Sunday, 16 April 2017

The Corbyn Effect

Image result for corbyn + toilet images

The massive 'popularity' of Jeremy Corbyn seems to have passed by the voters in Middlesborough where Labour lost a council seat to the Conservatives.

Politics Home reports that Team Corbyn is brushing off this previously unimaginable defeat in one of the Labour Party's heartlands while calling on critics to unite behind their leader.

Now the problem with this 'unity call' is that Corbyn has a terrible track record when it comes to loyalty and party discipline - as a rebellious backbench MP Jezza was a constant thorn in the side of every Labour leader from Neil Kinnock to Ed Miliband.

But even more worrying is the fact that opposition parties are not meant to be losing votes and seats, if they stand any chance of forming the next Government.

So far from being a great 'asset', as claimed by Diane Abbott, all the evidence points to Jeremy Corbyn being an albatross around Labour's neck.

Corbyn under fire after Labour lose Middlesbrough council seat to Tories

By John Ashmore - Politics Home

A Labour MP has blamed the "far left" leadership of his party after the Conservatives seized a council seat in the north-east of England. 

Jeremy Corbyn speaking at the FSB conference this week - Credit: PA

The Conservatives recorded a swing of over 8% from Labour to take the Coulby Newham seat in Middlesbrough for the first time since 1997.

Tom Blenkinsop, a long-time critic of Jeremy Corbyn, said the defeat showed it was time for "new leadership", although a Labour source claimed the "extremely low" turnout meant it was impossible to draw any conclusions from the result.

Diane Abbott: Labour would be polling in 'single digits' if Jeremy Corbyn was pushed

Jeremy Corbyn pledges to 'upgrade economy' through £200bn public sector spend

ANALYSIS: Divide-and-rule tactics see Jeremy Corbyn enjoy small business love-in

It comes after a flurry of policy announcements from the party this week, including Mr Corbyn pledging to "go to war" over late payments to small businesses and a pledge today from John McDonnell to stop banks closing high street branches.

The MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland said it was clear that the Labour leader had turned people off voting for his party.

“On the door I heard from voters I have canvassed over 15-20 years telling me Corbyn was the main issue as to why they were not voting Labour," he told the Huffington Post.


But Shadow Transport Secretary Andy McDonald insisted that Mr Corbyn had gone down well with local voters.

"Jeremy was on Teesside to campaign a couple of weeks ago, and he got an absolutely fabulous reaction," he told the Guardian.

At the same time he admitted Labour still has "some cut-through to make in terms of reputation, and confidence, and competence".

Speaking to the same paper a party source played down the defeat and called on Mr Corbyn's critics to get behind the leader.

"The Middlesborough byelection was very close - only 33 votes separated Labour and the Conservatives - and the turnout was extremely low, making it difficult to draw any meaningful conclusions. However, voters don’t like divided parties, public attacks and infighting. Unity is essential to delivering effective opposition.”

The Corbyn Effect (15/04/17)

Diane Abbott, 2016 Labour Party Conference 1.jpg

Diane Abbot is a London Labour MP and shadow secretary of state for health.

In the highly unlikely event of a Labour victory at the next general election there's a fair chance that Diane would be in charge of one of the great offices of state, such as running the national health service (NHS). 

Now that's a truly frightening prospect given that Diane believes Jeremy Corbyn is popular figure whom she showered with praise the other day: 

“One of [Mr Corbyn’s opponents'] current arguments is that Labour’s difficulties in the polls are all attributable to him and that if only we had a new leader, almost any leader, then this would resolve our problems.

“This is completely untrue. We can go further. Compared to all his critics, Jeremy Corbyn is worth about 18-20 percentage points to Labour’s vote.

“Without him, and led by any one of his vocal critics we could easily be languishing in single digits in polls.”

I don't know of anyone who believes that all of Labour's problems would disappear overnight by getting rid of Jeremy Corbyn, but nor do I know of anyone who regards Jezza as anything other than an albatross around Labour's neck.

Labour's biggest problem is that there are enough supporters like Diane Abbot around who are willing to forgive Corbyn anything - even his inability to connect with the wider voting public. 


Rank Hypocrisy (06/02/17)

Image result for corbyn and abbott + images

The Sunday Times reports that the knives are out for Diane Abbott, London Labour MP and big ally of Jeremy Corbyn.

I can't say I'm surprised because Diane has always struck me as a terrible hypocrite, especially after she criticised Tony Blair fiercely for sending one of his children to a Catholic school (outside the local Islington catchment area), but went to place her own son at a fee-paying private school.

Fellow Labour MPs must be aghast at her behaviour though not astonished given her brazen track record.

Ronnie Campbell, Labour MP for Blyth Valley who has been off work for a year having cancer treatment said:

 “I had a big operation just after New Year, I am getting over it and came back to work this week. I saw Diane Abbott in the tearoom before the vote - I held the door open for her.” 

Meanwhile some wag has opened a #PrayForDiane hashtag on Twitter.

MPs urge axe for Abbott over bottling Brexit

By James Lyons - The Sunday Times
Diane Abbott, second from left, at the Red Lion pub in Whitehall on Tuesday, the day before she missed the vote on article 50, blaming a ‘really bad migraine’

Jeremy Corbyn will come under pressure this week to sack Diane Abbott for missing a crucial vote on Brexit. Angry MPs are expected to raise the issue at a private meeting of the parliamentary Labour Party tomorrow night.

Corbyn is also expected to face questions about her future at a meeting of the parliamentary committee, which represents MPs and peers, later in the week. The shadow home secretary went home shortly before the vote last week on giving Theresa May the power to trigger article 50. Abbott had argued publicly that Labour MPs should have to vote in favour of the bill but her local party in London came within two votes of mandating her to vote against.

Dawn Butler, who resigned from Labour’s shadow cabinet before the vote, is said to have sought permission to abstain but was told she had to toe the line or quit.
Unless she was in bloody intensive care she should have been on the premises

Abbott was accused of “bottling” the crucial vote. There were also questions about the severity of the illness that she said had forced her to return home. The MP for Hackney North was seen enjoying a drink at the Red Lion pub in Whitehall on Tuesday night. On Wednesday, the day of the vote, she spoke at a debate in Westminster Hall in the afternoon.

At least two seriously ill MPs were brought to the Commons to vote but Abbott went home after developing what friends described as a “really bad migraine” shortly before 5pm.

Labour MPs pointed out that if she had been on the premises at the time of the vote she could have been “nodded through” while remaining in her office rather than having to go into the division lobby.

“Unless she was in bloody intensive care she should have been on the premises,” a senior backbencher said. “It is an outrage. It is completely incompatible to be sacking other people and keep her.”

Abbott’s absence will fuel a rebellion when MPs vote on the bill again this week. The shadow cabinet will meet on Tuesday to agree whether to insist again that MPs must vote for the measure but a shadow cabinet source said it would be ridiculous for Corbyn to do a U-turn.

London Labour (19/12/15)

If anything, the term 'London Labour' is proving to be a much bigger problem for Jeremy Corbyn's leadership of the People's Party than was ever the case for three time election winner Tony Blair.

Because while New Labour always featured lots of prominent Scots, including Gordon Brown, John Reid, Robin Cook and Alistair Darling to balance the UK party leadership, Jeremy Corbyn seems to have gone native with a very London-centric team.

Jezza's key advisers and spokespeople are all London based and his kitchen cabinet boasts such luminaries as John McDonnell, Diane Abbott and Ken Livingstone, the former London Mayor.   

When you include others now on the party payroll such as the former Guardian columnist Seumas Milne and 'fellow travellers' like Lindsey German and Andrew Murray from Stop the War Coalition, Labour seems to be heading back to the bad old days of the 1980s when, for a time, London Labour Briefing threatened to rule the party's roost.

Labour's top-heavy London team is making the party look ridiculous as Jeremy Corbyn surrounds himself with like-minded people who may share his politics, but haven't a clue what they're doing.

Diane Abbott for example who said the other day that it was "too late now" for the party to recover in Scotland in time for next year's Scottish Parliament elections.

I imagine Labour in Scotland need that kind of comment like they need another hole in the head at the moment and the Scottish party hit back at Abbott by saying that "Nobody up here takes her seriously".  

As the old saying goes, with friends like these............


Corbyn's Labour Party (03/02/17)

Image result for cant cut the mustard

The Labour Party is in a dreadful mess, not least because Jeremy Corbyn clings to the delusion that he is doing a great job as a leader with a 'big mandate'.

Well mandates count for nothing when the party is falling apart as it did the other day over the Brexit vote which had Labour facing more ways than the town hall clock.

Not just that one of the party's senior figures and close friend of Jeremy Corbyn failed to turn up for the vote in the House of Commons after claiming she was ill.
Here's what The Times reported about Diane Abbott's mysterious absence:

"Diane Abbott, the shadow home secretary, missed the vote through illness. Cynical Labour MPs who turned out to back Brexit joked that they were organising her a get well card and that they were sure that she would be back next week for the third reading vote. It is worth noting that she spoke in a Westminster Hall debate which ended only three hours before the vote."

And here. rather less charitably, is what the Guido Fawkes web site had to say.


Well done to Diane Abbott for struggling through this contribution to the Westminster Hall debate on Prevent yesterday, just hours before the Article 50 vote, despite being “unwell“. What a trooper.


Car Crash Corbyn (13/01/17)

Image result for push me pull you + doctor dolittle images

I enjoyed Michael Deacon's sketch for The Telegraph in which he describes the latest Labour party own goal as Jeremy Corbyn being 'at war with himself' over freedom of movement in the European Union. 

While Corbyn supporters like to blame the mainstream media for the Labour leader's terrible public image, the truth is he's completely useless and out of his depth.

The day Jeremy Corbyn slapped down Jeremy Corbyn

MICHAEL DEACON - The Telegraph

Jeremy Corbyn gives a speech in Peterborough, during which he announces that he may or may not oppose freedom of movement - CREDIT: LEON NEAL/GETTY IMAGES

Ever since he became their leader, Labour MPs have been at war with Jeremy Corbyn. In the past 24 hours, however, the conflict has taken an unexpected twist.

Now, it seems, Jeremy Corbyn is at war with himself.

Put it like this. Until last night, Mr Corbyn was a staunch supporter of EU freedom of movement. Then his aides revealed to the press that he was about to give a speech saying he wasn’t. This morning, however, Mr Corbyn went on the Today programme to distance himself from his own remarks (“We aren’t saying anyone couldn’t come here”). And then, this afternoon, when the much-trumpeted speech was finally given – at a community hall in pro-Brexit Peterborough – he said the following.

“Labour is not wedded to freedom of movement for EU citizens as a point of principle,” he insisted. “But I don’t want that to be misinterpreted, nor do we rule it out.”

Corbyn as Trump (11/01/17)

Nothing else has worked, so Jeremy Corbyn's latest wheeze is to try and steal some of Donald Trump's clothes as an snake-oil selling, populist politician.

Not a good look, if you ask me but decide for yourself.

Here's how Jim Waterson on Twitter described the subtle difference between the version of Corby's big Brexit speech as briefed by his official spokesperson - and the one actually delivered by the Labour leader on the day.


Labour's Pushmi-Pullyu (18/11/16)Image result for push me pull you + doctor dolittle images

Michael Deacon writing in The Telegraph suggests that Labour have achieved the impossible under Jeremy Corbyn's leadership by alienating both the Leave and Remain camps.

And it's true if you ask me, because while Labour MPs like Keir Starmer patiently build a a case which is trying to force the government into explaining exactly what Brexit might look like down the line - the shadow chancellor (John McDonnell) is encouraging us all to be more positive about leaving the European Union.

Not for the first time Corbyn's Labour is facing both ways at the same time when its job is to oppose and deny the government a blank cheque over what Brexit really means.

Well done, Labour. You’re alienating both the Brexiters and the Remainers at once

MICHAEL DEACON - The Telegraph

John McDonnell, the Labour shadow chancellor, delivers a speech in London about the economy and jobs CREDIT: BEN STANSALL/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

What Labour have achieved should be impossible. Yet somehow they’ve managed it.

They’ve convinced people who are pro-Brexit that Labour are anti-Brexit – and convinced people who are anti-Brexit that Labour are pro-Brexit.

Or, to put it another way: they’re alienating both the 52 per cent and the 48 per cent. And becoming the party of the 0 per cent.

On the one hand, they have Sir Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, forensically probing for flaws in Brexit. And on the other, they have John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, who announced in London today that “It’s time we were all more positive about Brexit.”

Corbyn's Dead Cat (11/01/17)Image result for dead cat on the table + images

After months of dreadful opinion polls Jeremy Corbyn and his advisers have clearly decided to throw a 'dead cat' on the table, if the Labour leader's comments on Brexit and a national 'wage cap' are anything to go by.

Now I can't speak for anyone else, but I don't really care what Wayne Rooney earns from Manchester United FC 

Because what I care about is whether Wayne Rooney and people like him pays their fair share of taxes.   

If any Government were stupid enough to set an arbitrary limit on Wayne Rooney's wages, then everything above the new 'wage cap' would be lost to the Inland Revenue - and the end result in not one extra penny piece for the public purse.

In other words it's a piece of virtue signalling from a politician who is running scared from the electorate and because Jeremy can't think of anything better to say, his only hope is to throw dead cat on the table.