Tag Archives: labour leadership

Daily View 2×2: 6 April 2020

Another work week starts, although the meaning of that is becoming even more fuzzy than it was in any event. Perhaps the need for more people to work from home will create more flexible working conditions for us going forward?…

2 big stories

The Prime Minister is in hospital, as a “precautionary measure”. The speech marks are because, given the criteria for admission into hospital, he shouldn’t apparently be in there. Whatever the case though, I wish him well. The Guardian considers here who runs the country in his absence;

In his role as first secretary of state, the prime minister’s de

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Daily View 2×2: 5 April 2020

It’s the last day of the tax year, which means that, as of tomorrow, you can start getting ready to complete your 2019/20 Self Assessment tax return – if you’ve got one to fill in, of course…

2 big stories

Are you more likely to catch the Coronavirus if you’re a woman, but more likely to die from it if you’re male? The Washington Post reports on the evidence from the United States;

The disproportionate toll of the virus appears to have deep biological roots. An emerging body of research has revealed that women’s bodies are better at fighting off infection, thanks

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Labour has chosen its new leader – time for us to get on with it ourselves

At the time of writing, we have no idea who the new Labour leader is. Whoever it is, I wish him or her well in their task of holding this most incompetent and mediocre of Tory governments to account.

It shouldn’t have taken this long for Labour to choose their new leader, of course. The contest has been interminable. The hustings have been tedious. The debates have been largely dull. But at least they’ve managed to get a new leader in post in 2020 – something which, apparently, is beyond the wit of our own party.

Instead, we’ve to wait another year on top of an already very generous transition period. I can’t say I’ve seen a single argument made in favour of doing this which stacks up. Indeed, every single reason not to choose our new leader during the Covid-19 state of uncertainty and looming crisis can be flipped on its head and turned into quite a good reason to plough on as originally planned. For example:-

We need an experienced hand at the tiller just now. Ed Davey, the argument runs, has the experience and gravitas needed to take us through this difficult period. Never mind that it’s frankly outrageous for a supposedly liberal party which is supposedly in favour of democracy to suspend its own democratic processes in this way. Never mind that we have other MPs who have been involved in crisis situations in their careers outside of politics, and never mind that nobody is really paying attention to us at the moment anyway so who cares. On which…

We’ll get more attention if we wait until the crisis is over. I’m not convinced anyone outside of the party, certainly outside of the political sphere, is really going to care any more next year than they would if we did it in 2020. Why would they? Indeed, I think we might get more positive attention from the press at least if we do it now – we’ll get props for having the first ever digital-only party leadership contest. And we’ll get a nice press release out of how much CO2 we’ve saved by not ferrying the contenders and their coteries across the country for months on end.

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Sal Brinton and Willie Rennie respond to Jeremy Corbyn’s election

So, that was emphatic. Corbyn wins Labour leadership election with 60% of the vote and a massive lead in all three categories of the vote. The first Liberal Democrat reaction has come from Party President Sal Brinton:

The Corbyn style of politics may generate a lot of noise but only one thing keeps Government in check – credible opposition.

As Labour abdicates its responsibilities, the Liberal Democrats will offer the serious, responsible and economically-literate alternative this country badly needs.

We will find common cause with the millions of people who do not support this Government and need a party to represent them.”

She added:

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I’m so glad I don’t have a vote for Labour leader

So, I was watching the 10 o’clock News last night and saw our Stephen Tall flaunting his Labour leadership ballot paper.

As he explains, he wasn’t out to do a Toby Young and vote for Jeremy Corbyn:

I was ambivalent whether I would actually exercise my vote, but decided that, if I did, it wouldn’t be to troll Labour by choosing Jeremy Corbyn: I would vote for the candidate the other parties would least like to face.

Assuming, that is, Labour gave me a vote. After all, the party assures us they have “rigorous due diligence” processes in place to weed out infiltrators from other parties. Having stood for election against Labour a few weeks ago, I half-assumed they’d (quite legitimately) disenfranchise me.

But then yesterday morning I received my online ballot paper…

Stephen decided to register as a supporter to see how their leadership process worked as an interested observer. By rights, any decent verification process would have spotted him and got rid of him. Instead, it seems to be getting rid of long term Labour supporters whose social media profiles were a bit too lefty for them. In fact, it plays into the hands of lefty conspiracy theorists that someone who would, if he’d voted at all, have voted for Liz Kendall, received a ballot and they didn’t.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 101 Comments

What could a Jeremy Corbyn victory mean for the Liberal Democrats?

A reasonably-new Conservative government lurches to the right. The defeated Labour Party elects its most left-wing leader in a generation. There is a new sense of opportunity in the party as the centre-ground seems to be opening up. At conference the leader’s uplifting speech ends “Go back to your constituencies and prepare for government”…

That was David Steel in 1981, when Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister and Michael Foot the leader of the Labour party. The excitement was real, but it didn’t happen. Our actual breakthrough waited until “New Labour” was electable and people were no longer frightened into voting Tory.

Pragmatism says we should wait to see who Labour elects, and what the actual effects are before getting too excited or worried. But thinking about the prospect of a Jeremy Corbyn victory could help us in our journey. I’ll offer two thoughts as starters:

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 165 Comments
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