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Starmer will regret purging the Left The roots of Corbynism are far from dead

Is Corbynism really dead? (Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Is Corbynism really dead? (Leon Neal/Getty Images)


June 9, 2023   6 mins

On Wednesday evening, when Labour members in North West Durham gathered to choose whom to back as the new mayor for the North East, they were given a strict warning: there should be no mention of Jamie Driscoll. The party had taken “legal advice”, said the meeting’s chair, a former MP for the constituency. Anyone who brought up Driscoll’s name “may face disciplinary action”.

Roughly 20 miles away, a similar scene was playing out in Newcastle. There, a group of Labour members walked out after the chair refused to allow a proposal to boycott the mayoral selection process.

Both incidents were unprecedented in recent Labour history; and both illustrate the ruthless manner in which Keir Starmer and his aides have purged even relatively mild Left-wingers from the party.

Driscoll, who has served as the Labour mayor for the much smaller North of Tyne area since 2019, is routinely described as the “last Corbynista in power”, though this probably exaggerates how Left-wing he really is. His offence, it soon emerged, was guilt by association.

In March, in his role as mayor, Driscoll had hosted an “in conversation” event with the socialist film director Ken Loach, two of whose recent films were set on Tyneside. Loach is persona non grata in Labour, cast out for directing a production of Perdition, a play accused of antisemitism, in 1987. Party officials seemed not to realise that one of Loach’s subsequent works — his 1997 documentary McLibel — had included a substantial interview with a young human rights lawyer called Keir Starmer. Sometimes guilt by association matters; sometimes it doesn’t.

The rapid decline of the Labour Left since 2019 has been astonishing. Earlier this year, Labour announced that under no circumstances could Jeremy Corbyn stand as Labour’s candidate in his Islington North seat at the next election. At the same time, of the 123 new Labour candidates so far chosen to stand in vacated or target seats, only two are firmly on the Left: Faiza Shaheen, an economist who will again challenge Iain Duncan Smith in Chingford and Woodford Green, and Chris Webb in Blackpool South.

Under Starmer, the party apparatus has gone to extraordinary lengths to stop Left-wingers from getting on to the longlist. And in many cases, the victims are trades unionists and socialists whose politics — like Driscoll’s — are not exactly Corbynite. This week, l learnt of two would-be MPs in north Lancashire who have just been told by party officials that there is no point in applying as they will be excluded at the “due diligence” stage.

Indeed, the problem seems especially acute in the North West and Northern regions. In Copeland, for instance, Joe Ghayouba, a popular councillor who is half-Egyptian and has campaigned for Palestinian rights, was excluded; in Carlisle, Louise Atkinson, a black councillor and teacher who is president of the National Education Union, was mysteriously omitted without explanation. Even when reasons are provided, they are often trivial. One contender was told their offence was to “like” a past tweet in which Nicola Sturgeon said she’d tested negative for Covid.

If this seems ruthless, it’s only because Starmer is able to be. His aides have conducted by far the most tightly organised operation the party has ever known. Candidate selection is overseen by the two Matts — Matt Faulding and Matt Pound — and greatly assisted by long-standing Labour NEC member Luke Akehurst. Faulding was once deputy director of the Blairite think tank Progress, while Pound used to run Labour First, which represents the “Old Labour Right”, and organised to get Blairites picked as candidates during the Corbyn years. Labour First is now run by Akehurst, who as an NEC member gets to chair many of the panels that have been excluding Left-wingers. In other words, these three unknown men are now running the operation to choose the next generation of Labour politicians. Each is easily more powerful than most members of the shadow cabinet.

True, Labour’s due-diligence process certainly needed beefing up; in February, Jared O’Mara became the second Labour MP elected in 2017, following Fiona Onasanya, to be sent to jail for offences of dishonesty. But Labour’s due diligence process isn’t just about character flaws or past misdemeanours. As Akehurst admitted to me last week, there is a strong “political element” behind blocking candidates: “Maybe they’ve been incredibly publicly disrespectful of the current leadership… or they’ve got a constant record of breaking the whip as a local councillor… If we’re in a… hung Parliament situation, or a very narrow majority at the next election, I don’t want to have allowed people to become Labour MPs who are not solid votes for the Labour Party.”

Here, of course, Starmer’s hitmen are partly emulating the ruthless tactics of Corbyn and his allies. Under his regime, loyalty rather than ability also seemed to be the main qualification for selection. The Corbynites, for instance, felt not the slightest guilt in brazenly overturning the selection of Camden councillor Sally Gimson in Bassetlaw on what were obviously trumped up and minor charges.

Yet Starmer’s high command has gone far beyond the harsh rule of the Corbyn years, even pitting MPs against each other in some seats. When Left-winger Beth Winter was defeated by loyalist Gerald Jones in the new Merthyr Tydfil and Cynon Valley seat this week, she complained that the Welsh party had fixed the process against her. Such is the strength of the Starmerite machine that many on the Left have simply given up trying.

And why wouldn’t they? Under the Akehurst criteria, it’s unthinkable that Neil Kinnock, John Prescott, Clare Short and Robin Cook, all of whom were rebels in their early careers, would be selected. Nor do I think Angela Rayner, the party’s deputy leader, would get on the Labour list today — she couldn’t be described as a Corbynite, but her trade-union background would make her suspect to some of those working for Starmer.

Past Labour governments, by contrast, have always thrived on being a “broad church”. Attlee’s cabinet counted Nye Bevan and Stafford Cripps among its towering figures, yet both had suffered periods of expulsion from the party only a few years before. Wilson’s benefited from the presence of Dick Crossman and Barbara Castle; Callaghan had Tony Benn and Michael Foot (another former expellee), while Blair’s deputy John Prescott had been one of the “tightly knit group of politically motivated men” denounced by Wilson during the 1966 seamen’s strike.

As the experiences of both Boris Johnson and Liz Truss demonstrated, it’s a mistake to confine one’s government to a narrow band of loyal yes-men and women. Cabinet government needs the odd maverick, people who are willing to come up with alternative ideas and scrutinise and challenge existing policy. “Keir is blocking off his exits,” a former Corbyn aide recently told him. “You need some people who are creating space, and who enable the party to be a bit bolder.”

Meanwhile Team Starmer’s treatment of Corbyn and, to some extent, Diane Abbott has also instilled a sense of fear among the three dozen die-hard MPs who still belong to the Socialist Campaign Group in Westminster. They’ve deliberately kept quiet in recent months, terrified that the leadership will jump on the slightest excuse to deprive them of the whip and disqualify them from standing for Labour.

“People are very worried that anything that is in any way challenging will be used in a disciplinary process against them,” John McDonnell said recently. “You don’t want to put yourself in a position of vulnerability and then let other people down as well.” McDonnell advises colleagues to keep their heads down, to keep their noses clean. But he also attempted to cheer up Left-wing MPs by reminding them that if Labour gets a small majority next time — of just 20, say — then they could suddenly be back in business, effectively holding the balance of power in the Commons, as the old Tribune Group did during the Wilson/Callaghan government of the Seventies. And that, of course, is what the two Matts and Luke Akehurst fear.

The Labour Left aren’t just victims of a Starmerite plot, of course. They lack leadership, ideas and confidence. The 2019 election defeat knocked the stuffing out of them. Yet tens of thousands of people who took part in the Corbynite movement haven’t just vanished or died. Many have ripped up their Labour membership cards, but many are still active in politics — in unions, pressure groups and single-issue campaigns. Consider the Corbynite group Momentum, which has refocused its work on issues such as climate change and getting people elected to local government councils.

What’s more, history suggests the Left will be back. The Attlee government spawned the Bevanite surge of the Fifties, while disillusionment with the Wilson and Callaghan governments led to the rise of Tony Benn and the Bennites in the Seventies and Eighties. More recently, the Iraq war and other alleged “betrayals” of the Blair-Brown era eventually prompted the most astonishing Left-wing turn of all — the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.

And when this happens, the fight rarely ends. Like mafia factions engaged in a perpetual tit-for-tat vendetta, the Labour Right and Left closely observe each other’s tactics, then adopt them, with ever more draconian reprisals. If and when the Labour Left returns, it will be with a great sense of vengeance — and Labour’s politics will get more bloody than ever.


Michael Crick is a broadcaster and writer whose most recent book is One Party After Another: The Disruptive Life of Nigel Farage (Simon & Schuster). His Selections Twitter feed is @Tomorrow’sMPs

MichaelLCrick

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Malcolm Knott
Malcolm Knott
1 year ago

The Tories seem to have adopted a similar, if covert, operation to exclude any actual Tories from the Parliamentary party.

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
1 year ago
Reply to  Malcolm Knott

Cameron’s dalliance with the Lib Dems obviously rubbed off on him – he ended up selecting a boatload of them for Parliament.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Malcolm Knott

Which is why the Crown Prosecution Service has decided to charge Colonel Bob Stewart*, DSO, MP, with two offences under Section 5 of the Public Order Act, 1986, including ‘racially aggravated abuse’!

Is this really in the Public interest? Or is it just more grovelling to BLM nonsense?

However, and quite astonishingly, this pernicious legislation was brought in by the late Lady Thatcher, rather indicating that the so called Tory Party has been a giant fraud for sometime now.

(* “ Bonking Bob Stewart” of Bosnian War fame as the press dubbed him at the time.)

AC Harper
AC Harper
1 year ago
Reply to  Malcolm Knott

One can only wonder what might have happened if Boris had had the patience and discipline to rid his party of more than a handful of Remainers.

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
1 year ago
Reply to  Malcolm Knott

Cameron’s dalliance with the Lib Dems obviously rubbed off on him – he ended up selecting a boatload of them for Parliament.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Malcolm Knott

Which is why the Crown Prosecution Service has decided to charge Colonel Bob Stewart*, DSO, MP, with two offences under Section 5 of the Public Order Act, 1986, including ‘racially aggravated abuse’!

Is this really in the Public interest? Or is it just more grovelling to BLM nonsense?

However, and quite astonishingly, this pernicious legislation was brought in by the late Lady Thatcher, rather indicating that the so called Tory Party has been a giant fraud for sometime now.

(* “ Bonking Bob Stewart” of Bosnian War fame as the press dubbed him at the time.)

AC Harper
AC Harper
1 year ago
Reply to  Malcolm Knott

One can only wonder what might have happened if Boris had had the patience and discipline to rid his party of more than a handful of Remainers.

Malcolm Knott
Malcolm Knott
1 year ago

The Tories seem to have adopted a similar, if covert, operation to exclude any actual Tories from the Parliamentary party.

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
1 year ago

Corbynites regularly warn Starmer that “Winning without the Left is not winning at all.”
Yet they never seem to understand that “With the Left, there’s no winning at all.”

For a long time Labour has needed to split into three parties. One can retain the leftist ideological purity beloved of Corbynites – and have so few MPs they can hold meetings in Jeremy’s allotment shed. The second can dance in the streets and celebrate winning seats like Putney, whilst looking down their noses at all those ghastly Brexity untermensch “Red Wall” voters. …. And then there can be a third party, perhaps they could be called,…. oh I don’t know, The Labour Party?….. who can ditch the identity-politics and the ahistorical anti-British stance on everything and maybe try to champion the needs of traditional Labour supporters.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

In other words the Labour Party of Attlee, Bevin and Dalton, and NOT Bevan, Laski, and Miliband.

Last edited 1 year ago by Charles Stanhope
Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 year ago

Attlee and Bevin were tough, patriotic and practical; everything the middle class Left is not. Attlee’s favourite historian was A Bryant and Churchill described Bevin as the working class John Bull.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 year ago

Attlee and Bevin were tough, patriotic and practical; everything the middle class Left is not. Attlee’s favourite historian was A Bryant and Churchill described Bevin as the working class John Bull.

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

The Hard Left, the Herd Left, and the Heart Left?

Stu B
Stu B
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

If this article carried any weight then Corbyn would have won the election. But it seems that the electorate disagree with Mr Crick. While we still live in a democracy it’s the only opinion that matters.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

In other words the Labour Party of Attlee, Bevin and Dalton, and NOT Bevan, Laski, and Miliband.

Last edited 1 year ago by Charles Stanhope
Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

The Hard Left, the Herd Left, and the Heart Left?

Stu B
Stu B
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

If this article carried any weight then Corbyn would have won the election. But it seems that the electorate disagree with Mr Crick. While we still live in a democracy it’s the only opinion that matters.

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
1 year ago

Corbynites regularly warn Starmer that “Winning without the Left is not winning at all.”
Yet they never seem to understand that “With the Left, there’s no winning at all.”

For a long time Labour has needed to split into three parties. One can retain the leftist ideological purity beloved of Corbynites – and have so few MPs they can hold meetings in Jeremy’s allotment shed. The second can dance in the streets and celebrate winning seats like Putney, whilst looking down their noses at all those ghastly Brexity untermensch “Red Wall” voters. …. And then there can be a third party, perhaps they could be called,…. oh I don’t know, The Labour Party?….. who can ditch the identity-politics and the ahistorical anti-British stance on everything and maybe try to champion the needs of traditional Labour supporters.

Jane Anderson
Jane Anderson
1 year ago

Starmer may well be purging Corbynistas and other ‘too left wing’ suspects, but he’s also made life very difficult for women who believe in the reality of biological sex and in doing so would like to protect the dignity and integrity of women and girls.
The Labour Women’s Declaration was refused a stall at last year’s conference, and Rosie Duffield had to be accompanied by security to attend. Not one word of support for her from Starmer. Gender Self Id seems to be the one Corbynista pledge he’s still committed to. What a bizarre world we live in.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jane Anderson
Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Jane Anderson

Indeed. There’s been quite a few Unherd articles about Starmer’s stance on gender self-ID. Those who take note of these things will likely vote accordingly (or abstain) but i’m not sure that’d be in sufficient numbers to dent his chances of success at the next election.
If he were to be severely embarrassed about this during the course of an election interview that might make a difference, just as it did for Gordon Brown when he was embarrassed by calling an elderly northern woman a “bigot” when he thought the microphone was switched off in 2010.

Stu B
Stu B
1 year ago
Reply to  Jane Anderson

This is the main thing that still puts me off Labour (leaving aside the vacuum where policy should be for a moment). It is very suspicious that despite the apparent purge of the lunatic fringe he still seems frightened of answering the extraordinarily simple question: what is a woman? Identity politics is revolting and it’s still at work in Labour. The incidents with Rupa Huq and Diane Abbott are fine examples of it’s prevelance and no party wedded to those ideas can have my vote.

Caroline Watson
Caroline Watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Jane Anderson

Absolutely. And he has made no attempt to purge blatant misogynists like Lloyd Russell Moyle.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Jane Anderson

Indeed. There’s been quite a few Unherd articles about Starmer’s stance on gender self-ID. Those who take note of these things will likely vote accordingly (or abstain) but i’m not sure that’d be in sufficient numbers to dent his chances of success at the next election.
If he were to be severely embarrassed about this during the course of an election interview that might make a difference, just as it did for Gordon Brown when he was embarrassed by calling an elderly northern woman a “bigot” when he thought the microphone was switched off in 2010.

Stu B
Stu B
1 year ago
Reply to  Jane Anderson

This is the main thing that still puts me off Labour (leaving aside the vacuum where policy should be for a moment). It is very suspicious that despite the apparent purge of the lunatic fringe he still seems frightened of answering the extraordinarily simple question: what is a woman? Identity politics is revolting and it’s still at work in Labour. The incidents with Rupa Huq and Diane Abbott are fine examples of it’s prevelance and no party wedded to those ideas can have my vote.

Caroline Watson
Caroline Watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Jane Anderson

Absolutely. And he has made no attempt to purge blatant misogynists like Lloyd Russell Moyle.

Jane Anderson
Jane Anderson
1 year ago

Starmer may well be purging Corbynistas and other ‘too left wing’ suspects, but he’s also made life very difficult for women who believe in the reality of biological sex and in doing so would like to protect the dignity and integrity of women and girls.
The Labour Women’s Declaration was refused a stall at last year’s conference, and Rosie Duffield had to be accompanied by security to attend. Not one word of support for her from Starmer. Gender Self Id seems to be the one Corbynista pledge he’s still committed to. What a bizarre world we live in.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jane Anderson
Ben Jones
Ben Jones
1 year ago

An interesting article by a writer on top of his game, but has MC considered this? As we’ve seen over the past few years, it doesn’t really matter which party (or how radical it is) wins an election; the *real* power lies with the civil service. They triage, consider and then approve / boycott policies depending on their own political convictions (Brexit, Rwanda, etc).
This is where Starmer has a baked-in advantage; the civil service is overwhelmingly centre-left. For the vast majority of his policies, a Starmer administration will be kicking at an open door.
He’s probably already discussed this with that utterly impartial avatar of civil service professionalism, Sue Gray. Starmer might not have any scruples, but he does have a plan.
My point being getting compliant MPs on board is important, of course (although I do wonder if this is Labour muscle-memory, as infighting is in the nature of the beast). But, equally important, is the battle Starmer has won by default – His Majesty’s Government’s civil service.

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
1 year ago

An interesting article by a writer on top of his game, but has MC considered this? As we’ve seen over the past few years, it doesn’t really matter which party (or how radical it is) wins an election; the *real* power lies with the civil service. They triage, consider and then approve / boycott policies depending on their own political convictions (Brexit, Rwanda, etc).
This is where Starmer has a baked-in advantage; the civil service is overwhelmingly centre-left. For the vast majority of his policies, a Starmer administration will be kicking at an open door.
He’s probably already discussed this with that utterly impartial avatar of civil service professionalism, Sue Gray. Starmer might not have any scruples, but he does have a plan.
My point being getting compliant MPs on board is important, of course (although I do wonder if this is Labour muscle-memory, as infighting is in the nature of the beast). But, equally important, is the battle Starmer has won by default – His Majesty’s Government’s civil service.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago

What else can he do? He has to win middle class votes to get into No 10. In order to do that he has to become a Tory. Just like Tony Blair.
Once in office he will pursue neo-liberal policies that would make Margaret Thatcher blush. Just like Tony Blair.
The man is a careerist fraud and cannot be trusted to hold a principled position for longer than it takes the media to criticise it. Just like Tony Blair.
So long as we have a middle class intelligentsia which thinks its behaviour doesn’t matter so long as it has the right opinions we’ll keep getting politicians just like Tony Blair.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago

What else can he do? He has to win middle class votes to get into No 10. In order to do that he has to become a Tory. Just like Tony Blair.
Once in office he will pursue neo-liberal policies that would make Margaret Thatcher blush. Just like Tony Blair.
The man is a careerist fraud and cannot be trusted to hold a principled position for longer than it takes the media to criticise it. Just like Tony Blair.
So long as we have a middle class intelligentsia which thinks its behaviour doesn’t matter so long as it has the right opinions we’ll keep getting politicians just like Tony Blair.

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
1 year ago

Imagine what Starmer, and his loyalist band of MPs handpicked specifically for their inability to mount any kind of intellectual or political challenge to their leadership’s diktats, will do if he gets into ostensible power and he’s instructed by the powers that be in Geneva to shut down dissenting opinion online, protest in real life, or otherwise disrespect the basic tenets of liberal democracy in the “public interest” or for the “greater good”? For linear-thinking, unprincipled, ideologues with fragile egos trapped by their own narrow worldview, the ends justify the means.

It’s enough to make one shudder. But this too shall pass.

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
1 year ago

Imagine what Starmer, and his loyalist band of MPs handpicked specifically for their inability to mount any kind of intellectual or political challenge to their leadership’s diktats, will do if he gets into ostensible power and he’s instructed by the powers that be in Geneva to shut down dissenting opinion online, protest in real life, or otherwise disrespect the basic tenets of liberal democracy in the “public interest” or for the “greater good”? For linear-thinking, unprincipled, ideologues with fragile egos trapped by their own narrow worldview, the ends justify the means.

It’s enough to make one shudder. But this too shall pass.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago

Which of Corbyn’s policies exactly were ‘bloody?’ Nationalising rail, trying to build proper council houses, reindustrialising Britain through a green new deal? Corbyn may have been as dull as ditchwater, but many transformative and popular ideas flourished under his leadership, despite most of the media’s efforts to brand him as communist or pro-Putin or whatever rubbish they allowed journalists to make up.

Stephen Walsh
Stephen Walsh
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

Do you include anti-semitism amongst these many transformative and popular ideas? Unless the Hard Left faces up to the strident intolerance and anti-semitism within its ranks, it will always be a turn off for voters.

Last edited 1 year ago by Stephen Walsh
Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

Well it did – Corbyn apologised many times (despite not really needing to – see link below). Give me one single example in the past 10 years where the Tories have done the same (and boy have they had opportunities to do so). How people can still trot out the old false equivalence ‘all as bad as each other’ these days is beyond me.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdoVw2tWb0I&t=259s

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

Well it did – Corbyn apologised many times (despite not really needing to – see link below). Give me one single example in the past 10 years where the Tories have done the same (and boy have they had opportunities to do so). How people can still trot out the old false equivalence ‘all as bad as each other’ these days is beyond me.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdoVw2tWb0I&t=259s

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

Green policies are about de-industrialising.

Tony Simmons
Tony Simmons
1 year ago

And depopulating.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Simmons

Name one depopulating Labour Green policy that’s more depopulating than the Tories’ cutting of child benefit (and their decisions not to build proper housing, cutting sure start, not showing any interest in redindustrialising Britain and creating jobs people can be proud of and support a family on etc etc)

Caroline Watson
Caroline Watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Simmons

Really? The ‘Green’ middle class always have ridiculous numbers of children (they consider them to be more valuable than anyone else’s) and want to pay stupid people not to work, so that they will do nothing but breed. Nothing depopulating about that.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Simmons

Name one depopulating Labour Green policy that’s more depopulating than the Tories’ cutting of child benefit (and their decisions not to build proper housing, cutting sure start, not showing any interest in redindustrialising Britain and creating jobs people can be proud of and support a family on etc etc)

Caroline Watson
Caroline Watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Simmons

Really? The ‘Green’ middle class always have ridiculous numbers of children (they consider them to be more valuable than anyone else’s) and want to pay stupid people not to work, so that they will do nothing but breed. Nothing depopulating about that.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago

Well that’s exactly my point – it doesn’t need to be if you’re say proposing battery factories (as Labour were in 2019). Green is more regressive if it’s being implemented by regressive people (e.g. Macron’s fuel tax)..

Tony Simmons
Tony Simmons
1 year ago

And depopulating.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago

Well that’s exactly my point – it doesn’t need to be if you’re say proposing battery factories (as Labour were in 2019). Green is more regressive if it’s being implemented by regressive people (e.g. Macron’s fuel tax)..

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

Was Corbyn’s tacit support of the IRA, Hamas and Hezbollah not ‘bloody’ enough for you?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Obviously not.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Not sure I recall successfully helping to bring about a peace agreement counting as bloody, though I do think you could say that the Tories’ selling more than £4.6bn in arms (as well as giving military guidance and diplomatic protection against investigations into war crimes) to Saudi Arabia, who have killed more than 350,000 Yemenis either through direct military attacks or through the famine that has ensued (as a result of the war’s disruption of supply chains) in what the UN has called ‘the greatest humanitarian catastrophe of the 21st century’ is also bloody? Or not bloody enough for you?

Last edited 1 year ago by Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

I did reply but it was taken down. You can decide for yourself whether over-sensitive cancel culture is a problem of the left rather than of the right when the comment inevitably reappears sometime tomorrow. And maybe you’ll agree it should have been taken down – some people on here want a purge of left wing writers, why not get rid of left wing accounts? Make that right wing echo chamber pitch perfect.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Obviously not.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Not sure I recall successfully helping to bring about a peace agreement counting as bloody, though I do think you could say that the Tories’ selling more than £4.6bn in arms (as well as giving military guidance and diplomatic protection against investigations into war crimes) to Saudi Arabia, who have killed more than 350,000 Yemenis either through direct military attacks or through the famine that has ensued (as a result of the war’s disruption of supply chains) in what the UN has called ‘the greatest humanitarian catastrophe of the 21st century’ is also bloody? Or not bloody enough for you?

Last edited 1 year ago by Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

I did reply but it was taken down. You can decide for yourself whether over-sensitive cancel culture is a problem of the left rather than of the right when the comment inevitably reappears sometime tomorrow. And maybe you’ll agree it should have been taken down – some people on here want a purge of left wing writers, why not get rid of left wing accounts? Make that right wing echo chamber pitch perfect.

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

Desmond,
You seem to be suggesting that Corbyn was the victim of media smears?
He wasn’t.
He was the victim of accurate reporting – which in his case proved FAR more damaging.

Gary Ballinger
Gary Ballinger
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Head in sand?

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

He wasn’t a “victim” if it was accurate reporting (and I agree with you on that).

Luke Piggott
Luke Piggott
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

I don’t think the British MSM is capable of accurate reporting and whatever you think of Corbyn he most certainly was the victim of defamation. Likened to the Kremlin at every available opportunity. Balanced the Labour Party budget but constantly accused of economic ineptitude. As for anti-Semitism, Corbyn stated (in agreement to the investigation) that there was anti-Semitism in the Labour party. However, he was also right in saying that this was exaggerated, and weaponised by the media in order to further drag his, and other socialists names through the dirt.

Accurate reporting? I think not.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Luke Piggott

Cheers for this. Fighting for a politics of hope isn’t easy on here. I back all this and here is some more:
A graph showing the relative interest shown by the press in the ‘left wing’ BBC’s Panorama documentary making the accusation that Labour was deeply anti-semitic against the interest shown in the Forde Report which discredited many of those claims:
https://twitter.com/ta_mills/status/1552032223158755329
And here’s Peter Oborne, former Telegraph writer (until he reisgned over their refusal to cover the HSBC scandal and those of other companies for which they receive money) describing how, in the run-up to the 2019 election, most outlets refused to cover his pieces detailing the lies of Boris Johnson but would allow you to write anything you wanted about Corbyn: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWsa_sqdYzM&t=310s

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Luke Piggott

Cheers for this. Fighting for a politics of hope isn’t easy on here. I back all this and here is some more:
A graph showing the relative interest shown by the press in the ‘left wing’ BBC’s Panorama documentary making the accusation that Labour was deeply anti-semitic against the interest shown in the Forde Report which discredited many of those claims:
https://twitter.com/ta_mills/status/1552032223158755329
And here’s Peter Oborne, former Telegraph writer (until he reisgned over their refusal to cover the HSBC scandal and those of other companies for which they receive money) describing how, in the run-up to the 2019 election, most outlets refused to cover his pieces detailing the lies of Boris Johnson but would allow you to write anything you wanted about Corbyn: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWsa_sqdYzM&t=310s

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Not so – see my comments below.

Gary Ballinger
Gary Ballinger
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Head in sand?

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

He wasn’t a “victim” if it was accurate reporting (and I agree with you on that).

Luke Piggott
Luke Piggott
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

I don’t think the British MSM is capable of accurate reporting and whatever you think of Corbyn he most certainly was the victim of defamation. Likened to the Kremlin at every available opportunity. Balanced the Labour Party budget but constantly accused of economic ineptitude. As for anti-Semitism, Corbyn stated (in agreement to the investigation) that there was anti-Semitism in the Labour party. However, he was also right in saying that this was exaggerated, and weaponised by the media in order to further drag his, and other socialists names through the dirt.

Accurate reporting? I think not.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Not so – see my comments below.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

I’ll agree, some of Corbyns economic policies were popular, especially the ones you mentioned. However Corbyn himself was deeply unpopular, as were the Momentum group behind him and all their policies around identity politics. If they could have separated the two (and agreed to abide the EU referendum result) they wouldn’t have faced the wipeout they did.
It’s been well documented that the British electorate lean left economically and right socially, however unfortunately both major parties now seem to represent the complete opposite

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

 left economically and right socially, however unfortunately both major parties now seem to represent the complete opposite

Hardly the case when you consider the massive money-printing that went on 2020-2022, price-caps, “windfall” taxes etc. The whole UK shebang is full-on left-wing economically now, more left-wing than at any time since 1979.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago

Um, the billions spent propping up the railways despite record losses, £37bn on an ineffective track and trace system that furnished the pockets of pals, the privatisation of Royal mail, of our social housing (which now means the taxpayer has to subsidise the ‘earnings’ of landlords because too few houses are being built and too many jobs don’t cover rent) And Liz Truss’ tax cuts to the rich at the expense of the poor? Pretty left wing.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

Truss tax cuts that didn’t happen cost nothing compared to the energy price caps she proposed and in fact were back to the same rates of the Blair government.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

Truss tax cuts that didn’t happen cost nothing compared to the energy price caps she proposed and in fact were back to the same rates of the Blair government.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago

Um, the billions spent propping up the railways despite record losses, £37bn on an ineffective track and trace system that furnished the pockets of pals, the privatisation of Royal mail, of our social housing (which now means the taxpayer has to subsidise the ‘earnings’ of landlords because too few houses are being built and too many jobs don’t cover rent) And Liz Truss’ tax cuts to the rich at the expense of the poor? Pretty left wing.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I agree with most of this, and sympathise with many concerns considered socially conservative (family breakdown, secularisation, high immigration etc) – I just don’t understand how so much anger on here is directed at immigrants (who usually, like most of us, are looking for fulfilled lives and enough for them and their families to get by on) rather than the super rich who control most of our media and love setting us against each other while taking more and more of our free time, dignity, civil liberties and even global security away from us while taking over our democracies and essential services by stealth, as Matt Kennard has recently documented:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xW5dEtjMb-k&t=1241s

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

I don’t believe it is aimed at the immigrants themselves. Despite immigration being a very polarising issue there is very little in the way of racist abuse aimed at people if other nationalities. The anger is rightly pointed at those in power for letting in many more people than many believe the country can cope with

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

I don’t believe it is aimed at the immigrants themselves. Despite immigration being a very polarising issue there is very little in the way of racist abuse aimed at people if other nationalities. The anger is rightly pointed at those in power for letting in many more people than many believe the country can cope with

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

 left economically and right socially, however unfortunately both major parties now seem to represent the complete opposite

Hardly the case when you consider the massive money-printing that went on 2020-2022, price-caps, “windfall” taxes etc. The whole UK shebang is full-on left-wing economically now, more left-wing than at any time since 1979.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I agree with most of this, and sympathise with many concerns considered socially conservative (family breakdown, secularisation, high immigration etc) – I just don’t understand how so much anger on here is directed at immigrants (who usually, like most of us, are looking for fulfilled lives and enough for them and their families to get by on) rather than the super rich who control most of our media and love setting us against each other while taking more and more of our free time, dignity, civil liberties and even global security away from us while taking over our democracies and essential services by stealth, as Matt Kennard has recently documented:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xW5dEtjMb-k&t=1241s

Stephen Walsh
Stephen Walsh
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

Do you include anti-semitism amongst these many transformative and popular ideas? Unless the Hard Left faces up to the strident intolerance and anti-semitism within its ranks, it will always be a turn off for voters.

Last edited 1 year ago by Stephen Walsh
Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

Green policies are about de-industrialising.

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

Was Corbyn’s tacit support of the IRA, Hamas and Hezbollah not ‘bloody’ enough for you?

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

Desmond,
You seem to be suggesting that Corbyn was the victim of media smears?
He wasn’t.
He was the victim of accurate reporting – which in his case proved FAR more damaging.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

I’ll agree, some of Corbyns economic policies were popular, especially the ones you mentioned. However Corbyn himself was deeply unpopular, as were the Momentum group behind him and all their policies around identity politics. If they could have separated the two (and agreed to abide the EU referendum result) they wouldn’t have faced the wipeout they did.
It’s been well documented that the British electorate lean left economically and right socially, however unfortunately both major parties now seem to represent the complete opposite

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago

Which of Corbyn’s policies exactly were ‘bloody?’ Nationalising rail, trying to build proper council houses, reindustrialising Britain through a green new deal? Corbyn may have been as dull as ditchwater, but many transformative and popular ideas flourished under his leadership, despite most of the media’s efforts to brand him as communist or pro-Putin or whatever rubbish they allowed journalists to make up.

Stephen Walsh
Stephen Walsh
1 year ago

The hard left brought Labour to its lowest point – not only the catastrophic election defeat in 2019 (their worst since 1935), but, incredibly given it’s proud history in that regard, awash with antisemitism. At least in 1935 Labour was advancing: in 2019 they were still rapidly regressing after nearly a decade in opposition. Jamie Driscoll is typical of the breed. He won the North of Tyne Mayoral election with just 34% of the first preference vote in a 32% turnout – worse even than Labour’s disastrous general election performance in the region in that year’s general election. On his first day in office he declared a “climate emergency”, but for thee and not for me, as he drove a Land Rover to work. His wife is an NHS doctor and his children go to private schools, so his financial perspective is very different to most of his constituents. This frees Driscoll up to spend time on his “anti-fascist” campaigning activities. Save your tears: these people could not be more different from patriots like Nye Bevan, Barbara Castle or Michael Foot.

Last edited 1 year ago by Stephen Walsh
Jeff Butcher
Jeff Butcher
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

And yet Corbyn received 40% of the vote and a larger number of votes in 2019 than Labour received in 2005, 2010 and 2015. There is clearly a fairly large amount of support for those sort of policies.

Charles Levett-Scrivener
Charles Levett-Scrivener
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff Butcher

Labour got 32.1% of the vote in 2019

Jeff Butcher
Jeff Butcher
1 year ago

Ah ok thanks for the correction- it must have been the 2017 election where they got 40

Jeff Butcher
Jeff Butcher
1 year ago

Ah ok thanks for the correction- it must have been the 2017 election where they got 40

Dominic A
Dominic A
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff Butcher

In circumstances where a labour victory should have been a shoe-in after the tragi-comic farce that has been the government of the last 12 years. Corbyn, the man, snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

Charles Levett-Scrivener
Charles Levett-Scrivener
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff Butcher

Labour got 32.1% of the vote in 2019

Dominic A
Dominic A
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff Butcher

In circumstances where a labour victory should have been a shoe-in after the tragi-comic farce that has been the government of the last 12 years. Corbyn, the man, snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

Don’t you mean BEVIN not BEVAN.

Caroline Watson
Caroline Watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

Absolutely. He should be sacked for his obsession with identity politics and ‘the climate emergency’ alone.

Jeff Butcher
Jeff Butcher
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

And yet Corbyn received 40% of the vote and a larger number of votes in 2019 than Labour received in 2005, 2010 and 2015. There is clearly a fairly large amount of support for those sort of policies.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

Don’t you mean BEVIN not BEVAN.

Caroline Watson
Caroline Watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

Absolutely. He should be sacked for his obsession with identity politics and ‘the climate emergency’ alone.

Stephen Walsh
Stephen Walsh
1 year ago

The hard left brought Labour to its lowest point – not only the catastrophic election defeat in 2019 (their worst since 1935), but, incredibly given it’s proud history in that regard, awash with antisemitism. At least in 1935 Labour was advancing: in 2019 they were still rapidly regressing after nearly a decade in opposition. Jamie Driscoll is typical of the breed. He won the North of Tyne Mayoral election with just 34% of the first preference vote in a 32% turnout – worse even than Labour’s disastrous general election performance in the region in that year’s general election. On his first day in office he declared a “climate emergency”, but for thee and not for me, as he drove a Land Rover to work. His wife is an NHS doctor and his children go to private schools, so his financial perspective is very different to most of his constituents. This frees Driscoll up to spend time on his “anti-fascist” campaigning activities. Save your tears: these people could not be more different from patriots like Nye Bevan, Barbara Castle or Michael Foot.

Last edited 1 year ago by Stephen Walsh
Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
1 year ago

I would like to see the far-Left and “Progressives” purged from society in general to end the cycle of their ruinous ideas and policies being inflicted on society
Much as I despise him, Starmer is doing exactly the right thing politically. A political party that puts itself forward as a future government cannot consist of constantly warring factions. Crick’s point about the far-Left returning to enact reprisals is weak. The far-Left only found their way back in to Labour because of a foolish mistake in changing how leaders are elected.That won’t happen again.
But, once in power, I expect Starmer to quickly rediscover his far-Left instincts. His whole political history up until reletively recently has been an especially noxious combination of “Progressivism” and traditional far-Left ideology
Starmer will do what Socialist always do. They promise everyone free this and free that, turn on the spending taps and everyone thinks isn’t this wonderful. Then the taxes rise, the wealthy leave the country and the total tax take begins to precipitously fall. The government borrows more and more leading to inflation and eventually higher interest rates. Borrowing costs escalate until no one is willing to lend. The economy collapses and all the wonderful free stuff disappears and people find themselves eating rat soup.
. The perversity of the present polling indicating a large lead for Labour, is that the country is in the economic and social mess it’s in because the Tories have pursued policies that are combination of New Labour and Corbynism, The electorate, apparenty, is going to vote in a government under Starmer that is not only going to do more of the same, it is going to double down on it. It can only be a complete disaster.

Last edited 1 year ago by Marcus Leach
Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

The country is in the mess it is in because the central focus of the economic policy of both parties for the past thirty years has been to keep the middle class on side by mouthing progressive platitudes whilst artificially inflating house prices.
Starmer will continue with this and the mess will get worse.

Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

You are partly right.
New Labour intentionally let house prices get out of control (the average house price doubled during their 13 years in power) in order to create a feeling of false economic prosperity that created a few good years of economic growth.
New Labour didn’t do this to keep the middle class happy, but to legitimise massive increased spending. The 3-4% gdp growth had petered out by 2000 but Labour kept increasing spending until annual government spending had increaed from 35% of GDP to 46%.
Then came the 2008 crash and, instead of allowing a the economy the go in to recession and to clear the asset bubbles, Brown kept them pumped with QE and rock bottom interest rates and still kept increasing spending,
The Toeies took over and after a few year of perfunctory “austerity” carried on where New Labour and Brown left off; house prices were allowed to continue to spiral and the “emergency” monetary policy carried on for another 12 years. The Tories also kept Labour’s superficially GDP boosting mass immigration policy.
It is probably the case that New Labour and the Tories had different reasons for their reckless asset bubble pumping and mass immigration. For Labour it was so they could keep on spending. The Tories just did it to keep the spending going so they could retain power and use it to enrich themselves, their donors and the rest of their friends.
Either way it the desire to continue with socialist spending and fiscal imprudence that was at the heart of the disastrouos policies that has delived the economic mess we are now dealing with.

Last edited 1 year ago by Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

You are partly right.
New Labour intentionally let house prices get out of control (the average house price doubled during their 13 years in power) in order to create a feeling of false economic prosperity that created a few good years of economic growth.
New Labour didn’t do this to keep the middle class happy, but to legitimise massive increased spending. The 3-4% gdp growth had petered out by 2000 but Labour kept increasing spending until annual government spending had increaed from 35% of GDP to 46%.
Then came the 2008 crash and, instead of allowing a the economy the go in to recession and to clear the asset bubbles, Brown kept them pumped with QE and rock bottom interest rates and still kept increasing spending,
The Toeies took over and after a few year of perfunctory “austerity” carried on where New Labour and Brown left off; house prices were allowed to continue to spiral and the “emergency” monetary policy carried on for another 12 years. The Tories also kept Labour’s superficially GDP boosting mass immigration policy.
It is probably the case that New Labour and the Tories had different reasons for their reckless asset bubble pumping and mass immigration. For Labour it was so they could keep on spending. The Tories just did it to keep the spending going so they could retain power and use it to enrich themselves, their donors and the rest of their friends.
Either way it the desire to continue with socialist spending and fiscal imprudence that was at the heart of the disastrouos policies that has delived the economic mess we are now dealing with.

Last edited 1 year ago by Marcus Leach
Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

The country is in the mess it is in because the central focus of the economic policy of both parties for the past thirty years has been to keep the middle class on side by mouthing progressive platitudes whilst artificially inflating house prices.
Starmer will continue with this and the mess will get worse.

Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
1 year ago

I would like to see the far-Left and “Progressives” purged from society in general to end the cycle of their ruinous ideas and policies being inflicted on society
Much as I despise him, Starmer is doing exactly the right thing politically. A political party that puts itself forward as a future government cannot consist of constantly warring factions. Crick’s point about the far-Left returning to enact reprisals is weak. The far-Left only found their way back in to Labour because of a foolish mistake in changing how leaders are elected.That won’t happen again.
But, once in power, I expect Starmer to quickly rediscover his far-Left instincts. His whole political history up until reletively recently has been an especially noxious combination of “Progressivism” and traditional far-Left ideology
Starmer will do what Socialist always do. They promise everyone free this and free that, turn on the spending taps and everyone thinks isn’t this wonderful. Then the taxes rise, the wealthy leave the country and the total tax take begins to precipitously fall. The government borrows more and more leading to inflation and eventually higher interest rates. Borrowing costs escalate until no one is willing to lend. The economy collapses and all the wonderful free stuff disappears and people find themselves eating rat soup.
. The perversity of the present polling indicating a large lead for Labour, is that the country is in the economic and social mess it’s in because the Tories have pursued policies that are combination of New Labour and Corbynism, The electorate, apparenty, is going to vote in a government under Starmer that is not only going to do more of the same, it is going to double down on it. It can only be a complete disaster.

Last edited 1 year ago by Marcus Leach
Simon Blanchard
Simon Blanchard
1 year ago

This why we need PR. “Hard” left wingers could form their own party and have their popular support reflected fairly. As could Tice and Farage. Starmer understands too well that under FPTP people like Diane Abbott represent a vulnerability too easily exploited by the enemy.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago

Yes and we’re pretty well the only country in Europe (apart from Belarus) which uses first past the post. Although I think it was Christopher Hitchens who defended it by saying ‘there’s something in the British temper that likes a clear winner.’

Isabel Ward
Isabel Ward
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

No, Italy moved back to FPTP because PR was such a disaster for them.

Isabel Ward
Isabel Ward
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

Neither Germany nor France use PR. Yes it’s not immediately FPTP but say in France it ends up being that. Germany has a way of trying to balance up votes to make the overall vote more representative but it’s not PR.

Russell Sharpe
Russell Sharpe
1 year ago
Reply to  Isabel Ward

Germany’s top-up-from-party-list system is widely considered to be a form of PR for elections to the Bundestag. The only respect in which it is not totally PR is that parties with less than 5% of the vote are excluded (unless they win a smattering of FPTP consituencies outright).

Isabel Ward
Isabel Ward
1 year ago
Reply to  Russell Sharpe

Ok it’s a sort of PR but not really what people generally think of as PR. Yes I agree it seeks to balance or voting results more evenly but what you really have is a combination – FPTP first then a bit of PR tacked on. That’s not what the UK voted on when given the option- maybe they should have been. If you want real PR look at Ireland – only takes about 5 days to work out who has won.

Isabel Ward
Isabel Ward
1 year ago
Reply to  Russell Sharpe

Ok it’s a sort of PR but not really what people generally think of as PR. Yes I agree it seeks to balance or voting results more evenly but what you really have is a combination – FPTP first then a bit of PR tacked on. That’s not what the UK voted on when given the option- maybe they should have been. If you want real PR look at Ireland – only takes about 5 days to work out who has won.

Russell Sharpe
Russell Sharpe
1 year ago
Reply to  Isabel Ward

Germany’s top-up-from-party-list system is widely considered to be a form of PR for elections to the Bundestag. The only respect in which it is not totally PR is that parties with less than 5% of the vote are excluded (unless they win a smattering of FPTP consituencies outright).

Isabel Ward
Isabel Ward
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

Spain does have a version of PR but also has FPTP. It uses closed lists ie you don’t get to vote for a candidate just a party. I don’t think that’s the answer either. Think you need to do some research before comparing the UK to Belarus

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Isabel Ward

No mention of the occasionally* wonderful land of
‘William Tell’?

(* Their Police feel it is essential to carry guns at all times!)

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Isabel Ward

No mention of the occasionally* wonderful land of
‘William Tell’?

(* Their Police feel it is essential to carry guns at all times!)

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

Did we not have a referendum on PR no so long ago and was it not decisively rejected

Isabel Ward
Isabel Ward
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

No, Italy moved back to FPTP because PR was such a disaster for them.

Isabel Ward
Isabel Ward
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

Neither Germany nor France use PR. Yes it’s not immediately FPTP but say in France it ends up being that. Germany has a way of trying to balance up votes to make the overall vote more representative but it’s not PR.

Isabel Ward
Isabel Ward
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

Spain does have a version of PR but also has FPTP. It uses closed lists ie you don’t get to vote for a candidate just a party. I don’t think that’s the answer either. Think you need to do some research before comparing the UK to Belarus

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

Did we not have a referendum on PR no so long ago and was it not decisively rejected

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
1 year ago

PR is all very well, until the point where ‘X’ number of years of cosy consensus (such as Germany) leads to an outlier suddenly knocking over the entire applecart. AfD’s day, I suspect, is yet to come.

Simon Blanchard
Simon Blanchard
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

If that is the people’s wish then so be it, I’m afraid.

Simon Blanchard
Simon Blanchard
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

If that is the people’s wish then so be it, I’m afraid.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago

What we really need is de-centralisation on the Swiss model. PR will just hand more power to the Oxbridge mafia that effectively runs this country.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago

Yes and we’re pretty well the only country in Europe (apart from Belarus) which uses first past the post. Although I think it was Christopher Hitchens who defended it by saying ‘there’s something in the British temper that likes a clear winner.’

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
1 year ago

PR is all very well, until the point where ‘X’ number of years of cosy consensus (such as Germany) leads to an outlier suddenly knocking over the entire applecart. AfD’s day, I suspect, is yet to come.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago

What we really need is de-centralisation on the Swiss model. PR will just hand more power to the Oxbridge mafia that effectively runs this country.

Simon Blanchard
Simon Blanchard
1 year ago

This why we need PR. “Hard” left wingers could form their own party and have their popular support reflected fairly. As could Tice and Farage. Starmer understands too well that under FPTP people like Diane Abbott represent a vulnerability too easily exploited by the enemy.

David Lindsay
David Lindsay
1 year ago

Jamie Driscoll is going to win. Everyone up here knows it. Kim McGuinness has adopted the novel election-winning strategy of going into purdah. It will be a preferential voting system for Mayor. If Jamie did not win on the first round, then he would win on the second. Keir Starmer’s Labour Party is going to be humiliated from the left, a few months before the General Election. Let’s keep up that momentum. All the way to a hung Parliament.

David Lindsay
David Lindsay
1 year ago

Jamie Driscoll is going to win. Everyone up here knows it. Kim McGuinness has adopted the novel election-winning strategy of going into purdah. It will be a preferential voting system for Mayor. If Jamie did not win on the first round, then he would win on the second. Keir Starmer’s Labour Party is going to be humiliated from the left, a few months before the General Election. Let’s keep up that momentum. All the way to a hung Parliament.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago

Oh please. Stop trying to convince us that day to day party politics actually matters. We have just seen the Fool Boris purged from Parliament for attending the leaving drinks of civil servants in the HQ of Covid policy. I loath the lockdown man. But Partygate is the most sinister BBC/media-promoted hysteria/lie/scandal since the same reptilian Remainiacs tried to shit on a democratic referendum and the monstrous lockdown catastrophe that unites all of them – political parties NHS Blob – in utter shame. The permanent Leftist New Order – in Parliament and beyond in the Technocracy – is flexing its muscles now and debasing all our potemkim fake democratic institutions for all to see. Its so so ugly. But they dont care. They are untouchable, hardwired into law culture and the architecture of governance. Wake up.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago

Oh please. Stop trying to convince us that day to day party politics actually matters. We have just seen the Fool Boris purged from Parliament for attending the leaving drinks of civil servants in the HQ of Covid policy. I loath the lockdown man. But Partygate is the most sinister BBC/media-promoted hysteria/lie/scandal since the same reptilian Remainiacs tried to shit on a democratic referendum and the monstrous lockdown catastrophe that unites all of them – political parties NHS Blob – in utter shame. The permanent Leftist New Order – in Parliament and beyond in the Technocracy – is flexing its muscles now and debasing all our potemkim fake democratic institutions for all to see. Its so so ugly. But they dont care. They are untouchable, hardwired into law culture and the architecture of governance. Wake up.

Caroline Watson
Caroline Watson
1 year ago

Jamie Driscoll is a sanctimonious virtue signaller who has drawn a huge salary and done absolutely nothing for the North East. The grants that he says he obtained were from a pot of legacy EU regional money and were administered by Tory-controlled Northumberland County Council. We would have had that money anyway.
Most people up here would like to abolish the Mayor role in its entirety. It is particularly pointless for rural areas as, in its new incarnation, its incumbent will spend most of his or her time trying to appease councillors from Gateshead and Sunderland over the dominance of Newcastle. It will undermine the autonomy of county councils and, in Northumberland’s case, will insert place people as officers to push a Labour identity politics agenda that people here do not want. Northumberland County Council is still being investigated over the corruption of its former Chief Executive and other Labour place-people. This involved the CEO paying herself an additional salary and investing council tax payers’ money in a private company and spending it in the Middle East. This is not a bizarre conspiracy theory – it is recorded.
Labour politics in the North East has been corrupt for decades. We need less local government, not more.

Caroline Watson
Caroline Watson
1 year ago

Jamie Driscoll is a sanctimonious virtue signaller who has drawn a huge salary and done absolutely nothing for the North East. The grants that he says he obtained were from a pot of legacy EU regional money and were administered by Tory-controlled Northumberland County Council. We would have had that money anyway.
Most people up here would like to abolish the Mayor role in its entirety. It is particularly pointless for rural areas as, in its new incarnation, its incumbent will spend most of his or her time trying to appease councillors from Gateshead and Sunderland over the dominance of Newcastle. It will undermine the autonomy of county councils and, in Northumberland’s case, will insert place people as officers to push a Labour identity politics agenda that people here do not want. Northumberland County Council is still being investigated over the corruption of its former Chief Executive and other Labour place-people. This involved the CEO paying herself an additional salary and investing council tax payers’ money in a private company and spending it in the Middle East. This is not a bizarre conspiracy theory – it is recorded.
Labour politics in the North East has been corrupt for decades. We need less local government, not more.

Simon Neale
Simon Neale
1 year ago

Consider the Corbynite group Momentum, which has refocused its work on issues such as climate change and getting people elected to local government councils.

Blimey, a cynic might conclude that they don’t care why they have power, so long as they have it.

Simon Neale
Simon Neale
1 year ago

Consider the Corbynite group Momentum, which has refocused its work on issues such as climate change and getting people elected to local government councils.

Blimey, a cynic might conclude that they don’t care why they have power, so long as they have it.

Bret Larson
Bret Larson
1 year ago

We just had an election in Alberta. The “left candidate”, Notley, wore blue to the debate and tried to come off as a conservative. Her chief of staff last time round was a Marxist Leninist.
It didnt quite work out for them. They won most of the metro seats and lost all the rural seats as their policies are the usual majoritarian CO2 taxes, “but well give it all back to you in UBI”.

Saving the planet and buying the vote one city block at a time.

Bret Larson
Bret Larson
1 year ago

We just had an election in Alberta. The “left candidate”, Notley, wore blue to the debate and tried to come off as a conservative. Her chief of staff last time round was a Marxist Leninist.
It didnt quite work out for them. They won most of the metro seats and lost all the rural seats as their policies are the usual majoritarian CO2 taxes, “but well give it all back to you in UBI”.

Saving the planet and buying the vote one city block at a time.

Dominic A
Dominic A
1 year ago

The far left and the far right should be put in a padded play area adjacent to the House of Commons.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic A

The House of Lords?

Dominic A
Dominic A
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Hah!

Dominic A
Dominic A
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Hah!

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic A

The House of Lords?

Dominic A
Dominic A
1 year ago

The far left and the far right should be put in a padded play area adjacent to the House of Commons.

Peter Kettle
Peter Kettle
1 year ago

Starmer is a frightful prospect; a rigid green policy for absurd wind farms, votes for 16 year olds, and a decayed Marxist philosophy that I do not trust. He would destroy business and probably let Corbynistas back in.

N Satori
N Satori
1 year ago

I rather wish that UnHerd would purge the Left from among its contributing journalists. Michael Crick for instance – founder of Channel 4 News and a later BBC stalwart whose regular Newsnight reports could be relied on to sneer at all things conservative.
The political infighting may provide stimulating drama for veteran political reporters and their avid readers…

Like mafia factions engaged in a perpetual t*t-for-tat vendetta, the Labour Right and Left closely observe each other’s tactics, then adopt them, with ever more draconian reprisals. If and when the Labour Left returns, it will be with a great sense of vengeance — and Labour’s politics will get more bloody than ever.

… but many of us are more concerned about the effect these factions will have on our lives rather than on each other.

Last edited 1 year ago by N Satori
N Satori
N Satori
1 year ago

I rather wish that UnHerd would purge the Left from among its contributing journalists. Michael Crick for instance – founder of Channel 4 News and a later BBC stalwart whose regular Newsnight reports could be relied on to sneer at all things conservative.
The political infighting may provide stimulating drama for veteran political reporters and their avid readers…

Like mafia factions engaged in a perpetual t*t-for-tat vendetta, the Labour Right and Left closely observe each other’s tactics, then adopt them, with ever more draconian reprisals. If and when the Labour Left returns, it will be with a great sense of vengeance — and Labour’s politics will get more bloody than ever.

… but many of us are more concerned about the effect these factions will have on our lives rather than on each other.

Last edited 1 year ago by N Satori