Don't Eat With Your Mouth Full

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Corbyn Sat Upon a Tree, Large and Black as Black Might Be
We're quite a few weeks into the Labour leadership campaign now, and I've still to hear any of those opposing Jeremy Corbyn explain exactly what is wrong with his policies. Instead, there's been:

a) a lot of vague handwaving about how he would be taking the party "backwards" from the new true blue future (Tony Blair) and how the MPs who nominated him are "morons" (John McTernan).

b) some huffing and puffing about people who support him "behaving like a petulant child" (Chuka Umunna), or being too young to understand grown-up issues - as expatiated on by Roy Hattersley on The World at One today:

Edward Stourton: What do you think is the appeal of Jeremy Corbyn?

Roy Hattersley: To young people? Young people who haven't thought about it? [Note that Stourton hadn't actually mentioned young people.] I don't want to patronize them but they've not gone through the difficulties we've gone through in the last thirty or forty years.


(You suck at not patronizing, Lord Hattersley - but nor did you go through what young people are going through now, forced into huge debts to get an education, denied benefits, priced out of housing, etc. Are you surprised they don't see why that's a worthwhile sacrifice to keep you in ermine?)

c) and, of course, a general murmur that the electorate have become so right-wing that even if Corbyn's policies are coherent and just (which a neutral observer might reasonably conclude, given how studiously his opponents avoid talking about them), the electorate is too selfish and bigoted to vote for them.

None of this makes the Labour Party - or at least its right wing, whence I think it's fair to say almost all the petulance has emanated - look good, or indeed anything but contemptuous of those whose support it most needs. In fact, hearing Tony Blair today I kept being reminded of the following passage:

“Tender as my years may be,” said Caspian, “I believe I understand the slave trade from within quite as well as your Sufficiency. And I do not see that it brings into the islands meat or bread or beer or wine or timber or cabbages or books or instruments of music or horses or armor or anything else worth having. But whether it does or not, it must be stopped.”

“But that would be putting the clock back,” gasped the governor. “Have you no idea of progress, of development?”

“I have seen them both in an egg,” said Caspian. “We call it ‘Going Bad’ in Narnia. This trade must stop.”

“I can take no responsibility for any such measure,” said Gumpas.

“Very well, then,” answered Caspian, “we relieve you of your office.


It's a measure of how far British politics has drifted that C. S. Lewis's conservatism can now be recruited in support of Jeremy Corbyn.

On the Today program this morning, Tristram Hunt argued that the problem with Jeremy Corbyn is that he appeals to Labour voters.

Labour lost the election, apparently, because people voted Tory instead of Labour, so to win elections Labour must appeal to Tories. Otherwise they will end up like Syriza.

The interviewer did point out that Syriza had in fact won the election, but didn't ask for the evidence that people who would otherwise have voted Labour had voted Conservative (rather than, say, voting SNP or Green or UKIP, or just deciding not to bother...).

I am cheered, though, by the confusion of those in the Labour Party who thought that Corbyn should be encouraged to stand because his ideas needed to be aired, and are horrified to discover that they are rather popular.

Sorry. I'll stop now.


but didn't ask for the evidence that people who would otherwise have voted Labour had voted Conservative (rather than, say, voting SNP or Green or UKIP, or just deciding not to bother...).

Given that Labour won more seats from the Tories than they lost to them, that would be a hard case to prove.

As to Blair talking about people voting for Corbyn with their hearts needing a transplant- oh, the irony.............

If I still had a vote as a party member, which I don't because I am no longer that thing, I'd be voting for Corbyn, but then, I am an old leftie, to my eternal (at least according to these old farts) shame.

You can of course buy a vote for a princely £3, should you wish!

I know it (there was a time I had three) but there's no going back for me.

Thanks for the link. I am in a union, but it's not on the list of affiliated unions so I have paid £3 to buy a vote. It may be a futile gesture, but I can afford a £3 gesture and it's made me feel a bit better. :)

We've been through the "should a losing party move towards the winners or away from them?" debate many times in the U.S., with both major parties. Welcome to the club.

Could Donald Trump be the Republicans' answer to that question? Scary thought.

The first time that question was asked of the Republicans, the offered answers were:
a) Barry Goldwater
b) Nelson Rockefeller
They picked A.

I've paid my £3 to vote for Corbyn. Mentioned it to some ex-colleagues and Labour Party members on Facebook - consensus is that I'm being desperately naive thinking I can just vote for stuff I believe in - it's not realistic, you see. (I am more than a decade older than both of these wise sages, funnily enough...)

Hee! I've tried boxing clever and voting tactically in the past, but it never worked out. (Like the man said, I was so much older then - I'm younger than that now.)

Well, here I vote for Plaid Cymru who are considerably to the left of the current Labour Party. That is partly a tactical vote because the runner up in this constituency is always the Tory, so voting Labour would be a bad move here. Also we've had a good run of decent MPs. I've known the last three personally, at least on the acquaintance level.

I on the other hand am one of those unhappy souls who voted LibDem in 2010 because the Greens (who were the closest to my own views) didn't stand a chance, and the LD platform was more radical than Labour's, notably on tuition fees, only to discover that... well, you know the rest.


What? A Labour candidate putting forward clear, popular policies - he must at all costs be stopped!

?

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