Topics about the Labour Party
By new puritan
Membership Days Posts
Tubby Isaacs wrote:Progress has very low grassroots support. Corbyn and all meet people who agree with and/or respect them all the time.
Progress has a membership of about 3k I think. The LRC has about 1,200, which isn't too bad considering it has bugger all money and unlike Progress isn't exactly a magnet for careerists. Although the more astute careerists appear to be drifting towards the Fabians now - there's less grassroots suspicion towards them than there is towards Progress.
By new puritan
Membership Days Posts
Interesting titbit from Left Futures on where Progress' generous funding is coming from.
The latest returns to the Electoral Commission show that Progress is still primarily funded by the £260,000 a year which is provided by Lord David Sainsbury, but in the last 18 months, it has also accepted £28,830 from that well-known supporter the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association. Labour First runs on a shoestring but is far more effective. ... elections/" onclick=";return false;

By new puritan
Membership Days Posts
What a complete twat this Stephen Bush is. Left-bashing and Muslim-bashing in one shitty package. Progressive.
A little over a year ago, anti-American protests rippled across the Middle East. From Baghdad to Karachi, tens of thousands of people took to the streets. In Libya, the protests provided the perfect opportunity for a terrorist group to strike, attacking the US Embassy and murdering four people, including the ambassador.

These were not protests sparked by drone strikes or American support for repressive regimes in Saudi Arabia or Bahrain. They were the product of an Islamophobic film, The Innocence of Muslims, uploaded to YouTube by an Egyptian émigré fresh from a stint in a Californian jail for financial fraud.

That a lone crank with a low profile and an internet connection can cause riots and death in another country is the gravest symptom of a new and unpleasant disease for policymakers, but there was another, comparatively minor outbreak yesterday. A progressive and fair-minded policy paper from the IPPR was given a lurid introduction by the Telegraph, and the response from the left would have embarrassed a toddler in a shoe shop. ... king-aloud" onclick=";return false;

More on that 'fair and progressive' IPPR report:
The report glibly ignores the fact that people on ESA have been judged by not just their own doctors but even the horrific Atos assessors as being currently unable to work due to sickness or disability. Tough shit think the ‘progressive’ IPPR – the pittance extra that these claimants receive will be slashed, leaving those unable to work due to illness forced to try and survive on just few pounds a day. Only those in the Support Group, people with the most serious conditions, will receive any extra in benefits – although the report warns that for even some of this group that may be ‘conditional’.

Single parents with children over the age on 1 will also be expected to take part in ‘back-to-work support’. If they are unable to do so or refuse they will lose not just their own Income Support, but also Child Tax Credits and possibly even Housing Benefits. The risk of hungry and homeless toddlers is apparently worth it if it means struggling single parents are lectured at about their CV for a few hours a week.

Many young people will no longer qualify for help with housing costs at all with an assumption that everyone can stay at home until they are at least 21. Whilst the think-tank say there will be exceptions, such as those who are “unintentionally homeless or estranged from their parents” this will depend on an “assessment of whether they could be housed – or be supported to be housed – by their parents.” ... proposals/" onclick=";return false;

Rachel Reeves disowned it because it was a crock of unworkable shite, not because people on Twitter were getting annoyed about it. Is there any ludicrous right-wing shit these Blairite turds won't endorse?

And here he is, lamenting the fact that Labour looks like winning the next election:

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By new puritan
Membership Days Posts
Disgraced ex-MP pops up to gripe about Labour adopting an overwhelmingly popular policy. ... -spending/" onclick=";return false;

A crap argument, badly written.
By new puritan
Membership Days Posts
Progressites up to their usual tricks in Aberavon. But, but... Falkirk...
What a difference a day makes! Yesterday, we questioned whether Stephen Kinnock, who sent his daughter to a Danish private school, was a suitable potential Labour MP. Since then, we’ve heard that Kinnock now stands little chance of winning the Aberavon constituency selection. His all-star strategy has backfired. Paying to opt-out of state education hasn’t gone down well in a working-class constituency, and neither has flying over Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt – his wife – for a party dinner. As such, Kinnock has not won a single branch nomination – and thus won’t make it onto the shortlist. Instead, it seems party hacks have thrown their weight behind lawyer, Oxford graduate and former Progress NPF candidate Jeremy Miles as the man best-placed to beat the left-winger.

Left Futures readers in South Wales have informed us that the office of retiring Aberavon MP Hywel Francis (pictured) has been busy phoning branch officers in the constituency, telling them that Mark Fisher, a working class UNISON lay official, “lacks the academic ability” to represent the area in parliament. In other words: snobbery, pure and simple. For all Ed Miliband’s pronouncements about the need for more working class MPs, the party machine still rolls into action in support of Progress hacks, and the trade union activists who keep the party alive are shut out. ... socialist/" onclick=";return false;
By new puritan
Membership Days Posts
Terrible piece on the miners' strike. No mention of the recent revelations that the Thatcher government simply lied about how many pits it wanted to close, which isn't the only glaring oversight.
Yet in 1984 he saw himself as a revolutionary leader like Lenin or Che Guevara. Even a cursory glance over his political writings and speeches reveals a simple truth: his mission was not to secure better wages, conditions and a future for the coal miners his union represented. It was to use the NUM as the vanguard in a revolution to overthrow, not merely a democratic government, but a social system. This delusion meant that he made serious tactical errors: starting the strike in the summer and not allowing a national ballot to legitimise it.

But far worse was the major strategic error in believing that miners were revolutionaries, and that Britain would undergo a revolution like Russia, China or Cuba. When trade union leaders hold such views (and Scargill was not alone in this, then or now), they cannot hope to claim to be ‘representative’ of their members. When they are elected on the smallest of votes, or eschew democratic procedures such as national ballots, such leaders cannot expect to carry their members with them. The tragedy is that the miners could have won some of their demands in the 1980s, just as they had in the 1970s, with a different, moderate leader, and a willingness to negotiate and compromise. ... y-donkeys/" onclick=";return false;

One of the problems with this argument is that the NUM leadership didn't call the strike with the aim of overthrowing Thatcher - it was a defensive struggle. It couldn't have waited any longer because a load of pits were in immediate danger. In addition, the NUM had seen what had happened to the steelworkers under a quiescent union leadership - they'd been broken. Quite understandably, they didn't want the same thing to happen to their union and its membership. Right-wing corporatism was no longer an option by 1984 as the defeat of the steelworkers proved. The second paragraph is just the usual self-serving Blairite twaddle. By and large the miners stayed out for a year, which they wouldn't have done had there not been a groundswell of support for the strike. Of course they might have been in with more of a shout of winning had they not been thrown under the bus by Kinnock and his allies, who didn't want Scargill derailing their 'modernisation' project.
By new puritan
Membership Days Posts
I see Stephen Bush has popped up over at - where else? - Telegraph Blogs. ... t-matters/" onclick=";return false;

As ever, I'd recommend avoiding the comments. And the blog itself, to be honest.
By Agnes
Membership Days Posts
After that, I just had to go to it. Amazing stuff:
When I see someone wearing bright red trousers, I assume that they’re a t—. Similarly, when I get home from work and see black men hanging around the block, I get nervous – and I'm black.
Gott im Himmel, imagine what it's like for him when he goes to shave in the morning... and sees a black man hanging around his bathroom.
By new puritan
Membership Days Posts
How, then, can Miliband convince a sceptical nation? It is an unenviable challenge. He faces not only continuing scepticism about Labour’s economic credibility but a pervading fug of voter scepticism about all politicians’ promises. Perhaps, therefore, he should recognise the foundations of that distrust in order to break through. Voters believe politicians are greedy and power-hungry. ‘Golden rules’, promises to legislate deficit targets or submit plans to independent scrutiny are too easily dismissed as the typical wheezes the ‘political class’ employs – and then disregards without penalty. Miliband should put his ministers’ money – and his own job – where his mouth is. A pledge that he will suspend ministerial salaries after two years in office if deficit-reduction targets are not met would grab the voters’ attention. An unambiguous pledge that he would not seek re-election as prime minister if his government has not met its goal after five years might just win their votes. ... al-nation/" onclick=";return false;

Hilarious. Calling for a bloke you've never liked to quit if he doesn't meet an unrealistic target. Would they be demanding this of David Miliband?
By new puritan
Membership Days Posts
Funnily enough there's not a word in there about Cameron and Osborne failing to meet their own deficit targets. Plenty of grumbling about lefty Hollande (who, er, promised to clear the deficit in a single term) though.
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