Corbyn for Leader!

June 5, 2015 at 7:59 am (elections, labour party, left, posted by JD)

Reblogged from Tendance Coatesy:

Jeremy Corbyn in Bid for Labour Leadership.

After the election John  McDonnell MP  made this analysis (LRC).

THIS IS THE DARKEST HOUR THAT SOCIALISTS IN BRITAIN HAVE FACED since the Attlee government fell in 1951. It isn’t just the scale of the electoral defeat – but the overwhelming incorporation of so much of the Labour Party into the political and economic system that the Labour Party was founded to transform.


There are three immediate tasks. First, we have to recognise – even more than before – that with a Tory majority government the main forms of effective resistance will be on the streets, in occupations and on picket lines. This is a time for intensive activism. This is not some form of displacement activity from other forms of political engagement, but an essential role that the left, especially the Labour left, must now grasp more enthusiastically and with more determination than ever. ….

Second, the Labour left may not have the resources in Parliament to secure a left candidate on the ballot paper for the Labour leadership election but we do have the intellectual resources to dominate the ideological and policy debate in this leadership election……

Third, the crisis our class now faces means that the left needs to get real and get together. This is no time for sectarian division. Anyone who divides us is aiding and abetting the Tories and other forces of reaction. I do not think the threat of UKIP has gone away.

It is the first and second points which make the most impact (because frankly there are divisions about, above all, the EU Referendum which are not due to ‘sectarianism’ but to very deep divisions over Europe which are not going to go away).

Now we hear.

Jeremy Corbyn runs for Labour leader: Veteran MP launches surprise bid declaring other contenders are too right-wing reports the Daily Mirror,

Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn tonight launches a surprise bid for the party leadership.

The left-winger revealed he wanted to give Labour members “a proper choice” when they elected a new chief.

He becomes the fifth MP to throw his hat into the ring, joining four already firmly-established contenders.

They are Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham, Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Coooper, Shadow Health Minister Liz Kendall and Shadow International Development Secretary Mary Creagh.

 Mr Corbyn believed the four declared candidates were too similar, saying: “They are not offering a clear enough alternative on the economic strategy and austerity, and our attitude to welfare expenditure.

“We think the left members of the party need to have a chance of a debate.”

On his Blog site Jeremy Corbyn wrote after the election,

Voting Revealed A Disjointed Britain: Labour’s Task Is To Unify And Equalise It.

The real issue is of course austerity. Ed Miliband made some brilliant points during the campaign about wages, working conditions, education opportunities and housing, and clearly was mobilising quite a lot of younger voters to support the party.

The problem was that while Chancellor George Osborne was claiming that austerity was working and thus ignoring the inequality and poverty created, Ed Balls was in essence saying that the only difference in Labour’s policy was that his economic strategy would simply take longer to deal with the deficit.

He was not offering to restore the funding that the Tories have cut in local government particularly, or reverse cuts to benefits over the past five years.

The reality is that within a few months the Tories are going to be in disarray over Europe and many will rapidly realise the horror of what has happened when they see rising poverty and further attacks on working conditions. Surely the need for Labour is to examine the economic strategy needed to develop a more equal society with full employment, decent housing and a fully funded and public NHS, rather than taking the advice of Peter Mandelson and Lord Sugar that we weren’t “appealing to big business.” By September we will know who the new Labour leader is, and the rules require that 35 Labour MPs nominate an individual to be a candidate. I hope there are enough Labour MPs prepared to support an anti-austerity candidate in the leadership election so that party members and affiliated supporters have a real choice.

Owen Jones notes (just published on the Guardian website),

It is up to Labour MPs whether party members and trade unionists will have the opportunity to have a meaningful debate. Under Ed Miliband’s leadership the threshold for how many nominations a leadership candidate must receive to appear on the ballot paper was raised to 15%. Unless 35 Labour MPs nominate Corbyn, this farce of a leadership contest will continue and the Labour party – and the country as a whole – will learn nothing from it.

Back in 2007, I worked for the prospective Labour leadership campaign of John McDonnell, a close ally of Corbyn. But after McDonnell outshone Gordon Brown in a single leadership hustings – with the soon-to-be-unopposed leader becoming evidently flustered during the course of the evening – the Brownite goons roared into action. They knew their man would win, but they feared an unexpectedly positive showing by McDonnell in both the debates and the final result. Arm-twisting and arm-breaking followed, and a coronation ensued. Brown never defined himself, and arguably fatally wounded his premiership from the outset.


Corbyn was an arch critic of New Labour, and ironically would be the sole real defender of New Labour’s record in the contest. He would fight a rearguard offensive against the lie that Blair and Brown caused the crisis by spending too much money on schools and hospitals – spending backed, penny for penny, by the Tories until the end of 2008. He will be able to draw from the findings of Britain’s leading pollster, John Curtice – who accurately predicted the outcome of the election; these findings dispute that Labour lost for being too leftwing, and underline that Labour lost Scotland partly for being too rightwing.

Corbyn could also draw on the conclusion of Peter Kellner, the YouGov pollster, that however Ed Miliband allowed himself to be portrayed, his policies were less radical than those of Tony Blair in 1997. He could nail why Labour lost: the implosion in Scotland, and the consequent anti-SNP hysteria; the lie of “overspending”; and the lack of any coherent alternative.

If Labour MPs deny the party and the country a genuine debate, it will reflect disastrously on them. It will do whoever emerges victorious no good, either. Labour has just suffered one of the worst defeats in its history. If the party doesn’t have the good sense to have a meaningful debate now, you might wonder why it doesn’t just pack up. So come on, Labour MPs. Put your future careers aside for party and national interest. Lend Corbyn a nomination, and let a real debate begin.

I agree with Owen Jones.

A Corbyn candidacy would allow us to have a real debate, on a range of issues.

Whether we agree with Corbyn on every stand he’s ever taken is irrelevant.

He is the only one stand up against austerity.

That is the main issue.

Let’s not forget that it’s not only Labour members who will have a say in the end: it’s us affiliated trade unionists.

Our unions have taken a stand against austerity.

We have campaigned with organisations like the People’s Assembly against austerity.

Many of us also campaigned for the Labour Party.

We deserve a chance to back a candidate who expresses our views.



  1. damon said,

    I can’t see what the point of this is actually.
    It’s a bit like Dennis Kucinich and Al Sharpton running for US president.
    It’s never going to happen – and if they did get the nomination they’d surely loose – but it opens up debate. Is that what it’s about?
    Jeremy Corbyn actually becoming Labour leader would be a disaster for the party.

  2. ZINR said,

    Corbyn is a patron of foul antisemitic hate group PSC and devotes a quite extraordinary amount of his time to campaigning for the abolition of Israel. He is an open supporter of the Hamas and quite happy to share a stage with PSC Holocaust revisionists and Islamist fascists.

    If this is the sort of shithead that could lead the Labour Party there truly is no hope left for them.

    • Steven Johnston said,

      LOL…fair point, but if he did become leader of the Labour party and they did win the 2020 election with him as leader, no one in Israel need lose any sleep as there is a massive difference between rhetoric and reality.

      • ZINR said,

        Sure, but his affiliations don’t end there. He has spoken along with kindred spirit fash pig George Galloway at the anti-Charlie Hebdo rally (5000 cheering Islamists gathered to hear him piss on the graves of some satirical cartoonists, how wonderful) and he has written in defence of the Taliban in the Guardian…his Islamofascist credentials are beyond reproach and that is a genuinely worrying thing in a Labour leader for anyone in Britain who isn’t a (heterosexual male) Muslim (which, if you look at it, is most of the population).

  3. ZINR said,

    “A Corbyn candidacy would allow us to have a real debate, on a range of issues”

    Fine, let’s start the debate:

    Why is defending Islamic Fascism acceptable in 21st century Western Europe, and why should a Labour Party leader adopt such a position?

    Why should a Labour Party leader stand shouler to shoulder with reactionary fascist organisations such as MCB and PSC?

    Why are defending against antisemitism, homophobia and misogyny no longer priorities for the Labour Party?

  4. Steven Johnston said,

    Churchill used to praise Hitler to the skies and hate Stalin, that all changed when he became PM.
    If he became PM, Corbyn that is, I doubt he’d be writing any letter praising the Taliban as if they were killing British troops it would be career suicide. As for cheering the death of the cartoonists he’d have more pressing concerns.
    As for George Galloway, I can imagine that phone call the day Corbyn becomes PM.

    GG: Hi Jeremy, congratulations on your victory! You remember me?
    JC: No (slams the phone down)

    • Bob-B said,

      I think you will find that Churchill developed a negative view of Hitler well before he became PM. As for hating Stalin, I can’t see what’s wrong with that. I suspect Trotsky wasn’t too keen on him either.

      • Steven Johnston said,

        Agreed he did, but just goes to show that a politician can go from one extreme to another in a matter of months.
        As for hating Stalin, I agree, there is nothing wrong and everything right in that.

  5. Steven Johnston said,

    Is the Labour party going backward? They have the same numbers of MPs they had in 1987, if Corbyn is elected leader will they end up, in 2020, with the same number they had in 1983?

    • Political tourist said,

      Same number of Labour MPs as in 1987.
      Not in Scotland they don’t, try going back to 1906.
      “House by house, street by street” as Dan Jarvis said.
      Chap must have thought he was in Basra.
      Fair play to WL in helping to wipe out a 115 years of Labour history.

  6. john r said,

    “Whether we agree with Corbyn on every stand he’s ever taken is irrelevant.

    He is the only one stand up against austerity.” -Tendance Coatsey.

    Here is what Shiraz Socialist had to say about Jeremy Corbyn in 2011 –

    “…Corbyn is now beyond the pale and part of a de facto anti-democratic, pro-fascist and anti-semitic current that claims to be “left-wing” but is in fact, profoundly reactionary and anti-working class.”

    So, what’s happened here then?

    I can only assume that Shiraz supports what Tendance says about the “irrelevance” of agreeing on every stand that Corbyn takes and supporting him because of his stand on austerity. So, can the “anti-democratic, pro-fascist and anti-semitic” views of the current he represents be downplayed for the period of his candidacy?

    Corbyn and his ilk have got nothing to offer anyone. He is someone I would describe as being of the “Friends of Galloway (Internal Faction)” along with Ken Livingstone.

    As for who I want to be leader, I take the pragmatic view that whoever stands the best chance of beating the Tories should be leader.

    As for Corbyn, he won’t even make the ballot paper and, even if he could, he does not deserve to be leader.

  7. Steven Johnston said,

    THIS IS THE DARKEST HOUR THAT SOCIALISTS IN BRITAIN HAVE FACED since the Attlee government fell in 1951.

    Huh? Am I missing something? What on earth does this mean?

  8. Glesga Keeping Scotland Free From Loonies said,

    The Gov that replaced Attlee built more social housing in the history of the UK. Hardly dark.

  9. Political tourist said,

    The 1945-1951 Labour Party governed a country that was broke yet managed the get the NHS up and running.
    And correct one nation Tories did carry on building council houses from 1951 to 1964.
    Pity most of the housing estates in Scotland looked like South African townships.
    With probably less amenities.

  10. Glesga Keeping Scotland Free From Loonies said,

    Pt. You are the one for exaggeration. People in SA townships were pissin and shiting in holes after selling off their facilities!

  11. Glesga Keeping Scotland Free From Loonies said,

    Corbyn has as much chance of leading Labour as Oswald Moseley. Labour needs a moderate to lead the party.
    Corbyn would probably be supported by the right wing press, anything that keeps the Tories in power. He kind of looks like Robin Cook with that sailors hat on.

    • Steven Johnston said,

      …and he’s old! in 2020 he would be 71, 7 years older than Callaghan was when he assumed office in 1976, it’s a non-starter.

      • Political tourist said,

        I thought the chap had retired years ago.

  12. Howard Fuller said,

    A pointless distraction which will rally the old irrelevant left for a short period and prevent the modernisation of the Labour Party for the new age for a little longer.

    And as for his credentials? He is chair of the pro-Putin, Pro Iranian clerical fascist Government Stop the War Campaign, involved with the pro-Hamas PSC and his views on the related issues are questionable from any perspective let alone the so-called “left”.

    I’m no longer sure what “left” means these days. Given the bulk of what describes itself as such is either pro-Islam(ist), hostile to free speech and secualrism, there seems little hope for the future.

    • Glesga Keeping Scotland Free From Loonies said,

      The left you decribe has been around for decades. They just find new brutes to idolise as time marches on.

  13. Jim Denham said,

    Hi All,

    Lambeth UNISON agreed to send a version of the letter below to all our local MPs and the UNISON parliamentary group MPs.


    Dear …

    We would like to call on you as one of our MPs in this region to not only consider giving support to Jeremy Corbyn in the leadership contest but to also give serious consideration to the damaging implications for the Party if Jeremy is excluded from the contest.

    All candidates prior to Jeremy’s standing share a common desire to move the party rightwards on one policy or another. Whilst that may have support amongst the Parliamentary Party, we believe a very large proportion of the membership, particularly new members, oppose that.

    Excluding Jeremy from the leadership debate will deny them being represented and other members hearing those views and will have damaging consequences for the unity of the Party. Whatever your view on the future direction of the party, we hope you want to see a real discussion with members given the recent election result.

    We therefore ask you to do as Harriet Harman, David Miliband and others did in the last election and consider nominating a candidate who you may not support in the final vote but whose inclusion enhances the democratic choice of Party members: in others word nominating Jeremy Corbyn if your preferred candidate has reached the required number of nominations.


    Ruth Cashman

    Lambeth UNISON

  14. Steven Johnston said,

    So the public school educated Corbyn made it onto the leadership list, so it’s good news…for the tories!
    Actually the left love him and portray him as a man of the people, even though he lives in Finsbury park, where the average house prices is around £450 000.

  15. Stefan Sass said,

    Alas he will win- sad to see backing for this Stalin connected Kremlin linked demagogue- and left again fails to develop genuine socialist alternative

    • Steven Johnston said,

      But this is the labour party we are talking about, they were, never, ever a socialist party and have always worked within capitalism.

  16. Jim Denham said,

    Barrister and employment law expert Daniel Barnett writes:

    WWCD (What Would Corbyn Do) ?

    Jeremy Corbyn, currently the joint favourite to become the next Labour leader, has published a quasi-manifesto document, ‘Working With Women’.

    In it, he sets out the following employment law / HR related goals:-

    • abolishing employment tribunal fees
    • giving all workers unfair dismissal rights from day 1 (NB he uses the word ‘workers’, but it’s not clear whether that is in a ‘workers unite, comrade’ sense or a more technical employee v worker v self-employed sense)
    • extend the 3-month limitation period for sex / maternity discrimination claims
    • mandatory equal pay audits for all companies, irrespective of size
    • strengthen trade union recognition and bargaining

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