How to beat Corbyn

It’s not difficult. It just requires clear-sightedness and a little courage.

We voted for Brexit. But 48% of us who voted in that referendum – more if recent polling is right – have a result we don’t want. And many of us are now profoundly worried about what the future holds.

No political party speaks for us or for our concerns. Even though we number over 16m – a hundred times or more what will separate Corbyn and his leadership challenger, whoever that be.

If you’re not a member you can vote in Labour’s leadership election as a registered supporter. A £3 voter. Engage us – or even 1% of us – and Corbyn will return to obscurity.

Promise us that a Labour Party you lead will campaign to return to the nation once the outline of a deal on Brexit is known. Another referendum on that deal. That promise is a good promise to make. There was no known Leave proposition. No world we could weigh on the scales against the one we have. When that world is known, the electorate should get to choose which it wants.

A political party that speaks for you, on an issue that dominates your thoughts. For only £3.

That’s a proposition with a lot of buyers.


29 thoughts on “How to beat Corbyn

  1. I don’t want to oust Jeremy. I’ve joined Labour party for that reason! I thought your raison d’etre was to fight withdrwal and block 50 paperwork?

  2. The problem with this is as I understanding we need to give formal (irreversible) notice of our intention to leave prior to arriving at an outline of a deal. Unless the other EU nations are unanimously cooperative anyway. My preferred option would be for a Labour leader to pledge a second referendum, but this time pre-legislative and with three options: (1)Remain, (2)Leave with the option of free movement of labour, and (3)leave without that option. A single transferable vote to head off accusations of splitting the leave vote. You sell it to the brexit types by, not unreasonably, pointing out that it prevents you getting saddled with (2) when, lets be honest, they wanted (3). It’s not a rerun of the last referendum, we would emphasize, but rather a clarification of the alternatives.

  3. I don’t only do one thing.

  4. I joined Labour, voted for Corbyn and still support his general views. However, we are no longer in the luxurious position of having several relatively fallow years to go before a general election. It is now extremely urgent that we have a fully-functioning Labour Party in place. More important, in fact, than having every one of my (or anyone else’s) policy preferences available.

    Life is all about prioritising. If we are drawn into a right-wing swamp because of personal vanity or wanting to ‘have it all’ in terms of left-wing policies, we’ll be dooomed, Cap’n Mainwaring, dooomed.

  5. “No political party speaks for us” !!!

    You are joking of course! All the major parties have always supported EU membership, and still do. Labour, conservatives, libdems, SNP, Plaid, etc.

    Lovers of sharing sovereignty with 27 other countries have had almost total political backing for 40 years. Even after all that ‘leadership’, despite dominating the legal profession, the luvvies, and the chumerati, you still couldn’t win a vote the moment a fair question was asked of everyone.

    Imagine the result if there was balance. If the BBC didn’t have the EU in its DNA. If there were political parties that actually reflected the will of the people and not their own interests! It wouldn’t be 52-48 but more like 65-35.

    Now Labour has a leader that thinks, behaves, and acts like a decent, honourable, and committed person – like us – and guess what? The metropolitan chums can’t stand it and want to get rid of him. As soon as a politician refuses to do what the media and the lawyers and the BBC want him to do, you start the campaign to get rid of him. You just can’t stand the thought that there are people who don’t think the same as you.

  6. “You just can’t stand the thought that there are people who don’t think the same as you.”

    This sort of silly personal attack is why it’s impossible to take Corbyn and his supporters seriously. They’ve got no strategy for winning power and no ability to reason through how false and self-indulgent their whole approach to politics and life is. If you don’t believe in your ideas, don’t go into politics – but if you do believe in them, go into politics with the clear understanding that principles without any prospect of winning power to put them into practice are just a form of intellectual masturbation. As the Americans like to say: something always beats nothing.

  7. ‘like us’- you must be joking, the current leader does not reflect the majority of the 9.5m that voted labour last time & less still the 11m probably that need to vote labour to secure a win the next time. Corbyn & chums have been sabotaging labours gains for years as Neil Kinnock knows only too well.

    Corbyn & Momentum should set up a new party & leave the rest of us to get on with building a proper grown up party before its too late

  8. P well observed…..the rise and rise of the illiberal liberal, now well entrenched across the political spectrum.

  9. Nick – I didn’t mean his politics (I’m no supporter of his politics) but I mean his character. Like most ordinary people we know, he has convictions and he doesn’t change them just to “win power”. He says what he believes and if people vote for that, good. If they don’t – also good! It is that last feature that professional career politicians can’t understand. But both Corbyn does. I won’t vote for him, he doesn’t want my vote – but I’m really glad he is there making his honest case.

  10. I have voted Labour all my life, and Jeremy Corbyn has brought a breath of fresh air to the party. He stands for everything I believe in, the PLP have stabbed him in the back for his belief in Democracy. They are scared of him because he is a decent man who CARES. He is the Labour Party, the others should break away and form their own party now, we don’t need them.

  11. This is a somewhat depressing and polite microcosm of what’s going on in Labour. For what it’s worth:

    @P. I don’t disagree that parts of the “Establishment” were and have been pro-EU. That doesn’t make it wrong, however. Given that Leave was funded by millionaires, it’s hardly the home of the people. Additionally, while a fair question was asked, people voted to get £350mm more into the NHS and to drastically reduce immigration (often eliding EU and non-EU immigration). Do you really think that’s what they’re going to get? If we go into recession (which seems likely) and the industry that makes up 8 per cent of GDP shrinks, are you going to consider the lost jobs and tax take “worth it”? I certainly don’t.

    @P and @Mary Linford. Do you think it’s just the PLP and “metropolitans” who want a Labour party that can be in Government? What do you imagine Mr Corbyn (a socialist who lives in an expensive house in Islington) to be if not metropolitan or a career politician? Every poll suggests that he will not lead us to a Labour government. All I’ve seen is that Labour members by a majority might want Mr Corbyn in power. There’s no evidence that the 9m Labour voters, or the electorate generally, do

    More generally, I honestly don’t understand people who say “it’s good he doesn’t compromise just to get into power”. You realise the consequence of this is perennial Tory rule, yes? Is that really better than a little bit of compromise?

  12. Chris – no, not wrong. No doubt they sincerely believed in staying in the EU. What we don’t know is what part of the EU. Did the remainers vote remain on the basis of the existing op-outs, full rebates, no Euro, no ‘ever closer union’ and no difficult new members like Turkey? Or do remainers really want full EU integration – a phase out of the rebate, and a full agricultural, fisheries, trade in services, monetary, fiscal, banking, economic, political, and currency union with Turkey and Ukraine joining as soon as possible? What sort of remain do the remainers want?

    What sort of remain will keep our GDP at 2016 levels or higher? The semi-detached and toe-in-the-water remain the Cameron, Blair, Major and Thatcher negotiated? Or the full integration that the 5 Presidents say is necessary to make the Union work effectively?

    Given the dreadful long term prospects for the Eurozone, with its falling proportion of global trade, global GDP, dreadful unemployment, dreadful job creation, unfunded public pension liability, and its demographic time bomb, a 8% fall in GDP over the next few years is a safe guess for the EU without the UK. Why would we join ourselves to that future?

  13. I suppose the first point is that neither side were voting for a clear conclusion, though at least the Remainers had whatever little Cameron had wrested from Europe. The Leavers are split into a multitude of different camps (elites who care about sovereignty and can handle a little recession to get there, EEA-max people, full withdrawal, people who apparently wanted fewer brown people in the country, people who just hate politicians etc).

    From my personal perspective, I wanted to stay in the EU while remaining as detached as possible (no Euro, opting out of closer Union). My ideal would be free access to the single market (which, whatever your claims of EU degradation, offers a lot in terms of financial passporting and the UK as a base for foreign companies to Europe) with a right to influence EU laws. Sadly that requires membership of the EU.

    The claims you make about Europe are partly convincing, but mostly not. An 8 per cent drop in EU GDP is extremely unlikely. A small drop in UK GDP (which would be devastating and wipe out any “cost” of the EU (£80m net we contribute a week) easily.

    We’re all making guesses here, but mine remains that while Brexit will certainly be bad for Europe, it will be (just as?) bad for us. Which isn’t, I think, what people voted for.

  14. And this exchange is the dichotomy that we have – Jeremy has enthused a large group of people. He will probably win increased majorities in seats where there are Labour majorities already. He has not shown himself capable of winning where it is required to make a difference in terms of forming a government.

    The problem is that the people who elect the Labour leader are in the first group; the people he needs to inspire are in the second.

    Its an echo of the Referendum – two different groups just cant understand the other.

  15. Chris, for the very large number of people in this country who are already getting a rotten deal from globalisation (including mass uncontrolled immigration), some economic instability is a small price to pay for a more equitable settlement than the status quo. And those people are not going away simply because the Westminster oligarchy and snobbish rentseekers in London tell them that they are thick, racist losers. Indeed the more they are abused, the more angry they are likely to get, especially as there are many kindred spirits both in Europe and the US. Think 1789 and 1848.

  16. Michael – I don’t disagree with what you’re saying in terms of there being a cadre of ignored people who have done badly from globalisation. Their concerns need to be addressed, and have not been.

    However, your view is premised on the post-Brexit world leading to a “more equitable settlement” for such people. I don’t know how you can have any confidence in this. if there is a recession (any recession), such people will be the first to feel the pain. If we stay in the EEA, such people will not get what they want with immigration. Even if we get out and there isn’t a recession (seems unlikely), the country is now run by a more right-wing government than existed yesterday. How can you be sure that this government will have the people in the first paragraph in mind when setting laws?

  17. Chris – a right of centre government will often improve conditions for “hard working families” more than a left of centre one. For example, University entry for working class families had improved dramatically since the right of centre reforms of further education funding.

    But generally, a more equitable settlement is more likely if the government is directly accountable to the electorate. When for social policy in particular the decision makers are a remote European Parliament and Council, and the government is the Commission, what hope does the ordinary voter have in ensuing they deliver an equitable settlement? Why would that set up be more likely?

  18. @P are you projecting?

    It is incredible to see someone arguing that the unknown is less risky than the known, as you attempt to do in your post at 1058am. The major risks all lie in Brexit, we are at the mercy of 27 nations now, rather than being in control of our own destiny. It amazes me you cannot see this, and that goes a long way to explaining your vote for Leave I’m afraid.

    What Remain did I want? The membership of the EU we had – full influence, no euro, no schengen, rebate et al.

    What relationship are we going to get? At best maybe EEA lite – so, Single Market access, billions in contributions, free movement with perhaps a “brake” but no more, and zero say in the future shape of that market (including – hey presto – new members)

    Way to go P. Way to go Leavers.

  19. @P
    1. Are you saying that the Government’s Higher Education reforms (increasing the total fee, but post dating it) are causative of an increase in working class participation in higher education? If that’s the case, I haven’t seen those stats. If you mean something else, apologies.

    2. I’m also not sure what you mean by “hard working families” (a Tory buzzword”. If you’re saying that right-wing governments improve the lot of the less well off (not just “hard working families”, I don’t think that’s right. The Left generally does a better job at redistributing than the right.

    3. I’m not sure what “social policy” is created in Europe which negatively affects the less well off. Most social policy is entirely domestic. The only things I can think about are working time directives etc, which protect the electorate. In short – I’m not sure what anything to do with EU “social policy” will result in an equitable settlement. A bar to free movement may lead to a more “equitable settlement” but as I say above, (i) we may not achieve this bar and (ii) if we do, such settlement is likely to be less valuable than today.

  20. If you’re convinced that the 9m Labour voters from 2015 don’t want Corbyn, then yes, easy job to get enough of them on board to defeat him democratically. Go for it. But please ACCEPT the result this time !!
    Corbyn and Labour were polling OK before the staged resignations etc, so, as far as I and many others are concerned, the blame now can be laid at the doors of Eagle, Benn and the rest of them (who also voted for the Iraq war!).
    What a time to do this ! The Tories, who understand these things, have expedited May in as PM, she’s a woman with a pretty good image despite everything, so she’ll cream a general election now that the Blairites have sabotaged Labour.
    On Corbyn’s election, and on Brexit, there are people here who seem to think it’s just tickety-boo to overturn democratoc elections/referenda.
    It isn’t !!

    ps. no way will the EU accept the UK having a 2nd vote on a Brexit deal. It won’t happen.

  21. @Nibs

    1. It’s really not that easy to translate Labour voters into Labour members. The Tory party is even smaller than Labour, but gets more votes. If it were this simple, we’d never have had a problem with Militant in the 80s.

    2. Corbyn and Labour were not “polling OK” before the resignations. What evidence do you have for that? The only actual elections I recall were Oldham (won by a Blairite.moderate with no Corbyn involvement), London (won without any Corbyn involvement – I was involved and we were told not to speak about him) and the local elections (where we had the worst results for an oppo party since the early 80s). Do you think all of that is “polling OK?”

    3. I agree that this was a bad time for Labour to do what it’s doing, particularly given the ham fisted attempt at a coup, but to now say (when we lose), “it was all the Blairites’ fault” is misguided in the extreme.

    Finally, I find it hilarious that people like Watson (who ousted Blair), Eagle, Nandy etc are considered Blairites. Many are Brownites, many are from the soft-left, many were once considered Corbynites (Nandy).

    PS. I’m not sure you understand the relationship with the EU if you don’t think they won’t accept a second vote. First: they have no ability not to accept such vote. If we don’t trigger A50, we stay in the EU. Second: 4-5 nations have had a second referendum when the first didn’t go the EU’s way – see Ireland for the most recent example.

    Actually, when reflecting on how easy it was to rebut pretty much every point in your post, you start to appear a bit trollish . . .

  22. @P

    I’m slightly concerned that you didn’t read that before posting it, given that it doesn’t support your position; rather it supports my rebuttal. Your point is that a more equitable settlement (which presumably means more for the worst off, less inequality etc) is more likely when social policy is returned from the EU. My point was that outside employment, I’m not sure what EU policies affect the inputs to an equitable settlement. By that I mean that tax, welfare etc are all domestic concerns.

    Your report states that the EU is involved with:
    – Employment and Labour – most of this is for the protection of the worker. I’m not sure that removing these protections leads to an equitable settlement, or that UK workers would want to lose those protections
    – Health and Safety at work. Again, these are protections. If we lose them post-Brexit, how does this lead to a more equitable settlement
    – Non-discrimination and equality. Ditto. Will permitting discrimination and inequality lead to an equitable settlement?
    – Social protection. Here the EU has the power to implement directives (which states can amend or ignore in primary legislation) but has not done so. This is my point above: social security/tax/welfare are all dealt with domestically

    In short, losing any of these EU-based laws will lead to more inequality and worse rights for workers. Why is that a good thing again?

  23. …er, I worked on the BoC Review…
    Please read it as carefully as we wrote it!

  24. Then apologies for saying that you hadn’t read it. But if you have any rebuttal to my last post, which queried your claim that leaving the EU will lead to an “equitable settlement” because social laws will no longer be EU-driven, I’d be glad to see it. So far you’ve just posted it as evidence, I’ve scanned it and found it unhelpful to your position and you’ve reposted it, without any explanation.

  25. This report acknowledges that the bulk of its evidence comes from employers and employer representatives and that opinion was divided in this group as to whether there is a net benefit, and even then it wasn’t conclusive that the benefits wouldn’t have been achieved anyway like they have been in similarly developed non-EU countries. Harms were widely recognised and undisputed. But let’s say, balanced. Note also though that when looking for evidence from the employed and other individuals the views were (from memory) 65% in favour of employment and social laws being made by national parliament only.

    You started by suggesting there was little EU input in this area, and it is the only possible source of good because otherwise the “nasty party” would be shoving us all up chimneys again. But there is a lot of EU law, and even the enthusiasts have concerns and balance should be moved towards national decision makers.

  26. I stand corrected on the volume of social laws. But I’m not sure that the views of employers (which are “balanced” in any event) support any conclusion that Brexit will lead to an equitable settlement for the people we’re concerned with – whether they’re the “least advantaged” (me using a Rawlsian expression) or the Tory “hard working families”.

    I have no particular reason to believe that a Tory party would offer “better” working conditions in the competences set out above – they certainly have not suggested that they will do so in their Cameroon guise, and are now led by someone to the Right of him. And I maintain the position that an equitable settlement is largely reached through pay, tax and social security levers – most/all of which are held domestically.

  27. ‘P’ claims that s/he co-wrote the UK Govt report referred to in his link (examining social and related laws and comparing UK and UE inputs) and says “This report acknowledges that the bulk of its evidence comes from employers and employer representatives.”

    However, the report itself says, “The report is a reflection and analysis of the evidence submitted by experts, non-governmental organisations, business-people, Members of Parliament and other interested parties, either in writing or orally, as well as a literature review of relevant material.”

    ‘P’ also says, “when looking for evidence from the employed and other individuals the views were (from memory) 65% in favour of employment and social laws being made by national parliament only…”

    However (again) the actual report says, “For example, the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Unite the Union (UNITE), GMB and UNISON argued that there was a moral case for EU intervention in this area. They cited a number of EU directives to argue that EU action has played a central role in maintaining employment, protecting working people from exploitation, combating discrimination and social exclusion and promoting high trust, high skilled workplaces.”

    In “Annex A: List of Evidence Received (including oral evidence)” there is no mention of anyone identified as being ‘the employed’; indeed there are few individuals shown.

    It is so unsatisfactory to find, time and again, right wing views based on wishful thinking, lack-of and distortion-of evidence and, in some cases (though I’m not suggesting it here) downright Johnsonian levels of dishonesty.

    For goodness sake, say what you think for sure (but be warned that without evidence, it is not worth all that much) but when submitting evidence, try to get it right!

    If I am wrong, ‘P’, please show me where and I will apologise.

  28. I confess I am somewhat confused that Corbyn is described as a man of principle. For the best part of 30 years he was in a political party which bore no resemblance to the things he claimed to believe in and which he frequently voted against There were parties much closer to his beliefs, the Greens, the TUSC, others I am sure. Yet he never left the Labour party and stood for one of those or as an independent. Let’s be honest, he never really thought he would become leader of the Labour party. No one did.

    A cynic might think that for 30 years a safe Labour seat, a good salary, a good pension; all those things were more important to Corbyn than his values.

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