Thursday, 22 September 2016

Bar Brawl or Sing Off?

 

Well I'm kinda glad the whole Leadership battle has come to an end, or at least it has hit that quiet moment when you are actually inside the eye of the storm and the real fall out is still to come.  In this case, in the form of the forthcoming Labour Party Conference, which shows every sign of turning into one massive bar room brawl.  Many of those speaking will have to curb their language to fit the new 'instant suspension' rules, so by the time they reach refreshments, they will have steam pouring out of their ears.  Ahh, who remembers the old Union meetings, when a speaker would put a fiver in the swear box and then get their money's worth. 

A lot of people from the losing side will be very angry and many will blame Owen Smith.  He just didn't campaign hard enough some might say, others wtf were we thinking, the rest, Owen who?  The member for Pontypridd not only failed to make a dent in Jeremy's popularity, he increased it.  As the face of the Blairites who still see tory voters as their target demographic, he stood for everything the grass roots members had already rejected.   

Everything went horribly wrong when Jeremy refused to resign.  The more organised and competent plotters didn't have a Plan B.  Did they have a 'Leader' waiting in the wings, or indeed flying in, or was Tom Watson going to take over indefinitely?  An election forced them to put up a candidate they did not have, well not one who wanted to face a leadership election against the phenomenally popular Jeremy Corbyn.  And to be fair, they haven't got a 'crowd puller' among them.  They put up the best they had last year and look where that got them?

I can't decide whether Owen Smith got the short straw, or the one a bit longer than Angela Eagle's.  So inept were the plotters, that they didn't see the irony of having two unity candidates until someone politely pointed it out.  Angela was hopeless, first that whiney voice, the mountain made out of a brick and an office block window and her inability to act like a mature adult in the face of the childish abuse almost every internet user encounters online. 

Which brings me nicely onto Momentum, the popular movement that has grown out of Jeremy Corbyn's two campaigns for the Labour leadership.  Momentum have been portrayed as bullies and thugs intent on turning the Labour Party into a protest movement with no desire to form a government.  I suppose the bigger and more ludicrous the lie, the more likely it is to make the mainstream headlines.  The whole backing campaign for Jeremy is geared towards winning the General Election in 2020, and courtesy of the chicken coup and Owen Smith, the 40k+ activists have now had two practice runs.   

I watched both documentaries the other evening, expecting the worst!  The reporter we were told, have worked undercover in Momentum for 6 months, and, it seems, uncovered absolutely ziltch.  No misogyny, no anti-Semitism, no abuse, and nothing that could remotely be described as sinister.  They all came across as thoroughly good eggs, and I actually felt a motherly tingle down my spine, assured that the future was safe in their hands.  My own home town is a shell of what it once was, and it is heart breaking to see it so run down, and so many young people seemingly abandoned.  I was so inspired by these youngsters, I missed most of Panorama because I was signing up for Momentum online! 

If I could wave a magic wand, I would wish the forthcoming Conference to have that 'JezWeCan' spirit that kicked this all off.  The most inspiring message to have come from Jeremy's Leadership campaign, has been Hope.  The country clearly needs and wants, change and the Hustings has enabled Jeremy to explain in detail the viable alternative he is offering.  His charm and sincerity have done the rest. 

One would imagine that any political party that had hundreds of thousands of enthusiastic new activists would be jumping for joy and seeing the potential for an overwhelming win.  When Tony Blair won in 1997, he had the support of Rupert Murdoch at a time when a Sun front page could swing an election. Twenty years on, tabloid news has been crushed by the internet, social media and better writers.  Phone hacking and Leveson have exposed the questionable relationship between political leaders and newspaper moguls.  With Jeremy, everyone, Left, Right and Centre, know that he will not be schmoozed by private jets or start demanding Limos like Tony Blair. 

As for all those centre ground MPs who are feeling threatened, they are pretty much hoisted by their own petards. They are at odds with the party members and activists if they continue to see the tory voters as their target demographic and Jeremy Corbyn as their enemy.  They cannot expect the support of the members if they see them as trots, rabble, dogs, Nazis and thugs. Nor can they expect them to campaign on their behalf.  Why on earth would they?

At the moment, they have reached and gone past that Oops point and they are on that 'not gonna end well, right dead right road'.  They would prefer to crash into a wall than admit they might be wrong.  They have asked the audience and this time the audience have responded with a megaphone.  Jeremy Corbyn has nothing to threaten these MPs with, when it comes to selection, because the voters will decide and it's unlikely they will vote in someone who wants to continue with the infighting.  At the moment fear is a completely wasted emotion. It's like worrying about being caught, after you've been caught.  Tis done.  They can't take back their ill chosen words and dastardly deeds.  Everyone will remember how their hourly resignations were intended to break Jeremy as a man.  They spoke of conscience, but what kind of conscience allowed them to take part in something so manipulative and cruel?

Personally, I would welcome an influx of new blood, and going by the recent documentaries, there is a huge amount of talent out there.  Too intelligent and too conscientious to have bought into right wing doctrine, these activists, young and old, have the energy, enthusiasm and the will to revamp society and rebuild our communities from the bottom up. 

Sadly, I don't think it will matter how many olive branches Jeremy offers, because the sore losers will be plotting revenge.  No doubt they will go out of their way this weekend, to spoil any victory celebrations by claiming they are being victimised and abused.  Ruth Smeeth is taking a bodyguard and Jess Phillips may appear via satellite from her panic room.  All a bit pointless in my opinion, Jeremy Corbyn's campaign has always been about Hope for the future.  A victory for Jeremy will a celebration because change is coming and now is the time for action.  All those movers and shakers, I imagine, will be talking long into the night about their amazing plans to restore the NHS, build a million homes, and breathe life back into all those communities devastated by years of austerity. 

Those embittered MPs I fear, will be sorely disappointed as the spotlight fades because it is no longer about them.  Winning armies focus on the future, not the past.  Owen Smith, Angela Eagle et all, will have to win over the electorate just as Jeremy has to and see where their negativity gets them. For a country that is crying out for change their battlecry 'Labour can't win blah, blah' doesn't compare to 'JezWeCan'. 

So will the gentler style of politics and the Compliance Unit's cleaning up of the Labour Party lexicon carry through into Saturday night and end with a rousing chorus of 'when cowards flinch and 'bleeps.....' sneer', we'll keep the Red Flag flying here.  Somehow, I don't think that's going to happen, and  there is probably a good each way bet to be had on John Prescott or Ruth Smeeth's minder lamping someone.  As much fun as a full scale bar brawl might be, I think the more peaceful approach might be a karaoke battle with leading figures singing title appropriate songs, maybe:

Tony Blair:                            It has to be My Way
Alistair Campbell                    I'm too sexy for the Left
Neil Kinnock                           It's my party and I'll cry if I want to
Owen Smith:                         Return to Sender (asap)
Angela Eagle:                        It should have been me
Jess Phillips:                          Why can't I keep my big mouth shut
Iain McNichol:                       Every breath you take and every tweet you make
Jeremy Corbyn:                     I get knocked down, but I get up again 
John McDonnell:                    He ain't heavy, he's my brother
Diane Abbott:                        R.E.S.P.E.C.T.
Margaret Hodges:                  Another (Prada) suitcase in another hall
Len McLuskey:                       You'll never walk alone
Tom Watson:                         Tears on my pillow

Please feel free to add or amend, I'm sure there's a better song for Tom out there!

Thursday, 15 September 2016

#BATTLEFORLABOUR

I didn't have especially high hopes for Sky's Battle for Labour documentary, given that it was Sky and it is very unlikely Jeremy will be out riding with the Chipping Norton set anytime soon.  Jeremy is going to plough £500billion into the economy and the UK's infrastructure - he is going rebuild and breath life into those communities in this country who have been left behind and he knows exactly where he is going to get the money. 

For avaricious old billionaires, a far Left Labour Prime Minister is the stuff of their worst nightmares.  New Labour understood their avaricious desire to hang onto their billions, they became the type of people we should all aspire to be. Anyone of us could win the lottery/Xfactor/Britain's Got Talent, and how would we feel if we had to pay exorbitant tax on our future imaginary winnings/earnings?  Thus we protect the super rich because we all have secret dream that one day we will be just like them. Dreams are easy to sell, nightmares, not so much.   

The first part of Sky's BFL, came across as a parliamentary political broadcast on behalf of the plotters.  Look at what a rotten time we have had, as one overly sensitive male politician gave a heart rendering account of the day Jeremy looked down at the floor nodding his head instead of answering said MP's question.  My guess is, Jeremy was probably muttering something under his breath along the lines of, 'Jeez, is this what I have got to work with'. The same MP complained that his own constituency had risen to 2,500 and he didn't know most of them.  Err, that could be because the NEC suspended meetings and he clearly hasn't made any effort to meet them let alone welcome them and not really something for an MP to be proud of. 

This fear of new members that seems to have spread like a virus amongst those in the 'lets not ever take chances' group.  It's as if they have been forcefed Invasion of the Body Snatchers interspersed with subliminal images of gulags. The old reds under the bed barely fooled a 50's audience, it is laughable in this age of social media.  Who reads Trotsky these days? 

All the usual victims were brought on to retell their 'harrowing' stories, each blaming the number of people who don't like them on Jeremy Corbyn, unaware that they alone are responsible for their words and actions.  I wish just one of those calling on Jeremy to do more with regard to sexism and anti-Semitism, would give at least one example of what it is they want him to do?  Start a purge, encourage MPs and labour party members to rat on each other, maybe consider accusations from friends and family too?  What kind of punishments do they have in mind?

Some people go through life demanding the right to be offended.  They actively go out of their way to find things that will outrage them, Mary Whitehouse was one, Owen Smith is another.  During the entire debate he sounded like one of those whiny kids who keeps running to the teacher to tell tales on his mates (if he had any).  It is as if he has scanned Jeremy's entire career so he could say 'and another thing'.  Picking on Jeremy's activist past wasn't a popular move.  Those same Unions Owen was trying to appeal to last night, carried the meme, 'He had our backs, now we've got his'.  Jeremy's past is one of his greatest assets - everyone knows he is the real deal. 

It was clear Owen was having a struggle appealing to the working classes and those in the Shires (lol) - and this time he appears to have dropped his radical stance altogether.  He was pitching to the tried and trusted Blair demographic.  The aspiring middle classes who won't vote for a party that is soft on benefit claimants and who will protect their property prices and pensions.  He has reclaimed his Centre position, adding Left in the hope of picking up some Jeremy voters.  He should have stuck with what he said at the launch of his campaign.  He isn't Left, Right or Centre, he's a shapeshifter.     

It was clear Owen believed the entire audience were hypnotised or part of a cult.  The whole 'cult' thing seems to be a new form of attack on those who support Jeremy.  They have conjured up the idea that we see Jeremy as some sort of Jehova, that we worship the man himself as a God.  I think Jeremy will always be worshipped as a hero - the first Labour Politician to reject austerity and talk of reviving the economy rather than allowing it to self destruct.  But it is ridiculous and a little insulting to accuse new party members of being an army of zombies. 

Jeremy offers CHANGE, and in that, he is in complete harmony with the public, he has captured the  zeitgeist just as Tony Blair did in 1997.  Why? because the country had endured 18 years of tories and entire working class communities had been destroyed.  Blair was the change the country needed and New Labour were prepared to do whatever it took to get into power. 

Again, we have had a long term of right wing tory politics.  It may only have been 6 years, but this lot have been twice as destructive.  The tories won last time because Labour didn't have anything different to offer, they have been scavenging for another Blair so business can go on as usual.  I don't believe they have a 'big gun' in waiting, because they simply don't have anyone with the same charisma and leadership qualities as Jeremy. 

Watching Owen speak this evening, I had an uncontrollable urge to spank him, and not in a saucy way, more 'stop being such a brat'.  The audience were booing because he kept accusing Jeremy of not wanting Labour to win a General Election.  Having faced not one, but two gruelling campaigns to hang onto his leadership and rebuild the party, Owen's accusations were insulting and blatantly untrue.  Like the poor me Labour politicians that appeared in the preceding program, he whined that he was being bullied, not the sort of thing you want to hear from a potential leader/statesman. 

Jeremy Corbyn outclassed Owen Smith on, well, everything.  It was obvious from he way in which Owen's temper was rising.  He was throwing everything he could at Jeremy in order to taunt him into a headline retaliation, or at the very least, make a dent in Jeremy's calm, confident, demeanour.  There are a zillion things Jeremy could throw back at Owen, but he is too much of a gentleman and a decent human being.  Unfortunately for Owen, his constant snide remarks backfire every time, he comes across as untrustworthy, and deeply unpleasant.

There can be no doubt that Owen Smith is cracking under the pressure, trying to convince the audience and indeed yourself, that you are popular when you're clearly not, can't be good for anyone's nerves.  On top of which, he, like the rest of the plotters, face the prospect of reselection by popular vote.  Jeremy may be all forgiving, but I doubt the voters will be.  The public have spoken loud and clear, they want change and Owen is symbolic of everything they have rejected. New Labour abandoned those areas and those people who needed them the most.  Those areas hardest hit by austerity voted to leave Europe, yet Owen wants to cast their votes aside and go with what he and the middle Englanders want. 

Jeremy is reaching out to all those areas New Labour left behind.  Those in the deprived areas, the undeserving poor and those who drone on about a living wage and those who don't bother to turn up to vote anyway.  Thus they wrote off a huge target demographic, leaving them prey to the proactive, door knocking UKIP.  In their eagerness to embrace big business, New Labour lost the grass roots of the party.  Jeremy is taking the party back to its original aims and traditions, winning back members who left and inspiring a new generation.

Most of us are decent, compassionate people, and the spirit of these times, is our disgust at the way in which we have allowed our once civilised society to be dragged back into the poverty of Victorian times.  The mood of the public has changed, the people of the UK have always been a just and fair society, and we just can't stand by while there are homeless people sleeping on the streets and children going without food.  Zero hour contracts are an abomination, so too is the use of human beings as work units to be loaned to rich donors as punishment for the 'units' and free labour for the employers.     

The anger in the room was tangible said Faisal afterwards, but understandable given the attempted character assassination that preceded the debate.  Neil Kinnock didn't tell us what a great candidate they had in Owen Smith and how he could unite the party, he demanded the right to hold onto his party and his ermine as only a Lord can.  However, having lost two elections himself, he was less than convincing. 

 There was no doubt whatsoever who won last night's hustings, despite what the mainstream media might tell us.  Owen revealed much that was deeply unpleasant about his own character, he was going for cheap shots, recycling the same old jibes over and over again.  Clutching onto a slip of the tongue made by Jeremy, as if it were the key to No.10.  'How many seats do Labour have to win', Owen repeated over and over, just so he could say 'aha, gotcha' if Jeremy wasn't spot on.  Someone ought to tell him, that kind of thing stops being impressive, after Year 4.   

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

THE EYES HAVE IT


 
As much fun as it has been watching New Labour implode, I still have a niggling fear that they will somehow swipe Jeremy Corbyn's win away from him with some dastardly twist of the rules that none of us saw coming.  Owen Smith gives much away with his smug little grins, his lips are smiling, but his eyes are plotting revenge. I would cite him as an example of 'duping delight', but he's too obvious even for that.  When he and his team dissect where it all went wrong, they should start with that grin.

He confidently tells each interviewer that the vast crowds who turn out to see Jeremy are not reflective of the public at large.  The more electable Owen apparently, is backed by the 'silent' majority, no doubt those too afraid of the nuts, dogs and rabble who support Jeremy, to speak out.  However, in this age of social media, the majority are proving to be the opposite of silent, so I'm not sure how that works. Owen sends his thoughts to victims of 9/11 and gets 129 retweets and 230 likes, Jeremy's get 4.7 thousand retweets with over 6.6k likes. Their public appearances reflect the same massive chasm between them, with thousands turning up to see Jeremy, and barely a handful turning out for Owen.
Those trying to convince us Owen Smith is more popular are quite literally flogging a dead horse, we can see for ourselves that he isn't.

But let's look at Owen's appeal.  He ticks all the age, gender, class, appearance, etc, boxes and he's normal (phew). He has the requisite wife, family, semi working class background no wild rock and roll antics in his youth or arrests on picket lines to mar his CV.  And like Bill Clinton, he probably didn't inhale.  That, new Labour believes should be enough to win over that large chunk that is middle England.  New Labour's target audience. 

New Labour believe that the upwardly mobile, like themselves, have turned their backs on their working class roots and the Council houses they grew up in, and now hold the same Tory values that they do.  They too have bought into the Sun headlines that label all benefit claimants as shirkers and scroungers because they believe it reflects popular public opinion.   

For several years now, the Tories and the Blairites (Blair brought in ATOS) have run an active campaign to demonise and blame the poorest in society for the debts incurred by the richest.  And to a large extent it worked.  We have returned to the Victorian values that discriminate between deserving and undeserving poor.   They shamefully fed on the malevolent attitude of those unhappy workers who begrudged part of their pay being used to support those who couldn't or wouldn't work.  The 0.5% of benefit fraud has been the focus of both Labour and Tory government policy, because the politics of bashing the poor and clawing back welfare have dominated this century. 

Jeremy Corbyn is not a leader they tell us.  Apparently increasing Labour party membership to over 600,000, speaking to packed houses and inspiring a whole new generation are not leadership qualities.  Step up Mr. Owen Smith.  Selling Owen would be a major task for any spin doctor.  The gaff prone Owen hasn't displayed any leadership or 'unity' candidate qualities whatsoever. Turning on the audience at last Thursday's Question Time, he confirmed that any unity under his leadership would not include the Left. 

Unfortunately, after the chicken coup, the ballot row and the ongoing suspension of thousands of Jeremy Corbyn voters, I fear little Owen may have a surprise win and the Labour Party conference won't  be a meeting of comrades so much as a Battle of Culloden.  While Jeremy, John and the members fight it out in the Court rooms, Little Owen and Witchfinder Generals Watson and McNichol will be seizing Labour Party assets and purging the entire Left wing of the party, ensuring no representative of  the people ever gets into power again.  I read today there is a shadow shadow cabinet of MPs who resigned but continue 'working' away as if the Jeremy problem never happened no doubt eager to get their jobs back when he is forced to go away. 

I'm usually a glass half full with room for a splash of vodka kinda gal, but I don't trust the present NEC and the sinsister Labour Compliance Group one bit.  The anger they felt at Jeremy's win last year has quadrupled and many it would seem have lost all touch with reality - they left their honesty and credibility behind by turning on Labour's elected leader when the tories were on their knees.   They have given up any semblence of pretence that the Conservatives are the enemy, they are fighting to rid Labour of the Old Left, those who uphold the values and traditions of the original Labour Party, but more  importantly, they want rid of the image of Labour as the party that supports shirkers and benefit claimants.  New Labour stands for working families, with the emphasis on working.  As Owen Smith told one of his disabled constituents, Labour don't want to be seen as soft on welfare. 

In his efforts to win over the Henley Regatta crowd and the Flog 'Em and Hang 'Em brigade, Blair came up with a scheme that was even more degrading, dehumanising and suicide inducing than the old Means Tests, in the form of Work Capability.  Every sick person would be put on trial.  Whilst it satisfied the needs of those who believed all benefit claimants were driving round in Porsches and quaffing champagne, the miniscule amount lost in benefit fraud is but a drop in the ocean compared to corporate fraud.  Convincing us it is the fault of our neighbours, especially the immigrants and the disabled, is a tool every government throughout history has used to steer blame away from themselves. Divided we fall.

But I digress, I sincerely hope that contingency plans are being made by Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and those around them in the event the election is rigged.  There I've said it.  But to be fair, somebody had to, especially as all the signs seem to be pointing that way. It's as if those losing their grip of the Labour Party reins have gone criminally insane. There is no logic or reason behind the mass suspensions other than a desperate need for their man to win at any cost.  Evidently, he doesn't have the leadership qualities to build a movement, and the chances are, the real result would humiliate the lot of them. 

Owen Smith, the public face of the plotters, has openly said that he will not work for Jeremy, and that is the only way we can interpret his statement.  He has no faith in Jeremy Corbyn, and as a backbencher, if a General Election were called, that is what he and the 171 will be telling their constituents on the doorstep.  In politics, not with = against, the unity candidate will not unite unless he is leader.  Those who are said to have offered to work with Jeremy if certain conditions are met, are also being disingenous.  They clearly intend to continue plotting against him until he is out.  Re-appointing the shadow shadow cabinet, would be like Ceaser getting a glimpse of the future and still trusting Brutus with a knife. 

Sunday, 11 September 2016

TRUE MESSAGE OF MOSBOROUGH

The Labour Right are, for some reason, celebrating the loss of Mosborough to the Libdems and are using it to prove their case that Jeremy Corbyn is unelectable.  The mass rallies they say are not a reflection of public opinion as if the people who turn up for them are a separate species from outside the towns and communities where the rallies are held.  They can't possibly be locals inspired by a man who offers a brighter future for all, they are obviously part of a global Trotskyist plot.

I have no doubt whatsoever that had Julie Grocutt stood alongside Jeremy at the recent Sheffield rally she would have romped to victory.  Those complaining that Jeremy was being berated on the doorstep did not help their cause by berating the Labour Leader themselves. Disloyalty is not an admirable trait and campaigning to oust the elected leader is not an honourable cause. The organisers of Cllr Grocutt's campaign now complain that Jeremy and his supporters didn't help them.  Jeremy's camp say help was offered but declined.

I tend to think however, that Jeremy is past the stage of supporting colleagues who make no secret of the fact that they will continue to disrupt and block the mandate given to him by the party members.  And who could blame him?  It will be impossible to implement the changes we need without the support of the councillors and the PLP.  Mosborough sends a signal across the bow of those rebel Labour MPs - they have now been given a glimpse of their future.   They will almost certainly lose their seats if their agenda is to destroy the elected leader and the mandate the members voted for. 

If Labour is to win in 2020, Jeremy will have no option but to change the dynamic of the PLP, so that it better reflects the wishes of the party members. Some of the plotters will be completely unelectable, especially those who have discredited themselves by acting like precious little Lord and Lady Fauntleroys who need to be protected from the public.  They are representatives of the public, avoiding them isn't really an option for a politician.  Jeremy can't order people to like them, their popularity is in their own hands.  For example, I expect when Angela Rayner steps up to the podium at the Labour Party Conference, and I hope she will, there can be no doubt she will get a standing ovation. She has stepped up to the plate and explained exactly what the reintroduction of Grammar schools will mean to ordinary people.  While the plotters gather figures for the number of times they have been insulted/abused/ name called on twitter, Angela is challenging the Tories and fighting for equality in education.   

Those Labour MPs focussing on the criticism and abuse they receive on social media are not getting on with the jobs they are paid for - placing their hurt feelings above the very real needs of their constituents is contemptible.  I cannot believe that so much time and faux outrage is being wasted on such pathetic games of semantics, what kind of cossetted world do these politicians live in? 

Since I began writing the above, I have read an article in the Telegraph that claims a group of senior Labour MPs are compiling terms under which they would return and serve under Jeremy's leadership.  Terms that would give the plotters the power to ensure no far Left leader could ever hold office again, PLP elections to the Shadow Cabinet and a pledge from Jeremy that none of the plotters will be punished with reselection. 

It is laughable because in the first instance they are the ones who have been defeated, ergo their right to dictate terms of settlement have been seriously diminished.  Why on earth would Jeremy hand them the means to oust him via another (easier) route, having fought tooth to win the leadership not once, but twice!  Many have already hinted that Jeremy will be challenged every year, ensuring that the Labour party will be in permanent opposition with Jeremy as leader.  Effectively, they will hand victory to the Tories rather than support the leader chosen by the members and the Unions.  They do this knowing that society's most vulnerable will continue to suffer the most under Tory rule. 

As compassionate as Jeremy is, he has no option but to take a stand against his enemies in the party.  If he doesn't they will continue to purge his supporters, feed negative stories to the press and vote against him.  They don't seem to have any intention whatsoever of supporting Jeremy in parliament or in the media and the Labour voters know this.  People are flocking to the Labour Party because they like Jeremy Corbyn and the principles he stands for and like the people of Mosborough, they won't vote for MPs who are trying to get rid of him.     

Thursday, 8 September 2016

REAL DEAL OR RAW DEAL? #LABOURLEADERSHIP

 



I have been trying to blog on the Labour Party revolution and the hustings for weeks, but events are so quickly overtaken by other events, it is hard to keep up!  Ergo, I have half a dozen blogs not completed and probably now out of date! Doh! 

First, I have got to comment on Owen Smith acting the goat at the Labour Faith hustings on Tuesday.  Sometimes, it seems as if he is totally unprepared, or he does a rush job at the last minute.  At this week's hustings he sounded like a history teacher who tried to gen up on the Labour Party on the way to his lesson.  It was painful to watch as he tried to remember dates, names and who did what, I have to admit that at times I had to peep through my fingers.  Watching Owen, I had a flashback to Alan B'Stard when he appeared on a morning TV show not knowing the result of the previous night's election.  Mr. B'Stard performed better.

Where do I begin.  It seemed to me as though he and his team (if he has one) rehashed an old speech, doing a search of key words and replacing them with 'faith'.  Announcing blatantly that he was a non believer made me wince.  He was making it quite clear to the audience that their beliefs meant nothing to him and he reinforced this at the end by stating he wanted to be Leader so he could see his faith and his beliefs in action.  It was quite clear he had no experience whatsoever of working with religious communities or leaders, and no understanding of why he was there.  While Jeremy gave details of the ways in which the leaders of the different faiths come together for the good of the community he lives in and represents. Owen had nothing.  He opened 3 food banks he said, cretinously unaware that is nothing to be proud of.   

I may have been suffering from writer's block, but I thank all the Gods there may be, that I have not been afflicted with the urge to write deranged, negative rantings such as those coming from the pen of Owen Smith's writers.  Whilst they have been able to capture the bitterness and rage young Owen feels inside, that is not a good thing.  It makes him glare at the audience with hatred in his eyes and a trembling lower lip.  He doesn't seem to be aware that when he sends out negativity, it comes straight back at him.  Has he never seen what happens when a speaker (performer) turns on their audience?  It never ends well. 

Jeremy (not a leader or performer) charms his audience with his sincerity.  He doesn't need PR tricks or a crash course in positive (shake that fist) body language.  He is, rather annoyingly for all his parliament colleagues, a naturally warm and likeable person.  He has the 'X' factor.  It matters not a jot what anyone says about him, because the reality is clearly quite different and thanks to social media the public can see that for themselves.  He has come up with a winning formula that has bypassed a thousand spin doctors with iphones and a room full of monkeys with typewriters.  Honesty.  Who'd have thunk it?  It is so rare and untested, parliament has gone into meltdown.   

There is nothing hateful about Jeremy and the plotters themselves would be far more honest if they said it is their actual fear is just how far Left is Jeremy prepared to go.?  For example will they all now have to use public transport and wear little grey suits with mandarin collars?  For the millionaire donors how much of their fortunes will they lose under a genuinely socialist government?  They have had a cushy ride with two decades of Tories and Tony Blair's pro millionaire policies, the divide between the rich and poor has never been greater.  Continue down this path and we will have gated communities and tent cities.  The social engineering has already begun with the benefit caps and the bedroom tax.  The essential service workers and the low waged are being forced out of their homes in desirable locations to make way for those with larger wallets. 

At least this summer's hustings are providing us with some sort of entertainment, I'm finding the speeches of Owen Smith especially amusing.    Somehow the writers manage to piss off large swathes of the demographic every time he opens his mouth.  And Owen Smith is not helping matters by going freestyle.  His attempts at humour are crass and just plain embarrassing, I mean come on, he 'wants champagne (and cava or asti) for everyone' he tells an audience of religious leaders and people of faith.  Happily, he didn't come out from behind the podium Rylan Clarke style this time, if he had, I think I would have had to switch off.  

I think the most embarrassing part of this ongoing debacle is the fact that Owen Smith is being pitched as a more appealing and competent alternative to the eloquent and inspiring Jeremy Corbyn.  Unfortunately, it appears nobody bothered to look at his past performances or check out his CV, if they had, they would have quickly realised the man is a complete ass with zero charisma.  I think the more accurate explanation however, is a 'thick of it' scenario where none of the eejits plotters had bothered to come up with a Plan B if Jeremy Corbyn refused to stand down!  Doh! 

A poll among 172 plotters revealed that Jeremy Corbyn just wasn't charismatic enough because doesn't employ gag writers or go off topic.  Jeremy deals with facts, figures and measured, intelligent questions, but perhaps more significantly, he doesn't indulge in the ridicule and personal abuse that grabs headlines.  The ever grinning and ferociously ambitious, Owen Smith swept in like Superman to the rescue, promising to shake up PMQs with show stopping performances and razer sharp wit (yet to be seen).  Where Jeremy treats his opponents with respect, Owen was more than ready to get down and dirty, vowing to smash Theresa May back on her heels*.   Unfortunately for him, he was smashed by the appalling sexist imagery that conjured up, and every sexist remark he has made since merely confirms what we first thought.

Going with the philosophy of KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid), I can't help but wonder if the plotters are/were panicked by what the future may hold for them?  Jeremy is totally committed to his work, we can only imagine how many hours a day he puts in. He also eschews the perks and privileges that come with being a politician.  I suspect the most terrifying part of #traingate for the plotters, was the thought that they too might have to give up their First Class travel and sit on the floor. 

Jeremy is a hands on politician, in the old fashioned sense.  He gets out there and meets the voters and he is actively involved in community projects and humanitarian causes.  Whilst we are fortunate to have such a dedicated and determined Leader, it has to be tough on all those beneath him.  Will they now have to do the same?  Most people I know haven't seen a politician for years, will the PLP have to follow the example set by the Leader and have to start mixing with ordinary people?  Jeremy's way, may also include his frugal attitude towards expenses, for many it could mean an end to the gravy train.  Jeremy knows full well we haven't all been in this together, MPs are one of the few groups unaffected by cuts, and probably explains why so many plotters are clueless as to what's been happening in the lives of ordinary people in their constituencies.

Despite all the negative propaganda, the huge crowds turning out to see Jeremy Corbyn is a phenomenon and one I have never seen in my lifetime. The rallies are filled with people from every walk of life and every background.  Those thousands of people are going home to spread the message onto thousands more.  Those who claim Jeremy can't win a General Election, are now more panicked that he can.  As Blair said, he would rather see the tories re-elected than a far Left government.  He would rather see the lives of ordinary working people, the disabled and those on the lowest wage, devastated by the inhumane policies of the heartless 1%, than see Jeremy win.  Sadly, it seems to be a view shared by New Labour hierarchy and their millionaire donors. 

I didn't have high hopes for the Labour Faith hustings, I actually kind of like the booing, jeering and audience participation, what's wrong with a bit of passion? It is apathy that drove millions away from the Labour Party. Tuesday's audience, as anticipated, behaved  impeccably.  And fair dues, it worked.  I don't know if it was the atmosphere, or the way in which Jeremy demonstrated his deep understanding of the problems and fears faced by people of all faiths, but he again convinced me that those who criticize his oratory skills are talking nonsense.  Far from being a bad speaker, his words are inspiring and he captivates the audience, he gives us uplifting personal anecdotes, sharing his own direct experience of community spirit and the successful ways in which 'old enemies' have come together as friends and neighbours. 

Owen by contrast, sells doom, gloom and despair.  It's as if he is preconditioned to tell the electorate to expect the worse in order that they will enjoy the crumbs that fall from the table all the more.  This is what will happen if you don't vote for me, he says.  Brexit is a disaster and under Jeremy we will have decades of tory rule.  Owen's plan to block Brexit by the way, is already a disaster because a recent government poll has shown that two thirds of the electorate are now OK with it.  

He doesn't offer hope, we all heard him say 'Austerity is right', and we all remember the radical policies he now offers have been rejected by the 172 plotters.  The message he is sending out is, 'I haven't got any intention of sticking to my (new) radical policies (as if, lol), I'm just repeating what Jeremy says because it seems to work for him'.  Unfortunately for the robotic Mr. Smith, he cannot sell passion for his new deal (or the term Smithite) because he hasn't got any passion and his supporters sure as hell haven't got any either, where's Harriet Harman with her 'OWEN'S NEW DEAL' banner? 

If Owen Smith's leadership campaign is being manoeuvred by the same 'experts' who ran the last two general election campaigns, it becomes ever more clear why Labour lost and will continue to lose if it carries on in the same 'but we rely on millionaire donors' direction.  The definition of stupidity, keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result. 

Those who fear Jeremy Corbyn's leadership, fear a distinct shift in the paradigm. Whilst they are happy to spend days, weeks, months and even years talking about the poverty crisis in the UK, they don't actually want to do anything, especially if it affects their own income.  Owen Smith talked about 'prosperity for all' (it didn't catch on), because he was reaching out to those who aspire to be millionaires or win Britain's Got Talent.  Let's not hate the super rich, let's aspire to be more like them, champagne for everyone.  

While Owen pitches capitalism and his own personal ambitions, Jeremy pitches raising the quality of life for everyone.  Owen seems keen to reassure the super rich that although he is now far left and radical, he is still their number 1 fan, wink wink.  Owen may think he is doing a brilliant job in appealing to both the Left and Right but if this were Animal Farm, he would be Squealer persuading the animals austerity and food banks were a good thing, the NHS would be better in the hands of Farmer Branson and could we keep the noise down.

But I don't want to end on the negativity of Owen, I much prefer the optimism of Jeremy. After 18 years of tories Blair promised us that 'things can only get better', and for a while they did.  Surestart was inspired and Education, Education, Education, enabled me to get a Degree at 40.  But what began with New Labour befriending and appeasing big business, employers and landlords, changed when they got involved in big business and became employers and landlords themselves.  By the time we got the Iraq war, New Labour had stopped listening to their members completely.  Much as they are doing now.

Many of us are old enough and wise enough to know that change is nothing to fear and the historians among us know that the radical mandate of Clement Attlee's government made us one of the most advanced and civilised nations in the Western world.  Taking care of every citizen from cradle to grave didn't bankrupt the nation and the sky didn't fall in.  

Jeremy Corbyn promises those same sweeping changes, changes that are long overdue in the 21st century.  We should be going forward, not backwards.  Investing in the NHS, Science and Education creates jobs that kick start the economy.  Basically it's Roosevelt's 'New Deal', the basis of Jeremy's policies temporarily borrowed by Owen.  Perhaps with Jeremy it should be called 'The Real Deal', because he has actually done all the groundwork and intends to follow it through.  With Owen it would be the 'Raw Deal' because he never mean't it in the first place. 

These are exciting times, despite all the predictions of doom and gloom from the mainstream media and Owen Smith, the future couldn't be brighter for most us.  Jeremy cares about the same things we care about, job security, equal pay, the rights of the disabled and the right to practice whatever religion we want, or not.  Jeremy Corbyn has spent 32 years actively involved in causes that matter to ordinary people.  His sincerity is his USP, and it appeals across the board, he is offering hope for a better future and it's catching on.  Through social media, the public are now more informed than at any time in history, the front pages of tabloids can no longer change the result of a general election. The PLP plotters' attempts to paint Jeremy as a monster have failed miserably. Telling us things can only get better is no longer enough, Jeremy makes it OK to Imagine and OK to dream, because he has the vision and planning to make a better future for all, a reality.










*For those who don't understand the significance of the smash remark, Theresa May's leopard skin kitten heels caused a media furore in the 1990's.  Owen Smith knew exactly what he was saying, he appears to get much of his information from google. 

Saturday, 20 August 2016

SOMETHING IN THE AIR

I remember watching the amazing performance of Nicola Sturgeon in the April 2015 Leadership debates and the amazing reaction to her policies from an English audience.  In fact, Nicola was not alone in winning popularity among the audience, the left wing policies of Leanne Wood and Natalie Bennett were equally as appealing.  For the first time in years, I began to feel that change was possible.

On the male front of that debate, we had (slight) variations on the Blair prototype, Cameron, Clegg and Miliband, career politicians raised on a diet of George Orwell and Debretts Peerage alongside a ranting pub bore who supposedly says what (nasty)people are thinking. 

I unashamedly miss the days when the Labour benches were fairly represented by men and women who came up through the Unions and the communities in which they lived and worked.  And by work, I don't mean going straight into a top level intern job via family connections.  I mean people who won their place in parliament through passion, talent and a true understanding of why change was desperately needed. MPs like Dennis Skinner who uses exactly the right vernacular to point out what the tories are up to.   

In those days I was a proud, card carrying member of the Labour party, and helping meant standing at the door of the election hall and picking up the elderly and disabled and bringing them down to vote.  And it wasn't just Labour who did this, it was common practice for all parties to knock on every door prior to the election, and if a 'known' labour voter didn't turn up, we would go and get them! And just for clarity, there was no trotskyte arm twisting - texting wasn't an option at that time.  It was all very good natured and sociable, though I fear those with the more luxurious cars may have had the edge. 

The fundamental difference between then and now, is the huge chasm that has grown between the representatives in Parliament and the people they are supposed to represent.  When I heard Tony Blair respond to anti social behaviour by stating 'hooligans' would be marched to the nearest cash point and fined £100 on the spot, my attitude towards him changed forever. It might work where the Bullingdon Boys hang out, but it is laughable on a sink estate. 

Most of the people I know haven't seen a politician for years - like Jehova's Witnesses they appear to have become extinct.  It seems the only ones fearless enough to enter the desolate wastelands of what once was England, are UKIP and Britain First, accompanied by heavily built minders.  It may be that those laissez faire politicians steer clear because they have developed a conscience (unlikely) and can't bear to look at what they have done or they prefer to spend their days on social media - they reach more people that way doncha know. 

My own personal gripe is with those female MPs who are using their gender to get sympathy and special treatment - all the time they are whining, they do not represent me, or indeed any other real feminist.  I cringed at Angela Eagle's use of the female and gay card.  She is supposed to represent ALL her constituents, the men too.  And for most women, being gay and female isn't the biggest crisis they face right now.  Keeping their kids housed and fed and taking care of  their elderly and disabled is their screaming number one priority.  Ditto those female MPs making such a song and dance about abuse on the internet. As the target of trolls for almost 10 years, I realised early on that the only power I have is over the way in which I react.  They get their thrill from the imagined fear/anger/ outrage of the recipient, but tis the recipient that is screwing up their heads, not the other way around.  

As for calmer, kinder, politics?  Are they for real, try as they might they cannot fade out the harsh effects of their unthinking legislation.  How, in 2016, did we get to the stage where we need food banks?  What would all those great reformers make of Labour Party policy that has allowed society's most vulnerable to be left destitute and hungry?  Those in Labour who have allowed this to happen should hang their heads in shame. 

Like it or not there is a revolution stirring, New Labour have for some time been standing on two legs and passing the brandy while the rest of us have been peering through the windows unable to distinguish human from animal. We have almost reached that 'let them cake' stage, where those in the PLP think if they stay inside the Palace and ignore the crowds outside they will go away. 

And before anyone accuses me of inciting revolution, I am merely pointing out that history has a tendency to repeat itself (often).  Years of austerity and poor bashing has changed the public mood.  People have now seen through this 'deserving' and 'undeserving poor' ploy as the cruel and vindictive tory policy that it is.  Having been bombarded with 'Benefits' programs, it's quite obvious life on the dole is not the state funded gravy train the hard workers may have thought.  It's harsh, it's grim, and it's evil.  Hegel's dialectic is playing out.

Happily Jeremy Corbyn is a democratic through to his bones.  His sense of fairness and justice puts most of us to shame.  Not least the way in which he remains calm and rational in the face of Owen Smith's constant whinging. If there were ever any doubts about Jeremy's qualities as a leader, his ability not to rise to Owen's (or indeed anyone's) snidey digs is one of his greatest. Jeremy is the Statesman I want in the room when the super powers are deciding who to carpet bomb.      

New Labour have spent years indoctrinating us not to expect too much. That way we will be happy with whatever scraps are thrown.  The internet has changed all that, we know austerity is cruel and pointless and we know it is possible to change the future.    

In recent years I have discovered the wonderful philosophy of 'Law of Attraction' - that is like attracts like.  Watching the hustings, I cringe at the doom and gloom spouted by Owen Smith, and wonder if we should all go and cut our throats now.  Jeremy Corbyn offers hope, and he's inspiring.  He gives us a glimpse of a future that could easily become a reality.  He (and all the academics) are telling us it doesn't have to be this way.  Even old sceptics like myself can see that it's working, that the message is getting out there.  And numbers do matter.  All the thousands who go to see Jeremy in person, spread the message onto thousands more.   





http://www.jeremyforlabour.com/rally_join_jeremy_corbyn_in_london

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

GIVE IT UP OWEN

I really think it is time for Owen Smith to pack up his ice cream truck, go home, sit in his bedroom and think about what he has done.  His outer face is the cool, calm, patronising politician, but his eyes scream 'what have I done?'.

This 'unity' candidate has unified no-one, in fact I would imagine the corridors leading to his office are filled with tumbleweed as no-one appears to be beating a path to his door.  Where are the 172? They deserted their posts nearly 2 months ago and Parliament is in summer recess.  Angela Eagle is too busy to attend a meeting with her constituency party and isn't holding surgeries on police advice.  What of the rest of them?  The shadow cabinet ministers especially, are they too enjoying an extended summer break? Imagine a workforce telling a boss they don't like him and they won't do any work until he goes.  All on full pay of course.   

Where are the Lords and Ladies of Labour, so condemnatory when they thought Jeremy Corbyn would just step aside and give them 'their' party back.  If Owen Smith is the unity candidate why aren't they accompanying him as he struggles to raise an audience anywhere around the country?  Could it be that the big names of the Labour hierarchy are not as loved and revered by the public as they think they are, and the working classes have got bugger all to thank them for?  The only crowd likely to turn up for Loadsamoney Blair would be an angry one demanding justice for the trail of death, destruction and poverty he has left in his wake.

I've watched Owen's car crash interview with Krishnan Guru-Murthy  a couple of times now, and I am astonished that anyone, let alone a sane person, ever thought for one moment, that Owen Smith would appeal to the Labour Party membership who have been inspired by the honesty of Jeremy Corbyn and his passion and commitment for change.  The spin doctors in Westminster are caught in Blair era timewarp.  They think they are dealing with the same generation who only had access to 'approved news' via a MSM who work hand in hand with the government. 

Times have changed, wannabe leaders can no longer cherry pick those parts of their CVs that might make them popular. Those who compiled the Blair/Clinton prototype of clean cut, attractive, middle aged white guy in a smart suit are still trying to appeal to the Mirror/Sun/Mail readers who haven't yet discovered the internet.  They don't seem to realise that these are the fastest shrinking demographic, the sales and the power of the mainstream newspaper is diminishing rapidly.  The Sun newspaper can no longer change the result of a General Election with a doom mongering front page and established columnists now have to compete with talented bloggers, movers and shakers, who's work is far more pertinent to the zeitgeist than theirs. 

I'm really struggling to understand why Owen Smith was chosen as the unity candidate.  If I were writing his school report, I would have described him as the boy most likely to.......  sell London Bridge to a tourist.  He is so transparent and nondescript, I wonder if the Labour hierarchy even bothered to meet him before selecting him as their hammer of the Left?   With my tin foil hat on, it's as if their carefully contrived plan to break him as a man was a done deal with David Milliband flying in from the US to take over. They knew selecting Ed over Dave was a mistake, doh! Unfortunately, Jeremy Corbyn's failure to resign threw a massive spanner in the works, and they didn't have a Plan B. 

The sheer ineptness of the first two leadership candidates suggests the selection was done on who drew the shortest straw.  I almost feel sorry for the bumbling Angela Eagle who was so out of her depth she needed a coast guard or a guarantee no-one else would be on the ballot paper. I expect she is now breathing a huge sigh of relief as she watches Owen Smith going round the country making an eejit of himself in front of very small crowds. 

The problem Owen has is that he is a shapeshifter.  Whilst Jeremy's beliefs are lifelong, Owen's rarely last 24 hours.  He tells us he is anti austerity then tells the BBC austerity is right.  He is radical left he tells us, whilst also wanting to appeal to the tories.  Unfortunately he is now so confused with Left/Right and Centre, he wants to do away with those terms altogether.  He is a Smithite he tells us, I thought he was talking about the late, great, John, but no, he was talking about himself - don't think it will catch on.. 

It's hard not to wonder if he has any, or indeed any sane, advisors? He want's to overturn the democratic decision of millions in the recent referendum because HE wants to stay in Europe. Err, that's not how democracy works Owen, it's not about you.  Just as you are ignoring the overwhelming consensus of the labour party membership, you are ignoring the democratic decision of the country.  You don't want to go into Brexit negotiations looking for the best deal for the UK, you want to be as difficult and combative as possible, using bureaucracy and administration to hold the process up.  Those are not the intentions or actions of a Statesman, they are the actions of a spoilt kid taking his ball back until everyone does what he wants.  No-one likes the child who insists he has his cake and eats it, then giggles as if it were endearing. It is as if Owen completely bypassed that childhood milestone where most of us learn how to play fair. 

Owen Smith policies are off the cuff, probably plucked from thin air as he waits for his TV time slot. He is waving around a figure of £200billion to invest in communities and rebuilding as if he has spent a lifetime drafting socialist policies that would restore the economy, rather than something he has drawn up in the last two weeks when he went from moderate to radical. Not quite sure how the £200billion tallies with his belief that austerity is right, but there you go.   

I don't think there can now be any doubt now that Jeremy Corbyn will win the Labour Leadership and the next general election.  While Owen was telling Jeremy he should be out there talking to the people, he was, err, out there talking to the people, 10,000 of them in Liverpool.  A supporter of Owen's smugly tweeted that Owen's televised interview reached millions, all very well, but if they won't go out to see him, they won't go out to vote for him.  Besides which, the reason the majority of Labour MPs have become disengaged from the electorate because they only see them on the telly!  Deh!  Most people I know haven't seen a Labour politician in years.  And it looks as though they won't be seeing them during this long summer vacation either.    

In the end Owen Smith's legacy, albeit inadvertently, will be a complete change in the principles and ideology of the Labour Party, a return to it's roots and values.  Since records began, the people of the United Kingdom established a reputation worldwide for justice, equality and enlightenment that has made the UK one of the most advanced democratic societies in the world. In the last century, the will of the people brought in the Welfare State and the NHS despite the opposition of the ruling elite. 

Jeremy Corbyn is reaching out to all those ignored by the Labour party for over two decades.  Those not worth bothering with because they don't go out to vote anyway.  UKIP spotted this gap in the market years ago, and they have capitalising on it ever since.  They go out knocking on doors, they put up stalls in town centres and they try to convince little old ladies that the friendly Indian chap who drops off their groceries is a probably a terrorist.  As despicable as UKIP are, they are putting in the graft and the shoe leather.  TV time doesn't compare to getting out there and talking to people individually.  Jeremy voted against benefit cuts because he knows how devastating the effects are, he listens and he cares.  He understands the way in which heartless tory and new labour legislation impacts on the people who have to live with it.  In his comfy television studio chair, all Owen Smith knows about poverty comes from the imaginations of established left wing writers who spend more time opining about their own problems than those of the forgotten communities they drive past. 

Owen Smith is appealing to the middle classes, as if they have the same 'got the foreman's job at last' values as he has [the working class can kiss my arse].  In his appeal to voters, he didn't even mention the working classes, the unemployed and the disabled.  The tories and the middle classes got top spot.  It's as if he is afraid to say the word 'disabled' in case anyone remembers he abstained from voting on the Welfare bill, not to mention those killed and maimed by dodgy legal drugs pedalled to them by an unscrupulous pharmaceutical company. 

I almost pity Owen Smith at the moment, it looks to me as if the 172 and the old party leaders are showing as much loyalty to him as they did to Jeremy. It seems none of them want to share a platform with a dead duck and he faces a future of watching and re-watching where it all went wrong as he shimmies off back to the private sector.