Posts Tagged ‘Brownites’

Conflict or co-existence: Corbyn must decide

02/08/2018, 08:17:27 AM

by Kevin Meagher

For those of us left fighting for Labour to remain a broad church, these are demoralising times. Never before has the state of the party offered such wildly different and mutually contradictory interpretations.

On the one hand, Labour is well-positioned in the opinion polls, with the stench of decay emanating from Theresa May’s Downing Street. A general election looms into view. What once seemed impossible – Prime Minister Jeremy Corbyn – now seems a plausible outcome following last year’s general election result.

Yet these are also the worst of times.

The leadership remains disconnected from the parliamentary party, which, in turn, is at odds with most of the new grassroots. Now in its eighth year of opposition after losing power at the 2010 general election, Labour finds itself struggling to hold together its disparate and increasingly fractious traditions.

An ugly and unseemly row about anti-Semitism lingers. Chatter about MPs defecting to a new party grows more febrile. The party is balkanised and the mood is sour. Longstanding councillors and activists complain of being outmanoeuvred by a new breed of left-wing member. They, in turn, complain about the lack of radicalism they find.

On one side are the party’s ‘moderates’ – a confederation of Blairites, Brownites, Fabian gradualists, social liberals and old right wing trade union types. They have now lost control of the leadership, the grassroots and the party’s machinery and in doing so, the very direction of the party they once assumed was their birthright.

Opposing them, the ‘Corbynistas’ – an assortment of socialist puritans, young idealists and aged Trotskyites who have, against all expectations (perhaps most of all theirs), found themselves in the ascendant under the unlikely leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.


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Conference diary II: Sunday night and Monday morning

27/09/2010, 11:00:04 AM

As Ed Miliband prepares for the speech of his life tomorrow, Uncut understands that he has  received support from a surprising quarter. Team Ed has asked for – and been granted – a copy of the speech David had prepared in the event of his own victory. Uncut assumes that, as we write, Ed’s wordsmiths are beavering away, frantically translating David’s words into fluent human.

Good luck guys. And be grateful you didn’t just beat John Prescott.

* * *

Uncut bows to none in our admiration for that legendary storm-trooper of spin, Charlie Wheelan. But we understand that Charlie’s claim to have personally switched half a dozen MPs to Ed Miliband in the final days of the campaign may be something of a smoke screen. Uncut has it on good authority that it was not Charlie, but Gordon Brown himself, who was hitting the phones for Ed in the last fortnight of polling. Having kept a dignified distance from proceedings, the interventions of Tony Bair and Peter Mandelson are believed to been the spur Gordon needed to enter the fray.

* * *

Ed Miliband leader. Ed Balls shadow chancellor. Nick Brown Chief Whip. Will reports of the death of the Brownites turn out to have been exaggerated?

* * *

While we at Unuct retain our affection for Charlie, the same cannot be said of some of his brothers in the movement. Two senior trade unions officials we spoke to yesterday were slightly miffed at the suggestion that CW single-handedly won it for their man.

“What’s Charlie doing”? asked one. “He’s out of control”.

“You know what he’s doing”, replied the other: “He’s got a book to plug”.

Too true. And Uncut expects a corker.

* * *

As Ed Miliband continues his victory tour, the intense figure of Mike Joslin can be seen ploughing the road as point man. Uncut has two words of advice for this intrepid staffer: slow down. You’ll get there. And smile. You’re doing a great job, and you’ve won. Enjoy it.

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