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yes, he is doing that badly. Holding your strongholds was acceptable when Corbyn was being attacked everyday in the papers as much by senior Labour figures as by actual Tories.

But Corbyn hasn't moved from a defensive crouch, he isn't creating a new ideology, people like Steve Kean and Varoufakis were brought in with great fanfare to advise on economic ideas and then were ostentatiously ignored.

There are no grand plans for jobs, nor for homes, welfare or services. It's all a big vague nothing. Corbyn was elected to change the direction of policy, but he just seems storm-tossed and adrift.

I still think he is better than a return to Blairite neo-conservatism that was on offer from at the original election nor from the faux-socialism allegedly offered by Owen Smith. As I said at the time, he's just a place holder, but he's not even doing that much.

Incidentally, Andy Burnham, one of the Gang of 3 from 2015, is now vying to be Labour's candidate for Mayor of Manchester. His pitch is to position Manchester as creating "Northern Labour" as opposed to Corbyn's metropolitan Labour. His catch-phrase is "protecting the safety of our streets"

Guardian - John Harris - The rise of a northern Labour party

And in the buildup to the campaign, with the tacit support of some MPs, he has come up with a new definition of what he wants to represent: "Northern Labour" - which, he says, "needs to speak very directly to people and represent them properly in terms of the way [they] think and feel".

This does not take much decoding. While Corbyn and his inner circle have rejected any calls for Labour to sound tougher on immigration, Burnham has been on manoeuvres, controversially claiming that Labour's stance is undermining "the safety of our streets" and the vote to leave the EU was partly about "more control in our immigration system"

Which, as I've always said, is Tory-lite, racist-lite and probably with a kicking for welfare recipients to prove that they are tough on society's "freeloaders"

That's not Labour, that's ukip. Andy Burnham has lost his way

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jan 5th, 2017 at 07:21:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There goes the crowd.  I am their leader.  Therefore I must follow them.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jan 5th, 2017 at 09:53:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Burnham is given a lot of positive press for organising the new Hillsborough inquests, and selling the story that he was behind this so is good for the north. However the story is somewhat spun.

Burnham went to a Hillsborough memorial service to announce a series of platitudes and do nothing, but was shocked by the amount of hostility received

His fear of the loss of his local seat being a Liverpool MP was the thing that got the party policy turned round and the Inquest started. his Northern Labour rubbish is entirely dependent on his campaign to be mayor of Manchester, where it is thought that several districts of Manchester may go UKIP

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Jan 6th, 2017 at 11:01:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you are far too negative here.  Leaders won't save us and we shouldn't expect them to. And when was the last time one created a new ideology that was more than a rebranding of old ideas? Frankly in more normal times I'd have little objections to Corbyn's stance. In so many questions the correct answer is "just don't". And the Tories are a ready source for those. Just don't cut social services, privatize the NHS, deliver weapons to Saudi Arabia....
Sure the outreach to economic experts was completely bungled and McDonald's economic statements are worrying conventional very serious person reassurance noises. But then no one close to power anywhere else is offering anything close to a reasonable economic program either. Sanders' program wasn't really either. And just as in the case of Sanders the most important thing here is that he can serve as both a focus point of organization and a showcase that leftists can actually win. Getting either no or slanderous media attention is what every socialist can expect. That's neither here nor there. Of course that leads to a natural tendency to only get news from friendly sources which blinds one to real missteps and irreversible wrong turns.
Which is a good place to place a failure condition. According to the latest I heard on the bureaucratic infighting front team Corbyn now has the majority on the NEC again. If they don't get to revoking the frivolous expulsions within the next few months the party is going nowhere.
And yes I left out Brext. At the moment there really is very little that can be done about it and every position the labour party takes can only hurt their fortunes.
by generic on Mon Jan 9th, 2017 at 07:16:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And of course the moment I write a positive piece we get another blunder.
Jeremy Corbyn: I've not changed mind on immigration - BBC News -
"Labour is not wedded to freedom of movement for EU citizens as a point of principle, but I don't want that to be misinterpreted, nor do we rule it out," he said.

From reading the rest he clearly hasn't changed his mind on immigration. So who thought putting that in the speech was a good idea and what was it supposed to signal? Loss of nerves?

I also must agree with Richard Seymour that "the populist turn" still needs some work:

Corbyn, the Unlikely Populist | Jacobin -

But as Bernie Sanders demonstrated without conceding an inch to this sort of politics, it is possible to articulate a class hatred sincerely and effectively. One can, in the name of every casualty of capitalism, uncompromisingly revile the "billionaire class" and its political advocates, without giving ground to bigotry.

Corbyn, though, is currently too nice to be a populist: hate is not his metier. If Labour really wants to go down this path, he will either have to draw out the more lupine aspect of his appearance and character, or delegate nastiness to one of his colleagues.

by generic on Tue Jan 10th, 2017 at 11:34:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Because it is not entirely clear from my comment: The fracas started with a press release including the first sentence without the qualification. The quoted one is a clarification from an interview afterwards. But even from the first version it was relatively clear that there wasn't any real change of policy here. So why lead with this?
by generic on Wed Jan 11th, 2017 at 01:32:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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