Jeremy Corbyn

Another history of Corbynism

If I were Owen Jones, I would be rather annoyed that Gabriel Pogrund and Patrick Maguire got Left Out published before This Land: The Story of a Movement. When I read both, in the order of release, with Jones’s book I felt like I had read it all before. Jones, unlike Pogrund and Maguire, is a participant in the movement. He was one of the few columnists in the mainstream media to support the Corbyn leadership. He started his career working for John McDonnell and alongside Andrew Fisher. He makes clear in the book that he rates both of them highly. He sees McDonnell as Labour’s lost leader. But...

Labour's antisemitism tangle

More than ÂŁ300,000 has been donated to a fundraising page to help support Jeremy Corbyn if a legal case goes ahead over the leaked Labour antisemitism report or the Panorama programme produced by John Ware. Keir Starmer has already settled the Panorama legal cases with the whistle-blowers featured in the documentary, several of whom are heavily criticised in the pro-Corbyn leaked report. Corbyn has criticised the decision. He claims the move to settle was political rather than legal and that Labour had a strong defence case. Regardless of the merits of the legal case against the former party...

Clive Lewis on the left after Corbyn

Clive Lewis talked with Sacha Ismail What Corbynism started to talk about in 2015 was an end to austerity, and trying to return to a sort of 1945 moment, trying to recapture a Keynesian economic approach — redistribution of wealth, trying to use social democracy to move us towards a more socialist economy in stages. But also at the beginning it was about democratising the party, which I think is what attracted so many of us. The idea of democracy and membership engagement and members having a real say over policy really resonated. New Labour came in and put their boot on the throat of the...

Labour leadership: what about the anti-strike laws?

Speaking in Sheffield on 7 February, Labour leader candidate Rebecca Long-Bailey pledged to back all striking workers “no questions asked”, promising to be a leader “as comfortable on the picket line as at the dispatch box”. She argued that building up trade unionism should be central to increasing Labour support, including in areas lost to the Tories, and said a Labour government should aim to increase union membership by a million in its first year. We are not supporting Long-Bailey, because of her close ties to the established Labour "backroom" cabals of the Unite union hierarchy and long...

Make Labour councils centres of resistance!

In the cacophony of post mortems of Labour’s defeat, the role of Labour councils is being overlooked or at least understated. I think that a significant contributor to the erosion of Labour’s base has been councils which cut services, do the bidding of developers, and are generally bureaucratic, unresponsive and inaccessible to working-class people. They are seen as the establishment and are the first political institution that people see affecting their lives negatively. This has contributed to the alienation of Labour from working-class communities, to a loss of the idea that by electing...

Sanders, Corbyn and anti-Semitism

Bernie Sanders has a proud record both of supporting Israel and of being critical of its government. He summed up his views in a recent article for the magazine Jewish Currents, in which he wrote; “I think it is very important for everyone, but particularly for progressives, to acknowledge the enormous achievement of establishing a democratic homeland for the Jewish people after centuries of displacement and persecution.” The choice of the phrase “in particular for progressives” is deliberate. Because people on the Left, in recent years, have not acknowledged that the creation of Israel was...

Paul Mason and the Labour left

Did Paul Mason write his own headline for his latest New Statesman article? “Corbynism is over – Labour’s next leader must unite the centre and the left”. The article is better than the headline, but the headline does indicate the problem with Mason’s arguments. As often, he combines useful left-wing insights with ambiguity and right-wing elements. Mason’s starting point is that Labour’s shift to a more anti-Brexit position was too little too late. “Because we had to waste half a year, and a fractious conference, winning over Liberal Democrat and Green voters, could not simultaneously do the...

EHRC to report early 2020

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) investigation into allegations of antisemitism in the Labour Party is expected to publish its report early in 2020. The remit of the EHRC investigation covers: whether unlawful acts have been committed by the Labour Party; whether it has implemented recommendations about tackling antisemitism and taken overall effective action; and whether its processes are fit-for-purpose. Organisations which have submitted statements to the investigation include the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) and Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL). Both statements are available on...

Five arguments about why Labour lost

“Labour has lost the working class” Over the years, but particularly in the Brexit era, older people have swung to the right and younger people to the left. In 1983 18-24 year olds backed Thatcher over Labour by 9 points, while over-65s backed Labour by 6. This time 18-24s backed Labour 57-19, while over-65s backed the Tories 62-18! Among women voters aged 18-24, only 15% went Tory. Older people are more and more over-represented in areas where Labour lost the bulk of its seats, and young people more and more under-represented. And older people are much more likely to turn out and vote. What...

What if a hung parliament?

On 25 November Jeremy Corbyn reiterated his opposition to a coalition with the Lib Dems if the Tories lose the election but Labour does not win a majority. He did not respond to a question about coalitions versus forming a minority government. Mostly Labour’s leaders have rightly said they oppose a coalition and that, if Labour comes out from 12 December ahead of the Tories but short of a majority, they will go for a minority government. The Lib Dems have gone even further and said they will not vote to make Corbyn prime minister, let alone join a coalition. However, on 19 November the...

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