This past few weeks have only confirmed Corbynite Labour’s unfitness to govern

by Rob Marchant

And so, while not wanting to be complacent, many of us dare to hope that the shutters are finally lifting on the Corbynite era, where the openly continuity-Corbyn candidates seem poised to lose in both Leader and Deputy Leader elections.

The beginning of the end, fingers crossed.

Even were that not the case, it seems that the dying embers of that Corbynite leadership seems bent on helping them lose, through a series of actions so cack-handed, so politically tone-deaf, that they leave even their most ardent supporters within the party are left struggling to comprehend them.

First there was the Trevor Phillips suspension from the party by Labour’s high command.

For those unfamiliar with Phillips’ record, he is a decent and sometimes thought-provoking former politician, who was the first leader of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), set up by Labour as a real step forward in protecting minorities of all kinds.

Oh and, we might just mention in passing, it is the organisation currently investigating the Labour party for anti-Semitism.

In short, Labour has decided, a matter of weeks before the likely-critical EHRC report is released, to try and clumsily discredit that organisation by association.

In fact, to try and discredit it on a trumped-up charge of “Islamophobia” for comments made years ago, levelled at a man who has not merely talked about fighting racism – all the while consorting with real racists, like the party’s current leader – but who has genuinely made it a great part of his life’s work to lead institutions and initiatives which promote tolerance between communities.

To try and dump on Phillips is transparently a move both of grubbiness and of desperation, in case we should expect anything less from the Corbyn place-people currently in charge of the party machine.

And then – were this idiocy not sufficient – we might note that the main target of Phillips’ so-called “Islamophobia” was the rape gangs in Northern cities such as Rotherham. Thus neatly putting the party on the side of the rapists and against the overwhelming majority of the British public, most of whom are both disgusted by what went on and perfectly capable of distinguishing between an ordinary Muslim and a Muslim rapist.

But that is not all. The debates have shown even some of our more promising candidates to be batshit crazy on trans self-id, let alone the leaden-footed, continuity-Corbynite duo of Long-Bailey and Burgon.

Happily, for the public in general, this is a minority interest, but these things do not help. The over-long campaign, as happened in 2015, has merely served to point up the relatively low quality of many of the pretenders to be the next PM, while helping to queer the pitch for the incoming leader.

Finally, of course, there has been coronavirus. Corbyn himself, along with his more fanatical followers and outriders, seems intent on removing any last vestiges of vague credibility attached to his tenure as leader. With only a few weeks left to go in the Leader’s Office, his comments reduce to whining that “the government seems complacent”.

No-one in Labour likes Boris Johnson, even among those of us who think the Tories wrong rather than evil. He is quite probably the worst prime minister of the postwar period. But he has both done one smart thing regarding the virus: on policy, he has largely got out of the way and let the experts get on with it.

Not so the Corbynites. So, when we criticise the approach, we are criticising the experts and not the Tories. Poorly-briefed politicians criticising experts, in a time of national crisis, is hardly a good look. It also puts us in the position of carping from the sidelines in a moment when, perhaps unexpectedly, the country is largely pulling together after the painful Brexit divide of the last half-decade.

In other words, the last thing Labour needs right now is to be lumped together with the armchair experts currently filling the airwaves and social media with dangerously uninformed opinions. An intelligent opposition might make the odd, measured criticism, while ultimately supporting the broad thrust of government action, which is what you do in times of national emergency. Political comms 101.

If you doubt the impact that all this is having on the party, you need only look at the Tories’ polling of an incredible 50%, a 21% lead over Labour: extraordinary numbers and for a party with a relatively modest majority.

In summary, we are doing the nigh-on impossible: we are making Boris Johnson look good.

We can only hope that the incoming leader can put down an abundantly clear and differentiating marker regarding the last three-and-a-half years. The last-chance saloon having passed by some time ago, there is precious little margin for error.

Rob Marchant is an activist and former Labour party manager who blogs at The Centre Left


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26 Responses to “This past few weeks have only confirmed Corbynite Labour’s unfitness to govern”

  1. Vern says:

    Much of what you right Rob has been said about this Labour Party over the past few years. No one has been listening though. Unfortunately, you are wrong about Boris. He will achieve a status that few will compare with. It’s not the Labour Party making him look good – he really is that good! A proper leader, leading and showing leadership.

  2. John P Reid says:

    If Keir starmer wins this not only means the party is still run by middle class guardian liberal Fabians who want a culture war ,holding the working class in contempt
    ,
    in 2018 despite Labour having stood on a manifesto to accept article 50, convinced the party after a year of bullying to put remain and a second referendum on the 2019 manifesto the ignoring the anti Semitism, the screaming “islamophobia” over trying to cover up the grooming gangs ,justifying anti white racism trying to cover up collective crimes minorities do like assaults ,yet scream they’re the victims or vote rigging on a industrial scale organised by councils, with Dawn Butler and Ash Sarker calling black tories uncle toms, the hatred of women these pre op transgenders show to women who fought for rights that are being thrown away, we’ve lost freedom of speech with accusers called victims that’s seen innocent till proved guilty with the non crime hate incident which isn’t guilty till proved innocent it’s guilty when proven innocent

    Starmer isn’t even the Kinnock candidate who doesn’t become PM but does the ground work, labour hasn’t even began to see the problem of throwing away free speech, innocent till proven guilty and democracy by its’ hatred of the working class by middle class snobs who think the party only needs middle class votes to win.

    Burgon ironically has his campaign organised by Laura Pidcock who’s the one person who actually says trans women are men

  3. Alf says:

    Trevor Phillips is a repellent Tory-lite Islamophobe. He should be kicked out of Labour immediately.

  4. John p Reid says:

    Alf if the 2 inquiries Thr EHRC one finds labour is institutionally anti Semitic and tecinendsclife timd expulsions including for Richard burgons Zionism is the enemy of peace quote
    And the inquiry that labour councils on a whole scale covered up the mass rapes of thousands of white girls by Muslims and those who tried to cover it up were part of the conspiracy

    Would you recommend their expulsion
    But it seems with Covid19 politics will never be the same again
    Even if labour elects starmer
    The Labour Party is gonna be completely irrelevant typo the U.K. ever again

  5. Tafia says:

    Latest poll, IpsosMORI today, shows the Tories maintaining their massive lead over Labour. That’s floods, bullying allegations and now Covid making not a dent.

    IpsosMORI, 19 Mar

    Con: 52%
    Lab: 30%
    LDem: 9%
    Grn: 4%
    Oth/DK/Wnv: 7%
    (highest tory figure since 1983)

    Latest Jockland
    SNP: 53%
    Con: 29%
    Lab: 13%
    Grn: 4%
    LDem: 1%

  6. Peter Carabine says:

    Corbynism deeply damaged Labour by supporting the most unpopular leader in its history whose inexperience for high office and whose extreme past seemed celebrated by his cult but hated by the public , a gift for the Tories and the Right Wing press. So it was that Labour’s self damage was inevitable getting the worst result since the year of our Lord 1935. With 103 MPs behind the Tories these deluded fools have given the UK a decade more of Tory rule. No political scientist believes Labour can gain that many seats in 2025. The damage to Lab is so deep and nasty it will take a decade assuming the disgusting Corbynites are sent back to their SWP or Stalinist origins. UK social democracy has been gutted by these extremists whose grasp of politics is utterly infantile. Yes we are bitter …it’s ten long years of Boris and Priti and Gove and Rees Mogg.

  7. Vern says:

    Alf, what do you base your accusations of Trevor Phillips on. I’m interested only in your personal view point on this one that reinforce your statement…..

  8. steve says:

    The sun is setting on the Corbyn era.

    The rot set in long ago. We will all be more than familiar with the major, electorate-losing howlers of the Blairite era. The most important of which, electorally, was the loss of Scotland. Starmer’s (and the PLP’s) insistence on a second referendum has driven away northern voters. There is no reason to assume lost voters are ‘on loan’ to the Tories. As with myself, there is no reason for a return to the LP. Scotland is lost, the north will follow.

    The 2017 general election result offered the promise of victory. But the Labour Party decided they didn’t want victory. Indeed, the prospect of a Corbyn premiership caused the Blairites to intensify their campaign of vilification. They did more to produce the 2019 defeat than the Tories themselves could manage. And now it’s over.

    Labour is finished.

  9. peter carabineuel allowance, pe says:

    Steve is spouting utter rubbish, false information. Labour under Tony & Gordon dominated Scotland. And I am not just talking the UK landslide,( 1997), the second landslide (2001) or the big majority ( 2005) but there was a SWING to Labour in Scotland in 2010 under Gordon. For 23 yrs the Tories were unable to get a decent majority except for 12/19 with the unpopular, detested Corbyn rejected by many working-class voters and the regions taking the party back to 1935. Under Corbyn places lost that were always Labour.

    We celebrate New Labour, wages increased, pensions increased, benefits increased, child tax credits increased, public service pay & conditions increased, maternity & child care increased, job training, university places increased, taxes reduced on low paid, VAT on heating reduced, fuel allowance, free eye tests, bus passes, cancer waits reduced, hospital waits reduced, more medics, more midwives, more GPs, more new hospitals, new schools, more grad teachers, higher GCSEs, more Sixth formers, more spending in regions, more bioscience,more medical training,more high tech, economy achieved above trend growth, less crime, less strikes, social chapter, part time rights, disability rights, civil partnership rights, more equal rights….

  10. Tafia says:

    Why is Corbyn ignoring the 12 week self-isolation recommendations for his age group? If he ignores the recommendations then why should anyone else bother with any of the others.

    And why are no Labour politicians pulling him up on this?

    Why should I bother self-isolating for just 7 days if I’ve got a cough if he can’t be bothered following the 12 week recommendation just days into it.

  11. Anne says:

    Agree with this Rob. Pandemics never arrive at a convenient time but the world was warned about this possibility in 2018 – most certainly our NHS was not prepared. Was the governments initial approach of establishing a herd immunity correct – most certainly it was not.
    It was not a convenient time for The Labour Party which is going through a leadership campaign – the sooner this is completed the better. It has been left to Gordon Brown and Andy Burnham to put forward useful approaches.
    We are just at the beginning of a very difficult time for our country – looking at Italy’s statistics of fatalities is heartbreaking.
    This pandemic has not arrived at a convenient time for America. Up until this point I would have said Trump was a certainty for a second term – now most certainly, and sadly America is not prepared for this pandemic.

  12. Tafia says:

    Anne, a pandemic means that it is present on at least two continents and is self-sustaining. Not how serious it is, not how dangerous etc etc.

    It is impossible to prepare for anything of this scale. Absolutely impossible – same as it is impossible to prepare for a nuclear war or a massive natural disaster.

    Some countries in europe appear on paper to be doing well – in the main they are countries with a far higher private sector involvement in their systems, such as Germany and Ireland for example.

    I say ‘appear’ because its actually impossible to guage accurately due to every country doing things differently and counting even basics such as deaths in a different way. We appear to be one of the better countries. As an example, Italy only counts Covid deaths in hospitals – not in own homes or nursing homes. Germany doesnt carry out tests on the dead and if a death – even with covid, has a very serious underlying condition, that is put down as the cause of death. Here in UK we test all the dead and if Covid is present record it as a covid death. At least one country doesnt count people over 70 even if they were being treated for it.

    As I write this, Sweden is not under any close down at all – everything still open. Belgium the schools in the Flem areas are still open but closed in Walloon areas, Ireland has not yet announced any financial package – and its like that all over Europe.

    This will die away in late May and will then rampage through the southern hemisphere before re-appearing in Asia then here again in Europe in the Autumn at the same time as the annual flu epidemic. That is a nailed-on guarenteed cert.

    What preparations are you making for the shortages of fresh fruit and veg you are going to see for the rest of this year at least? The early salad crops in Italy and Spain are rotting in the fields. Their later crops should have been planted by now, along with France and Germany’s. They haven,t been. Have you dug over part of your back lawn and planted spuds and carrots? If not why not?. You have no excuse.

    The FTSE will recover over the summer. As the index drops, the big pension funds are buying blue-chip at a measured and controlled rate so as not to cause the price to rise. The Chinese and Russians are doing the same.

    And if we fall into a decade long stagflation/deflation as some now predict, always remember only one thing cures that – an all out large scale war.

    And you want to know something spine-chilling? On the continent of Africa there are only 2 ICUs per 1 million people. It will be carnage and it will cause wars. It will also be largely unreported.

  13. Tafia says:

    And ‘Herd Immunity’ was the SACG recommendation first talked about publicly by the Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty. The media and some not very bright MPs kicked-off about it so the government and its spokespeople stopped using the phrase but continued with the strategy. It was and is continuing – all that changed was they stopped referring to it as such.

    The herd.
    First, isolate the young – done
    Next, isolate the elderly – done
    Next, isolate the frail. – 1.5m letters sent

    All the while allowing the herd to mingle and cross- contaminate while you slowly restrict their grazing area so as not to cause a stampede. Before finally bringing them down from the grazing pasture and restricting them to their barns as the virus burns through them.

    That is what we have done, that is how you do ‘herd immunity’. And the burning through of the virus will commence shortly, leaving a substantial chunk of the herd immune at the end of it.

  14. steve says:

    peter carabineuel: “Steve is spouting utter rubbish, false information. Labour under Tony & Gordon dominated Scotland. ”

    Dontcha just love these moments?!

    Scottish Parliament election results:

    2003: Labour 50; SNP 27
    2007: Labour 46; SNP 47 (LABOUR MAJORITY LOST)
    2011: Labour 37: SNP 69
    2016: Labour 24; SNP 63

    Be assured, mate, no matter which of the three stooges win the leadership election, Labour will receive a trouncing in 2021.

    You gave up on the voters and now the voters are returning the contempt and are giving up on you.

    Labour is finished.

  15. Anne says:

    If in good health there is now a scheme called volunteer responders. In my locality this is being organised through our councils – there is a named person to contact. The tasks are support to existing services. The tasks will be delivering meds, food etc. You will be part of a team – tasks will be co ordinated through the team leader.

  16. Tafia says:

    Steve. Indeed.

    The General Election results since 1997 (below) show the defining moment for Labour in Scotland was IndyRef where, in a two-horse race of Yes or No, Labour were completely and utterly out of step with the urban working class and remain so to this day. Indeed it would be fair to say they are still burying their head in the sands by thinking the offer of increased federalisation will fix it. Thats just a continuance of attempting to rideb both horses as they did over the question of a second Brexit referendum.

    Its a simple enough thing. Scottish independence only has two answers. Pick one, stick to it and dont whine like a little girl thats wet her knickers if you pick the wrong one. Just like the north and midlands now, it’s not that Labour are failing to get their message across. They are, it’s simply the wrong one and until Labour accepts that it’s finished.

    2019: SNP 48, CON 6, LD 4, LAB 1
    2017: SNP 35, CON 13, LD14, LAB 7
    2016: Independence referendum
    2015: SNP 56, CON 1, LD 1, LAB 1 (During 2015 election, Labour say they will oppose Independence)
    2010: LAB 41, LD 11, SNP 6, CON 1
    2005: LAB 41, LD 11, SNP 6, CON 1
    2001: LAB 56, LD 10, SNP 5, CON 1
    1997: LAB 56, LD 10, SNP 6, CON 0

  17. Tafia says:

    As for Trevor Phillips, a man now the victim of a witch hunt for merely telling the truth, in a society were a snidey, dirty, worthless group of inflential people are doing all they can to suppress the truth and those who espouse it. The northern towns along the M62 belt are all to aware of how Labour attempts to suppress uncomfortable truths concerning race and the grass roots campaign groups are not going to shut up and go away no matter how much Labour try to ignore it and moving rubbish like Naz Shah from one constituency to another because of her comments regarding white child rape victims and diversity are not going to be forgotten, forgiven, or shut up about.

    “If Barack Obama had lived here I would be very surprised if even somebody as brilliant as him would have been able to break through the institutional stranglehold that there is on power within the Labour party.” – Trevor Phillips

    https://youtu.be/tLxhutdnFNU

    https://www.channel4.com/programmes/has-political-correctness-gone-mad

  18. Anne says:

    Perhaps ideas might be shared on how we can help our communities during this difficult time. In my locality we have produced lists of food providers – contact numbers for home delivery etc. TV is also adapting – Joe Wicks doing an excellent PE session at 9 am while David Williams is doing an audio reading at 11am for the kids. I can recommend The English Game found on Netflix.

  19. Rocinante says:

    @Tafia You are Dominic Cummings and I claim my £5.

  20. Merseymike says:

    So much looking forward to Labour crashing and burning at the next election

  21. Stephen Hildon says:

    “With only a few weeks left to go in the Leader’s Office, his comments reduce to whining that “the government seems complacent”. ”

    He has been proved totally right on this. Johnson has been adopting pretty much everything he has suggested though often after several days of dithering.

    “But he has both done one smart thing regarding the virus: on policy, he has largely got out of the way and let the experts get on with it.”

    No he bloody well hasn’t. He been misleading at the press conferences giving contradictory advice. His initial pronouncements on COVID-19 were obviously wrong headed and quite possibly added to the mounting death toll. Only time will tell. And then there is the unbelievable herd immunity policy which the government was forced to produce their totally wrong modelling. Before that Corbyn and others were accused as being conspiracy theorists when it was obviously wrong when most other countries were taking much more stringent action.

    Rob Marchant lack of intellect, insight and grasp on reality are a danger to this website.

  22. John P Reid says:

    Rocinante

    I’d give my left arm of labour had someone as aware of what the working class think as Dominic Cummings
    But then maybe labour don’t care what the working class think

  23. Anne says:

    I am a genuine Labour member. I am concerned about the amount of Facebook accounts which are being hacked and individuals presenting themselves with bogus personal accounts on social media blogs and pages – these people are dangerous.
    Rob, this page should be better policed. During this difficult time people are using social media on are more frequent basis – scammers, hacks and hoaxes are dangerous.

  24. Dave Roberts says:

    I personally don’t have much time for Trevor Phillips as I consider him a Vicar of Bray type character who always knew which way the wind was blowing and changed his opinions to suite. He has earned the hatred of no less a figure than that well known racist and crook Lee Jasper for closing down the anti white financially corrupt Commission for Racial Equality. Ken Livingstone, remember him, allowed the GLA and its money to run a campaign against Phillips calling him a coconut, brown on the outside white on the inside, a lackey of the white man and a whole range of other racial insults.

    He is sensible on the whole issue of immigration and is famous for the phrase ” sleepwalking into segregation”. He is on the practical side of the race issue whereas Diane Abbott isn’t.

  25. Tafia says:

    Glaring typo

    2019: SNP 48, CON 6, LD 4, LAB 1
    2017: SNP 35, CON 13, LD14, LAB 7
    2015: SNP 56, CON 1, LD 1, LAB 1 (During 2015 election, Labour say they will oppose Independence)
    2014: Independence referendum
    2010: LAB 41, LD 11, SNP 6, CON 1
    2005: LAB 41, LD 11, SNP 6, CON 1
    2001: LAB 56, LD 10, SNP 5, CON 1
    1997: LAB 56, LD 10, SNP 6, CON 0

  26. Anne says:

    A question for Dom – ‘That is what we have done, that is how you do ‘herd immunity’
    Who is we? – do you mean Boris and co or some of your other Troll friends?
    Dom do you not think in this time of emergency you should be doing something useful for your country? Our farmers are looking for fruit pickers – perhaps you could volunteer.
    Rod these scammers, hackers, trolls and hacks are dangerous people. After this pandemic is over there needs a serious drive against this behaviour.

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