Here in the video below Owen Jones speaks candidly about Jeremy Corbyn, Labour and the Left in almost exactly the same tone we did in our article. Even if you dont agree on the similarities, be assured we agree with much of what he says. No doubt he too will be shown some similar outrage.
He talks at the end about desiring a radical left party with the right leadership, he has clearly no desire for a return to Blairism. If Labour could have Corbyn’s policies with the right leadership it really could work. He’s right.
The only difference between us and Owen Jones is that he believes a radical left Labour is possible. We don’t, especially with the question of Brexit. The left, as he even mentions himself in the video, is split on this issue. As a result, whichever leader comes to the fore must take a stance on Brexit and that may well alienate the opposing side to that leadership, potentially splitting Labour’s support into two again.
As a result we still believe that forming a dedicated Socialist party or joining a ready made smaller Socialist party is the lefts best hope for the long term future, if not the immediate future.
If we’re wrong on Corbyn, then so is Owen Jones. He’s not the lefts best friend at the moment, but he was the lefts best friend when he was vocal against the Blairites. How fickle some of us on the left can be.
No doubt some will refuse to watch this video but it’s perhaps the most considered piece on Corbyn, Labour and the left we have seen.
Some of you said we were “talking bollocks” and other such nice things in our article. You’re entitled to disagree but we feel that with such similar views to other well known people such as Owen Jones here, who is also on the left, that our stance has been vindicated.
Owen Jones has had to defend himself against allegations of being a left wing sell out or a right wing PLP supporting traitor. We were also called that, but we won’t be openly defending our position. People who have followed us for some time know full well, we are still left wing and always will be. Owen Jones video is worth the listen, even if you’re sceptical.
He has made a brave decision in compiling this video, knowing the backlash he may receive. It’s brave to swim against the tide and that’s what he is doing, but more and more people on the left are now starting to have major doubts about the future, so it’s right that the issues are openly discussed.
In over two years there has been no substantial evidence whatsoever that the dream of getting Jeremy Corbyn elected at the next general election is even remotely possible.
Before every modern left winger sends the hate mail, let me just make this point. We know it’s largely down to the PLP and we know the bias MSM have played their part in this too. The fact remains we have gone backwards not forwards.
At the turn of the year we were told Corbyn was to relaunch himself and the party. However if someone can point out where the relaunch disappeared to that would be great. It’s almost March. Almost three months since the relaunch and all we have had is several car crash interviews from Dianne Abbott, mixed messages over immigration from different Labour MP’s, a mixed message on Brexit and importantly, an unclear message. We have lost Copeland, (no, there are no excuses, the public don’t care if the candidate likes Corbyn or not) and now a ‘soft coup’ has started, out of the public eye. So the public won’t really care what’s going on that much behind closed doors.
It doesn’t matter why Corbyn has not succeeded, he simply has not cracked this particular nut. The PLP remains (which was a huge mistake, they should have gone at the start), the old Blairites remain in the shadows, the public is no nearer backing Corbyn evidenced by Copeland and the 18 point gap in the polls. Yes, I know, polls don’t mean anything. But seeing as they were usually accurate prior to the last 12 months it appears it’s convenient for us to dismiss them all together now. So I am guessing that in truth Corbyn is the most popular leader around and Labour are going to swoop to power in 2020? No. Didn’t think so.
There are some who insist in fighting on and fair play to them, you can’t criticise people for trying but sadly I still feel that no matter what happens here on in, Corbyn’s dream is dead in the water. Some people are behaving like a puppy lying by the side of their dead mother dog, pining for them and nudging them in the hope that they will stand up and play with them. Only for those on the outside to see it’s just a sad, sorry sight.
When Corbyn has gone, some within Labour’s membership will vote for whoever comes to the leadership table, as they say “better Labour than the Conservatives”. Some will move to the Greens, some may back Labour under a fairly left wing candidate like Angela Rayner, some will move back to places like Left Unity, some ‘won’t bother to vote’ again. This will result in two things, the true left and their cause will have been set back several years at the same time as a probable centre left Labour Party re-emerges. Resulting in the original status quo of the Lib Lab Con. The Neocons will have returned.
We think the long term solution (it won’t happen over night) is for the left to reconvene in one smaller fringe party, propelling it from obscurity into the limelight as what would surely be one of the largest socialist parties in Europe, taking over Labour perhaps? Any injection of membership fees means candidates can stand almost immediately and the battle for the true left begins. The disadvantage is that it will take time to build up MP’s, the advantage is that it will be a wholly left wing party built on truly socialist policies with the mechanism to ensure a left wing candidate goes all the way without any hindrance. The alternative is to keep fighting the PLP on their own turf.
Even during protests today the flags that can be seen flying are ones promoting the likes of the Socialist Party, you don’t see Labour flags. That has to speak volumes for what the answer should be, Socialist Party or any other party.
Some say that Labour was not theirs (the PLP) to start with. Perhaps not. It was once the party of the left, but the tentacles of the Neocons have reached far into the mechanism like a Cancer merging with the hosts organs. The damage is done.
If you want to discussthe way forward for the left, both here in the UK and abroad and you want to share your ideas about what should happen next then join the debate and discussion over at the group Solutions for the Left on Facebook.
It’s a popular concensus to suggest that the likes of Trump and UKIP are a danger to us all. Described by some as either far right, right wing or just plain dangerous, the truth is that neither of these two are the real danger facing the left.
In fact we have been facing this particular danger for many years, the only difference is that the focus has changed and we have put the real danger to the back of our minds. We are being distracted and it’s going to come and bite us all in the backside, hard.
The real danger is Neoconservatism, or Neocon for short. Neither Trump nor UKIP fit this billing.
Trump and UKIP share a few qualities and they centre around protectionism. This will manifest in a desire to bring back industries lost to Capitalism (or progress), protect ones own country at the expense perhaps of foreigners, protect jobs and importantly keep out of foreign affairs as far as possible. The ideas often result in high levels of nationalism and that can be viewed by some as a good thing and others as bad depending on your take on things. In contrast protectionists do not usually like to interfere abroad, they tend to be militarily neutral and they have no desire to overthrow governments for whatever reason. To do so is considered expansionism or imperialism. It’s therefore extremely important to distinguish between imperialist nationalism and protectionist nationalism and both UKIP and Trump fall into the latter.
Today all the focus is on both of these political entities with UKIP constantly being labelled rightly or wrongly as racist and Trumps inauguration instigating one of the largest ever nationwide protests in US history and huge protests elsewhere around the world. Billed as perhaps the most dangerous man to ever enter the Whitehouse. In some ways that may well be true especially if your concerns are ones around the environment.
Whilst the world gazes almost hypnotically at the Whitehouse and the rise of right wing parties across Europe, the left is almost entirely taking its eye off the real danger. The Neocons.
It’s not a great leap to suggest that Trump being elected was their plan all along. With the world seemingly turning against Imperialism and Neocons/Oligarchs and their domination under threat, what better way to scare the masses than put someone like Trump into power?
One conspiracy too far? Perhaps, though the end result of Trumps leadership may well result in something equally as powerful to the Neocons. Cementing for many a year to come their unequivocal power and hold, on the electorate, rolling back the fear the people have of them and instead ensuring that the public embraces them.
Consider the image below;
Taken from the Vox.com article it explains how Conservatives are trying to literally turn people away from the likes of Bernie Sanders and Socialism such is their fear of real change. In the article it states;
“Americans needed to be reminded of life under the Soviet Union, arguing that they were insufficiently aware of the dangers of authoritarian states under communism.”
It goes on to say
“The panel repeatedly mentioned lessons from countries like Cuba, Venezuela, and the former Soviet Union, saying that millennials had to understand that socialism is inseparable from dictatorship”
If that is not enough to convince you that the Neocons are vying to take back control listen to this recent video featuring Hillary Clinton speaking for the DNC.
Here she takes credit for the protests against Trump and claims that the Democrats produced the most “radical” set of policies in “history” during the presidential campaign. If you believe any of that then you’re bound to be one of the ones voting for the Neocons at the next election. Heck! She even used the phrase “resistance and persistence” . This is the way it will go between now and whenever the next election is. The Neocons will be brilliantly executing their plans to convince you that Neoconservatism is ‘normal’. Chances are it will work too because the left have taken their eye off the ball. The threat is not Trump, it’s still the imperialist, expansionist neoconservatives.
They will return to power and when they do they will have a vice like grip on the electorate like never before because, they will say, ‘we never want another Trump in power again’ and with the Conservative youth wings of politics promoting Socialism as ‘bad’ like ‘Communist’ Russia and Venezuela, what chances that people will take another gamble after Trump?
Meanwhile the likes of Jeremy Corbyn in the UK and Bernie Sanders in the US continue to try to fight the establishment tide within the Labour Party and Democratic Party respectively.
When will the real left learn? To really make it work you have to break the mould. Stop trying to swing established Neocon parties to your way of thinking. Develop your own party, swell the ranks and turn the election into a genuine three horse race. The establishment clearly won’t allow you to win using their resources. Sure, it won’t be easy in a new party but at least you’ll get the right candidate and you will live and die by your policies and hard work and not at the hands of a secretive, bias DNC or in the case of Labour in the UK, the PLP.
Perhaps the single biggest stumbling block though is the split running right through the Left at the moment on both sides of the Atlantic between the traditional working class left and the New modern left. I am in no doubt that many working class left, voted for Trump, as are many here in the UK voting for UKIP.
The new modern left can’t understand this and having never likely been involved in old industries where workers rights and jobs was what it was all about, which includes curtailing migration when it needs to be done, the bridge between the two is hard to gap.
The new modern left does include what many consider the far-left which entails Open borders and non nuclear policies but getting a traditional working class man to agree with you on those points I am thinking is going to be a tough job.
As few left wing parties subscribe to this thought process the traditional left are turning to more right wing parties that offer protectionism.
Unless these issues can be sorted out amongst the left then it will be hard to get a leader they want. Let alone the fact that right now the left are not even focusing on the right threat. The Neocons. It’s time the left opened their eyes to what lies ahead.
Labours explosion of new members making it the largest left wing party in Europe is down almost entirely to Jeremy Corbyn’s personal views on things such as Nuclear disarmament.
When Corbyn first came to power it was policies like these that made the headlines and the fact he had rebelled consistently against the likes of the Iraq war when Tony Blair was in power. Here was a man that was truthful, honest and had radical ideas that some on the left held dear. They were policies that would otherwise never have a chance of seeing the light of day in any fringe party. This was their chance to force these issues into the public consciousness. This is how Corbyn came to power and this is why he is popular with many on the left.
The trouble is that those people who support radical or far left policies are not necessarily the same people who would support the traditional working class left in all their guises.
Sure, the far left would support an end to war and the interference in international affairs and so would the traditional working class but the two would have very different outlooks. The far left would support an end to all forms of military intervention and the abolishment of many aspects of the armed forces. They view the army and its personnel as a spent force in a modern new world. The traditional working class left do not share that opinion. They are actually patriotic in nature and even if it’s not out and out patriotism they do none-the-less believe in their armed forces and the protection they afford the nation. They want a nuclear detterant. They value their armed forces. The differences are slight but significant.
There are several examples along these lines but perhaps one of the most stark of recent times is the EU referendum.
The working class traditional left have often been anti EU whilst the Conservative crowd has by and large despite the splits, been in favour of the EU. Cue then the anti establishment anti EU Jeremy Corbyn and surely this was a recipe for success? The Working classes must have been reeling when Corbyn decided to back remain in the EU referendum sparking immediate questions around how honest Corbyn was being with himself let alone the public. No sooner had Vote Leave won the EU referendum and Corbyn was calling for the triggering of Article 50. What was the pro Corbyn crowd going to do with this news?
In many forums on the Internet if you dared suggest that Corbyn was actually pro Leave but had to campaign for remain due to political internal issues you were told that you were barking mad and that Corbyn was always for remain. Now he backs leaving the EU (with caveats) and that same crowd will tell you that he still believes in the EU and he just accepts the “will of the people”. To them, it’s that simple, unable or unwilling to read between the lines. This is the perfect scenario for him. Back remain and keep the PLP on side and now having lost the EU vote, vehemently back leaving the EU. The truth is, he doesn’t care if we are out of the EU because, actually, it suits him. If he were vehemently for remain he would do an Owen Smith.. after all, surely he wouldn’t lose votes because the Pro Corbyn crowd have always vowed to stick by Corbyn no matter what and then of course they wouldn’t leak votes to the Lib Dems as has been proved in recent by-elections as the Lib Dem share of both votes in Stoke and Copeland increased.
This goes hand in hand with the mixed messages from various Labour MP’s including those close to Corbyn. Even on Immigration there have been repeat car crash interviews given by Dianne Abbott where she is unable to give a straight answer, contradicting other MP’s like Kier Starmers. We, those close to politics, understand full well the detail behind Corbyn’s immigration policy but the problem as has so often proved to be the case is the message.
Corbyn supporters are often oblivious to the fact that most people still get their news from mainstream media at 10pm on a weekday night. The message matters and if you cant get it across in two sentences then don’t expect the general public to ‘get it’ . Some will exclaim that people should read Corbyn’s Facebook page or the Labour Party website yet this completely dismisses the issue around political engagement in the country. Here’s the bottom line…
..most people don’t care enough to bother!
That’s why they still primarily base their opinions on the 10pm News. Social media serves a purpose up to a point. It didn’t work for Bernie Sanders in the US and it’s not working for Jeremy CORBYN here in the UK.
There is a good reason why Donald Trump won in the US. There were several long winded reasons but perhaps the one thing that has so often proved to be missing both from Bernie Sanders campaign and indeed Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign is soundbites. Trump is the expert in that regard and he got his message across quickly and effectivley. There is little doubt that his message got across to the disenfranchised and the people most affected by mainstream elite politics. It was this that inspired millions to vote for him. In troubled times people do want change, but they want change they can relate to and understand. It’s this that is missing from Corbyn’s insurgency. It’s this that could eventually wipe him out.
It’s worth quickly mentioning here that many of the traditional working class won’t care one bit if Trump comes to the UK. It’s not on their list of concerns yet the far left or the new modern left turned out in their hundreds of thousands to protest his visit yet they have not afforded that turnout to any other issue since 2015 during the Union anti austerity protest. It remains to be seen if that many turn out on March 4th. If the new left are not addressing every day concerns here in the UK like this then why should the working class relate to it?
It’s no good door knocking, you’re never going to reach enough people to make a difference. Momentum split and that has just watered down the grass roots efforts. The Morning star and the Word newspapers don’t reach enough people to make a difference. What is left to reach the people? Mainstream media? They work with soundbites. Labour needs soundbites to reach the masses and it needs Corbyn to make his positions clear and understandable.
Very few people, including Corbyn’s detractors, have anything bad to say about the man himself. He is always billed as honest and a man with integrity. It’s not Corbyn himself that is the problem, if people voted based on honesty then Corbyn would win hands down.. That’s got to be an unequivocal fact that can be disputed by no person and if that’s true then you have to ask yourself “why won’t people vote for him?”. If you don’t know the answer, read this blog post from the beginning.
It really doesn’t matter who’s fault it is that Corbyn is in this position, you can blame the PLP, the media, even Corbyn himself, something isn’t working and until those issue are addressed or until we accept the inevitable then this mess will continue. The damage is done and the game is up. Barring a miracle of sorts there is no coming back from this.
Corbyn perhaps should carry on until there is no juice left in the tank, but what good will that do?
What the left, working class and modern far left alike, should do is come to a consensus on the way forward. Addressing all the concerns of the working classes and then move forward and if that can’t be done then the far left needs to find and build up a party in its own image. Leave the Labour Party to rot, as it should now do. The Labour Party is without a shadow of a doubt for the centre left ground. It will never be radical nor far left.
We, the left, should take a fringe party to the next level and make it big, stop avoiding the elephant in the room that Labour is not fit for purpose and focus on forming a new ‘largest socialist party in Europe’ that’s the way to go about this. Some on the far left jumped on a bandwagon at the start but they joined it when it was still in full flow. Now they have weighed the float down and it’s grinding to a halt because the float we find ourselves on wasn’t built for this.
Forget the Greens, they were not built for this either. If we were honest with ourselves we should know that many of the new Labour members never even supported Labour of modern times, they only support the man at the top and so it needs to be asked, if they like his policies but not the party why did the left never en mass join a fringe left party and turn that into a force instead?
The left needs to regroup and regroup fast. Right now, some are clinging on to the float like that cliff edge isn’t really coming towards them. It is.
Right about now Corbyn and Co. are about to launch their 2017 strategy for engaging with the electorate. It seems to have already begun with the ‘Rail Fail’ campaign highlighting the need to re-nationalise the railways. Apparently we will see more of Jeremy on our TV screens too and not before time.
Up to now the only place you could feasibly find information on Labour policy and actions is via the official Facebook pages and indeed from third party Facebook Groups. Already you can see, that without mainstream media air- time many of Labours messages are lost on the electorate especially when Dianne Abbott gets in front of a microphone. Her opinions on Brexit and immigration seem confused at times as further evidenced by Keir Starmers comments on immigration.
We are Jeremy Corbyn supporters ourselves at UKI Left but we recognise that unless Labour gets itself in tune then the messages will be lost on the public regardless how much mainstream airtime they get. Of course nothing is helped when the right wing of the party are on a vow of silence, but the trouble with that is they are not going anywhere. Not any time soon. As a result Corbyn is regrettably walking a tightrope between abject failure and survival.
So what of these social media Corbyn supporting groups such as ‘We Support Jeremy Corbyn’? Surely they are good for the profile of Jeremy Corbyn? It seems not. With well over 30,000 members and the largest Jeremy Corbyn supporting group on Facebook you would think it an ideal place to air concerns and challenge the issues on Brexit, the economy and more.
The group though systematically bans posts relating to Brexit discussions. The biggest talking point in British politics today is silenced yet it’s this issue more than any other that divides the nation and divides politicians alike. Being a left wing group you would expect huge discussions on this very subject as the left has notoriously backed both leave and remain in huge numbers.
In fact many posters within this Facebook group appear to often be targeted by what can only be described as fanatical Jeremy Corbyn supporters. In both equal measure they on one hand criticise some members for daring to question a Corbyn led policy and denounce attitudes as “not very Corbyn like” yet on the other hand attack the poster in a manner that ironically is ‘not very Corbyn like’. These posts and their originators often end up being banned from the group, dismissed as trolls when in reality anyone passing an objective eye can see that the posts are usually not in the same ball park as “trolling”. It’s simply a matter of anything other than pro Corbyn sentiment being disregarded as an “attack on Jeremy corbyn” such is the seige mentality of some Corbyn supporters. It’s the ultimate echo chamber where nothing is challenged and nothing learned.
Here is just one recent example:
One person recently posted the following
The same person was called a ‘Tory troll plant’ and responds as below:
Another person in the same thread responds to the OP with this wonderful reply which highlights everything we have said in this article:
We would suggest highlighting the bad practice of admin shutting down debate is not negative or divisive, it’s highly pertinent.
Yet what this all goes to show is that if online criticism or questioning is disregarded by such large groups then what hope does that electorate have of learning about the intricacies of policy decisions? With little TV coverage to date, a vow of silence by the PLP, barely any positive news articles and now the issue around social media groups it will only spell one thing. Oblivion for Labour, certainly if things continue in this manner.
This is not isolated, this occurs in many social media forums but particularly here in the biggest Jeremy Corbyn supporters group on Facebook and all this does is feed into a negative atmosphere, even turning some people against each other and they are meant to be on the same side.
This is important not only because of the situation Labour finds itself in but also because Social Media has been a bonus for many political campaigns over the past few years and if the campaigns and support groups can’t get to grips with genuine criticism then the Social media advantages will be worthless.
As left wing political supporters ourselves we pride ourselves on particularly this one thing, that despite a particular leaning towards one end of the political spectrum, we are no one’s pet. We do not support anyone unequivocally just because someone sits on the left. We question and we critique all to ensure that no politician ever forgets who voted for them and who backed them. To do otherwise is precisely what has landed us the two party system for such a long time and being rabidly supportive of one person or party without question just helps perpetuate the broken political system. Regardless of who they are.
For the past 24 hours it’s been a repeated mantra that the anti establishment votes for Donald Trump and the recent Brexit vote are a sign that the public will vote for Jeremy Corbyn.
That would be a positive and encouraging thought except for one thing. Both the Brexit vote and success of Donald Trump are built on traditionally right wing sentiments. The idea that you blame others for your own problems rather than the government. You are likely to buy into the idea that foreigners are to blame for a lack of jobs or housing rather than the government making bad decisions. It should be noted that there are certainly genuinely left wing reasons for voting for both Trump and Brexit but not much thought is given to that context in the grand scheme of things. As a side note the establishment largely voted to remain in the EU for example.
In any case, consider the following right wing events of recent months;
Brexit, UKIP votes totalling 8 million in the last UK election, Trump being elected in the US, the rise of the far right in Germany and Eastern Europe. One European country recently almost voted in a far right candidate. The EU doing deals with Turkey to keep out desperate migrants.
The common denominator here is that the world appears to be skewing towards the right of politics and that in the UK will favour the Conservative party who are moving more and more to the right since Cameron stepped down and UKIP, if they ever get their act together.
Jeremy Corbyn may be a worthy anti establishment candidate but he appears to be on the opposite side to where public sentiment seems to be right now. It doesn’t bode well.
Of course we have to hope he can buck that trend but with the media shutting him out and the PLP refusing to back him publicly as well it’s going to be tall order at this juncture.
As someone mentioned elsewhere, perhaps the best we can hope for is the right wing to destroy themselves and give a clear run for the left to surge forward.