Posts tagged - Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn lost, just ask the White Stripes

Like a footballer returning to Wembley with the World Cup, Jeremy Corbyn entered Parliament Tuesday, after losing an election, to the strains of stadium style chanting of the White Stripes “Seven Nation Army”, chanting his name. For the record, the White Stripes are the last real rock and roll band to chart anything, let alone seize popular music across the Atlantic in a way that would land that one tune into every stadium in the world. Jezza’s an Arsenal fan.

The Rolling Stone, rock and roll’s magazine of record, has a headline today reading “Goodbye, and Good Riddance, to Centrism”, but somehow misses the White Stripes angle. Matt Taibi, heir to Hunter S. Thompson, nonetheless is precise.

Our media priesthood reacted with near-universal horror at the election in Britain. We panned the result in which Labour, led by the despised Corbyn, took 261 seats and won 40 percent of the vote, Labour’s largest share since hallowed third-way icon Tony Blair won 40.7 percent in 2001.

Blair never had a football chant, let alone the White Stripes. He had Mr. D:Ream. Things can only get better. What better rock and roll writers might later categorize as the latest in “beige” brit pop, Blair’s victory song was a kind of pointless dance floor number that felt good at a rally. It all felt so real.

I never actually met Jeremy Corbyn. In three general elections, I met Tony Benn, Dennis Skinner, some other pretty hard core Old Labour grandees, but Corbyn never crossed my New Democrat Clintonian Third Way Blairite clique. We’d “hear” of Corbyn’s latest escapade, somewhere out at some protest with Ken Livingstone & George Galloway, list your favorite lefty caricature. Especially during Iraq.

Corbyn was not in the garden at Number 10 for the East Midlands Labour Party’s reception after the commons Iraq vote, at which I shook Tony Blair’s hand and said, “as the one American here, I want to say thank you.” Tony said “Thank you,” back, very sincerely. Jeremy Corbyn was never at the Strangers bar in the House of Commons yucking it up with the back benchers. Jeremy was the back of the backest bench.

Now, Jezza gets the best of all worlds. Doesn’t have to govern, has chants descend upon him, an army on the march singing the whole way, and can sit tight, to watch the Tories consume themselves. This, after two years of hand to hand trench warfare within the Labour Party descended upon Corbyn out of nowhere in spring, 2015. Before his name even was floated, I observed New Labour make its last fatal grasp at the neoliberal straws Taibi’s headline celebrates as over. Now, Corbyn has a White Stripes chant, in the House of Commons, and I suspect the Strangers Bar has a new regular. That’s where losers get a pint.

 

 

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UK election for Yanks; key seat Broxtowe

attenborough-church

Broxtowe constituency is where I worked each time I traveled to England for New Labour (1997, 2001, 2005). The East Midlands Labour Party office is in the village of Attenborough, right across the motorway from my favorite chippy, George’s Tradition, in Ilkeston. My office was just upstairs from Nick Palmer’s campaign office, Labour’s candidate for Broxtowe all three of my visits. In 1997, a 10,000 vote Tory majority flipped to a 6,000 Labour majority to put Nick into Parliament. Big swings happen in Broxtowe, which is why it is a key seat (targeted) every general election.

Nick’s big issue is animal rights. Nick may not agree, but I always found him to be at least as left as Jeremy Corbyn, but Broxtowe voters didn’t seem to care. Nick worked the seat door to door doggedly for decades in one way or another, and was very popular locally.  Thus, Nick held onto his big 1997 Labour majority in 2001. Alas, Labour’s Broxtowe majority shrank in 2005 to about 2,000, as Tory voters who switched to Labour in 1997 began to peel off over Iraq. By 2010, New Labour had lost every ounce of its credibility over Iraq. Tory Anna Soubry barely beat Nick by 400 votes in 2010. Soubry increased her majority (again beating Nick Palmer) in 2015 to a 4,287, which she defends Thursday.

Tory switchers

Who are these voters; these Tory “switchers”? Broxtowe is suburban Nottingham, very like any Ohio county (Lake?) that also happens to be a targeted bellwether congressional seat. A mix of upperclass, middle and lower class voters, Broxtowe’s boundaries make it a very English place. There is a nature preserve near my office, with swans. In a pond. Near a churchyard with a spire (that pic up there). I always made the tea at my office. Pardon my residual Englishness.

Anyway, if the past month’s Tory collapse is real, and Labour has any shot at a parliamentary majority, Broxtowe will be won in 2017 by Greg Marshall, who took the baton from Nick Palmer’s able hands this spring. Big swings being standard in Broxtowe, one would certainly expect national polls showing Corbyn surging to manifest in Broxtowe. A 4,200 vote swing in Broxtowe would be well in line with historic patterns.

Broxtowe’s switchers would be switching, I think, over leadership. Theresa May has been awful as a candidate, and the Tory manifesto has been an un-costed chaotic series of U-turns. More annoyingly to Broxtowe’s switchers, she foisted this election onto them. No one wants more politics, certainly not an English key seat’s voters who have been bombarded with politics for seven solid years; Thursday will be the fourth national election in Britain since 2010, when Soubry first got to Parliament.

Is Broxtowe enough?

Meanwhile, Corbyn is the picture of strength. To see him on national television as Labour leader is simply astonishing, given the trench warfare the movement behind Corbyn had to endure the last two years. Corbyn is clearly a survivor, who will fight when challenged. Voters like that, not just British ones. In contrast to Theresa May, Corbyn has surged, taking on the Bernie Sanders feel of a historic moment, led by a historic movement.

My bet is the Tories lost Broxtowe when Theresa May refused to debate Corbyn; you called this election, for your own purposes, and you can’t even be bothered to turn up at a debate? British voters like to punish political parties; New Labour for Iraq, Major’s Tories for scandal, and now, perhaps, May’s Tories for cowardice.

Broxtowe might not be enough. Labour’s majorities have relied on winning seats in Scotland, which appears to be a pipe dream in 2017. The rise of Nicola Sturgeon’s Scottish National Party (SNP) has nearly wiped out both the Tories and Labour in Scotland. It is unlikely Scottish voters will switch tactically from SNP to Labour in numbers big enough to give Labour at least a handful of seats in Scotland, from only one. The days of Broxtowe deciding matters nationally, may thus be over.

Labour still need to win it. So do the Tories.

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Corbyn’s Labour has a shot

CorbynWinningA 20-30 point Tory lead is now cut in half, some polls showing single digits, since Theresa May called a snap general election for June 8 on April 18. Like clockwork, American press sucked down trans-Atlantic Tory landslide spin (likely from Jim Messina, an Obama/Clinton veteran now working for the Tories). The Washington Post, no doubt on Messina’s speed dial, took comical leaps of conclusion so ridiculous it had to have been pitched to them.

No one elected Theresa May British Prime Minister. She is only PM because David Cameron resigned in 2016, after caving in 2015 to the hard right of the Conservative Party’s decades old demand for a referendum on the EU, which barely passed as Brexit in 2016. Cameron’s pathetic resignation from a hopelessly split Tory Party gave Theresa May the shifting sand on which she claims to stand “strong and stable”.

May is a sitting duck. A terrible national candidate, she runs and hides behind control freakery worthy of a Clinton. May has been around long enough to make enemies in every Tory corner, as any pro-EU Tory hack had to in order to survive on the government dole for 20 years. Her only solace in the recent Tory polling collapse is that UKIP, the fringe hard right of Brexit godfather Nigel Farrage, went back home to the Tories. UKIP as a political force was always the Tory base, much as the Tea Party has always been the Republican base. UKIP got its long awaited result, Brexit, thus, back to the Tories! Will they turnout? That’s the biggest question that will decide June 8th.

TheresaMayForwardTogether

Conversely, Corbyn was plucked from nowhere then thrust into the teeth of a dying New Labour gnawing its death throes. Then beat New Labour, twice. Amidst constant treachery and coup attempts, Corbyn survived then thrived, and now stands on a movement-built machine inspired to march. Labour under Corbyn is a political party, not an accident of incompetence, as May’s Tories are.

Corbyn’s Labour movement vs. a Tory Potemkin Village is the story here, not an imminent landslide. Media either cannot see this tide from the left, or have been trying to stem it. To date, media have largely characterized the rise of anti-establishment radicalism as only from the right; Trump, Brexit, LePen. Not even Bernie Sanders’ Corbynesque leap from nothing to the precipice of the presidency has taught the landed punditocracy that a positive left radicalism can gain momentum, even power. Corbyn is thus invisible to them. But not for long.

Predictably, May’s campaign has been the spitting image of Hillary Clinton’s, perhaps Messina packed it in his luggage. Forward Together! Strong & Stable! Now, the fear. After LePen went down in flames in France, Messina speed dialed every neoliberal pundit on American TV, to pile onto the May Train triumphantly, to cement that there is no difference between right wing radicalism and left wing socialism. Capital has a funny way of mirroring every threat against each other.

DavidFrumNextCorbyn’s test now is to survive a trans-Atlantic onslaught upon him that will dwarf anything Trump, Clinton, or even Bernie Sanders had to endure, for 18 days. Showing his strength, Corbyn has pledged not to step down as Labour Leader no matter the result June 8. If the Tories survive by single digits, there is no reason for Labour to ditch Corbyn, given Corbyn is already outperforming Ed Milliband’s 2015 result. If Corbyn wins, the British left will have proven that radical movement politics can win power from the left with a positive message inspiring the working class.

 

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Davos Men bring the Uncle Leo “anti-semite” routine across the pond

You know you’re getting old when Seinfeld references fall on deaf ears. Thus, we must re-introduce Uncle Leo, Jerry Seinfeld’s uncle, who would leap to anti-semitism rants upon getting an overcooked hamburger at the diner. “Anyway,” Jerry says, “the point I was making before Goebbels made your hamburger here…”

Jerry ends up on the Tonight Show making fun of Uncle Leo, “Spaghetti’s not cooked al dente – anti semite! Loses a bet on a horse? Secretariat – anti-semitic!” Uncle Leo’s girlfriend thinks the bit is funny so Uncle Leo dumps her for being an anti-semite.

Donald Trump has veered into overcooking the hamburger territory on and off over the past year with his “globalist” language, which has now, predictably, caught the attention of the establishment. Anti-semite! Bernie Sanders made similar arguments about the rigged game in the primary, but escaped the anti-semitism smear perhaps because Bernie himself is Jewish. Jeremy Corbyn, during both his UK Labour leadership landslides this year and last year, was not so lucky.

The anti-semitism smear on Corbyn by the Blairite New Labour Third way…ahem…”cabal”, came swiftly and viciously. Through a series of guilt-by-association-with-Corbyn attacks, Labour, as a whole, was forced to spend an entire year proving that leftist socialism directed against neoliberal Thatcherite capitalism wasn’t, in fact, anti-semitism.  Blairite donors leapt to Nazi analogies with a gleeful flourish mainstream media outlets were only too happy to parrot. A commission was called, the works, leading some members to be suspended from Labour for utterances just as minimal as Uncle Leo’s overcooked burger. Even at the Labour conference in Liverpool this September, where Corbyn was re-elected massively, entire seminars were held to prove that Corbyn’s movement was in no way an overcooked Nazi hamburger, which Blairite media of course smeared anyway.

I’m sure there were party conferences in the year 1933 at which the Jews were this much discussed. But not, perhaps, in this country.

The Uncle Leo smear will continue against Corbyn’s Labour, picked up by the Tories, probably indefinitely. Trump’s Breitbart cess pit is certainly a more accurate target for this attack, but normally, as in the UK the past year, the target of an anti-semitism smear is almost always the left. That’s because the left, always, most loudly notices global capitalism is gutting the working class by rigging the game for profit. Now that the left also notices New Labour’s Third Way, and Bill Cinton’s DLC Democrats, were the indispensable enablers for global neoliberal capitalism’s rigged game, predictably, establishment Blairites become Uncle Leo.

A Hillary Clinton presidency will no doubt defend itself with the Uncle Leo attack, just as the Tories will use it against Corbyn’s Labour, any time the left stands up to fight, either through Bernie Sanders on the Senate floor, in the streets through protest, or in election campaigns against establishment Democrats at every level, local, state, or federal. MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, who knows better, is this hour trotting out Uncle Leo like a champ.

Certainly, Trump is closer to Goebbels in the kitchen overcooking Uncle Leo’s burger, than anyone on the left. The smear, though, needs to be seen for what it plainly has become – a Davos Man deflection in defense of a globally rigged game whose days are numbered. Despite the year long smear against Corbyn’s Labour, the party is finally showing unity, and closing in on the Tories. Bernie Sanders will be the single most powerful Senator in a Clinton presidency (or a Trump presidency), and will represent the same threat to the rigged game Corbyn does. The left can survive the Uncle Leo smear. But we should be aware that it is certainly coming, not just at Donald Trump, but at anyone who attacks Davos Man’s zombie undead grip on a world rigged for oligarchic profit alone.

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Psst. Hillary. Labour defeats capital, again, this Saturday

CorbynWinningVoting in Labour’s second leadership election in a year today closed, with a massive turnout nearly 50% higher than last year, despite persistent, repeated, concerted efforts to purge new members. On Saturday, the result will be announced at conference in Liverpool. All expect Jeremy Corbyn to crush the pointless Blairite challenger Owen Smith by an even bigger margin than the 59% Corbyn won last time. A Quixotic, opportunistic, post-Brexit temper tantrum from the tools of capital, summer 2016’s New Labour Blairite coup never had a chance.

The coup attempt has a shining silver lining – Labour is now the most battle tested it has ever been, with a brand new, younger membership so huge it is now the largest political party in the history of Western Europe. Corbyn’s Labour is today a muscled out Jaguar, Rolls Royce, pick your favorite British made car, with nitrous oxide turbo boosters.

Spitting in the face of this movement, rumors of New Labour dead enders splitting off continued all summer. The parliamentary Labour Party, the PLP (members in parliament) made pathetic noises about somehow detaching themselves from Corbyn’s Labour by forming their own faction from Parliament, suing to keep Labour’s assets, all manner of nonsense. That didn’t last.

Reasonably, members began wondering aloud how to remove these recalcitrant coup plotters in Parliament if they cannot accept a democratic decision of membership for a second time. In America, we call this a primary challenge. In Britain, this is called “deselection”, local members meeting to choose a different candidate to stand in their parliamentary constituency. Every MP in Labour knows that if the gargantuan size of this new membership mobilized to deselect them, they can kiss all those Westminster perks goodbye, and like the rest of us, start looking for a new job that pays them to talk all day in the neoliberal hellscape their policies created. Sort of concentrates the mind.

labourleadsthewaylordsLabour is now the strongest fist worldwide punching up at the scourge of Third Way, Clinton DLC, Reagan Thatcher “There is no alternative” free market purist neoliberalism. Is Hillary Clinton listening? In America, Donald Trump has captured this sentiment with racism. No longer immunized against 1930’s style nationalism by the long dead New Deal (which Bill Clinton with his own pen himself dismantled most), America is falling victim to the predictable rise of hate that persistent economic decline at the hands of capitalism always produces. Blaming the problems on the brown people doesn’t mean there aren’t problems. It means average Americans are on the hunt for a scapegoat responsible for the end of the American Dream, and through Trump, they’ve been given the oldest scapegoat in human history.

It’s understandable that Hillary is so obviously reluctant to attack the failed neoliberal legacy her own husband created. However, tectonic plates worldwide are rolling over that legacy, right now, and in Liverpool next week, Labour will take its place standing atop that shift, ready to fight. Blairites will either cry uncle, finally (hint!), or put themselves in the crosshairs of this movement merely to be crushed a third time.

Hillary can either join Labour, capture that same movement stateside, or prattle on in irrelevance, watching powerlessly as Donald Trump, like every ugly dictator before him, scapegoats his way into the White House. She should seize this moment. This movement.

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How Hillary Clinton loses Ohio

When news broke that Hillary Clinton left the door to America’s internet wide open in her basement server, my Tweet was…

Two months out, with Russian hackers having spent 7 years burrowing like termites from Chappaqua into every crevace of the DNC, Donald Trump’s about to win Ohio. The Ohio Democratic Party’s last statewide candidate foisted onto us whether we wanted him or not also flouted the law, lied about it, got caught, and lied some more during the campaign; Ed FitzGerald, who got 34% running for governor in 2014 after being found to not have a driver’s license for 10 years. Hillary is tied with a stinking racist at 43% in Ohio, and heading downward toward Fitzy’s glory. Ohio voters don’t like candidates who get off scot free for something average folks would be tossed into jail for. Who knew.

"sure beats a blow job, Bill"

“sure beats a blow job, Bill”

Ted Strickland’s US Senate campaign against Rob Portman is a Ford Pinto held together with duct tape leaking oil. Poor Ted. When Ted was governor, Ohio Democrats barely put up with what we all called “the best Republican governor Ohio ever had”. Now, what’s even the point? Visibly old and tired, Ted’s barely making it across the finish line, with a voting record reliably in the pocket of the NRA, a legacy of prostrating Ohio’s budget before the market gods seizing every inch of public space. Now Ted reaps what he’s sewn, with the added insult of Hillary Clinton dragging him down just as Lee Fisher’s pathetic (just as rigged) US Senate attempt dragged Ted down in 2010, giving us John Kasich. Karma. Shoulda kept the downstate good ol’ boy preacher act on the farm this time, Ted; all them hillbillies votin’ for Trump, dawg. Ohio Democrats have had quite enough of triangulation.

All this stench is piled atop an ODP racket so corrupt for so many decades it’s incapable of mounting the most basic get out the vote campaign at the grassroots in 2016. Chris Redfern’s farcical departure as chair after the FitzGerald comedy, gave us not one, not two, but three attempts at keeping the game rigged, landing ODP on David Pepper, son of a Proctor & Gamble billionaire. Pay dirt, literally. No one is going to volunteer for a rigged game benefiting a 20 year hustle just this side of a RICO case, just as they wouldn’t for Al Gore after being made fools of in defense of a blow job.

CorbynWinningThe energy on the left is organizing not to assist but to destroy that hustle, as the Lakewood Democratic Club learned when the revolution descended upon them in force last month. Lakewood Dems robotically repeated the exact same machinations of capital displayed by this summer’s coup mounting Blairites rejecting this same movement electing Jeremy Corbyn leader of the Labour party by a landslide in 2015. Moving the goalposts, trying to outrun a flood of new members with rigged votes, refusing new members’ right to vote for leader, heading to court to do so, spitting in the face of a movement ready to spit back. Corbyn will repeat that mandate September 24 at Labour conference in Liverpool, likely with an even bigger margin. Capital is on transatlantic notice; we ain’t buyin’ it anymore.

Ohio in fall 2016 is, as the saying goes, “woke AF”. After the Tea Party, Occupy Wall Street, and now the Bernie Sanders campaign for president, Ohio is boiling with revolution from the bottom up in all 88 counties. In 2000, for Al Gore, Democrats were expected to get up, brush themselves off, and start right over again after defending Bill Clinton’s blow job for 3 solid years. Al Gore was out of the state by Halloween. Another Clinton whose stupidity and arrogance we must defend? Who will then give us yet another Goldman Sachs Secretary of the Treasury? As out of touch as a red rightward pointing arrow in the H logo. They’re completely clueless.

What can she do? Water’s already under one bridge, unfortunately. She should have mea culpa’d her way around the server issue in March, 2015. Hand over the server immediately, beg forgiveness. Instead, she parroted her husband’s “What blow job?” for a year, which worked just as well.

Leaked photo of Bill Clinton "helping cure AIDS in Africa"

Leaked photo of Bill Clinton “helping cure AIDS in Africa”

Another missed opportunity – Hillary could have used her convention to cut ties with her Citizens United funding model, and promise to rely only on individual donations, like Bernie Sanders. Is there time yet for that change? Perhaps a moment in the first debate where Hillary responds to Trump’s inevitable attack on the Clinton Foundation by making a spectacular funding U-turn on national TV could save her.

Alas, these are the Clintons we are talking about. Their political radar long ago stopped working, left somewhere at the bottom of Harold Ford Jr.’s punch bowl in the Hamptons. With Gary Johnson and Jill Stein pulling 10-15% statewide, turnout going ever downward, a Democratic base that would rather watch the Browns lose by 30 on a Sunday than knock on a single door with that stupid H-logo on their chest, Ohio is Trump country.

HillaryLogoNewYorkerAmerica survived many stinking racist presidents, some of whom turned out to be pretty good presidents despite their bigotry. When Trump said in the first Fox News August 2015 debate “she came to my wedding because I paid her, she had no choice,” this die was cast. Ohio would have been the center of a historic Democratic tidal wave if Bernie Sanders was at the top of this ticket. Instead, we are on our own, preparing to kick in the teeth the next day whoever “wins” neoliberalism’s ultimate “lesser of two evils” display then predictably gives Goldman Sachs another Treasury Secretary.

On November 9, the movement will either have Trump’s Goldman Sachs appointment to Treasury to fight, or Hillary’s. Whether we have to fight the building of an idiotic, racist wall, too, really doesn’t make much difference. We know where this country is headed. Hillary Clinton certainly does not.

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A Corbynista on the inside must be sabotaging the Blairite coup

CorbynWinningOne of my favorite qualities of the Blairite apparatchiks who used to be my closest friends was their ability to make the hard left Trots think they were getting what they wanted, while at the same time knifing them in the back.  “You won’t believe this one, mate,” would begin the latest war story, followed by uncontrolled cackling laughter at pulling another fast one. Nothing would bring them more delight.

Given the suicide mission of this year’s Blairite coup, which is now so obvious the plotters are literally using members’ money to fight their own membership in court, repeatedly, I can only conclude that Jeremy Corbyn has someone at the very top of Labour convincing Blairites to continually chop their own heads off spectacularly. As we all know, Britain has a long history of expertly deployed counter intelligence. Who could it be? And when will Billy Bragg pen a working class Woody Guthrie style ode to this unnamed hero of the movement?

One imagines Our Hero dragging on a cigarette in the Stranger’s Bar at the House of Commons, cuff links gleaming, collar pressed, eyes telling nothing, surrounded by whispering coup plotters awaiting Our Hero’s next word to set them racing to their own guillotine. Our Hero is no Fredo Corleone, flailing about in desperation, easily discovered. Oh no. Our Hero is quiet, elegant, may be a femme fatale in stilletos mingling amongst the City boys, flowing effortlessly through Westminster. He, or she, will never be known, but for her heroic service to the revolution.

The plant would have to be very high up, with enough credibility that party lawyers leap into court to self immolate at his (or her) mere suggestion. Someone with a political compass that still functions well enough to sniff the breeze, who can feel the political tectonic plates worldwide about to bury neoliberalism, and its hideous progeny Blairism. Could it be Tony Blair himself? Blair’s political radar was once this accurate. After Blair’s very public takedown in the Chilcot report, and Blair’s personal defense thereafter, he would make the perfectly unsuspected saboteur.

A far more likely Jezza’s Jihadi James Bond would be Gordon Brown. Brown once claimed the mantle of the left, famously feuded with Blair for years, thus has precisely the self-interest to help Blairites salt the earth over their own graves. Brown can still call on a clique of MPs, members of the House of Lords, former and current staffers, right up and down the country. And Brown has been conspicuously quiet throughout this entire squalid affair.

Either way, this summer has been a display of political strength by Jeremy Corbyn none of the Blairite coup plotters could have foreseen. British voters reward such strength handsomely, whatever their political beliefs. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and unwittingly, this coup has made Jeremy Corbyn infinitely stronger than he was before the coup oozed out of neoliberalism’s backside. Before the coup, Corbyn seemed easy pickings for the Tories. After the coup, Corbyn is now the strongest figure in British politics.

If you’re going to try to kill the king, better get it right the first time.

 

 

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Zombie Blairite Undead prepare to refuse another thrashing Corbyn victory

LabourZombies

You know you’ve got Blairite neoliberal capitalist pigs in a corner when they start leaking to the Torygraph, anonymously, how they’re going to sue to grab the Labour Party for themselves. Such a cunning plan!

…it emerged frustrated Labour politicians – many of whom expect Corbyn to retain the leadership in September – are looking at proposals to choose an alternative figurehead in the Commons and pick their own shadow cabinet, as well as approaching Commons Speaker John Bercow to try to be named the official Opposition on the basis of having a greater number of MPs.

They could even launch a legal bid to take control of the Labour Party names and assets, according to a report in the Daily Telegraph, which confirms plans which are known to have been in circulation in Westminster for some weeks.

The Tories couldn’t be more tickled. It’s as if the Lord Mayor convened a sanhedrin of the Worshipful Company of Suicide Bombers in the Guildhall, Chukka Umunna circled the room in a fuzzy hat lighting candles, they drew lots, and Owen Smith (a ten year BBC whore, then Pfizer lobbyist, which makes him perfect for the job) got the short straw to go blow up Labour, the one political party standing in the way of total Tory control of Britain. Masterful.

As us Yanks might say, we now see the whites of their eyes. Only Blairites could see hundreds of thousands of new members come in the door and spit at them. Spit some more. Then cry to their toadies in the media about how abused they’ve been for spitting in the eyes of hundreds of thousands of new members. Then threaten to sue and keep those members’ donations (best part), take the buildings, the party name, create their own fake rump PLP…this will all make excellent British comedy someday. Already is!

When the hundreds of thousands of new members literally repeat the exact same leadership election result they delivered a year ago, here’s what needs to happen after Jeremy Corbyn crushes these morons, again, at conference in Liverpool this September. Every tea room on Merseyside should boil with CLP members planning to deselect every single MP who participated in this nonsense. Why? Because they’ve revealed themselves to not be Labour Party members anymore, but naked tools of capital. As such, they won’t stop until they are out for good. They’ll be happier with the Tories anyway, deselection will be doing them a favor.

The lesson for us Bernie Sanders Yanks stateside? The fight to contain capital never really ends. Never.

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Capital gives us Tim Kaine, recycles Bernie Bro slur in British Labour

Since I used to do this for a living, I can’t stop finding similarities in the concurrent dramas of the US presidential campaign and the British Labour Party’s now year long fight to the death with neoliberalism.  With Tim Kaine as Hillary Clinton’s VP we see the Democratic Party take another lurch toward capital. Kaine himself seems nice, which reminds me to scratch my Gandhi itch.

We must remember that our fight is with capital, not the people who make themselves its tool. Capital will find a way to rig the state in its favor very like water finding its way to the ocean. Perpetually. It will not stop, it has to be stopped. That is what the New Deal was designed to do, specifically on Wall Street, but the New Deal barriers also directed the flow of capital, rather than always upward toward oligarchs as now, in directions that helped us all – the alphabet soup of federal government programs that built the white picket fenced unprecedented American post-war boom we now view through our 21st century nostalgic gaze backward.

As an invented sharp end of capital, Blairite neoliberalism in the British Labour Party was never going to just go away; too many pimps and whores suckle from the foul teat of the oligarchy they themselves created. Thus, this summer there’s a second Labour leadership election in a year, forced upon the party by Blairite neoliberalism; forced upon Labour by capital.

Didn’t we just do this, you ask? Why yes! You’ll recall after Labour lost the 2015 general election spectacularly, Labour members elected the stereotypically bearded grey haired super lefty Jeremy Corbyn leader last September with 60% of the vote, his nearest Blairite challengers (plural) invisible in the distance. A year later, Blairites have manufactured a coup, first justified with the lie that Corbyn hadn’t done enough to defeat Brexit, which soon gave way to the absurdity of last year’s beatdown, and which now features a cut and paste, spun from whole cloth Bernie Bro lie narrative about “abuse” toward various and sundry. I suspect that came from David Axelrod himself, who consults for Blairites as I once did.

Capital will lose in Labour again this summer. Corbyn will crush the Blairites when ballot papers go out August 22, there is little doubt. The most recent poll showed Corbyn doubling up the weirdly conjured challenger, Owen Smith, a creature oozed out the corpulent back side of neoliberalism’s media spin, big pharma, Westminster petri dish. Owen Smith is quite like Tim Kaine in this regard; just another empty vessel through which capital flows upward.

 

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Blairites stick a middle finger in Labour memberships’ eye on the way down the bin

CorbynHipHopThe post-Brexit Labour Party’s internal Blairite coup against new leader Jeremy Corbyn has descended into total farce. (Relatedly, why is Brexit even a Labour problem? It’s a Tory problem, full stop.)  Blairites didn’t merely bungle every step of their incomptent post-Brexit coup over last summer’s leadership election, which Jeremy Corbyn won in an emphatic 60% landslide less than a year ago. Blairite intransigence now features the party’s Blairite-packed governing body, the National Executive Committee (NEC), whistfully imposing rules willy nilly designed to suppress Corbyn’s vote, and keep new members out, as if no one is watching.

Not only has the NEC imposed clearly discriminatory arbitrary membership cut-off dates for voting eligibility, the NEC has even raised the fee for voting membership from £3 to an absurd £25 (isn’t Labour a party for, you know, workers?), and even if you pay that, you still might not be allowed to vote for leader, depending on your speed to the post box. One wonders how creative the NEC will get all summer attempting to plug the cracks in their collapsing neoliberal dyke. Will new members using pencil instead of ink on their ballot be denied a vote for leader? Must the ballot paper be folded a certain way? It really is that ridiculous at this point.

Call me crazy, but new members are the entire ball game in politics. Any politics. Anywhere. Anytime.

First, I very much doubt such stupidity from the NEC survives a legal challenge (perhaps the European Court of Justice? Blairites do love the EU!), as these machinations are transparently discriminatory and might even rise to breach of contract. Second, even if a court never takes a look at this nonsense, it’s a near certainty Corbyn will still win any membership vote, with coup plotters unable even to decide on a single candidate to challenge Corbyn.

Third, even if despite all this, the coup somehow, someway, results in the Blairite fever dream of a leader other than Jeremy Corbyn at conference this September, that “result” will be universally seen as illegitimate, corrupt, and deeply oligarchic. Labour will have told the vast majority of its current membership and any future members it does not matter what, or who, you vote for in the Labour Party, the rules will be changed afterward against you. What remains of a post-Brexit-coup Labour won’t really be a socialist party, will it, but instead an empty vessel for the safe movement of capital.

One of the reasons the British Labour Party liked having us Yanks around back in the neoliberal glory days of the late 1990’s was an uncanny Clintonista ability to deal with political reality. It’s largely a function of the European style British parliamentary electoral system, in which all the marbles ride on relatively rare general elections. America’s system of constant elections at every level from local council to the presidential primaries features high stakes at every level, all the time. Labour thus tends to be a pretty navel-gazing bunch, internally focused to a fault, while American political strategy is more head on a swivel, always looking around the next corner, then the next one, sort of a political radar turned GPS.

In this way we see Hillary Clinton, a neoliberal to her core, making all the right moves in victory before her convention in Philadelphia, while Labour’s Blairites make all the wrong moves in their precipitous decline into the bin of history. Hillary is adjusting to the political reality before her. She did not need to allow the DNC to adopt more than 80% of the Bernie Sanders platform at the convention in Philadelphia. Running against the trainwreck that is Donald Trump, an argument can be made Hillary does not even need the Bernie or Busters’ votes at all. Yet, the Clinton machine is doing the opposite of the Blairite rump – Hillary is changing the Democratic Party to meet the political winds all around her.

Instead of putting a finger in the breeze to see which way the wind is so obviously blowing, Blairites stick a finger in the eye of their own members, future supporters, and the British electorate as a whole. Neoliberalism, the chief governing theory of capitalism, is precisely this blind, as it only sees capital as power, not people. Fortunately for Britain, and for Labour, this worm long ago turned. Blairites are blindly putting themselves into traffic to get run over by the amply documented worldwide tectonic shift in our politics against neoliberal world order. No matter how clever they think they are, this will not end well for Blairites.

 

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