Owen Smith wins the leadership election.. now what?

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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

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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?


Foster Vs Labour Democracy

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An event took place today that highlighted the dangerous situation we are finding ourselves in, as our democractic insitutions get consumed by money, greed and power. I’m of course referring to the case of a rich Labour donor taking the party to court to overturn one of its internal decisions.

Luckily the court ruled that Corbyn should be on the ballot paper, but image if they had decided that he should not. One man, one rich donor would of overrode the democratic decision of a democratically elected body – the fact we found ourselves in such a situation is surely cause for concern?

Every Labour member, every Labour MP, and every Labour supporter has to ask themselves a few simple question; Who do you want running the Labour Party? Whose interests do you want the Labour Party to represent? Because ultimately people like Micheal Foster have asked themselves this question, and the answer they have come to is that they should control the party and it should represent their views.

Not only is an historical travesty that men like Foster believe this, but recent events have shown they’re not above attacks upon the party and its democracy. How has the Labour Party fallen so far from its noble goals, to the point that one rich donor has the arrogance to take the party to court in order to overturn a decision of the democratically elected NEC?

How entitled are these rich men? Too long have they been able to buy honours, buy favours, buy their way in our society. Our institutions and our political system is becoming so corrupt that the Labour party, the party that was set up to give the people representation in parliament, has backers that think they are more important than the party it self.

Ultimately the case of Foster Vs Labour NEC sums up everything that is wrong with the Labour Party, and why now more than ever we need a movement to change it, why more than ever we need someone to stand up, be it Corbyn, or whoever and say enough is enough, this shit has to stop.

Media Narrative Manipulation; Momentum & Corbyn “Thug Life”

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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.

Corbyn Is The Antidote Not the Poison

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With everything that has been thrown at Jeremy since his election, you could quite easily forget that the Labour party lost two elections, had been completely abandoned by Scotland, while suffering from a rather deflated, demoralised and flagging membership. I guess you could be mistaken for forgetting the majority of major unions were growing rather discontent with the Labour party, you could be mistaken for forgetting that there were talks and motions of disaffiliation flying around union branches.

The Labour party faced a uphill battle prior to Corbyn’s elections, in fact its situation was pretty dire. Yet it is almost like we are suppose to believe that the problems the Labour party are facing today are completely and utterly the making of one man, and everything will go back to ‘normal’ if we get rid of him. Normal like I guess losing elections and plodding along without any real direction or momentum, but hey at least Murdoch (& the Neoliberals) will be happy!

We are told repeatedly that we want a strong leader, and only if we have a strong leader will we get votes, I guess Ed Miliband and Gordon Brown just weren’t strong enough leaders to lead us to victory, perhaps they ought to encourage Nigel Farage to join! After all if Nigel does join they might win back some of that lost UKIP vote they keep harping on about. While it can only be assumed that the vast majority of Labour members don’t know what kind of leader they want because they clearly picked the wrong one, does that mean the other candidates just weren’t strong enough leaders?

Anyway it all sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? Because to anyone outside the elite Labour bubble it is, while they are running around undermining and playing politics with the party, peoples lives have been ruined. At a time when they should have been getting on with the task of winning an election, they took it upon themselves to constantly groan about electability and leadership, the irony of their actions clearly lost on them. These plotters are clearly in denial about where the Labour party finds it self, and they obviously do not have a credible answer or alternative to offer. The party found it self in a very dark place before Corbyn came and switched on the light, and people would do well to remember that.

Corbyn since before his election was opposed by sections of the PLP, they have been planning to get rid of him since before he was even elected, they have constantly undermined the party, and constantly undermined Corbyn, because to them their main mission isn’t to oppose the Tories, it isn’t to try and improve this country or our lives, it is to get rid of Corbyn, override the rather foolish decision of the membership in voting someone in they actually want to represent them, and to ultimately run the left out of the party. They were after all the self entitled heirs to the Brown-Blair era, and they clearly know a thing or two about electability, after just losing back to back elections. I wonder if they had all the answers on how to get elected, why they didn’t use them just over a year ago and win the election.

Labour lost Scotland to a more left wing option the SNP, off the back of the destructive referendum campaign where the Labour party joined forces with the Tories. This epitomises the wider view of the electorate, “couldn’t even get a rizla between the two parties” comes to mind. Labour lost in 2010 under Brown, off the back of losing 400,000 members during the Blair-Brown era (let alone 4million votes), it suffered a devastating defeat under Miliband. The party became devoid of ideas, devoid of vision, it stopped offering people hope, and resigned it self to just offering a little more than what the Tories were.

They believe rightly or wrongly that if you stick to the center ground you will win, as they attempted to emulate Blair’s winning formula (though clearly not a winning formula anymore), but they completely failed to realise that Blair won because he commanded the loyalty of huge sections of the left at the time. Just chasing Tory votes is the reason that Labour lost votes in its heartlands, embracing the Tories is the reason it lost Scotland, and parachuting people in to safe seats, forgetting about localism, led the party to the abyss. Corbyn has changed all that, and this is what scares his opponents, the people have taken control of the party, it is no longer controlled by Lords and big donors, the people are now in charge, and the MPs do not like this loss of power.

The Labour party needed Jeremy Corbyn, the members of the Labour Party chose Corbyn, because of the direction he was going to take the party, they along with the electorate resoundingly rejected the politics of the likes of Harriet Harman,Yvette Cooper, Gordon Brown and Tony Blair. They wanted a change, and this change has been long in the making, the majority of people who are young to middle aged, have never been given a choice of left wing policies or ideals, politics has changed.

The Labour pary has changed, it numbers 500,000 members, that is cause for celebration, not condemnation, the party has become a powerhouse the like it hasn’t been in decades maybe even ever. The truth of the matter is, this coup isn’t about Corbyn being unelecable, it isn’t about his leadership, this coup is being launched for two purposes; the ideological motives to remove the left of the party, but most importantly the fear that Corbyn is actually doing a good job, opposing the Tories and being a successful opposition. If Corbyn is successful, they will be thrown into the shadows, they will be thrown into the dustbin of history, for them this is a fight for their survival. So don’t be tricked in the coming weeks with whatever they say, this has nothing to do with the policies of Corbyn, this has nothing to do with Corbyns chances in the election.

This is a battle for our very identity, the very soul not of the party but the country it self, do we have a party that serves the interest of the people, or do we just have parties which represent the powerful.

The choice ultimately falls at our feet…