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Ken Burch

(50,254 posts)
Sat Jul 9, 2016, 08:05 PM Jul 2016

In a Corbyn-Eagle leadership race, how would you vote?

Corollary question: Would you agree that, if there is a leadership contest, Corbyn MUST be allowed to stand since he is the sitting leader?

Second corollary question: If Corby does not stand, would you agree that there must be a left-wing leadership candidate for the contest to have democratic legitimacy?

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In a Corbyn-Eagle leadership race, how would you vote? (Original Post) Ken Burch Jul 2016 OP
First corollary question yes; second no... LeftishBrit Jul 2016 #1
Agreed Dworkin Jul 2016 #2
I pretty much agree with all of that muriel_volestrangler Jul 2016 #4
I don't think a coalition with the SNP has ever been on the cards. Denzil_DC Jul 2016 #5
The Labour establishment, in Scotland and Westminster, STILL don't get why the SNP broke through. Ken Burch Jul 2016 #11
I've done what I can on this group to offer some perspective on all that. Denzil_DC Jul 2016 #12
I will check out your journal n/t. Ken Burch Jul 2016 #14
Angela Eagle isn't the ideal choice.... T_i_B Jul 2016 #3
No sign of the former so far. non sociopath skin Jul 2016 #15
Owen Smith (since he's also in the running) Spider Jerusalem Jul 2016 #6
Kinnock only needed a handful of nominations, though-ten MPs, rather than 50. Ken Burch Jul 2016 #7
Owen Smith is to the left of Eagle (not as far left as Corbyn) Spider Jerusalem Jul 2016 #9
Easily avoidable? T_i_B Jul 2016 #13
In 1945, Churchill was defending an enormous majority and had just won a war. Ken Burch Jul 2016 #21
Yep, historical revisionism T_i_B Jul 2016 #23
During the 1945 campaign, nobody in the UK thought Labour had a chance. Ken Burch Jul 2016 #25
I remember 1987 and 1992 (even if I'd rather not); and the reasons were rather different LeftishBrit Jul 2016 #24
The Sheffield thing certainly didn't help. Ken Burch Jul 2016 #26
They changed the rules since the days of Kinnock. Denzil_DC Jul 2016 #8
Labour's NEC set to ensure Jeremy Corbyn is on leadership ballot Denzil_DC Jul 2016 #10
A few reminders about recent past Labour leadership challenges Denzil_DC Jul 2016 #16
Looks like the NEC will be voting by secret ballot RogueTrooper Jul 2016 #17
They are. Denzil_DC Jul 2016 #18
BTW, in case anyone's on tenterhooks, Denzil_DC Jul 2016 #19
Latest: Denzil_DC Jul 2016 #20
Thanks for the updates. Ken Burch Jul 2016 #22


(41,202 posts)
1. First corollary question yes; second no...
Sun Jul 10, 2016, 02:54 AM
Jul 2016

If one is talking about 'musts' rather than what one would like, then there is no 'must' about who can or should stand, or which factions of the party they represent. But they cannot appropriately prevent the sitting leader from standing.

As regards who I'd vote for: I probably won't. I am not a party member, though I did pay my three quid to vote in the 2015 leadership election. If I was absolutely forced to, then Corbyn, just so as not to change horses in the middle of a tsunami, or encourage weekly leadership challenges. But I'm less than convinced that either is able to lead the party into a strong fight against the Tories - at a time when this should be easier than ever in history - and unfortunately can't think of an obvious candidate who would be.


(101,258 posts)
4. I pretty much agree with all of that
Sun Jul 10, 2016, 05:53 AM
Jul 2016

Not only does it make sense to say the sitting leader should always be able to stand without getting MP signatures, but the rules they have - 15% for an open contest, and 20% for a challenge - explicitly say it's "potential challengers" who need the 20%. You can't challenge yourself.

I'm not a member, and my vote has floated between Lib Dem, Labour and the Greens recently, so I don't feel it would be appropriate for me to pay the three quid to have a say. Like you, I can't see an obvious candidate who will do any better than Corbyn, so might vote for him as the status quo, But at the moment, the only way I can see Labour winning the next election, even in coalition with the SNP, is if the Tories collapse due to ballsing up the exit negotiations.

And that brings up another problem - a 2020 general election may be profoundly effected by what has happened about Scottish independence. If the SNP is in the middle of achieving that by then, a credible British government coalition with them would be next to impossible, unless Labour explicitly say "yes, we're OK with the break-up of the UK". And that would lose more votes in England.


(7,216 posts)
5. I don't think a coalition with the SNP has ever been on the cards.
Sun Jul 10, 2016, 08:36 AM
Jul 2016

Not only, as you say, would it be poison "down south", as it seems it was in 2015 (not helped by Labour joining in the demonizing of Sturgeon and the SNP, but spilt milk and all that), but Scottish (and Welsh and NI) MPs can't vote on "England-only"* legislation after EVEL, so unless that is repealed, there would be key votes where the partner party couldn't have any input.

And one of the sticking points for the SNP in anything more than a confidence and supply arrangement (all that's ever realistically been a prospect) would be Trident and the Trident replacement. I think Salmond might have budged on the existing Trident programme tactically as a bargaining chip during independence negotiations (withdrawal would be a long and fairly complex process anyway). Sturgeon is a lifelong opposer of nukes, and she couldn't do it without losing her own integrity and a vast swath of her voters. Just can't see it happening.

* Scare quotes because the definition of that seems conveniently fluid.

By 2020, Scotland will either be on its way to independence, have already achieved it, or still a no-go area for Labour unless there's a very unlikely collapse of the SNP, or an even more unlikely resurgence of Labour in Scotland (you'd have to see the state of the Scottish Labour leadership close up to understand just how unlikely ...).

Labour needs to focus on its electoral problems outside Scotland. The rest of my attitudes seem very similar to yours.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, FWIW. Corbyn's less of a problem for Labour than the current PLP taken as a whole. What an incompetent shower of self-absorbed backbiting careerist idiots.


Ken Burch

(50,254 posts)
11. The Labour establishment, in Scotland and Westminster, STILL don't get why the SNP broke through.
Mon Jul 11, 2016, 11:15 PM
Jul 2016

They keep saying "we did nothing wrong, it was just an outbreak of 'nationalism'&quot and when they say that, they always make it sound as if support for Scottish independence is tantamount to support of racism and fascism).

They still refuse to acknowledge that the massive increase in support for what Labour dismisses as "nationalism" in Scotland has been driven almost exclusively by Scottish Labour's years of slavish refusal to break with Westminster Labour's support for austerity, continued privatization and massive deregulation for the financial-industrial complex. To hear Jim "Slab" Murphy and Kezia Dugdale tell it, you'd think the Scots just woke up one rainy morning and said "F__k it, we're just going to start voting SNP out of random, irrational dislike of the English". And their only response to the current situation is to treat pro-independence sentiment as "nonsense" Scots have to "get over".

Nothing will get better for Labour in Scotland until it elects leadership that recognizes the need for a total rethink.


(7,216 posts)
12. I've done what I can on this group to offer some perspective on all that.
Mon Jul 11, 2016, 11:30 PM
Jul 2016

(See my Journal.)

Scottish Labour was also riven by repeated infighting and Macchiavellian plots over the years, at local and national level, which made it even more of a turn-off. The indyref finished the process, but it was a long time coming.

Labour had been so entrenched in Scotland that it became flabby ("We can't rock the boat 'down south'&quot , incompetent (the vast increases in cost of the Scottish Parliament building, likewise the Edinburgh trams debacle etc.) and incestuous - major social and familial links between the party and movers & groovers in the media etc. The upshot was that a lot of the media's been discredited in many folks' eyes, as well as Scottish Labour, which is currently having its own little schism between its leader and deputy leader despite being somewhat insulated from the strife in UK Labour at Westminster - it gets so tedious and self-absorbed.


(14,735 posts)
3. Angela Eagle isn't the ideal choice....
Sun Jul 10, 2016, 04:09 AM
Jul 2016

However, I consider her less flawed than Jeremy Corbyn.

If she does stand, then she will need to recant previous support for invading Iraq and also put a lot of work into reaching out to the left of the party. Labour desperately needs unity to survive.


Spider Jerusalem

(21,786 posts)
6. Owen Smith (since he's also in the running)
Mon Jul 11, 2016, 04:50 PM
Jul 2016

corollary question: As long as he can get fifty nominations from MPs and MEPs, sure. Otherwise no. (NB that Neil Kinnock had to get nominations to stand when challenged by Tony Benn in 1988 despite being the sitting leader.)


Ken Burch

(50,254 posts)
7. Kinnock only needed a handful of nominations, though-ten MPs, rather than 50.
Mon Jul 11, 2016, 08:30 PM
Jul 2016

And unlike Corbyn, Kinnock had just led Labour to an easily avoidable defeat in a general election...a defeat he was using to push Labour to abandon socialism and drive away leftists, despite the fact that the defeat was caused solely by the electorate's personal distrust of Kinnock(as his equally avoidable 1992 defeat on a painfully watered-down manifesto would prove).

I don't know much about Owen Smith...where would he be on the spectrum and what does he have to offer?

Where does he stand on restoring internal democracy and reaching out to the activists Labour has kept totally out in the cold sine 1994?


Spider Jerusalem

(21,786 posts)
9. Owen Smith is to the left of Eagle (not as far left as Corbyn)
Mon Jul 11, 2016, 09:07 PM
Jul 2016

and the 1987 general election wasn't really an "easily avoidable defeat" (you can blame part of that on the SDP, who with the Liberals took 22% of the vote).

And personally, I'm far more concerned with what Smith would plan to do as leader of the opposition.


(14,735 posts)
13. Easily avoidable?
Tue Jul 12, 2016, 12:56 AM
Jul 2016

Boy you do like your history to be revisionist don't you?

In 1987 Thatcher was defending an enormous majority and the economy was booming in much of the country. It was an unwinnable general election for Labour.

Also, when Kinnock took over Labour was in a real mess, although it would appear to be in an even worse mess now than it was after Michael Foot had done with it in 1983.


Ken Burch

(50,254 posts)
21. In 1945, Churchill was defending an enormous majority and had just won a war.
Tue Jul 12, 2016, 05:25 PM
Jul 2016

If not easily avoidable, Kinnock could at the very least made the race competitive. He could have neutralized the attacks on Labour's fully justified antinuclear position(in 1987, Gorbachev was running the USSR, which meant the Cold War was over)by actually spending some time DEFENDING that position and making a coherent, unapologetic case for peace and international reconciliation and the good those things could do for the people of Britain.

Rather than that, all he had done since winning the leadership was to endlessly defer to Matron in question period and attack his own party's supporters rather than the Tories.

It truly looks as though Kinnock deliberately lost the 1987 election badly just to set up the expulsion of anyone who actually supported socialism(he spent the post-87 period doing nothing but endlessly moving Labour policies further and further and further to the right, agreeing to no further nationalization(thus making anything socialist impossible)endorsing Thather's antiworker laws(thus making it impossible for the unions ever to defend their workers from capitalist attack), endorsing the Bomb in an era when there was no longer any good reason for it, and sucking up to the "put the boot in" crowd on crime(thus making it impossible for civil liberties to survive in a Kinnock government).

He'd have been slightly better than Major in '92, but there was no longer anything transformative or even hopeful in the Labour program by then. He lost that election because people wouldn't trust anyone who gave up all his core values just for power in name.

As the Blair years proved, power gained by mass abandonment of principle is meaningless.


(14,735 posts)
23. Yep, historical revisionism
Wed Jul 13, 2016, 01:16 AM
Jul 2016

The Tories still had a lot of Chamberlain era baggage in 1945, and the country was pretty much on it's knees following WWII. The 1987 election was fought in a very different scenario.


Ken Burch

(50,254 posts)
25. During the 1945 campaign, nobody in the UK thought Labour had a chance.
Wed Jul 13, 2016, 02:09 AM
Jul 2016

I once read the memoirs of one of Churchill's staffers, who ended up chatting with Clement Attlee on the day Attlee was called by the king to form a government. Attlee told the man that his own most-optimistic scenario for that campaign had been reducing the Tory majority to 30 seats.

And after Attlee had led Labour to that landslide, those to his right in the party immediately tried to depose HIM as leader, and put Herbert Morrison in in his place.


(41,202 posts)
24. I remember 1987 and 1992 (even if I'd rather not); and the reasons were rather different
Wed Jul 13, 2016, 02:09 AM
Jul 2016

1987: splits and turmoil in Labour Party, with SDP defections and some rebellions by the 'Militant Tendency'. Kinnock was more a compromise candidate than a cause of the party splits. Kinnock was portrayed by the media as soft on the Soviet Union. Most of all, the Tories bribed the electorate with Council House sales and sale of shares in privatized utilities.

1992: Extreme Tory bias by much of media, even more than usual. As the Sun claimed, 'It was the Sun wot won it'. Over-confidence by Labour; triumphalist Sheffield rally that probably put some voters off. Major was less personally off-putting than the by-then very controversial Thatcher, and was not so directly linked with the Poll Tax.

It's true that Kinnock was not a very effective leader, and that he was regarded by some as a 'windbag'. But I don't think that the main reason for Labour defeats was his being regarded as insufficiently principled or left-wing. If that were so, Blair would hardly have won his elections (I am just the messenger here; personally I voted for Kinnock and did not vote for Blair). Moreover, voter turnout was high in both the 1987 and 1992 elections, suggesting that there was not a high proportion of people staying at home because they had no one to vote for. Voter turnout only started to decrease dramatically in 2001.


Ken Burch

(50,254 posts)
26. The Sheffield thing certainly didn't help.
Wed Jul 13, 2016, 02:18 AM
Jul 2016

Who the hell had the idea to have a victory party BEFORE people voted?

It didn't occur to anyone that this might not be well-received?

And the other things you listed also played a significant role(and there was certainly no excuse for Blair welcoming back any former SDP types once he'd taken over as leader-people who formed a party for the sole purpose of preventing a Labour victory should never have had any role inside Labour after doing that).

Kinnock was right that the party had to reach out to people whose votes it hadn't been winning.

The problem was, he thought that the only way to do that was to attack people who WERE voting Labour.
It was one thing to attack Militant(who, with their flaws and their sectarian weirdnesses, still gave Liverpool the best local government it ever had...huge numbers of people in Liverpool still live in "Militant houses&quot , but the supporters of Tony Benn and the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy, who were non-sectarian and committed democrats. It's not as though there were huge numbers of people who'd have voted Labour, but ONLY if Labour had a leader who demonized socialists, and ONLY if Labour renounced everything they stood for in the Eighties(a lot of which was heroically good, actually).

Kinnock should just have stood down the day after the 1987 defeat.


(7,216 posts)
8. They changed the rules since the days of Kinnock.
Mon Jul 11, 2016, 09:04 PM
Jul 2016

Last edited Mon Jul 11, 2016, 09:36 PM - Edit history (1)

Seems pretty clear.

Of course, in theory the NEC has the power to vary the rules if it really wants to pick a fight with the membership and the pro-Corbyn unions. But it would end up in court and get very messy.


(7,216 posts)
10. Labour's NEC set to ensure Jeremy Corbyn is on leadership ballot
Mon Jul 11, 2016, 10:45 PM
Jul 2016
As one leadership contest ends, another begins. Angela Eagle has submitted the 51 MP/MEP nominations required to stand and will now seek to replace Jeremy Corbyn. Labour's National Executive Committee will meet at 2pm tomorrow (Tuesday) to determine the terms of the contest, including whether Corbyn is automatically on the ballot. The party's HQ and the leader's office have received contradictory legal advice on whether he requires 51 nominations. But it is the NEC that will ultimately decide.

Those I spoke to yesterday suggested that the 33-member body could rule that Corbyn requires nominations - if a secret vote is held. But senior Labour figures told me this afternoon that there is "no doubt" that the leader has the numbers required to prevail ("whatever the legal advice&quot . As well as left-wing allies on the NEC, Corbyn crucially retains the backing of the 12 trade union delegates. A senior source told me the unions' support was "on lockdown" even in the event of a secret ballot (which would require a show of hands). "Unite are flying Michael Mayer in by plane. The TSSA delegate has cancelled her holiday," he said.



(7,216 posts)
16. A few reminders about recent past Labour leadership challenges
Tue Jul 12, 2016, 07:39 AM
Jul 2016

The Curry House Coup
Tom Watson v Tony Blair, 2006

The Guardian Coup
David Miliband v Gordon Brown, 2008

The Surprise Coup
James Purnell v Gordon Brown, 2009

The Great Goose Coup
Geoff Hoon and Patricia Hewitt v Gordon Brown, 2010


November 2014:

New crisis for Ed Miliband as senior Labour MPs back leadership change

Ed Miliband’s Labour party leadership was plunged into fresh crisis as senior Labour MPs revealed that at least 20 shadow ministers were on the brink of calling for him to stand down.

The frontbenchers are willing to go public with their demand if the former home secretary, Alan Johnson, indicates that he would be prepared to step into the breach, should Labour be left leaderless just months from a general election. The senior status of the potential rebels and their numbers represent another grievous blow to Miliband’s authority, after attempts by his aides to minimise the extent of dissatisfaction in the party.

The rebels are drawn from across the political spectrum within the party and say they are airing their discontent in response to attempts by Miliband’s aides to belittle the depth and reach of unhappiness among his MPs.


Labour won in 2007 after Watson's attempted coup in 2006 The rest were followed by electoral defeat.

Another summary:



(4,665 posts)
17. Looks like the NEC will be voting by secret ballot
Tue Jul 12, 2016, 11:45 AM
Jul 2016

over the nomination issue*.

*of course, with the way British politics is going, this could change by the time you have finished reading this


(7,216 posts)
18. They are.
Tue Jul 12, 2016, 12:54 PM
Jul 2016

They've excluded Corbyn from the ballot and asked him to leave the meeting while it's conducted. At first, he refused to leave (he's an NEC member and technically allowed a vote), then eventually relented and is now in discussions with union reps elsewhere in the building while the NEC gets on with whateverthehell it thinks it's up to.

I've avoided posting about it all this afternoon, but it seems to have been predictably bloody so far.

Oh, and Tom Watson is an utter, utter arse. I'm beginning to think he's a long-time Tory plant. That is all.


(7,216 posts)
19. BTW, in case anyone's on tenterhooks,
Tue Jul 12, 2016, 01:12 PM
Jul 2016

Michael Crick of Channel 4 ITN News has just tweeted: "One source tells me they reckon Labour NEC meeting could last another 3-4 hours."


Ken Burch

(50,254 posts)
22. Thanks for the updates.
Tue Jul 12, 2016, 06:29 PM
Jul 2016

If Corbyn is excluded from the leadership contest, Owen Smith, as the only left candidate in the race, will have an obligation to fight for the values of the Corbyn movement. Those hundreds of thousands of people aren't going to just vanish, and Labour can't win if it alienates them. There are no other people who would come in to replace them as campaigners or at the ballot box.

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