UK Labour is a fight to the death

July 28th, 2016 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

James Kirkup writes in The Telegraph:

There are wars where the two parties fight in the hope of seizing territory, righting a wrong or making a point, before settling the conflict with a deal each hopes will be advantageous to their interests.

And then there is total war, when each side knows that the fight only ends in the total destruction of one side, or perhaps even both. 

Jeremy Corbyn has today confirmed that the struggle underway in the Labour Party is now the political equivalent of total war. 

He did it with these words, at the launch of his campaign to keep his job, when he was asked whether Labour MPs should face mandatory re-selection to stand again as Labour candidates at the next election

“There would be a full selection process in every constituency but the sitting MP… would have an opportunity to put their name forward.

If Corbyn wins, his supporters will try and deselect 80% of the caucus.

If Mr Corbyn, the strong favourite to win, is indeed returned as leader on September 24 and moves ahead with mandatory reselection (backed by many members and the Unite trade union) then Labour would split.  

A number of sitting MPs would find themselves deselected as Labour candidates for the 2020 election, but still in Parliament, effectively independent of Mr Corbyn’s organisation. Some might even chose to stand again against Mr Corbyn’s “official” Labour candidate in their seat.  

It’s hard to see how a Labour Party fundamentally split in such a manner would lead to anything other than a comfortable Conservative election victory. Mr Corbyn’s words this morning could well mean Theresa May is Prime Minister until 2025.

Maybe even 2030, but I imagine she would hand over in her this term.

Who killed UK Labour?

July 20th, 2016 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Nick Cohen writes:

Seumas Milne remains on the staff of the Guardian and Observer while Labour pays him to work as its director of strategy. As a colleague on leave, he has the right to be treated with a gentleness journalists would not usually extend to spin doctors who do not enjoy his advantages. I therefore write with the caution of a good corporate man and the cheeriness of a co-worker when I say Milne could not do a better job of keeping the Tories in power if rogue MI5 agents had groomed him at Winchester College, signed him up at Oxford University and instructed him to infiltrate and destroy the Labour party.

Yep the hard left managed to take over Labour, and are on their way to destroying it.

He is what the far left becomes when it crashes through the looking glass. Milne defended Stalin’s one-party communist state but is now turning England into a one-party Tory state.

Great line.

Jon Lansman, head of Momentum backed him and declared in words that should be engraved on his tomb that “winning is the small bit that matters to elites that want to keep power themselves”. Only a smug member of the haute bourgeoisiecould come out with such a reckless justification for perpetual rightwing rule.

Heh never heard winning as being the small bit before.

Millions want the parliamentary opposition Labour’s founders promised. They need it now when the right has taken the opportunity the far left has gifted them to go on the rampage. There is one prediction about the Labour party I can make, however: if Corbyn does not go, and Labour does not change, it is inevitable that the whiff of violence will be replaced by the stench of its death.

The latest poll in the UK shows that May vs Corbyn would see the Conservatives get 44% and Labour 26%.

On who would be better for the economy May and Hammond get 53% and Corbyn and McDonnell get 15%.

Eagle challenges Corbyn

July 10th, 2016 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

The Guardian reports:

Labour has been plunged into its “greatest crisis for generations” as a leadership bid was launched against Jeremy Corbyn and its biggest union donor waged war on the party’s deputy leader.

With the Labour party closer to splitting than at any point since the formation of the SDP in 1981, Eagle said she would explain her “vision for the country and the difference a strong Labour party can make” on Monday and would be touring TV studios on Sunday.

If Corbyn survives, Labour may well split as MPs form their own party. If he doesn’t survive, his activists may turn on Labour.

It is understood that Labour’s national executive committee will convene a special meeting on Tuesday to rule on whether Corbyn, who has very limited support in parliament, needs to have the support of 51 MPs to get on the ballot paper alongside Eagle and any other contenders. The Labour party has taken legal advice, which indicates that he will need to find the nominees, in line with the precedent set in 1988 when Neil Kinnock was challenged by Tony Benn.

Not sure he would get them. He only got enough last time as a sympathy gesture to have a token mad hard left winger. But if they do rule he needs them, it could well go to court.

Will UK Labour recover?

July 1st, 2016 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

John Harris writes in The Guardian:

For all his commendable policy positions Jeremy Corbyn has been a pretty awful leader. But in all its fundamentals, the state of his party is hardly his fault. To blame him is to fall for the same delusion whereby a supposed challenger – Angela Eagle, Tom Watson, Dan Jarvis – can put the party on the road to recovery. The truth, unpalatable to some but which is surely obvious, is that Labour is in the midst of a longstanding and possibly terminal malaise, and now finds itself facing two equally unviable options.

Corbyn hangs on

June 29th, 2016 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

The resignations have reached an unprecedented level. So far there have been:

  • 20 members of the Shadow Cabinet resign
  • 18 junior shadow ministers resign
  • Nine parliamentary private secretaries resign

Corbyn’s new shadow cabinet has MPs in it who were elected just a year ago.

There are a number of ways they may sack Corbyn. The main three are:

  1. Have a formal challenge to him triggering a leadership election and if fewer than 35 MPs and MEPs nominate him, he can’t stand (this is a matter of some dispute and could end up in court)
  2. Have a contested leadership election and hope they get a majority of members and supporters voting to replace him
  3. Elect their own leader of the parliamentary party, and insist the Speaker recognises him or her as Leader of the Opposition leaving Corbyn as leader of the extra parliamentary party but without funds or staff

Any of these paths may tear the Labour Party apart. And leaving Corbyn as Leader will almost certainly mean the Conservatives win the upcoming election.

UPDATE: Corbyn has lost a confidence vote 40 to 172. So less than 20% of his caucus support him. To be fair to him though that is a greater percentage than Andrew Little got when he was elected leader – Little had the confidence of only four MPs!

Coup on against Corbyn

June 27th, 2016 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The Guardian reports:

More than half of the Labour shadow cabinet is expected to stand down on Sunday in a major coup against Jeremy Corbyn, triggered by the result of the EU referendum and the leader’s decision to sack Hilary Benn.

Loyal members of shadow cabinet told the Guardian they were writing their resignation letters after Heidi Alexander, the shadow health secretary, stepped down on Sunday morning.

A Labour source said Alexander’s decision to resign in the wake of Benn’s dismissal would prove hugely significant, because unlike the shadow foreign secretary she was a more “loyal and pragmatic” member of the Corbyn team.

“She is seen as a moderate, practical and pragmatic voice,” they said. “Hilary always had a problem with Jeremy. Now that Heidi’s gone, most of the shadow cabinet will step down. He can’t just replace those positions because other frontbench ministers won’t step up to the roles.”

Corbyn has so little support in his caucus that his replacement shadow cabinet members will have to be what are known as the D team.

Leaked internal Labour party polling of people who voted for Labour in 2015 reveals that nearly a third (29%) would support a different party if a general election was held today.

It shows that just 71% of those who voted for Ed Miliband’s party in May last year say they would vote Labour now, and this drops further – to 67% – among working and lower middle-class C2DE voters.

A Labour source said: “MPs and members were worried about their prospects at the next election under Corbyn, but thought they had four years to turn things around. Now many fear they may have just four months if a snap election is called, so know they must act now to change the leader.”

An election within the next year is very likely, and Labour MPs know they’ll do even worse than in 2015.

A good summary of Corbyn

June 7th, 2016 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

George Will looks at Jeremy Corbyn in the Washington Post:

That year, Corbyn was elected to the House of Commons. He spent his next 32 years opposing the monarchy; writing columns for a communist newspaper; expressing admiration for Hugo Chávez, whose socialism propelled Venezuela toward today’s chaos; proposing that taxpayers should be permitted to opt out of paying for Britain’s army; advocating that Britain leave NATO and unilaterally scrap its nuclear deterrent; blaming NATO, meaning the United States, for Vladimir Putin’s war against Ukraine; calling the terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah “friends”; appearing with and funding Holocaust deniers and other anti-Semites; criticizing China’s Communist regime for deviationism in accepting some free markets; demanding that Tony Blair, the only Labour leader since 1976 to win a general election (three of them), be tried as a war criminal (for supporting the Iraq War); praising Iraqi insurgents killing Americans; and calling the killing of Osama bin Laden a “tragedy.” Along the way, Corbyn got divorced because his wife insisted on sending their eldest son to a selective school whose admissions policy recognized merit.

If UK Labour had a different leader, they could be capitalising on the in-fighting within the Conservatives on the EU. But they remain unelectable.

UK Labour’s anti-semitism problem

May 2nd, 2016 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Guardian reports:

Naz Shah, the Bradford West MP accused of antisemitism, has been suspended from the Labour party “by mutual agreement” after David Cameron said it was “extraordinary” that someone who appeared to have suggested Israelis should be deported to the US continued to hold the Labour whip.

She effectively called for the destruction of Israel, saying it should be relocated to the US. This then led to Livingstone defending her by saying Hitler was a Zionist.

Labour third in Scotland

May 1st, 2016 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

The Guardian reports:

Scottish Labour’s manifesto launch setting out plans to heavily tax the rich has been overshadowed by a poll suggesting Labour could come third behind the Tories in Scottish elections for the first time in more than a century.

Kezia Dugdale, the Scottish Labour leader, said her party’s plan to raise income tax to 50p for the wealthiest earners represented the “big choice” facing voters on 5 May, and she claimed the Scottish National party would need to make cuts of £3bn.

Maybe NZ Labour will advocate a 50% tax rate also?

An Ipsos Mori poll for STV found that the Scottish Conservatives were two points ahead of Labour in the regional vote to select 56 MSPs, and one point behind in the constituency vote to chose 73 directly elected members.

Echoing other polls putting the two parties neck and neck, Ipsos Mori’s projections suggest the Tories would take 23 seats and Labour 20 – the latter 17 seats down on its tally in 2011.

Labour behing the Tories in Scotland is almost unthinkable. That would be like Labour being behind National in the Maori seats in NZ.

The UK Labour list of enemies

March 28th, 2016 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The Telegraph reports:

Jeremy Corbyn’s PMQ’s performance was an ‘effing disaster’ and David Cameron turned the Party into a laughing stock, according to one Labour MP.

John Woodcock accidentally tweeted out a private message on Twitter, which he has since deleted, saying: “F****** disaster. Worse week for Corbyn since he came in and that stupid f****** list makes us into a laughing stock.”

The Prime Minister repeatedly mocked the Labour leader for a leaked ‘list’, which categorises Labour MPs by their loyalty to Corbyn.

“You can include me in the ‘core support’ group”, he joked.

Labour’s London mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan and Ed Miliband have been reportedly labelled “hostile” towards Jeremy Corbyn.

The document, which was leaked to the Times, was reportedly complied by the Labour leader’s political secretary Katy Clark and dates back to January.

I wonder if NZ Labour has such a list. As only four MPs voted for Little (including himself), the core support group could be pretty small 🙂

UK Labour Shadow Chancellor names Lenin, Marx and Trotsky as his biggest influences

March 23rd, 2016 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The Telegraph reports:

John McDonnell has named Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky as his “most significant” political influences.

The shadow chancellor’s comments prompted criticism after he said he draws inspiration from those responsible for the mass murder of their political opponents.

Both Lenin and Trotsky are viewed as the architects of dictatorial communism.

He forgot to mention Stalin or Mao.

How rooted is UK Labour?

March 7th, 2016 at 9:18 am by David Farrar

The Telegraph reports:

Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis is advising the Labour party on the economy, Jeremy Corbyn has revealed.

The controversial ex-minister, who was forced to resign after his country plunged into a debt crisis, has met with shadow chancellor John McDonnell, the Labour party leader said.

Oh this is too good to be true.

Will they also hire Mao as their agricultural advisor?

The difference between voters and members

March 1st, 2016 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

A good article at The New Statesman looking at the difference in views between those who vote (UK) Labour and those who are members. This shows the perils if allowing the members to choose the leaders and policies.

  • Immigration top 3 concern – 48% Labour voters, 17% Labour members
  • Housing top 3 concern – 29% voters, 69% members
  • Believe Corbyn can win – 27% voters, 47% members
  • Renew Trident –  40% voters against, 68% members against
  • Labour not left wing enough – 34% voters, 56% members

So half of Labour voters are concerned about immigration but only 17% of their members, and hence if they just focus on listening to their members they will be out of touch with their own voters.

Corbyn commits further electoral suicide

January 28th, 2016 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The Telegraph reports:

The Falkland Islands should be handed back to Argentina as part of a “power-sharing” deal, Jeremy Corbyn has told South American diplomats.

Alicia Castro, Argentina’s outgoing ambassador in London, said that Mr Corbyn told her that he wants a Northern Ireland-style deal for the Falklands in which her country and Britain could govern over the islands together.

The plan, originally discussed with Mr Corbyn’s Argentine allies before he became Labour leader, has caused dismay amongst his critics in the Labour Party.

I’m not sure Labour could try any harder to lose than they are.

Toynbee says UK Labour is doomed

December 27th, 2015 at 1:03 pm by David Farrar

Leading left columnist Polly Toynbee writes:

The 1% who join parties are not like other voters. Both memberships are far from the centre, Tory members even further away than Labour’s. May’s law of curvilinear disparity shows voters are more centrist than party activists, and MPs are closer to voters than are their party members.

You win in the centre.

The unpalatable answer is that policies matter less than the personality, performance and persuasiveness of leaders. Credibility on the economy and security boils down to this: does he/she look like a prime minister? Snap judgments are made. Corbyn’s image may by now be sealed for ever with too many. He’s honest – but he’s no prime minister. From no national anthem to no shooting “Jihadi John”, he doesn’t fit the template and never can.

But can he be got rid of?

UK votes 397 to 222 for air strikes against ISIL in Syria

December 4th, 2015 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

A stunning speech in favour, and by no less than the Shadow Foreign Secretary for Labour. He was one of 66 Labour MPs to vote against their leader and for action. An extract:

Now Mr Speaker, no-one in this debate doubts the deadly serious threat we face from Daesh and what they do, although sometimes we find it hard to live with the reality. We know that in June four gay men were thrown off the fifth storey of a building in the Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor. We know that in August the 82-year-old guardian of the antiquities of Palmyra, Professor Khaled al-Assad, was beheaded, and his headless body was hung from a traffic light. And we know that in recent weeks there has been the discovery of mass graves in Sinjar, one said to contain the bodies of older Yazidi women murdered by Daesh because they were judged too old to be sold for sex.

We know they have killed 30 British tourists in Tunisia, 224 Russian holidaymakers on a plane, 178 people in suicide bombings in Beirut, Ankara and Suruc. 130 people in Paris including those young people in the Bataclan whom Daesh – in trying to justify their bloody slaughter – called ‘apostates engaged in prostitution and vice’. If it had happened here, they could have been our children. And we know that they are plotting more attacks.

So the question for each of us – and for our national security – is this: given that we know what they are doing, can we really stand aside and refuse to act fully in our self-defence against those who are planning these attacks? Can we really leave to others the responsibility for defending our national security when it is our responsibility?

The case generally for why they must be stopped. But his best lines were his appeal to Labour MPs to vote for action:

Now Mr Speaker, I hope the house will bear with me if I direct my closing remarks to my Labour friends and colleagues on this side of the House. As a party we have always been defined by our internationalism. We believe we have a responsibility one to another. We never have – and we never should – walk by on the other side of the road.

And we are here faced by fascists. Not just their calculated brutality, but their belief that they are superior to every single one of us in this chamber tonight, and all of the people that we represent. They hold us in contempt. They hold our values in contempt. They hold our belief in tolerance and decency in contempt. They hold our democracy, the means by which we will make our decision tonight, in contempt. And what we know about fascists is that they need to be defeated. And it is why, as we have heard tonight, socialists and trade unionists and others joined the International Brigade in the 1930s to fight against Franco. It’s why this entire House stood up against Hitler and Mussolini. It is why our party has always stood up against the denial of human rights and for justice. And my view, Mr Speaker, is that we must now confront this evil. It is now time for us to do our bit in Syria. And that is why I ask my colleagues to vote for the motion tonight.

The Conservatives voted in favour 315 to 7 and Labour voted 66 to 153.

Corbyn sat stony faced next to Benn as most of the House gave him a huge ovation. Benn didn’t just over-shadow his leader (easy to do) but also the Prime Minister. He looked like a true leader.

UK Labour goes for free vote on Syria

December 1st, 2015 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The Guardian reports:

Labour MPs are to get a free vote on whether airstrikes should be extended to Syria, with Jeremy Corbyn and Hilary Benn expected to adopt opposing positions in any Commons debate on the issue.

At a heated meeting of the shadow cabinet on Monday afternoon Corbyn agreed to a free vote – a decision that emerged just before the meeting started. It followed a weekend of discussion with Labour’s deputy leader, Tom Watson.

However, a proposal that the shadow cabinet should agree that it was party policy to oppose airstrikes, and to assert this was in line with a conference motion passed in September, was thrown out.

Shadow cabinet members said the offer of a free vote for Labour MPs would be severely diluted if there was also a statement saying party policy opposed airstrikes.

This shows how bad things are in UK Labour.

There are some things you don’t expect a party to have a view on – minor stuff such as the Standards and Measures Harmonisation Act.

But whether or not to go to war, and to approve the use of force is as important as it gets. And UK Labour are saying we have no policy at all on this, because our leader is against all use of force by western countries.

This is probably the lesser evil for UK Labour. If they had tried to force Labour MPs to vote in line with Corbyn, he may have had half his front bench resign.

Quoting Mao

November 28th, 2015 at 8:59 am by David Farrar

The Telegraph reports:

George Osborne’s Autumn Statement took a bizarre twist when John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor, threw a copy of Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book at him across the Despatch Box.

The Labour shadow chancellor mocked the Chancellor – who he dubbed “Comrade Osborne” – for encouraging China to invest in British infrastructure projects.

He is thought to be first frontbencher ever to reveal a copy and quote directly from the communist book.

After joking about the sale of public assets to the Chinese government, Mr McDonnell said: “To assist Comrade Osborne about dealing with his new found comrades, I have brought him along Mao’s Little Red Book.”

Mr McDonnell continued: “Let me quote from Mao, rarely done in this chamber, ‘We must learn to do economic work from all who know how. No matter who they are, we must esteem them as teachers, learning from them respectfully and conscientiously. But we must not pretend to know what we do not know’.

“I thought it would come in handy for you in your new relationship.”

Tory MPs roared “more, more, more” at Mr McDonnell.

They really can’t believe their luck.

UK Labour in open warfare

November 23rd, 2015 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The Guardian reports:

Ken Livingstone has backtracked on his apology for suggesting shadow defence minister Kevan Jones “might need psychiatric help”, after he was accused of being forced by the Labour leadership to say sorry.

The former London mayor re-ignited a row just hours after tweeting that he “unreservedly apologised” to Jones for telling the Mirror: “I think he might need some psychiatric help. He’s obviously very depressed and disturbed … He should pop off and see his GP before he makes these offensive comments.”

Livingstone made the remarks after Jones, who experienced depression in 1996, questioned his appointment as co-chair of Labour’s review of Trident.

The veteran Labour politician initially refused to retract his comments, accusing Jones of “wimping around”, telling him to “get over it” and blaming his own south London background for the fact he is rude back when someone is rude to him. But after speaking on the phone to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Livingstone publicly apologised, saying the comments should “not have been made at all, let alone in that context.

“I also make this apology because Jeremy is right to insist on a more civil politics and as a party we should take this seriously,” he added.

Corbyn, a long-time campaigner against stigmatisation of those with mental health problems, is said to be angry and upset about the comments but believed Livingstone’s remorse was “sincere”. But before long, Livingstone was back on the television air waves for a fresh confrontation with Jones on Channel 4 News.

Appearing from his home, he said the apology was made because Corbyn had told him that Jones was “actually quite a decent guy and reminded me that Jeremy’s strategy is that we don’t do all the offensive backstabbing and rows and I just got on board with that”.

He then watered down his apology by saying: “If I’ve upset anyone, I’m really sorry. But this row isn’t something I started. It’s because I was attacked as not fit for this job.”

Livingstone, who got Jones’s name wrong three times by calling him “Jeremy”, added: “You provoked this row. You questioned my ability to do this job. Why didn’t you just pick up the phone and ask me what I knew and understood about it? I’ve been debating military and defence issues for 45 years both in our party and in the media.”

Jones, who was in the Channel 4 studio, responded by accusing Livingstone of having been forced into an apology after causing offence.

“You were somehow excusing it because of your background, when other people had posh educations, which I did not, can I remind you. That does not excuse what you’ve done … You were not going to unless Jeremy told you to,” he said.

The shadow defence minister also revealed that neither he nor shadow defence secretary Maria Eagle had been told that Livingstone, an opponent of Trident, was to co-chair Labour’s defence review.

“Why announce it on Twitter and use grossly offensive language to myself and millions of other sufferers of mental health [problems] to get over your point?”

This would be a rather sad episode if it was between a Conservative and a Labour MP. But what is startling is this is between a Labour MP and former Labour Mayor. And between the shadow defence minister and the person heading up the defence policy review for Labour.

I’m trying to think what could the Conservatives do to make Labour led by Jeremy Corbyn electable. Short of genocide, I can’t think of anything.

Having said that it is highly likely Corbyn will be gone within two years.

Labour MPs cheer Cameron not Corbyn

November 22nd, 2015 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

The Guardian reports:

Jeremy Corbyn may have misgivings about shoot to kill, but few of his own MPs seem to share them. Sitting next to the leader of the opposition for the prime minister’s statement on the G20 summit and the Paris attacks was Hilary Benn. The normally mild-mannered shadow foreign secretary gave every impression he was trying to eliminate his boss with mind control and a rictus smile. Disappointed to find Jezza still breathing, he left without saying goodbye after 45 minutes.

Other Labour MPs chose to kill their leader by vocalising their whole-hearted support for the prime minister’s tougher stance on terrorism. One by one they rose. Pat McFadden. Mike Gapes. David Hanson. Chris Leslie. Emma Reynolds.Chuka Umunna. Anne Coffey. Ian Leslie. Even the usually on-message Sarah Champion. Et tu, Sarah? There would have been more, had not the Speaker curtailed the debate. Not even in Iain Duncan Smith’s darkest hours had a leader been turned on so openly by his own party in parliament.

Gravitas isn’t something that comes easily to David Cameron but, just this once, he was allowed the chance to feel what it might be like to be a statesman. A father not just to the Conservatives but also to a Labour party keen to distance itself from a leader whose pacifism has failed to capture the public mood. A father to the nation.

Corbyn has an intellectual problem in that he sees terrorism as the fault of the West, not the terrorists.

After his remarks to the BBC on Monday, Jezza is finding it hard to shake the impression that he is the kind of leader who would politely request a terrorist to sit down for a nice cup of tea and talk through his anger issues, even as he was reloading his AK-47 to gun down some more civilians having a quiet night out.

Worth pointing out this is a column in The Guardian, not the Daily Mail.

Could this apply to NZ Labour?

November 4th, 2015 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Lord Ashcroft looks at the four major UK parties in the wake of the election. I found his comments on UK Labour most interesting:

A parallel exercise involving party members and Labour-supporting members of affiliated trade unions revealed that the Labour movement itself saw things rather differently. They thought they had lost because people did not appreciate what Labour had achieved; that voters had been influenced by the right-wing media; and that while Labour’s policies had been right, they had not been well communicated. More than three quarters thought their party had not deserved to lose, and most rejected the idea that the Labour government had been largely to blame for the economic situation. They thought the swing voters they had lost (and needed to win back) were ignorant, credulous and selfish.

This resonates with me as it seems to apply to many NZ Labour activists also.

All most people had heard from Labour was that it was against whatever the coalition happened to be doing. This included welfare reform, one government policy people spontaneously praised. In focus groups before the 2010 election, participants who were asked to choose an image to represent Labour would very often select a picture of a slob lying on a sofa to symbolise what they saw as the party’s indulgence of people living on benefits when they could be at work.

Would be fascinating to do here.

The publication is 47 pages long and very interesting.

The blind leading the blind?

October 30th, 2015 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

This would seem to be a case of the blind leading the blind?

Is Andrew Little hoping to find out how to get your party wiped out, losing every seat in Parliament bar one?

Or is Scottish Labour hoping to learn what it is like to get your lowest vote in 110 years?

The challenge for Corbyn

September 29th, 2015 at 11:05 am by David Farrar


This poll from the New Statesman shows very well the difference between appealing to the base, appealing to your own voters and appealing to potential voters for your party.

Corbyn supporters are very left wing. Only 20% think competition is good, 67% want more taxes, 65% want private schools abolished and 65% want to abolish the monarchy.

Now even among firm Labour voters, their views are quite different. 38% support markets, only 38% support higher taxes, and 42% want private schools abolished.

But go out to the potential voters UK Labour needs to win, and there 58% support competition, only 19% want higher taxes and only 25% want private schools gone.

So how can Corbyn’s policies win Labour an election? Stuffed if I know.

UK Labour Shadow Minister wants to campaign against eating meat!

September 25th, 2015 at 1:35 pm by David Farrar

Just as you think they can’t get more lunatic, they do.

The Guardian reports:

The new shadow environment secretary believes meat should be treated in the same way as tobacco, with public campaigns to stop people eating it, according to an interview she gave to a vegan magazine. …

“I really believe that meat should be treated in exactly the same way as tobacco with public campaigns to stop people eating it.”

This is not some obscure backbench MP. This is their shadow environment secretary. Absolutely bonkers.

Corbyn appoints a convicted arsonist as his shadow education secretary

September 22nd, 2015 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

The Spectator reports:

Given that Jeremy Corbyn is a Hamas sympathiser with an IRA sympathiser as his Shadow Chancellor, I imagine he didn’t think too much about promoting a little-known Scot named Mike Watson. He is a Labour peer, who now takes a place in Corbyn’s frontbench as education spokesman. He is also a convicted arsonist, who quit the Scottish Parliament in disgrace after being caught drunkenly setting fire to a set of curtains during the Scottish Politician of the Year ceremony 2004. He was sentenced to 20 months in prison, whichhe served in HMP Edinburgh.


So if UK Labour win the election the PM will be someone who calls Hamas and Hezbollah friends, the Chancellor will be someone who has praised the bravery of the IRA and the Education Secretary will be a convicted arsonist.

At what point does David Cameron step out of the shower and say he’s just had the most strange dream, like an episode of Dallas?