The ‘Super Thursday’ elections and their significance for Labour

VotingLabourIt would be foolhardy to suggest that Sadiq Khan’s enormous victory in the London mayoral elections meant that Labour would win in 2020, and no sensible commentator has done so, but Corbyn’s detractors have used selected information in a similar way to prove the opposite. They know they are being dishonest, but they don’t care as their real aim is to bring down Corbyn, not to have an objective discussion about the results. So very predictably arch backstabber Caroline Flint pops up on the Sunday Politics on May 8th to explain why the results were not good enough and that by implication Corbyn has to go. Continue reading

The Beckett report, polls and the Left

Margaret BeckettOn two related issues, the Beckett Report and Labour’s overall level of support, there has not been a sufficiently robust response from the left.

On Beckett there would appear to be general agreement that the failure to even attempt to dispel the myth that Labour was responsible for the 2008 crash because of over expenditure rather than bank ‘sub prime’ lending was a key factor. It should have been the key issue, as Michael Meacher consistently and rightly argued in Left Futures and elsewhere, and without substantial acceptance that Labour was not to blame it is doubtful whether the election could have been won, irrespective of more favourable approaches in other areas. Continue reading

What will the local elections mean for Labour and Jeremy Corbyn?

Corbyn on redIs it too early to write about this? Seeing as everyone is talking about how this year’s contest is a test for Jeremy, I’d like to briefly visit three push-me-pull-you factors that could have an impact.

Local elections, local politics
In the equivalent elections in 2012, we were just coming off the back of Osborne’s celebrated omnishambles budget. Try as the Tories might, even they couldn’t talk down the huge gains Labour made that year. However, that was something of an abnormality. Local council contests usually turn out the hardest of hardcore voters, and in the main they vote on the basis of local issues. The other parties will try their damnedest to make this set of elections a referendum on Jeremy Corbyn, but it’s quite possible the Oldham effect could kick in. Voters zoned out the anti-Jeremy bile and gave Labour a thumping result. The lesson drawn by many a Local Campaign Forum might be, with Corbers plumbing the polls, that hiding him under a bushel and going all out on pot holes and unfair council cuts might capture a higher than projected vote share. It could work. Continue reading