That’s a bit embarrassing. There you are, the personnel are appointed and your team is ready to go. And then the Labour leader spoils it by defying expectations, winning extra seats, throwing the Tories into their most wretched state for 20 years and surges ahead with poll leads last seen since before the Iraq War. What can you do? If you are Chuka Umunna, you can stir the pot to remind the world (and yourself) that you’re still a player. Or you can proceed as if nothing happened and turn your campaign-that-never-was into a profile raising exercise. Entirely consistent with the long game the old Brownite right are playing, this is where Yvette Cooper is going: a Fabian speech here, a Pride photo opp there, and no doubt a good clutch of fringes in Brighton this September. Continue reading
In the wake of Jeremy Corbyn’s triumph, Yvette Cooper is said to be eyeing up the position of Shadow Home Secretary in the upcoming reshuffle. This comes after resigning from the Shadow Cabinet almost two years ago, as a rebellious sign of discontent with Corbyn’s leadership. In 2016, Diane Abbott was appointed to serve in that role as the first Black politician to do so and has contributed vastly to Labour’s unprecedented comeback during the General Election. As such, we must question Cooper’s disregard of Diane’s achievements, and how this speaks to a culture of erasing, policing and silencing Black women. Continue reading
Yvette Cooper today summed up the fear and panic that has gripped the Labour Party’s establishment. Yesterday around 165,000 people signed up to either join the party or become registered supporters, taking the total electorate in the leadership election to around 610,000. That is just under 1% of the country, roughly the population of metropolitan Glasgow. However, the predominant response from the Labour mainstream has been disquiet, shock and disbelief at the mounting support for Jeremy Corbyn which is fuelling the growth of genuine, mass Labour Party politics. There is little sign of celebration at the enthusiasm coming from young people who, we are told, have been “a-political” for so long. Cooper railed to warn of the threats to social democracy that exist across Europe, and that the same inclinations that drove support for ‘insurgent’ forces such as UKIP and the SNP might now be finding a home in Labour:
But when times are tough, and the old answers, and the old parties don’t seem to be working, people cast around for something else.
Something different. Something subversive. Something to kick out at the system, to express anger, frustration and the demand for change.
Re: Leadership of the Labour Party
I read extracts of your interview with the Indy with some interest as, I think it’s fair to say, your platform for Labour leadership is considered the ‘lightest’ among the contenders so far. No one is in any doubt what Liz Kendall stands for. Ditto Jeremy Corbyn. And last week on Newsnight, Andy finally put more flesh on the bones of his National Care Service idea. I wouldn’t be so presumptuous to say he followed my advice, but it’s stark that whereas your three opponents have defined themselves you are yet to do so. And that’s a shame, because some big ideas are getting floated in the leadership election this time round, and you should be meeting like with like. If you win on the basis of being the least offensive to everyone you will be storing up future legitimation problems for your leadership. Continue reading
This will be a major boost for Corbyn and shows how rapidly his campaign has developed. When Unite, Britain’s largest, endorsed Corbyn on July 5th, many were surprised. For a union considered more moderate than Unite to back Corbyn too should be worrying for the ‘Anyone but Corbyn’ camp, and shows their attacks are not cutting through. Continue reading