Tony Blair

The lunatic wing of the Labour Party is still calling the shots

Ok so it isn’t the New Zealand Labour party, but they are all related…sort of a political cousin marriage thing.

Dan Hodges at the Telegraph looks at the lunatics in Labour:

So he made it. Jeremy Corbyn is on the leadership ballot. Bats––t crazy Labour is alive and well.

The cheers are already ringing around the Twittersphere. From the “5/7 Truthers” who believe Labour’s defeat last month was the result of a failure to move too far and too fast to the Left. From Corbyn’s own opponents, the deputy leadership candidates and the mayoral candidates – all of whom are casting a greedy eye in the direction of his supporters. And from the worthy proceduralists, who are praising the fact “the party can now have a proper debate”.

Labour isn’t going to have a proper debate. Which is why Jeremy Corbyn is on the ballot in the first place. If Labour was having a proper debate, the sort of hard-Left politics espoused by him and his followers would already have been consigned to the dustbin of history. But the parliamentary Labour Party has opted to go rummaging through Michael Foot’s dustbin instead.

And only the Labour Party could have done this. Only the Labour Party could have contrived to greet the close of nominations for its leader with a raft of headlines about a candidate who is to the Left of Karl Marx and guaranteed not to win the contest.

Of course, that is not how most of the country will see it. Given the way most people catch their politics via peripheral vision, all they will process is “Labour leader … hard-Left candidate … success”.

Just how much longer is Labour planning to carry on extracting the urine from the British people in this way? Five weeks ago the voters said for the second time in five years: “Sorry, we’re not buying what you’re selling.” Labour’s response? “Oh. Well, what about what Jeremy Corbyn is selling?”

“But he won’t win”, say the Corbyn Quislings. No, he won’t. But he’s there. He’s on the ballot. Dan Jarvis isn’t on the ballot. Chuka Umunna isn’t on the ballot. Mary Creagh isn’t on the ballot. But Jeremy Corbyn is. That says something about the Labour Party in 2015.

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A worthless opposition

No I’m not highlighting Labour in New Zealand, but I could be such are the similarities.

Connoisseurs of claptrap and self-delusion are feasting on the Labour leadership contest. In explaining a defeat in which they were all, in various degrees, complicit, the candidates cannot be too radical in their break with the past without seeming spectacular hypocrites. It’s all right for Peter Mandelson, performing again his much-admired role as stiletto-in-chief whenever Labour stumbles: he wasn’t in the Miliband machine. But, with the exception of Jeremy Corbyn, the rest were. So let’s have the first brutal truth about Labour: none of the potential leaders looks up to running an opposition.

Sounds awfully like New Zealand Labour.

Labour won’t want to repeat the mistake of its recent campaign in focusing on some point that aggrieves only a small minority (zero-hours contracts, with which some of that minority were quite content) and bellyaching on about it to the mystification of most of the electorate. There are issues that are genuinely worrying – the delivery of the National Health Service, for example, or care of an elderly population that is increasing in numbers, age and isolation – but Labour has no solutions for these problems that do not consign them to the hands of the state and the self-righteous superintendence of the trades unions. It is an inability to concede that public services appear to exist largely for the benefit of those who staff them, and only secondarily for the benefit of the general public, that typifies Labour’s refusal to acknowledge how enslaved they are to vested interests.

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Message to Progress: Piss off and Join National

Danyl McLauchlan echoes what many left-wing activists are saying to the folk at Progress.

He is telling them to leave Labour alone and piss off to National where they belong.

I have two basic problems with the idea that Labour should be a centrist Blairite ‘third-way’ party. First: the left’s great intellectual struggle over the past eight years has been about how to reposition ourselves after the catastrophic failure of Blairist third-way centrism. The deregulated free markets that were supposed to fund generous social welfare states worsened inequality, even when functioning, and then they crashed and needed to be bailed out. The centrist argument boils down to ‘Let’s go back to that system that failed!’ It is not intellectually serious.

Was Blairism really a “catastrophic failure” or are people trying to re-write history and lay the blame for Labour’s subsequent failures on Tony Blair and not on Gordon Brown?

Secondly, we already have a Blairite centrist third way party in New Zealand. It’s the National Party. If you take Labour and nudge it slightly along the political spectrum while taking away the identity politics and token environmentalism you have a smaller less popular version of John Key’s National.   Read more »

Finally someone in Labour gets it, now watch for the witch hunts to drive them out

The Labour Party preaches tolerance, mainly in other people. We are supposed to be tolerant of all the minorities out there including gays, ethnic minorities and all religions except Christianity. The problem for Labour is that they don’t actually like a faction that cares about sensible things like getting elected.

Richard Harman has a great yarn about a new grouping inside (for now) of Labour trying to effect change.

Controversy within the Labour Party over moves by some right wing members and MPs to set up a think tank aligned with the party.

Some sources say that things got heated at last week’s Labour caucus over the proposal and  expulsion of some of those involved was threatened.

But a spokesperson for Labour Leader Andrew Little says that while he does not discuss what happens at caucus, those reports are “inaccurate”.

Indeed the spokesperson said Mr Little said he welcomed the idea.

“Labour is a broad church and we welcome all sorts of ideas,” she said.

“If people want to have things like think tanks with ideas that’s good.”

One source said the proposal was initially for the new body to be called “True Labour”.

But when it was discussed at the Caucus last week it apparently came under fire.

It was then renamed “Progress”.

Names mentioned in connection with the proposal include two Labour members usually identified as being on its right wing; Porirua Mayor, Nick Legget and the blogger and commentator, Phil Quinn.

Former candidate, Josie Pagani and Napier MP, Stuart Nash are also said to be involved.

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Should the Labour party be put down?

There are questions over the validity of continuing on with the Labour party in the UK.

While it’s always bad manners to intrude on private grief, I think I have a useful suggestion for the Labour Party; one that could save it a great deal of bitterness and heartache over the next weeks and months, as it struggles to find a new leader and image. For there is an alternative to the coming painful internecine struggle between Peter Mandelson, Len McCluskey, the Unite General Secretary, Jim Murphy, the former Scottish Labour leader, and the various contenders for the Labour leadership: why not just wind up the party altogether?

In the 115 years since it was founded as the political wing of the trade union movement at the Memorial Hall in Farringdon Street in February 1900, Labour has rendered the British people a few signal services. It supported Winston Churchill’s premiership during the Second World War, playing a key role in forcing Neville Chamberlain’s resignation in May 1940. It created the National Health Service eight years later (though quite what Clement Attlee and Nye Bevan would think about the taxpayer forking out for breast enlargements and sex-change operations doesn’t bear contemplation). It also produced many fine, patriotic Cabinet ministers such as Ernie Bevin, Herbert Morrison, Jim Callaghan, George Robertson and John Reid, and many sound defence ministers such as Roy Mason, John Gilbert, Bill Rodgers and David Owen. But the Labour Party’s time as a useful force in British politics has now passed.

Quite possibly its time has passed here, too. Josie Pagani has frequently stated that Labour has lost its branding. Here is why.

All the key societal indicators are moving away from Labour – even its brand name is wildly outdated. Fewer people regard themselves as working class today than at any other period in history, with 71 per cent self-identifying as middle class. Class-consciousness is considered passé by the new generation attaining voting age; first-timers this time around apparently didn’t give a hoot where David Cameron went to school, for example. The percentage of people identifying themselves as Socialist is the lowest it has ever been, hovering around the early teens.

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There are many reasons to dislike Tony Blair but this is one of the best

Tony Blair was a shameless politician with a legacy that many people on the left don’t like and an equal number on the right.

But one of his legacy decisions was the amnesty for crimes committed by the IRA.

Now the Irish Police have revealed that they know who killed Moutbatten but they can’t do anything about it because of Blair’s amnesty.

The Irish police have been accused of failing to fully investigate IRA terror suspects responsible for the Mountbatten killings in 1979, along with other terror attacks.

A Westminster source has made clear his suspicion that the Irish authorities were fully aware of who caused the death of Earl Mountbatten of Burma, the Queen’s cousin.

But the source continued that the motivation to investigate past terrorist attacks had dissipated following the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.

The agreement gave those suspected of attacks an amnesty, the source told the Sunday Telegraph, in a secret deal for peace.

The source added that ‘of course’ the Irish knew who had committed the murders, as they were ‘very good at gathering intelligence’ but were not successful when it came to taking the cases to court.   Read more »

A sensible lefty finally understands the game

Danyl at DimPost is sometimes one of the more clearer thinking lefty bloggers out there.

He has provided a sensible analysis of the problems the left faces in combatting centre right parties. Without the mouth-breathing, or foaming anger that the rest of the left generally has.

There’s loads of analysis about on the outcome of the election in the UK; most of it is focused on Labour. What went wrong? Did they choose the wrong Miliband brother? Should they return to Blairism? And so on.

Seems to me that one of Labour’s biggest problems – both here and in the UK – is that they’re faced with an opponent that is (a) better resourced than them and (b) uses those resources to make themselves far, far better at politics than their left-wing opponents.

Just after his election victory David Cameron announced that the UK was ‘on the brink of something special’. Key has been promising New Zealand we’re on ‘The cusp of something special’. The messaging is consistently similar. The Conservative Party’s strategy in the UK election was pretty much the same as National’s strategy last year. It’s because they have the same strategic advisers of course – the infamous Crosby/Textor, who are also very active in Australian Federal and state elections.

Which gives their clients a huge advantage. Not only can they deliver data and market-research driven advice, they can trial-run lines and strategies across multiple separate-but-similar electorates, hone the techniques and sell successful ideas on to their other clients – who are all right-wing parties that want to see each other succeed.   Read more »

At least one Labour muppet gets it, which is probably why he won’t win the leadership

The UK Labour party is now faced with some soul searching and a leadership selection process.

The one good legacy that Ed Miliband left was the removal of union control in the selection process.

The contenders are now lining up and are said to include Chuka Umunna, Yvette Cooper, Andy Burnham, Liz Kendall, Dan Jarvis and Tristram Hunt. Tristram Hunt can be discounted immediately because you should never trust some called tristram.

Chuka Umunna has some sensible things to say…which will probably count him out.

Umunna, who stopped short of announcing his candidacy but said on Sunday morning he intended to “play the fullest part I can in rebuilding our party”, drew similar lessons to Blair.

“We talked about the bottom and top of society, about the minimum wage and zero-hour contracts, about mansions and non-doms. But we had little to say to the majority of people in the middle,” he said, referring to several of the party’s policies.

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Suicide by Socialism, the stupidity of the left

The left wing are beside themselves wondering what went wrong in the UK. They think yet again that the voters were duped, that they were stupid and they get what they deserve…such is their disconnect with how democracy works.

There are cries of a need for Proportional Representation but as David Farrar points out that wouldn’t have really helped them either.

The real problem is their underlying socialist and swingeing attitude to controlling the masses.

Tony Blair, of all people, saw it coming. As long ago as January, he told The Economist magazine that the 2015 election campaign would be one ‘in which a traditional Left-wing party competes with a traditional Right-wing party, with the traditional result’.

‘A Tory win?’ asked his interviewer.

‘Yes,’ Mr Blair replied. ‘That is what happens.’

Whatever you might think of Mr Blair, he proved a much better soothsayer than the vast majority of pollsters and pundits.

For Thursday’s election was not merely a disappointment for Ed Miliband and the Labour Party. It was a disaster, a catastrophe, an utter debacle to rank with the very worst defeats of the Eighties.

The seeds of Labour’s defeat were, I think, sown at the very moment when, on September 25, 2010, Ed Miliband was announced as the party’s new leader. As I wrote at the time, the problem was not so much his goofy manner and geeky personality, but the fact he had so comprehensively refused to learn from those previous defeats.

Mr Miliband’s appeal to Labour activists, and especially to his patrons and paymasters in the giant trades unions, can be put very simply.

He stood for the leadership on the basis that he was not Tony Blair, that New Labour was dead and that he would rekindle the Left-wing spirit of the Seventies and Eighties.

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A life-long Labour luvvie won’t be voting for Red Ed

You know you are stuffed when life long card carrying pinkos won’t vote for you.

Tom Conti, a life-long Labour luvvie explains why he won’t be voting for Red Ed.

For 40 years I supported Labour. Left was ‘the thing to be’ for the majority in my acting business – as it was for the BBC. However, some time in the last 15 years I began to find that ‘Socialism’ was a religion – and we all know that the inflexible adherents to religion often cause great suffering.

It was the unpleasantness that alerted me. Labour, I realised, was built on hatred; quite understandable in the days of uncaring coal-mine and mill-owners. But those days – apart from the odd rotten boss – have gone. Yet the hatred remains.

Nye Bevan, the socialist darling of the Labour movement, famously said that he regarded the Tories as ‘lower than vermin’. It was a vile remark that is still quoted with approval by many Left-wingers.

We see that same hostile, vicious spirit today in all the fashionable portrayals of the Tories as ‘Bullingdon Boys’ and ‘privileged toffs’.

The word ‘toff’ is used by the Left with the same pejorative intent as, for example, the word ‘pleb’ – yet if ‘pleb’ was used in the Commons to describe anyone, it would bring a political career abruptly to an end.

A frequent visitor to my house in London regularly used the expression ‘Tory sh*tes’ – often in front of my in-laws who were Tory but far from sh*tes. Educated, civilised people, they bore it in silence. Conversely, I have never heard Tory friends express hatred for anyone. Labour claims to espouse compassion, yet Labour Home Secretary, Alan Johnson declared that he was going to extradite computer hacker Gary McKinnon to the US, a fate from which the Asperger’s sufferer was spared only by the compassion of Johnson’s Tory successor, Theresa May.

Mr Johnson justified his action by saying: ‘The Home Secretary is there to uphold the law; to put justice before popularity.’ Personally, I prefer May’s human decency.

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