Essential reading on where Jeremy Corbyn comes from.
“For students of entryism, Engels’s tactics were textbook stuff: a brutally successful medley of threats, divide and rule, denunciations and ideological bullying.”
Tristram Hunt on the political practice of Marx’s comrade amongst German workers in Paris the mid-1840s.
Page 141. The Frock Coated-Communist. Penguin 2010.
Andy Burnham To Reach Out To Jeremy Corbyn
“I want to capture that and involve Jeremy and his team in rebuilding our party from the bottom up,” he said, also promising to “take the best ideas of the other candidates, where there is common ground between us, and use them to shape my radical vision”.
He said it would be “unforgivable” if infighting after the new leader is elected prevented Labour standing up to the Tories.
Shadow Cabinet MPs form ‘the Resistance’ group in anticipation of Corbyn win.
A moderate Labour pressure group dubbed “the Resistance” is being formed by two top shadow cabinet members as Jeremy Corbyn pulls ahead in the leadership race, the Evening Standard can reveal.
Chuka Umunna and Tristram Hunt have written privately to Labour MPs calling on them to meet four days before the leadership result is announced. It is being seen by MPs as a rival to Mr Corbyn’s Left-wing platform and the start of guerrilla warfare for Labour’s soul.
The group, Labour for the Common Good, will meet on September 8 and include some peers, council leaders and trade unionists.
Tristram Hunt supports Liz Kendall.
This is just a reminder that Tristram Hunt MP, Labour MP for Stoke-on-Trent and Shadow Secretary of State for Education, will be in Ipswich this Monday 17th August to meet with local members and supporters.
The event will take place at 33 Silent Street, Ipswich, IP1 1TF at 12.15pm. Parking can be found at Cromwell Square or at the Buttermarket Shopping Centre.
RSVP to meet Tristram this Monday
We hope you can make it along!
Liz Kendall for Labour Leader
Labour for the Common Good...
Students of Labour politics will be reaching for their copies of Defeat from the Jaws of Victory: Inside Kinnock’s Labour by Richard Hefferman
One of the central themes in the book is the story of how the Labour Co-ordinating Committee (LCC) emerged. From the soft left of the party it evolved into a part of what would (after Kinnock’s exit) become Blairism.
Progress, one of the leading forces in the present ‘anybody but Corbyn’ campaign carried a couple of years ago an interesting article by Luke Akehurst on this topic,
…the LCC did play a role in rescuing Labour, they came late to the match having been playing on the other side in the first half. The heavy lifting had already been done by the Old Right around the MPs in Labour Solidarity, the union leaders and political officers in the St Ermins Group and the newsletter ‘Forward Labour’.
We can see an attempt to reforge this bloc of the former left (in the present instance perhaps some ‘Eustonites’?) and the hard Labour right, with Liz Kendall’s claim to promote a “new politics: blue Labour in dialogue with the revisionist tradition that started with the Gaitskellites in the 1950s.” (17th August Progress).
To make this a reality, Labour must win back economic credibility, the argument goes. In no uncertain terms, Kendall argues that Labour has to be known for being ‘careful with people’s money’.
‘If we’re deaf to these calls from the public for fiscal responsibility, we’ll be out of power for decades’ she warns. Turning the left’s critique on its head again, Kendall insists, ‘the politics I’m putting forward is actually the real anti-austerity politics’. When Labour puts its energies into ‘running sound public finances’ it ‘win[s] elections’, meaning Labour politicians ‘can actually stop some of the awful, vile things that the Tories are doing’. The current shadow care minister is able perhaps better than anyone currently at the top of Labour politics to identify the real divide between the Conservatives and Labour: George Osborne’s summer budget promotes ‘inherited wealth for the few’, she says, while Labour’s mission under her will be to ‘tackle the inherited poverty for too many people’. ‘This is the politics that will really be anti-austerity. It will allow us to win power and to have a totally different alternative from what the Tories are doing.’ Articulating this fundamental difference and putting flesh on the bones of a plan to achieve this is what will make clear how Labour differs from its array of competitors.
For those tempted to take these claims seriously Dave Osler’s New Labour PlC (2003) is essential reading.
‘Labour Party Plc’ tracks the party’s relationship with business from the early steps made by Neil Kinnock, to John Smith’s more overt flirting, to the love that dared speak its name under Tony Blair. David Osler looks in turn at funding of the Labour Party by rich individuals and big business, the scramble for lucrative government contracts once Labour was in office, and the way that business has been invited to help formulate government policy.
Osler suggests that one key turning point was Black Wednesday in 1992. On that day the pound was kicked out of the scheme that was the precursor to the euro and the Tories looked like they might never win another election. John Moores, director of Littlewoods football pools, described the motivation of big business in forming closer ties to the Labour Party during this period: ‘Since Labour is going to form the next government, it’s worth getting to know them.’ Another executive was more explicit in saying why he supported a New Labour initiative before the 1997 election: ‘Some of those involved are clearly dedicated Labour supporters. But most, like us, simply want to influence policy.’
This new receptiveness on the part of business was only part of the picture. Former leader John Smith signalled Labour’s desire to court business with a series of meetings with people from the City of London–dubbed the prawn cocktail offensive. Up for discussion were not just policies on the economy and companies, but also anything that might upset the wealthy.
Blair pledged to keep top-rate income tax at 40 percent in the 1997 election manifesto. Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, after his £1 million donation had been returned following a scandal over tobacco advertising, explained that his gift was a result of Labour’s pledge not to raise income tax. ‘As a substantial contributor to the Inland Revenue, I have clearly benefited from this decision,’ he wrote. After all the questions about the possible link between party donations and government policy, such an explicit connection did not merit many column inches.
Meanwhile the anti-Corbyn factionalists are in disarray.
Gordon Brown declared yesterday (BBC) that Labour should not be a party of permanent protest.
He also stated,
“I have to say that if our global alliances are going to be alliances with Hezbollah and Hamas and Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela and Vladimir Putin’s Russia, there is absolutely no chance of building a world-wide alliance that can deal with poverty and inequality and climate change and financial instability, and we’ve got to face up to that fact.”
Mr Corbyn has previously described Hezbollah as “friends” and said that he wanted Hamas to be “part of the debate”.
- Labour supporters are not voting in the leadership contest on whether to ally with Hezbollah, Hamas, Putin, and the (late) Hugo Chávez.
- Corbyn has, however ill-chosen some of his words have been, never suggested an “alliance” with these forces.
- It is up to the Labour Party, and preferably a strengthened internal democratic process, to decide on our foreign policy, not Jeremy Corbyn,
The Telegraph states,
Lord Mandelson tried to persuade the three mainstream Labour leadership candidates to quit en masse to stop leftwinger Jeremy Corbyn and force the party to suspend the election.
It also emerged that Liz Kendall urged Yvette Cooper to stand down because Andy Burnham is the only candidate who can win – but Miss Cooper refused.
The Independent reports today: