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The Labour Party: Where do we go from here?

Discussion in 'Speaker's Corner' started by q974739, Nov 25, 2015.

  1. jimjamuk

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Nov 30, 2007

    Posts: 2,147

    Location: Bristol, UK

    Sorry there is so much stuff on the boards its hard to follow - too many people entrenched into a position on either side - generally calling each other stupid if people dont agree or worse than that assuming the holier then thou position when just about every politician and party could be torn to pieces on what they have done and said when the selective memory kicks in
     
  2. Evangelion

    Capodecina

    Joined: Dec 29, 2007

    Posts: 17,283

    Location: Adelaide, South Australia

    She can afford to ignore the debates, she'll win this election with or without them.
     
  3. jimjamuk

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Nov 30, 2007

    Posts: 2,147

    Location: Bristol, UK

    If the debates were maybe the top 3 I'd probably tune in but it'll turn into a mass brawl with every man and their dog wanting a seat like the last time. More TV not worth watching
     
  4. SPG

    Mobster

    Joined: Jul 28, 2010

    Posts: 3,337

    I like Corbyn I think he is principled, has some integrity.

    I dislike Abbot, she is not fit to be a MP.
     
  5. Rroff

    Caporegime

    Joined: Oct 13, 2006

    Posts: 48,481

    It is an image he likes to project - look a bit closer it breaks down. While hes quite guarded about it he also strongly believes in the institution of things not the people that are part of that - he would happily sacrifice any and everyone to the ends of the institution despite people thinking he is looking after their best interests.
     
  6. SPG

    Mobster

    Joined: Jul 28, 2010

    Posts: 3,337

    What is wrong with that... the NHS is a institution and is far far more important than single overpaid Doctor who flips flops between, private practice with BUPA, 4 hrs on the golf and a "hr" consultancy with the NHS that pays more for less work than anything else.
     
  7. datalol-jack

    Soldato

    Joined: Mar 1, 2010

    Posts: 5,954

    It's a slippery slope if left unchecked: institutions erase people.

    Where there's a doctor you may not like, there's also a patient, or a carer, receptionist or contractor. Taken as two whole concepts - what matters more; the whole of the institution or the lives that comprise it? Are they equally important; if so, how do you resolve their conflicts? The latter doesn't even feature for Jezza, Milne, Skinner, McD et al - their Labour tribe, the belief in its goodness and the mythology of shared public institutions - rather than what they actually are - always come first and bind them together. But it's also the greatest albatross around the neck of their politics. Empirical methods in policy making? Nobody's got time for that!

    Over time, taken to Corbyn's personal extreme, individual lives, experiences and goals become irrelevant as ends in themselves - so do their principles - they lose their intrinsic value; their suffering becomes agitprop. Ideas overtake their implementation in practice. So what if a 'few' eggs have to be broken to lift the false consciousness from the electorate that disagrees?

    It's one of the more salient problems with positive freedom - a freedom to be, have or do something, broadly speaking - hope politics, in other words. If you take it as a fundamental assumption that people are good and can be better, how do you achieve change? What happens when they refuse 'the good', in itself a contested concept?

    With Labour atm, you're spoilt for examples of this thinking at the top, but let's take one: Corbyn's first instinct in this short campaign - even before the manifesto - was to reach for the ballots to force everyone in the PLP to seek a renewed mandate from the party! It would have taken weeks, not forgetting all the other selections that need occur for target seats anyway, dealt terminal blows to some constituencies' local parties and killed any credible campaign for the GE. Yet in Corbyn's internal framework that's absolutely fine: Labour can be wiped out, as long as he stands a marginally better chance of getting more favourable candidates into the PLP; working people and the poor can hit rock bottom without the shield of an active opposition for decades - he'll still protest with groups which claim to look out for them; but nothing beyond the party, cause and purity matters. A simpler one: Labour - the good; everyone else - Tory. This reductionism is unstable and damaging.

    Examples from the right would be the 'perfectly' free markets, nation state as faith and ahistorical ethics and economics. Liberals can be blinded to systematic bias by the concept of meritocracy in an unfair society, etc. It's not exclusive, but Jeremy and McD are the ones that are running away with it far ahead of the field. And, as highlighted above, the problems grow ever more complex. Good intentions on their own are not enough.
     
  8. Meridian

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 11,443

    Location: Vvardenfell

    Exactly. The very best she can hope for is that she wins, which will not help her in the slightest. But if she loses then it could hurt the Party in the election. These debates are always for the benefit of the party that is behind, and a trap for the party in front.
     
  9. datalol-jack

    Soldato

    Joined: Mar 1, 2010

    Posts: 5,954

    Apparently a Crosby strategy. She's not great on camera thinking on her feet live, unlike Dave. So he'll likely push for more 'car crash interviews' for opponents and for little of 'May lost for words' in the press. It worked for May in the past. Of course, negative publicity is still publicity, and there are risks with this approach giving air to Tory opponents. He thinks Corbyn's personal low ratings will nullify these risks. Farron isn't Clegg either. Sturgeon is stuck in Scotland.
     
  10. {T5K}TT

    Gangster

    Joined: Jan 15, 2004

    Posts: 386

    Location: UK

    What's missing from Labour so far is a sense of patriotism/nationalism. Labour are clearly up against it, but Corbyn and co must speak out more clearly why the UK is a great nation and what they plan to do to make it greater. Corbyn's class war rhetoric is less than helpful. It's good that Labour is seeking to embrace Brexit and not carry on like the Liberal Democrats (ie, showing contempt for the electorate and democratic process, and mooching along wanting to hold another referendum). On the radio this morning Keir Starmer muddied Labour's Brexit strategy a bit (I'm not sure if he knew what he himself was on about). In my view Labour are absolutely right to argue that the general election is about much more than Brexit, and it's good they are trying to shift the focus onto the economy, NHS and education. Defense is, however, a tricky issue for Labour.
     
  11. Six6siX

    Mobster

    Joined: Nov 25, 2004

    Posts: 4,414

    Location: Hertfordshire

    Do they really need to come across as explicitly patriotic or nationalistic? What could they do that would give them that sense? (other than more empty sound bites we have heard so much of lately!)

    I think not jumping on that bandwagon would in some ways, sets them apart from the others.

    They are talking about policies and such which they clearly believe are beneficial to the country - do we really need more of the same empty rhetoric?
     
  12. Quartz

    Mobster

    Joined: Apr 1, 2014

    Posts: 4,310

    Location: Aberdeen

    I'm not too bothered about this. It will work out in the longer term. Remember the Tories after 1997? Remember Labour after 1979?
     
  13. jimjamuk

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Nov 30, 2007

    Posts: 2,147

    Location: Bristol, UK

    I think he has tried this with the new bank holiday announcement. The whole defense thing they need to clarify and not send out mixed messages which reinforces the mess Labour is in. With the communist party throwing their weight behind Corbyn what he gains from them he might lose in others moving away
     
  14. Mr Jack

    Capodecina

    Joined: May 19, 2004

    Posts: 13,429

    Location: Kiel, Germany

    Polls suggest that Labour will lose to the Tories not just in England but in Scotland and Wales as well. This is going to be an unprecedented defeat for Labour and the Tory attack dogs haven't even got started yet, I expect things to get worse for Labour.
     
  15. datalol-jack

    Soldato

    Joined: Mar 1, 2010

    Posts: 5,954

    Socialism as identity politics brings nothing but ruin to its adherents.

    Daniel Allington kindly made redundant the need for any further text-walls from me (a long read):
    http://www.newstatesman.com/politic...as-attracted-socialism-fans-not-labour-voters

    Though perhaps far better than his eloquent prose, this quote from a chap whose mum cancelled her subs says it all:
    Mr Badger made a similar argument, I believe. Though it could've been Faustus. We are where we are.
     
  16. Meridian

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 11,443

    Location: Vvardenfell

    I read that New Statesman article as well, and rings very true. Particularly the stuff about preferring to more or less official protesters rather than having to deal with the messy business of governing. Someone once said that the Left always preferred principle to power, and the Right was the other way around.
     
  17. StriderX

    Capodecina

    Joined: Mar 18, 2008

    Posts: 11,910


    Brown saved the world?

    Pfft, not listening to that tripe, cannot actually believe people think this.
     
  18. JeditOjanen

    Mobster

    Joined: Feb 7, 2011

    Posts: 2,502

  19. FishFluff

    Mobster

    Joined: Nov 7, 2003

    Posts: 3,941

    Location: Deepest, darkest Leeds

    You want him to lie?
     
  20. datalol-jack

    Soldato

    Joined: Mar 1, 2010

    Posts: 5,954

    The article anticipated both reactions, so it's little surprise both emerged.

    He held power and did some good with it. More than can be said for the entire Corbyn cohort put together, starting with Benn and then Militant, and indeed the clouds of the alt-left that now swirl around their positions, lacking a clear identity and thought-through policy positions of their own. They inherited a vague legacy - not a vision for the future. Everyone can boo and hiss, it takes a statesman to build something. Speaking of which, Kinnock had it in '85:

    The specific jibe re Liverpool council could just as easily be replaced with Momentum shuttling in people into Labour's by-elections today, and coming unstuck on the same problems - namely talking the virtues of their dogma and mostly their leader past the people's concerns. Milder form, same people on the fringes, more concerned with taking hold of the Labour brand; but the effects are the same - a perverse form of self-help for the newly drafted activists themselves more than persuasion. See towards the end of the New Statesman article for an example of just such a conversation, and we have it on the forums too.

    The SNP equivalent would be canvassing for votes in the heartlands whilst slagging off Alex Salmond, selling independence as a sinecure for all local troubles, and telling people how unlike every other SNP politician Nicola Sturgeon was. Would that work?

    But the whole article is a worthwhile read, especially for people like you who haven't got an ideological dog in this race in the south of the isle, or, from your prior posting history, the Labour party.

    An appeal to conspiracy - for the umpteenth time - is your best critique? But be it as it may: conspiracy theories, lack of political representation and paranoia won't change society or the world. Trying to achieve the latter by first withdrawing into identity politics, and then into internal party and faction politics, is futile.

    Once in such a position, you can blame whoever or whatever your heart desires, or hope the unexpected will surely deliver you one day; it neither changes the facts on the ground, nor the forces aligned against you, nor the ideological and political punishment beatings you'll have to suffer for years. You can't face something like that down with reckless innocence and protest marches. Foot tried, with Benn's ample manifesto input, and nearly ended the party.
     


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