Thursday, November 10, 2016

849 Corbyn's second defeat of the Labour establishment: the People vs the Elite

Corbyn's second defeat of the Labour establishment: the People vs the Elite

Newsletter published on 27 September 2016

(1) Establishment Elite control the channels of opinion. But they don't
have the numbers
(2) Corbyn's second defeat of the Labour establishment - BBC
(3) Anti-Corbyn group Labour Tomorrow funded by former Blair spin doctor
(4) Corbyn victory bolsters anti-austerity movement - Financial Times
(5) Blairite Labour MPs, defeated by Corbyn, should split - The
{Rothschild} Economist
(6) Blairite Labour MPs may leave the Party - The Guardian

(1) Establishment Elite control the channels of opinion. But they don't
have the numbers - Peter Myers, September 27, 2016


In accumulating news reports about Corbyn's victory, I was overwhelmed
by the hostility of virtually all the British news sites. The
Establishment Elite control nearly all the channels of opinion.

And yet, they don't have the numbers. The people defeated them, first on
Brexit and now on Corbyn. And although Trump may not be quite the man we
want, the hatred of the Elite for him shows that he's the one we need.

PS if there ARE some good alternative UK news sites, please let me know.

Corbyn's win is also a victory for Paul Eisen. The Lobby pilloried
Corbyn on account of his ties with Eisen & the Paslestinian cause.

(2) Corbyn's second defeat of the Labour establishment - BBC
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-37461903

Labour leadership: Corbyn consolidates power over party

Laura Kuenssberg Political editor

Media captionRe-elected leader Jeremy Corbyn tells BBC political editor
about uniting the Labour Party

Once more with feeling. Jeremy Corbyn and his legions of activists can
claim that today, having won for the second time and extended their grip
on the Labour Party.

Victory will be sweet - not just because it is a confirmation of his
remarkable support among thousands upon thousands of members around the
country.

It is Mr Corbyn's second defeat of the Labour establishment, who many of
his supporters believe have tried to undermine the leader consistently
over the last 12 months.

They talk of a "surge in the purge" as the leadership contest progressed
- party officials vetting and checking new supporters who had registered
to vote.

There are claims that Labour HQ deliberately threw Corbyn supporters off
the voting lists to reduce the size of his victory.

Corbyn supporters believe many MPs have done nothing in the past year
other than try to damage his leadership and today they will be shown to
have failed badly in their attempt to oust him. 'Bring it on'

It might seem strange, but for some in Mr Corbyn's team, this was
precisely what they wanted months ago, even before the challenge was
launched after the EU referendum.

One senior source told me in the spring, if there was to be a challenge,
"bring it on". They were confident then that they would win second time
round and be able afterwards to establish their authority still further.

And while there will be public statements calling for peace, requests
for MPs of all stripes to come together, Mr Corbyn's team is also set on
tightening its hold on the party.

In the bars and sweaty fringes of this conference, behind-the-scenes
machinations over who is in control are well under way.

The leader's reluctance to reintroduce elections to the shadow cabinet
is in part down to the fact it would reduce his support on the party's
ruling body, the NEC.

Pleas from senior MPs such Tom Watson, Andy Burnham and John Healey to
bring them back are likely to fall on deaf ears this weekend, even
though that would be the strongest outward signal to the rest of the
party that Mr Corbyn wants to rebuild his front bench.

But if he brought back those ballots, the parliamentary party would
choose three members of the NEC, possibly replacing two of Mr Corbyn's
allies who currently sit on the committee, and therefore watering down
his control.

'Reconciliation and assertion'

The decisions over the shadow cabinet are therefore not just about how
to build an effective opposition to the Tories, but who is really in charge.

There will be olive branches proffered aplenty in the next couple of
days, but the leader's approach will be "reconciliation and assertion" -
a strategy that does not suggest Mr Corbyn's team plan only to play nice.

But beyond the interminable processes of Labour Party democracy - this
is crucial to what's going on, but I confess a rather niche specialist
subject - something incredible has just happened.

After a year of turbulence and warnings of electoral armageddon, Mr
Corbyn has just successfully consolidated his power over his party,
enthusing and exciting his party's new grassroots.

A leader who most of his MPs see as a loser, has emerged as a winner
once more.

(3) Anti-Corbyn group Labour Tomorrow funded by former Blair spin doctor

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/anti-corbyn-group-labour-tomorrow-funded-by-tony-blair-s-former-spin-doctor-who-now-runs-peter-a7318056.html

Anti-Corbyn group Labour Tomorrow funded by former Blair spin doctor who
runs Peter Mandelson’s consultancy firm

Labour Tomorrow itself was set up to distribute funds to other Labour
centrist groups

Jon Stone

Tuesday 20 September 2016

A new anti-Corbyn group is receiving funding from Tony Blair's former
spin doctor – who now runs Peter Mandelson’s consultancy firm, Electoral
Commission filings show.

Benjamin Wegg-Prosser is the managing partner at Global Counsel, a
company chaired by Peter Mandelson which helps businesses trying to
influence policy.

Also Tony Blair’s former strategic director of communications, Mr
Wegg-Prosser loaned Labour Tomorrow Ltd £10,000 on 27 June – at the same
time as MPs resigned en masse from the shadow cabinet in the so-called
"coup".

Widely regarded as hostile to Jeremy Corbyn, Labour Tomorrow’s website
says it "raises, coordinates and distributes funds for moderate
centre-left organisations which are committed to rebuilding a consensus
for a Labour government".

The group was founded by the former Gordon Brown aide Nicola Murphy.
Other directors include former home secretary Lord Blunkett and Labour
peer Baroness Dean.

Other donors to Labour Tomorrow include hedge fund manager Martin
Taylor, Community, the steelworkers’ union long associated with Labour
centrists, and Baron Myners, a former City Minister under Gordon Brown.
These three donations were not loans but rather full donations.

Meanwhile Labour Tomorrow itself then in turn donated £117,000 to Saving
Labour, another anti-Corbyn group that in August claimed to have
recruited 120,000 people to vote for Owen Smith.

Mr Smith has been keen to associate his campaign with the 'soft left' of
the Labour party – with the right-most wing of the Labour party tending
to keep a low profile during the leadership election.

Electoral Commission filings released today also show that long-standing
New Labour group Progress has been given thousands by lobbyists for the
private equity industry.

The British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association donated twice
to the group in recent months, giving separate donations of £7,200 and
£3,300 each.

(4) Corbyn victory bolsters anti-austerity movement - Financial Times
https://www.ft.com/content/504b3984-825a-11e6-a29c-6e7d9515ad15?ftcamp=published_links%2Frss%2Fhome_uk%2Ffeed%2F%2Fproduct

Corbyn victory bolsters power of the anti-austerity movement

For many MPs Labour has not lurched to the left so much as been
subjected to a hostile takeover

September 24, 2016

by: Jim Pickard, Chief Political Correspondent

They played Happy by Pharrell Williams as Labour delegates trooped into
the Liverpool conference centre just before Mr Corbyn’s victory was
announced.

One MP, gazing out across the leaden waters of the Mersey, was anything
but. "It’s just a feeling of despair," he said. "A complete lack of
hope. No one knows quite what to do."

The second coming of Mr Corbyn represents a humiliation for the 172 MPs
who signed a motion of no confidence in him in late June. Now they face
an awkward choice: to fall into line under a leader they do not respect
— or to continue their war of attrition through another means.

For Mr Corbyn’s key allies the leadership result is just what they need
to press on with their attempts to rebuild the party in his
uncompromising image.

"Disunity is not good for the party, of course. This was another
resounding majority for Jeremy as leader of the party. Everyone from MPs
and councillors and members will want to rally around and help the party
now," said Jon Lansman, a close ally of the leader.

Lisa Nandy, a senior figure from the party’s "soft left" — and close
ally of the loser, Owen Smith — said it was now time to "calm the debate
and work together to win again".

That may not be easy given the vitriol thrown around by Labour members
in recent months. One MP, Ruth Smeeth, has brought her own bodyguard to
the Liverpool conference after having been abused on social media by
leftwing critics.

Fans of Mr Corbyn also complain of abuse. Yvonne Tennant, a longstanding
party member, told the FT that she had been called all sorts of names by
Owen Smith supporters. "They’ve called me an entryist, a Trotskyite,
scum, lunatic," said Ms Tennant, vice-chair of Pendle Labour
constituency party.

Many activists are unhappy that constituency meetings were suspended
during the summer to prevent infighting. "It has lost us time when we
could be organising and attacking the Conservative government," said
Jean Aylott, secretary of a party branch in Lancashire.

Decisive victory tightens hard left grip on the Labour party

Meanwhile the lack of unity was visible from the number of high-profile
MPs who had stayed away from the announcement. Half of the auditorium
was empty.

 From the perspective of many MPs, the party has not just "lurched to
the left" but has been subjected to a hostile takeover.

The party’s membership has more than doubled in only a year and many
leftwing entrants who did not vote for Labour at the 2015 general election.

One figure illuminates the situation. Owen Smith, who lost the
leadership election with 193,000 votes, did better than Ed Miliband when
he became leader in 2010 with 175,000 votes. But Mr Smith’s votes were
only enough to give him 38 per cent of the new, expanded membership.

Mr Corbyn pointedly referred to the new membership in his acceptance
speech, when he described Labour as the "largest political party in
western Europe" after having tripled in size in 18 months. Corbyn
supporters at a Momentum event in Liverpool

"Those new members are now part of a nationwide movement who can now
take our message into every community in the country to win support for
the election of a Labour government," he said.

Many of the newcomers see themselves as part of an international
anti-austerity movement embracing Bernie Sanders in the US, Syriza in
Greece and Podemos in Spain. They are delighted to be able to shake off
the awkward compromises of the New Labour years, when the party ran a
major world economy.

Many MPs, believe that winning over the Labour membership — barely 1 per
cent of the population — is not the real battle.

The Tory victory in the general election and the June 23 vote for Brexit
suggest a "small c" conservative electorate that is unlikely to warm to
Mr Corbyn’s brand of socialism.

If opinion polls are correct, he is one of the most unpopular party
leaders of modern times despite his zealous supporters.

"Jeremy Corbyn must realise this is only the beginning and that he needs
to reach out to the general electorate which is the only way you can win
a general election and change the disastrous policies that we are
currently experiencing from a Tory government," said Louise Ellman, a
local Liverpool MP.

"Getting support from adoring fans who already agree with him is very
comforting but it isn’t enough."

Jeremy Corbyn yet to commit to events with companies ahead of leadership
result

Mr Corbyn will take to the Andrew Marr Show on Sunday morning where he
will call for unity.

For now, however, he has resisted the one token policy which would bring
some rebel MPs back into the fold: the return of shadow cabinet elections.

A meeting of the party’s national executive committee will take place on
Saturday afternoon, but few insiders expect a major breakthrough.

Mr Corbyn, once seen as the ultimate political outsider, has just been
reconfirmed as leader of the party, surfing the adoration of a majority
of the grass roots. Within weeks he will see six supporters join the
NEC, tilting its balance of power further in his favour.

"He could reach out," said one unhappy MP. "But he might just think,
‘why should I’?"

(5) Blairite Labour MPs, defeated by Corbyn, should split - The
{Rothschild} Economist

http://www.economist.com/blogs/bagehot/2016/09/what-next-labour

The Economist

What next for Labour? Jeremy Corbyn is re-elected with an increased mandate

Sep 24th 2016, 12:12 by BAGEHOT

OWEN SMITH was never the front-runner in Labour’s leadership contest.
But moderates in the party hoped that he would at least begin the
process of clipping away at the mighty mandate, 59% of vote, that
accrued to Jeremy Corbyn last year. Perhaps this could be shaved to
nearer 50%. And perhaps, in one of the three voter categories—full
members, registered supporters and affiliates (mostly union members)—he
could even be beaten.

After all, the last twelve months have seen Labour wade progressively
farther into a moral and electoral swamp. Mr Corbyn was a dismally poor
cheerleader for Britain’s continued EU membership. Today the country is
without a functioning opposition. The rules of the leadership contest,
too, should have helped Mr Smith: some of Mr Corbyn's supporters had
been prevented from voting, either because they signed up too late or
because, having made offensive or anti-Labour comments on social media,
they had been "purged"—as some of his backers melodramatically describe
the party’s vetting processes. Surely, but surely, the moderates could
put a dent in Mr Corbyn’s armour?

No, came the answer. In Liverpool, where Labour’s conference begins
tomorrow, it has just been announced that Mr Corbyn has defeated Mr
Smith with 61.8% of the vote. Labour’s leader won resoundingly in every
section of the party’s electorate. In his acceptance speech he talked of
unity: "things are often said in the heat of the debate on all sides
that we later regret", he said in soothing tones: "As far as I’m
concerned the slate is wiped clean from today." In their reaction
afterwards many Labour MPs—willing, until recently, to acknowledge
frankly what an unmitigated car crash Mr Corbyn’s tenure has been—fell
dutifully into line; their glassy-eyed waffle about "taking the fight to
the Tories" clashing more than a little with the self-mutilating
decision their party had just made.

Mr Smith’s defeat speaks to quite how stuffed the party is. Early in the
contest he looked like the moderates’ best hope. He hails from the
centre-left of the party rather than its right so appeared capable of
winning a hearing, at least, from Mr Corbyn’s fans. He was relatively
unknown and thus free of the political baggage burdening Angela Eagle,
his rival for the moderate candidacy whose vote for the Iraq invasion
was particularly toxic among the grass roots. If anyone could broker a
provisional cease-fire between the Labour base and reality, it seemed to
be he.

In practice it was not. Mr Smith was energetic and had a capable
campaign team. He toured the country. He had well-run events and well
crafted speeches. But there were three problems. First, he was
gaffe-prone: suggesting that Britain should negotiate with Islamic
State, for example, and letting slip several disagreeably macho
comments, like one in which he looked forward to "smashing" Theresa May
"back on her heels".

Second, his compromise was the worst of both worlds. He pitched too far
left to seem conventionally electable but not far enough left to capture
some of Mr Corbyn’s idealistic appeal. His criticisms mostly concerned
the Labour leader’s lack of managerial and presentational smarts. Why,
lefties asked, vote for Diet Corbyn when the full-fat variety is available?

Third, and most fundamentally, efforts in the run-up to the race to
recruit new, moderate voters to Labour’s electorate (that is, to do on
the party’s centrist flank what the Corbynites had done so effectively
on its left-wing one) were too little, too late. Saving Labour, an
outfit established to do just this, did not have the time or network
needed to rival the Corbynite-Momentum juggernaut. Mr Corbyn’s
well-attended rallies around Britain confirmed that, while most voters
have a low or no opinion of him, a minority small enough to be
near-irrelevant in national elections but large enough to be
near-hegemonic in internal Labour ones sees him as a sort of messiah.

What next? For all the talk of unity, Mr Corbyn will certainly press his
new advantage. For example, he wants to put more policy-making power in
the hands of members. There has been talk—denied by the leadership—of
plans to move against one or both of Tom Watson, the deputy leader, and
Iain McNicol, the general secretary. A push by Labour MPs to seize
control of shadow cabinet appointments will likely be resisted. Plenty
of MPs, nervously eyeing coming re-selection battles, will bow their
heads and shuffle back into the shadow cabinet. The result: a Labour
Party yet further alienated from ordinary voters and a Britain yet
further deprived of the effective opposition it so badly needs.

It may be that the party will need to split in the future. While
acknowledging that moderates currently have no appetite for it, I have
rehearsed the arguments for such a move on this blog before: not least
the obvious fact that with every month Mr Corbyn is leader, the task of
one day undoing the damage he has caused spirals farther towards
impossibility. In a spirited blog post Paul Mason, one of his media
cheerleaders, even suggested that my proposals hinted at some new "coup"
being cooked up by Labour’s social democratic wing. As will be plain to
see in the coming days, no such plotting was ever afoot.

I remain convinced that Labour’s MPs may later be forced by
circumstances to take this route. But for now they should make at least
one more big push to take back the party and make it moral, effective
and electable once more. My view on this has been changed by closer
study of the severe deficiencies of Mr Smith’s candidacy—and of the
Saving Labour-led recruitment campaign. Mr Smith is a decent man with
decent advisers. But it was, in retrospect, wrong to assume that a
candidate offering a pale replica of Mr Corbyn’s own policies and a
last-minute push for centre-left recruits represented the best challenge
moderates could mount. They can do better. That despite these
limitations Mr Smith’s candidacy secured 38.2% of votes suggests that
there is still a sliver of hope; hope that a better-planned,
better-fronted, better-thought-out challenge can succeed before Mr
Corbyn has the time and strength to wreck Labour for good.

That means finding a good candidate—or ideally, candidates—and most of
all staging the mother of all recruitment campaigns. It means a degree
of intellectual and institutional renewal on Labour's centrist wing. It
means forging a deep, broad network capable of attracting to the party
the sort of pragmatic, centre-left types who want to see a sensible,
competitive Labour capable of winning power and exercising it
impactfully. Work on such a network, building on initiatives like Saving
Labour, must start today and draw inspiration from (adapting, not
copying) primary-winning movements elsewhere like that of Barack Obama
in 2008 and Matteo Renzi in 2013. It is not yet clear when the
opportunity for a new, good-as-can-be challenge to Mr Corbyn will come:
perhaps after the party’s inevitably unimpressive results in the local
elections of 2017 or 2018, or after a Labour rout at an early election
called by Mrs May. But when it does come, the moderates must be ready.

(6) Blairite Labour MPs may leave the Party - The Guardian
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/sep/24/jeremy-corbyn-leadership-win-shows-labour-is-now-a-changed-party?CMP=twt_gu

Corbyn leadership win shows Labour is now a changed party

With Jeremy Corbyn increasing his mandate, members with more centrist
politics may now leave the party

Anushka Asthana Political editor

Saturday 24 September 2016 22.14 AEST Last modified on Saturday 24
September 2016 22.44 AEST

Jeremy Corbyn’s election result has proved to be even bigger than a year
ago, with the Labour leader commanding 313,209 votes – 61.8% of the
electorate.

Overall, there were 654,006 people eligible to take part in the election
as either full members, registered supporters who had paid £25, or
affiliates largely through the trade unions. Of this total, 506,438 cast
a vote. As Corbyn says, Labour is now the largest socialist movement in
western Europe.

It is a movement that in 2016 has offered Corbyn its concerted backing
across the board. He won 59% of the members’ votes (168,216), 70% of
registered supporters (84,918) and 60% of affiliated supporters
(60,075). That is not just a bigger victory for Corbyn than in 2015, it
is a significant shift in the core membership.

Last year, in a win that shook up politics and delivered a shock to
large parts of Labour’s Westminster operation, Corbyn secured 59.5% of
the share in the first round, attracting more than 250,000 votes.

That win was driven primarily by registered supporters who were able to
take part in the contest for the bargain price then of £3. More than
100,000 signed up, with 83.8% backing Corbyn. What is often forgotten,
however, is that the Labour leader fell just short of a majority among
full members, winning 49.6% of their vote.

Although that still represented membership support at a scale more than
double that of his closest rival, Andy Burnham, it was a figure that
gave Labour rebel MPs hope when they triggered their challenge earlier
in the summer.

They believed that perhaps nine months of Corbyn’s leadership – which
they considered to be chaotic and incompetent – followed by an EU
referendum result that was bruising for a majority of Labour members,
might just swing the outcome. They couldn’t have been more wrong.

Owen Smith’s tactic, to argue that Corbyn was not the "only socialist in
the village" and that he too was a signed-up supporter of anti-austerity
policies, missed the mark. His claim that Corbyn was a good man but was
unelectable at national level was simply not enough to persuade the
Labour faithful.

Smith’s team are disheartened, but will seize on any evidence that might
show there is more than one story to be told in 2016. His supporters
were quick to point out that his 193,229 votes meant he received more
support than Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall combined in
last year’s contest – a testament in part to Labour’s ballooning membership.

One other piece of evidence that will be raked over by the "modernisers"
who wanted to topple Corbyn is a YouGov "exit poll" commissioned by the
psephologist Ian Warren.

The poll predicted that Corbyn would win with 59% – reasonably close,
although slightly below Corbyn’s actual result. It also suggested that
the leader had performed particularly well with female members, securing
seven out of 10 of their votes, and had hefty support among voters aged
25 to 50.

But, with the caveat that this was a poll and not an actual result, it
also suggested that Smith was ahead in Scotland and among 18- to
24-year-olds, although they were just 11% of the total electorate.

More interestingly, the poll suggested Smith had the backing of a clear
majority (it said 63%) of Labour members before May 2015. Analysis What
next for Jeremy Corbyn? Labour’s re-elected leader now faces a host of
tricky decisions about how to shore up his support within the party Read
more

If it is true that enough Corbyn-supporting members have signed up to
the party between last year’s general election and January 2016 (the
Labour cutoff for those taking part in this election) to swing the vote
so dramatically, then Labour is now unquestionably a changed party.

Since then, another 130,000 people – largely thought to be sympathetic
to Corbyn – have joined up, pushing the party further in his direction.
Moreover, those within Labour holding more centrist politics could now
leave the party if they are disillusioned by this even bigger result.

But Corbyn’s win, although convincing, still opens the door to a Labour
party that is deeply divided. Large numbers of the almost 200,000 people
who backed Smith were doing so in part not to make a positive statement
for the candidate, but to cast their vote against the current leadership.

Their anger at Corbyn’s reign can be seen in the messages put out, and
responses received, by people such as JK Rowling who think the party
under his leadership cannot win a general election. Corbyn has earned an
impressive internal mandate. Now he faces a much bigger electoral test.




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