The Labour Party Is Broken and Corbyn Is a Symptom

People's War

corbyn-sanders

Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn are often equated to one another because of their proximity on the left-right political spectrum. Such glib comparisons always overlook a ‘yooj’ difference between the two — their underlying approach to politics and class struggle. Here is how Sanders summed up this difference:

“Whatever I’ve done in my life — writing, being mayor of Burlington, Congressman, U.S. Senator — I have always believed from the bottom of my heart that everything that I do and what I say represents the vast majority of the people. Sometimes I think there are progressives out there who think ‘well we’re fighting for social justice, we’re this, we’re that, it’s too bad that we’re in the minority but someday the majority will catch up with us.’ I’ve never believed that for a moment. …

“Everything I’ve ever talked about, every idea I’ve ever espoused, I believe is what…

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6 thoughts on “The Labour Party Is Broken and Corbyn Is a Symptom

  1. Have you or others you associate with thought about the possibility of a Labour-led coalition government since Labour alone is plainly unelectable for the foreseeable future?

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    • @pplswar that’s unfortunately unlikely. If the Lib Dems were able to regenerate as a political force, this would be possible – especially as they tend to draw more off of the tory voter base than the Labour voter base. Currently, the only other party with enough seats are the SNP, who a) are an unsustainable choice for partner as they literally want to leave (and indeed to some extent undermine) the country you’d be leading and b) the threat of an SNP-Labour coalition was one of the big reasons people cited for not voting for Miliband in 2015.

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    • Labour is in an existential crisis that, whilst not caused by Corbyn as such is made 100000x worse by him and his inner circle. Ultimately, they need to find a political niche, or they will fail to serve any purpose. To do that, they need to stop worrying about 2020 and plan long-term – but not in the Corbyn echo-chamber way, but in the sense that they engage with people’s concerns. Don’t get trapped in a state of merely counter-arguing what your opponent says – make original arguments. Blair succeeded electorally because he had both broad appeal that tapped into people’s concerns, and original, sweeping politics that forced the tories into counter-arguments (eg. “the minimum wage is terrible it’ll lose tonnes of job don’t vote Labour” as a highly ineffective ad they ran leading up to 1997)

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    • Finally, to address the point of the original tweet: the Lib Dems as progressive depends on how you view the term. They’re certainly progressive in areas such as individual liberty, religious freedom, human rights etc. They’re not talking of nationaliasation or mass-spending like Labour, but they are willing to increase funding for Education and Healthcare – both progressive acts. Crucially, though, unlike Labour, they are very committed to soft brexit, ie. leaving the EU but retaining its egalitarian benefits. Labour are failing to hold the Conservative government here to account and, in doing so, essentially open the door for the Tories to use Brexit as a means to escape the workers rights imposed by EU requirements.

      Then again, it’s well-known that Jeremy Corbyn was a life-long eurosceptic. He was, furthermore, generally absent during the referendum campaign, and ambivalent when he was; polls consistently show many members of the public believe he secretly wanted us to leave the EU.

      Furthermore, progressive in principle vs progressive in practice is worth remembering. The only party besides Labour or the Conservatives to be in government since the war time coalitions were the Lib Dems, as the minority partner in the 2010 coalition. People are right to raise that this coalition was not progressive, but it provided economic stability where a minority labour government. Furthermore, the LDs prevented many Conservative cuts and genuinely unpleasant bills (eg. increased surveillance) from passing – most of which have been passed post-2015. At the same time, the LDs did achieve some progressive change even as a minority coalition partner, such as free school meals for all primary students.

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