Labour MPs put internal divisions on public display again

The anti-Corbyn camp told us for two years that electoral advance was impossible under Corbyn’s leadership. The majority of Labour MPs were so sure of it that the opened party divisions to full public view with a vote of no confidence against the leader which 75% of Labour MPs supported (including Ruth Cadbury and Seema Malhotra). And yet Labour rise in the polls was the biggest since 1945. Labour had experienced dramatic decline from the moment when Tony Blair became prime minister – the data is undeniable. It reached its lowest point of public support in the election of 2010 (led by Gordon Brown). Five years later Labour lifted itself marginally from a historic low point by just 2% (led by Ed Miliband) but clearly there was no sea change. Continue reading “Labour MPs put internal divisions on public display again”

The Political “Centre Ground” – Some Good Advice

The July issue of Prospect has an article by Steve Richards commenting on the outcome of the 2017 general election (All shook up: this election result upended stale assumptions about “centrist” politics). There is a clear message about the judgement of most Labour MPs being seriously clouded by some false assumptions about what works in politics. After ranging over the turmoil arising from 2015 election, Brexit, Scottish independence, Bernie Sanders in the US presidential race, Emmanuel Macron’s election in France, Syriza, and the fall of the French Socialist Party he turns to our recent general election. Continue reading “The Political “Centre Ground” – Some Good Advice”

New Labour guru has second thoughts – sort of

Do you remember how confidently the media pundits and New Labour elder statesmen told us that electing Corbyn as leader would be a disaster? It is worth recalling what they said and how, in the light of the general election 2017 their political judgement has been clear shown to be at some remove from reality.

Take the case of David Blunkett. He has been around the block a few times:

  • Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (6 May 2005 – 2 November 2005)
  • Home Secretary {8 June 2001 – 15 December 2004)
  • Secretary of State for Education and Employment (2 May 1997 – 8 June 2001)
  • Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Employment (20 October 1994 – 2 May 1997)
  • Shadow Secretary of State for Health (18 July 1992 – 20 October 1994)
  • Member of Parliament for Sheffield Brightside (1987–2010)
  • Leader of the Sheffield City Council (1980–1987)

Continue reading “New Labour guru has second thoughts – sort of”

Comparing the 2017 election to previous ones

Myths abound in politics. This is because most people get their political information second or third hand, or worse. So it is always worth reminding ourselves of some basic facts.

For example Labour “moderates” often refer to Labour’s 1983 election with Michael Foot as the lowest point reached by Labour in the post war period. This is blamed on a manifesto which, it is alleged, was far too left-wing. Few of the people making this claim have actually read that manifesto but that is how myths develop. Furthermore, the simple fact is that it was not Labour’s lowest point in terms of support from the electorate as a whole. That dubious honour must be claimed by Gordon Brown (see the graph below). Continue reading “Comparing the 2017 election to previous ones”