Labour Destructs With Infighting and Finger Pointing

Mish

Political infighting has taken hold of the Labour party following the historic defeat on December 12.

Worst Defeat Since 1935

On December 12, Labour had its worst defeat since 1935.

I commented Labour Slaughtered, Corbyn Refuses to Admit He is the Reason.

Period of Reflection

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, the architect of the defeat, said he would stand down as party leader after a period of reflection.

The reflection period is not going well, as anyone with any bit of common sense would have expected.

Classic Finger Pointing

Let's tune in to the Guardian Live Blog for some classic finger-pointing.

Tony Blair Blasts Corbynism and the Far Left

[Corbyn] personified an idea, a brand of quasi-revolutionary socialism, mixing far left economic policy with deep hostility to western foreign policy, which never has appealed to traditional Labour voters, never will appeal and represented for them a combination of misguided ideology and terminal ineptitude that they found insulting.

​No sentient political party goes into an election with a leader who has a net approval rating of -40%.

The takeover of the Labour party by the far left turned it into a glorified protest movement, with cult trimmings, utterly incapable of being a credible government.

Cooper and Starmer Blast Blairism

Sir Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, and Yvette Cooper have both given interviews in which they have sought to distance themselves not just from Corbynism, but from Blairism. Starmer told the Today programme: "I don’t need somebody else’s name tattooed to my head, some past leader, in order to identify and make decisions."

​In Search of the New Corbyn

Candidates line up either in praise of Corbyn or blasting him in hopes that is the winning strategy to replace Corbyn as part leader.

Emily Thornberry, the shadow foreign secretary, has chosen door number two, blasting Corbyn.

Thornberry said that Corbyn went ahead and ordered Labour to vote for an early election despite her sending him a note saying this would be “an act of catastrophic folly”.

As well as going negative against Corbyn, Thornberry’s article includes an implicit swipe at Rebecca Long-Bailey, the shadow business secretary and the Corbynite candidate for the leadership. Someone has briefed the Evening Standard that Long-Bailey was one of those in shadow cabinet backing Corbyn’s call for an early election.

Thornberry's Choice Words

In Thornberry's Guardian Article she had these choice word to say about Corbyn.

"I took the fight to him every day, and pummelled him every week. Each time, the mask slipped, and we saw the real man – a mendacious, lazy, dangerous charlatan, unable to hide behind the tiresome smokescreen of bluster he usually relies on. He hated it, especially coming from a woman."

Thornberry's 1900 Solution

Thornberry wants to "start focusing on the pledges from that 1900 Labour manifesto, which are now more than a century overdue – on elderly people, on housing, on the unemployed, and on child poverty."

Door Number Three - Don't Say Anything

Lisa Nandy confirms she is considering standing for Labour leadership. She refuses to blame anyone or for that matter say anything.

As best I can tell, it seems like Nandy is questioning herself with a bunch if IFs.

Door Number One - Praise Corbyn

Corbynism Without Corbyn

"We need to reflect, but what we shouldn’t do is now oversteer," said Starmer.

"What I’m saying is that the desperate needs of millions of people for change – people in poverty, people who are homeless – the moral case for change is still there, just as it was last Thursday."

"And it’s only going to be met by a radical Labour government. The case for a radical government has never been stronger."

Case for Radical Left Never Stronger

Let's not veer too far off Corbynism. Yeah right. That's the ticket.

Wow.

What absurd reflection.

But what did you expect?

Leadership Odds

Let's take a look at the Betting Odds just for grins.

  • Rebecca Long-Bailey 7/4: The “continuity Corbyn” candidate has shortened significantly in the betting over the weekend following endorsements from senior figures to become the new favourite. Having stood in ably for Corbyn in debates during the campaign, she’s already proven her credentials on the big stage, but should the party look to tack to the centre she may be considered as carrying too much baggage from the old regime.
  • Lisa Nandy 3/1: The Wigan MP resigned from Corbyn’s shadow cabinet in 2016 and lack of support for her from his supporters could prove to be a blessing in this campaign.
  • Keir Starmer 6/1: Starmer had been the long-term favourite to replace Corbyn and in the small hours on Friday morning had maintained his position at the top of the list, before the calls for a female leader from north of London got louder and louder.
  • Angela Rayner 15/2: Her inspirational backstory and powerful public speaking would make her an ideal candidate to take the fight to a Conservative government.
  • Jess Phillips 10/1: A vocal Corbyn critic and hugely popular figure in the digital realms thanks to the manner in which she’s taken aim at the Tories from the backbenches over the years.
  • Yvette Cooper 20/1: A Labour heavyweight from the party’s bygone era of government and an MP for more than 20 years, but the suspicion is that these credentials may actually work against Cooper in the eyes of the current membership. The flag-bearer for the centrists lost in 2015 and unless there’s evidence of demand for a significant move back to the middle ground, Cooper looks likely to miss out again.
  • Emily Thornberry 33/1: Likely to be too close to Corbyn both in terms of loyalty and geography. [Thornberry loyal to Corbyn? WTF?]
  • Tony Blair 200/1: We don’t recommend a bet on the most successful leader of the Labour Party making the most unprecedented political comeback of all time.

What to Expect

The betting odds seem about right.

We should expect either Rebecca Long-Bailey, the “continuity Corbyn”, or someone like Lisa Nandy whom we have no idea at all what she's saying.

Offend no one. That's shrewd ambiguity on Nandy's part, and in sharp contrast contrast to Thornberry at 33-1.

Comment of the Day

That applies to nearly all the reflection we saw today, except arguably Tony Blair.

Conservatives don't like Blair personally or his policies, but at least he understands that a radical Marxist like Corbyn is not and never will be the solution.

Reflect on This

Meanwhile, for all the pissing and moaning of Remainers, please reflect on this: Margaret Thatcher's Amazing Prophecy on the EU.

Also note that Corbyn's Massive Defeat is Big Wakeup Call for Democrats.

Nah. Just back Warren and people like AOC.

That's How to Re-Elect Trump in One Easy Lesson.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (10)
No. 1-8
HenryV
HenryV

Oh please please PLEASE let Emily Thornberry become the new leader of the Labour Party. She is the only candidate who is absolutely guaranteed to do even worse than Corbyn.

TimberTrader
TimberTrader

Love the stuff you write and post here, Mish. But compelled to register and post a reply as I believe there is error above. Appears Thornberry, in addition to criticising Corbyn for agreeing to election, was also blasting Boris; as this paragraph ...

"When I faced Johnson for the entire two years he was foreign secretary, the only ministerial job he previously held, my strategy was to focus relentlessly on five key issues where there were huge differences between Labour’s policy and his, and where his position was indefensible: the Northern Ireland border; the war in Yemen; Donald Trump; human rights; and climate change."

... appears right before the paragraph you quoted:

"I took the fight to him every day, and pummelled him every week. Each time, the mask slipped, and we saw the real man – a mendacious, lazy, dangerous charlatan, unable to hide behind the tiresome smokescreen of bluster he usually relies on. He hated it, especially coming from a woman."

Cheers ands keep up the good fight.

Webej
Webej

Mish thinks they were put off by "Marxism". The evidence to me suggests they were put off by too much globalism, in particular, convoluted Brexit strategy and EU preference, immigration issues, too much PC Bull. Mostly, complete lack of recognition and solidarity with the plight for people "like us". I doubt that many concrete policy issues played too great a role: it's all context.

GruesomeHarvest
GruesomeHarvest

This is very good news! If only all nut job leftist would attack their follow nut job leftist and leave the rest of us alone!

BaronAsh
BaronAsh

The main purpose of the so-called 'Left' is to provide change when the established 'conservative' order has gone wrong (usually with no end of combinations of greed, privilege, incompetence, corruption and so on).

Boris siezed an historic opportunity that fell into his lap and fortuitously suits his slapdash-but-also-genuinely-brilliant character - not to mention that as an ex two-term Mayor of London, a truly Great City, he clearly has managerial chops. But the historic opportunity was to be a conservative running as a Change Agent and this opportunity was given to him by the Remoaners who by successfully blocking Brexit for 3 years, made Brexit a dynamic new way forward and out of a constipated mess.

So Corbyn's Left, by straddling the fence about Brexit, paid too much tribute to the Status Quo, which was 'dither and delay.' Jeremy's stand was the epitome of dither and delay: 'let's negotiate a non-Brexit Brexit and then go to the people for another referendum and they can decide because I can't.' It was just more of the same.

Progressives do not get elected by offering more of the same. Conservatives offering dynamic change at the right juncture are well nigh unstoppable (like Reagan or Thatcher).

And Boris gets this, which is why he will be pushing hard for big changes in the next year or two after which there will be a needed time of just following along with whatever dynamic those changes will have wrought. It could be a very exciting time. Indeed, if Trump and China can work out a better way, we might be witnessing the Second Wave of the Industrial Revolution and an emerging new Civilisation based more in Eurasia (including Europe and UK) than the Anglo-Zionist axis, but with all developed zones (thus including US, UK etc.) firing on all cylinders.

Societies need some sort of basic order featuring protections of housing and healthcare, police and so forth. But commerce needs city-state type dynamos which ultimately depend upon both strong rule of law and a favorably deregulated situation (with minimal red tape, taxes and other blocks to free movement and rapid change). Boris might be the one to show the way by liberating UK from shackles of the Sclerotic Polyglot Conglomerate and turning it into a new powerhouse in the heart of Europe, though not beholding to EU red tape, whilst bolstering basic social protections and also 'leveling up' to more equally distribute opportunity in his diverse, quirky - and thorny - Kingdom.

Now: where is the need for a reforming left wing in all this?

There isn't.

Labour doesn't just need a period of reflection; they need to go dormant for a little while, wait for the Conservatives to show their hand, and then gradually develop intelligent ways to offer something different and, hopefully, better. Right now, they got nuttin', though Blair is offering proposals for ways to entirely re-invent the progressive wing in the UK Body Politic. He's right to propose that, but it's too early.

NeverReady
NeverReady

Multi-millionaire North London MP SIR Keir Starmer and multi-millionaire North London MP LADY Nugee vie to replace multi-millionaire North London MP....To lead the party of the worker...

Yeah, for real!

djhowls
djhowls

Jess Phillips would be quite comical too. Imagine the memes

JimmyScot
JimmyScot

Rebecca Wrong-Daily would be a gift. Can you imagine the jokes that would be made at her expense. Doorstep canvassers would love it!

Labour have learned nothing when they start talking about needing a woman leader. That's exactly the kind of PC BS that put off their northern voters.

So let's hope they pick one :)


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