Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

British Left’s Brilliant Strategies, from May to Eagle.

with 8 comments

Cartoon 12.07.2016

Steve Bell’s comment.

The British left is famous for its brilliant strategists.

First we had ‘Lexiters’ relishing the thought that  a Leave vote would divide the Tories.

A crisis for the Tories most definitely is equivalent to an opportunity for the left. It is possible to claim otherwise only by detaching the left from the basic wisdom of the working class movement upon which the left has claimed to base itself. That’s fine for the Greens and those leftists whose conclusion from the defeat of the working class movement in the 1980s was precisely to pursue a déclassé progressivism.

Cameron’s tactical purpose in calling the EU referendum was to undermine UKIP and to unite the Tory party on its hard Thatcherite course of class confrontation at home. He has succeeded only in dividing the Tory party from top to bottom….

Counterfire. Kevin Ovenden. 

Now we have Teresa May uniting the Conservative party.

Second we have, from the right of Labour,  Angela Eagle claiming that she is running a campaign against Jeremy Corbyn because she can “unite the party”.

Labour leadership: Angela Eagle says she can unite the party.



Written by Andrew Coates

July 12, 2016 at 11:10 am

8 Responses

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  1. Are the Eaglers seriously arguing that her coronation, based upon excluding JC from the ballot, will unite the party? Does anybody know one we could ask?

    Boleyn Ali

    July 12, 2016 at 4:01 pm

  2. It is too tragic for words.

    Democratic socialists, from Momentum, to democratic left groups, and, right down locally in our party, as some of us argued last week at our meeting, have argued for compromises and tolerance.

    John McDonnell and Corbyn have tried to create a party leadership that offers a synthesis of the different strands of the party and wider democratic socialism – very consciously I add.

    They, the Eaglers, are as guilty as the sectarian loony-bins of the Lexit camp and more directly groups like the SP, and SWP, in trying to divide us.

    Except these MPs are meant to be rational and sensible people.

    Andrew Coates

    July 12, 2016 at 5:55 pm

  3. Andy Coats and George Galloway appear to be on the same side…


    July 12, 2016 at 8:36 pm

  4. There is a serious problem for the left which, to my knowledge, only Madam Miow has addressed from the left, namely competence.

    I have seen countless lefties on Twitter point this out. They want an, to broadly describe it, anti-austerity candidate but they also know Corbyn and, most especially, Seumas Milne, are laughably incompetent. Anyone who watched the Vice documentary (made by a fan, not a hit job) can see that with their own two eyes. The reports of the undermining of the Remain campaign – detailed by Madam Miow – underlined what had just been witnessed. I just documented the utter disaster that was the appearance before the antisemitism inquiry. And this incompetence has been going on since the get go. Day after day after day.

    Miow, after venting much anger, especially at Milne, comes to the #CorbynStays conclusion but others are furious that a personality cult, for that is what it is, has developed, one that is in utter denial that competence is or even should be an issue, that conspiracism has been encouraged to grow, and an alternative of Corbyn standing down and a competent alternative being found to replace him appears to have been discounted – if it was ever seriously considered at all. (And it was at least floated, Owen Jones said Clive Lewis was the idea to take over.)

    So this is another example of what you correctly identify, namely the left’s strategic failure. On steroids. I don’t know about you but my sixth sense blames Milne, as in ‘when in doubt blame Milne’ …

  5. “Why did it fall apart so quickly. One possible explantation is the Labour Party’s public reaction to the EU-referendum vote.

    Corbyn’s statement was not cleared with the Shadow Cabinet. But a three-hour meeting followed during which the thrust of that statement was criticised and alternative approaches were suggested. In his closing remarks, Corbyn apparently took no notice of anything that had been said and read from a prepared statement.

    The cause of dismay is best summed up by an apparent willingness on Corbyn’s part to accept the result and get on securing the best deal for the British people without questioning the consequences.

    His email message to members issued later on Friday 24th June, said: ‘I will be making clear to both Remain and Leave voters that Labour will fight for the exit negotiations to be accountable to an open, transparent parliamentary process. And we’ll do everything to secure the best deal for the people of Britain at every stage.’

    Nothing about the cruel Leave campaign deceits that would be, and now are being exposed: extra money for the NHS, halting immigration, trade access to the single market without freedom of movement. Nothing about those shocking lies that were intended to encourage people to vote Leave and succeeded.

    If that account is true, it is hardly surprising that members of the Shadow Cabinet were very angry going into that weekend.

    Chartist statement on Labour’s Leadership:

    Corbyn: popular, but not with Labour MPs – why?
    Peter Kenyon and Mike Davis


    As you suggest, Paul, this reaction to the Brexit vote has Milne’s fingerprints all it.

    Andrew Coates

    July 13, 2016 at 12:02 pm

  6. Bit surprising that they don’t mention his call for immediate Art 50 trigger, which is inept, bad politics and really damaging. Who the heck else in the party wants that? Not even the Labour Leave people. That would have really angered a lot of people.

    Chartists then call for rallying behind a Corbyn that does not exist. A chimera Corbyn, one who they can project onto that does not in fact exist. The Party now seems to be divided into those who see the Emperor has no clothes and those who insist he looks fabulous.

  7. I thought that Kevin Ovenden’s comments sum up the attitude of the left in a nutshell. Stick to cant and jargon and ignore the fact that the working class are deserting Labour in droves.

    Dave Roberts

    July 13, 2016 at 11:08 pm

  8. Paul is correct on “competence”, and there must be plenty who dont think he looks at all fabulous. It is not only Milne but also the entire coterie of advisers, mired in decades factional struggle, that are the problem. When the plotters talk of him being “in a bunker”, (albeit one of their construction) it rings very true.

    We needed a vibrant Remain campaign – regardless of the percentage commitment to the EU. At the very least such a campaign – modeled on the energy of his election campaign, engaging and recruiting (particularly youth) and playing to his strengths, filling out speaking engagements across the country – would have undercut the plotters.

    They very nearly had me on “competence” but the disgraceful behavior of the PLP has changed all that. He will likely win the rerun however he has to have something to offer by way of a change of direction. How’s about;

    New team – inc. a tabloid savvy media operator like Kevin Maguire instead of Milne
    Focused united message for the next election – Win Brexit, End austerity
    Détente on all other contentious issues – drop the 80s obsessions
    Complete daily focus on exposing May’s cant of yesterday

    Boleyn Ali

    July 14, 2016 at 1:24 pm

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