Posts tagged Labour Party
We can’t let the Labour Party split into two lesser versions of itself

Once again the Labour Party is spending a summer at war with itself. The disgust at antisemitism that has been rightly vocalised by Jeremy Corbyn, Tom Watson and many others has not stopped the issue becoming a political football in Labour’s vastly overheated National Executive Committee elections.

Many Corbyn supporters, the vast majority of whom share the disgust at antisemitism, still feel bruised after the attempted ousting of Corbyn in 2016 and vindicated by the party’s better-than-expected showing at the general election. They know that the Venn diagram of those who are outraged and upset by antisemitism has a lot of overlap with those who will never accept Corbyn as a leader. Some have therefore understandably – if wrongly, in my view – seen this issue purely through those old lenses.

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No, Jared O’Mara wasn’t disciplined for being working class

claiming it had treated him like a criminal

No part of the saga is satisfactory for anyone involved. The Labour Party and O’Mara have both shown themselves to be lacking in understanding of what his offence means. Both in relation to those he insulted then, and why it matters to those of us in the party who remain determined to wipe the scourge of misogyny from the party and wider society.

O’Mara does have some legitimate complaints and has clearly had a dreadful time. I wouldn’t wish his emotional distress on anyone. The lack of support he received is a stain on the party and its processes.

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Corbyn, Capitalism and the Horizon

There is a sense I get from some Corbynsceptics in the Labour Party that if they just sit quietly and ride out the storm, then eventually things will return to their version of normal.

This is why there is so much infighting on process issues. They know that mandatory reselection, whereby MPs have to refight for their seat before every election would put at risk some of their MPs and would change the largely Corbyn-critical membership of the Parliamentary Party.

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Labour's Gen Sec battle: Left goes to war with itself

The battle to replace Iain McNicol as the Labour party general secretary is getting heated. There have been some pretty furious exchanges between supporters of Momentum chair Jon Lansman and Unite's Jennie Formby.

Those on the inside of each organisation will tell you that this is about deep, important divisions over how democracy within the party should be played out. Lansman's supporters say this is about party democracy versus union-backed central control, while those backing Formby say it’s about defending Labour’s historic link with the unions.

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What Next for Labour's Factions?

As expected, the Momentum slate swept the board again at Labour's NEC elections. This means they now hold all nine constituency positions as well as controlling other internal bodies such as the Conference Arrangements Committee. It all sounds incredibly boring, largely because, for the most part, it is.

You have to be a truly dedicated political activist to care much about internal elections. Even party members don't very much, which is why turnout (other than for leadership contests) is always so low. You will probably hear a lot from the losing factions about turnout numbers, but then you always do. Whoever happens to be the losing faction at that time will always make that argument. When they start winning again they'll do naff-all to change it.

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Parties must do more to support the volunteers entrusted to investigate harassment complaints

Once again politics is going through a crisis of its own making. The scandals around sexual abuse and harassment have been a ticking time bomb for years. Women in all parties will tell you they've been raising this alarm for some time. They were largely ignored as an inconvenience. So of course, the parties were then caught on the hop when the scandal exploded.

So far, so Westminster. It is a reactive place and however much politicians like to talk about the future, they actually spend most of their time reacting to the recent past. All too often this means responses are put together too quickly and are not always as well thought through as they could be. The implications aren't fully considered. Too often the responses to crises such as this contain the seeds of future problems.

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There's Something to be Said for Life Experience: Interview with Jo Platt MP

While Jo Platt is off buying us both a much-needed coffee from the Portcullis House café, her new boss Angela Rayner walks by, stopping for a quick chat. “She’s a bloody superstar,” says the Shadow Secretary of State for Education “she’s keeping us in line”.

It’s unusual to become a PPS (one rung down from a junior shadow minister) so soon after being elected. But it’s quite clear from the passion that Platt shows when discussion education at every level as well as the mutual respect between her and Rayner (who she describes warmly as “an absolute force” and working with her as “the perfect opportunity”) that she’s hit the Parliamentary estate running.

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I don’t mind a little nostalgia, so the first time at conference this year I heard Things Can Only Get Better, I admit I sang along, danced and laughed indulgently at the chants of “Tony, Tony, Tony” – sometimes from those who will cry “cult” at the first hint of Seven Nation Army. But, by the fourth time in four days, I was thoroughly exasperated. While those of us on the left may not feel it our place, it should be said that those to the right of the Party need to get their heads out of the 90s and into the game.

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The fight for Chingford: Is Labour on track to unseat IDS?

During his time running mayoral campaigns for Boris Johnson, Lynton Crosby famously created the "doughnut" strategy. This focused campaigning efforts on the outer boroughs of London where the Tory vote was then strongest. On the face of it, this remains the case. Of the 23 London constituencies that share a border, Labour hold just seven compared to the Tories' 13. But this is up two for Labour from 2015. There are four seats in north and east London where the Tory majority is under 5,000 (five if you include Johnson's majority of 5,034 in Uxbridge). In these, the swings at the 2017 general election range from 2.7% in Hendon and seven percent in Chingford and Woodford Green.

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Honouring Jo Cox doesn’t just mean coming together

This weekend, people up and down the country will be coming together to remember Jo Cox, the Labour MP who was shot and killed by a man in the name of his extreme right wing beliefs. At The Great Get Together, friends and neighbours of all politics will come together in Jo’s name to celebrate what we have in common.

Jo was killed at a difficult time for our country. We were at the height of an extremely divisive referendum that split the country almost exactly in half. Families fell out, neighbours fought, friends stopped speaking. Since that time, particularly on the left, it has felt like this mode has been constant, with the Labour leadership contest that followed the referendum creating further splits, even between people who had campaigned side by side to remain in the EU. The recent election that followed a year later has helped bring Labour Party back together—but equally demonstrated that we remain a very divided country.

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