Corbyn is the most popular UK political leader – so it seems Labour moderates are holding the party back

This man is now Lord Livermore, so he did all right for himself out of Labour’s election defeat.

Some people simply won’t face the facts.

Spencer Livermore* seems to be one of them. Now Lord Livermore, he was Labour’s general election campaign director in 2015 – in other words, he’s the man who lost the election for Ed Miliband. Had he learned any crucial lessons from that disaster?

No.

It is now widely accepted – isn’t it? – that Labour lost because it didn’t offer a political programme that was substantially different from that of the Conservatives – alienating English and Welsh voters who simply didn’t support anybody at all, and driving Scottish voters into the arms of an SNP that promised a truly left-wing alternative to “Red Tory” Labour.

That’s not the case according to Spencer! He simply hasn’t learned the lessons of the loss – but perversely, that is exactly what he told Radio 4’s The World At Once was Jeremy Corbyn’s problem – and it must have been music to the ears of the mostly-Tory bigwigs at BBC News.

What progress have we made so far against the enduring weaknesses that led us to lose the election in 2015? Are we further ahead now in terms of economic credibility? Do the British people now see our leader as a potential prime minister. And have we broadened the base of our support in the country? I think if you look at all of those things I think it is impossible to conclude that we are anything but further away from power than we were even on May 8.

He mashed up his words so the meaning may have been unclear, but he was trying to say that Labour’s economic credibility has taken a tumble under Corbyn, that the electorate don’t see him as prime minister material, and that Labour’s support base has narrowed. Let’s look at those.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell has formed a special committee of economic experts to ensure that Labour policy is based on the best possible advice and will produce the most reliable and sustainable results. Spencer doesn’t care about that. Is it because it is based on real economic expertise as opposed to the neoliberal nonsense we’ve had to endure for the past 36 years? This Writer thinks so.

If the British electorate don’t see Jeremy Corbyn as a potential prime minister, the most likely reason is that they keep being told he isn’t – by Labour representatives like Spencer, who should be supporting their leader rather than undermining him. If Livermore had an ounce of public-spiritedness in his body, he would be extolling the virtues of a Labour leader who actually stands for traditional Labour policies that support everybody, rather than just the richest, but that never occurred to him at all.

Finally, perhaps it has slipped Lord Livermore’s mind – what with being ennobled and all – but Jeremy Corbyn’s election as Labour leader corresponded with the largest increase in the party’s membership in years – perhaps decades. Maybe that enthusiasm for Labour (and not neoliberal) ideals hasn’t filtered through to the wider population yet, but that is because of people like Spencer, failing to do their duty and promote it.

He said that elections are decided well in advance of polling day, and that Labour lost in 2015 because it did not take the right decisions on the deficit and welfare early on in the 2010-15 parliament.

“I think we hadn’t taken the difficult decisions early on in the parliament to convince people that we could be trusted on issues such as the deficit and welfare. Having worked now on four general election campaigns, it is increasingly clear to me that elections aren’t won in the six week campaign at the end, probably aren’t won in the year before a campaign, but are won in the first months and years of parliament. That’s when the voters make up their minds really about a party. And if the wrong decisions are made at the outset of a parliament, it is very, very hard, almost impossible, to correct those decisions later on.”

In that case, perhaps Lord Livermore should consider the results of the latest Ipsos-MORI poll of voting intentions, which showed that Jeremy Corbyn is easily the most popular UK political leader.

151120corbynsatisfaction

The same poll has Labour – as a party – trailing the Tories by seven per cent.

Think about that.

Corbyn is riding high, nine points above his nearest political rival – who isn’t even David Cameron!

But Labour is seven points behind the Conservative Party.

What can be turning Corbyn’s 12-point advantage over Cameron into a seven-point disadvantage? What is the 19-point drag factor?

Only one possibility comes to mind. The problem that has been hounding Corbyn ever since he took over as Labour leader.

His own party’s so-called ‘moderates’ are sabotaging Labour’s chances of winning over the electorate.

I refer to Simon Danczuk, Maria Eagle, Tristram Hunt, Mike Gapes, Caroline Flint, Graham Jones, Kevan Jones, Ben Bradshaw, David Blunkett – the list is lengthening all the time. Silly, silly people who can’t accept that Labour is returning to the roots it should never have left.

If not for the noise these crybabies have been making, the electorate might be able to form its own opinion on Corbyn policies, such as his plan to protect police budgets that the Conservatives are determined to slash. Considering the current claims that we are under threat of terrorist attacks, which of these is most likely to protect national security?

Corbyn’s plan, of course.

The message to the ‘moderates’ is clear: Stop destabilising.

If you can’t get behind Corbyn, get out of the way.

Source: Labour’s 2015 election chief says party heading for defeat under Corbyn – Politics live | Politics | The Guardian

*He’s classic New Labour, this guy. After graduating from the London School of Economics, he went to work for the Labour Party and became a SPAD for Gordon Brown. His only experience of real-world working conditions appears to have been as a ‘senior strategist’ with Saatchi and Saatchi, the advertising company that won a string of elections for – would you believe it? – Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative Party. Draw your own conclusions.

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32 Thoughts to “Corbyn is the most popular UK political leader – so it seems Labour moderates are holding the party back”

  1. Mr.Angry

    Here here agree totally, they can’t see the writing on the wall only time will tell. I don’t think for one minute the electorate will tolerate much more of the Tory reforms so they better get their act together sooner than later.

  2. Harry

    As I wrote on Mr Meachers Blog (RIP) before he passed away: And I have a few reservations about that, Mr Corbyn is the right man, right now. Whats that old saying? Cometh the man …..

    Those I speak to in my neighbourhood and in the shops, to a man (or woman) recognise the importance of what has changed as Mr Corbyns’ influence pressures Labour away from the Central ground occupied by the Feudalists (neoliberals).

    I say without fear: “God bless the man”.

  3. John Gaines

    The Millipeed needed no help to lose the Election from a Reich wing snake and, with fatty Balls-up as shadow Chancellor, it was a DoDo from get go.
    Maybe next time when people allow a pretend labour leader to look down his Nose at them, they will pay attention to the fact that he is an imbecile.
    This is all we got from Blair, Brown and Doughnut ED:

    The City ran rings around them:

    WATCHDOG head Andrew Bailey praised the plan to ban ex-HBOS bosses from holding directorships in future and expressed shock it had not happened already.

    “It is more than odd action has been taken against staff lower down the banks but not against those at the top,” the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) boss said. And he criticised the argument that there is often no trail of evidence leading from the staff who misbehaved directly up to the bosses at the top.

    Even more ODD that Blair &Co. have never been called to account by the ….Labour Party.
    http://www.cityam.com/article/bailey-punish-hbos-bosses?ITO=related-content

    1. Mike Sivier

      You agree that Corbyn is better, then?

      What do other readers think of John’s comments about Miliband, Brown, Blair and their kind of Labour Party?

  4. I find it absurd that people who lead labour to defeat are presented as being experts on winning elections. People (such as myself) were unable to support Labour in 2010 due to their welfare ‘reforms’ – something which Milliband did not seem to have any intention of rectifying. Corbyn on the other hand…

  5. Farron is less popular than Farage? Lord help the Liberal Democrats…

  6. Corbyn has the right sort of values which would make him an excellent PM on domestic issues. John McDonnell’s approach to economic strategy is brilliant and does away with the “wet finger in the air” liberalism approach. What lets them down is their previous approach to British Foreign policy. They seem to be unsure how to deal with foreign policy issues in the real world at the moment unlike their ideas on domestic issues for the future.

    The public are now unsure about their safety as an issue having for so long had successive Govts with the old “colonial” approach. Their more liberal approach, seeking UN approval, not sure initially on the police being able to shoot on sight, has given both the Tories and the Tory-lites in the Labour Party so much ammunition that it will have damaged Corbyn probably irreconcilably

    I can foresee a coup coming unless something miraculous happens. Either way I wouldn’t give short odds on Labour winning power back in 2020.

    1. Really? McDonnell has yet again avoided saying anything about the state of management in all three sectors of the economy.

      And Master Seb Corbyn is the SPAD’s SPAD. What qualifies him to be McDonnell’s Chief of Staff bar him being Jeremy Corbyn’s son? Say hello to New, New Labour same as old New Labour?

      Corbyn is what many of his supporters, in some cases quite understandably, used to deride about Blairites, a career politician and agitator, who has never had a proper job in his life. On Monday, Corbyn showed just how much he has to learn about what concerns voters other than the 59.5% being shattered into shards by Momentum. Corbyn and Corbyn alone may well have thrown away Labour’s hard won reputation for not being weak on law and order. Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime neutralised an electoral advantage that Thatcher had bequeathed to her party.

      Corbyn has begun to resuscitate the belief that Labour is more concerned about the rights of the perpetrators of crime than about its victims. Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime suggested a balanced approach that resonated with a majority of voters. Their votes are what count on Thursday 3rd December in Oldham.

      And the word from Oldham is that Corbyn is being listened to by the voters there and they are not happy with someone seemingly incapable of making decisions concerning public safety. I guess if Labour’s share of the vote in Oldham is reduced that it will be anyone else’s fault, but Corbyn’s?

      Livermore is right to call for the publication of the review report so we may all address the future, based not on dodgy opinion polls or the thoughts of people inhabiting echo chambers and silos, but facts and evidence. What Mike do you have to fear about a debate based on the report? Are you worried that the data and information will highlight a degree of cognitive dissonance amongst Corbyn supporters like yourself (and, as I suspect, some of the supporters of the other candidates)? Is that why you have chosen to play the man and not the ball? Labour haemorrhaged support amongst the over 55s on May 7th and there are no signs that Corbyn’s election has done anything to staunch that flow.

      McDonnell cannot hide behind his ragbag of economic advisers to avoid the charge that he is ignoring, either intentionally or through ignorance, the key factor holding back all three sectors of our economy, poor management. He is not alone in this, all four leadership candidates had a blind spot in that regard, one which they share with the leaders of almost all the other political parties in the United Kingdom. One facet of the poor management endemic in the UK is the elevation of hunches over decision making based on evidence. Unsurprising, perhaps, that people in political life, too many of whom like to think themselves managers, adopt a similar approach?

      McDonnell likes to pray in aid Keynes, a dangerous tactic to adopt if unfamiliar with all of his oeuvre, but when in Rome, “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?” To base the future strategy and tactics of the Labour Party on the hunches of anyone, Corbynite or otherwise, rather than the facts gathered since May 7th is a recipe for disaster and is the sort of approach beloved of neo-liberals and conviction politicians like Thatcher and Blair.

      Still, look on the bright side we have Master Corbyn’s Blairite “socialism with an iPad” sound bite with which to engage the 51% who will be over 55 in 2020. I would hazard a guess that sound bite will be the electronic equivalent of chip paper within days, but Corbyn dithering about the appropriate use of proportionate force to protect citizens of the UK will dog him as long as he remains leader of the Labour Party.

    2. McDonnell ignores the poor quality of management across all three sectors of the economy. He would achieve nothing lasting in government, unless he addressed that. No political party is taking the issue seriously so McDonnell is not on his own in that regard, but consequently he is not very radical.

      Most people work in the service sector and always will. What was concerning during the leadership debate that, in talking about high tech jobs, all four candidates, inadvertently I am sure, gave the impression that some jobs were of more value than others. McDonnell continues in that vein.

      Many who work in the service sector are women, non unionised and working for small and medium seize enterprises. If McDonnell wants to break with the past then he should seek to craft policies that include recognition of their importance to our economy. Otherwise, he risks perpetuating the impression that jobs in manufacturing, which are still more likely to be done by men than women, are the most important in our economy.

      Old, New Labour needs to avoid coming across like Blue Labour/ukip. I am sure both groups think the man in manufacturing is why only men do ‘proper’ jobs.

      1. Mike Sivier

        Why do you say McDonnell “ignores” poor economic management? Perhaps I’ve missed something, but it would help if you could send a link to an article or report showing him saying, “I am choosing to ignore the poor quality of management across all sectors of the economy.” If he simply hasn’t mentioned it, your argument will appear very thin.

        Have you read the Mainly Macro article about Treasury advice? I think it might shed some light on the quality of civil service advice in this regard.

      2. If you are interested in debate then join Livermore in the call for the party’s review to be made public, published and made available online.

      3. Indeed, McDonnell has not mentioned the poor state of management across all three sectors of the economy and that, in itself, is very important. It is like the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.

        Without significant improvements in management in the private, public and voluntary and community sectors then McDonnell will not come close to what he wants to achieve.

        The Treasury is part of the public sector and I do not, as a civil service manager of 27 year’s experience, exempt them or other parts of the service from criticism. Have you read the various works of Professor Peter Henessey (http://www.history.qmul.ac.uk/staff/profile/4539-professor-peter-hennessy) on the history of government? Baron Hennessy of Nympsfield, FBA is an English historian and academic specialising in the history of government. Since 1992, he has been Attlee Professor of Contemporary British History at Queen Mary University of London.

        And have you read the works of John Seddon, who is a British occupational psychologist and author, specialising in the service industry? He is the managing director of Vanguard, a consultancy company he formed in 1985 and the inventor of ‘The Vanguard Method’. I particularly recommend his Guardian articles http://www.theguardian.com/profile/john-seddon, http://www.theguardian.com/public-leaders-network/blog/2011/sep/29/universal-credit-fail and http://www.theguardian.com/public-leaders-network/2012/oct/11/locality-public-sector-scaling-design.

        John Seddon’s latest book (http://www.triarchypress.net/the-whitehall-effect.html) is entitled “The Whitehall Effect: How Whitehall became the enemy of great public services and what we can do about it.” It should be read by anyone who wants to understand how public services may be continuously improved whilst making savings, not cuts (http://whatworksscotland.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/jim-mather-reviews-whitehall-effect-by.html).

        Finally, have you read any of the works of the likes of Dr Deming? I have written a couple of blogs about TQM, https://jodatu.wordpress.com/2015/02/28/marxism-in-a-management-setting-ge2015-tqm/ and https://jodatu.wordpress.com/2015/04/06/targets-and-taking-out-the-trash-in-a-total-quality-management-setting-part-2-ge2015-racefornumber10/. And one on rail re-nationalisation https://jodatu.wordpress.com/2015/01/21/you-say-public-she-says-private-whilst-i-say-whatever-they-are-poorly-managed-and-run/.

        Remind me again, what are Seb Corbyn’s and John McDonnell’s qualifications and experience in this area?

      4. Then why not join Livermore in calling for the review to be made public, published and posted on line?

  7. They are not Labour moderates they are reactionaries and definately holding the party back

  8. Livermore, one of the most experienced election campaigners in the party, accepted Corbyn has a strong internal mandate but said: “As a leader he has a responsibility to translate that into external support and right now he has the lowest rating of any leader of the opposition in history.

    “I believe Mr Corbyn has failed to learn the lessons of why we lost in 2015 and unless he does on the present course we will lose in 2020. On the fundamental issues we are going backwards not forwards”.

    1. Mike Sivier

      Yes. Livermore is clearly mistaken.

      1. He accepted that Corbyn has a strong mandate. Combine that with a no holds barred debate within the party about what happened in May and Corbyn would be commanding wide support across the party.

        Why do Corbyn supporters like you fear debate? I know plenty who do not.

      2. Mike Sivier

        Who says I fear debate? This Blog invites it – as long as it is carried out in a polite and reasonable manner, as you know.

        We’re not seeing that from the so-called Labour ‘moderates’. These unscrupulous characters are taking every opportunity to belittle their leader and ruin their own party’s chances of election in 2020. Their tactics are underhanded and they rely on emotion rather than evidence. They don’t want debate – they want to impress their view on the rest of the party and shout down any dissent. That is what we are seeing.

        And what do they hope to achieve? Suppose they don’t get their wish and Corbyn continues as leader right up to the 2020 election but – due to the constant backbiting from his own MPs – the public don’t have confidence in Labour and the party loses. We get another five years of Tory rule.

        Now suppose they do get their wish and Corbyn is replaced as leader by a Labour ‘moderate’. The party returns to its old ways, causing very little difficulty for the Conservative Party, therefore the public don’t have confidence in Labour and the party loses. We get another five years of Tory rule.

        These people are trying to arrange it so that they can manage a hat-trick of losses.

      3. And Master Seb Corbyn is the SPAD’s SPAD. What qualifies him to be McDonnell’s Chief of Staff bar him being Jeremy Corbyn’s son? Say hello to New, New Labour same as old New Labour?

        Corbyn is what many of his supporters, in some cases quite understandably, used to deride about Blairites, a career politician and agitator, who has never had a proper job in his life. On Monday, Corbyn showed just how much he has to learn about what concerns voters other than the 59.5% being shattered into shards by Momentum. Corbyn and Corbyn alone may well have thrown away Labour’s hard won reputation for not being weak on law and order. Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime neutralised an electoral advantage that Thatcher had bequeathed to her party.

        Corbyn has begun to resuscitate the belief that Labour is more concerned about the rights of the perpetrators of crime than about its victims. Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime suggested a balanced approach that resonated with a majority of voters. Their votes are what count on Thursday 3rd December in Oldham.

        And the word from Oldham is that Corbyn is being listened to by the voters there and they are not happy with someone seemingly incapable of making decisions concerning public safety. I guess if Labour’s share of the vote in Oldham is reduced that it will be anyone else’s fault, but Corbyn’s?

        Livermore is right to call for the publication of the review report so we may all address the future, based not on dodgy opinion polls or the thoughts of people inhabiting echo chambers and silos, but facts and evidence. What Mike do you have to fear about a debate based on the report? Are you worried that the data and information will highlight a degree of cognitive dissonance amongst Corbyn supporters like yourself (and, as I suspect, some of the supporters of the other candidates)? Is that why you have chosen to play the man and not the ball? Labour haemorrhaged support amongst the over 55s on May 7th and there are no signs that Corbyn’s election has done anything to staunch that flow.

        McDonnell cannot hide behind his ragbag of economic advisers to avoid the charge that he is ignoring, either intentionally or through ignorance, the key factor holding back all three sectors of our economy, poor management. He is not alone in this, all four leadership candidates had a blind spot in that regard, one which they share with the leaders of almost all the other political parties in the United Kingdom. One facet of the poor management endemic in the UK is the elevation of hunches over decision making based on evidence. Unsurprising, perhaps, that people in political life, too many of whom like to think themselves managers, adopt a similar approach?

        McDonnell likes to pray in aid Keynes, a dangerous tactic to adopt if unfamiliar with all of his oeuvre, but when in Rome, “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?” To base the future strategy and tactics of the Labour Party on the hunches of anyone, Corbynite or otherwise, rather than the facts gathered since May 7th is a recipe for disaster and is the sort of approach beloved of neo-liberals and conviction politicians like Thatcher and Blair.

        Still, look on the bright side we have Master Corbyn’s Blairite “socialism with an iPad” sound bite with which to engage the 51% who will be over 55 in 2020. I would hazard a guess that sound bite will be the electronic equivalent of chip paper within days, but Corbyn dithering about the appropriate use of proportionate force to protect citizens of the UK will dog him as long as he remains leader of the Labour Party.

  9. And Master Seb Corbyn is the SPAD’s SPAD. What qualifies him to be McDonnell’s Chief of Staff bar him being Jeremy Corbyn’s son? Say hello to New, New Labour same as old New Labour?

    Corbyn is what many of his supporters, in some cases quite understandably, used to deride about many a Blairite, a career politician and agitator, who has never had a proper job in his life. On Monday, Corbyn showed just how much he has to learn about what concerns voters other than the 59.5% being shattered into shards by Momentum. Corbyn and Corbyn alone may well have thrown away Labour’s hard won reputation for not being weak on law and order. Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime neutralised an electoral advantage that Thatcher had bequeathed to her party.

    Corbyn has begun to resuscitate the belief that Labour is more concerned about the rights of the perpetrators of crime than about its victims. Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime suggested a balanced approach that resonated with a majority of voters. Their votes are what count on Thursday 3rd December in Oldham.

    And the word from Oldham is that Corbyn is being listened to by the voters there and they are not happy with someone seemingly incapable of making decisions concerning public safety. I guess if Labour’s share of the vote in Oldham is reduced that it will be anyone else’s fault, but Corbyn’s?

    Livermore is right to call for the publication of the review report so we may all address the future, based not on dodgy opinion polls or the thoughts of people inhabiting echo chambers and silos, but facts and evidence. What Mike do you have to fear about a debate based on the report? Are you worried that the data and information will highlight a degree of cognitive dissonance amongst Corbyn supporters like yourself (and, as I suspect, some of the supporters of the other candidates)? Is that why you have chosen to play the man and not the ball? Labour haemorrhaged support amongst the over 55s on May 7th and there are no signs that Corbyn’s election has done anything to staunch that flow.

    McDonnell cannot hide behind his ragbag of economic advisers to avoid the charge that he is ignoring, either intentionally or through ignorance, the key factor holding back all three sectors of our economy, poor management. He is not alone in this, all four leadership candidates had a blind spot in that regard, one which they share with the leaders of almost all the other political parties in the United Kingdom. One facet of the poor management endemic in the UK is the elevation of hunches over decision making based on evidence. Unsurprising, perhaps, that people in political life, too many of whom like to think themselves managers, adopt a similar approach?

    McDonnell likes to pray in aid Keynes, a dangerous tactic to adopt if unfamiliar with all of his oeuvre, but when in Rome, “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?” To base the future strategy and tactics of the Labour Party on the hunches of anyone, Corbynite or otherwise, rather than the facts gathered since May 7th is a recipe for disaster and is the sort of approach beloved of neo-liberals and conviction politicians like Thatcher and Blair. Remember on the spot fines?

    Still, look on the bright side we have Master Corbyn’s Blairite “socialism with an iPad” sound bite with which to engage the 51% who will be over 55 in 2020. I would hazard a guess that sound bite will be the electronic equivalent of chip paper within days, but Corbyn dithering about the appropriate use of proportionate force to protect citizens of the UK will dog him as long as he remains leader of the Labour Party.

  10. Ralph Cook

    Sadly Mike your blog gives conflicting impressions. Firstly after describing a number of leading Labour figures as “crybabies”, you say your Blog invites debate “as long as it is carried out in a polite and reasonable manner”; I don’t think throwing around childish insults qualifies as polite or reasonable.

    After saying “We’re not seeing [polite & reasonable debate] from the so-called Labour ‘moderates’. You describe them as “unscrupulous characters” who are “taking every opportunity to belittle their leader and ruin their own party’s chances of election in 2020.” You allege “their tactics are underhanded and they rely on emotion rather than evidence. They don’t want debate – they want to impress their view on the rest of the party and shout down any dissent.” Saying these things is unlikely to help heal the rifts. I would have thought you would want to show up such behaviour by behaving better yourself and allowing the listeners to make up their own minds on the issues being debated.

    Finally, I am a victim of this mentality: “If you can’t get behind Corbyn, get out of the way.” It is not about Corbyn but the Leader of Cardiff County Council that it has been said. I have tried to have the debate inside the Group but have been thwarted. In revenge the majority of the Group (not by any means a massive majority the variance in votes between the two parts is about one or two), concocted a disciplinary against me and for a very minor charge of breach of whip – which I still dispute – I was suspended for six months. They want to make me “get out of the way”. If I do it will strengthen their control of the Group but worse still remove a different perspective from both the Group and Local Party. But that’s what they want too.

    Labour is either a broad church or it will end up talking to itself, I know what I think is preferable.

    1. Mike Sivier

      “Crybaby” is, however, an apt term for these characters. Or perhaps you would prefer a different term for those who want to run off to the media and sabotage their own organisation. “Traitor”, maybe?

      Is it wrong to describe them as unscrupulous? What scruples are they showing by deliberately creating problems for a very popular leader that he simply should not have to handle? What was the moral or ethical consideration behind this decision, other than that he had spoilt their fun by having policies that were more popular than theirs?

      As far as I can see, they really are taking every opportunity to belittle their leader – Kevan Jones even created an opportunity, by fudging up a chance to call Corbyn’s judgement into question over his appointment of Ken Livingstone, due to an untoward comment which was an echo of a comment Mr Jones himself made on the floor of the House of Commons, long after he had spoken of his own mental illness issues.

      What possible effect could this have, other than to diminish Labour’s chances of winning, in 2020, under Corbyn? No political party has ever won an election after prolonged internal struggle. The alternatives are for the troublemakers to calm down and accept that they don’t have an argument, or for Corbyn to step down. But if he steps down, Labour will fall back on the same weak-Tory policies that have already lost it two elections – and haemorrhaged voters in the two previous elections.

      I’m sorry if you think telling it as I see it – that these people are underhanded, rely on emotion and not evidence, and don’t want debate – is unlikely to heal any rifts but if these people aren’t shown what they are doing, they’ll just carry on, won’t they? It seems you are simply trying to spin my words in order to gain an advantage for them – an advantage that won’t be there because their point of view is extremely unpopular.

      I’m sorry if you feel ill-treated but I am unfamiliar with your specific incident.

      Yes, Labour should be a broad church. That’s why people like Corbyn didn’t split from the party while it was controlled by neoliberals who weren’t going to get elected, and why those same neoliberals (Blairites, ‘moderates’ or whatever) need to swallow their pride or whatever it is that’s making them pander to the Tory press and rejoin the Labour Party – or leave it altogether, in my opinion.

      It’s all up for discussion, though – in a polite and reasonable manner.

  11. Joan Edington

    I agree that this guy and all the other “moderates” should shut up and get behind Corbyn. However, he is right about one thing. Labour should have been shouting out against the Tories policies all through the coalition government as well as debunking the idea that their borrowing was higher than the Tories.

    1. Mike Sivier

      Labour was indeed shouting out against the Tories’ policies all through the coalition government. Why do you think the Tories complained so bitterly about Labour opposing every single Bill they tried to put through Parliament?
      You are absolutely right that they should have fought the Tory allegation that Labour borrowing was out of control, at every opportunity. That’s what we had from those extremists, who seem to prefer the inappropriate title ‘moderates’.

  12. It looks like the poll above was an anomaly. This what will be in tomorrow’s Independent.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/corbyns-favourability-rating-falls-in-comres-poll-for-the-independent-on-sunday-a6743516.html

    Twice as many voters have an unfavourable view of Jeremy Corbyn as have a favourable one, according to a ComRes opinion poll for The Independent on Sunday – an 8-point increase in his unfavourable rating since September, when he was elected Labour leader.

    After Mr Corbyn appeared reluctant to say he would order British police to shoot to kill if faced with a terrorist attack similar to that in Paris, the public are twice as likely to say they trust David Cameron to keep them and their family safe (39 per cent) as they are to say they trust Mr Corbyn (17 per cent).

    The change in Labour support “if there were a general election tomorrow” may not be significant in itself, down 2 points, but the Conservative lead of 15 points is the highest recorded by any pollster since January 2010.

    1. Mike Sivier

      See my answer to Pat.

      See also my article about the cycle of violence and hate to discover how much less safe we are with David Cameron in charge.

      1. Amazingly, the new Independent article has Corbyn as less popular than Osborne.

      2. Mike Sivier

        Yeah? See my blog commenting on that article for a few possible reasons why the ComRes could be a rogue poll.

  13. Pat

    Yep, tonight’s poll shows just how popular Jeremy is. Behind the Tories in every area of England, as well as Scotland. At 15% ahead, the Tories are heading for a three figure majority in 2020.

    I hope you and your ilk are proud of yourselves.

    1. Mike Sivier

      Here’s a commenter who corresponds to the profile we’re building up of the anti-Corbyn agitator: There is no intention to discuss the issues rationally – just a set of bald statements intended to produce an emotional response. One may expect any such response to be met with an immediate round of “Look what the nasty Corbyn supporter diiiid!”

      Well, I’m not playing. Two things are likely to have led to this result. The first is a desire by Corbyn opponents to get a poll result against him quickly, to negate the favourable result mentioned in the article. The second is the claim that he would not adequately defend the UK against terrorism, which seems to come from a Newsnight interview with Laura Kuenssberg.

      On that subject, I’ll pass you on to Oliver Tickell, who wrote the following in the Ecologist article I quote in a piece elsewhere on this blog:

      “And then there was his interview with the BBC’s perspicacious political editor Laura Kuenssberg, broadcast on Monday, in which he said – among many other things – that he would prioritise the prevention of terrorism over ‘shooting to kill’ terrorists on the streets.

      “”I’m not happy with the shoot-to-kill policy in general”, he told her. “I think that is quite dangerous and I think can often can be counterproductive. I think you have to have security that prevents people firing off weapons where you can, there are various degrees for doing things as we know. But the idea you end up with a war on the streets is not a good thing.”

      “These are the words that launched a thousand attacks. Note – there was no outright refusal to allow security forces to shoot and kill terrorists in all circumstances. That’s what he meant, surely, by the words “there are various degrees for doing things as we know.”

      “But first, this was just the concluding few seconds of a long (nine minute) interview in which he spoke in careful and measured terms: asking where ISIS was getting its money and weapons were coming from; demanding enhanced security in Britain and across Europe to prevent any further attacks like those in Paris; pointing out that there was no such thing as Al Qaida in Iraq before the war began in 2003; seeking the involvement of the United Nations in Syria; highlighting the role of communities in tackling extremism; calling on Cameron to rescind police cuts that would damage their ability to combat terrorism; condemning ISIS in firm and absolute terms; and seeking political rather than merely military solutions to international problems.

      “In short, there was absolutely nothing that any informed and rational person could disagree with.

      “And here’s the mystery. Kuenssberg is always good at nailing down the key, defining question. And the obvious follow-up to Corbyn’s reluctance to endorse “war on our streets” was, surely: “But just to be completely clear for our listeners Mr Corbyn, would you or would you not agree to the use of lethal force against terrorists if that was necessary to save civilian lives?”

      “But this is the question that was not put. Did Kuenssberg know that she had what she wanted ‘in the can’ and that any further question would only detract from its impact? Was a BBC producer yelling “Cut!” into her ear?

      “Because what Corbyn would have said in answer to that question is surely something like this: “The overwhelming priority must be to stop war breaking out on our streets in the first place. But obviously yes, if a terrorist attack is taking place and civilian lives are at risk, security forces must respond appropriately and at times that will mean shooting and killing terrorists – not as a kneejerk response but as a last resort. Because what we should be trying to do is to disarm and arrest them and hold them accountable for their crimes.””

      Perhaps you might say we don’t know Corbyn would say that. It would certainly have been welcome for him to have been given the opportunity. Instead, anti-Corbyn activists have leapt to the attack and succeeded in damaging him in the eyes of the public – and opinion that has nothing to do with the facts or with discussion of the issues, and everything to do with making an emotive response.

      1. Thanks Mike for your usual measured and informed response. I don’t think it matters a jot who is Labour leader because the Tory supporting press and the biased broadcast media would be behaving like this anyway. I don’t know what the answer is, I guess that we just have to wait for them to burn themselves out, because in the end the public will tire of reading about Corbyn and just ignore press articles.
        In my opinion I think the press are out of control, they know they have Cameron bought and paid for and it’s obvious that self regulation is not working.

  14. Is Spencer Livermore responsible for that ridiculous stone? If so, that right there is when Labour lost that election! Who’s idea was it and why wasn’t it vetoed by Livermore if he is so clever and such a know it all?

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