Don't Eat With Your Mouth Full

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Labour Pains
In a locked post today an LJ friend makes a number of characteristically interesting points about the EU referendum and its likely aftermath, most of which I agree with. However, I'm not so sure about his assertion that Jeremy Cobyn is "toast", no-confidence motion or no.

It's true that Corbyn has never been very gung-ho about the EU as an institution, and his support for Remain (much like my own, which may bias me) always had a tinge of "The EU may not be great, but the alternative you're being offered is hell of a lot worse" - which may not be a cry to get the blood up, but has the merit of being true, or at least honestly meant. Unlike some of those who now wish to depose him, he never coasted in the slipstream of the Brexiteers' anti-immigrant rhetoric, but pointed out that immigrants actually more than pay their own way in taxes, and that if local services are stretched that's because of cuts imposed by Government, who wish to spend the nation's wealth in other ways. Conversely, he didn't connive in the lie - known to be such by both tellers and told - that one could set an arbitrary upper limit to immigration under freedom of movement rules.

So, what he had to say - about preserving workers' rights, environmental protections, opportunities for young people, and the rest from racist demagogues like Farage and Johnson - was pretty reasonable.

But perhaps he didn't say it enough? In fact, the BBC (and a fortiori the rest of the media) went out of its way not to report his many appearances up and down the country. Take this screenshot from a couple of weeks ago, on the day he was due to give a big remain speech. If you look very carefully you may spot the very small headline mentioning that he is going to be speaking, somewhere near the very big headline about a union leader complaining of his silence.

corbynspeech

Later that day, after the speech had been given, this was the BBC news front page. See how long it takes you to spot the mention of Corbyn's speech.

corbynspeech2

So, anyway, now there's a move to unseat him for not leading a vigorous enough campaign for Remain. Note that the reason Labour lost the last election was in large part the defection of many of their traditional working-class English voters to UKIP or Netflix on polling day. And now, they propose to reverse this trend by replacing Corbyn with someone more outspokenly pro-EU? I can't see how that works at all.

I also don't think the coup will work - the membership won't allow it.

Though, admittedly, my record on political prognostication is pretty dire.

How about directing your fire at the enemy for a change, comrades?

Yes. The media did an excellent job of shutting Jeremy Corbyn in a soundproof box, and the next Labour leader will have exactly the same problem.


Sadly so.

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Netflix is the opiate of the people.

It's not whether Corbyn was reported as having said anything, it's his position in the light of his own record and past affiliations. When you've spent your career being negative towards an institution, defending it when push finally comes to shove makes you sound like what's known in psychopathology as an enabler. Even if that's not fair, it's what it sounds like.

I know what direction the Tory leadership has to go in, i.e. anti-EU, but I don't see how, considering the possible candidates and that they'd have to lead a hostile parliamentary party. I don't see what direction the Labour leadership has to go in, but more firmly pro-EU sounds entirely plausible, given that marching firmly in the most unpopular direction has a long tradition in the Labour Party.

Sadly, that last point is true - though it may not be unpopular very long, I suppose.

Corbyn had to make a choice between two alternatives, neither of his choosing: the EU with all its faults and a bunch of neoliberals and cryptofascists. "I wouldn't start from here", as they say, but that was the hand he was dealt, and I think he played it pretty well.

I would lay (a little bit of) money that the next Tory leader will be Teresa May.

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I think Teresa May is a very clever politician who will find a way of squaring that circle without too much difficulty. "Carrying out the sovereign will of the people," etc. She lay relatively low during the campaign and gave few hostages to fortune. She will be eminently acceptable to the majority of Tory MPs. She's held a very difficult snior brief for six years without becoming hated by her colleagues. I find it hard to see anyone better placed.

I think currently my view is "anyone but Boris". For one thing, though he led the Leave campaign, I don't think he seriously expected to win and I don't think he has a plan. A future economy with Boris making it all up as we go along is not something I want to contemplate. :(

I'm 100% with you there.

The problem with a Brexiter becoming Tory leader is that they'd have to lead a parliamentary party made up mostly of Remain types. This person would have no moral authority over the party. That's beyond the fact that it would probably have to be Boris, and Boris is the Donald Trump of British politics.

But it can't be a Remain person either, for the reasons you state. So it either can't be anybody, or else the circle will have to be squared, and steepholm's idea is as logical as any. I wouldn't put it past David and Theresa to have planned it out this way for this referendum result contingency.

I'm not criticizing Corbyn's choice of how to proceed. I just think he's been put in an impossible position.

May would be a logical, if depressing (though not as depressing as Boris) successor. (As well as the only Home Secretary who'd never held another top office to become PM since Melbourne, which would be interesting.) But how could she have any more moral authority to pursue Article 50 than Cameron? Would the fact that she largely stayed out of the campaign give her that out?

Would the fact that she largely stayed out of the campaign give her that out?

I think so - see my answer to oho above.

Your fave nationality (de Poles) on Channel 4 on about WW2.
1. No Jew could hold a commission prior to 1940.
2. Kielce, 1946. Pogrom.
3. They are total and utter (cont p.52)

Thank goodness we live in a country where Jews have always been eligible for public office, eh? And where pogroms and mass expulsions would never happen.

Oh, wait...

Jews commissioned in army...1880.
Pogrom? Limerick, 1904, England 1880 (not really a pogrom, just assholes).
1270 last expulsion. Nite.

Exactly. If you want to play the rather ridiculous game of condemning an entire group of people for what some of their ancestors did at some point in history, you can prove whatever you like.

My condemnations of the Pshishi derives from having 2 million of the psiakrew in front of me at A&E, schools, housing, DSS and everywhere else.

I am very sorry indeed.

You have succinctly voiced how I feel about Corbyn, and was trying to tell my partner, who was full of "Corbyn is responsible for the Labour Leave voters, because his campaign was so lacklustre."
However I am an outsider, and just looking into applying for French citizenship, not because I specially want to be French but if Boris and Trump get elected I really, really don't want Marine Le Penn to make the trio!

Here's a pundit who thinks Corbyn's going to go. Of course, said pundit is an American Republican. I'm hoping not to find a pattern whereby one's opinion of Corbyn's chances parallels one's liking for his policies.

He doesn't give any reasons for his opinion, though. This is typical of press comment on Corbyn, which mostly consists of throwing a few adjectives ('unelectable' was the most popular during his election, but here we have 'hapless' and 'bumbling') unconnected to any facts.

That's not to say he's wrong, and I'm sure that I'm biassed by my liking for the man and my naturally sunny disposition, but it's amazing how many things turn out to be sticks to beat Jeremy Corbyn with.

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