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Jeremy Corbyn: A Disastrous Year

Alex Andreou photo
Alex AndreouLondon, UK and Mykonos, Greece
Jeremy Corbyn: A Disastrous Year
Labour is a party plagued by Magical Thinking. Reality has disappeared from view. Oblivion beckons. That this happened on Corbyn's watch, is undeniable.

Today marks a year since the day Jeremy Corbyn was elected Labour leader with an overwhelming 59.5% of the vote. Since that day, the Labour Party has engaged in a concerted campaign of self-destruction with depressing gusto. 

The rights and wrongs of who did what and when have been iterated, arbitrated and acerbated by countless commentators, including this one. The apportioning of blame varies from everything to nothing being Corbyn's fault. What most agree on, is that rarely has a group of people who agree on so much inflicted such deep and vicious wounds on themselves, each other and the party they profess to support. 

How well or badly the party is doing right now is similarly the subject of heated debate. But it shouldn't be. That we are experiencing the most disastrous period for Labour for many decades, that the outlook is utterly bleak, is a matter of cold, hard fact. And yet the notion is resisted with a tenacity which could only compare to the sort of Magical Thinking in which children engage. 

Things are not so, because I really want them to not be so. If I believe things are different, they will somehow become. 

"Why should I support a tory-lite neoliberal government", someone replied to me the other day. "We might as well have the real Tories in charge." 

Our calamitous performance in poll after poll after poll is either ignored or blamed on the "PLP coup" - an incendiary term designed to deflect responsibility and used to describe a perfectly ordinary political event: a group of MPs losing confidence in their leader. But that won't do, because it might hint at culpability on both sides. Instead, it is the MPs who must all be traitors, closet tories, CIA agents etc. Because then Jeremy Corbyn can be shielded from all responsibility. 

If Lynton Crosby had managed to run a campaign which planted the idea in public consciousness that 80% of Labour MPs are utter scumbags, it would be held as the most devastating smear exercise in modern politics. If the Tory PR machine had managed to reduce 13 years of a Labour government to the single issue of the Iraq war and paint that in the most inflammatory way, we would protest day and night that this isn't so. 

Instead, we did this to ourselves and anyone who suggested it might be unwise was told to go and join the Tories. "Why should I support a tory-lite neoliberal government", someone replied to me the other day. "We might as well have the real Tories in charge." 

To suggest that life didn't change under Tony Blair is an act of astounding historical revisionism. 

I remember life in Britain in 1990, when I moved here. Clause 28 had been enacted a couple of years previously. The police were "cracking down" on queers cruising in parks and Westminster council was closing Soho gay bars. My partner's father lost everything in the 1990-91 recession, after Lawson's disastrous ERM gamble, having only rebuilt it from the recession of the early eighties. 

There were 10 incidents of IRA bombings or attempted bombings in London alone that year. 75,000 home repossessions; an all-time high. Waterloo was a cardboard shanty town in which hundreds of homeless people slept. 

The school across the road from where I lived in Neasden had to house classes in shipping containers, because the roof had been deemed unsafe and they had no money to fix it. The spectacle of patients sleeping in gurneys in hospital corridors was a perennial tabloid favourite. To suggest that life didn't change under Tony Blair is an act of astounding historical revisionism. 

The Human Rights Act, minimum wage, age of consent equality, huge investment in schools and hospitals, economic recovery, infrastructure investment, the Belfast agreement - and that was just within the first few years. Everything changed. To claim that the country would have been just as happy continuing under the stewardship of the Tories means one of two things: either you were too young to remember or you were financially comfortable enough to be sheltered from the misery meted out by the previous government. Millenium Britain is the happiest I remember it. People were relaxed, generous and confident.

I see his incompetence and intransigence as fatal flaws; they see them as guarantees of purity. 

And yet, almost any discussion about Corbyn on social media, even with his most polite supporters, ends in the implication that not supporting him somehow means you support neoliberal politics and Iraq-like wars. Responses to every article are crawling with scathing criticism of someone who hasn't been leader of this party in a decade. We have managed to codify our achievements throughout that period into one easily digestible pellet for the entire electorate: LABOUR BAD.

And more than that, my impression from many hundreds of discussions, is that post-Iraq, all competence and charisma has become a confused proxy for ruthlessness and deceit. To manage is to engage in "managerialism". To win is a sign of immorality. And that, I think, is the true source of my impasse with many Corbyn supporters. I see his incompetence and intransigence as fatal flaws; they see them as guarantees of purity. 

It becomes pointless then to debate this circular magical thinking. Pointless to point to polls predicting total electoral olethros. They are dismissed as either propaganda or the result of the "PLP coup". Pointless to explain the fact that Labour had never actually been ahead on average, throughout his tenure. That we have been sliding in the polls since mid-March, long before any MP resigned. Pointless to say that evidence shows Labour would receive a 12-point boost if he resigned, or that the 10 point deficit between Labour and the Tories, actually increases to 15 points when Corbyn is mentioned by name. Pointless to point out that his approval rating is just as disastrous with those declaring a voting intention as it is with people unlikely to vote - the demographic we are told will flock to the voting booth to save us. Pointless to reiterate data that on key issues the distance between his positions and those of average Britons, whose vote Labour would need, is unbridgeable. Pointless to explain that even Labour voters rate Theresa May more highly than their own leader. Pointless to explain that if Labour managed to win every single Green vote it would put us on 198 seats to the Tories' 328. 

They believe Corbyn will prevail, because they believe. I am the enemy, simply by not believing. It is a threat even to entertain dissent. As if a Fairy dies every time one applies critical thought. And so the protective circle becomes impenetrable and the excuse for oncoming oblivion in 2020 (or next spring, I suspect) is already rehearsed to explain away bad ratings and fully formed before it's even needed: "Corbyn lost, not because of his flaws, but because his critics pointed them out." 

And all this shit will come back to bite us. Most of Corbyn's support has spent the last couple of months maligning the vast majority of Labour MPs as useless, evil, Tory-lite, war-mongering, corrupt, neoliberal, feckless liars. The same MPs for whom most of them voted a year ago. Remember those comments. When Corbyn appoints his Shadow Cabinet, all The Sun will need to do, all Theresa May will need to do, to discredit them completely, is quote their own colleagues. You live by the meme, you die by the meme. 

Every time I look, half my timeline is filled with people shuddering with disgust at something completely inconsequential Owen Smith has said (or as is the case more often, didn't say) twisted out of all proportion. The other half of my timeline consists of precisely the same people beating their breast because some tabloid has twisted or misinterpreted or blown out of proportion something Corbyn said. While engaging in the exact same conduct. I don't get it. Smith seems to me quite an amiable man and quite clearly on the soft left. I don't think he's Nye Bevan, by a long stretch, but I think it takes genuine effort and ill-will to see him as a "wicked neoliberal"

Such movements always end in ever-decreasing circles, especially when things go badly, as they will.   

Genuine effort and ill-will, however, abounds. As does denialism. Faced with actual train CCTV evidence that Corbyn lied, his supporters' reaction is to circulate tenuous blogs about the train-owner's tax affairs. As if tax avoidance somehow has the ability to edit video. "If I win, I'm sure the party will unite", said Corbyn in a BBC Question Time special. He didn't say how or why. No further explanation was offered. For his core supporters, none was needed. If you only believe hard enough it will happen. 

But the party won't unite. Because if you have spent months calling an MP of three decades' loyal service an "evil Tory", you can't then go leafleting for them. When you have made yourself believe your comrades must be misogynists simply for disagreeing with you, the local meeting won't be collegiate. When you have engaged in the ostrichism of dismissing the dozens of volunteers who report back from the doorstep that "Corbyn is a problem" as part of a plot, you will not want to risk knocking on those same doors. 

This is at the core of what worries me about Corbyn and his "movement". Such movements always end in ever-decreasing circles, especially when things go badly, as they will. First the "Blairites", then soft-left people are also labelled Tory-lite; eventually even hard left people like me, who just disagree on Corbyn's competence, are dismissed the same way and told I, too, will be purged. Until we're all tied to chairs, like in Carpenter's The Thing, and someone is testing petri dishes of our blood to see if we are the enemy in disguise. 

And after we are all purged and all evil Tory-lite MPs deselected (y'know, like Stella Creasy who single-handedly dragged regulation of payday lenders through Parliament, or Tom Watson who, even in the face of threats against his personal safety, exposed phone-hacking), someone else won't be pure enough. And then another. And another. A process of reverse mitosis. Until all that is left is a single, perfectly pure, perfectly socialist, perfectly useless cell. 

Labour is a party plagued by Magical Thinking. Reality has disappeared from view. Oblivion beckons. Construct your own narrative, by all means, about why this happened. That this happened on Corbyn's watch, however, is undeniable. 

First we forgot how to listen to voters, then we forgot how to listen to each other, and eventually we will forget how to listen altogether.   

What has been genuinely interesting, and an education personally, is to be suddenly on the "wrong" side of the divide. I was vaguely aware of the right wing's tendency to dismiss the left as naive and the left's propensity for asserting moral superiority and labelling the right as evil. But when those same tropes seamlessly extended to a contest which objectively involved two shades of the left, I experienced how truly ineffective such attitudes are as instruments of changing anyone's mind. 

That is why Labour is incapable of winning an election. Not the personnel, not the policies, not Scotland, not the polls, not Brexit, not the class struggle, not the media, not the establishment. But because we have forgotten how to listen. First we forgot how to listen to voters, then we forgot how to listen to each other, and eventually we will forget how to listen altogether. So, our electoral policy will be to scream at people, in order to make them feel bad about their choices, to make them feel like bad people, to shame them into voting Labour. 

And they just won't. 

___________________

#Labour, #Corbyn, #Smith, #Leadership, #Election

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Bitethehand1

6 months ago

"If Lynton Crosby had managed to run a campaign which planted the idea in public consciousness that 80% of Labour MPs are utter scumbags, it would be held as the most devastating smear exercise in modern politics. If the Tory PR machine had managed to reduce 13 years of a Labour government to the single issue of the Iraq war and paint that in the most inflammatory way, we would protest day and night that this isn't so. "

Had someone listed the negative aspects of Corbyn's political career, (Hamas, Iran, NATO, pacificism, the IRA, his own anti-Labour leadership record, anti-semitism.....) prior to him standing for the election to become Labour leader, no doubt his honest response would have been - "well I'm not going to win so what does it matter".

When he won and continually ignores the electoral disaster the polls have consistently predicted, my conclusion is that he really does want to destroy the Labour Party as a party of government and effective opposition, as a means of getting revenge for the humiliation he's had to suffer for all those years on the back benches.

He doesn't want a Labour Government; he wants to see those Labour MPs who have ignored him to suffer humiliating electoral defeat.

https://therealuntrusted.wordpress.com/

R P

6 months ago

"What most agree on, is that rarely has a group of people who agree on so much inflicted such deep and vicious wounds on themselves, each other and the party they profess to support. "

I'm not sure they do agree on that much. The Labour left and much of the rest of the party are really two quite different political movements forced together by FPTP.

"They believe Corbyn will prevail, because they believe."

You're contradicting your previous claim that Corbyn supporters believe that to win is immoral. But in any case, I think that many Corbyn supporters are well aware that he faces a massive uphill battle, and is odds-on to lose. But they want to fight for someone whose views they believe in, and at least try to persuade people to vote for him, rather than back someone who might have a better chance of winning but whose views they have no actual enthusiasm for. To take a chance on something they strongly support rather than hedge on something they feel at best lukewarm about. Which is a perfectly legitimate position.

R P

6 months ago

One other thing:

"the "PLP coup" - an incendiary term designed to deflect responsibility and used to describe a perfectly ordinary political event: a group of MPs losing confidence in their leader."

Losing confidence is one thing. If individuals had have resigned at the moment they actually lost confidence, or if they had have triggered a leadership contest straight away, there might have been less acrimony. But staging a clearly pre-organised staggered wave of resignations to try to force a leader to resign (not to fight a new leadership contest, but to resign outright) just nine months after he had been overwhelmingly endorsed by the membership looks entirely contemptuous of party democracy.

Mukkinese Battlehorn

6 months ago

Both sides have built vast arrays of rationalisations which to the other side are transparent nonsense.

I'm not going to address this articles points which I think are false or overly spun, because I think the "other side does much the same" and that would just pour more fuel on the flames.

The way I see it both sides have a point and both have missed the point.

As you say, policy is not the big turn off for voters, even arguments on migration and welfare can be "re-framed" to be more acceptable to a wider range of voters. Policies are not the fundamental problem.

Perceived competence seems to be the major underlying theme running through all of Labours defeats and dismal poll ratings. The seemingly "strong" leadership projected by the Tories is what gets them support again and again. Despite many thinking that their policies are wrong and unfair. they are not a "popular" government. The public just don't see Labour as a viable alternative.

Corbyn's, and Labour's, competence has been thoroughly trashed in the eyes of the wider public. Just as Brown's and Miliband's were, but much worse because of the "civil war" going on within the party.

Regardless of who is to blame for that, this is something we must all admit. The damage is very serious and Corbyn is unlikely to win a G.E. from this position, whether he could have before or not, but I have yet to see anyone from the "moderate" camp who could do so either.

No one can without a largely united party behind them, or at least one that is disciplined enough to look united. It is the squabbling itself which is causing the bulk of the damage, not the positions or ability of one side or the other.

It is not difficult to see why a party where everyone in it seems to be calling everyone else in it useless, inept, incompetent and underhand, are not attractive to voters.

You finally hit the nail on the head with your last paragraph. This whole mess was started because of a refusal to listen, by both sides.

The moderates were shocked when they lost to Corbyn, because they had failed to put into practice the wise strategy they had espoused "we must listen to the voters if we want to win". If they had listened to the voters of the Labour leadership, perhaps things might have been different.

The left failed to take into account the same fundamental message, we need to listen to the wider group of voters and not simply hope that they will "see the light". Address their concerns, re-frame our arguments to fit those concerns as best we can and win their trust.

Most of all show them that Labour are competent to govern.

Both sides are failing to listen to the voters they need and each other.

If we do not collectively find a way forward, then we are all helping the Tories back into power...

Jon Gomm

6 months ago

Articles like this are really boring me now. Let me please try to close the book on this stuff. OK. Here goes.

It's not as if on one side you have a bunch of worried academes offering rational insight into the realities of polling data, and on the other side you have an army of mad, idealistic warriors of light, ignoring everything that goes against them.

I'm a Corbyn supporter, and I full accept the challenges our movement faces, and the limitations of Corbyn as a leader and of our movement as a whole, and welcome criticism as it's the only way to learn.

But if the furrowed-browed bloggers, like the above, posting their grim by-election analyses, decide to get into endless, daily online debates with regular Corbyn fans, who just want to be positive and support the party, as is their entire right, then yes, it will probably seem like "a Fairy dies every time one applies critical thought."

And if they do that kind of accidentally on purpose, so they can win the argument, then THEY are the ones absconding from reality.

I'm a musician. Hey everyone, you wanna discuss the latest Radiohead album? You quite like it, yeah? Hey, yeah, but did you consider what the ratio of sales to illegal downloads is. And you no doubt have an opinion on their use of ostinata in this album, and the standard harmonic rhythms used, which as we know with Radiohead is often as laden with metaphor and meaning as the lyrics.

OH YOU JUST LIKE RADIOHEAD??!!? OH I'M SORRY DID I SHATTER YOUR IDEOLOGICAL LITTLE FAIRY DREAMS????

Whevs.

Jon Gomm

6 months ago

Being patronised for 15 months solid is pretty fucking tiresome, Alex mate.

Alex Andreou

6 months ago

Which is ironic, because comments like this are really boring me.

mryashin

6 months ago

I think you've hit the nail on the head. Following corbyn is, for many of his devotees, rather like following a band.

WMH004C

6 months ago

Alex

I try to address magical thinking here,

https://politicsismoralpsychology.com/2016/09/08/labours-cleavage-is-moral-psychological/

I call it "strategic reasoning" to emotion to moral intuitionism

Regards,

Martin

Paul Ryan

6 months ago

But I fail to see what the Labour 'right' is offering other than embracing Tory rent seeking. The problem isn't so much 'neoliberalism' but the cascades of unearned wealth from property (or rather a land). Corbyn's natural constituency is the younger voter, who is double taxed, first by his rentier landlord who pockets as much as half his wages, and then the State. This contrasted with the London home owner who is effectively tax rebated, thanks to effects of economic rent on HPI. I would really like Labour to offer a radical alternative, and that has to mean more than embracing rent seeking and just throwing a few social liberal policies. A really radical party would scrap PAYE and tax the land, this would fix a lot of inherent unfairness of capitalism and provide genuine social mobility. All I see amongst the Blairite rump are rent seekers, the buy to let landlords and other free loaders. The Blair/Brown bubble years have left Labour hideously compromised.

Michael

6 months ago

Great piece Alex.

Watch Boys from the Blackstuff: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boys_from_the_Blackstuff
That was my Liverpool of the 80s. I was still in the tail end of my education and so missed the worst of the storm by luck and nothing more - people 5-10 years older looking for first time work had it tougher.

It's weird looking back at the Blackstuff. As a kid I remember loads of laughs, but I watched it recently and it's really [email protected] depressing! Yes there was solidarity - school kids striking etc - and yes there were some genuine leaders who wanted to do the right things by their people. There were also some leaders we didn't deserve. The solidarity can feel good - singing songs at rallies is like a football match or a gig I guess - but life ticks on relentlessly. Some people I know didn't find work at a formative time and were set on path for the rest of their life. Me and others "got on our bikes" and moved away. Everyone had to figure out how to look after themselves at the end of the day. And that's one of the many sad parts of this: ironically I think there aren't many better ways to create hard headed individualists than to give them lessons that you have to look after yourself. It's sad, but I think the same cycle is being repeated. I think the failure of Labour (or any opposition) creates fertile ground to develop people who learn that you have to look after yourself because [they] (insert from list: Tories, Red Tories, PLP, Corbyn, etc) won't look after you. Conservative individualism is being given a leg up by Labour.....ineptitude / ideology / infighting / etc

Keep fighting the good fight. You're doing great work. There are still some good things going on despite the Leaders. Even the "movement" stuff has some genuine grassroots stuff and isn't always just a device (like the Big Society) for those in power to use for their own purposes.

Sorry for overlong comment.....

But IMO batten down the hatches. It could be a long and hard storm.

Martin Lewis

6 months ago

Ever since 24th June this year, it has felt like the country I knew and understood, for all it's faults, has had a nervous breakdown. Then soon after the party I have supported all my life, the Labour Party, went into freefall towards oblivion.

This article, that sums up perfectly my current assessment of the situation with the party and my experiences over the last 40+ years with the differing governments, at least provides some comfort.

It's not me who has gone insane, it's the party and there is no sign of a cure on the horizon.

mryashin

6 months ago

The problem, in a nutshell, is this: the hard/radical left has finally achieved its wildest dream and seized the leadership of the Labour Party. But the man who did it is perhaps the most laughably inept and inappropriate politician to ever lead a major political party in Britain.

There are some who are brave enough, despite sharing Corbyn's ideology, to declare that the Emperor is naked. Others know it full well but refuse to say so out of a misguided and self-defeating notion of loyalty. And there are many others (many, many, many) who simply cannot yet face the psychic cost of admitting the truth staring them in the face.

Peter Swann

6 months ago

It's all very well bashing Corbyn but let's look at some facts. When Blair resigned and Brown took over the Labour Party it was £27 million in debt and its membership at its lowest since 1900. Brown got just 29% of the vote in 2010 and Milliband got just 30% in 2015. Labour has been wiped out in Scotland and faces a serious threat from UKIP in England and that was BEFORE Corbyn became leader! In one are at least Corbyn has succeeded spectacularly where other leaders have failed and that is in a surging membership of over 500000 making it larger than all UK parties combined.

That alone counts for a lot as if Labour is ever to get back to power it is going to need an active army of people to knock on doors, phonebank and organise. Also a party which is recruiting large numbers of people is usually a sign of a party becoming more popular with voters, in the past the ratio between voters of Labour and members has been about 1 to 30.

As for Labour doing badly in the polls, voters don’t like divided parties and this is the fault of the plotters not Corbyn who went out of his way to have an inclusive cabinet.

As for Corbyn’s economic policy it is the IMF and World Bank who are advising governments to abandon neoliberal policies and austerity to run deficits take advantage of low interest rates and invest and grow their economies.

If Kinnock was allowed to continue for 11 years with 2 disastrous election defeats it seems ridiculous that Corbyn isn’t allowed even to complete 1 year. I agree though Corbyn will probably be too old at 71 if the election is held in 2020 in which case someone new but as radicle must be found to be next leader.

John Doran

6 months ago

Hi Alex
A depressingly accurate article, when you mention containers in schools for classrooms you hit the nail on the head.
Our local primary had portacabins as there were no funds to repair the Windows or roof under the thatcher goverment.
I have supported the Labour Party all my working life, first through the political levy paid to the national union of seaman then as a full time member.
My Union was bankrupted after having our funds sequerstated by the courts under Thatcher, the 1st time for backing the miners then the P&O ferry dispute.
I am from the north east of England which was decimated under Thatcherism not just the industry and infrastructure but more importantly the fabric and make up of the working class, the damage of mass unemployment has carried on through the generations and created a sub culture where it became the norm to live on benifits and "work the system"
In my 20's I went on marches against the poll tax, during the miners strike I supported the miners through our union and collected food.
I am now classed as a red Tory which doesn't really bother me, it's just so depressing to see the same cycle being repeated. I hated Thatcher with a vengeance, I blamed her and the torys for everything that happened to my area, my friends, my comunity

John Doran

6 months ago

But in truth it was just the torys doing what they have always done and looked after themselves, the root cause was because we were unelectable.
Sorry for rant, but sometimes reading an article like yours brings it all back
Cheers
John

Christoff Youngman

6 months ago

I agree the party won't unite. Because it cuts both ways - if your party's deputy leader has spent months undermining and working against the leader you voted for, you can't then go leafleting for them. When your comrades tell you that you must be a Nazi, an anti-semite, or looking for an excuse to purge them simply for disagreeing with you, the local meeting won't be collegiate. When you have engaged in the ostrichism of dismissing the dozens of newly-enthused volunteers who knock on doors as 'Trots, rabble and dogs', as party MPs have, eventually you'll alienate them and you won't have anyone left to knock again on those same doors. 

Jon Gomm

6 months ago

I agree, it's the Labour Party hierarchy who have "run a campaign which planted the idea in public consciousness that 80% of Labour MPs are utter scumbags". I wonder how many of said MPs are coming round to the realisation that it's Progress and the NEC who have damaged their public image and reputations so badly, with their disastrous internal strategy, and that those same operators can not save them now. Hopefully enough to save the party from splitting.

Christoff Youngman

6 months ago

I'm sorry, are you suggesting that Tom Watson stood on a platform of opposing the leader and accusing members of entryism? Because if that was the case then yeah I guess the membership only has itself to blame.

Alex Andreou

6 months ago

Is that the also elected Deputy Leader? Is it possible that the membership isn't unfailingly wise?

Angela Sullivan

6 months ago

It really was not hard to convince the electorate that 80% of Labour MPs are scumbags. Most of them already belive that around 90% of MPs are scumbags, irrespective of which party they belong to.
Only someone who thought that MPs were respected and held in high esteem by the voting population would worry that an 80% scumbag rating would prove a problem in a General election.
But whether anyone who believes the voting public trusts MPs should criticise others for "magical thinking " and inability to "listen" is debatable.

TrumptonLibDems

6 months ago

Sadly, we still have a mass of people who will vote for the party label, not the person, so a substantial number of those 9m voters would have voted for a donkey (as of course do swathes of Tory voters). As a Lib Dem member,I have no investment in Corbyn, other than the recognition that he is not a plastic politician, but IF the PLP could put aside their own Bitterite tendency and unite behind their elected leader, I for one (and I suspect many more) would lend Corbyn my vote in 2020 to try and dislodge this corrupt and venal government.

You praise for Blair seems to overlook that, with a massive majority, Blair/Brown chose to use Wonga level PFI deals to build schools and hospitals, deals that are at least partly responsible for the continuing overspends/shortages in the NHS and education.

That and reckless and wasteful spending in Iraq (whilst still not providing troops with their necessities) squandered goodwill and treasure.

The PLP, aided and abetted by the BBC (remember the live on air orchestrated resignation) and most of our ex pat tax exile proprietors have been overwhelmingly hostile, so I dont believe Corbyn has been given a fair shake at all - if his office is chaotic, daily metaphorical arson attacks by his own side probably have a lot to do with it.

And to all this we have the assorted lies peddled by opponents - Angelas Brick (that was actually a broken window in a stairwell, nowhere near her office) continues to be cited as evidence that Corbyn supporters are all either nutters, violent or both. These lies get constantly recycled by the press and BBC even when disproved - was any other window anywhere in Wallasey broken that night??

And then we have the charming labelling of the enthused mass of Corbyn supporters as "trots, rabble, dogs"

And now the NEC wants to emasculate a triumphant Corbyn by reviving MPs picking the Shadow Cabinet to stuff it with those placemen and women so thoroughly rejected by the electorate in 2015.

Corbyn has proved much more resilient than his opponents expected, and the more resilient he becomes, the more anti democratic the Labour Party machine becomes.

I started foillowing you when you were calling for people to send food to Greece (which I did) due to the crisis caused by austerity driven politicians, and I find it ironic that Corbyn, in actually opposing austerity, is getting it in the neck from you as well.

As with Brexit, if you say something loud and long enough, and on every outlet, people believe it. If the PLP can pull together behind Corbyn, and stop leaking bile in every ear, those poll ratings will improve as May's shambolic handling of Brexit starts to bite

Alex Andreou

6 months ago

Thanks, Angela, but nine million people voted for those MPs. If you're as respectful of democracy and mandates as you claim, perhaps you should not sell them short, in favour of 0.4% of the electoral college which forms Corbyn's support and with whom you happen to agree.

dazeycheyne

6 months ago

Description of life in early 90s really struck a chord. Beggars on the streets everywhere, cardboard cities, the near-end of the NHS. Don't even get me started on the state of schools! How could we forget so quickly?

Alex Andreou

6 months ago

"You do it to yourself, you do
And that's why it really hurts."

Liam Halpin

6 months ago

Unfortunately the first factual inaccuracy in this article is where you defend the PLPs actions by stating they lost confidence in their leader. This is inaccurate because the bulk of the PLP never gave him a chance and the smear campaign and plotting began, virtually on day 1. To pretend otherwise is to downplay the whole situation the faction often referred to as 'blairite' have created through continually backing up a biased press. There was no shortage of Labour MPs prepared to Slag off their leader, on TV, within a week of him being elected. I guarantee that there will be a continued effort to split the party when Corbyn wins the current election, again, there will be no rallying of support and if his own MPs won't give him a chance, why should the wider electorate. If after a period of time they had declared a loss of confidence that would have been one thing, but please don't pretend they had any at the start.

Anon Ymous

6 months ago

>This is inaccurate because the bulk of the PLP never gave him a chance and the smear campaign and plotting began, virtually on day 1.

Where's your evidence for this? There was a small subset that constantly briefed against him in the media, but nothing that Corbyn didn't do to other democratically elected leaders of the Labour party. Others, who obviously opposed him, such as Yvette, Chukka, Kendall just kept shtum, kept their heads down and worked on other things.

>There was no shortage of Labour MPs prepared to Slag off their leader, on TV, within a week of him being elected.

A very small subset that was largely over represented in the media, please name more than 5 MPs who regularly briefed against Corbyn. I can think of Woodcock, Danzcuk, maybe Beckett. Can't think of too many others so, I posit it to you to back up your claim please.

Alex Andreou

6 months ago

Liam, I thank you for your comment, but I disagree. There were a small fractious minority who caused trouble from the start, but the vast majority of the MPs who voted for no confidence in Corbyn were people his own team characterised as "neutral", "core group plus" and even "core group". Those are the facts from his own side. It was his responsibility to build on that support. Instead he managed to alienate even them.

MrLukowski

6 months ago

Depressingly on the money.

I think a massive difficulty is that there's a huge amount of ideological investment in Corbyn because his basic principles are largely admirable and he's never gone against them. And the main problem with him seems to not be his principles but the fact he's a nightmare to work with, he lacks organisational skills, teamwork skills, an eye for detail, a sense of what the topic of the day is etc etc. And fundamentally it's difficult to persuade somebody who feels deeply invested in Corbyn's ideals that you think the most leftwing leader of Labour in a generation could be terrible for reasons not directly connect to his ideals . So Corbyn supporters believe the dislike of Corbyn must come from the fact he's 'too left wing'.

I still think it could be salvaged long enough to hold the party together in semi-credible form until Corbyn retires, if only McDonnell/Milne would tighten Corbyn up, god knows they've had enough feedback.