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As Keir Starmer Speaks to the Public, Factionalist Left Calls for “Socialist Co-Ordinating Committee”.

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Keir Starmer Goes for Johnson’s Jugular.

As Keir Starmer’s speech to the Labour Conference goes down well, out on the left, way out, there are now calls for a new ‘co-ordinating Committee”.

 

James Schneider, who was the deputy to Seamus Milne (both attended Winchester public school) and helped found Momentum, and former co-Chair of Oxford University Liberal Democrats clearly has some ambitions.

Earlier this year (April), on the pro-Brexit Verso site he expressed strong opinions against internationalists who fought against Brexit,

Bridging the Gap: Corbynism after Corbyn

Brexit gave the establishment a wedge to drive into the heart of the Corbyn project – and it did so with glee. Its repertoire – round-the-clock attacks, accusations of idiocy, performative confusion – need not be rehearsed. Within the party, those who both wished Corbyn well and to overturn the referendum result acted in large part as the establishment’s unwilling dupes. They wanted Corbyn to make the anti-democratic, Europhiliac argument that he never convincingly could. By the 2019 general election, Corbyn had lost his room for manoeuvre and his team was fundamentally divided on how to play an extremely challenging hand. The burnish of 2017, when Corbyn had appeared a politician apart, authentically himself, had been painfully wiped off.

To put it simply, the anti-Brexit left were part of the blame for the December General Election defeat.

This was Schneider’s strategic vision for the future of the left in April 2020.

With no party leadership to defend, Momentum could focus on bridging the gap between the moment’s possibility and the movement’s weakness. It could help build socialist capacities across the movement as a whole and offer coordination on every terrain of social struggle.

The Corbyn movement may be half-orphaned but it is no infant. It can succeed if it proves its maturity through tolerance for diversity, internal generosity and commitment to the long haul. Corbyn’s leadership was never going to bring socialism, even if elected with a majority government. It was a spark, an organiser and a staging post. It is up to the movement to take the cause further and win advances, for the many, not the few.

The movement can prove Jeremy Corbyn right: there is no such thing as Corbynism. There is socialism. And, things can, and they will, change.

It is hard to see any of these “dupes” and “Europhilics”  willing to work on a common project with Milne’s colleague.

As for socialism, there is little to indicate what this means. If he seriously believes the following then we can only remain in despair, “The horizon of state power turbocharged the Corbynite intellectual space: several important books were published in 2018 and 2019, Tribune and Novara expanded their output, and a boom in left-friendly think tanks developed.”

He has clearly not given up on the hopes he outlined in 2016 in an interview for the left-populist US journal Jacobin,

Maintaining Momentum

They see themselves as part of a post-2008 movement that has engaged with the Labour Party to change politics.

I see my role in Momentum as a dialogue between those two. I’ve read Miliband, I learned from his critiques, but I don’t come from his tradition. He helped me understand the historical development of the Labour Party and concepts like Labourism, but he was also writing in a different moment of history. The direction of history and politics, the nature of the economy, and technology’s role in society is quite different today. Our job is to adapt to that and to build coalitions that can win social majorities for change.

One of the tasks is to unite these two camps. That is the nature of a movement-party, combining the benefits of a tradition with the innovations of newer movements. What we have seen over the course of the year since Corbyn’s election is each group learning a lot from each other. They have become stronger. If you’re going to build a mass organization today, and repoliticize society, you need new ways of organizing, thinking, and communicating. But if you’re going to win the change you want to see, to be the government, to be in power, you need to engage and win with a party.

Those were the days, Sanders, Corbyn….

This camp has not come to terms with their defeat, nor with the wider problems of left-populism, in retreat across Europe. where it’s had a serious presence, France and Spain.

His initiative has had these more positive responses:

And this,

 

We have yet to register the response from the heavyweights of the alt left, Skwawkbox, and Aron Bastani’s Novra Media.

Bastani seems to engaged his troops in an important war of manouvre against Paul Mason.

It’s all to play today…

For some reason many people on the left just do not take these initiatives seriously.

 

 

Written by Andrew Coates

September 22, 2020 at 12:35 pm

8 Responses

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  1. Starmer’s speech was vacuous, amounting to nothing more than platitudes and unfunded vague pious wishes. If it was to have any substance, how on Earth is that substance literally to be filled, given Labour’s commitment to an ever harsher lockdown than that proposed by the Tories, so that neither the physical goods and services required by society now, let alone by a society that seeks to be more equitable and provide greater public services can be produced – they don’t appear out of thin air without workers being in work to produce them, or from a Magic Money Tree – nor the wealth produced by new labour being undertaken to create new value, so that workers can have the wages, and the state can have the taxes to pay for them!

    How on Earth is any of this going to be possible in conditions of a hard Brexit Britain, when it faces increased costs, as a result, a huge drain of physical capital to the EU, and a lack of competitiveness? How is it going to do all that when that Brexit means that in order to retain or attract capital, Britain will have to give tax concessions, offer laxer labour laws, laxer environmental and consumer conditions and so on?

    Not only has Starmer become a bigger Brexiteer thaan Corbyn, but he and his followers now seem to be giving us all of the delusions of the Lexiters to go with it.

    Boffy

    September 22, 2020 at 1:07 pm

    • There is a “magic money tree.” The problem is the money supply is controlled by private banks. The creation of money has not borne any relation to material assets for decades now. Taking control of the money supply could easily empower a left wing administration. Any politics based on continued consumption and growth, including Socialism, enters in to a deadly grand deception: the pretence that this will not lead to global environmental collapse in the near future. Instead of scoring petty points in party politics we desperately need to formulate strategies to avoid what is rapidly becoming the inevitable. We have super computers committed to market speculation; why can’t we have them perform calculations as to universal basic income allowances proportionate to costs of living in different regions, production targets, resource allocation etc.

      Jimmy Magoo

      September 23, 2020 at 8:14 pm

      • “There is a “magic money tree.” The problem is the money supply is controlled by private banks.”

        You are confusing money with money tokens (coins, banknotes) and credit. The same confusion led the Stalinists in the 1920’s to create an inflationary problem as they thought that simply printing or money was the same thing as creating additional value. It also meant that they undermined any possibility of proper accounting, which is vital to a planned economy.

        As Trotsky put it,

        “The platform of the Opposition (1927) demanded “a guarantee of the unconditional stability of the money unit.” This demand became a leitmotif during the subsequent years. “Stop the process of inflation with an iron hand,” wrote the émigré organ of the Opposition in 1932, “and restore a stable unit of currency,” even at the price of “a bold cutting down of capital investments.” The defenders of the “tortoise tempo” and the superindustrializers had, it seemed, temporarily changed places. In answer to the boast that they would send the market “to the devil”, the Opposition recommended that the State Planning Commission hang up the motto: “Inflation is the syphilis of a planned economy.””

        As for why there are not super computers working out payments of UBI and so on the answer is obvious. Such things are under the control of the capitalist state, and the capitalist state has no interest in such activities.

        Boffy

        September 24, 2020 at 3:58 pm

  2. Reblogged this on Tory Britain!.

    A6er

    September 22, 2020 at 1:20 pm

  3. It looks as if Skwawkie is instead running a flanking proxy attack on Lisa Nandy by taking her words on a Radio 4 interview “”We stand up for Britain, we stand up for British people, we stand up for British interests and we will always put that first” as an implicit endorsement of the “Britain First” fash group. (an odd thing to do for the daughter of Marxist scholar Dipak Nandy) although he then carefully says “While Nandy did not use the exact phrase ‘Britain First’, she did refer to lots of ‘British’ things and say ‘we will always put that first’”, and that this, extended to draw in Kier Starmer, “will do nothing to persuade the leave seats that Labour lost last year that (Starmer) is any different to the remain-obsessed referendum advocate that helped destroy Labour in many of its heartlands”. As one would expect, these nuances did little to quell his below the line follower, one of whom, in a more than usually grammatically correct formulation, queried whether Nandy’s comments foreshadowed the dropping the Red Flag at the end of conference “Meanwhile, the party’s anthem’ll be getting changed to: “Tomorrow belongs to me” before too long”.

    david walsh

    September 22, 2020 at 3:28 pm

    • Touchy subject for them, patriotism, given Rebecca Long-Bailey’s ‘progressive patriotism’ and gushing over having met Lady Di.

      The People’s Princess of the Labour Party said, “”Britain has a long history of patriotism rooted in working life, built upon unity and pride in the common interests and shared life of everyone.

      “To win we must revive this progressive patriotism and solidarity in a form fit for modern Britain.”

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-50942825

      David, On a general point this looks pretty accurate about wat you are saying,

      “The Labour left, at least the very public part of it, has not responded well to its defeat. None of the key “outriders” — those media activists who fought for Corbyn — has the gift of genuine self-criticism, so you get weak beer such as “Jeremy isn’t anti-Semitic but…” which is the closest most of them will get to acknowledging anything went wrong at all.”

      https://www.thearticle.com/whats-the-future-of-the-labour-left

      Boffy, when not slaying viruses, does make an important point that can’t be ignored, even if Starmer’s speech was to address the public in a way people can relate to (which succeeded), with a Hard Brexit and the consequences of the pandemic, even fuzzy politics will face massive economic obstacles.

      Andrew Coates

      September 22, 2020 at 5:04 pm

  4. And Brexit was engineered with help from chaps like this|:

    Andrew Coates

    September 22, 2020 at 5:08 pm

  5. The sacking of Nadia Whittome for opposing the Tories abhorrent new law to protect British troops from prosecution for torture and other war crimes, shows exactly where the factionalism in the New Labour party of Starmer resides.

    Obviously as Starmer becomes a bigger Brexiteer than Corbyn and Johnson, and clothes himself in the clothes of the Stalinist Lexiters, and the delusion that it is possible to build Social-Democracy in One Country, his further sinking into the reactionary mire of nationalism and social-patriotism is gathering pace.

    Why did anyone think this would end up any differently? How many times does the Left have to undergo such masochism before it learns the lesson?

    Boffy

    September 24, 2020 at 3:49 pm


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