense humour, who knows how to listen.” Alicia Castro, Argentinian ambassador quoted in Daily Telegraph 14 Sept 2015
    And that mythical Malvinas claim:-
    Hm. Best not take what Argentinean politicians say as truth.

  • kensei

    Who caused this Mick? The MPs and the Right of the party caused this.

    They caused it with policies when they were in power that hurt their base, which they assumed had no where else to go.

    They caused it when essentially every major figure on the right of the party refused to serve in the Shadow Cabinet.

    They caused it when there were talk of plots and ousting Corbyn from before he even won the leadership contest.

    They caused it when they went to take out Corbyn without any guarantee of success.

    Corbyn is not a unique trend – the same undercurrents show up in insurgent movements in Europe and in Trump and Sanders rise in the US. For the latter case, the demographics and party structure of the democrats helped Hilary Clinton see off Sanders, but it wouldn’t have taken much to tip it the other way, and to Hilary’s credit she moved significantly left to meet the movement.

    Sometimes these things need to work themselves out, even if it costs an election, because trying to turn back the clock will cost you more elections. The party is telling the PLP something it doesn’t want to hear, and rather than trying to learn from it and adapt – it’s railing against it. Whatever Corbyn’s failings, it’s the PLP that’s much more at fault here.

  • hgreen

    The female activist will just need to toughen up a bit. Politics can be a nasty business as we’ve seen across the spectrum this past 2 weeks.

    Anyway party membership now stands at 500k and growing. This obviously isn’t a party that’s had its day but one that could potentially thrive once it completes its healthy internal debate over what it stands for.

  • Chingford Man

    Thankfully Labour is too dumb to realise how vulnerable it is to UKIP in many places.

  • hgreen

    Indeed. This is a classic battle between idealism and pragmatism. The problem is that Labour, especially new Labour, have been doing the pragmatic thing for so long they’ve forgotten what and for whom they stand for. As per the Sanders impact on the democrats in the US, this new dose of idealism driven by the election of Corbyn will be a great thing for the party in the long run.

  • Declan Doyle

    It looks like Corbyn will survive which is a miraculous achievement. The first time in decades the left has survived a push from the neo liberal capitalist mob. The PLP have a choice to get in behind Corbyn and fight for their party or they can ignore their membership and see the party destroyed.

  • Chingford Man

    “They caused it with policies when they were in power that hurt their base, which they assumed had no where else to go.”

    Immigration is at the top of that list. UKIP puts the interests of working people first. Labour beware: we are going after all your rotten boroughs.

  • Teddybear

    Labours membership is rising for sure but it’s like a soufflé that full of bubbles and hot air. Are the new members attending meetings and taking an active part or are they as I suspect , mere mouse-click members.

  • Teddybear

    It’s dumb for a party of government or potential partying government to elect its leader from anyone outside its Parliamentary MPs

    You cannot lead a party if your MPs do not support you. The Tories are also making this mistake as well.

  • chrisjones2

    Either way it will be destroyed

  • chrisjones2

    Yeah. Bloody woman shouldn’t be allowed in …or made to sit at the back

    I am one of the new £3 members and joined to destroy it …and it’s working and people like you are doing excellent work for us

  • hgreen

    I know the Internet will never catch on. It’s just a fad.

  • chrisjones2

    New dose of idealism. ….yet you laud the bullying and victimisation of a young female member

    So what ideals do you espouse? Fanaticism? Fascism?

  • hgreen

    You seem to see everything through a filter of sexism and racism. You’ve got a problem.

    P.s. Thanks for contributing to the cause.

  • hgreen

    Where did I laud the victimisation and bullying of a female member? The report above did not indicate the person in question was attacked because of her sex. She was attacked because of her views.

    P.s considering your previous borderline racist views on this forum I think your ideals are questionable.

  • mickfealty

    The matter is not who caused it, it’s more where is it going? Labour party to become the Democratic Socialist Party, funded by large corporate unions.

  • Teddybear

    R u confusing true and proper activism with a mouse click? Dear me.

  • mickfealty

    The tee shirts are telling Hugh. Classic entrism no longer embarrassed about letting everyone see who’s on their side and, just as importantly, who’s not.

    One of the few times I’ve ever personally taken to the streets for the sake of politics was to support the miners in Liverpool in 1984. They were, just like now, very emotional times.

    That was in support of the NUM, another socialist organisation taken over by the democratic centralist supreme, and President for Life, Arthur Scargill.

    That ended up just as well as this is likely to.

    A shadow leader of the opposition who cannot even trust those who have stayed behind to man the shadow cabinet, to appoint their own SpAds?

    The other telling thing is how quickly his internal support amongst established Labour members is melting. Classic governance failure.

  • Granni Trixie

    Surely the story above suggests Labour is or has become a party without cultural rules/values such as respect for different opinions. If so, what’s the point in talking about “ideals”?

    Conflict exists everywhere. i think it is a failure of Party leadership if there is not scope build in for party activists to exoress differences and foreshadow an escalation of them.
    Again I ask myself why o why at this particular moment for the Tories has Labour lost its party discipline ?

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Hard left bullying … it’s back and it’s angry.
    I do think this should end in a split but I’m no longer sure it will. I think the PLP may have calculated that there is no future for a moderate social democratic breakaway party, that they have to win back Labour. They may be going back to playing the long game on that, hoping the new joiners peel away as quickly as they signed up. But the problem is with a big portion of the membership within Labour now, it’s no longer Corbyn-specific. They are pulling Labour away from pragmatism and towards idealism – a change in part needed – but it’s gone way too far in that direction. Members seem to have lost sight of what Labour is there for, which is actually getting into government and improving people’s lives, not railing against other versions of the left. They are consigning the party to irrelevance.

  • hgreen

    Why now the loss of party discipline? I would have thought that was obvious. There was always going to be a challenge to Corbyn before the next general election. The plotters mistakenly thought we were going to have one in Oct/Nov this year following brexit and the resignation of ham face.

  • hgreen

    What annoys me is the casual dismissal of people who want to get involved in politics by donating £3 a month. So what if they aren’t banging on doors or handing out leaflets. That’s so last century. If they are talking to their families and friends that’s good enough.

  • hgreen

    Seems like there are a lot of dumb people out there especially those who think our economic problems have been caused by immigration.

  • chrisjones2

    “the democratic centralist supreme, and President for Life”

    Please correct me but in line with his socialist principles didn’t the NUM spend hundreds of thousands secretly funding his flat in the City Of London long after he retired. Indeed wasn’t it so secret that even his successors didnt know about it

    Up the workers – as we used to say

  • chrisjones2

    It wasn’t £3 a month it was £3 flat rate

  • chrisjones2

    Thats not her perception. She felt bullied and humiliated as a young person and a woman

  • Chingford Man

    Go and knock doors in Hartlepool and Sunderland and convince people that mass migration is a good thing. Then you can report back to us.

  • chrisjones2

    “ham face” ?

  • chrisjones2

    They are welcome …or perhaps he might retuire to Venezuela where his other friends are still in power.

    Better bring a supply of loo roll though …they have run out.

    Some rice, tomatoes, cooking oil, soap etc might come in handy as well

  • Katyusha

    I am one of the new £3 members and joined to destroy it

    Literally spite and no shame.
    Do you not consider it to undermine democracy to join a political party just to try and wreck it, or do you not care to think about such things?

  • hgreen

    As I said elsewhere she needs to toughen up a bit and give back as good as she gets.

  • babyface finlayson

    In my view anyone who says they know what is going to happen is kidding themselves. Too many unknowns.
    We can guess at some things though.
    It looks like Corbyn is not going to be pushed out. So there may well be a leadership election and he may well win it.
    What happens then? Will the party rally round him? Will they split?
    If there is a general election will he have any chance of winning?
    Maybe he would rather put idealism before electability.
    Maybe all the millions who do not vote will come out to support an idealistic party of the left.
    I would like to see that, though being cynical I am not very hopeful.

  • Brendan Heading

    The party is telling the PLP something it doesn’t want to hear, and rather than trying to learn from it and adapt – it’s railing against it.

    It’s no less valid to point out that the PLP (the people who were selected by committed activists across the country who actually campaign in elections) are telling the leadership and the membership something they don’t want to hear.

    The difference is that they have history on their side. You can’t win elections in the UK from the left. Even the most successful left wing government in history was defeated in 1950/51. Deep down, the people on the UK left know this. That’s why they didn’t break off during the Blair years and start their own party, and it’s why today, instead of starting their own grassroots movement which they know will fail, they’re trying to take over another party which wins its votes substantially from the centre and centre left.

    Apart from those details, just look at the state of it. There are serious accusations that Corbyn and his staff impeded Labour’s Remain campaign. A party leader sabotaging his own party policy is not democratic. The other day, the press reported that Corbyn’s staff were preventing Labour’s deputy leader from speaking to Corbyn in private on the basis that they had a duty of care to protect a 70 year old man from being bullied. If even Corbyn’s own supporters have no confidence that the leader is capable of holding his own in a private conversation, how on earth can they recommend him to lead the country ?

  • chrisjones2

    No ..strategic. A choice to help a political adversary on the road to self destruction …just the same as voting against them

  • chrisjones2

    Yes I have a problem…I have to keep dealing with your sexist and racist comments

  • chrisjones2

    The activists caused it when they failed to realise that working people dont support their policies but they want to force them down their throats anyway

  • chrisjones2

    ie back to a Union led puppet

  • chrisjones2

    Why should she have to? That’s akin to telling her not to dress provocatively so men will not leer at her

  • hgreen

    Jaysus wept. Her sex is completely irrelevant. Her attacker didn’t mention it and you are using it as an attempt to smear a political opponent. Considering the nasty comments you regularly post I’ll ignore the pc lessons.

    Thanks again for the Labour Party donations. The equivalent of buying a ticket for Man U and thinking you have a say in transfer policy.

  • grumpy oul man

    LOL, UKIP the party whose leader will fight to get it out of Europe but not stay and sort the mess out!
    Yeah they have impressed a lot of people,
    Do you have a list of their policy’s we could look at.

  • hgreen

    Before the last election we were told that no party in power ever increases its number of seats. That was obviously shown to be incorrect. Your assertion that you can’t win power in the UK from the left will be shown to be equally false. Following brexit everything is up for grabs.

  • kensei

    That’s the “There is no other option.argument”. Its a poor one. It is generally hard for anyone to win outside the centre. But it happens, and the Left won the right to try.

    The most likely outcome is they lose. I’m not sure how badly. But some of the ideas generated will feed into the next leadership in more palatable forms. The party will have to address the concerns of a wing its ignored for too long, and adapt. I’m not sure it is possible to fast forward the process.

    Moreover, people can scream entrism all they want, but this is a huge boost to Labours membership, and it was a party that badly needed a good injection of life. Handled correctly, a healthy number of those members would stick around for the next lot. And they’ll pull something’s in. Handled badly and you get the disaster made here.

  • kensei

    Well, better that than the Neo Liberal Dead Husk Party. As you are a humongous Tory, I’m not sure why you care.

    I think who caused it does matter, because it will have a direct impact on outcome. Why should the Left suck it up if its been made clear yo them that they will never, ever be allowed to lead the party? Behaviours change as the result of actions. Plus the tight of the party has damaged itself by being unae to follow through. That’s not good either, in the long run.

    Thirdly, Labour was born out of the trade union movement. The decline of the Unions also correlates with the decline of the working class. I’m not sure why its a disaster if there is some role back here, or the idea the Unions shouldn’t be allowed in the political sphere.

    There is also the question of power vs impact. The Conservatives may have been the party of government for most of the 20C, but the Labour Adminstrations of the 40s and 69s had an outsize impact on the country. I’m not sure if you were offered the ability to make radical change for short periods or minor changes for long periods what the best answer is.

  • kensei

    Only a party as depleted as Labour is vulnerable to entrism. Its not just a problem of governance. It’s a problem with a party becoming unmoored from the communities it purported to serve. It’s a problem with jettisoning all of your values for power. It’s a problem with being unable to have new ideas come In as the world changes. This is symptom not a cause.

    It’s also not really like.what Corbyn is espousing is outside of Labour’s DNA anyway.

    Oh and in the us and them game, the PLp were clear on that *from Corbyns election*.

  • Chingford Man

    It’s “policies” not “policy’s”.

    You can check out UKIP’s election manifesto of 2015 which you can discover on the internet, assuming you know how to do a Google search.

  • Zig70

    How come you hear the opinions of one plp member touted as perceived wisdom but not the masses that voted Corbyn in. I see Kinnock is saying Corbyn is too weird to be elected? Speaking from experience no doubt.

  • Declan Doyle

    You at that crystal ball again Chris?

  • mickfealty

    Er, did you read the headline Zig?

  • mickfealty

    But Chris is not the only one. Will Self also joined to split the Labour Party. That said most of the people I know who joined are genuine and for Corbyn. But they are joining a campaign group that happens to have a group of grumpy MPs they’d rather get rid of that comes rather inconveniently attached.

    The three pounds trick was a clever Blairite wheeze to screw over the Unions. It’s going to end up screwing the whole party. A fitting epitaph to the folly no one in the party can bring themselves to talk about: the Miliband years.

  • mickfealty

    The unmooring, as I see it, is in large part a matter of governance. That is, it’s not just the gross stupidity of telling everyone, including your political enemies that they can decide who your leader is, but that longer term drift that’s left both big UK parties floating adrift 15,000 ft above the electorate.

  • mickfealty


  • mickfealty

    Interesting. Private polling in the Republic finds that white, working class males have the most positive attitudes towards immigration. Experience is as much a matter of narrative as individual perception.

    As I’ve said here before, “sick storytellers can make nations sick”…


  • Zig70

    I read the article closer. ‘but have had my reservations and now feel that he’s not the right leader for our party’. It’s another Corbyn is unelectable piece. Probably your right, but the plp brand is unfit to govern a left wing parliament and that is what Corbyn supporters are telling them. The brand is toast and attacking Corbyn is making it worse. Now is the time to rebuild and reconnect outside of the media bubble. Corbyn connects to a sense of value in the ordinary lives of people which politics has lost in charts of never ending mountains.

  • MarchingWithCorbyn

    A number of versions of what took place at this meeting are now circulating which contradict this one.

    It seems that tempers did get hot because of the undemocratic way the chair was behaving in ignoring party rules and refusing to hold votes in support of Corbyn. Go take a look and see if you can see the agenda here. Then reread the original blog and ask yourself if the poster is actually a Corbyn supporter. Simply check the lamguage.

  • kensei

    It’s not unknown. Open primaries are used in the States, though there are more checks and balances there. A *brave* experiment.

    In any case, I’m not sure it resulted in entryism. It looks to me that it pulled in a lot of people intensely worried about the things that concern the left, and interested in left wing politics. It’s just that those people have viewsbthat are surprisingly incompatible with the Labour Party.

    The failure of governance, such as it is, isn’t really the open nature of the contest. Its failing to have sufficient checks and balances in for that model.

  • MarchingWithCorbyn

    Go check how many CPL’s have supported resolutions in support of Corbyn. You can’t do that from home.

  • MarchingWithCorbyn

    Interesting idea, £3 member voting Corbyn into power to destroy it.

    We have a left wing leader (the first in decades) of a Party bigger than its been since the war and now the largest socialist party in Europe. Next thing you know the MP’s will be deselected be replaced. Thanks mate. If that’s destruction us lefties will be grateful if you can get back to work.

  • mickfealty

    You do know we have a play the ball not the man rule here? I quizzed a Corbynite on Twitter yesterday who bowed out of the conversation when I asked her who was more to the left: Lisa Nandy or Emily Thornberry. Hypothetical I was told.

    It’s not hypothetical in the least. One is from the pragmatic right of the party who happens to be in a constituency next door, the other is from the anti Blair left who tried to work with Corbyn and left in frustration at what he’s doing to the party.

    Your elision between ‘the left’ and ‘Corbyn loyalists’ is both common place and derivative. The real difference is in their degree of fealty to the leader. Thornberry is much more indicative of Labour’s drift from meaningful engagement with their constituencies than hard working northern leftist MPs like Nandy.

    (BTW, whether I’m a humugous Tory or not, should concern you much less than focusing on your own argument).

  • ted hagan

    MPs were prepared to give Corbyn time until his weak and confusing response to the referendum debate. By then they’d had enough. The party as a whole seems to be lacking in heavyweight talent. Such a shame when they could be in a position of such strength. Miliband has a lot to answer for.

  • kensei

    How much overlap do you reckon is on the Venn Diagram between “Left of the Labour Party” and “Corbyn Loyalists”? That might move from anecdote to data.

    Corbyn has had 9 months and a huge swathe of the party opposed him from Day Dot. It’s really hard to make arguments about failing after good faith in that environment. And taking him on when you can’t win is still so, so bloody stupid.

    (BTW always worth understanding where people are coming from)

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Chris, its not actually simply a variant on voting against them. In the real world membership of any organisation implies moral support for that organisation. You are not looking at the implications of what you are doing for our politics in general. “If you can’t defeat an opponent cleanly in the ballot, then use deception, fraud and trickery.” The next thing you’ll be commending impersonation in elections as a valid political strategy………..

    Just an aside, but you might be interested in the suggestion that someone over on a Guardian thread made, that in the interests of true democracy we re-run the Referendum with everyone who voted exit excluded on this run. But I think they were perhaps joking……..

  • Katyusha

    This is Sunderland and Hartlepool that are both over 95% white British? They might complain about immigration but it’s almost non-existent in their areas. So excuse me if I have trouble believing that immigration is leading to unemployment and pressure on public services in areas where immigration is negligible. It doesn’t wash.

    As is typical, it’s areas with the least experience of immigration that have the biggest problem with it. It’s the same throughout Europe.

  • Chingford Man

    “Experience is as much a matter of narrative as individual perception.”

    No, it is about practical contact with and observation of facts or events. It really will not do to try and attribute the hostility towards open door immigration to those who campaign for controlled immigration. People aren’t stupid. They can now see the impact of immigration on their own lives and are coming to realise that the Labour Party has utterly betrayed them.

  • Brendan Heading

    But it happens, and the Left won the right to try.

    The left already had the right to try. They can start their own party (several left wing parties exist) and challenge Labour in the elections.

    The left did not “win” anything; they were given a platform by naive MPs who believed that encouraging a broad based debate about what the party was for would not cause it to lose sight of the things that kept it out of office for so long.

    Moreover, people can scream entrism all they want, but this is a huge boost to Labours membership, and it was a party that badly needed a good injection of life.

    This is a variation on the NI21 argument. It’s easy to recruit newcomers and relatively young people by selling them something that is either ambiguous or impossible, especially if it is built in the hopelessly idealistic idea that it is possible to combine political power with a dogmatic adherence to principles. It is another thing altogether to deliver on those expectations; and the left routinely, almost ritualistically, fail.

  • Brendan Heading

    Before the last election we were told that no party in power ever increases its number of seats.

    Whoever told you that is obviously not familiar with elections in the UK. There are quite a few occasions when a governing party was returned with an increased number of seats – Thatcher in 83, Wilson in 66, Eden in 55 etc.

    Your assertion that you can’t win power in the UK from the left will be shown to be equally false.

    My assertion is that since the time of Attlee the Labour Party have never won election to office by tacking to the left, and there is plenty of evidence for this. I’m happy to hear evidence to the contrary; I’m specifically interested in hearing how MPs can secure victory under a party leader they have publicly declared they have no confidence in.

    Following brexit everything is up for grabs.

    I’m afraid not. Brexit changes a lot of things, but it won’t make the UK shift to the left. By splitting Labour in this way the Tories are being granted a free run to drag this country further to the right.

  • Granni Trixie

    Surely the subliminal message being conveyed is that the party can’t get its act together …how can they expect to be voted in to run the country?

  • hgreen

    How can you criticise anyone who s willing to pay £3 a month into a political party? Surely participation in politics should be encouraged. In the absence of public funding for political parties it is the best alternative. Micro funding is not a trick and instead is one of the most democratic ways of funding political parties.

  • hgreen

    Ummm the leader is Corbyn, the left has won fairly and deserve a crack at the next general election. To deny this obvious fact is to reject democracy. If Corbyn gets beat time for someone else to have a go.

    Aww naive MPs. That’s the political equivalent of taking your ball home to mummy.

  • Granni Trixie

    ‘Largest party’? But let’s see how many votes it attracts in an election. Where will they come from?

  • MarchingWithCorbyn

    Let’s hope we see it. Unfortunately the first hurdle is getting on the ballot, not the cynicism of the likes of you.

    Having said that, the fact that so many folk have been inspired to join speaks volumes.

    What is more, they are dicussing with their friends, family and colleagues their hopes and beliefs of what a Labour government could achieve. It’s a multiplier. Every person inspired enough to get their money out of their pocket brings future voters and more members, who bring more voters and more members and so on. If you cannot see that’s how movements are built then you miss the point. All the people who are doing the multiplying need are trust and belief in what they are offering.

  • Granni Trixie

    Certainly the proof of th pudding will be the outcome of the next election.

    My “cynicism” (of the likes of me – No need for rudeness) is based on experience of grassroots movements suggesting an emotional response rarely lasts.

    For example, at the start of the troubles around ten thousand people from every constituency in Ni joined the New Ulster Movement. The action they took to join was to sign and clip out a form from the Belfast Telegraph (which supported the campaign for reforms,implicitly an alternative to violence). The movement was galvanised by a Petition for Sanity and well attended rallies. Within a year or two only a handful were left running the NUM. Then in 1976 the Peace People burst on the scene which also briefly galvanised people on the ground in an anti violence campaign until,but a handful were left to carry out useful projects until the 90s. My point is however that action really needs to go beyond an emotional response to events or a cult of Jeremy.

    Let me make it clear however that far from being anti Labour I am sure that if I lived across the water I would tend to vote Labour. What is off putting in present circs is an apparent lack of capacity by Labour to get their act together and grasp the opportunity presented by the Tories.

    Jeremy has served a purpose of rattling cages. If only he could put self interest aside he would earn respect by many more than presently pay £3.

  • MarchingWithCorbyn

    I too have lived through political events and movements we have lost.

    I was a merchant seaman during the miners strike and knew my fate was bound to theirs. I watched the left get routed out of the Labour Party and open the door for Blair. I saw half a million trade unionists march at the beginning of the last government and get ignored and heaven knows how many people marching against the war, to no avail.

    But you never disarm yourself by going into a battle with cynicism, without hope. So you are a type, and that is not rudeness, it is experience. The cynics, like you, will call from the sidelines how it’s hopeless. It’s why we sing the song, cowards flinch and traitors sneer, for in every battle we have faced cynics, just like you.

    Fortunately for the working classes we ignored the cynicism of your type and did it anyway. It’s why we are not transported to Australia for striking anymore. It’s why and how the Labour and trade union movement was built bringing countless reforms in its wake. It’s why we defeated the poll tax, without the support of the Labour Party.

    So for every defeat you want to hold up as an exemplar I am forced to agree, but I will hold up a victory to counter your cynicism.

    The fact is I’d rather take part in historic battles rather than heap cynicism on those fighting from the sidelines. Why? Because there is still much to change, just as Corbyn pointed out in his speech yesterday. So how about spreading hope, advice, the benifit of your experience rather than cynicism?

  • Granni Trixie

    I’m afraid in my book you are damning yourself with talk of “types”.

  • MarchingWithCorbyn


  • grumpy oul man

    You know what i admire most about you (apart from you devotion to grammar) is your wonderful statements and never feel the need to back them up with any proof,
    A suspicious person would suspect that you don’t really have anything to back up your rose tainted view.
    But surely the 2015 manifesto will have changed slightly since the referendum, There is I am sure a cunning plan for bringing Britain out of Europe (please share it with us because no one else seems to have a clue) Nigel surely must have left behind some policy’s for the future.
    Surely before he left to draw his MLA salary in peace, he had at least laid the groundwork for his successor!
    I did check with the 2015 manifesto but all that was written before the big vote and doesn’t say anything about what they plan to do next.
    And of course you are probably right about my ability to use google ,
    I foolishly entered what are UKIPs policy’s ( google didn’t seem to have a problem, but just to be safe i tried it again with your spelling and same results) and i got nothing now about what to do next or about how to deal with the result of the vote.
    Perhaps you could do me a favor and cut and paste a list of their policy’s
    for me.
    A novel idea I know you supplying the data to back up your own clams but as we move into this brave new world perhaps it is time to try brave new ways of making and proving points.

  • Mac an Aistrigh

    If you read the comments below the article quoted, you will see other accounts of the meeting in question.

  • The Labour party’s problems between Corbyn and the Parliamentary party and the constituency parties are just a symptom of a wider failure to understand and articulate what is the point of Labour.

    I suspect that before they can agree on a leader who can take them into the next election, however soon that may be, there are some fundamental questions they should answer.

    What caused the current Great Recession? The Tories argued that it was Labour overspending or incompetence or some such. During the election there was no clear counternarrative.

    Why did they lose the last general election? Were they really too left wing? Was it Ed’s face or bacon sandwiches? Did the Labour voters fail to turn out for a programme that was philosophically indistinguishable from Tory Neo-liberalism, with slightly less austerity? Or what? Were voters afraid Labour would crash the economy (again)?

    How will they address the very real grievances of the north of England who voted in such numbers for Brexit, against the (however muted) advice of the party elite? Because I’m not sure privatising a few more public bodies and mortgaging infrastructure in additional public private “partnerships” is going to cut it.

    The instincts of the PLP members who nominated Corbyn in order to have a wide ranging debate were sound. It is tragic that following his election to the leadership the debate did not happen.

    If labour is to survive as a political force in the UK (or at least in Britain) it must move its current sterile debate beyond electability and onto why anyone should elect them!

  • Reader

    SeaanUiNeill: In the real world membership of any organisation implies moral support for that organisation.
    For the reasons that Katyusha gave I disapprove of what Chris did.
    However, your own comment is maybe not as clear as you thought it was. Would it preclude left-wing entryism? During the first leadership election I saw several self-declared SWP and Green types signing up for £3 to support Corbyn.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    I’d have no problem with “Green Types” or “Socialist Workers” joining any broadly socialist party if the felt that it was consistent with what they believed, and would feel that this dose not in any way infringe on Katyusha’s “democracy” test. Labour is after all “a ‘broad church’, encompassing a diversity of ideological trends from strongly socialist to moderately social democratic”, to quote Wikipedia. I’d have trouble with anyone without a shard of socialism in them joining Labour simply as a destructive action, however.

    Simply because Thatcher declared Tony Blair to have been her greatest achievement, this does not imply that there is a complete community of political interest between the Labour and Conservative parties, no matter what the greater number of current careerist Labour MPs appear to think.

  • I got the impression that for a lot of Labour MPs the question was not whether they needed to challenge Corbyn, but when they would. Various by-election results were not “bad enough” to justify a challenge. The EU referendum result (whomever you blame for it) was bad enough. The challenge duly materialised.

  • mickfealty

    No criticims of the people themselves intended. I’ll just repeat myself:

    “The three pounds trick was a clever Blairite wheeze to screw over the Unions.”

  • mickfealty

    No Ken. Political position a priori is not relevant.

    Loyalty to the leader is what defines the Corbynite clique. However this is relevant to the broad swathe of MPs he’s managed to alienate in the last 9 months…

    And here’s the relevant motion: https://goo.gl/ApXcBJ.

  • ted hagan

    If you think Corbyn is speaking to the ‘traditional” Labour voters who are deserting thparty in droves then your need your head examined. The guy who has been ignored for decades is wallowing in this adulation from a bunch of naive kids and a band of thugs. It will end in tears.