Skip to main content

This isn't just about replacing one man. It's about challenging his ideas.

The launch of Owen Smith’s campaign for the Labour leadership has left impartial observers rather bemused.

Surely, if the mainstream in the Labour Party wants to defeat Jeremy Corbyn, they should be rallying around a single candidate? Splitting the anti-Jez vote between Smith and Angela Eagle seems utterly self-destructive.

Within a short time, however, it has become apparent that Smith intends to replace Eagle as the candidate.

The argument advanced by his supporters is that he is better placed to beat Corbyn because he is seen as more left-wing by party members. He will therefore ‘peel away’ people who despair of Corbyn’s incompetence, but can’t embrace Angela Eagle’s political world view.

While this may be plausible at one level, we have to be realistic that the chances of either of these candidates beating Corbyn are fairly minimal right now. This is because the Corbynistas are well entrenched and the maths simply doesn’t look that good.  But let’s, for argument’s sake, imagine that Smith could win and Eagle couldn’t.  What would his victory actually represent?

We could see it as the replacement of an incompetent man with someone who seems fairly competent.

But that’s only a fraction of what this trench warfare is actually about.

Corbyn’s personal failings are legion, but it’s his ideology – his ‘pickled dogma’, if I can borrow Neil Kinnock’s famous phrase of the 1980s’ – that we actually need to confront.

I feel that Eagle represents a far greater ideological threat to Corbyn than a man who was clearly reluctant to leave the shadow cabinet in the first place and has spent recent days locked in meetings trying to find a ‘compromise’.

There is no compromise with the climate that led to a brick being thrown through Angela Eagle’s window and threats of violence becoming the norm.

There is no compromise with John McDonnell’s expletive-laden ranting and commitment to extra-parliamentary socialism.

There is no compromise with the return of the very worst of the 1980s.

Things have now gone too far.

Corbyn needs to be faced down by someone who actually wants to reclaim the Labour Party and wave good bye to the destructive forces that have wrecked it in under a year.  Not someone looking naively for hopeless deals.

This is now make or break. 


  1. So your obviously looking for the party to become the Tory light party again.
    The likes of Angela Eagle in the party are what drove me away from Labour originally.
    I'm no troskyite I'm just a hard working bloke who despaired at the inequality in the country bought in by the Tories but unchallenged by Labour and sometimes supported by them.
    Was this the Labour party you signed up for and want, because the values of the centre right of the party in my view are not the values of the Labour party I knew.
    Corbyn has bought principles and a dignity to the party that has been lacking since Blair got in bed with the Bankers,Bush and Murdoch.
    I would rather have a party that fought for the people and lost an election (and let's not kid ourselves, Eagle isn't going to win us one)than one that cowtowed to Tory dogma to win an election.
    If the Labour party does sadly split the fault will lay squarely and fairly with the PLP and its denial of what got Corbyn elected in the first place.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

I was sad when I quit Labour a year ago. Now, I feel a sense of relief.

What motivates decent people to stay as members of the Labour Party?
It’s a question I’ve been pondering intensely over the past year, which I’ve spent in self-imposed exile. I resigned the moment Jeremy Corbyn was re-elected as leader after the contest with Owen Smith.
When I quit, it was with a very heavy heart.
As far back as the late 1980s, I’d served as Labour General Secretary of the London NUS. By the early 90s, I was chairing Frank Dobson’s constituency party in inner London. On two occasions, I stood as a Labour parliamentary candidate.
If you make that kind of commitment, you assume it’s a relationship that will last for life. And even though I hadn’t been an activist in recent years, it never occurred to me that I’d be forced to rip up my party card. 
Today, as Labour’s 2017 conference looms, I wonder how anyone with a moderate viewpoint can kid themselves the party is even worth rescuing.
One group of centre-ground survivors falls into the category of the bloody minded. Like …

Cult of personality? The writing's on the wall.

Nothing makes Corbynistas more angry than the suggestion there are cult-like qualities to their movement and their veneration of the man they affectionately label ‘JC’. This accusation is viewed as such a slur, in fact, that on some social media channels moderated by the far left, anyone using the term ‘cult’ is deemed to be abusive and is in danger of finding themselves banned.
The evidence – specifically a cult of personality - is, however, now so strong as to be incontrovertible.
The madness reached some kind of apogee this week with the unveiling of a mural of Corbyn on his home turf of Islington.  
Let’s be clear. Murals celebrating political figures are not a part of British culture, unless of course you count the streets of West Belfast, where the Labour Leader has built up a strong network of contacts over the years. I’m sure they are de rigueur in parts of Gaza City, where the veteran socialist MP counts yet more friends.
It’s difficult to establish who is the more idiotic.…

Why I was right about Jeremy Corbyn

It’s always embarrassing when you warn a friend about someone, only to discover they don’t share your concerns.
That Manager in HR who’s an absolute nightmare. You tell your colleague not to get involved in that project with her, but they can’t see the harm. She appears to be very nice!
The bloke who groped the girl in accounts three years ago at the Christmas Party. You warn that he’s really not great boyf material. But all that’s just a rumour and it was before your friend joined the company. You really ought to stop badmouthing people and give them a chance.
Although it hurts to be told you’re wrong in the short term, the chances are you suck it up. Because you know that in due course, the truth will come out and that it will be you who’ll be having the last laugh.
At the moment, all the warnings about Corbyn and McDonnell from the moderate wing of the Labour Party seem to have been ignored by the general public. Traditional Labour voters turned out at the election last month and so d…