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Tag Archives: Corbyn

Who to blame for Johnson winning?

When I wrote thisin July I desperately wanted to be wrong. (Of course I was wrong about a lot of the details but alas not the main point.) But it soon became clear that, compared to 2017, the press had had two more years to paint Corbyn as marxist, unpatriotic and racist, and for enough people that would be a reason not to vote Labour. Among others who supported Brexit, they really did believe that Johnson was the man to get Brexit done. Many will say that Labour lost badly because they had a...

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The othering of Jeremy Corbyn

By otheringI mean treating Corbyn (or more generally the Labour left) as beyond the pale in terms of conventional politics. Othering implies that because of his past or current beliefs, associations and actions Corbyn should not be even considered as fit to be an MP, let alone a Prime Minister. Other politicians can be evaluated in conventional ways, but this does not applyto those who are othered. Othering has a number of distinctive, and potentially useful, features. Let me list two. First,...

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Corbyn and Antisemitism

There is no doubt that the Labour party has an antisemitism problem. But the figures (see below) suggest it involves a tiny minority. Claims that the party is “riddled with antisemitism” are a deliberate lie. What makes antisemitism claims against Labour powerful is that they are associated with Jeremy Corbyn. In particular many have suggested that Corbyn himself is antisemitic. And if you present the evidence is a certain way the claim looks like a strong one. I am no Corbyn fan, and...

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A People’s Vote or a General Election: how does Johnson’s new deal change things

There is a big debate at the moment among those who support a People’s Vote (PV) about whether it should become before or after a General Election (GE). Let’s assume for now there are sufficient MPs willing to vote for the PV before a GE option, and that Johnson prefers a GE which he thinks he can win so there would be no PV. From a Remain point of view, should a GE or PV come first. I last discussedthis when a Johnson deal was dead and there was talk of the Conservatives advocating No Deal...

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Corbyn stakes everything on tactical voting by Remainers

Those who argue that a Corbyn led Labour party can never win a general election need to remember the days after the 2017 election, when Labour were ahead in the polls. Contrast Corbyn’s and May’s reactions to the Grenfell fire, and don’t imagine Johnson would be much better than May. Grenfell itself was a consequence of a ‘let’s end red tape, private sector knows best’ culture that is still rife in the Conservative party, and will not change if a Conservative is Prime Minister after the next...

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Reaction to “There is only one alternative to Prime Minister Boris Johnson”

I anticipated that my last post would not be popular in many circles. I want to respond to some of the common themes from the responses in this post, but there was one reaction I was not expecting. First some background. Since the beginning of the year I have had an arrangement with the online edition of the New Statesman (NS) that my Tuesday post should be simultaneously published on my blog and in the NS. The arrangementwas working well. My last post was published by the New Statesman as...

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There is only one alternative to Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Corbyn may not be a great or even a particularly good leader, but it seems few in the media recognise he is the only viable opposition to the far right we have. While I have been critical of the Labour leadership’s Brexit stance for some time, and still do not thinkCorbyn has gone far enough to maximise Labour's chances of General Election victory, he has done enough to ensure one thing: his survival. While his Brexit stance, together with continuing problems with antisemitism, will have lost...

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Will Labour’s new Brexit policy win back voters?

Labour has finally agreedto back a People’s Vote unequivocally on any Brexit deal. That includes any deal it might itself negotiate after winning a General Election. It will campaign for Remain against No Deal or any Tory deal. Whether it will try and negotiate its own deal after it wins a snap General Election will be decided quickly as soon as that General Election is called. This differs slightly from the proposal put forward by five biggest affiliated trade unions, which proposed that...

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Understanding why right-wing populism succeeds

I have just been rereading “Populism and the People” by Jan-Werner Müller in the London Review of Books (May 2019). It is the most concise and I think perceptive account of the most worrying political development of our time: the rise of the right wing populist. This is Trump and Farage, but also Orbán in Hungary, Erdoğan in Turkey, Kaczyński in Poland,  Modi in India and Bolsonaro in Brazil. What they have in common is a“populist art of governance ... based on nationalism (often with...

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Once the Nasty party, now the Brexit party

Brexit could be a gift to Labour that will keep on giving, if the Labour leader is able to grasp it One of the sentences you are sure to hear nowadays is: “Brexit is not going to go away anytime soon”. It is true because Conservative party members will not let it go away. A recent pollshowed a majority of those who will elect our next Prime Minister would prefer achieving Brexit to Scotland saying in the UK, Northern Ireland staying in the UK, or even the survival of their own party. They...

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