Congratulations to Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn yesterday swept to victory again in the Labour leadership election. He strengthened his hold on his party and made the rebel MPs look both foolish and factious. UK democracy needs a strong opposition to challenge government when it is wrong and to unify in the national interest when that is right. Given the small Conservative overall majority the Leader of the Opposition and how he flexes his three line whip can matter.

I wrote just once about the substance of the campaign, as it always looked like a one horse race. I concluded “Mr Owen Smith…would drive Leave voters who used to vote Labour in their droves to Eurosceptic parties who do accept the verdict of the British people (in the referendum)..,.. That is why he is my favourite for Labour leader. I don’t expect my dream to come true”.

It was a bizarre campaign from Mr Owen. He tried to pose as the unity and future victory candidate, yet he challenged an incumbent leader who had very recently won a huge mandate from the party and who had enjoyed unprecedented success in enrolling many new members during his first year in office. He adopted many of Mr Corbyn’s left wing policies, recognising their popularity with the Labour membership, yet allied them to his toxic views on Europe and party unity. He has done more to cement the party’s drive in the very direction his followers fear.

Mr Corbyn’s task is a big one. Can he reunite Leave voters in the Labour heartlands with his party? Does he have a policy on borders, migration and access to public services that can attract enough electors to stand a chance in 2020? Can he get enough of his wayward MPs to work with him, to fill the posts of Shadow government and to do the detailed work Bill by Bill, SI by SI that proper opposition entails?

Mr Corbyn should not be underestimated. He has shown a unique ability to lead and mirror the mood in the modern Labour party, and he has tapped into wider worries amongst left of centre voters. He is able to mobilise and motivate socialist voters in ways which eluded previous Labour leaders. He may just want to run a widely based radical left movement with a Parliamentary arm. He still has a long way to go to bring together an effective Opposition and make it look like a credible alternative government. Meanwhile the membership base of the Labour party is testimony to his strength as the recruiter of a political movement.

It remains to be seen whether Mr Corbyn is wise enough and strong enough to reconnect with all those Leave voters in the Northern cities, or whether just as in Scotland Labour is about to discover it can lose more of its old heartlands. With Mr Owen they had no chance.

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95 Comments

  1. The Active Citizen
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    I wonder how worried Labour ‘moderates’ will be, to read such praise for Mr Corbyn from a senior Conservative MP and former Minister? 🙂

    • Hope
      Posted September 25, 2016 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      JR, I do not think you have quite worked out that the public are fed up to the back teeth of the politicos at Westminster. Cameron claimed he got it in 2009 after e Institutionalised corruption a ogst the majority of MPs most of whom were overlooked or swept under the carpet for proper criminal investigation. Cameron claimed he got it when the was not an appetite to go to war in Syria and then tried again a short time later. Westminster does not get it, does not care and hope time will pass or another news item will make people change their focus to another subject as we witnessed recently by the Jack Straw response over the disgraceful conduct of Blaire, him and Labour ministers invading Iraq where loss of life and limb were hardly considered and they (politicians) did not care. In fact they profited from it. These are issues that you and the Westminster bubble care about, not the public.

      • rose
        Posted September 27, 2016 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

        Something Westminster ought to be able to get is that a Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition needs to enjoy the support of the largest group of MPs after the governing party. Has Mr Corbyn got that or are we going to have an SNP official opposition?

  2. Richard1
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    Owen Smith was a very weak candidate – posing at least as being as left wing as Corbyn (he is an ex-BBC producer! The left bias of the BBC Is extraordinary) – but rather smarmyier. I don’t think Corbyn as Labour leader is good news at all. Sure, there seems to be almost no chance of him winning an election (btw will Mr Carney now say he sees a victory by the Marxists in charge of Labour as the biggest risk to the UK economy? It surely is). But in a democracy you need a functional opposition, and there is always some chance the opposition wins. Even if there’s only a 10% chance of a Labour govt, given the Venezuala- style economics, peacenik but terrorist sympathising foreign and security policies of the Labour hard left, that is still a very major risk.

    Nor am I impressed by Mr Corbyn’s ‘mandate’. It’s just that the 350,000 or so extreme leftists / Marxists amongst the electorate have seen their chance and joined Labour. The Marxists have taken over Labour. The pluralist, democratic, mixed economy moderates haven’t any place in the Labour Party now and should get out.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 26, 2016 at 5:45 am | Permalink

      Indeed the lefty loon bias of the BBC is amazing. Listen to Paul Mason now he has left and shows his true colours. Why did they ever think he was a sensible choice for Newsnight Business Editor, and he is far from the worst, they are nearly all way to the left of sense. Second rate lefty art graduates in the main, with large chips on their shoulders.

      • Richard1
        Posted September 26, 2016 at 6:54 am | Permalink

        Indeed. Mason seems like a decent enough fellow and is quite articulate. But he is clearly a radical leftist and you would never see a person with equivalent views on the right in such a position at the BBC.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted September 26, 2016 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

          Indeed we have Andrew Neil broadly in the centre and everyone else at the BBC well to the left of him. Hardly the political balance they should be delivering. I suspect the BBC is much of the reason that half the Tory MPs are dire Libdims too.

  3. DaveM
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    Well, in spite of Corbyn’s somewhat worrying thoughts on foreign policy, if he shows what people believe to be his true colours regarding the EU, and concentrates on fairness for the people of provincial England, and promises Devo Max for Scotland, your Mrs May could be in trouble if she delivers Brexit-lite and continues to ignore the English voters who put your party in power.

    • rose
      Posted September 27, 2016 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      Mr Corbyn has many attractions not discerned by the commentariate but his insistence on no borders will not endear him to the majority of the people even if they fail to spot his foreign policy – which boils down to support for any regime however vile so long as it is anti western.

  4. eeyore
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    I don’t believe a Corbynite Labour Party can be an effective opposition on any but a handful of issues, nor will it wish to be one.

    Mr Corbyn’s heaven-sent mission is to make Labour safe for socialism. England will never be socialist but there’s always been a socialist element, metropolitan and middle class, in Labour, and it’s for those people, people like himself, that he will sacrifice the party, the voters in their millions, the “movement” as they love to call it, and all hope of government for ever.

    “What a heaven on earth the world will be
    When everyone else is just like ME.”

    Labour should rename itself Claimants for that’s whom they now aspire to represent. As for the workers, well, the socialists will have the foreman’s job at last and the working class can do exactly as the old song tells them.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 25, 2016 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      Osborne is now the opposition I suspect, with his plan B.

      • Mitchel
        Posted September 26, 2016 at 9:01 am | Permalink

        Like Lenin in exile in Zurich,surveying the news from back home -“the worse,the better”-and with foreign interventionists eagerly awaiting the opportunity to launch him back into power!

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted September 25, 2016 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

      Eeyore, you say ‘and it’s for those people, people like himself, that he will sacrifice the party, the voters in their millions, the “movement” as they love to call it, and all hope of government for ever.’

      Not dissimilar then to the SNP who will sacrifice everything and everyone for their dream of ‘independence’. They care not a jot what effect it will have on everyone but only think of how they will go down in history as the ones that broke up the UK. Despicable people, the lot of them.

  5. alan jutson
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    Mr Corbyn may well be a popular socialist leader with the current Labour membership, but will he be popular with the mass of traditional Labour voters.

    Much will depend upon the performance of the Conservative and UKIP Parties under their new leaders.

    LibDems finished for at least a decade.

    • Jerry
      Posted September 25, 2016 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

      @alan jutson; But Mr Corbyn’s support comes from the mass of traditional Labour voters!…

      It is UKIP, not the LibDems who are the party that is finished, UKIP are currently a solution desperately looking for a problem to solve! The only way UKIP might survive is if Mrs May fails to deliver a moderately strong Brexit, but that will likely just hurt the Tory vote – probably meaning a Labour/SNP coalition, with perhaps LD support too.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 26, 2016 at 8:00 am | Permalink

        Corbyn’s support comes from the mass of new Labour Party members.

      • alan jutson
        Posted September 26, 2016 at 9:39 am | Permalink

        Jerry

        Sorry but I simply do not think Mr Corbyn will get traditional Labour voters to support him in enough numbers to ever get elected as a government.

        Agree we could be in strange times, and anything could happen if we do not get a proper exit with the Conservatives from the EU, but then why would people turn to Corbyn who would probably still need as you suggest, the support of the SNP ?

        UKIP a Party in waiting, could take votes from both traditional Conservative and Labour voters, but it will depend upon the performance of their new leader, who has a very big act to follow.

      • libertarian
        Posted September 26, 2016 at 10:02 am | Permalink

        Jerry

        Whilst I agree that UKIP is now a pointless party I think the LibDems are in an even worse state . They have no idea what they stand for, they are consistently on the wrong side of majority public opinion and their leader quite frankly is the worst leader in UK political history. The only thing that could save the LD’s is for the moderate Labour MPs to take it over lock stock and barrel but seeing as every single one of them lacks any bottle at all that won’t happen. We now have a political system consisting of 1 major party a very large protest only party and 3 busted parties . Oh and an unelected chamber of 800 people who were rewarded for their contributions to political parties and not because of any talent they may have. Our so called democracy is a shambles

        • Jerry
          Posted September 26, 2016 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

          @libertarian; Both the Conservative and Labour parties have been predicting the demise of the Liberal (Democratic) Party for the past 100 years…

          The SDP element of the LibDems is all but now non existent, the current LibDems are further left in some issues than Corbyn is! Why would Blairites join such a party and have to swear alliance to policies that are further to the left than those they refused to back within a Corbyn lead Labour party.

          For many on the right of the Labour party, often called “Blue Labour”, there is more logic in them joining the Tory party assuming that the Tory party carry on ploughing a moderate furrow.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted September 26, 2016 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

        Jerry, a Labour/SNP is my worst nightmare. Give me UKIP any day.

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Well Owen Smith, to me anyway, seems even dafter than Corbyn. He was not even accepting the Brexit vote (lots of it Labour voters) and having similar “magic money tree/Father Chistmas” policies to Corbyn.

    Corbyn’s only policies seem to be that everyone should be paid more, have more workers “rights” and have more fairness and equality. Women especially should be paid more as should the disabled and the poor. The NHS should have more money, schools should have more money, defence should have more, social housing should have more, state sector workers should have more and everything and everyone else should have more money. Everyone should have a virtually free council house from the state too.

    He wants an end to “austerity”, by this I assume he means we wants an end to the natural laws of economics.

    Just as the green energy loons want an end to the laws of physics and engineering.

    The only people who should have less money (in Corbynomics) are Landlords who will be robbed by the state. They will have their rents controlled and be unable to evict tenants. Also the rich (who will probably leave anyway).

    All this money is to come from the magic money tree that, one assumes, grows next to his Olive tree. He certainly will not get more money by increasing tax rates.

    The man lives in a dream world. But then so did the dire Osborne in so many ways, with his (we are repaying the debt) his huge deficit, absurdly high & complex tax rates. Plus his landlord muggings, pension grab, wage controls, bonkers sugar tax, 15% stamp duty, removal or personal and child allowances, IHT ratting, GAAR (Mugabe tax) and many other damaging muggings.

    Yet it seems he wanted to tell the electorate “you have never has it so good” in the FT yesterday.

    When will he hear something on monetary and fiscal direction from Hammond?

    • Jerry
      Posted September 25, 2016 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

      @LL; “When will he hear something on monetary and fiscal direction from Hammond?”

      The Autumn statement is on Wednesday 23 November 2016.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 26, 2016 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

        He does not need to wait until then to indicate a sensible direction. Cancelling HS2 now would be a very good start.

  7. sm
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    John, you say that Corbyn should not be underestimated, but my strong impression is that he is a rather simple fellow who is being cleverly manipulated by far more malign personalities, such as his Shadow Chancellor.

    • Jerry
      Posted September 25, 2016 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

      @sm; That might or might not be true, either way that is why he should not be underestimated. Do not underestimated Corbyn’s intellect, just because he doesn’t share your political values doesn’t make him “a rather simple fellow”.

      Corbyn, or perhaps his power-base, has tapped into the same sort of ‘change’ that is occurring all over the ‘west’, from Sanders and Trump in the USA to the AfD in Germany, the (modernised) FN in France, not forgetting the 5* movement in Italy and of course Syriza in Greece – to name just a few of the alternate political followings taking up more of the centre stage as polling results are announced.

  8. Mark B
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    New Labour came into being recognising the fact that, if they wanted power, they were have to ditch the likes of Clause 4 and their opposition to the EU. They would also have to move more to the mythical Centre which would have the effect of having to ditch their core support as well. This was a gamble. The gamble being, and it has proved until the last election (Cameron did not have a working majority in 2010 remember) that Labour voters will always vote Labour regardless of how much pony’n’trap you throw at them – witness, Gillian Duffy. But in the last election some nearly 4 million people voted UKIP. Why ?

    Dissatisfaction with current politics and politicians, MASS-Immigration, the EU and countless and pointless wars and much more have driven people away. The Conservative Party is in no better shape. It had to use the threat of a Labour / SNP government to get enough people in England to vote for them. Hardly an endorsement. British politics therefore, is in a complete shambles. It has given so much power to Brussels it has become virtually ineffective. It cannot do the things it promises to do without the permission of Brussels. People are quite savvy. They know something is up. They know something is not quite right and, when they see the world around them rapidly change, usually for the worse, and are told just to suck-it-up by the political class and establishment, they will rebel.

    Labour has rebelled. They have looked at what THEY HAVE DONE, and it is not nice. The results in Scotland could well be a portent of what is to happen to Labour in England and elsewhere. As they have seen with the Conservatives, when Labour, or Ex-Labour voters stop voting for you, they are less likely to return. The rot has set in. But the question is, can they unite and turn it around before others begin to cash in on those floating voters ?

    As for the Blairites, I think it is time they went and joined the party that they all should have joined from the beginning – The Lib’ something ? Which reminds me. Does that other bloke still run it ? Not seen him or his Tory mate recently.

    • Peter Parsons
      Posted September 26, 2016 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      The electoral system is a big contributor to the shambles that is UK politics. A aystem designed to choose between two parties who, combined, don’t come close to commanding the support of even 50% of the electorate fundamentally fails to reflect the modern reality of UK politics. Until there is real reform such that every vote counts, and therefore the parties have to come up with parties designed to appeal to the wider electorate rather than the swing voters in the marginals, UK politics will continue to remain a broken system. Of course the Wesminster turkey MPs won’t vote for Christmas.

      • libertarian
        Posted September 26, 2016 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

        Peter parsons

        Totally agree and theres a really really easy way to get a government that the majority vote for. That is to do what just about every other country does and just have a one person one vote for the office of Prime Minister.

    • Hope
      Posted September 26, 2016 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      Spot on. The Westminster bubble do not get it and treat the public with contempt, as do the civil servants.

      Look across the continent, look at the US, people are fed up with the political carer class politicians.

      The last EU elections saw UKIP win, 4 million voted for them at the last election and UKIP led the leave EU campaign. People have had enough of lying, self serving greedy politicians. We want representation of our views before and after elections. time for more referendums because the trust is lost on key issues.

  9. turboterrier
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    @eeyore

    Your last paragraph is spot on the button.

    As with all socialist ideals and dreams they are fine all the time the money rolls in, the problem is who pays? This is the problem that is facing dictatorship Scotland especially when the UK funding declines. The UK is changing and all political parties have got to be touch with those changes and alter their policies accordingly, to ignore this will result in political suicide.

    • Jerry
      Posted September 25, 2016 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

      @turboterrier; The same is true for the Tory party, just like dogmatic socialism, except in the case of the post Heath era Tory party it has been fine all the time the government could keep cutting the chaff out of government spending but there comes a time when there is no chaff left, no more cash-cow privatisations left, and so the wheat start to get removed – many believe that we have reached that point, for example just look at the utter, and needless, political mess the 2010-15/16 government got into at the DWP, its not as if much money was ever saved either, all it has done is drive who knows how many, perhaps even quite politically moderate people, towards the SNP in Scotland and now Corbyn’s Labour party.

      • libertarian
        Posted September 26, 2016 at 10:17 am | Permalink

        Jerry

        If you think there is no chaff left in the public sector you really haven’t been paying attention. There are more than 1,000 pointless quangos for a start

        Just one small example

        I run a small educational and support based charity. Our Council funding was cut this year from £15k to £7k . When I returned to my desk in my day business after this meeting I opened 3 emails from the same council ( baring in mind I own and run a multimillion pound business ) 1) Offered me unsecured, interest free loans of upto £250,000 2) I was invited to a lavish council launch party ( costing more than the amount my funds where cut by) to tell us laughably how they are helping people with supported needs 3) An announcement that their new £150,000 web portal would be open soon ( offering a service that already is provided by a) central government , b) also by a quango in that sector c) by 3 private organisations in our region. Our County council in recent years has been involved in the following running a TV station, trying to establish a charter airline, the spent over £30,000 on PPC advertising but then got the keywords totally wrong so the adverts were served to people with no interest in our region at all, oh and 4 of the leaders of the council earn more than the PM

        Seriously there are billions of pounds that could be saved or better yet redirected towards really important public services

        • Jerry
          Posted September 27, 2016 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

          @libertarian; “Quangos etc.” I agree, but we both know such waste never get cut, quite the opposite, but those “really important” front line services, benefits or grants to charities etc. are.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 26, 2016 at 10:59 am | Permalink

        There have no real cuts in the size of the State nor reductions in State spending
        Quite the opposite.
        2000 the State spent £340 billion
        2015 £780 billion
        2020 estimate is £870 billion
        State employees are up too.

        • Jerry
          Posted September 26, 2016 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

          @Edward2; Stop conflating two different issues, total government spending and individual departmental spending.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 27, 2016 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

            It’s overall spending that counts.
            The State has expanded greatly.
            Costs have gone up greatly.
            Numbers employed by the State has increased greatly.
            I’m not so sure customer service has risen greatly.

          • Jerry
            Posted September 28, 2016 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; “It’s overall spending that counts.”

            Nonsense! Total spending is irrelevant to actual departmental level spending, as it affects the public, which was my point.

            We all know that government spending can (and has) gone up but many a departments spending has fallen. Your logic would suggest that all departments budgets should have risen by a figure equal to the governments overall spending increase divided by the number of departments, that clearly is and has not been the case. For example the MOD and Home Office could have their budgets greatly increased but DfID and the DWP could have their budgets greatly cut, whilst the DfH and DfT budgets remain ‘unchanged’ – but the latter still equates to a cut in line with the Inflation rate.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 28, 2016 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

            So budgets are set on department spending not overall spending
            The most hilarious statement ever from you.

  10. Lifelogic
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    So Sir Craig Oliver has said Theresa May failed to back the Remain campaign 13 times and was regarded by some as “an enemy agent”.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-37465452

    Well if so she was quite right as Cameron was clearly barking up the wrong tree (as usual). Why was Cameron non in the satirically named LibDem Party anyway? What is the difference between the dire Clegg and the dire Cameron?

    Theresa May did however back “remain” and even tried very hard to deceive the electorate by falsely telling them they had “control of the borders through Schengen”. She must have known this was a blatant lie.

  11. acorn
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    What makes you think that “leave” voting in northern Cities, had any reflection on the Labour Party? They were voting against a Cameron (remain) Conservative government, in a referendum, where their vote would actually count 100%; most unlike a general election.

    The outcome of the referendum vote, would not affect the status of the opposition Labour party in Westminster at all; BUT, it would give the Conservative Party a good kicking, particularly as it would be amplified by Conservatives voting “leave”.

  12. turboterrier
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    On Marr today regarding the newspapers it was stated that the Brexit supporters did not have a plan as regards in leaving the EU.

    Whats new? When has ever any government had a cast iron plan to anything they have forced upon the electorate. So as always, they get to the planned destination not always on time and in budget but they get there.

    Can say that like thousands of others have very little faith in Mother Teresa delivering what we thought we were voting for. The cabinet should have been made up with more people who were for leaving the EU. She is under no pressure to deliver anything and at times the Leavers in the cabinet seem to be at odds with one another.

    Too many are on the back benches that have the experience and external knowledge of business not being listened to. Andrea Leadsom is beginning to look on a daily basis the person to have led the country out of the EU. All this hanging about just give the remoaners more time to think up plans to stop the wishes of 17m people from being respected.

  13. libertarian
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    The PLP , the so called rebels have shown themselves to be a talentless , vacuous, self interested rabble. Only in it for themselves already people like Burnham, Umana, Jarvis, Smith,Jess Phillips and many others are rowing back and trying to secure themselves posts in Corby’s shadow cabinet. This is indicative of our political “class” across the board.

    The politicians, all of them, are the problem and not the solution.

    We only have one party left standing and they are still losing members , stitching up by-elections and infighting .

    The vast majority of people in politics lack creativity, innovation, leadership and business skills. Most of them are there to play the “game of politics” Thats why despite 5 decades of unparalleled innovation and technological invention and change we are stuck with the same old same old from our politicians, with our major parties harking back to the 1950’s or 1970’s for their inspiration. How depressing

    We need a major and radical overhaul of our non democracy and we need it now.

  14. James Munroe
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Absolutely delighted to hear the news.

    Congratulations to Mr Corbyn!

    …………………………………………………………………………………….

    #LabourOutOfTouchAndOutOfPowerForADecade

    • Jerry
      Posted September 25, 2016 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

      @James Munroe: But until the Blairite rabble tried to oust Corbyn and the fan got messy, Labour were actually leading the Conservatives in the opinion polls – but not many people know that, as it wasn’t very well reported in the right wing MSM…

      • Edward2
        Posted September 26, 2016 at 8:03 am | Permalink

        These poll results were reported on Sky and BBC
        And I saw them in nearly all newspapers
        Just as they are currently reporting the 14 point Conservative lead over Labour

        • Jerry
          Posted September 26, 2016 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

          @Edward2; Then there must be a lot of bloggers who are blind from choice, why else are such people repeating the lie that Corbyn has been unpopular from the start.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 27, 2016 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

            Polls say he is not as popular as other leaders.
            Other polls put the Conservative party well ahead.
            Maybe that is the reason.

          • Jerry
            Posted September 28, 2016 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; What ever. Opinion polls also have a tenancy to reflect what those who pay for them want to hear, I’m sure that in time we will read via the left-wing press just how ‘unpopular’ Mrs May is [1] just as I’m sure Mr Corbyn is very unpopular in the Surrey stock-broker belt, perhaps the problem is not so much the popularity of any given leader but who is asked, where, when and how…

            [1] heck, we might even read it via the right-wing press, judging the way some keep trying to -metaphysically- enact a modern version of the Ides of March!

          • Edward2
            Posted September 28, 2016 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

            Ah so polls are only correct if you agree with them.
            Keep digging Jerry

          • Jerry
            Posted September 30, 2016 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

            Edward2; More filthy pots calling the kettle dusty … you’re the one trying to cherry-pick what opinion polls you take note of!

  15. Oggy
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    I’ve just seen Corbyn on the Andrew Marr show and he hasn’t done himself any favours. He says he respects the result of the EU referendum but then went on to say we must remain in the single market with free movement of people ! which is the same as still being in the EU. He avoided the question about uncontrolled immigration.
    Idiots like Corbyn, Owen Smith, Farron and Osborne just don’t get it – the question on the ballot paper was REMAIN or LEAVE, NOT leave by 50% or 80% or Leave but stay in the single market, it was quite clear LEAVE MEANS LEAVE !

    • Jerry
      Posted September 25, 2016 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

      @Oggy; By your definition Switzerland is a member of the EU….

      • Edward2
        Posted September 26, 2016 at 8:07 am | Permalink

        Switzerland has a different membership of the EU
        It doesn’t have open borders.

        • Jerry
          Posted September 26, 2016 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

          @Edward2; Switzerland is not a member of the EU (nor the EEA), it is a member of the EFTA, they have ratified bilateral agreements with the EU that include free movement of persons, the Schengen Treaty and the Dublin Convention.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 27, 2016 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

            Moving the argument as usual.
            Switzerland has had a referendum on immigration and they were in favour of strict curbs.
            They don’t have freedom of movement as other EU nations do.

          • Jerry
            Posted September 28, 2016 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; Oh for goodness sake, how long woudl it take you Eddie to actually check your facts rather than just repeat europhobic hyperbole opinion…

            Switzerland is NOT a member of the EU, nor the EEA, fact. Switzerland has not withdrawn from the bilateral agreements that allow amongst them the freedom of movement of people (and, by implication, being part of the Schengen area) [1] nor does it even need to do so until at least February 2017 in line with their constitution – assuming that no further referenda are held that would alter or void the 2014 referenda result that you and other eurphobes so often gloat at but fail to understand.

            [1] the reason being is because if they denounce one they will also denounce (end) six others due to the inclusion of a Guillotine clause, the 7 treaties that would all fall are;

            Free movement of people
            Air traffic
            Road traffic
            Agriculture
            Technical trade barriers
            Public procurement
            Science

          • Edward2
            Posted September 28, 2016 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

            You miss the point as usual Jerry
            Switzerland has an a large a la carte style of EU membership or afiliation if you prefer which you tell us is impossible to achieve by the UK.
            They are one of the world’s most successful and wealthy nations.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 28, 2016 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

            Typo
            please delete..”a large”

          • Jerry
            Posted September 30, 2016 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; Stop wriggling, as you would say! You stated as fact that Switzerland “has a different membership of the EU” (that is a direct cut ‘n’ paste quote of your comment, before you cry foul any more). You are factually wrong, a country is a member of the EU or they are not, Switzerland is a member of the FFTA, they are no more a member of the EU than the UK is a member of NAFTA. You were also wrong about Switzerland’s borders.

            “[Switzerland is] one of the world’s most successful and wealthy nations.”

            The USA is even better, as is the EU28 (if stated as a whole, akin to being the USE), even the UK individually is doing far better than Switzerland who by IMF, World Bank or UN figures comes only either 19th or 20th in world ranking. The USA or EU come either 1st or 2nd, whilst the UK comes 5th – I can only assume that you Edward2 would be happy to see the UK drop 15 places in world ranking just so we can be more like Switzerland!…

            Total GDP (nominal)
            US $18.558 trillion
            EU $16.220 trillion
            UK $2.849 trillion
            CH $651.770 billion

  16. oldtimer
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    It was a convincing personal victory for Mr Corbyn. It remains to be seen whether he can seize full control of the Labour party apparatus and how many Labour MPs decide to support him by taking up shadow cabinet positions. The signs are that some prominent Labour MPs may not do so. Previously I had wondered if some of them might form a break away party but it seems I was wrong about that. A former Labour MP, writing for politicalbetting.com, recently commented that most of them were more concerned about keeping their jobs as MPs, with the pay and perks that go with it, than with setting up a new party with all the personal risks that entailed. Mr Corbyn looks to be there for the duration and will have his successes as the Conservative party agonises about the implications and consequences of Brexit.

    • Jerry
      Posted September 25, 2016 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

      @oldtimer; “The signs are that some prominent Labour MPs may not do so. [take shadow cabinet positions]”

      They might not get invited either, just as “some [of the them] prominent Labour MPs” chose not to seek or were not asked when Blair became leader, didn’t stop the then up and coming MPs (who are now prominent Labour MPs…) from taking on such rolls.

      No one is irreplaceable, just as some Tory ministers recently found out!

  17. Bert Young
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Labour as it s now and is likely to be for some considerable time , a lost cause . Corbyn owes his majority decision to the Union influence who , once again , want to flex its muscles . The most important thing is for the Conservative Party to cement its position as the result of Brexit . The public have spoken and the mood is to get on with our freedom . It is not the time for back biting or position taking .

    Autumn is the time to rejuvenate the economy and to now show the world that we are a good and reliable bet ; indecision as the last signal we ought to send . Leadership must stamp its authority .

  18. bigneil
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    “Does he have a policy on borders, migration and access to public services ” – On that point – does TM ?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 25, 2016 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

      Indeed does T May a sensible policy? Also does Hammond? We shall see, they flunked the (very clear cut) Hinkley decision after all. It does not bode well alas.

  19. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    I have a variety of thoughts about this, but the one which totally dominates all the others concerns the likelihood of the government being able to rush through an Act to authorise it to serve the Article 50 notice that the UK intends to leave the EU, if it loses the ongoing legal cases and the courts direct that it must do that.

    As some of the whining diehard anti-democratic Remoaner complainants demand an Act I guess that the courts would say that it had to be a full Act, and not just a resolution passed by the Commons or even by both Houses. At least then the Parliament Acts would apply, which they would not for a resolution or a statutory instrument, but with a potential delay of thirteen months before resistance from the unelected legislators-for-life in the Lords could be overcome. We really should not be tolerating this archaic system.

    The official attitude of the Labour leader would be a crucial factor in getting that Bill even through the Commons, where a significant number of recalcitrant Tory MPs such as Clarke and Osborne would be very likely to defy the Tory party whip, let alone through the Lords where one of the Tories’ own unelected legislators-for-life has announced her intention to try to frustrate the will of the British people as expressed in the referendum.

    A rather strange aspect of this is that politicians across the rest of the EU have accepted that we are leaving, and those who still refuse to accept that reality are not in Brussels but here at home. For example I had cause to look up the July 26th Council Decision to exclude the UK from the future schedule for the rotating Council Presidency:

    http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32016D1316&from=EN

    and that says:

    “Whereas …

    … (3) Although no notification has as yet been received under Article 50 TEU from its government, a Member State has made it known publicly that it will withdraw from the Union. The order of presidencies of the Council should be amended to take account of that circumstance, without prejudice to the rights and obligations of that Member State.”

    As far as they are concerned it is settled, we are leaving even though the government has not yet put in the formal notice; in that respect at least the enemies of the British people are not foreign but domestic, and I’m not sure what would happen if these malignants got their way and the UK government said that we were not leaving after all.

  20. ChrisS
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    None of this matters. The only purpose of a political party is to win power.

    after losing all but one of its Scottish seats and long overdue boundary changes it would have been difficult enough for Tony Blair to win. With Corbyn and his left wing policies Labour has almost no chance of achieving a majority unless he does a deal with the SNP. if that achieved a slim majority it would ignite a full-on constitutional crisis in England.

    That risk is the reason why the May govt needs to bring forward a plan for full, equal devolution for the four home nations for their 2020 manfesto.

  21. mickc
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    You are absolutely right; Corbyn should not be underestimated. The Blairites did….

    Those Tories who are rejoicing should think again. Corbyn has proven himself a formidable political operator. May needs be on her mettle!

  22. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Mr Owen Smith and the 171 Labour Party MPs painted Mr Corbyn as weakling. Weak leadership of the PLP; weak leadership of the Labour Party. Mr Corbyn won an increased majority of nearly 62%. It must take an army of migrant helpers to assist Corbyn’s opponents into their trousers each morning and try them to see if a very lightly boiled egg will manage to stay down their gullets without repeating until Elevenses.

  23. Roy Grainger
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Will be interesting to see what Corbyn’s policy on Brexit is. He called for A50 to be invoked immediately but later retracted that but in general he seems supportive of a timely Brexit. A start would be engineering a Labour Brexit person to chair the committee scrutinising David Davies department instead of Hillary Benn who will just be obstructive.

    I’m guessing Corbyn may wave through the boundary changes too so he can deselect a lot of his opponents.

  24. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Off-topic, I see that some foreign bankers are once again threatening to move elsewhere unless we continue to allow 450 million foreigners the automatic and basically unfettered right to come and live and work and start their families in our country if they choose.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/09/24/brexit-warning-us-bank-bosses-from-goldman-sachs-morgan-stanley/

    However according to one commentator, this problem of EU/EEA migration is in any case “relatively minor”, and the simple solution to keep the bankers happy is for the UK to remain in the EEA after it has left the EU, still with the same unlimited and uncontrolled immigration as the default position, and then if necessary invoke one of the provisions of the EEA Agreement to exert some limited control over it.

    I can’t see this idea going down well with the likes of Slovakian Prime Minister Fico, whose assent would be required if we were to stay in the EEA after leaving the EU.

    He may have publicly threatened to make our withdrawal from the EU “very painful” if we wanted to treat his Slovakian citizens as “second class citizens” by restricting their right to migrate to the UK; but nonetheless he will readily agree to make the necessary adjustments to the EEA Agreement to allow the UK to stay in it, knowing that we intended to then use its Article 112 to do just that, restrict the present right of free movement of his Slovakian citizens, and all other EU/EEA citizens, to the UK? I think not.

    Personally I see no more point in looking for fudges in the EEA Agreement than there was any point in Cameron looking for fudges in the EU treaties. There is a fundamental and irreconcilable conflict between the fanatical quasi-religious belief of those like Schulz who say that there are four freedoms and they are indivisible, with some minor dispensations allowed by the EU priests, and those who say that trade and immigration should not be linked, a pragmatic view taken by the great majority of the British people including about half of those who voted to remain in the EU on June 23rd.

  25. Prigger
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Proverbially the British vote for the lesser of the two evils.

    Mrs May has thus far ignored the Brexit vote for three months. We did not vote for rather nice appointments to her Shadow Cabinet. We did not vote for more more than a 23 hour delay in the signing of Article 50. We did not vote for a cute discussion between the Home Secretary and the media whether “Free movement of people” and “Access to the free market ” were not essential for Brexit. We did not vote, actually, for Cameron to leave us in the lurch but for him to continue and get the job done for which he was paid and pensioned.
    We did not vote for Mrs May.

    Mr Corbyn, if there is a pull-back in the economy depending on its depth and consequences and with Mrs May still not honouring the Brexit vote in full will win a decisive win for the Labour Party in the General Election.

    Yes she will harp back to Trident and talk of “The Safety of our Land”. Scots overwhelming, already , do not support her alleged fear. Really most other people outside the media and Parliament have a similar view to the Scots. The prospect of having a less than straightforward Mrs May ; a warmonger and manipulator like Hilary Benn with their fingers anywhere near the nuclear button is more fearful than Corbyn at the helm not wishing to start a nuclear war.
    Corbyn is the lesser of the evils at this moment. His position can only strengthen.

  26. ian
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    I see that the triggering of article 50 is being set back to may next year at the earliest.

    That statement come after the PM had a meeting with three USA banks.

    Yes john another victory for jeremy corbyn, it will be interesting to see how he going to get people to vote for his party going forward and the subject of shadow cabinets, i think you fined that he will have two with the three line whip being abandoned.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 26, 2016 at 7:20 am | Permalink

      According to the FT the banks fear that government policy on Brexit is being shaped by pro-Brexit ministers. Another lot who want to frustrate the will of the people.

      I don’t quite follow the reasoning about the EU Parliament elections in 2019; it would be easy to agree that the UK would not participate in the 2019 elections even if the UK was still in the EU at that time, or alternatively that the UK would return MEPs in 2019 but their term would end at the same instant that the UK finally left the EU.

  27. Prigger
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Off Topic:
    Trump/Clinton first TV debate is scheduled for Monday, September 26, at 9.30pm Eastern Standard Time (EST) in the US ( Tuesday 2am UK time).

    It looks like the BBC, Sky, will televise it as it happens. Certainly CNN will show it live. I shall watch most likely on CNN provided by that nice Mr Branson on my particular service provider as BBC journalists always appear to secretly not care a jot whoever wins anything. They are a nationalised industry personified.

    I mention it as whoever becomes President of the USA seems to affect our politics in the UK in some way. This first debate will most likely give a good clue who will win the Election in November.

    We must spare a thought for the Mayor of London Mr Sadiq Khan who says a Trump victory will mean he will change his mind about visiting Disney Land and meeting Mickey Mouse. We need more mature self-sacrificing mayors of such aspiration as Mr Khan.

    • A different Simon
      Posted September 25, 2016 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

      Mr Khan must be in the driving seat to be the next leader of the Labour Party .

      The next big threat to democracy may come from the “Global Parliament of Mayors” movement .

      The premise is that the cities are full of the movers and shakers and that the periphery and provinces are full of backward little people which the decision making process should circumvent .

      We saw this attitude with our recent Brexit referendum .

      Keep an eye on the Global Parliament of Mayors movement .

      • Prigger
        Posted September 26, 2016 at 4:51 am | Permalink

        A different Simon:

        Several years ago, there was a male Russian cosmonaut. I cannot remember his name. Anyway, he was completely alone up there. He had communication with Ground-Control. His spacecraft developed a life-threatening fault. He needed to do a completely unscheduled spacewalk and try, somehow, to fix it.
        So, he spent hours clinging to the outside of his ship and attempting a miracle.
        He succeeded against all the odds of every mathematician the universe has ever dreamed about.
        He got back to Earth. A jostling of journalists rhetorically said to him he had done fantastically. He answered:
        ” It was all a matter of teamwork ”
        I feel less lonely when I think of him.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 26, 2016 at 7:01 am | Permalink

        Thanks.

        http://benjaminbarber.org/projects/global-parliament-of-mayors-project-2/

        “It is these trends and events that have further manifested the need for a Global Parliament of Mayors to respond effectively and democratically to the global crises we face and fill the void left by nation states who are increasingly dysfunctional — crippled by their old notion of independence and sovereignty in world that is interdependent and in need of collaboration”

        A similar objective to the EU’s Europe of Regions and Cities, but on a global scale. I wouldn’t be surprised if Soros was funding it.

        • A different Simon
          Posted September 26, 2016 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

          You might be right that the vile Soros and his Open Society movement may behind the Global Parliament of Mayors .

          Looking back to London’s mayoral election , it appears to have been little more than a barely disguised charade to ensure Khan was elected .

          It’s difficult to imagine a weaker candidate than Zac Goldsmith .

  28. Ian Wragg
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    It reminds me of Liverpool under Hatton and the GLC. Grammar school educated and privileged toffs playing politics with taxpayers money.
    Corbyn is anti EU and that will help with Brexit. As for the rest of his Soviet style policies I don’t see much of a following.
    Owen Smith was a complete idiot and deserved to lose.

  29. William Long
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    I quite agree with you that Mr Corbyn should not be underestimated . I noticed how self confident he appeared on TV last night and recalled his performance at Prime Minister’s Question time the other day dealing with the Grammar School issue. To a lot of people he will seem extremely plausible and the message he preaches will be appealing to all who think they are entitled to something for nothing. The Conservatives must show sufficient confidence in their message to make it clear to all that for their to be something for anybody, people must be free an incentivised to go out and make it. This can not happen under a Corbyn government.

  30. Don Dutta
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    The Brexit result has shown anything is possible – but I think Jeremy Corbyn will continue to divide the Labour Party and provide weak and disjointed opposition to the Govt – which will ultimately cost Labour the GE.

  31. ian
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    I am not a lover of all the policies of jeremy party, i am only interested in his ideas for democracy, i would like to see him put to the test by as many people as possible and to see what he doses if most of his policies are voted down with people then putting their ideas up and voting them through, will then abandon his plan for democracy or will he support the peoples new ideas even if they are against every think he believe in, that the question that needs to ask of his stile of politics.

    It the peoples chance to take over a party and vote for what they what or will we see as usual people just sitting back and complaining.

    What you got to remember is that it not him winning the election it will be you with your own policies with him making sure they are pasted in parliament and if he backtrack you can still vote for someone else at the GE.

  32. Newmania
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    John Redwood appears to have made it his business to post opinions that might have been designed by neuroscientists to send me scatty. Jeremy Corbyn ! Jeremey Corbyn !!!!! ….. My pet cat would be a better Labour leader , Liz Kendall could have my vote as could Yvette Cooper or any other sane person prepared to stand up to the Brexit Party until such time as the King Over The Water ( Osbourne ) returns to his rightful throne.
    Only half of Labour voters think he is the best possible premier, 11 per cen( YouGov Feb ) like McDonnell as a potential alternative Chancellor.( I am personally surprised its that many )
    Ed Miliband reached his first anniversary ahead of the Conservatives by an average of three points, Corbyn at the same stage is 11% behind . If his poll standing follow the typical pattern of dropping as we get to the election the New Statesman think Labour are on course to get no more than 131 seats post boundary commission.
    Corbyn`s fans, who strongly like him, look like a big crowd , and they are , but they are drawn from 10% of the Population , who strongly approve (Ipsos Mori)So while he has animated the extreme left 10% he has lost much of the soft left, the centre and is solidly loathed by anyone right of centre.
    The Labour Party has 500,000 members , big deal , only one in seven will turn up to canvas and lets put this in context . About half as many people actually attend memorial in the Jehovahs Witness Church and 60,000 odd are in bible studies .That what you have got the Jezhovah witness society , a couple of loons will turn up and give some childish version of religion( Marxism in their case) and leave you entirely uninterested

    A man who tells us he will throw £500bn of magic money around claims to have £120 bn down the back of the sofa ( tax evasion….) consistently supported the IRA`s armed struggle cosies up to Putin equate Israel with ISIS at a meeting about anti-Semitism …I could go on and on and on. He is a joke and not a good one and worst of all his Remain campaign was so weak that 45% of Labour voters thought he was on the other side !

    (unpleasant abuse removed ed)
    What we need is aman to leade Liberal moderate opinion against the extremists on all sides … a man like George Osborne !

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 25, 2016 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

      “moderate opinion against the extremists on all sides…”

      Extremists ? Thatcherite Conservatives are classed as extremists these days.

      I’d just love to know who the arbiters of what is ‘extreme’ are and just who gave them the power to judge.

    • stred
      Posted September 26, 2016 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      It would be good news for most of us if ‘the King Over The Water- Osbourne’ (sic) decided to go back to his ancestral home across the Irish Sea and take his national debt and advice with him. On Daily Politics today we had Andrew Neil asking Catherine West,at the Labour conference, how she would pay for tripling it to pay for the Marx Brothers goodies. She said they would borrow it from the European Development Bank at cheap rates. He asked whether this was investment and she seemed to think it would be. I thought she sounded a bit like another deportee from Oz and looked her up. She was raised and educated in Sydney. The Aussies seem to be able to get rid of their more impractical politicians by sending them here, another being the ex Green leader.

      If the Trots or Greens do ever take power, I wonder whether they might be willing to take anyone with savings and able to look after themselves to retire down under.

  33. fedupsoutherner
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, but I am really concerned that a man like Jeremy Corbyn can sit there and say he thinks the armed forces need less money and we should get rid of Trident when the world is so unstable at the moment. Putin must be rubbing his hands with glee. Only the other day Typhoon jets had to be put up against Putins idiots who were fringing on our air space. Corbyn is a lunatic and I wish the man would put on a tie for goodness sake. He always looks like he has just got out of bed.

    On the other hand our young royals arriving in Canada turned out brilliantly. A credit to the country..

  34. Bebble
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    It is an Evocation of Pathos to hear the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party call young Momentum activists and others in their first stages of political motivation as Entryists, Trotskyists.

    Of course it is patronising and a generality but one has met many young people who literally have never bothered with a book, any book, even one by a fairytale writer who keeps jutting into political allegiances without issue. Yet when they the young suddenly for reasons quite unknown to their juvenile selves embrace say “Socialism”, they grasp a book, a pamphlet, spend their money on it, travel miles to get to just the pseudo-intellectual bookshop selling it and bring it home like a newborn baby. Their parents, completely non-political, unpolitical, suddenly like a miracle see their child cradle a book,,,whatever it is about, and never lift their eyes for two hours. Then, suddenly, from the lounge sofa, they hear a blast agin a very intelligent person…a politician on TV in words and language they have never imagined they could ever hear from their son or daughter. Actually they do not understand the words and sentences. Far out! Shock and Awe. But they feel proud.

    There can be much good in following even the wrong track in politics. You cannot always know the destination without travelling the path. In universal Truth, there is no right track, right opinion, right way in politics. What works!
    Mr Corbyn is motivating.
    The pity of it is that many of the Young will soon realise they cannot all be PM, or Branch Secretary, MP or Councillor and they will be used as leafleteers and door-knockers. Until they have experienced and …read…enough…defy the Labour Party and its advancement of the elite on the backs of an un-read many. Socialism works for a time in an illiterate society, not long here.
    The Young will be left with The Book. The Labour Party has about 10 years life left until its last page is reached.

  35. Newmania
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    Alright then you don`t like abuse ( not sure what I said ) allow me to convey a sense of the awfulness of Jeremy Corbyn
    This Summer I was camping with family in Cornwall. One rainy day we visited the Levant Tin Mine,. We heard there about how children were sent hundreds of feet down in pitch back with in appalling conditions while the shareholders held their legendary dinners nearby . In the end the ‘man machine’ that transported the men clattered into the abyss and 31 were killed before the mine finally closed .
    I took the opportunity explain to my children about capital and labour and why ,although daddy may say rude things about the Labour Party it has been a heroic part of the Nations history .The Labour representation committee and then the Labour Party, I told them , came from a realisation that protest and even powerful Unions were not enough. Without Parliamentary representation, others would govern and others could not be trusted .

    The Labour Party under Corbyn and backed by his dreadful clicktivist fans has betrayed that purpose by returning Labour to pointless protest and what I believe they call virtue signalling
    Meanwhile , with no opposition we are heading for hard Brexit that will seriously damage manufacturing and annihilate the City . No-one is speaking for the people whose jobs are risked in secret negotiations which should be pubic and subject to Parliamentary scrutiny from day 1.
    That is what functioning oppositions are for .
    It is not acceptable that the Nation’s worst post war disaster is waved though by an online cult who have usurped the name Labour. If that doesn`t make you angry then what does ?

  36. Anonymous
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    Nothing stopping the Tories now.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted September 26, 2016 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      ‘Nothing stopping the Tories now’

      – Except themselves. If they drift too far to the right, Conservative moderate voters will leave the party in droves. To where? Perhaps the Lib Dems. And/or to a new protest moderate party (attracting Conservative and Labour moderates as well as Lib Dem voters). And watch out for George Osborne. If he thinks his future in the Conservative party is over (and I see him derided in much of the right-wing press, with no respect given to him for how he took this country from the brink of economic disaster), then you might well see him, and other Tories and Labour MPs coming together to form a temporary protest party against the extreme left of Labour and extreme right of the Conservative party.
      Corbyn isn’t just terrible for the Labour party. He’s also bad for the Conservative party and parliament.

  37. miami.mode
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    The 172 Labour MPs who rebelled against Jeremy Corbyn are facing serious problems of deselection. He has said that, following boundary changes, all Labour MPs will be up for reselection and he “wishes them well”.

    The 172 may well all be sleepwalking to disaster and the only alternative prior to the next election may be for them to split from Labour and become the official opposition due to their number. As we have seen with Douglas Carswell many electors will stick with an MP they know and trust.

    Doubtless many of them are fervently hoping that sanity will prevail and all will be OK in the end, but life does not always favour the good guys and there may come a time when it is too late to try and retrieve the situation.

  38. Ronald Olden
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    It’s not clear why Owen Smith contested the Labour Leadership election. He had no chance of winning. But his challenge was more than just a speculative bid from someone joining an existing field. Smith was the only challenger. Neither was he by any means, the best ‘moderate’ (sic) candidate. Angela Eagle, who dropped out, had far greater electoral appeal within the party, and there were other more heavyweight candidates, such as Yvette Cooper and Hilary Benn, available.

    It’s hardly likely Owen was putting down a marker for the future as Labour leader in the UK. Who would have nominated him on that basis. There must be 30 Labour MPs who are better prospects than Owen.

    The only part of the UK in which Labour has a majority of seats at the moment is Wales, where it is still very strong. It holds 25 out of the 40 Parliamentary seats, and, after the Boundary Changes, will (according to You Gov) have 18 out of 29. They also benefit from concentrating their votes in a specific region of Wales so are only vulnerable to one or two losses at worst. They were re-elected as the Government of Wales in May despite having already been in ‘power’ (if that’s what you can call it). since 1999. Welsh Labour is however at some risk from UKIP which, in May, won seven out of sixty seats in the Welsh Assembly. Neil Hamilton got elected. But they are not facing the ‘near death experiences’ that they are facing in the North of England.

    Corbyn’s name however, is toxic in Wales, and as far as I know not one of Labour’s Welsh Members of Parliament or Welsh Assembly Members voted for him.

    There has been talk in the Welsh Labour Party about splitting off from UK Labour. There’s no reason why they shouldn’t sit in Westminster as a Separate Party and contest elections in their own right. They would be the fourth biggest Party at Westminster, and if at some time in the future the SNP tide retreats, (which it might), they could even be the third biggest. There would be nothing to stop English Labour MP’s electing the Welsh Labour Party Leader as Leader of the Opposition. Welsh Labour historically attracts highly able people as candidates because it can offer them seats for life. Wales is not Scotland. The local Labour Parties in Wales are not susceptible to loony leftism, and duly select presentable, ‘moderate’ candidates.

    Welsh Labour has in recent weeks been rushing to proclaim its’ new stance on the Brexit and is now not even in favour of staying in the ‘Single Market’. Welsh Labour now merely wants ‘access’ to the Single Market. I’m a Tory voter and voted ‘Leave’ but it’s not clear to me how Welsh Labour’s position now differs much from my own. In one or two respects it is even more Eurosceptic than I am.

    Given their already semi autonomous and distinct character Welsh Labour can easily engineer a spilt with UK Labour and present it as an extension of the devolution settlement. No Corbynite Labour candidate can possible hope to defeat a Welsh Labour Party candidate in a Welsh Constituency, or even get enough votes to cause the MP to lose to someone else. The split would also assist Labour in Wales in defending their position against the Welsh Nationalists.

    Welsh Labour has solid independent roots in the Welsh Trade Unions, so would have no difficulty with funding. Given that they have something to offer business in Wales they already get business funding as well, and their local party membership is robust and active. Unlike in parts of England, the strength is spread amongst all age groups. Middle aged and older people routinely canvas and speak up for Labour whereas in parts of England Labour’s new ‘principled’ followers seem to regard going on Demos and sending Tweets as the route to certain electoral success.

    A ‘Split’ is far more difficult, nigh on impossible, for any region of England. But it can easily work for Wales.

    This brings us back to my question. ‘Why did Owen Stand ?’ Owen is of course Welsh and the Member of Parliament for Pontypridd. So if Welsh Labour did split off, I wonder who would be its’ Leader at Westminster. Owen might well be vacuous and unprincipled but when did that stop a Labour Party leader winning three General Elections in a row. He is also personable and attractive.

    And I wonder who would be his Deputy Leader. Stephen Kinnock of course is the MP for Aberavon and has a rather politically astute and, “……… father and mother. Neil Kinnock, perhaps justifiably, sees himself as the man who saved the Labour Party in the 1980s and has been giving endless interviews on the TV recently. Stephen’s wife, Helle Thorning-Schmitt, is the former Prime Minister of Denmark. Welsh Labour, on its own, is capable fielding a more plausible Shadow Cabinet than Corbyn is. They even have more than enough Members of the House of Lords, including Lord and Lady Kinnock, to set up shop there. As far as I am aware, every single Labour Lord is anti Corbyn.

    Someone is up to something.

  39. Atlas
    Posted September 26, 2016 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    John,

    What you say is true – but the Conservative Party is not immune from its fissure lines either.

    Mrs May was elected by acclimation. There was a good chance that the Conservative Party Membership may have selected her original opponent. So we have a Parliamentary Conservative Party that is still pro being an EU puppet whilst the Party Members are of different persuasion.

    Perhaps May does need an election to establish her unarguable right to set the agenda? Certainly what she says at the forthcoming Conference will either deflate UKIP or give it steam.

  40. stred
    Posted September 26, 2016 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Jeremy’s brother Piers is also in the news. http://www.energylivenews.com/2016/09/09/co2-is-not-causing-climate-change-scientists-insist/ The climatologist says the world is cooling and is planning Clexit. Red Ed must just love those Corbyn brothers.

  41. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted September 27, 2016 at 4:01 am | Permalink

    You are certainly right that Mr Corbyn is more in tune with the electorate than Mr Smith will ever be. Mr Smith reminds me a little of another Welsh windbag.

    However, in case you are thinking that a Labour Goverment might not be all that bad, I suggest that you get hold of the full text of Mr McDonnell’s speech to the Labour conference on economic policy. He wants to nationalise just about everything in sight and to create new institutions to do it.

    You have been warned.

    Young voters have voted for Scottish independence, to Remain in the EU, and they like Jeremy Corbyn. The Conservative Party needs to put out a drastically revised manifesto in 2020. Please don’t tell me that I risk creating an inter-generational clash. It’s already here and we need to head it off.

    Reply Of course I disagree with much of Mr Corbyn’s programme and will continue to oppose it!

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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