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Morning Star on Shropshire Tory Rout, “Labour is a Party that Hates itself.”

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North Shropshire by-election result: Lib Dems win historic victory in blow  for Boris Johnson | Shropshire Star

Starmer’s Critics Did Not Wait Long to Attack.

The Alt-left Tweets got going this morning:

Corbynista Extraordinaire Rachel writes,

Now we have Rosie Dee on the Squawking one’s Organ,

“Earlier this week, ‘Rosie Dee’ – a popular activist still in the Labour party – wrote in withering terms of Keir Starmer’s foolish squandering of an opportunity to actually oppose and set Labour apart from the Tories, when Starmer propped up Boris Johnson to save him from a Tory rebellion over ‘Covid passports’ and compulsory vaccinations. Starmer did not even demand any concessions from Johnson in return.

Now she analyses Labour’s catastrophic result in last night’s by-election as a ‘nightmare’ for the Tory PM – and for the Tory-lite Starmer:

North Shropshire – a Nightmare for Johnson, A dream for Lib Dems and sleepless nights for Labour if they are to approach this result with honesty.

Given the tone of some of Skwawky’s crew of commentators it’s not cups of Rosie Dee (Co-op 99) that they’ve been drinking,

It is not merely Keir Starmer who needs to go as leader. The whole rotten borough organisation of the Establishment reserves from Blair, Mandelson and Campbell et al through to the majority of the current PLP and their LA equivalents, along with their cadre of twelve year old management clones clogging up space which could be filled by people of talent and commitment to the values, both at head office and throughout the region’s all need to be expunged from the host body if that host is not to permanently expire.

We need a root and branch clearing out of the stables with room only for those prepared to do what it says on the tin when it comes to values and doing the business. No bodge jobs and no sodding waste of time and space careerists – just as applicable to some of the wastes of space self referencing so called ‘progressive’ (pseudo)’ left’ as it is with such equivalents on the right/extreme centre.

Editorial: How should we interpret the Tory humiliation in North Shropshire?

Morning Star – wholly independent of the Communist Party of Britain and owned by the co-op (not the Co-op that sells 99 Tea).

“Local factors may have played a part in the party’s collapsed appeal: the well-known Labour candidate of the last three general elections, Graeme Currie, was barred from standing for having shared social media posts supportive of Jeremy Corbyn and freedom for Palestine.”

Comment: there may be some truth in this claim,

Betrayed and abused’: Labour’s previous North Shropshire candidate not shortlisted for by-election

Nov 14, 2021 Shropshire Star,

An experienced Labour politician spoke of his “anger and revulsion” after being barred from running for the party in the North Shropshire by-election, suggesting it was partly because of his support for Jeremy Corbyn.

The Morning Star rushes to its own judgement:

“The anti-socialist stitch-up will have left a bad taste in the mouth, sapping Labour members’ will to campaign and reminding voters that Labour is a party that hates itself.

The self-identifying Daily Paper of the Left is keen not to rejoice at the Tory defeat.

These local factors should not be of much comfort, however. For one thing, Labour’s anti-socialist purges and arbitrary disqualification of local members’ preferred candidates are Britain-wide: they are undermining the party everywhere.

For another, the stampede towards the Lib Dems is a sign of class politics in retreat.

Others would point to the Lib-Dem by-election machine’s efficient working of a constituency which has little, if any, record of class struggle, and where there was not a hope in hell of getting a Labour MP in.

The Labour leadership are likely to read the Lib Dem vote as confirmation of Keir Starmer’s view that the Tories are vulnerable on sleaze but the big challenges to the status quo represented by Corbynism and Brexit are in the past. That people want things as they are, but without Johnson.

Given that Johnson is a corrupt clown, a national populist whose election owed a lot to his personal appeal to the voters, what is wrong with landing a severe blow against him? The Lib-Dem victory undermined the popular bit of the ‘populism’. What could be better first step to getting rid of him and his party’s hold on office?

The Editorial concludes with words that could have been written any time during the last thirty years. It gives no reason to indicate that people have a clear idea of what they want, until enlightened by the Morning Star and whatever ‘radical alternative’ they, pro-Brexiteers who played their part in creating the status quo, back at the moment.

We cannot accept a return to “there is no alternative” politics when every development from the pandemic to climate change screams the need for a radical alternative from the rooftops.

But stopping it will mean rebuilding the power of organised labour step by step, workplace by workplace and community by community.

If that’s their trade union funding sorted, and everybody who wants something done about climate change in their camp, but how many divisions has the Morning Star’s friends in the CPG got in the workplace and community? A few thousand, counting fellow travellers….

Update.

Like this well-hard geezer, small businessman Steve Walker – the man they are calling the new Tony Greenstein…

Bland and treacherous LibDems surge to take seat from chaotic Tories. Bland and treacherous Labour loses more than 56% of its vote share.

“…the bigger disaster was that of Keir Starmer’s Labour. In an election created by the resignation of the previous Tory incumbent in a scandal, Labour didn’t just fail to win the seat but lost more than 56% of its vote share at the last election under the supposedly unpopular Jeremy Corbyn.

Starmer and his factional allies have, of course, been vigorously rewriting history to suggest that Labour lost the 2019 general election because of Corbyn’s supposed unpopularity ‘on the [mythical] doorstep’ and greeted Starmer’s accession as the turning point that would show how much the country was clamouring for their diseased version of Labour.

Starmer’s taste-free snake oil has no appeal when it comes to the actual event of putting an ‘X’ on parliamentary ballot paper.

Tragically, a country in desperate need of real change has none on offer at a parliamentary level. Starmer’s destruction of the one vehicle of hope for that change is unforgivable and last night voters got the chance to deliver him the message yet again.”

From the Comments..

“I see Starmer’s policy of expelling all socialists on the pretext of antisemitism and persuading all the disillusioned Tory voters to vote for a Socialist free Zionist party of nodding dogs has failed. Big surprise that isn’t it.”

Written by Andrew Coates

December 17, 2021 at 3:31 pm

Labour’s Brexit Policy a “trap” that “diverted Labour from it’s “Corbynite” left-wing, populist themes” – Morning Star.

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Three impossible things before breakfast: some comments on the "Full Brexit"  group

“Top People” got Labour to Oppose Brexit and back a People’s Vote – Morning Star.

The Morning Star describes itself as the Daily Paper of the left. It embraces many lefts that agree with its editorial line. In recent eulogy Andrew Murray writes warmly of a new book, The Forty-Year War in Afghanistan by his old mucker, Tariq Ali, a member of New Left Review’s Editorial Committee, a much-liked sage, a doughty fighter for Brexit, and a stellar figure in the international left. “Erudite and committed writings of Tariq Ali on Afghanistan, published at every stage of the calamity, are a illuminating read.” writes the one-time member of the Communist Party of Britain, scion of the Slains Pursuivant of Arms, and former top adviser to Jeremy Corbyn.

Murray expresses some reservations about Ali’s criticism of the Soviet Union’s direct military intervention to help the Afghan regime. The future leading aide to the Labour leader backed the move:

.

Our view was not informed by any particular knowledge of Afghan affairs, but by the supervening requirement, as it seemed to us, to support the Soviet government as a principle of international class struggle, the more so when it was under attack by the imperialists.

We were also concerned to support a regime in Kabul that seemed to have progressive achievements, although we understood little about it

But all’s well that ends well.

Looking back, I do not regret supporting the Soviet endeavour in Afghanistan, for the same reasons that I had at the time. However, on the substance of the matter — the wisdom of the intervention and its baleful consequences for both Afghanistan and the USSR itself — it should be acknowledged that, here too, Tariq Ali was right and has been vindicated.

Speculation is growing that Tel’s nipper, Oliver Eagleton, of New Left Review’s Sidecar and the popular TikTock broadcasts of Novara Media, is set to have his own column in the worker’s organ. He will explore his latest marotte, “After Brexit, the partnership with France unravelled, as Barnier and Macron pushed to inflict maximal damage on Britain to deter future experiments in popular sovereignty.”

Another one-time radical leftist who writes for the paper is Solomon Hughes. He was a member of the SWP and before Comrade Delta crisis wrote for Socialist Review, Tribune says that he has been “writing about corporate influence in politics for twenty years, mostly for Private Eye.”

Hughes also has a weekly column in the Morning Star. In that outlet he has been delving into the forces who opposed the Vote Leave camp, the ‘Left Brexit’ forces.

These campaigners called for a Second Referendum to thwart Brexit. The success of Britain’s departure from the EU, the burgeoning upsurge of a people’s movement to assert real popular sovereignty, “real independence”, was stopped in its tracks. Labour refused to support a People’s Brexit. “Unconstrained by EU treaties, single market rules and directives, a left-led Labour government could develop a worker-led industrial strategy; aid industry, invest in training, youth and jobs, social welfare, housing, education and health services; and take the transport, energy and postal service profiteers back into public ownership. ” Was this listened to? No. The result, as foreseen by leading CPB member Nick Wright, was the Labour Defeat in 2019.

How did this happen? Hughes has been piling on the evidence, or what he considers to be proof, of a damming trail of centrist plots and underhand deals, that show what happened in Labour behind the scenes ever since.

The latest, hot off the press:

How Labour got lumbered with its disastrous Brexit policy

SOLOMON HUGHES picks apart some revealing comments by the head of comms at the People’s Vote campaign

The writer asserts that he has found “confirmation that the whole reverse-Brexit People’s Vote campaign was, for some top people, “a stick with which to beat the Labour Party” and “an anti-Corbyn thing” comes from one of the top figures in the People’s Vote campaign itself.”

This is the smoking pistol:

“UK In A Changing Europe, a research institute based at King’s College London focusing on Britain-EU relations, is building an archive of interviews of major players in the various Remain and Leave campaigns: the interviews are invaluable and revealing on the People’s Vote.”

Tom Baldwin, who was head of communications at the People’s Vote campaign, told them: “There was always an issue about how much the People’s Vote campaign should be a stick with which to beat the Labour Party rather than a neutral instrument for just winning a people’s vote.”

Here it is…

“I was trying to maintain some strategic discipline around the latter but there were constantly people who wanted it to be an anti-Labour thing, an anti-Corbyn thing, a realignment thing, a Liberal Democrat thing, a proportional vote thing.

“I think those were all distractions and the more we did it the more we just confirmed some people in their view that we were a liberal elitist, metropolitan organisation that was playing at politics.”

Hughes continues in this vein,

Baldwin was particularly drawing attention to Roland Rudd: he is a City lobbyist and the brother of top Tory Amber Rudd.

The “People’s Vote” was not a typical grassroots campaign, and was instead built from the top, by lobbyists and multimillionaire donors.

Roland Rudd effectively controlled one of the main organisations in the People’s Vote campaign, an organisation called Open Britain.

Baldwin also pointed to Rudd’s ally, Hugo Dixon: he says these two figures wanted to use the People’s Vote campaign to “realign” politics.

At that time Labour’s leader was the very left-wing Jeremy Corbyn, supported by a large number of members and a surprisingly good “second-place” result in the 2017 election.

Then….

Baldwin suggests people like Rudd and Dixon wanted to use the campaign to “realign” politics away from the left back to the centre.

Baldwin said the “big strategic difference was over the extent to which we wanted to win a People’s Vote and then win a referendum, or whether we wanted to use this extraordinary energy that we had built up to realign politics.

“I was in the former group. I understand why, but The Independent Group (TIG) and the Liberal Democrats, and indeed the SNP in a different way, sometimes saw the instability we were helping to cause in a political system and within Parliament as an opportunity for them.”

Baldwin says: “That sort of strategic tension was very clear by the end, because I think people like Roland Rudd and Hugo Dixon were of the view that we should be part of a realignment process.”

It is pretty much an open secret that many central figures in the People’s Vote campaign saw the whole business as more about rebuilding “centrist” politics, which was in a weak position in a polarised politics of the time.”

This may well be true, and given the long-standing views of ‘centrists’ hardly news. The issue is, what effect did it have on the Labour leadership? Unfortunately for gumshoe Hughes this is what Baldwin said of their efforts to get Labour to back a People’s Vote,

I think that was very difficult for Jeremy Corbyn and difficult for the Labour leadership. There was huge resistance from the Labour leadership to us, because we were seen as some sort of New Labour plot or new party plot. I think there was that element there. It certainly wasn’t an element which I wanted to encourage or have any part in, and I remember having some terrible meeting with Karie Murphy in the Leader’s Office where she is sort of jabbing her finger into my chest and saying, ‘Who the fuck are you and what are you doing?

When we didn’t back the TIGs and we didn’t take those opportunities to back early votes in the House of Commons on having a People’s Vote, which were merely designed to embarrass Corbyn, we made a lot of headway with the Labour leadership – and people like John McDonnell in particular- in persuading them that we really were what we said we were. We were a campaign for a People’s Vote and not anything else. But it took a big effort.’.

Brexit Witness Archive – Tom Baldwin – UK in a changing Europehttps://ukandeu.ac.uk › Brexit Interviews

Influencing the Labour Party

We shall leave others to delve further.

But Hughes goes further. He insinuates that the Labour Policy was led into a snare as part of a deliberate plan.

When Labour was finally persuaded to adopt a “second referendum” policy, Rudd used his control to end the campaign, sacking key staff, so the People’s Vote would not actually campaign in the 2019 election.

It looked like a crude trap: Labour was persuaded to adopt an electorally disastrous policy, then left to crash without support by the people who did the persuading.

Labour’s policy was not exactly the same as the Morning Star newshound asserts, “Labour will give the people the final say on Brexit. Within three months of coming to power, a Labour government will secure a sensible deal. And within six months, we will put that deal to a public vote alongside the option to remain. A Labour government will implement whatever the people decide.”.

Most people think that Labour sounded neither fish nor fowl, a marriage between a carp and a rabbit. Nobody was satisfied. Nobody felt enthusiastic. The stand was tolerated, at best.

Hughes claimed that the whole People’s Vote campaign was an operation to divide Labour, firstly to win the leadership, and then and to pave the way for a centrist re-alignment. Few would underestimate the capacity of, say, the Liberal Democrats and micro-party Change UK to dream of an Emmanuel Macron style shake down of British politics. But it was just that, a voyage to the dream-time followed by tiny numbers of people, a handful of the ‘target’ MPs, and even smaller numbers of Labour members.

Labour took the policy stand it did as a result of pressure from the membership, overwhelmingly anti-Brexit, and a majority of Labour voters, also opposed to Leave. There were Labour Conference debates. During them internationalists from groups such as the radical left led Another Europe is Possible – who were amongst the leading forces opposed to tearing the country from the EU – met the brick wall of people aligned with figures like Kate Murphy, Andrew Murray and the Leader’s Office (LOTO) – from which the above compromise position emerged.

For Hughes, who is absorbed in his own nightmare, there was one result. Standing against the Bosses’ Brexit was a harmful diversion:

It diverted Labour from it’s “Corbynite” left-wing, populist themes. And it lumbered Labour with a policy that ensured the party would be defeated in the face of Boris Johnson’s “Get Brexit Done” election campaign.

A few more nudges at the beginning of this piece and one could believe that Starmer was in on the cabal behind it all….

You can follow Ace-Reporter Hughes’ footsteps and read the full inside dope here:

Brexit Witness Archive – UK in a changing Europe

Tom Baldwin,

Written by Andrew Coates

November 13, 2021 at 2:15 pm

The Liberal Democrats’ Electoral Challenge, Brexit, and the Internationalist Left.

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No photo description available.

Said to be the Best Liberal Democrats Poll Ever (read small print).

A few days ago the leader of the Liberal Democrats declared,

Jo Swinson: Liberal Democrats close to winning hundreds of seats

Our polling shows that are within a small swing of winning hundreds of seats; because the political landscape is so totally changed by what has happened in our country.

Neither Boris Johnson nor Jeremy Corbyn is fit to be Prime Minister. Our country deserves a better choice and I am standing as a candidate to be Prime Minister and I would just say to you Martha, it is not up to anybody to tell people what they can or can’t choose – what is or isn’t possible – this will be decided by members of the public, people listening to this show, in the streets up and down the country.

The Liberal Democrats have a positive, alternative vision of the future, that is what I am going to be fighting for at this election.

Followed by this today,

The Liberal Democrats, and their predecessors the Liberal Party, have since their mid-sixties (old millenium) revival relied on the dynamics of elections to present themselves as new, rising, force.

Canvassers and activists of other parties have long experience of last-minute Liberal leaflets claiming that their party is about to win.

Traditionally a last minute poll would appear through letter-boxes announcing that their candidate is the only one capable of beating the Tories/Labour Party.

Once they took over a building in the street just next to mine, where a frenzied campaign could be seen at work.

They never won an Ipswich MP but at one time (just before and after their national agreement with the Conservatives) they ran the Borough Council in coalition with the Tories….

The Ipswich Liberals recruited former Labour councillors, including one who is now a leading light in the Brexit Party.

The strategy of appealing to Labour supporters with the claim to be “more left wing”than the party of New Labour worked in other places too.

Famously Tariq Ali, now a hardline pro-Brexiteer and  would-ne Corbyn’s best friend,  then the public face of a group of leftists in Haringey, called to vote Liberal Democrat in 2005 on the issue of the Iraq War (TARIQ ALI URGES A VOTE FOR LIB DEMS).

In fact it was at the time that the Liberals took their own turn to the right.

The ‘Orange  Book’ (2004) liberalism of ” choice and competition” was an important moment in their recent history. The Lib Dems claimed to reconcile “freedom of choice and competition” that is, free-market ideas and social policies , with an appeal to social justice.

It proved a pathway to an alliance with the Conservatives after the 2010 election.

The market-minded emphasis of David Laws, who proposed a social insurance model for the NHS in his essay, and of Paul Marshall, the Lib Dem donor and chair of the charity Ark Schools which runs several academies, prefigured the informal contacts that prepared the way for coalition negotiations ahead of the inconclusive election result. Ideas about liberation through the small state, that may have shocked many Lib Dems in the boom years, moved into the mainstream in the age of austerity.

Ten years after the economic liberals tried to capture the party, it is still divided

 

Today the Liberal Democrats are striking out on the issue of Brexit, claiming to be the best fighters against the hard right Johnson plans.

They equally attack what they claim are illiberal positions of the Labour Party.

Given that Donald Trump’s two best friends, Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage represent a danger to democratic values, to internationalism, that is the common ground that Liberals and liberals share with democratic socialists, few people on the left will  concentrate their attacks on the Lib Dems and Jo Swinson. The national populists are our principal enemy.

Those claiming to be on the left who consider that “human rights” and liberal tolerance of different beliefs are part and parcel of “globalism” and back brexit, are part of the red-brown front, not the Labour camp.

As in here:

No photo description available.

But we should remind Liberal Democrats that we too, that is the radical internationalist wing of Labour, stand for these principles.

Perhaps one of the best ways to look at this is through the ideas of the writer, Étienne Balibar.

Balibar stands for what he calls “Equaliberty“. This brings together freedom, equality, and democracy (which he sees as an expanding ‘limitless’ idea).  His writings bring together modern social movements, class based politics, democratic (anti-Stalinist) Marxism, and the revolutionary tradition of human rights,

Equaliberty means that politics is founded on the recognition that neither freedom nor equality can exist without the other, that is, that the suppression or even the limitation of one necessarily leads to the suppression or limitation of the other.

What is a Politics of the Rights of Man?

These are some of the ideas which many people in Labour stand for, principles of hope for a better future.

Our stand, the internationalist left’s stand, is to fight against Brexit, the strategy of the hard right, by making this part of a campaign for greater social justice.

The Liberal Democrats may support liberty, but just how far do they back the Labour programme for equality?