Is it possible to be a rebel under Jeremy Corbyn‘s Straight Talking Honest Politics which encourages open debate on issues and policies?
Recently in a Guardian article Owen Jones said: “We need a more balanced debate about Jeremy”- Hew as talking out that debate in the mainstream media, but that debate needs to be taking place between members of the The Labour Party – whether left or right, Old Labour or New Labour.
My Labour Party has always been a broad church but at the moment there are too many narrow pews.
There are too many factions causing too much friction.
We need to clarify our differing opinions to appeal to a diverse electorate. I for one haven’t the time for in-fighting…time spent fighting amongst ourselves is time lost in talking about what we all mean by Labour’s values
We need to work together in spite our differences (of emphasis). We have the same goal – a Labour victory – in 2020 despite our different routes.
We need the momentum to progess our radical and progressive agenda to help people – an argument between Momentum and Progress helps no one (except, perhaps, the Conservatives?).
We have to put Labour first and foremost in our conversations – that’s Labour Party values first, not the values of Labour First.
We need open debate about the aims of the Labour Party – not debate about the merits of Open Labour.
We’ll end up with pointless in-fighting: Are you a member of the Judean People’s Labour Front? Or the People’s Labour Front of Judea?
It is absolutely necessary to have these conversations if we want a more equal, more just and more sustainable society.
But we need to have these conversations in good faith – with no *threats* of either “knifing in the front” or “deselecting” MPs who have differing views.
I like Corbyn – he represents a new, a different voice in politics and has got many new people to engage – but I don’t agree with everything he says and does.
And that said, I’m certainly no Blairite – but let’s remember want he helped deliver: 2,200 Sure Start Children’s Centres, introduced the Equality and Human Rights Commission, brought in Civil Partnerships, banned fox hunting, gave free entry to national museums and galleries, legislated for paternity leave of 2 weeks, allowed all full time workers to have 24 days paid holiday, and made sure we had the cleanest rivers, beaches, drinking water and air since before the industrial revolution. And much more.
We need to be grown up and realise that Blairites are not Tories. Corbynites are not Trots. We are all Labour – together.
It’s a big, wide world out there so:
Lets pull together, not apart
Let’s get out and campaign positivity for OUR values.
Let’s abandon blinkered tribalism. and reject sniping and tolerance within the Labour party.
Let’s put aside our differences, look to the common bonds that unite us and start to attack the real enemies – the Tory party and the large companies that support them.
Let’s make our voice the voice that matters for those that need our support.
Let’s talk about policies and programmes to build support for Labour.
Let’s unite and fight FOR things that matter for me – social justice, a roof over everyone’s head, free legal aid, the safety net of social security.
Let’s campaign for the things that matter for the poor, the vulnerable, the disadvantaged, the caring, the homeless, the disabled, the long-term sick, the terminally ill.
Someone once said that “the hallmark of a civilised society” was a desire “each and everyone one of us being housed, educated, fed and kept in good health”.
And that someone? Jeremy Corbyn [in Morning Star, For Labour To Succeed It Must Get Real, 09 June 2015]
And who among us can disagree?
I haven’t got time for divided politics on the left, nor do the people who need us to fight for them I don’t want us to fail those that need us.
I want to make a difference in a complex world – a world where aspiration has to be addressed at the same time as I challenge social and economic inequality.
Under Corbyn, Labour can – and must – become the most powerful force for progressive change in generations; moving from the old-style top-down politics to a new grassroots mass movement is going to be challenging, but we can do it. However, believe that can only be achieved by evolution, not revolution.
And that means pragmatism as well as socialism.
As I work towards a more equal, more just and more sustainable society, please don’t spoilt it for me with all this bickering and division.
John McDonell: Labour can be the most powerful force for progressive change in generations [Guardian, 05 December 2015]
Stella Creasy: Labour risks becoming a talking shop of protest and anger [Guardian, 12 December 2015]
Owen Jones: How can we have a more balanced debate about Jeremy Corbyn and Labour? [Guardian – Comment is Free, 15 December 2015]
From Guardian 12 December
Right and left, new and old: factions vying for the party’s soul
The political landscape of the left is changing fast following Jeremy Corbyn’s election, with new groups being formed and some dating back to the the 1970s and 80s reforming or re-branding | Patrick Wintour
Set up by supporters of Corbyn
Regarded by figures on the party’s right as a secretive malign vehicle for far-left entryists that afford Corbyn and John McDonnell near cult status.
Momentum regards itself as an attempt to harness the grassroots energy in and out of the Labour party that gravitated to Corbyn in the summer. Now racing to set out a democratic structure and codify a clearer relationship with other left-wing parties.
Long-standing base of party moderates
Regarded as a secretive malign Blairite cancer at the heart of Labour by figures on the left.
Progress sees itself as the voice of moderates and Blairites, and following criticism of funding mainly by unions [PB: my criticism is that major funder is Lord David Sainsbury of Turville and one of one of the 100 signatories of the ‘Limehouse Declaration‘and went on to be a member of the Social Democratic Party], has done more to be tranparent.
It is adjusting after Liz Kendall’s catatstrophic campaign for party leader.
It runs a montlhy magazine, website, weekend schools and some candidate training.
In response to the party’s shift to the left, it is restating the basics of its politics including the fight for equality, equality and responsible capitalism.
New group formed to what it regards as a space for what was once described as the ‘soft left’.
Open Left will explore whether members still support the kind of politics associated with Ed Miliband’s leadership campaign. It’s success may well depend on funding and leadership.
It may attract some new younger members alienated by Momentum’s association with the hard left/
The home of the party’s traditional right.
Labour First regards MPs such as John Spellar as its natural supporters in Parliament.
It knows how to organise for positions in the position in the party, runs an e-mail list but until recently had been marginalised by Progress.
Leading figure Luke Akehurst has an encyclopaedic knowledge of party campaigning.
A meeting at the party conference was so oversubscribed it was held in the street.
Once the driving force of the soft left in Labour with roots going back to the Labour Co-odinating Committee.
Compass has often been linked with the likes of Jon Cruddas, Jon Trickett and Neal Lawson.
it ended its exclusive work in the party and operates alongside progressives in the Greens, Liberal Democrats and of no party.
Formed in 2013, it has had the most open debate of any far-left group on how to respond to Corbyn’s election.
Left Unity held a conference last month in which a move to dissolve the party, and to seek to affiliate to Labour was lost. Instead it decided it would not put up candidates against Labour for the moment.
The conference also agreed: “Left Unity welcomes the establishment of the grassroots network called Momentum. Left Unity encourages members to join the network to promote campaigns and also ensure Momentum is an open, democratic organisation.”
The premier Trotskyist organisation in the UK with luminaries such as Paul Foot, Tony Cliff and Alex Callinicos, the Socialist Workers Party dominated the landscape to the left of the for at least tow decades since forming in 1977 with its dyamic weekly newspaper, Socialist Worker, but has been hit by splits.
Regards the Corbyn leadership as a new site of struggle, and placed to recruit members disillusioned by the leader’s predicted failure.
In essence, the Socialist Party is the continuation of the Militant Tendency, an entryist Trotskyist group that plagued Labour and Neil Kinnock’s leadership in the 1980s and was finally expelled in a brutal battle.
It has a weekly newspaper called Socialist, and has recently called for Labour MPs who do not support party policy to be expelled.
It has taken an antagonistic approach to Momentum, saying its: “leadership seems to think that the only way we can strengthen Jeremy’s leadership is by mollifying the right and, for example, backing away from reselection.”
Its activists have in the part forced Momentum to take a tougher approach.
AWL disbanded in the summer.
It is active within Momentum, trying to get the group to campaign for opposition to Labour councils implementing spending cuts. It is running a Stop The Purge campaign.
Labour Representation Committee is a Labour-orientated group, most closely associated with John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor, and the magazine Labour Briefing. It has a national committee, runs a lively twitter feed, and has a slightly more economic and union emphasis than some left groups.
Once dismissed as a SWP front, Stop The War Coalition managed to mobilise tens of thousands to oppose the Iraq was in 2003.
Jeremy Corbyn acted as its chair for many years, but has resigned owning to work pressures.
It has been damaged by posting two articles on its websitre – subsequently taken down – that were at best ambivalent about the ultimate responsibility fro the Paris attacks.
The conduct of a recent meeting in Westminster – when it was accused of refusing to allow a group from Syrian Solidarity to speak – prompted protests from the political activist Peter Tatchell and Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton Pavilion.
And for a bit of fun:
You are Open Labour. You are the soft left of the Labour party. No one’s quite sure what that means but you have a strange attraction for Ed Miliband and quite like the idea of winning elections, even if that comes with the need to compromise.
You are Labour First, the old right-wing of the Labour party. You view Jeremy Corbyn as a threat that needs to be destroyed. You are a fan of hand-to-hand political combat to control Labour’s future and talk about Momentum as ‘bloody Trots’. You are angry as hell and don’t mind who knows it.