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2015 Labour Leadership Election

 
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 2:07 pm    Post subject: 2015 Labour Leadership Election Reply with quote

With Cameron's surprising (and highly suspect - ''RIGGED UK GENERAL ELECTION' - MAY 2015': http://aanirfan.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/uk-general-election-results.htm l ) election 'Landslide' (against all polls predictions) it is good to find a glimmer of 'light from the end of the tunnel': the Labour Leadership election. I didn't think Jeremy Corbyn stood a chance against the mega-buck powers of the Bilderbergers etc., but I'm happy to be shown to be wrong - Jeremy is forging ahead!!
'Labour leadership: Yvette Cooper rejects poll predicting Jeremy Corbyn victory':
http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/jul/22/yvette-cooper-rejects- leadership-poll-predicting-victory-jeremy-corbyn?

I have seen Jeremy at work over decades in Human Rights campaigns I have been involved with; he's 'The Real Deal'.

Anyone can become a 'Registered supporter' for £3 (a small wager on a brilliant opportunity to get back a REAL Labour Party of and for We The People. Obviously, he will be furiously opposed, but it's worth a £3 investment. AND, you get a vote for the Deputy, who I suggest the best bet by far would be Tom Watson, an avid High Level Paedophile Hunter. The two would make a truly awesome team for cleaning up the Parliamentary 'Augean Stables'.

All you have to do is apply online at 'Registered Supporters':
https://supporters.labour.org.uk/leadership/1

Note you will be required to sign that: 'I agree that the Labour Party and its elected representatives may contact me using the data supplied. I support the aims and values of the Labour Party, and I am not a supporter of any organisation opposed to it.' Another point: due to bureaucratic 'one size fits all' 'thinking', a mobile is obligatory (obviously not to become a supporter, but to fill out their online form. Leave that blank, or try to put N/A or anything, and form will just not be sent; it will keep reappearing , until you put an 11 numeral number in the space. I put my landline number (as well as putting it in the landline space, and the form accepted it. They wrongly make the assumption that everyone has a mobile.

Please spread this message to any groups you may be a member of. Jeremy certainly is against austerity, against wars of aggression and aggrandisement, against repressive regimes, and pro-Palestine; no toadying to 'The Lobby' from our Jeremy!!

And as a bonus to Londoners, 'Supporters' also get to be eligible to vote for London Mayor.

STOP PRESS: Just got Jeremy's program, that he set out in a public meeting this morning (22/7/2015, 10:30 - 11:30) at 20 Cavendish Square, Marylebone. I did not get the venue till it was too late to add to the 'Calendar'): https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/jeremyforlabour/pages/70/attachm ents/original/1437556345/TheEconomyIn2020_JeremyCorbyn-220715.pdf?1437 556345

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Labour Purge Is Underway, And They’ve Banned Me From Voting Corbyn (IMAGE): http://www.scriptonitedaily.com/2015/08/20/the-labour-purge-is-underwa y-and-theyve-banned-me-from-voting-corbyn-image/

'...The first wave of the UK Labour Party’s purge of registered supporters has begun, and I and many others outside of the Blairite wing of the Labour movement were disenfranchised by our own party today.

At a little after 5am today, an email arrived in my inbox from Labour HQ.


I read it once, then again. Then I just sat there.

First of all I was embarrassed, like I’d been caught out, even though I’d done nothing wrong. It’s being made out that voting Corbyn is an act of sabotage, rather than an expression of my democratic rights. Once I realised that, I got angry. Really angry. I shared the news on my Facebook page and twitter, and found that I was far from alone.

In a purge being referred to internally as ‘Operation: Ice Pick’, Labour HQ is purging the party of suspected ‘entryists’. The name is a particularly sick joke, referencing the weapon-of-choice in the 1940 assassination of Leon Trotsky by Stalinists.Supporters of Corbyn have been consistently derided as “Trots” throughout the campaign.

Comedians Mark Steel and Jeremy Hardy, along with renowned author Marcus Chown and ‘Spirit of ’45’ director Ken Loach – all have been banned from voting by the Labour Purge. Why? Marcus Chown joined the executive of the National Health Action Party in the 2015 election because his priority was saving the NHS, and he felt that was the best way to highlight the issue. Jeremy Hardy and Mark Steel have supported fundraisers for the Green party in the past. Ken Loach was once a member of the now defunct Socialist Alliance. As Mark Steel so aptly puts it: ” Labour – you can’t join as a new member unless you’re already a member.”

In the first wave of the wider purge today, many more lost their vote. In a process reminiscent of the McCarthy witch hunts of the 1960s, it appears that anyone with (or suspected of having) left-wing sympathies is being ousted from the party. Twitter user Rebecca Day reported this appeal among members of the Oxford University Labour club:

Embedded image permalink

Hundreds took to the #LabourPurge hashtag to share their stories of rejection. Peter Sinclair summed up the story of many.

In April, Sinclair donated £20 to Labour. In response, party official Iain McNicol sent him a note of thanks. McNicol told Sinclair that “The Labour Party is built on donations like the one you just made”.....'

B006But Iain McNicol sent him a decidedly frostier email this morning.

B007So what changed in that time?

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2015 12:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jeremy Corbyn wins economists’ backing for anti-austerity policies
Former adviser to Bank of England among signatories to letter dismissing criticism of economic plans, saying they are ‘not extreme’
Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn’s economic policies have received the backing of more than 40 leading economists. Photograph: Christopher Thomond for the Observer
Daniel Boffey Policy editor
Saturday 22 August 2015 21.00 BST Last modified on Sunday 23 August 2015 11.11 BST
http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/aug/22/jeremy-corbyn-economis ts-backing-anti-austerity-policies-corbynomics

More than 40 leading economists, including a former adviser to the Bank of England, have made public their support for Jeremy Corbyn’s policies, dismissing claims that they are extreme, in a major boost to the leftwinger’s campaign to be leader.

The intervention comes as the Corbyn campaign reveals that a Labour government led by the MP for Islington North would reserve the right to renationalise Royal Bank of Scotland and other public assets, “with either no compensation or with any undervaluation deducted from any compensation for renationalisation” if they are sold at a knockdown price over the next five years.

The leftwinger’s economic policies – dubbed Corbynomics – have come under sustained attack in recent days, including by members of his own party, with Andy Burnham warning his party in an interview with this paper not to forget the lessons of the general election about the importance of economic credibility.


Who should I vote for in the Labour leadership election?
Read more
But with just under three weeks until Ed Miliband’s replacement is announced, Corbyn’s credibility receives a welcome endorsement as 41 economists make public a letter defending his positions.

In the letter to which David Blanchflower, a former member of the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee is a signatory, the economists write: “The accusation is widely made that Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters have moved to the extreme left on economic policy. But this is not supported by the candidate’s statements or policies. His opposition to austerity is actually mainstream economics, even backed by the conservative IMF. He aims to boost growth and prosperity.”

Corbyn remains the frontrunner to be Labour leader, but as his policies, and the risks he poses to the unity of the Labour party, have come under scrutiny, rivals believe he is losing momentum.

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‘Jez we can’: John Harris charts the rise of Jeremy Corbyn and his effect on politics
Burnham’s campaign shared data with the Observer that suggested some of those who had previously committed to voting for Corbyn were now recognising the dangers and either opting for the shadow health secretary or describing themselves as “don’t knows”.

But writing in the Observer, Corbyn defended his platform and said the government’s “free market dogma” had to be fought and vowed that a Labour government under his leadership would re-empower the state. The chancellor, George Osborne, intends to sell off £31bn of public assets in 2015-16.

Corbyn writes: “Parliament can feel like living in a time warp at the best of times, but this government is not just replaying 2010, but taking us back to 1979: ideologically committed to rolling back the state, attacking workers’ rights and trade union protection, selling off public assets, and extending the sell off to social housing.

“This agenda militates against everything the Chancellor says he wants to achieve. If you want to revive manufacturing and rebalance the economy, you need a strategic state leading the way.”

Burnham told the Observer that he feared the political consequences of going into a 2020 election on Corbyn’s platform. “Economic credibility is all and unless you have got that you haven’t got a basis for winning an election,” he said. “So Labour can’t unlearn that lesson three months away from the general election. That was the thing that told against us in the end and we have to be serious about that.”

In defence of the Corbyn camp’s plans to renationalise privatised industries, John McDonnell MP, who is the candidate’s campaign agent, said that privatisation had been “a confidence trick”. He said: “Privatisation over the last four decades has been a history of the British people being robbed and the spivs snatching up the public assets being given the licence to print money. From the earliest privatisations of water, energy and rail to the PFI schemes from the last decade, it has been one long confidence trick.

The Tories are taking us back to 1979 – we need a strategic state
Jeremy Corbyn
Read more
“Under a Corbyn Labour government this shameful era of governments and ministers colluding in the picking of the taxpayers’ pockets will be brought to an abrupt end.

“Let’s also make it absolutely clear to any speculators in the City looking to make a fast buck at the taxpayers’ expense that if any of these assets are sold by Osborne under their value, a future Corbyn-led Labour government will reserve the right to bring them back into public ownership with either no compensation or with any undervaluation deducted from any compensation for renationalisation.”

Meanwhile, Yvette Cooper called on Corbyn to condemn suggestions by some of his supporters that they intended to purge those who did not believe in his policies from the party should their candidate win the contest.

Cooper said: “I am deeply troubled by those who say they want a victory for Jeremy to be the start of a process to deselect hard-working councillors or MPs they believe are too rightwing. Years of fractional battles have no place in our party – they would be a betrayal of Labour’s values and of those who depend on us to stand up for them. Jeremy and his campaign should condemn this kind of sectarianism that is being practised in their name.”

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jeremy Corbyn vs Margaret Thatcher at PMQS (08/05/1990)

Link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhEPyjolGQQ

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now Corbyn is in, my estimation is how he deals with the EU & unlimited economic migration is the key.
Whether or not he brings back the Labour -> UKIP voters.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jeremy Corbyn’s victory has already transformed politics
Seumas Milne
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/sep/16/jeremy-corbyn-pol itics-labour-leader-election

If the Labour leader’s supporters keep their heads, his election can break open the political system
@seumasmilne
Wednesday 16 September 2015 19.55 BST Last modified on Thursday 17 September 2015 07.24 BST

It must have been the shortest political honeymoon ever. Barely had the landslide election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader been announced than the backlash began in earnest. The 100-1 outsider might have pulled off the most extraordinary democratic leadership victory. But when it came to the political and media establishment, the usual niceties were dispensed with entirely.

Within minutes, the first of a string of Blairite resignations from shadow cabinet jobs they had not yet been offered had begun. The Conservatives issued bloodcurdling warnings about the threat posed to the security of the country and every family in the land. And the media campaign was raised to new levels of hysteria – with Corbyn and his allies depicted as deranged terrorist sympathisers.

One more notch on the propaganda dial and they’d be calling for the Labour leadership to be deported to internment camps in Caithness. The onslaught was expected. But the anti-democratic virulence of Britain’s tax-dodging media monopolists still has the capacity to take the breath away. It has also served to obscure the scale and significance of what has taken place.

The anti-austerity revolt has found its voice in Britain in an entirely unexpected way
There is no parallel for such a dramatic democratic upending of official politics in Britain. In three months Corbyn went from backbench obscurity to winning more than a quarter of a million votes, nearly 60% of the total, beating Tony Blair’s 57% when he was first elected leader in 1994 as well as eclipsing Blair’s support from individual members. Corbyn drew hundreds of thousands into the Labour party and reduced the Blairite candidate Liz Kendall to a humiliating 4.5%.

By any reckoning, Corbyn’s election and the movement that delivered it represent a political eruption of historic proportions. Whatever now happens, such a fundamental shift cannot simply be reversed. Eight years after economic crisis took hold of the western world, the anti-austerity revolt has found its voice in Britain in an entirely unexpected way. The political conformity entrenched during the years of unchallenged neoliberalism has been broken.

For the first time in decades, an unapologetic socialist is at the head of one of Britain’s two main parties. Meanwhile the Tory government is launching a legal assault on trade unions – on the right to strike, Labour’s funding and trade unionists’ civil liberties – that has been branded as Francoite by the Conservative MP David Davis. It’s an attack that is clearly aimed at destroying the labour movement as an effective political and industrial force.

The idea that this represents Tory colonisation of the “centre ground” is evidently absurd. Instead, politics is polarising in response to over a decade of falling living standards, rising insecurity and economic crisis. The media and political establishment has proved incapable of managing the intrusion of Corbyn’s democratic insurgency into what had seemed a well-insulated elite order. Media organisations that have for years called every major issue wrongly, from the war on terror to the economy, find themselves unable to deal with a movement that has overturned the rules of the game.

Corbyn has constructed a broad-based shadow cabinet that was widely predicted to be an impossibility
So instead they have seized on every mistake or gaffe, real or imagined, in step with the defeated Labour right, to try to derail the nascent Corbyn leadership. Those include everything from the lack of women in the traditionally most senior jobs – in the first cabinet or shadow cabinet ever to have a majority of women – to failing to sing the national anthem and leaving a broadcast media vacuum for opponents to fill.

The Labour leader has managed to see off the immediate threat by constructing a broad-based shadow cabinet that was widely predicted to be an impossibility. And the success of his crowdsourced debut at prime minister’s questions on Wednesday disarmed Cameron and stabilised, at least in the short term, a restive parliamentary party.

It’s scarcely surprising if the early days of Corbyn’s leadership have been chaotic. This is a spontaneous campaign that erupted out of nowhere, powered by grassroots volunteers across the country. The idea that it has been in the grip of a trade union machine is laughable to anyone who has seen it up close. Corbyn himself has no experience of such a leadership role and is inevitably on a steep learning curve.

If Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour is going to work, it has to communicate
Owen Jones
Owen Jones Read more
But his evident lack of spin and professional political chicanery is of course part of his appeal. Corbyn’s most serious challenge, aside from a frenetically hostile media, will come from his own MPs. After years of New Labour control, the parliamentary Labour party was far to the right of the membership even before the influx of new recruits. Disinherited Blairites are already plotting to bring him down or, if they fail, in some cases to defect to the Conservatives.

Others can be expected to vote with the government, for example to authorise bombing Syria, against the new Labour leadership. New shadow cabinet members are already speaking out against the platform Corbyn was elected on, from his opposition to welfare cuts to his refusal to hand Cameron a blank cheque on EU membership renegotiation. Some of that can be swallowed as a new way of doing politics, so long as it doesn’t sink into incoherence.

But it also reflects an elemental clash between MPs, many of whom made it to Westminster courtesy of a centralised vetting operation, and a vastly expanded membership who want to take control of their own party. By giving rein to Labour’s democracy, the new leadership has the chance to change the balance of power. It will certainly be a rough ride. The media onslaught will continue. But if Corbyn’s supporters keep their heads, last Saturday can be the start of more far-reaching change: to break open the political system, put the alternative to austerity centre stage, and bring an end to Britain’s support for endless war.

To do that will need a powerful movement outside as well as inside parliament. The post-2008 reaction against austerity is now taking place in one country after another. The challenge is to translate that insurgency into political power. We don’t know how far Corbyn’s election can take Labour, or how long his leadership can survive. But one thing is clear: there will be no going back. It has already changed Labour, and British politics, for good.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 8:13 am    Post subject: The crash lost Labour the election Reply with quote

A large survey of voters shows that Labour would have added votes if they were more Left but still wouldn't have won the election because too many blamed them for the financial crash.

Ed Miliband did not lose election because he was too left wing - study http://bbc.in/1OBN7WP

Quote:
In research to be published by the IPPR think tank, Jane Green and Chris Prosser write: "Labour needs to give working class, left of centre voters a reason to vote for the party again and the party needs to win support at the centre. It should resist choosing one over the other."
At this year's general election many voters still blamed Ed Miliband's party if they thought the economy was not improving...

...Take Labour left, it suggests, and the party will not suffer. Take it right, and it loses votes.
This is why Jane Green of the British Election Study says there is very little to argument Labour was too left wing at the general election.
But - and it's a huge but - the chart shows only the answer to a question about how left wing voters thought Labour had become.
Her paper also says the banking crash of 2008 appears to have done for Labour what the ERM crisis did for the Conservatives in 1992.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2015 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Busting why Labour lost myths:

http://t.co/BHgJchbbRG

BRITISH ELECTION STUDY 2015

The economic crash in 2007/08 appears to have done for Labour what the exchange rate mechanism crisis did for the Conservatives more than 20 years earlier: it fundamentally altered the public perception of which party could be trusted on the economy. Given how long it took the Conservatives to recover a lead, it must be questionable whether Labour could have undone this shock to its ratings between 2010 and 2015.

We have to emphasise and then re-emphasise that Labour gained support in 2015. In an election in which a party won a substantial increase in support, it is necessary to drill down to why that support didn’t win the party seats. Why did Labour increase its vote share in England by 3.6 per cent and see a net gain of 15 seats, while the Conservatives increased their vote share in England by 1.4 per cent yet gained 21?

The second point to note is the much greater successes Labour had among former Lib-Dem voters compared to the Conservatives: Labour won about the same proportion of former Lib-Dems as the Conservatives, Greens and Ukip put together. The third is that the Conservatives lost much more support to Ukip than Labour did.

That is to say, it was Labour’s vote gains that helped to deprive Labour of an overall majority or largest party status. There was a tactical unwind that cost the Liberal Democrats seats but delivered those seats to the Conservatives.

The question of why former Lib-Dem voters shifted allegiance to the Conservatives in cases where they could have voted for and elected a Labour MP is more puzzling. Among 2010 Lib-Dem voters in our sample, 7 per cent were former Tories and 25 per cent were former Labour voters. There should have been a much greater potential Lib-Dem-to- Labour switch than Lib-Dem-to-Conservative (at least if we look at the campaign). We need to better understand what motivated these voters.

The first is the ‘SNP threat’. As discussed above, we currently find little robust evidence that attitudes towards the SNP and expectations about a hung parliament resulted in gains for the Conservatives from Ukip or in vote losses for Labour from former Lib Dems.

The second red herring is Labour’s left–right position – that is, the question of whether Labour was either overly or insufficiently left-wing.30 Generally, our data shows that people were more likely to vote Labour in 2015 when they thought the party was more left-wing, and less likely to vote Labour when they thought it was centrist.

This suggests there is very little to the argument that Labour was too left-wing to attract voters. At the same time there is not much to support the argument that Labour was not left-wing enough. There was very little difference in the likelihood of voting Labour between someone who thought Labour sat at the left-most end of the scale (0) and someone who saw it as just left of centre (4) – it is only when people saw Labour as sitting to the right of this point that support really drops off.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2015 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WOW!
Check out today's Sunday Times. Murdoch and a secret retired general threaten another military coup to oust the PM. Will the Queen have him murdered like Diana?


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 12:26 pm    Post subject: Coup being planned? Reply with quote

I think a coup is in the works. The pronouncement of Defence Minister Fallon stating that Corbyn was a 'national security threat' was actually giving a green light to those in the military-industrial-intelligence complex to organise a dirty tricks coup. If I were them, I would centre it on the PLP and get them to say we won't work with your policies, you must resign. There is likley to be a another financial crash, and they'll then have to neutralise the unions and get the army on the streets to control popular protest. A financial crash could happen in November so they'd have to organise a coup before and before the Left properly starts to organise themselves.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The way forward for Labour (in response to Lord Mandelson)
http://www.leftfutures.org/2015/09/the-way-forward-for-labour-in-respo nse-to-lord-mandelson/

Lord Mandelson in ermineWe have the benefit – courtesy of the Guardian – of the advice offered by one of the Labour Party’s grandees as to the response that should be made to the calamity that has apparently now befallen the Party. That calamity is of course the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader. Lord Mandelson, we are told, has advised that the new leader, elected just three weeks ago, should not be immediately “forced out” but that the deposition should be delayed just a little while more people realise what a disastrous mistake has been made.

We are fortunate to have this advice, since it tells us so much about what has gone wrong with the Party. Here is the authentic voice of those who have been in charge of its fortunes for so long.

The decision as to whether, and – even more importantly, when – the new leader should be deposed apparently rests in the hands of those who have just been roundly rejected by the Party. Lord Mandelson seems confident that the natural order will soon be restored, not least one assumes, because the energies of the defeated Blairites will now turn to undermining the new leader.

Indeed, it could be argued that, in Lord Mandelson’s unusual view of the world, his willingness to wait a full three weeks before mapping the course that will, he believes, negate the Party’s democratic decision means that his is really the voice of moderation.

That confidence appears to rest on the sustained and focused assault delivered on the new leader by the Tory press – an assault echoed not so sotto voce by Lord Mandelson and his colleagues. We expect nothing different from the Daily Mail – and, sadly, not much better from Labour’s erstwhile leaders either.

The most damaging aspect of Lord Mandelson’s initiative, however, is not what is said, but what is not said. Where is there, in his message to Party members, any recognition of the support commanded by Jeremy Corbyn for what he did and said during his leadership campaign? Where is the understanding of why so many responded so positively to the prospect of renouncing the craven “me-tooism” that has dominated Labour for so long?

Most of all, where is the acknowledgment of the task that now lies before the Party? So quick are Corbyn’s defeated opponents to rubbish him that they simply do not recognise the opportunity that is now presented by Corbyn’s victory. That opportunity can be turned to advantage only if the Party unites to advance an analysis and a political platform that reflects those aspects of Corbyn’s campaign that resonated with so many.

That does not mean that the Party must endorse everything that Corbyn has done and said over his long career on the backbenches. Like most 32 year-long veterans, there will be aspects of his past – comments and links, attitudes and causes – that were defensible at the time, but that may not seem so appropriate for a potential Prime Minister in 2015.

That will be particularly true of those personal preferences and beliefs – his republicanism and his support for a united Ireland, for example – that were no doubt his own business as a backbencher, but that may place him at odds with a large number of actual and potential Labour voters.

These will be matters that he has not had to consider before. He will have to reach his own way of resolving them, now that it is the Party’s interest and not merely his own that must be considered. But what matters is that neither he nor the party should lose sight of those issues where he expressed, and committed to, ideas that were fresh and uplifting, that gave new hope to millions of people. These were not matters of personal interest or preference, but statements of universal significance and appeal – the re-assertion of enduring values, the need for fairnesss and sharing, the rejection of inequality and the denunciation of growing poverty.

More importantly, they were not merely repetitions of familiar mantras, but were backed up by hard, specific and credible policy ideas – anathema no doubt to so many who bought the lie that there is no alternative to austerity and the supposedly infallible market – but backed up by growing numbers, including many informed experts and specialists who understand that the time has come for a new start.

Jeremy Corbyn himself, in other words, has a major task ahead of him. He has to work out which of his wide range of commitments, accumulated over 32 years, he is now ready to forego, for the sake of focusing on the vitally important and central ideas that will enthuse millions of potential voters and offer a better future to all. He needs all the help he can get to help him make those judgments.

That is where Lord Mandelson should be looking for challenge and inspiration. The Party’s prime responsibility surely now is to unite in engaging those millions who want change and hope, not trying to focus on throttling that prospect at birth.

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TonyGosling
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shocking BBC coverage
Jeremy Corbyn: BBC journalism in the gutter on the day of the long lies

Link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umPWkTFudMA

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 8:40 am    Post subject: How Jeremy Corbyn has reshaped the Labour party Reply with quote

Revealed: how Jeremy Corbyn has reshaped the Labour party:
http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jan/13/revealed-how-jeremy-co rbyn-has-reshaped-the-labour-party?

'Revealed: how Jeremy Corbyn has reshaped the Labour party

Leader’s hopes of remoulding the party boosted as Guardian survey shows surge in members, huge support and shift to the left

Ewen MacAskill

Wednesday 13 January 2016 15.34 GMT Last modified on Thursday 14 January 2016 00.55 GMT

Jeremy Corbyn’s hopes of remoulding Labour have been boosted by a detailed Guardian survey into the party at grassroots level that shows overwhelming support for him, a decisive shift to the left and unhappiness with squabbling among MPs.

The Guardian has interviewed Labour secretaries, chairs, other office holders and members from more than 100 of the 632 constituencies in England, Scotland and Wales. Almost every constituency party across the country we contacted reported doubling, trebling, quadrupling or even quintupling membership, and a revival of branches that had been moribund for years and close to folding.

The Corbyn effect: thousands have flocked to the Labour party since May. But who are they?

Reflecting increased interest among the young, university cities and towns recorded some of the biggest rises, with Bath jumping from 300 to 1,322 members and Colchester from 200-250 to almost 1,000. Neither are traditional Labour seats.

The survey findings are borne out by Labour’s national figures, released to the Guardian in a break with party tradition of keeping them secret. Membership jumped from 201,293 on 6 May last year, the day before the general election, to 388,407 on 10 January.

Party membership figures are a controversial issue, with the former cabinet minister Peter Mandelson, who is opposed to Corbyn, telling a Labour meeting in the Lords last month that “30,000 long-term members have left the party, real members, tens of thousands”.

But the newly released figures undermine his claim, showing a total of 13,860 have left since the general election, some of them having resigned while others have gone as part of natural churn. The increase in membership is continuing, with just under 1,000 having joined since Christmas Eve.
The Guardian survey, coming after months of infighting within the Parliamentary Labour party (PLP) following Corbyn’s leadership victory, provides an opportunity for the voices of the party grassroots to be heard.

The survey found:

The rise in membership has been uneven across the country. In contrast with steep rises in London and elsewhere in England and Wales, the rises in Scotland have been relatively modest, ominous for the party’s hopes in May’s Scottish parliamentary election.
Members, in spite of unhappiness with public splits within the PLP, say there is no appetite for deselection of MPs. But some acknowledge that proposed boundary changes in 2018 could result in de-facto deselection.
Returning members, who had left Labour mainly in protest over the 2003 Iraq invasion, are making an immediate impact, partly because they are familiar with the rules.
Both returning members and new ones tend to be mainly leftwing. There are few reports of attempted infiltration from hard-left groups.

Labour membership figures have long been volatile. Membership rose to 407,000 when Tony Blair became leader in 1997 but soon after went into decline, as disillusionment set in among leftwingers, turning into mass desertions over Iraq. By 2010, membership stood at 185,000.

The breakdown of Labour’s latest figures shows two surges last year, one partly in response to the election result and Corbyn’s entry into the leadership campaign and another after he became leader.

Between 7 May and 11 September, 116,753 joined and 5,393 left – 4,066 of whom cancelled their direct debit without informing the party why – and 1,327 resigning. Between Corbyn becoming leader on 12 September and Christmas Eve, 87,158 joined, with 8,567 leaving, of whom 4,692 cancelled their direct debit and 3,875 resigned. (The number of joiners and leavers do not match the total membership figure because the party allows a six-month grace period before cancelling membership.)


‘Corbynmania’: Corbyn poses for a selfie with a supporter as he arrives at the beginning of the Labour conference in Brighton.

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‘Corbynmania’: Corbyn poses for a selfie with a supporter as he arrives at the beginning of the Labour conference in Brighton. Photograph: Luke Macgregor/Reuters

The Guardian survey reflected this. Constituency office holders reported three surges last year: the first after the Conservative victory in May, the second after Corbyn entered the leadership race and again when he became leader.

The constituencies attributed this mainly to the Corbyn effect. Garry Parvin, High Peak constituency secretary, reported an increase in membership from 100 to 463 – with 259 joining after the May election before and 30 September. “In the main, yes, they are Corbyn supporters,” he said.

Asked whether remaking the party to reflect leftwing values was more important to them than winning the 2020 general election, Parvin said: “Frankly, yes. There are a lot of ideologically driven people who feel that we’re going to lose anyway so we may as well lose on principle.”

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 2:58 pm    Post subject: PTB plan to oust Corbyn? Reply with quote

The PTB lost control. First they fiddled the election using the postal vote to stop a potential anti-neo-liberal Labour-SNP government. But that led to a Tory victory, the growth of the revolt against neo-liberalism in England and a socialist Labour leader. They now have a big problem. But what is/are their plan/s?

Plan A was to blackmail him into standing down or ensure he had an 'accident'. Defence minister Fallon came out and said Corbyn was a 'national security threat'. This gave a green light to factions in the security establishment to get rid of Corbyn. The press tried to turn Corbyn into a pariah so if something rotten did happen to Corbyn there would be little public sympathy. Anonymous generals went public with treason and said they'd organize a coup if Corbyn became PM. Seems there were sufficient senior people in MI5 who did not want to stick their necks out. Mandelsohn then made an announcement about 'we' should end the notion that Corbyn could be gotten rid of and 'we' should allow him to stay in place and make mistakes.

Plan B was to force him to resign by creating the 'mistakes'. We are told that 90% of Labour MPs didn?t vote for Corbyn. So, marshall them into attacking Corbyn. Senior shadow cabinet ministers would anonymously brief the press to attack Corbyn. Voters would then see that the Labour Party is divided and not vote for them. Indeed, a recent poll suggested that Labour was on the way to replacing the Tories as the 'nasty divided party'. Perhaps someone had something on people like MP Simon Danczuk to push him into being the main attack dog. Mass support for Corbyn through groups like Momentum and Stop the War were demonised to cut off from the media their voices of support for Corbyn and their alternative analysis. It meant that the main media commentators remained anti-Corbyn. The hope would be that Corbyn and many Labour voters would conclude that the Labour Party will not change and resign. The high point was a vote on Syria that would see most Labour MPs voting against him, an (half-arsed) attempt to promote Hiliary Benn as a replacement leader, and Labour losing the Oldham by-election. The plan flopped. Perhaps, Danczuk got fed up and wanted out but is now being punished to keep others into line.

Plan C is to split the PLP. It was kicked off by Mandelsohn saying that a divisive Corbyn was splitting the Party. The aim is still in the works but this is to split as many MPs as possible from the Party and to make them into an independent caucus who would vote the way they wanted. i.e. with the Tories. The caucus would be the basis of an anti-Corbyn/SNP alliance that would include the DUP, UKIP, Lib Dems and the Tories that would see them through after the 2020 election. The reshuffle was meant to give them an excuse and many members of the Cabinet were supposed to do a mass resignation. They could all say that it was Corbyn's fault for splitting the party. This didn't work out. But some shadow ministers were pushed into resigning anyway. Perhaps, they were told to show their loyalty ahead of the creation of the independent caucus. If the reshuffle ploy was a flop, they now have a chance with Corbyn's attempt to change party policy on Trident that would reflect the view of the membership.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 6:13 pm    Post subject: Don't buy Labour Beckett's lie Reply with quote

Dame Margaret Beckett and her friends are deliberately conning us by mixing propaganda with truth. They have to add some truth because couldn’t get away with right-wing propaganda alone. She wants Corbyn to publish a report on why Labour lost that is designed to make Labour more Tory.

If you want the truth please go to the British Election Study which questioned 30,000 voters about the 2015 election. Their conclusion is clear. There was no shy Tory vote, no late swing votes and no anti-SNP vote. They found that is Labour went to the right they would LOSE votes and if they went to the Left they would gain votes. They also found that going Left was not sufficient to get a victory. Labour lost votes because they were in charge when the 2008 financial crash happened and it would take years for Labour to recover from that. They said that the ERM-sterling crisis also kept the Tories out of power.

There is truth to concerns about Ed Milliband. But what Beckett has done is added concerns that would be expressed by Tory and UKIP voters. Basically, this is the position adopted by the Brown and Blairites: we must take on Tory and UKIP policies in order to directly appeal to Tory and UKIP voters. This strategy has already lost.

This is what the study says (http://bit.ly/1F84rRn):

Quote:
...The first is the ‘SNP threat’. As discussed above, we currently find little robust evidence that attitudes towards the SNP and expectations about a hung parliament resulted in gains for the Conservatives from Ukip or in vote losses for Labour from former Lib Dems.

The second red herring is Labour’s left-right position, that is, the question of whether Labour was either overly or insufficiently left-wing. Generally, our data shows that people were more likely to vote Labour in 2015 when they thought the party was more left-wing, and less likely to vote Labour when they thought it was centrist.

This suggests there is very little to the argument that Labour was too left-wing to attract voters. At the same time there is not much to support the argument that Labour was not left-wing enough. There was very little difference in the likelihood of voting Labour between someone who thought Labour sat at the left-most end of the scale (0) and someone who saw it as just left of centre (4), it is only when people saw Labour as sitting to the right of this point that support really drops off...
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The mere fact that the MSM are against JC (they would undoubtedly have been against the other 'JC' if they had been around 2,000 years ago) means he must be doing something right (ditto re Putin).
I believe Corbyn has already spoken of needing a new Left-wing newspaper:
bring it on!!

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2016 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

what's the problem with the Mirror?
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