Labour Conference 2016: The good, the bad and the ugly

Watson & CorbynThe Good
Jeremy Corbyn’s victory was announced on the Saturday, with an increased vote from 59.5% to 61.8%. While the result was long expected, and came as a surprise to no-one except the Smith campaigners briefing he would win the week before, it should be underlined how significant this was. Over 313,209 people voted for Jeremy Corbyn, including most members in Europe’s largest left-of-centre party.

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Labour Assembly Against Austerity welcomes Jeremy Corbyn’s re-election

13087360_1086086401456278_2645037141153525946_nLabour Assembly Against Austerity, September 24 2016

Commenting on Jeremy Corbyn’s victory in the Labour Leadership election today, Lucy Anderson MEP, Vice-Chair of the Labour Assembly Against Austerity said:

“The Labour Assembly Against Austerity welcomes Jeremy Corbyn’s re-election as Labour leader, staking out how a Labour government would deliver a £500bn public investment programme to build our infrastructure, manufacturing, and new industries of the future, moving us to a low carbon economy, delivering good jobs and tackling the housing crisis. This is the credible – and transformative – economic strategy that Labour needs for General Election victory and will raise living standards in Britain.”

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Victorious Corbyn increases mandate in Labour leadership election

CorbynJeremy Corbyn has been elected Labour leader for the second time in just twelve months, beating Owen Smith by 313,209 votes to 193,229. By securing 61.8% of all votes cast, Corbyn has increased his mandate from last year’s election, where he won by 59.5%.

Corbyn’s victory, which means he has now won more Labour leadership elections than Tony Blair, and two more than Gordon Brown, was widely expected from the beginning of the contest, with Labour’s self-styled ‘moderates’ seemingly reliant on keeping Corbyn off the ballot paper, something they failed to do in July’s NEC meeting. Since Owen Smith and Angela Eagle were nominated as candidates, Corbyn has flown ahead in every single poll.  Continue reading

Ballot closes with Corbyn set to win, as party gears up for conference

Watson & CorbynLabour’s leadership ballot closed at noon yesterday, bringing to an end weeks of campaigning, smears and attacks on Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters. Despite this, six bookmakers today had Corbyn at 1-100 (a 99% chance) of winning the election, while sources in Momentum believe he could beat Owen Smith by an even higher margin than last year’s 59.5%. Continue reading

Policy issues that Labour must resolve

PolicyThemesFor the purpose of what follows I am assuming that Jeremy Corbyn (JC) will win the leadership contest, which now appears very likely, and that Labour does not split or collapse into a state of civil war, which is somewhat less likely but will hopefully be the case.

Given the division within the party it could be assumed that this reflects widespread and fundamental disagreement over most policy areas, but in fact this is not the case, as is indicated by the policy proposals put forward by the two candidates, which in most respects do not differ markedly from each other. This is partly because there has been a general shift, not confined to the Labour Party, away from neoliberalism and towards some degree of greater state intervention, and partly because, despite his radical left image, JC’s policy proposals have usually been well within the confines of moderate social democracy. Continue reading