Official general election thread


#506

See the link I’ve post above.

They are a new entity in terms of age, but they’re not really a new entity in terms of beliefs. Perhaps since 2015, maybe, as membership had fallen so low as to be closer to the ‘anti-immigrant mug triangulators’ than at any other time, but they’re not far off those who made up the bulk of membership pre-Iraq War, I don’t think.


#507

Yep. I mean the only real knowledge I’ve got of yer Trots coming back etc. etc. is because a number of AWL members rejoined Labour and had to be expelled. Think a few are still knocking about maybe, I dunno. I don’t think it’s really that important.

Whilst I think the PLP are right to be spooked by any re-emergence of this, I think majoring on it as a point of analysis is well wide of the mark. And again I count Jon Lansman outside of this - he’s got his own agenda re: democratising decision making with the Labour Party.


#508

Yeah I think this is key. And the new electoral college established in 2015 allowed their beliefs to be heard more strongly and Corbyn was the right man at the right time to tie it all together.


#509

The point about entryism is not that the impact is based on numbers but on determination, aggression and block voting in small meetings. Momentum came up against the problem which is why there was such discussion about their internal voting models - they’d found that meetings were getting functionally hijacked by AWL and TUSC members.

I don’t think it will be significant for the Labour party in the long run but the prospect raised by one of Momentum’s own officers was that as soon as Corbyn compromised on anything the radical faction inside Momentum would turn away from him and Labour - that their goal isn’t the Labour party machinery but the youth membership of Momentum.


#510

Don’t dispute any of that.

This is probably the best analysis I read of ‘what’s going on’ within Momentum etc.: http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2016/11/how-momentum-entered-crisis-zone although it’s 6 months old now. @xylo - worth a look yourself.


#511

again thanks for this although you’ll get people mad linking to the NS!


#512

As long as Stephen Bush is writing for the NS I will continue to link to them without any semblance of apology.


#513

Stephen Bush is alright - it’s George Eaton who treats the whole thing like a game.


#514

yeah a lot less time for him


#515

https://twitter.com/adventuresofrob/status/854666720849661952


#516

But doesn’t the article @marckee posted show that the difference in beliefs between the voters who left, the voters who stayed, and the youth vote isn’t that significant? Long term members tend to be a few points more moderate but there’s no great ideological departure. The schism in the party isn’t over beliefs, it’s over willingness to compromise and how short term those compromises prove to be. Returning members initially left the party because they couldn’t stomach the compromises, the mistakes and the warmongering. But these same members are the people that New Labour decided couldn’t be kept as a visible, active element of a party that needed to win votes in Tory marginals.

I still think the fight in Labour is over pace of change and visual identity more than over significant ideological differences, but we’ve turned it into a really vicious civil war in which Jeremy Corbyn and Harriet Harman, two of our longest serving MPs are some how presented as opposites.


#517

I don’t know how any of this runs contrary to what I’ve said, unless I’m missing something?


#518

If it’s a willingness to compromise that’s the difference between the members, the issue on which that is critical is how much they’re prepared to be ignored and taken for granted.

New Labour didn’t decide that they couldn’t be kept visible - they just ignored them.

I don’t think Harman is seen as the opposite of Corbyn at all. Streeting, Woodcock, Danczuk, certainly, but not Harman.


#519

Can’t find it now but there was a good discussion about this in a Corbyn thread around the time Tom Watson made that weird assertion about Trots. I asked if anyone had ever actually met a Trotskyist and someone, can’t for the life of me remember who, had been involved in Trotskyist parties and estimated it, from my memory, to be way, way lower than 10,000.


#520

Ahh, apologies if I’ve misunderstood. Hard to follow all of these conversations. It was the “beliefs be heard more strongly” line that I was responding too. Corbyn is encouraging a more hardline attitude - no compromises, no triangulation - but the beliefs are the same. You probably said all of that further up and I missed it by responding to one line!


#521

it’s me that’s caused the confusion i think - i’ve had everyone basically go over old ground for my benefit in getting me up to speed!


#522

Not at all - you’re correct to bring out the fact that behaviour around ideological purity vs. compromise/triangulation is another key distinction. In any case - agree.


#523

She has gone fully off the deep end. The election announcement speech was full of really bizarre and disquieting statements. Heavy whiffs of authoritarianism and a nasty streak of entitlement. On top of that she’s a virulently racist woman who doesn’t need to fear letting the facade slip with practically the entire media establishment onside.


#524

Yeah, that speech was terrifying. Every sentence was a lie or nonsense.

Here’s a light hearted line by line take down of it:


#525

Well that’s absolutely where New Labour poisoned the well. There was no internal party management, there was just colossal complacency and neglect. People weren’t involved, weren’t given the chance to buy into the project - they were just offered nominal success, told not to quibble, and if they didn’t like it they were no loss because they would never, ever vote Tory where as the centre ground New Labour was courting absolutely would.

Now all of that process is wrong, but the idea that the membership has to moderate it’s expectations of its representatives - who are almost be default more left wing than they are - is unavoidable. The goal is to do that in a way that is inclusive of the membership rather than exploitative or neglectful.

This is where we come to Corbyn’s election campaign, a campaign that burned pragmatists and moderates in favour of renewing the connection with the membership at the expense of everything else. You are right to say that Harman is not the opposite of Corbyn but you were also right when you said that a mistake of presentation on her part was used (exploited) as a campaign tool that drew contrast with Corbyn’s ‘no politics’ approach. He took the hardline position and left his supporters to make the argument that Brownite/Moderate/soft left Labour supported Tory welfare policy.

His ‘outsider’ campaign setup a two speed race - no compromise vs too much compromise and the wheels inevitably came off both campaigns. But it’s all the moderates fault for not supporting him, he’s blameless.