This is NOT 1982. Corbyn is NOT Michael Foot and Momentum are NOT Militant

So it has started already. David Blunket in the Daily Mail two days after the result (note that’s the Daily Mail!). Polly Toynbee in the Guardian today. Defiant speeches at Progress and Labour First fringe meetings.

The leadership is now established.  What purpose can be served by continued criticism of Corbyn as Party leader so soon after the election? Launching such attacks in the name of electability is incoherent and profoundly anti-democratic.

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JC4PM Sticks It To The Tory Conference!

Right, the leadership election is over, time to concentrate on the real enemies, the Tories!
 
They are coming to Birmingham this weekend and we have a real welcome waiting for them, including a fantastic JC4PM gig at the Birmingham Rep on the first day of their conference and in the building right next door!
 
This will be an in-yer-face statement that there is an alternative, there always has been and there always will be… in fact the alternative is having a right laugh right next door to the nasty party conference!
 
Get your tickets ASAP as this is the hottest ticket in town during the Tory Conference.
 
sticking-it-to-the-conference

It’s Only Common Sense!

The attacks on Corbyn and Momentum from the corporate media have completely exposed their role in maintaining the hegemony of the plutocracy we live in.

This morning on R4’s, Start The Week, Andrew Marr’s smug, insider, smirking with Margaret Hodge was sick-making – Momentum are an agent of the devil they sniggered, only half-jokingly.

Then tonight a Dispatches on C4 that was simply anti-Corbyn propaganda and took TV journalism to a new nadir. Then a Panorama on the BBC that while less vitriolic than the C4 show, was nonetheless founded upon a number of false assumptions.

Amazingly the day had started more interestingly as on R4’s, Today, as Nick Robinson did something that I don’t think I’ve heard any other MSM journalist do… he spoke to some Corbyn supporters! And he was clearly baffled and puzzled by what he discovered, because he found that these Corbynistas were NOT the Trots and looney left he had assumed, they were intelligent, rational, ordinary people attracted to a sincere politician proposing a genuine alternative to austerity. Speaking to them the Corbyn think didn’t seem quite so bizarre as it must appear from inside the Westminster bubble.

But overall today was pretty representative of the MSM’s perception that it is simply ‘common sense’ that markets are always more efficient than state planning, that competition will inevitably increase prosperity for all, that history is over, that there-is-no-alternative, that the ‘experts’ always know best, that ordinary citizens are not capable of making intelligent decisions, let alone ‘tough’ decisions, and that the electorate in the UK will NEVER ever, ever, elect an even mildly reformist leftie government ever again.

All of which is of course not ‘common sense’ at all, but a very particular political and economic position based on Neo-Liberal economics of Milton Friedman and Hayek. That fact that this truly absurd set of beliefs could become regarded by so many as ‘common sense’ is an illustration of how ‘hegemony’ and ‘soft power’ works.

If you want to know more about the absurdities of post-Thatcher common sense read this! It’s fecking brilliant and only costs 99p!!!

51skenvpyul

 

Hoist by their own petard?

The underlying assumption of New Labour strategy with regard to mass membership of the Labour Party was that mass membership would always push the party to the right (which was the direction in which they wished to go), and that the Party was only leftist because of a small number of left wing activists that ‘dominated’ Party meetings and structures but were unrepresentative of the wider public and indeed the Party membership. The assumption was that ‘the public’ and the rank and file membership would always be to the right of these lefties and thus the more members you got the further to the right the Party would go.

Even the £3 Supporters scheme for the 2015 leadership election was accepted by the PLP because it was assumed opening up the Party to the wider public would ensure the victory of a ‘moderate’ (read right wing) candidate.

Imagine their baffled horror at the events of the last 12 months!!!

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Triangulation = Strangulation

Saw this clip of Labour MP, Thangam Debbonaire, and Martin Manear, a member of the Momentum National Committee, being interviewed on ITV in the South West, and was fascinated by the MP’s logic.

In the interview Martin refers a number of times to the failures of  ‘triangulation’. Triangulation is an approach to the positioning of political parties developed by Bill Clinton’s team in the USA, and attempts to blend ‘the best’ of policies from both the left and the right and by doing so transcend these old political factions to constitute a third force in the debate, i.e. Tony Blair’s ‘Third Way’.

To those of us in the UK this sounds remarkably like the Liberal Democrats, who have not been in government in the UK since 1922! Nonetheless this ‘centrist’ idea was presented by Blair as being something new and something guaranteed to win elections because it would appeal to uncommitted floating voters, because the Third Way was presented as a pragmatic, post-ideological politics that was almost apolitical, thus appealing to apolitical, floating voters. It was also presented as if devising pragmatic policies to achieve practical, real-world outcomes, could be free of ‘divisive’ value judgements or ideological assumptions. Indeed, the Blairites cried, the pragmatic, rational, Third Way would surely appeal to all voters except of course the ‘crazy’ ideologues on the extremes of the old left and right wings?

In this interview several times Thangham Debbonaire (you really couldn’t make that name up could you) said, “We have to win over Tory voters to win an election.” She went onto explain that its no good appealing to left wing voters because they all live in labour safe seats and won’t win us an election. To me this seems a quite startling statement for a Labour politician to make; surely it is the Tory parties job to provide policies attractive to Tory voters, not the Labour Party? Continue reading

Orwell’s Newspeak is alive and well on the right-wing of the Labour Party.

Newspeak is the fictional language in the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, written by George Orwell. It is a controlled language created by the totalitarian state Oceania as a tool to limit freedom of thought, and concepts that pose a threat to the regime such as freedom, self-expression, individuality, and peace.

The Labour Party establishment rebellion against Jeremy Corbyn has now entered the realms of Orwellian Newspeak as Corbyn’s opponents use language and rhetoric to present the world as the exact opposite of how it is in reality.

In this PLP Newspeak universe, Momentum are ‘thugs’; Corbyn is unscrupulous and the professional politicians and Party bureaucrats are defenders of democracy and ‘victims’ of abuse and threats. Continue reading

The Labour Party And Democracy

This morning on a BBC discussion between various members of the Commentariat one commentator who was American by birth, but a British citizen, said something to the effect of, “I don’t care about Labour Party members, that’s not democracy. Democracy only happens at the ballot box for official elected office.”

The argument being put was that ‘Representative Democracy’ necessarily, and desirably entails, a sort of ‘elected dictatorship’ and that the political parties and their members who supported and nominated the candidate for office, are irrelevant to the policies and actions of elected politicians, once elected. i.e. that elected politicians owe their entire loyalty to ‘the electorate’, some who voted against them, and that therefore they cannot and MUST not be bound by specific Party policy promises they made to the electorate in order to get elected. Continue reading