The day the Labour Party died

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The day the Labour Party died

Post by feelthelove on Sat Sep 12, 2015 4:48 pm



In affectionate remembrance of the Labour Party, which died at the Queen Elizabeth II conference centre, Westminster, on 12 September, 2015. Deeply lamented by a large circle of sorrowing friends and acquaintances. R.I.P. The body will be cremated, and the ashes taken to Islington.

It’s possible to look at the positives, because there are positives. Change has come to one of the two great establishment parties. Real change, not that plastic “hopey, changed stuff” so beloved of spin doctors, politicians and commentators. A genuine buzz and excitement has surrounded the election of a British political leader. OK, it may have been confined to people who already take a close interest in politics. But they have chosen to become active participants, rather than mute observers. And this is a genuinely historic moment. A watershed event. What happened here today will have an impact on our national life for years, probably decades, to come.

Enough of the positives. The election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party is a catastrophe.

A catastrophe for the Labour Party. A catastrophe for our political system. A catastrophe for the country.

Let us close our ears for a moment to the cheers of the Labour diehards, and those gushing about a new period of hope, and Left-wing renewal. And instead, let’s just open our eyes.

The Labour Party has again managed to elect a leader who is unelectable. Who before he has even uttered a word, or announced a single new policy, has robbed his party of any prospect of victory at the next general election. Yes, it’s true Labour already had a mountain to climb in 2020. But what it has just done is effectively say to its Sherpa: “we’d like you to take us to the top of Everest. And we’d like you to do it whilst wearing this hood, and carrying this grand piano on your back”. And then, for good measure, they’ve broken both of his legs.

To know just how unelectable Jeremy Corbyn is, don’t listen to his critics, but listen to his supporters. Yesterday I did the Daily Politics program with the Guardian’s Zoe Williams.  Could Jeremy Corbyn be elected prime minister, she was asked. This was her instinctive, verbatim, response: “Look … this whole idea that there’s a solid mass of the general public who sit in the centre and that’s where they always sit, this is completely fallacious I think. I mean, all these people who … the kind of Blairite Labour should be able to appeal to … if they are so multiple why did none of them join as supporters to vote for the person they wanted? So the idea we’ve got this very centre right country that can be drawn to the left by the right kind of cosmetic person … the idea that that exists is wrong. People respond to strong arguments. Now, whether or not Jeremy Corbyn is going to make the right arguments, whether or not he can be the person who can make those strong arguments remains to be seen.”

Actually, never mind Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters. Just listen to Jeremy Corbyn himself. Asked on an LBC debate by Yvette Cooper, “are you doing this because you want to be prime minister”, he responded: “I’m doing this because I want our party to change. I’m doing this because I’m putting myself forward to do the job to bring about that change, but I believe in a coherent party, I believe in greater democracy in our party, and if I am elected to that position I would want to promote fundamental changes to bring about a collective approach to the way we do things.”

Jeremy Corbyn’s opponents can’t begin to picture Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister. Jeremy Corbyn’s own cheerleaders can’t begin to picture Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister. Even Jeremy Corbyn can’t begin to picture Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister. How in God’s name are the voters supposed to picture it?  They aren’t, of course. The voters were the last people under consideration when Labour’s new army of £3 activists pumped out their fusillade of electronic ballots.

Labour has not just relinquished any prospect of being a party of government. It has just relinquished any prospect of being a party of opposition. Earlier in the week David Cameron called his ministers together for their political cabinet. It opened with some concerned analysis about the potential political consequences of a Corbyn victory. One minister pointed to the size of Labour’s potential activist base. Another noted how the enthusiasm for Corbyn amongst Labour supporters reminded him of the first stirrings of the SNP surge in Scotland. Then there was a pause. And then everyone started laughing. It was, they all agreed, a result beyond their wildest dreams.

This is what the Labour Party has become. Literally, a laughing stock.

Over the coming hours we will hear a new mantra. How Labour must “unite and take the fight to the Tories”. Fight them with what? Almost half of Labour’s senior front rank politicians have already stated they cannot in all conscience even sit in the same shadow cabinet room as their new leader. There are doubts about whether Jeremy Corbyn will even attempt to enforce a parliamentary whipping system. Even if he does, how effective can it hope to be given his own record of opposing his own party over 500 times? Despite all the hype surrounding this election, trade union participation has collapsed. When the new trade union bill is passed a similar collapse in the party’s union funding will follow. The last private sector donors are already walking away. Leaving Labour a party without a credible prime minister, a credible cabinet, a credible policy programme or a credible funding stream. In other words, it has ceased to be a political party at all.

And that has implications for everyone. Those who confidently predicted the 2015 election would herald the end of two party politics were right. We have now entered the era of one party politics.

There is only one way an official opposition can put pressure on a government. That is by making itself a potential government. And with the election of Jeremy Corbyn Labour is no longer even capable of fulfilling that basic political and constitutional obligation.

This the great irony of what Labour Party has just done. In fact it’s not an irony, it’s actually a minor obscenity. Sole responsibility for protecting the country from the excesses of Conservatism has now been handed to moderate elements within the Conservative Party. They are all that’s left now. Only Iain Duncan-Smith can prevent further cuts to disability benefit. Whoever is appointed Labour’s shadow welfare minister can save his or her breath. Worried about more public service cuts? George Osborne is your only hope now. Scared about what may happen to your beloved NHS? Better start sending your prayers in the direction of Jeremy Hunt.

Sorry, what’s that? You don’t like the idea of your precious public services being left to their tender mercies? Well, you could always march down Whitehall chanting “Jez We Can”.

Over the next few weeks the inquest will begin. The debate Labour should have had before hurling itself into the abyss. Blair. Iraq. Brown’s dead hand. Mrs Duffy. Bacon sandwiches. The 35 per cent strategy. All the old tropes will be paraded. Some of them significant, some of them not.

But in the end it all boils down to this. Political parties die because they want to die. None of this had to happen. Labour could have elected a solid but unremarkable interim leader. Yvette Cooper’s steel. Liz Kendall’s courage. Whatever it is that’s left of Andy Burnham after three months of remorseless self-abasement. They would not have enthused or energised anyone. But at least they would have kept the flame alive.

But that’s not what Labour Party members wanted. They wanted to see their party go out in a final blaze of uncompromising glory.

And so it has. Something may still emerge from the ashes. But the Labour Party as we know it – and as some people once loved it – died today. Each and every one of us will be touched by its passing.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/Jeremy_Corbyn/11859233/The-day-the-Labour-Party-died.html

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Jeremy Corbyn becomes Labour leader: Today is our darkest hour – we have become unelectable

Post by feelthelove on Sat Sep 12, 2015 5:07 pm

This is not about mere differences in political opinion. No-one likes it when their candidate loses, just as others do not when their football team does. But today is about much, much more than that.

My team, and that of thousands of friends and colleagues, has just somehow jumped from the Premier League into the Third Division, with little chance of promotion for at least a decade.

Those of us who backed Liz Kendall for leader would have accepted Yvette Cooper. We would have, perhaps more grudgingly, accepted Andy Burnham, although neither would probably have won in 2020.

But Corbyn? Words fail me.

Today there is a howl of anguish, not just from the party’s centrists but from all those who understand the slow, grinding slog of making a party respectable in order to win power. It takes years to win that respect, but you can lose it in a day.

This is one of those days.

The harsh truth: this is a disastrous, collective decision made by Labour’s comfort zone, aided and abetted by hard-left dinosaurs leading the big unions, some wide-eyed youth looking for inspiration, a few leftover Trots and some three-pound political tourists.

It is almost a storyline for a low-budget comedy film, where the Monster Raving Loony Party candidate unexpectedly claims the seat of the Prime Minister. It is something which so hits the party’s credibility, it is difficult to see it recovering by 2025, let alone 2020.

Worst of all, many of the party’s rank and file seem blissfully unaware of this fact.

Following the train wreck of this year’s election defeat, today Labour is sucking its collective thumb and rocking catatonically. Like some post-trauma patient, it has retreated into a nice, secure bubble, hermetically sealed off from the views of the public its politicians aspire to serve. YouGov’s recent polling confirmed the vast gulf between the views and attitudes of the Corbynites, and the British public in general. Labour is saying "la la la, I can't hear you".

Imagine: we have just chosen a leader considerably less electable than Michael Foot, after whose election it took Labour seventeen more years to regain power. And before that, the last time it elected a peacenik leader, George Lansbury, it had also been crushed and it was another thirteen years before a Labour leader would again be Prime Minister.

But forget the man himself. Corbyn is not a leader; he has not so much as held junior ministerial or Shadow rank in 32 years in Parliament. It is the fellow-travellers we should worry about, who will take advantage of his "collegiate" leadership to push their own, even-harder-left agendas on his behalf. Purges and de-selections of the politically impure are not an exaggeration: they are a likelihood.

We know, because we have been here before, in the 1980s. Right now, the party has little to look forward to but an extended period as a glorified protest movement. As it was then, when Corbyn first entered Parliament, but worse. And that is, frankly, if it survives at all.

How did we ever get here? Put simply, those who voted were either too young to know the 1980s, or too foolish to realise that they were the desperate nadir and not the zenith of the party.

No, Labour has had no darker hour in my lifetime. Or my parents’.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/jeremy-corbyn-becomes-labour-leader-today-is-our-darkest-hour--we-have-become-unelectable-10497770.html

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Re: The day the Labour Party died

Post by nicko on Sat Sep 12, 2015 6:25 pm

A Commie, a "useful idiot" A black day for Britain!
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Re: The day the Labour Party died

Post by Tommy Monk on Sat Sep 12, 2015 6:49 pm

Labour have been hijacked for a long time by the double speak kind of agenda following cretins... this was two fingers up to them and the three of a kind contenders...



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Re: The day the Labour Party died

Post by sassy on Sat Sep 12, 2015 7:10 pm

What a load of utter crap, put out by the Torygraph because the Conservatives now realise they are going to have real opposition and be shown up for what they are.  They have also seen the amount of fantastic enthusiam shown by young and old, and especially by those who before used to say 'they are all the same, there is no point in voting'.  This is the rebirth of a real socialist party, putting people and principles first, caring for all.  No wonder the Conservatives are running scared and desperately putting out rubbish like this.  In fact, the more of this they put out, the more people know how scared they are.

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Re: The day the Labour Party died

Post by Tommy Monk on Sat Sep 12, 2015 7:33 pm

I partly agree there Sassy... for too long it has been 'more of the same' regardless of who was voted in, because they all seem to be following exactly the same agenda... one that is certainly not the will of the majority of British people!!!



But... meet the new labour boss... same as old boss... pro more mass immigration, pro more borrowing, pro more EU...


All the same stuff that the British people are against!!!

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Re: The day the Labour Party died

Post by sassy on Sat Sep 12, 2015 7:37 pm

Wrong Tommy.  The Government have borrowed more than any other Government ever has and has tripled the debt.  But they have done nothing with it.  Have they built more houses?  Have they invested in education etc etc.  Nope.  Jeremy intends to borrow less and invest it into Britain, build houses etc, which in turn will make more jobs, more people paying taxes and so much more.  And he does not think we should stay in the EU under any conditions and has set out his conditions.  Vastly different.

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Re: The day the Labour Party died

Post by Tommy Monk on Sat Sep 12, 2015 8:12 pm

The incoming Tory/libdem govt inherited the disasterous spending commitments left by labour!!!


They have done their best to turn things around and reduce borrowing and spending and all proposals have been opposed by labour too!!!



And you dare to bring up housing!!!???


http://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/labour-should-apologise-for-social-housing-failure-8932797.html



More social housing was built during one year under thatcher than the whole of labours 13 years!!!


While opening up to doors to mass immigration!!!


And Then allowing unemployed people to claim up to £100,000 a year in benefits to pay to live in luxury rented houses!!!


The education budget is stretched to breaking point as it has to keep building more and more schools and places to keep up with the increasing numbers of immigrant children!!!



And let's not forget that because labour signed a deal to pay £300 billion for £50 billion of new hospitals to be built... that the NHS budgets across the land are also struggling although the overall budget has increased!!!



Corbyn is in favour of all the most important things the British people are against... he is pro mass immigration, pro EU, pro higher borrowing, pro higher taxes on already struggling working people.




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