Corbyn’s problem is that he’s much less well liked than his own party…

The Evening Standard have a lot of detail in the latest Ipsos Mori poll. But the interesting bit lies in the fact that the Conservative party is still disliked by more people than like it (55%-38%), whilst the Labour has people evenly split between the two (45% – 46%).

The real difference arises in the leaders’ ratings, with May’s positives (60%) towering over both her own negatives (33%) and that of her party’s (55%), whilst Corbyn’s are somewhat reversed with just 37% of the sample going  positive and 54% negative.

The relation between the two is fascinating. The governing party’s high negatives might suggest the romance with May is more personal than political per se.  The Tories may still be seen as the nasty party, but Cameron’s more powerful legacy may have been in neutering Labour’s public voice.

In that light then Corbyn can hardly be seen as the cause of Labour’s demise but more as a symptom of its loss of a strong public voice and presence under Cameron’s previous adversaries at the dispatch box, ie Brown and Miliband.

That such a poorly rated leader (facing a still strongly disliked Tory party) looks likely to be returned as such is a marker of just how abject Labour’s position has become.

, , ,

  • hgreen

    People don’t vote for split parties. From next week on it’ll be up to the chicken coupers to stick or twist. Your byline link is just more of the same biased anti-Corbyn nonsense.
    May’s ratings will begin tanking soon enough as she’s already showing she’s not fit for the job. She got her arse handed to her yesterday in PMQs.

  • Mega Kensei

    Labour are in a bitter civil war. They – and their leadership – are posting numbers right now that only happen when you are hated by a part of your own side. It remains to be seen if there is some reversion to mean post leadership contest, or if things get worse and Labour heads towards some sort of split. But I don’t think polls can be read too closely until then.

  • mickfealty

    Spot on. The split is between him and his support in the membership and what the public perceives as the actual Labour party, the PLP. He will always do much better when the gap closes and becomes invisible.

    Yesterday Jeremy was speaking from a position of strategically focused party policy rather from than the reflective whimsy of his virtual supporters. [I gave it a cautious welcome at the start, but there’s no rigour or power in it.]

    This, it should be noted, is a policy that was most recently given force by the government of no less an esteemed historic Labour figure than Anthony Charles Lynton Blair in 1998. [Chorus off: Burn the Blairite witch! Eh?]

    For most of his parliamentary career for all but a handful of policy areas, Jeremy has been deeply and passionately opposed to the aims and purposes of the contemporary UK Labour party.

    I know they love him, but his only real political value inside the party is as an anti Blair totem. That’s a pre-occupation for a lot of enthusiasts within the party, but it is not one that interests the voters in the least.

    He cannot (as he promised last summer) unite the Labour party, he can only break it. And he’s doing a great job keeping a hard working but not brilliant Tory PM in office despite the great unpopularity of her party.

  • hgreen

    You’ve outlined the value in having a united party with agreed policy positions.
    I realise that this is going to sound a bit Norma Desmond however it is the contemporary Labour party that drifted away from the values on which the party was built not Corbyn.
    Sometimes you have to demolish something in order to build something better. He’s already had value pulling the party leftward.
    As for your final line. He didn’t ask for the election which is a distraction from their main job in opposition.

  • Declan Doyle

    Just before the rebellion polls consistantly showed that labour were catching the tories AND Corbyn popularity was increasing. The revolt was not about making Labour electable as it clearly was moving in that direction; it was about maintaining the grip Blairites and light tories had over the party. The rebels effectively cut their noses off to spite their faces.

  • Declan Doyle

    “Sometimes you have to demolish something in order to build something better”

    Nail on head boy !!

  • mickfealty

    Nothing wrong with your ability to accurately movie reference Hugh!! I await with interest to see or hear what the something better is, but in the meantime, according to this poll a lot more people prefer the Labour party even in parlous aimless state it was, to the guy who wants to change it.

    Voters (not the party membership) will have the final say, the bastards. When your most popular moment is sheltering in the lee of a policy of the very wing of your own party you need to demonise to keep her lit, it won’t end terribly well.

    https://twitter.com/SkyNews/status/776193903401717760

  • the rich get richer

    If the people ain’t happy with the conservatives or the new conservatives (new labour and still some in labour) then maybe they should give something else a go .

    Doing the same old thing over and over again and expecting different results

  • Theelk11

    Yea..
    Jeremy personally seems a nice guy but I doubt he can find his own ass with both his hands.
    Going to lots of “rallies” where you walk away vindicated by the rapturous reception you receive is nice but engagement with the people you need to vote for you and your party is a lot more difficult and is studiously avoided.
    He is the outworking of a combination of complacent London types who have never had their “core values” roasted on the reality of immigration, cultural change and a race to the bottom on wages which have affected traditional labour areas like no other. Slogans are not answers, it’s a simple power grab from unelectable idiots with ideas from about 1981. That went well I seem to remember.
    Simply cannot see him in number 10 , neither can most others eligible to vote and that is reality. It cannot be dressed up in any other way he needs to go now.

  • hgreen

    Nice attempt to link immigration with the race to bottom on wages. It is of course nonsense.

    How do you explain 500k new members? All complacent London types?

  • eamoncorbett

    Is there a candidate out there to the right of Corbyn and to the left of Blair who will promise a fresh referendum on Europe in 5 years time ?

  • Theelk11

    I accept in your eyes I must be a racialist, typical corbynista cheap shot to avoid the real questions. I don’t care what you think, you keep sloganeering kid, the labour voters in the north of England ( don’t start about Scotland ) will continue to look for an alternative who might help their communities who are being seduced by false promises and scapegoats. I’m interested in Labour in power to make a difference, Corbyn is simply not that man. Never.
    As for your question
    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jan/20/labours-new-members-mostly-wealthy-city-dwellers-leaked-report

  • hgreen

    It’s you who are being seduced, by idiots in UKIP offering simple answers to complex questions. The working class and increasingly middle class are getting screwed, blaming immigrants is pathetic.

  • Theelk11

    Trouble is it will be for the electorate to decide if they stick or twist, not you or momentum much as that fact of life may be deeply frustrating.
    May is probably rubbish, Corbyn definitely is, what a choice….

  • mickfealty

    Go on, give us the why of that, and the potential how Ciaran?

  • mickfealty

    All he said was ‘the reality of immigration’ Hugh.

  • hgreen

    Inequality. It’s the single biggest issue we have and one that is impacting almost every government department and every western economy. Who else is out there in the UK that’s offering to properly tackle it?

  • hgreen

    No it’ll be up to the plp members to decide if they wish to remain in the party and support Corbyn. They are digging their own grave if they go into the next election disunited.

  • hgreen

    No he clearly linked immigration to wages and cultural change, whatever that is. This is wrong.

  • Declan Doyle

    He has the potential to be the first left wing leader of a powerful nation to break through the neo-liberal ice sheet that has been crushing down on us for decades courtesy of Thatcher and Reagan, backed by a super wealthy elite media, corporations and multinationals. This era arguably has seen the most successful political and economic exercise in oppression and dispossession in recent history, cleverly disguised under a blanket of faux respectability accompanied by deliberate scare tactics. Jeremy Corbyn threatens that, not with economic calamity as the fear mongers protecting their patch would have us believe, he threatens that by his brass honesty and his commitment to genuine equality. If Corbyn can break through, against the full force of the worst excesses of deliberately distorted Capitalism, it will herald in a new era of honesty, transparency and justice; something the privilege classes fear more than anything.

  • mickfealty

    S/he certainly put all those words in a sentence, but that’s not saying that it all amounts to the same thing. The ‘race to the bottom’ relates to the UK’s dropping productivity as much as immigration per se, but that’s not how many Labour voters see it.

  • mickfealty
  • hgreen

    Do you really see the average UKIP voter worrying about UK productivity? Plus declining wages is little to do with productivity (bonuses still rising) and more to do with government policy and the declining power of unions.

  • mickfealty

    Listened to Osborne on the Today programme this morning being given a major slot with the whole programme broadcast in Manchester no less, to celebrate the opening of his Northern Powerhouse Institute.

    That’s an exceptionally powerful slot to give to a government back bencher, albeit one with a tasty bit of history. BBC bias? Well, maybe. More likely it’s because nothing intelligibly reportable is emerging from Corbyn’s @UKLabour other than the degree to which its common purpose is evaporating, and with it its ability to speak coherently on any subject that’s not itself.

    It allowed the scoundrel to claim he stood for social justice after gutting the capacity of local authorities to maintain its social care provisions… Your list exemplifies the problem. There are no ideas emerging that challenge this Tory hegemony in any practical way.

  • hgreen

    Loads of policies and ideas have been discussed by Corbyn if you’d been half bothered to look for them. These include:

    £500 billion investment in infrastructure and industries of the future, driven by a National Investment Bank.
    Businesses with more than 21 staff will be forced to publish pay audits to crack down on discriminatory wage practices.
    Create two million new skilled manufacturing jobs.
    A ‘full’ living wage, starting with care workers.
    Reintroduce 50p top rate of income tax for earnings over £150,000.
    Consider ‘direct rule’ on British overseas territories and dependencies if they do not comply with UK tax law.
    Reverse government cuts to corporation tax.
    Tackle societal “injustices” of inequality, neglect, insecurity, prejudice and discrimination.

    Plus ending tuition fees and proper funding for the NHS.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Corbyn may not be the sole cause of Labour’s demise but he’s certainly put a turbo booster on it. I don’t just blame him though, it’s taken the stupidity of vast swathes of the Labour membership to allow Corbynism to wreak its havoc.

    The damage was done last summer. The only sign of hope I’ve seen recently is that there is now a very big majority among pre-2015 Labour members for Owen Smith. Smith won’t win, but it shows that the until-recently Labour Party has now had buyer’s remorse. The problem now is this mass of new joiners who are intent on Corbyn. And I don’t know how you solve that problem. Personally I think they should find another vehicle than the Labour Party for their agenda, rather than puncturing the tyres of the only potential alternative party of government Britain has.

    Where we go after this leadership election I don’t know. But I think the Labour brand is, looking at the Ipsos MORI poll and from common sense, still a hugely valuable one for the centre left. As long as that continues, it will still be worth the centre left hanging on in the party and waiting for Corbynism to dissipate. But even then the Labour brand has been badly damaged already by the lurch to the hard left and repairing it will take many years after the sensible ones are back at the helm.

    This is why I think 2025 will be a struggle for Labour, let alone 2020. That’s assuming the only way to move on from Corbyn is to go through the inevitable massive election defeat under him (or his chosen heir) in 2020. A lot can change in politics but getting into government is about gaining trust from people “in the middle”, who aren’t cheerleaders for any team. The question is, how quickly will they in the 2020s start to trust that post-Corbyn Labour isn’t at risk of being hi-jacked once again by another hard left figure? That will be the big challenge for the future Labour renewal project. And at that point, you may need a split in the party to cut off what will then be a minority Corbynist rump. But that should only happen once the centre left is back in charge of the party.

    Following that logic, the Corbynistas could seek to kill off the centre left now and effectively force them to form a new party, losing the Labour brand, history and supporter infrastructure. While I personally have no great attachment to the Labour vehicle as such and would support a new SDP-style party, I suspect the smart move by the centre left is to stay and outlast Corbyn. One other factor helps: he’s old. When he moves on, his replacement may well be unable to keep his legacy together and may be more vulnerable to a solid challenge from a credible unity candidate like a by-then-more-experienced Keir Starmer. I gather Dan Jarvis genuinely doesn’t want it.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Counts for nought I’m afraid if you come across as an incompetent, at home at a demo but not the kind of person who can lead and run things.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    dare I bring up how he disgraced himself over the IRA though? You may dismiss that and indeed most people on the mainland don’t care much about the IRA these days either, but at the same time it does go the heart of his credibility and judgment. To most people over here, someone who pals up with the IRA has something of the dangerous lunatic about them (whatever their views on “Ireland” are). I tend to agree.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    spot on, Mick

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Corbyn’s certainly demolishing Labour, so top marks to him there … but I’m not so convinced the second stage is going to be forthcoming. Sometimes you demolish things and they stay demolished for a long time. 20th C Liberal Party anyone?

  • hgreen

    Cliched nonsense from start to finish. Think I completed my Corbyn bingo card well before the end.

    You are in a pretty bad place democratically when you see 500k people joining a party as a problem.

    Care to highlight any of these “hard left” policies?

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Would you say, looking at the polling evidence of the population at large, that the 500,000 new members are indicative of Labour getting through to the voting public? It seems they have gained some supporters and lost others. And overall they are down on 2015 (which was itself a really poor result), let alone on where they need to be. Gaining 500,000 supporters is a Pyrrhic victory if those supporters take the party in a direction that loses you millions of votes.

  • hgreen

    Ah the textbook response from Corbyn haters. You have no sensible response to a list of very credible policies other than to play the man.

    And what experience had ham face and the towel folder before they started wrecking the country?

  • MainlandUlsterman

    If 500,000 new members take you in a direction that loses you millions of votes, it’s a problem, surely?

    Hard left / daft policies:
    – taking the UK out of NATO
    – cosying up to Putin’s Russia
    – unilateral nuclear disarmament
    – wanted to take away power of police to use lethal force on a terrorist during a terror attack
    – economic policies that don’t add up like “people’s QE” – his economic advice panel has fallen apart as even sympathetic economists like Blanchflower have given up on him. Zero economic credibility, wants to ultimately remove the entire ‘capitalist’ system rather than reform it – does not understand the value of business.
    – support for Sinn Fein and treatment of IRA’s terror campaign as some kind of legitimate ‘armed struggle’ for ‘Irish freedom’.

    It’s not just about the policies but his inability to lead and his choice of toxic and/or daft allies, whether it’s George Galloway, Gerry Adams, Seumas Milne, John McDonnell, Diane Abbott, Ken Livingstone. These guys do not inspire confidence. If Corbyn had stepped up and partnered up with the centrists in the party from the start – the way Blair teamed up with Prescott to bridge over to the traditional left in his day – it might have been different. But he chose his old pal McDonnell instead and appointed the wacko Seumas Milne as his comms head. His head of digital strategy, appointed this summer, Richard Barbrook, sports an IRA badge.

    Corbyn would still have had his toxic past to explain, but he might have been forgiven if he’d genuinely changed his view. He hasn’t though resiled at all from his terror apologism. I know terror apologism is treated as normal in some sections of Northern Irish society; but it isn’t. And you can’t get away with it in most parts of the UK.

    They are crazies, fringe eccentrics, who have been thrust into the limelight now due to the gaping flaws of mainstream politics, including in the Labour Party I supported until 2015. But while there were issues, entrusting the future to durr-brains like Corbyn was not any kind of solution. Even in a UK in the state of flux we’re now in, no conceivable electorate is going to vote people like that into government – it just ain’t going to happen. Which is the one saving grace.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    see my post above.

    And politics isn’t just one big Slugger comment page – in politics you absolutely can and should play the person, because we need to be led by people we trust who have decent values. Some of Corbyn’s views are absolutely disgusting and unacceptable. He is not fit to be an MP in my view, let alone lead a political party, let alone lead Labour. This is truly awful.

    Cameron was appalling too and I spent most of my time since 2010 criticising him and that git Osborne and yes, going to the odd demo to boot. I was furious at the Coalition and think they did massive damage to our country, which is being continued now under the Tories on their own. I am a Labour supporter, or at least was. I voted in the leadership election. Not sure who I can vote for at the next election if Corbyn is still in charge. Not Labour any more I’m afraid.

    If he’s losing voters like me, who were actually out door-knocking for Labour in 2015, Labour can’t win under Corbyn. He has turned it into a protest movement and I’m sure it makes those involved feel good to be part of that and find lots of like-minded people. It can be exciting. But it’s the wrong kind of activism and it’s going nowhere.

  • hgreen

    I’m very comfortable with his past. Obviously 500k others are as well. Oh dear we have a labour leader that was sympathetic to nationalists in the past. Get over it. The country has bigger problems to deal with now.

    Poor attempt at the policies by the way, only one, nuclear, is a declared policy.

    I’d say the real crazies are those that repeatedly bomb the Middle East and North Africa without a strategy or care for civilian deaths.

  • hgreen

    Disgusting? Bit of hyperbole there.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    His advocacy for the Republican Movement while it was engaged in a campaign of murder was disgusting. That’s not hyperbole, or extreme. His support for the Provos was the extreme bit. Criticising it isn’t.

  • hgreen

    Yawn. And other politicians gave wholehearted support and advocated the actions of the British army. Parliament must have been full of extremists. Corbyn has repeatedly said violence was wrong on all sides. Get over it.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    He chose violent nationalism over peaceful nationalism though. He won’t explain why, because he can’t. It’s just nasty.

    If you have no problem with his terror apologism then we probably have no basis on which to have a conversation here.

    I’ve interacted with quite a few of the Corbynistas on twitter over the last 12 months about the IRA stuff. I’d say it splits about 80/20 between those who deny that he really supported the IRA (they know virtually nothing about NI and have swallowed his line of engaging them in talks to bring about peace) and those who actually seek to justify the IRA. So most of his supporters do not support past IRA violence, is my feel – though of course it’s not been measured. Many of them are very flakey about it of course, but they wouldn’t have been in the trenches with Corbyn et al in the Troops Out Movement.

    Policy list taken from Huffington Post, not my list.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    so you’re also someone who equates terrorists morally with state forces? Isn’t that bogus equivalence kind of the problem with Corbyn’s attitude to terrorism?

    Apart from the insult to terror victims here, it’s also completely unsustainable going forward as an approach to dealing with terrorism. What’s he going to tell the next generation of police recruits: “Good luck out there, stay safe, but remember people are perfectly entitled to kill you in the name of a united Ireland”?

  • mickfealty

    You’re running away from MU’s key point with indecent haste there Hugh. As an old Labour/Union mucker recently put it: “Jeremy Corbyn is not a policy”. The guy may be a prophet to his followers, but in terms of proposed actions, he doesn’t actually stand for anything.

    Beyond a few ideological slogans Jeremy is not actually interested in how to the NHS might be sustained as a universal service free at the point of delivery. He might just get the Labour party to shift where it finally lands marginally more to the left than it has been for a while.

    But when I listen to his supporters all I’m hearing is Blair/Brown/Miliband light, repeated in a reverential whisper as though Jezzer was the first Labour leader to point out the plight of the working poor.

    The real (and repeating) tragedy for the left is that once this bolt is shot, what’s left of the party (or its replacement(s)) will return to the centre and be more determined than ever to lock the left out for yet another generation.

  • hgreen

    Depends on the context. In the case of N.I. I have no problem equating the actions of the IRA with the actions of the state forces. I supported neither.

  • hgreen

    See my list of policy positions below and tell me again this is just a bunch of slogans.

    I argue it’s the other side who are guilty of sloganeering with their repeated use of terms like hard left, jezzer, Trotsky, wacko, terror apologists etc.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    the hard left will take that though, unfortunately, even at the cost of being locked out for a generation. They only ever expect to be locked out. What’s going on now is beyond their wildest dreams and the nearest they will ever get to The Glorious Day. They are going to string it out as long as they can, whatever the consequences, especially for the centre left, whom they despise as much as the Tories for our compromise and timidity (I agree with them on the latter actually!). They’re in politics for the passion, the ideas and the esprit de corps, not to take on responsibilities such as, erm, government.

    They’ll have had a go, Mick, they’ll have had a go. It’s exciting for them, so they’ll carry on doing it until it stops being exciting.

  • mickfealty

    That’s a very metro view though Hugh. Labour’s working class base in Liverpool may well go along with it, but the outworking of those same values doesn’t go down universally well across the northern part of England.

  • mickfealty

    Save me scrolling and stick a link in here to the specific comment? These dynamic threads keep shifting.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I don’t have a problem really with any of those policies you listed, those are mainstream Labour policies. The problem is (1) Corbyn also has the ones I listed, several of which on their own are deal-breakers; and (2) you don’t buy a policy on its own, you buy a person offering to deliver a policy. Even if we imagine a world in which Corbyn did get elected, I don’t think for a second he could deliver on his programme. Corbyn as an individual prefers to stick to his clique rather than build the kind of relationships and goodwill you need among colleagues, stakeholders and the public to drive difficult change through. His shadow cabinet leadership has been shambolic.

    But really it’s the foreign policy, defence policy and security policy that are the killers for him. They are ‘table stakes’ issues – not high on the agenda usually, because it’s taken for granted all politicians will be a safe enough pair of hands. That is, until one comes along who isn’t, and it scuppers that politician and/or his party. Corbyn won’t get a hearing on anything else if people don’t trust him on keeping them safe. Maslow’s hierarchy and all that.

    When he said he wouldn’t be prepared to press the nuclear button, horrible though that sounds to some, that was the day he gave up any chance of being elected. As a people, polls show very clearly we are not prepared to be without a nuclear defence at this point – it’s just not an option for anyone hoping to be PM. Indeed it is emblematic of the problem of having a supposed “man of principle”, whose principles we’re not sure we actually share. He gets to feel virtuous, we all get to feel very scared. His comments after Bataclan will come back to haunt him too, on top of his dodgy IRA and Hamas sympathies. People won’t have it – don’t under-estimate the importance of security as an issue to the voting public. And Corbyn is holed beneath the waterline on it.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I’m afraid that does place you politically on the fringes, in national politics terms. As I say, I know your view has a constituency within the nationalist/republican tradition in N Ireland, but outside there and outside NI in particular, it’s seen as a bizarre and scary approach to terrorism. You can persuade some people on the British mainland of your view by baffling them with arguments of Northern Irish exceptionalism. A lot of people, not knowing how ordinary N Ireland really was / is, are prepared to buy that and generally write it off as a bit of unfortunate history with wrong on both sides. But the problem for you is when questions come up like, “What about now Mr Corbyn? Are you prepared to back up police firearms officers who have to shoot an armed terrorist during an attack on the streets of London or Manchester?” And if he doesn’t convince enough people he will, they won’t vote for him.

    There isn’t room for “it depends on the context” when you are tasking security personnel to risk their lives protecting the public. They need to know a terrorist when they see one and they need to be empowered to use necessary force. I have no view on the coming of the new Caliphate and don’t much care, any more than I cared what the IRA’s dumb-ass vision of the Promised Land was. They can believe whatever guff they want. Just don’t do terrorism.

  • john millar

    I like a lot of that though as a bean counter I have to ask -who will pay?

    I audit a couple of small businesses- cost increases including living wages (+ associated NICs costs) will, in one case bring closure and job loss.In the other they will serious reduce profitability- undermining long term survival

  • john millar

    “Ah the textbook response from Corbyn haters. You have no sensible response to a list of very credible policies other than to play the man.”

    I suggest that you focus on the importance of presentation and image. Sadly -and it pains me to say it -Jeremy simply fails to cut the mustard -he fails to look and sound the part

    He reminds me too much EL WHISTY (P Cook)

  • anon

    Please don’t conflate sympathy for nationalists and sympathy for the IRA. They are two different things.

  • hgreen

    We were able to do much of this in the past when as a nation we were much poorer. There’s plenty of money out there just not the will to collect it. How much better would those businesses perform if people had more money to spend and the likes of Amazon weren’t able to undercut them because they can avoid tax.

  • hgreen

    Pretty sad that a cheesy smile and a sharp suit is all it takes to get your vote.

  • john millar

    Most people already lose nearly 40% of their income via the raft of income/consumer/property taxes Their is a case for a more progressive income tax system- associated with differential consumer taxes – however flogging an exhausted nag will not help.

  • Jollyraj

    “They’re in politics for the passion, the ideas and the esprit de corps, not to take on responsibilities”

    In a nutshell, the fundamental problem of the hard left. Arrested adolescents in the main.

  • eamoncorbett

    If you ever met a child with heart defect or leukaemia as a result of the Chernobyl explosion in the eighties you might have a different opinion on nuclear disarmament . I heard Theresa May say she wouldn’t hesitate to push the button , how disgusting , given the consequences of such an attack . Chernobyl was an accident , but for someone to actually state that they would trigger such a deed leaves me wondering about the state of mind of the prime minister . How could any sane person say unequivocally they would be responsible for children getting cancer or maybe Britain has a sanitised version of the bomb.

  • eamoncorbett

    Neil Kinnock managed to merge the left and rightish wing of the Labour Party but was in spite of being a brilliant orator rebuffed at the polls , so the problem may indeed not be the man but the policies.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    you’re a unilateralist, fine – most people aren’t, because they believe in deterrence. Not using the weapons, but the fact of having them discouraging threats and attacks. It can’t be proven either way but it does seem prudent to retain them just in case. The world is not getting safer.

  • hgreen

    Most people aren’t? Do you have more details on this survey? How has Germany avoided being attacked without a nuclear weapon?

  • ted hagan

    Surely this was a poll about perceived competence rather than whether Corbyn was ‘likeable’ or not?

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Here: https://yougov.co.uk/news/2013/07/16/public-support-nuclear-weapons/

    Germany has avoided being attacked by being in NATO, a military alliance backed up by other countries, principally the USA, having nuclear deterrents. Corbyn wants to leave NATO too …

  • eamoncorbett

    Prudent to retain something that can transmit cancer from one generation to another , prudent to maintain something that can cause your skin to fall off , to cause heart defects on a grand scale and close down an affected area for over a hundred years . May said she wouldn’t hesitate to retaliate , does she comprehend what she even said . Submarines that cost billions with payloads that would cost a lot more in lives lost , I’m not a great fan of Corbyn but at least he has a grasp on reality.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    the calculation is that they offer deterrence. I hate nuclear weapons but I do think we need a nuclear defence while they exist. Most people in the UK agree. It really comes down to how much you trust the other world players that do have nuclear weapons or might get them; or are willing to be reliant on the US to protect us. Me: not so much.

  • ted hagan

    Poor Kinnock was admirable in many ways but he missed too many open goals in the Commons when his ‘brilliant oratory’ drifted off into windbaggery.

  • mickfealty

    There was a telling comment from a Scottish voter in that Sky News video I posted earlier to the effect that he’s just too weak. The same person gave the Tories more chance of challenging the SNP than Labour.

    Instinctively don’t trust strong leaders (like Tony Blair), but all leaders have to register some resonance beyond the personal scale (which in my view is a key component of Jeremy’s authentic appeal).

  • john millar

    Ah sadly no Kinnock was dismissed as the “welsh winbag” I was living in England at the time -It was the man not the policies which cost Labour the election. old smoothie Bliar showed that presentation was all.

  • john millar

    (As a former member) I despair of the lost opportunities of the Blair years and now the division in the party just makes it worse

  • mickfealty

    Labour now only holds power in Wales (which is artificially buoyed by an electoral system which actively disables alternatives to the strongest party) and London (where power is more apparent than real).

    Corbyn is more symptom than agent in that sharp decline. Just digging through the archives last night and came across these thoughts on what needed to happen next (which didn’t): https://goo.gl/IpKpiW.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    The world is not getting any safer, clearly, MU, but not in ways that any nuclear capacity can handle. The very decentralised threat of individualist terrorism is something no country seems able to handle, a case of “the bomber will always get through.”

    Regarding the nature of national threats, the real “war” with other countries has now moved to the economic sphere, with everyone attempting to spin the idea of free trade to obtain maximum economic benefit for their own community, and the larger transnationals acting like countries in their own right.

    And regarding Trident itself, it is difficult to imagine a situation where a “deterrent” we cannot even launch or guide without US approval is going to do more than absorb taxpayer’s money, especially as most other countries are only too aware of our almost complete dependence on the USA in this matter.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    There is something which simply cannot be reduced to “the Hard left” going on here. Eve in the heyday of student political involvement in the 1950s, no-one would have ever imagined the involvement of half a million people.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    That’s true, it’s also part of what we’re seeing across Europe and the US with a deep disenchantment with the social order and in particular the unfair deal endured in our societies by at least half the population – falling real wages etc. Those who have been in charge, including the centre left, are resented for letting it happen. Especially the centre left in fact, because the constituency on the left expects and demands more; right-leaning voters tend more to shrug and say, ‘That’s just the way the world is.’ So the groundswell of political rage from left-leaning people since the crash is something I’ve been going through myself. I know first hand what it’s like to shout at Labour people on the radio, back in 2010-15, “Don’t say that, you’re letting them away with it!!”

    I think it’s a lot of people who felt like that who are signing up the Corbyn project now. Only some of them are truly hard left, though as John Pienaar said last night on Panorama, their energy and zeal means they have a disproportionate influence on the direction of the party. That most joiners aren’t like that gives me some hope. They may not be that committed to the kind of losing policies (e.g. unilateral nuclear disarmament) and attitudes (anti-business) Corbyn represents, so may be considerably more pragmatic about the future direction of the party after Corbyn fails in 2020.

  • mickfealty

    I’m afraid Seaan, that this is mere chickenfeed compared to the 1950s, when the Tories were by far the largest political mass movement in the UK.

    Although, as suggested by this House of Commons Briefing paper published last month (www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/sn05125.pdf) the situation is currently very fluid:

    Membership of the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats has increased to around 1.6% of the electorate in 2016, compared to a historic low of 0.8% in 2013.

    Across the UK, Labour Party membership increased from 0.6% in 2013 to 1.1% in 2016. Membership of ‘‘other’’ parties has changed markedly in recent years.

    In July 2016 SNP membership was around 120,000, compared to 25,000 in December 2013; across Scotland, assuming all Scottish National Party members are in Scotland, SNP membership increased from 0.6% of the electorate in 2013 to 2.9% in 2016.

    In July 2016 Green Party (England and Wales) membership was around 55,000, compared to 13,800 in December 2013.

    UKIP’s membership increased from 32,000 in December 2013 to around 47,000 in May 2015, though has since fallen to 39,000 in July 2016.

    In 2015 income from membership fees comprise 46% of the SNP’s income, 35% of the Green Party’s (England and Wales), 21% of Plaid Cymru’s, 19% of Labour’s, 18% of
    UKIP’s, 11% of the Liberal Democrat’s and 2% of the Conservative’s.

    Identification with political parties fell to a historic low in 2012, according to the British Social Attitudes Survey, but has since risen to its highest level since 1987. Academic
    surveys suggest people of professional/managerial occupations are disproportionately represented among the Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Green Parties, while UKIP party members were more likely than their counterparts to have left school at 16.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b3d192937d94e01c0436884d2502ce089daf724754d360adf61bbc6b3d115755.png

  • mickfealty

    It’s one of the strange features of Corbynism that people discover long established Labour positions and immediately ascribe their whole existence to him alone.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Mick, I’m almost (but not quite) old enough to remember this Conservative Hegemony personally, and have Conservative cousins in England who still hanker for these hardy days in their old age. I certainly remember the advent of SuperMac and the Kennedy/Nixon election in the US (where I have some “Democrat” family). A vivid recollection locally is the decade long debate in my home when the old NI Labour party “surged” in the 1962 election and the UUP seriously needed to spin them over succeeding years as (oddly) a “United Ireland” party.

    You’ll have guessed by now from my many postings that my only real concern is for the extension of direct political involvement to the wider community, as I really don’t believe that the simple representative system which served the nineteenth century so well can ever convincingly really bring the wider community back to any interest is politics, despite the return of the committed membership figures you offer above. But that’s probably just me, and my own (sometimes literal) King Charles’s Head.

    I have my own tick box for Jeremy, with plus and minus points, but the fact that he is actually an expression of greater direct involvement by individual;s (not all “hard Left”) weighs heavily in my own estimation, that and his support for Citizen income, which I believe would regenerate our economy far faster than any amount of inducements to companies from “off”| such as the weakening Bombardier connection. So I find myself agreeing in part with both MU and his opponents here, and decided simply to stick to the one or two issues I was reasonably clear on, such as direct election of leaders and Trident.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Thank you MU, for a really clear description of this, which I generally endorse. I remember some real SLL members (the older version of the WRP-UK) at a People’s Democracy meeting, and what dinosaurs they appeared even then. My own rather more libertarian concerns chimed far more with the inner PD group (funny everyone seems to think they were Trotskyist YS!) and everyone found their ideological language hilarious (“Mr Chairman, do all Trotskyists continually think in Jargon ” was one question at the meeting). So no truck with the Hard ideological Left for me, then or now. But on my trips over that side of the water over the past few months I find more and more younger people (almost everyone at my age!) looking for a far more committed and leftist approach from Labour than the superficial sound bite politics of evasion which marked the Blair years and have entirely infected centrist politics in all parties. I believe with Adam Curtis that while this approach may successfully use marketing techniques to “buy in votes” it is poisonous to any real democracy:

    https://freedocumentaries.org/documentary/bbc-the-century-of-the-self-eight-people-sipping-wine-in-kettering-season-1-episode-4

    While I would not expect you to agree fully in this, going from one comment above, I’d imagine from many of your other posts that were we talking face to face we’d find a good range of common ground here despite strong disagreement elsewhere. Again, thanks for a very clear and honest posting!

  • Mega Kensei

    Does that say something about Corbyn, or about the Labour Party?

  • MainlandUlsterman

    it says a lot about the party membership’s turning its back on New Labour. It’s a personal trust and personal values thing: it doesn’t seem to matter what the policy is, if it comes from someone associated with New Labour, or that style of politics, it is now not accepted. It needs to come from someone “genuine”, a “bottom up” person who is not part of the “elite”. Ironically, it seems now about style rather than substance. And I worry that babies are being thrown out with bathwater here. The desire to distance Labour now from New Labour seems to mean for many activists, distancing it from messy, real, compromise politics, the art of the possible. It is that distancing which is making Labour unelectable and it is driven by the members. Corbyn’s popularity is a symptom of it.

  • Mega Kensei

    When you find the point, come back to me.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    eh? I answered it, did I not …

  • mickfealty

    But the numbers don’t lie. Consider too, that the population has massively increased since then. We’re operating in a ‘modren’ post Blair bubble. (Of which more later)…

  • SeaanUiNeill

    For me, Mick, the two issues I’d raised still stand, that this cannot be glibly dismissed as “Hard Left” and that, accordingly, it represents a serious number of people (for a variety of reasons) pretty much thinking outside of the cosy political world described in the forth documentary “Eight People Sipping Wine in Kettering” in Adam Curtis’ “The Century of the Self.” Yes, it’s inconvenient for a Labour party trying to be electable in the short term, but one has only to look at “Five Star” in Italy to see just how such a popular rejection of the elitist politics of the creaking old nineteenth century representative system can begin to challenge the status-quo with some originality. I don’t think Corbyn is necessarily the man to do this (his stand-up skills are open to question), but the people under thirty who I’ve met on odd England trips (none of them hard left, rather more “Post Modernist”) suggest that something requiring more grass roots articulation might just be stirring.

    I look forward (as ever) to watching how you unpack ” We’re operating in a ‘modren’ post Blair bubble.”

Join us for the Slugger End of Year Review Show, Wed 14th Dec 2016
Get your tickets