The next big leader?

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cwathen
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Thu 13 Aug, 2015 22.11

WillPS wrote:Indeed. I saw that on The Guardian and it led me straight to the signup page on Labour's flaky website. I'll be voting for Corbyn.

The Labour Party has to move to the left. Corbyn is the only candidate offering that.
But how much of the country is genuinely left wing? I despise Blair but he did have one thing absolutely right - which is that real left wing politics aren't supported by enough of the country to get elected. His way was to take a centre-left position and like him or loath him he did prove that this works in terms of getting elected to government, and he proved that 3 times in a row. 2 successive leaders and 2 previous ones (I'll leave John Smith out since he sadly never got the chance to fight an election) have between them lost 6 of the 9 general elections held over the past 36 years whilst Blair won the other 3, his approach is the only one in recent times which has worked for Labour.

Whatever political views you hold, surely everyone should be able to agree that the official opposition must be a party of potential government which must mean it's a not-too distant 2nd in terms of what the majority of the country want.

Unfortunately, a group of trade unionists in pursuit of their view of an ideal world which doesn't exist and will never happen just isn't that.

By all means vote for Corbyn, you'll just be confirming the return of another Conservative government in 2020. Slag Blair off all you want - and I'd normally be at the top of the queue for that - but he's right about this one.
all new Phil
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Thu 13 Aug, 2015 22.23

Totally agree. If Corbyn wins (and I very much believe he will) then it'll be fascinating to see what happens to all those who oppose him. I can't imagine a good deal of the party will want to endorse his policies.

I can see the left of the party joining up with maybe the SNP or the Greens, and the right of the party either going it alone or flirting with the Lib Dems.
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DTV
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Thu 13 Aug, 2015 22.42

Largely agree with you their cwathen apart from the bit where you refer to Blair as centre-left, his economic policies were mainly right of centre and his civil liberties record was not the best in his later years.
cwathen
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Fri 14 Aug, 2015 10.55

all new Phil wrote:Totally agree. If Corbyn wins (and I very much believe he will) then it'll be fascinating to see what happens to all those who oppose him. I can't imagine a good deal of the party will want to endorse his policies.

I can see the left of the party joining up with maybe the SNP or the Greens, and the right of the party either going it alone or flirting with the Lib Dems.
This is the problem - whatever Corbyn does it won't be to unite the party and put them on a footing to win the next election. If he wins I think they are looking either at becoming so dogged by internal battles that they cease to become effective at opposing the Conservatives, or they will split and whatever ends up as the larger of the two will be the official opposition, but will be utterly dwarfed in size by the Conservatives and so lose effectiveness.

I may well have voted Conservative and am glad they are in office, but I don't want them to run around completely unchecked with no serious competition, I still want the opposition to be a party of comparative size and potential government, a Corbyn-lead Labour won't be that, and no one else is big enough to take Labour's place.
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WillPS
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Fri 14 Aug, 2015 11.53

cwathen wrote:
WillPS wrote:Indeed. I saw that on The Guardian and it led me straight to the signup page on Labour's flaky website. I'll be voting for Corbyn.

The Labour Party has to move to the left. Corbyn is the only candidate offering that.
But how much of the country is genuinely left wing? I despise Blair but he did have one thing absolutely right - which is that real left wing politics aren't supported by enough of the country to get elected. His way was to take a centre-left position and like him or loath him he did prove that this works in terms of getting elected to government, and he proved that 3 times in a row. 2 successive leaders and 2 previous ones (I'll leave John Smith out since he sadly never got the chance to fight an election) have between them lost 6 of the 9 general elections held over the past 36 years whilst Blair won the other 3, his approach is the only one in recent times which has worked for Labour.

Whatever political views you hold, surely everyone should be able to agree that the official opposition must be a party of potential government which must mean it's a not-too distant 2nd in terms of what the majority of the country want.

Unfortunately, a group of trade unionists in pursuit of their view of an ideal world which doesn't exist and will never happen just isn't that.

By all means vote for Corbyn, you'll just be confirming the return of another Conservative government in 2020. Slag Blair off all you want - and I'd normally be at the top of the queue for that - but he's right about this one.
Plenty of the people who returned Thatcher to power are dead. Even more will be in 2020. In their place will be swathes of young people who have been utterly shat on by 10 years of Tory (or Tory controlled) economic policy.

Pandering to the whim of the selfish fuckers who have dumped us in this position will get the Labour Party nowhere. It certainly won't do anything to win back the Scottish electorate. Elsewhere, there are 1.1m Green votes which are nicely spread across marginals. This is before you've reached out to the surviving Old Labour types who've gone elsewhere or stopped voting, and before you mention the

And actually - a Labour party that fundamentally agrees with continued austerity, with continued privatisation of the NHS - that's not a party I'm interested in supporting.

One thing is for certain - if Corbyn wins, he absolutely knows he cannot run the Labour party as a fiefdom for his own views. His first jobs will be engaging all wings of the party. Perhaps Corbyn will not last the full 5 years, perhaps we'll have another leader to take us to the next election - so be it. But if that comes after a jolt back to the left, that's fine. SImilarly, if Burnham or Cooper win (and it'll be on second preference votes), they will know that they cannot simply ignore the command from their own party to reject the notion that the left has no place in modern politics.
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cwathen
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Fri 14 Aug, 2015 14.06

WillPS wrote:Plenty of the people who returned Thatcher to power are dead. Even more will be in 2020. In their place will be swathes of young people who have been utterly shat on by 10 years of Tory (or Tory controlled) economic policy.
So you believe it's a group of ageing Thatcherites that returned the Tories this time and enlightened young people will vote them out next time? The problem you may have there is I'm not sure that many young people do feel 'utterly shat on' by the Tory's economic policy. If you rely on benefits or you're going to uni then maybe you'd be better off under Labour (although I wouldn't say that's necessarily true, the move from grants to loans, the introduction of tuition fees, the first time fees were tripled and the ending of partial LEA funding for fees was all done under Labour) but if you're leaving school to get a job and not claiming benefits then I don't see that Conservative economic policy is necessarily harming young people or that they will feel particularly shat on.

I would imagine that a good chunk of the people who voted Conservative in 2010 were young people, and coalition or no coalition, were happy enough with the job they did to vote for them again this year.
WillPS wrote:One thing is for certain - if Corbyn wins, he absolutely knows he cannot run the Labour party as a fiefdom for his own views. His first jobs will be engaging all wings of the party. Perhaps Corbyn will not last the full 5 years, perhaps we'll have another leader to take us to the next election - so be it.
It doesn't sound like you have much faith in him yourself if you're already accepting that he may not last till the next election and you can't honestly believe that a new leader at the start of an election campaign has a hope in hell of toppling a majority incumbent government. Blair was cutting it fine with less than 3 years in the job before his election victory, but he did have the added bonus of taking over at precisely the point when the Tories started to fall apart through internal wrangling - 1997 was as much a case of the Tories loosing as Labour winning. Their journey back to power only really started after Cameron was elected early in the 2005-2010 parliament giving him time to build his image as a credible prime minister and also because the party united behind him.

Labour really need another Blair - not necessarily in terms of policy, but in terms of someone who has the charisma to truly lead and unite the party towards a single goal of being elected. Frankly, I don't think any of the candidates have got that going for them. I did even (very) briefly wonder if Harriet Harman deserved a chance at the job - but seeing her being torn apart every week at PMQs shows that even their most experienced people can't put a credible face on them at present. They are a mess.
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WillPS
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Fri 14 Aug, 2015 14.48

I'm not surprised that you can't make sense of Corbyn and left wing politics given your proven ability to see no further than the end of your own nose. You and I both know that Cameron & Osbourne owe absolutely nothing to young people, and you can see that etched as clearly as lettering through a stick of rock in the latest Lib Dem-less budget.

I am quite happy with my choice, thank you very much. If he decides to resign midway through his tenure and let another figure continue, I don't see why that would be quite such a terrible thing either. So long as he alters the trajectory of the party, that's fine; ultimately I have don't have enough faith that Burnham would do that, and I'm certain that Cooper/Kendall wont (certainly not the way I'd like things, anyway). That's not to say I don't think Corbyn will perform well in Parliament (actually, I think he'll do rather well), nor that I think he'll be unable to lead effectively (although that does rather depend on Kendall, Cooper & friends getting the message and letting him do what he'll have a clear mandate to do).
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DTV
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Fri 14 Aug, 2015 15.58

Actually their was a huge swing to Labour among the youth vote in this election, suggesting that the Conservatives policies that affected young people weren't so popular. Despite shifting the blame for most of those failures on the Lib Dems. I expect if the Lib Dem vote hadn't of collapsed as badly it'd be the Blue column that wasn't so tall.

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dosxuk
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Fri 14 Aug, 2015 16.02

Labour can't win as a Tory-lite party, unless the Tories ruin their own chances. By being tory lite, they also remove notable representation from a significant swathe of the population who don't agree with the tory ethos.

We need alternative voices in mainstream politics. Just look to Scotland, as soon as a credible alternative appeared it annialated the existing Westminster parties.
Alexia
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Fri 14 Aug, 2015 16.22

Trouble is, even a Corbynite Labour party will still be seen as a Westminster old boys brigade, progressive socialism or not, because they have burned so many bridges by allying themselves with the Tories in IndyRef, and then fudging the aftermath, and then allowing Jim Murphy to be.... Jim Murphy and now Kezia Dugdale is being.... worse, somehow.
cwathen
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Fri 14 Aug, 2015 16.32

DTV wrote:Actually their was a huge swing to Labour among the youth vote in this election, suggesting that the Conservatives policies that affected young people weren't so popular. Despite shifting the blame for most of those failures on the Lib Dems. I expect if the Lib Dem vote hadn't of collapsed as badly it'd be the Blue column that wasn't so tall.

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A far bigger swing to Labour from the Lib Dems though, and in percentage points the Tories only dropped 3% whilst LD dropped 25%. I would say a lot of this will be down to students seeking to punish Clegg over tuition fees and given that in the next election youth voters will be comprised by a different generation of students, it remains to be seen how they will go then.
WillPS wrote: I'm not surprised that you can't make sense of Corbyn and left wing politics given your proven ability to see no further than the end of your own nose.
We've had this argument before. You accuse me of being short-sighted for being right wing yet at the same time place yourself on some sort of pedestal of morality and virtue simply because you are left wing and lambast anyone who doesn't share your view as an idiot - which is what you accuse me of.

The numbers though would suggest there are more right wing than left wing people in the country. Personally I would suggest that we are quite like minded in the convictions of our beliefs, we just come from opposite directions. If you are correct however, that's an awful lot of glasses Specsavers need to sell, perhaps now would be a good time to invest in them. Although of course that would be capitalist ;)
WillPS wrote:I am quite happy with my choice, thank you very much. If he decides to resign midway through his tenure and let another figure continue, I don't see why that would be quite such a terrible thing either. So long as he alters the trajectory of the party, that's fine
That's just great, as long as you're not too bothered about actually winning the next election it should all come up smelling of roses for you. And in fairness to Corbyn, as I said I don't think any of the candidates are particularly enlightening.
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