Tuesday, 18 April 2017

The Corbyn Effect

Image result for cant cut the mustard

Tony Blair makes the fair point that the Conservatives waste no time thinking about how to respond to Jeremy Corbyn because they don't regard the Labour leader as a serious political threat.  

The problem is that diehard 'Corbynistas' have an almost religious belief that their man is the real deal, despite the evidence of their own eyes and ears - and the appalling opinion polls.

Read what Kevin Schofield has to sat in the link below to Politics Home.



Tony Blair: Labour under Jeremy Corbyn is failing the British people

By Kevin Schofield - Politics Home

Labour is "failing" the British people by not providing the Government with a "competitive" opposition, Tony Blair has declared.

Tony Blair addressing the 2017 American Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Conference in Washington last month - Credit: PA Images

The former Prime Minister said Theresa May and her aides spend "zero" time worrying about Labour because the party is no threat to them under Jeremy Corbyn.

Mr Blair spoke out in an interview with Labour MPs Wes Streeting and Ruth Smeeth for Progress magazine.

The three-times election winning ex-party leader said Labour was failing "to develop a new progressive agenda for today’s world".

"The next generation of technology, artificial intelligence, automation, big data, it’s going to transform the workplace," he said. "What’s our answer to it? We don’t have an answer to that question, we’re nowhere."

He added: "‘We [have] failed in what is our fundamental duty to the British people, that is to be a competitive opposition. Just ask yourself one simple question: In the Prime Minister’s office, in Tory high command, how much of their time do they spend worrying about the prospect of a Labour victory at the present time? I would guess zero."


Jeremy Corbyn famously re-launched his leadership in January with a vow to take provide a left-wing alternative to the right-wing populism of the likes of Donald Trump.

But Mr Blair said that was doomed to failure, and that Labour should be trying to re-claim the political centre ground again.

He said: "If you put a right-wing populism up against a leftist populism, the right-wing populism will win every time. In the end, the lesson is the same, but we can spend 20 days, 20 months or 20 years relearning it. If we want to return to power, that’s how."


Elsewhere in the interview, Mr Blair said Labour must also stop trashing the achievements of the government he led.

He said: "The people on the far-left always want to present this as if there was a battle between them, who are very principled, and us, who are just power-hungry. At times, you’re tempted to fall into that trap and say, 'Okay, but if you don’t have power, you can’t do anything. The reason we have a minimum wage, civil partnerships and maternity rights, and we lead the world in international development, we had the Northern Ireland peace process, is because we were in power'.

"You can have that argument, but actually it’s a ridiculous dichotomy to put upon yourself, because the whole purpose of having power is to implement your principles. Your principles have to take account of changing times, otherwise what are they? They’re just a kind of relic."

He added: "This idea that we were some neo-liberal government - we made massive investments in health and education. We founded, for example, the Department for International Development, which has helped save millions of lives worldwide.

"For us to denigrate our own record is crazy. When I left office in 2007, satisfaction levels with the health service were virtually at record levels, because of investment and the reform. That’s not a betrayal of principles, it’s the implementation of it."

The Corbyn Effect (02/04/17)

The latest YouGov poll makes grim reading for Labour supporters with Jeremy Corbyn continuing to trail miles behind a Conservative Prime Minister, Theresa May.

Now I'm not a Conservative supporter, but on the issue of basic competence alone it's all too easy to see why the voters plump for Theresa May over the Labour leader.


Can't Cut The Mustard (28/03/17)

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Matthew Norman hits the nail on the head with this column in The Independent in which he argues that the Tories have no need to call a snap general election because under Jeremy Corbyn's inept leadership the Labour Party is in the process of destroying itself.

Norman is also right to say that Jezza's recent 'don't panic' unity call to the Labour Party is the worst performance YouTube has witnessed since the appearance of Gordon Brown and his  'rictus grin' in the wake of the great MPs' expenses scandal.

The truth is that to win a general election Labour needs a leader who can reach out to uncommitted voters beyond the narrow confines of party and trade union activists - and that's a quality Jeremy Corbyn simply doesn't possess. 


Of course Theresa May isn’t calling a snap election, Labour is doing a fine job of destroying itself

It was Napoleon who advised against interfering ‘with an enemy while he's in the process of destroying himself’

By Matthew Norman - The Independent
While the Government prepares for the negotiations that will define our future, Labour seeks sanctuary from its irrelevance within its tragicomic internal affairs - Getty

If Theresa May’s government had form in executing a tyre-melting U-turn, on some minor Budget measure or whatever, you might sprinkle any pledge from No 10 with the contents of the Saxa warehouse.

As it is, what reason could there be to doubt Downing Street’s word that the Prime Minister won’t add a snap general election to the local elections on 4 May.

The force is so strong with this one that many of her own whips and backbenchers are baffled. Why wouldn’t she want to celebrate Star Wars Day by unsheathing her trusty light sabre and lopping off Labour’s head?

Among various explanations is protecting the brand. She approved the Budget but didn’t deliver it, and the punters still trust her word. Reversing a categorical promise would undermine that.

Another theory is that the last thing she needs right now is a huge majority. The power of 20 (comparatively) centrist Tory MPs to derail legislation partly nullifies the frothing Brexit right wing to whom compromise is a synonym for treachery. David Cameron needed protection from his nutters (in that case from his Liberal Democrat partners), and so might she.

Can't Cut The Mustard (22/09/17)

Image result for cant cut the mustard

I listened to quite the most devastating assessment of Jeremy Corbyn's leadership abilities on Radio 5 Live, the other day, from his first wife Jane Chapman.

Now this was not the bitter rant of a woman scorned, not least because Jane voted for her former husband first time around when he won the Labour leadership in 2015.

Nor was this 'uninformed' opinion of someone with an axe to grind since Jane is now widely regarded Professor of Communications at the University of Lincoln and a visiting Fellow at Wolfson College Cambridge.

Nonetheless Jane's view was that Jeremy had failed to mark his mark in any of the roles he has played throughout his life as a local government councillor, a trade union official and/or as a Labour MP, observing that:

  • as a local councillor Jeremy chaired nothing more important than a council sub-committee
  • Jeremy's trade union career never progressed beyond the 'entry level' rank
  • as Labour MP for 32 years Jeremy never took on any position of responsibility - not even that as the chair of a parliamentary select committee 
So without rancour or any hint of personal animosity, Professor Chapman essentially came to the same view as the vast majority of Labour MPs - that Jeremy Corbyn does not possess the skills for the job of Labour leader.

Which is, of course, my considered view as well.


'Bog Standard' Officials (24/06/16)

Jeremy Corbyn appearing on The Last Leg

I was unfazed one way or the other by Jeremy Corbyn's appearance on 'The Last Leg' TV programme which had the Labour leader arrive in a chauffeur-driven Bentley, dressed in a dinner suit and a full-length white fur coat.

After all if you have an image problem, then why not do something out of the ordinary to confound and confuse your political opponents.

But no, my real problem with Jeremy is that in answer to a 'dolly' question about how he would rank the importance of the next week's EU referendum on a scale of 1 to 10, Jezza responded with the unbelievably lame answer of "7 to 7 and a half".

Now when so much is at stake in next week's referendum, you would think a Labour leader worth his mettle would have emphasised, in the strongest possible terms, the very real threat to the UK economy, jobs and investment posed by the country's withdrawal from the European Union (EU).

So Jeremy's a complete fool if you ask me, a political half-wit, but that's what you get if you elect as Labour leader a man who rose to the dizzying ranks of 'bog standard' union official before finding a niche as a backbench Labour MP in the House of Commons for the next 32 years.

And while there are some decent trade union officials around, believe me there are plenty of complete 'duds' in the ranks too, as the Labour party and the country is finding out to its cost.