Owen Smith wins the leadership election.. now what?

Standard

So Owen Smith gets elected Labour leader with a narrow margin, what happens now? Are all the Labour Party problems simply going to evaporate? Now with Corbyn and his thuggish supporters thrown into the wilderness, are we going to return to the strategies put forward in 2010 and 2015? Or is there going to be a new vision?

First things first it is highly likely we will see the biggest drop in membership in party history, in fact the membership will completely implode as hundreds of thousands rip up their cards, foaming and angry that their political voice has effectively been silenced. The bitterness towards Labour felt in Scotland becoming full blown alienation, while like the White Walkers in Game of Thrones it will slowly spread south, winter would not be coming, it would have arrived. So we will see a significant drop in membership, and a lot of bad blood as hundreds of thousands of people are left with a bitter taste in their mouths.

No doubt these now disenfranchised and angered voters and supporters will seek new representation, so maybe a second Green surge – or a new party will emerge. Which will tackle Labour from the left and ride on the back of resentment that is going to be felt against the Labour Party and its elite.

Labour seeking to appeal to the falling UKIP vote (UKIP clearly peaking and now on the decline), begin ramping up the immigrant rhetoric. After all they have to appeal to peoples concern on immigration (a line we keep hearing from them). In an environment of rising xenophobia and hate crime in a post brexit country, we see a Labour party that far from standing as a beacon against xenophobia, starts adding fuel to the racist fire (that mug anyone?). This of course alienates some of Labours BAME vote, with them seeking representation elsewhere, after all why would they stick around in a party which is effectively becoming a watered down UKIP with its immigration policy and rhetoric.

Then we have the unions, trade unionists on the most part being wholly behind Corbyn, will either continue a civil war, running campaigns against right wing Labour. Or as some were doing prior to Corbyn’s election seeking to leave the party behind, if a new party is formed out of the ashes of a Corbyn defeat, they could be integral in setting it up, or supporting it. Labour’s union support will clearly be rocked by the coup, and no doubt there will be a lot of angry and bitter trade unionists. The argument of the left sticking with Labour will become an extremely bitter pill to swallow, when after we had a left wing leader democratically elected, they plotted, undermined and removed him. So justifying support when the disaffiliation motions start cropping up, is going to get more and more difficult. It will become even more difficult if this next thing happens…

Owen Smith once getting elected through appealing to the left wing base, after all Corbyn has shifted the narrative in the Labour Party back to the left, no longer has to pander to the left wing support. There being no way he can be removed, with the PLP rallying around him and shoring up his position. He begins coming up with reasons why he cannot follow through with the Corbyn policies he has stolen, he cannot follow through with x,y,z and he brings in a whole selection of policies and rules he kept quiet about. Chief among them will be changing the election rules, and the membership rules in general. Those Labour members who didn’t leave in disgust, will be pushed out in a great left purge, the smokescreen being that they want to stamp out abusive behaviour in the party.

We see a softening of the media towards the party, after all there will no longer be a core group of Labour MPs constantly briefing the media against the party. So the sections of the media that were hostile to Corbyn will shower praise onto Smith, and we will see Smith court the likes of Murdoch, and become just the same as any other wannabe politician. Winning is more important than principles, and if to win we have to get on our knees and play with Murdochs balls, then that is what we shall do! While this is going on there will be a huge backlash against Smith and Labour on Twitter and social media, as the youth vote abandon the party in droves.

Then we come to Labour’s core support who have clearly rallied around Corbyn, and want the party to go in the direction Corbyn is calling for the party to go in. We will see (only online the media won’t report it) loads of stories of people “never going to vote Labour again,” “voted Labour all my life, but not after this.” The amount of non-voters in the next election will be huge as millions of Labour supporters simply don’t turn out to vote for Smith, or they vote for a new alternative – maybe the Greens. This will of course hand the GE to the Tories, as the Tories always appeal to their core support.

Thus we come to the biggest contradiction, the strategies put forward in the failed 2010 and 2015 election of pandering to the Tory vote has one big flaw. If you have no foundation and no core support, you neglect your main base. When you neglect your main base, they either don’t turn out to vote, or vote for another party – so while you may gain 1 Tory voter with your centre right rhetoric, you will lose 2 Labour voters. Now it could be argued if that 1 voter was in a marginal seat then it doesn’t matter because of our electoral system, but if this is replicated on a huge scale, say for example what happened in Scotland – What happens then? Labour support will implode.

Thus Labour are wiped out, their core support abandoned them, many bitter at what the party has done and is doing. Unions leaving the party left right and center, and a new democratic socialist party rising to take its place. What will the point of the Labour party be again? It will have turned its back on its core support, turned its back on the people who created it, and ultimately disowned its own legacy. The future of this party is at stake and ultimately if it continues on a path to be Corporate Labour PLC, instead of The Peoples Labour Party, it makes you wonder just how it will be relevant, or survive? We may occassionaly get power as people get bored with the Tories, but what will be the point of power when we just continue where the out going Tory government left off?

Corbyn offers real change, a break from the neoliberal consensus and this is why we are seeing neoliberal forces rally round to take him down. Yet even if Corbyn is removed as leader people are beginning to stir, and removing him won’t put the cat back in the back. What Corbyn represents isn’t going away and if it isn’t allowed to manifest in the Labour Party it will manifest somewhere else. So Labour can ride the times and be part of the future, or they can resist them and be resigned to the dustbin of history.

Disclaimer: Obviously this is a work of fiction but some of the things mentioned here are likely to happen, some less likely – but if Smith gets elected there are many challenges he has to face. It is unlikely that he will complete or continue the project started by Corbyn and his supporters, and it is unlikely he will have the same levels of support as Corbyn. So while he may have more support among the PLP (and media circles) we will sacrifice the support where it matters on the ground, the grassroot support that actually gets us votes. The point of this piece is to serve as a warning more than anything, if you think voting for Smith is going to somehow make Labour “great again” – then you’re not paying attention. Go back and look at Labour’s recent history and why it got to where it is. Therefore even if Smith takes over there are going to be a whole load of problems, and challenges.

For some questions that I think all Smith supporters need to ask themselves check out this blog: https://steveanthonymiller.wordpress.com/2016/08/04/questions-all-owen-smith-supporters-need-to-answer/

Questions all Owen Smith supporters need to answer

Standard

Owen Jones recently wrote an article telling us that as Corbyn supporters there were some key questions we had to answer. Well, I think there are some questions that Owen Smith supporters must answer, they are as follows:

1. How can the disastrous perception of Tory Lite (New) Labour be turned around?

2. Where is the clear vision that will separate us from the Tories?

3. How are the policies significantly different from Corbyn’s?

4. What’s the new media strategy?

5. What’s the strategy to win back the youth vote?

6. What’s the strategy to win over a left wing Scotland?

7. What’s the strategy to win disaffected Labour voters?

8. How would we deal with rising hate crime and xenophobia if we return to pandering to the right wing rhetoric around immigration?

9. What is Owen Smith’s plan to hold onto the huge membership gains made under Corbyn?

10. How can Smith be trusted to deliver on his word when he has betrayed the party leader, and has openly went back on his word numerous times?

11. How are the actions of Smith favourable to Labour’s electoral chances considering its impact on the polls?

12. How will Smith command the support of the Trade Unions and the six million members they represent, after effectively waging war on them?


Vote For The Hell Party

Standard

The knives are out before the votes are in
Appease those demons if you wanna win
They tell us its just not electable
Water it down make it more palatable

Choose the lesser of two evils
Who cares if they’re both devils

He who pays the party
Calls for the policies
Grassroots is a plucky weed
Nothing gets in the way of greed

Don’t you dare to dream
We have a grand scheme
So if we don’t get our way
There will be hell to pay

Release our snarling Cerberus
Media attack dogs murderous

Media Narrative Manipulation; Momentum & Corbyn “Thug Life”

Standard

Go to any mainstream media website, open any news paper and no doubt you will find similar stories about Corbyn, he’s a friend of terrorists, a director of bullies, a mob leader that would make even Al Capone quake in his boots, he has an army of rabble doing his evil bidding up and down the country, terrorising his opponents, all in all he is a mean guy that is trying to control our politics through the use of force. This is actually the subtext that the media are trying to create, this is the narrative they are creating, and this is the reality they are trying to shape. This is all of course in an effort to discredit him, but it is very dangerous what they’re doing. It is now so obvious that the media do not report on reality, but try to shape it and create it.

Recent events really expose the dark nature of our media and how they seek to influence and shape our democracy, but it runs much deeper when they’re actually trying to shape our perceptions of the world around us. Just to highlight a few examples Malhotra having her office “broken into” in order to “intimidate her,” first and foremost if you have a key and you enter using a key it isn’t breaking in, secondly, if you’re the office manager, it’s your job to.. manage the office but finally and most importantly, it stopped being her office the moment she stepped down from her position in the shadow cabinet. But hey, don’t let the facts get in the way of shaping a false reality and furthering your agenda.

When there is no actual evidence that it has anything to do with the Labour party or Corbyn, this hasn’t even stopped them. Look no further than Angela Eagle and her “constituency office window” being “bricked.” the media are leading us to believe this was done by some “Momentum thugs,” that Corbyn is bringing political violence to our streets. Yet there is no evidence what so ever that what happened had anything to do with politics, and if the Labour figures and media commentators know something, perhaps they should take it to the police. The worst thing is, it wasn’t even her office window! It was a stairwell in a shared office block! It gets even more slanderous when it was revealed she lied about closing her surgeries due to police advice, and pulling out of a press conference because of threats. But hey, don’t let the facts get in the way of shaping a false reality and furthering your agenda.

They are calling on Corbyn to do more, they are all saying he isn’t doing enough (sounds familiar), but what more can he do? He has condemned it, he doesn’t conduct himself that way, he doesn’t bully, doesn’t insult, he doesn’t do personality politics. If members of the Labour party are breaking party rules, then they will be dealt with. What they’re hoping to do through this is alienate Corbyn from his support, they want him to come out against Momentum, and isolate him from his supporters in order to weaken him and bring him down. They hope that they can make him turn on his supporters, by constantly piling on the pressure, in effect what they’re doing is bullying, but what they’re doing is bullying, then victim blaming.

Alone these things could be harmless, but when taken together it is very worrying and completely destroys any notion of a free press in this country. There is no critical analysis taking place, they’re printing lies In order to discredit Corbyn supporters, they’re building up a narrative which seeks to undermine the ideas that he represents, because they cannot combat these ideas any way except on a underhanded level. This is all in an effort to essentially brainwash unengaged people that just digest the news. It is like we are living in a country where the press are operating with Goebbels handbook as a go to manual. They have even tried linking Corbyn to the killing of Jo Cox, or at least implied that it is somehow similar to the actions of his own supporters, which is completely and utterly distasteful and shameful.

There is no doubt in my mind that MPs will receive abuse, especially on the internet which is rife with trolls, but that isn’t just Corbyn rebels, that happens to all MPs. Corbyn has got death threats, he just hasn’t run to the press and tried framing it into a false moral panic. People are angry, and they are entitled to be angry at what the Labour MPs have done, they have acted in a dishonourable and underhand fashion, and ultimately put their own self interest before that of anybody else. But doesn’t it stink of hypocrisy? The fact that one of the MPs strategies for making Corbyn resign was literally bullying him into resigning? Or the fact the media have basically non stop bullied Corbyn? (LSE study revealed overwhelmingly negative stories in relation to Corbyn in the media).

Yet if there is any genuine abuse, it is getting lost behind all the fake smears, half truths and lies, and in the wake of the murder of a Labour MP by a far right extremist, surely it’s very dangerous to be doing that. This kind of narrative creation isn’t just reserved for Corbyn, but if they can successfully paint a long standing Labour MP, a pacifist, and an avowed peace and equality campaigner, as the complete opposite of all those things, then just think for a second what other narratives they are creating and what purpose it is all serving.

Jeremy Corbyn: Leadership Qualities

Standard

Forbes wrote an article in 2012 “Top 10 Qualities That Make a Great Leader,” so lets look at them and see how JC stands up to it.

Number 1: Honesty – I think we can all agree that JC is perhaps the most honest politician in parliament, definitely among the top five.

Number 2: Delegate – He seems to be doing this pretty effectively, in fact his leadership style seems to be one of cooperation, and delegation.

Number 3: Communication – Just check out his social media pages, he is really effective at communicating with the wider electorate, and us. Now we can’t know how effective he is at communicating with his staff, but he done a cabinet reshuffle in 24 hours, so the communication has to be there.

Number 4: Confidence – Safe to say he has this in bucket loads, attending huge rallies, standing up to Cameron in PMQs, and most importantly still sticking to his job after this latest coup attempt

Number 5: Commitment – Corbyn has been in the Labour party as an MP longer than most, his commitment to the workers movement and to Labour are second to none.

Number 6: Positive attitude – He won on a ticket of a new kind of politics, where instead of trying to scare you into voting for him, he painted a new vision, a positive vision of what Britain could be

Number 7: Creativity – First politician to have an instagram account, come on guys! But he is definitely an ideas man, and him and his team have put forward some pretty creative policy, peoples quantitative easing, anyone?

Number 8: Intuition – How can we codify this? I think when we look at Corbyn’s record in parliament, not voting for the Iraq War for example, he has been proven to be on the right side of history time and time again. We could say that is down to his intuition?

Number 9: Inspire – The rise in membership numbers to the party nail this one down, Corbyn has literally inspired hundreds of thousands of people to join the party.

Number 10: Approach – His approach is great, the whole new kind of politics vibe, but on a wider level his work with oppressed groups, and delicate situations speak volumes.

http://www.forbes.com/…/top-10-qualities-that-make-a-grea…/…

I would like to add another one, principals, and I think we can all say that Corbyn has those.

So there you have it folks, these are the top 10 qualities that make a great leader and Corbyn has them all. Maybe just maybe, these attacks on Corbyn lacking “leadership qualities,” have an ulterior motive and have very little to do with him or his style of leadership.

Why don’t you make up your own mind and examine this objectively, instead of repeating what the media or his enemies are telling you. Stop and think for a second that they have an agenda, what is that agenda? What do they gain by getting rid of him, what are the real reason behind these attacks, as this shows, it has very little to do with his leadership abilities.

Woah The Referendum

Standard

You put Cameron in
and Johnson out
In, out, in, out,
You throw it into doubt
You do the referendum and you turn around
That’s what it’s all about…

Woah, the referendum,
Woah, the referendum,
Woah, the referendum,
ballots cast, boxes ticked, ra ra ra!

You put Corbyn in
and Galloway out
In, out, in, out,
You throw it into doubt
You do the referendum and you turn around
That’s what it’s all about…

Woah, the referendum,
Woah, the referendum,
Woah, the referendum,
ballots cast, boxes ticked, ra ra ra!

You put Bennett in
and Farage out
In, out, in, out,
You throw it into doubt
You do the referendum and you turn around
That’s what it’s all about…

Woah, the referendum,
Woah, the referendum,
Woah, the referendum,
ballots cast, boxes ticked, ra ra ra!

You put Khan in
and Goldsmith out
In, out, in, out,
You throw it into doubt
You do the referendum and you turn around
That’s what it’s all about…

All together now
Woah, the referendum,
Woah, the referendum,
Woah, the referendum,
ballots cast, boxes ticked, ra ra ra!

You put the UK in
the UK out
In, out, in,, out,
You throw it into doubt
You do the referendum and you turn around
That’s what it’s all about…

Momentum – shrinking back into Labour

Standard
Momentum, the social movement set up in the wake of the phenomena that was Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign for Labour leader has steadily and consistently retreated from the spirit of the campaign, and its founding ethos to the point it is in a real danger of becoming irrelevant to the wider movement.

The writing was on the wall when the right wing of the Labour party came out publicly attacking Momentum. Momentum’s response to this was revealed in a Guardian article entitled “Corbyn’s Momentum group moves to block influence of hard-left parties.”

Within that article it declared: “It would mean members of other leftwing parties such as Left Unity and the Communist party would not be allowed to attend its decision-making meetings. Momentum has decided that office holders in the group must all be Labour members and it is urgently preparing plans to develop a more democratic structure.”

This was a sign of things to come, firstly Momentum is not Corbyn’s group, it is suppose to be a grassroots social movement. The campaign to get him leader was led by many different forces in and out of the Labour party, and they have now been effectively expelled from a movement they were integral in creating.

Secondly, Momentum now has unequal membership, it sees Labour members as more important than the rest of us. How can a social movement be one, when it is now excluding large parts of the movement from involvement, or decision making?

Momentum had its first national meeting of delegates (no observers allowed), and it reinforced this previous position by voting to exclude at every single level, members of other parties, even if those parties campaigned to get Corbyn elected, and have similar values to that of the Labour party, and the trade unions.

The exact decision reached is as follows: “The Committee decided that Momentum should become a membership organisation. Members of other political parties will not be eligible for membership of Momentum.”

This is incredibly short sighted and extremely damaging to any movement Momentum was hoping to create, and for Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership in general. Without his supporters outside of the Labour party, he will find himself extremely isolated, it is the pressure and power of these collectively working together which is his biggest weapon against the right wing, and the media onslaught he has faced.

Within this context Momentum’s decision is nothing short of a betrayal, a betrayal to those that helped get him elected and a betrayal to the wider movement, as Momentum retreats into the Labour party to become an internal echo chamber, a Progress of the left.

I’m not a member of any other party but I had hoped that Momentum would be a vehicle for change, where forces from across the left could come together under the banner of Momentum in order to fight for the values put forward during the Jeremy Corbyn campaign by all those that supported him, both inside and outside the Labour party.

It feels that Momentum was dishonest about what it was from the start, as it clearly is no longer a social movement, nor can it be under its current structure. It clearly has changed from its original intentions which were: “The group is designed as a grassroots network to create ‘a mass movement for change, for real progressive change in every town and city’. Momentum describes itself as the successor to the Jeremy Corbyn for Labour Leader campaign, but it is independent of the party’s leadership. It will work both inside the Labour party and organise in broader civil society.”

Momentum also wanted to effect change within the Labour party, hence the massive pressure it has come under from Labour MPs attacking it, but it was suppose to be independent of this Labour influence. In any case the solution to sheltering the Labour party from any outside influence that can be of a negative nature, was to have Labour members within Momentum organised, so that part of Momentum’s work is carried out by Labour members, the solution they have come to however is to exclude everyone, which shows extreme weakness and is going to damage Labour’s electoral chances.

It seems however these internal problems are going to bog down Momentum, this has already happened to some degree, Momentum has slowed down and well lost some of its momentum – a victory for the right who wanted this to happen. It looks like the Momentum leadership are trying to appease them, rather than effectively create a social movement that aspires to change society, while helping those in need who as it was put when it was founded, cannot wait for a Corbyn led government.

The steps it is taking are not new, not radical and I cannot see it achieving its aims unless it drastically begins to change. It is just a new name but carrying out old methods, we live in the internet age, we should be looking to have an inclusive movement that incorporates new media with a non-hierarchical structure.

Look at how Podemos are doing it in Spain, there is another way but mimicking the old methods isn’t going to reach the masses, and the more Momentum gets dragged into part of the internal Labour machinations, the further it is going to be from helping the people that cannot wait for a Corbyn government.

If Momentum is going to be successful it needs be brave, it needs to be bold but more importantly it needs to break away from the shackles of the Corbyn campaign, so that it can begin achieving change in our society, while it lays the foundation for a Corbyn victory in 2020.
I’m still going to be a member of Momentum, and everyone that reads this you should get involved too. We need to shape Momentum in its early formative months, and the more people fighting for an inclusive radical looking and acting Momentum, the better.

Get involved!
Lets keep the Momentum we need alive and kicking.