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The Labour leadership contest is a classic example of how it should not be fought

Labour Leadership Candidates and now they are 4_edited-1Sadly, but predictably, the Labour Leadership struggle has been so much mired in bluster and hysteria that its true potential significance has been largely obscured. A contest of this kind should start, not with who it is claimed has the style and presentation to be the most plausible leader, but with what it is argued is currently wrong with the country, what policies are necessary to put those things right, what mechanisms are proposed to achieve that, and how should they be funded and delivered.

Arguably the most pressing problems for Britain at the present time can be summarised as follows. What were the causes of the financial crash and the consequent prolonged downturn, and what lessons need to be learnt to prevent a recurrence? Does the manifest lack of adequate reform of the financial sector make it likely there could be another catastrophic slump again soon? Is austerity the right policy to cut the deficit?

How can living standards rise again sustainably against a background of flat productivity and falling fixed investment which has still not recovered its pre-crash levels, let alone with having to cope with accelerating household debt and widening trade deficits with the rest of the world? How can the extreme imbalance between finance in the South-East and manufacturing in the rest of the country be reversed so that Osborne’s ‘march of the makers’ which never materialised can become a real possibility? How can the extreme and still growing inequality between the top 1% and the squeezed middle and the mercilessly battered bottom 20% be mitigated? And where should the boundaries between the public and private sectors now be drawn, and what should be their relationship, in order to solve all these problems?

Jeremy Corbyn is the only candidate in the contest who has steadfastly kept to policy-making and foregone all personal abuse, for which he will be rewarded. But even he now needs to widen the argument to the real fundamentals to transmit his message that this is not just about advocating key individual policies which New Labour suppressed for decades, but rather about installing a fundamentally different ideology that rejects the Tory principles of de-deregulated finance, free-wheeling market capitalism, privatisation of public services, shrinking the State back to the dimensions of the 1930s, and squashing the trade unions as the foundation for Labolur, and instead replacing Tory values by a total commitment to social justice, egalitarianism, the ethos of public service, and full democratic accountability.

13 Comments

  1. Mervyn Hyde says:

    The most fundamental principle that will destroy all opposition to a real Labour party, is the recognition that we can afford our public services, that they are the foundation block of the economy not the burden that Neo-Liberals purport it to be.

    We can’t sustain a capitalist vision of our economy by importing finished goods from around the world, we need to produce for ourselves and that won’t happen as we have seen over the last forty years.

    Jeremy is right to use debt free money to invest where the Neo-Liberals choose to disinvest, that is where the jobs of the future will come from, not the American Dream peddled by those that only want to usurp peoples ignorance.

    Private enterprise has not delivered, where are all the jobs that Thatcher promised, the private sector ridiculed British Rail over it’s subsidies, only to receive more itself whilst providing an inferior service, they told us they can stand on their own two feet, now let them prove it, whilst we invest in a proper integrated transport system. The private sector always looks after itself, it’s time we started looking after our own people for a change.

    1. John P Reid says:

      Alternatively labour isn’t even the opposition even with FPTP we come third in 2020

      1. Mervyn Hyde says:

        We have not been an opposition for over thirty years; Blair, Brown, and Ed all wanted and continued with the Tory Neo-Liberal agenda.

        We have the opportunity now to change that.

        1. john P Reid says:

          we were in pwer and swining to the left, wil see either the libdems or ukip over take us look at 1983 for proof swinging to the left is a disaster

          1. Mervyn Hyde says:

            The Tories came to power on a 37% poll the lowest ever recorded for a conservative government and yet your wing of the party still lost.

            Your wing of the party lost 5 million voters and more, how do you think with the failed policies of the past that you will ever beat the Tories, when all you offer is more of the same?

            Do you really believe people are so stupid that they can’t see a pig in poke when they see it?

          2. John P Reid says:

            Yes and my wing of the party increased that amount of votes by 5.2m between 1987-1997

            And your wing of the party lost 5.6m votes between 1955 and 1983(Hugh Gaitskell time in 59 ,excluded)

            What’s with the 37% of the vote labour win in Feb 74 on 37% of the vote and in 2005 on 36% of the vote

      2. Chris Lovett says:

        We “come” third? You have clairvoyance? Give me the winning Saturday lottery numbers, please. TIA.

        1. John P Reid says:

          They’ll be beaten 1-59 based on past experience,same as looking at the 83 election on the left,past experience sees, that we’ll get wiped out.

  2. Sue says:

    Totally agree with this article. Corbyn is a breath of fresh air. I think a Corbyn victory will set us on the right road to oppose austerity and get our country working for and supporting everyone again. I have not been this excited re anything for a long long time!

    1. J.P. Craig-Weston says:

      Dear JPC-W

      At the same time as electing a new leader, the Labour party is choosing a new deputy leader. Previously this was done by Harriet Harman and before that John Prescott. Along with four other candidates, I’ve put myself forward this time for the job.

      Tom Watson
      Deputy Leader Candidate

      Dear Tom Watson,

      Sorry mate but I think that you’re basically just a complete tosser.

      NUS, followed by a couple of years in adversing, followed by a career, (if that’s even the right word,) as a political parasite; never done an honest days work in your entire life, you exemplify pretty much everything that’s gone wrong with new Labor and with current British politics in a nutshell,

      There you have it I’m afraid, regards

      JPC-W

      Dear Jeremy,

      I am very proud to write to you about why I am backing Andy Burnham for Leader of the Labour Party.

      As Andy has said, Labour wins when we speak for everyone, everywhere. I want to see the modern Labour Party think big, be bold and not be afraid to showcase Labour values.

      Debbie Abrahams

      Dear Debbie Abrahams,

      As far as I’m concerned your, “friend and colleague,” Andy Burnham is just another low life Tory sleaze-bag; who as Health Secretary, either ignored or was complicit in, what the Francis Report described as the culture of neglect and, “of appalling abuse,” (and the cover up,) at Mid Staffs, which may well have killed as many as 1200 elderly and vulnerable patient’s, (although obviously this is still disputed,) and that even without his sticky fingered expenses shenanigans.

      I’d sooner vote for Ronnie Biggs.

      That basically covers it,

      regards

      JPC-W

      It’s been over a decade since this rabble actually had to have a conversation with the voters, somehow they seem not be enjoying the experience.

  3. Bazza says:

    Jeremy hopefully will win because he has focused on ideas and empowering members.
    Andy Burnham is a decent human being and was my second choice and as moved a little.
    But I am really tired of the infantile comments of the others.
    I see a Blairite type group of Labour MPs ( brought in by their Westminster Bubble pals) are to set up a group called ‘Labour for the Common Good’ – in the spirit of Jeremy they should be really be honest and call themselves LABOUR FRIENDS OF NEO LIBERALISM.
    I don’t hate them, I actually pity them as human beings, they too could free themselves from the Neo-Liberal straight jacket.
    My working class neighbour (a mad football fan) pulled me the other day (as a lifelong labour voter) and he said he liked Corbyn but worried if we would win with him?
    I said, have faith, if Jeremy wins, people like us as grassroots members will help to construct policies with mass appeal from our life experiences, and he quite liked the sound of this.
    One example have more live football on Freeview TV unlike now where you have one choice mainly to watch football, you pay to see via TNCs like Sky or are denied the privilege!
    Time to be positive and offer hope, many of us are bursting with ideas!
    Yours in solidarity! Vote JC!

    1. J.P. Craig-Weston says:

      Must be a different Andy Burnham ?

  4. J.P. Craig-Weston says:

    “Arguably the most pressing problems for Britain at the present time can be summarized as follows. What were the causes of the financial crash and the consequent prolonged downturn, and what lessons need to be learned to prevent a recurrence?”

    Possibly:

    But equally arguably, the real, ever more pressing and even more fundamental problem, the problem that, “dare not speak it’s name,” if you will, which has massively facilitated and contributed to the above circumstances is, “Westminster,” itself; not the a place, “but a type of politics which is outdated, regressive, impossible to reform,” and, most importantly, doesn’t represent or anyone else other a small, unrepresentative, entirely self serving, completely rotten and entrenched political mafia utterly bereft of principle or scruple who, (as we’ve seen once again during this election,) will do absolutely anything to thwart reform.

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