Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Corbyn has responsibility without power

The election of Jeremy Corbyn may well not lead to a new dawn for the left . Inded the indications are beginning to prove that he has responsibility without power

For instance in his Conference speech speech he said

“I don’t believe that £100bn spent on a new generation of nuclear weapons taking away a quarter of our defence budget is the right way forward.” 

However the  conference  denied
a debate being aired on Trident. a debate that activist  might well have won . But in not having a debate it appears Labour are not to change it stance anytime soon.

When it comes to Iraq  he said

“It didn’t help our national security when we went to war with Iraq in defiance of the United Nations on a false prospectus. It didn’t help our national security to endure the loss of hundreds of brave British soldiers in that war while making no proper preparation for what to do after the fall of that regime.”

Not really the apology that was trailed in the media before his speech, but is this an indication that he  will be prepared to do so in the future or that he is already watering down his approach.

and he has not ben helped by his shadow chancellor John McDonnell saying

Labour MPs should be given a free vote on military action in Syria, shadow chancellor John McDonnell has said.

Mr McDonnell told a meeting hosted by The Guardian at the Labour conference that Syria and the renewal of Trident were issues on which he did not expect consensus within the party.

He said he believed a vote on military action in Syria should be made "on the basis of conscience".

 This could lead to Corbyn walking through the No corridoe with more SNP,Plaid Green and some Northern Ireland MPs than his own. 

McDonnel had the previous day  turned on the SNP, and told conference: 

 “Let’s be clear the SNP has now voted against the living wage, against capping rent levels and just last week voted against fair taxes in Scotland to spend on schools.
“So, here is my message to the people of Scotland – Labour is now the only anti-austerity party. For those in Scotland who want to campaign against austerity, now is the time to come home – come home to Labour.”
 Which is an appaling twisting of the facts

However, the SNP hit back and said McDonnell had offered Scotland nothing new from Labour, and had continued to commit the party to voting for Chancellor George Osborne’s austerity plans.

Deputy leader Stewart Hosie said:

 “Mr McDonnell’s comments confirm that when it comes to Scotland Labour haven’t changed.

“Rather than learning from their mistakes and setting out a positive vision for the country, they are repeating the same negative and ill-informed rhetoric that saw them all but wiped out in Scotland at the last election. They may have changed the messengers but it’s the same tired old message.

“Labour’s economic plans are all over the place. While the SNP went into May’s election opposing austerity and campaigning for a real terms increase in public spending, Labour ran scared of the Tories and backed their draconian cuts and welfare reforms.”

He added: “While the SNP remain firmly opposed to George Osborne’s pro-austerity fiscal charter, John McDonnell just last week mandated Labour MPs to troop through the lobbies with the Tories yet again to back the plans, just as they did when they voted for £30bn of cuts in the last parliament.

“Labour have now lost all credibility and no one will take these claims remotely seriously.”

The problem for those who are rushing towards Labour  because they have elected a Progressive Left leader and who people like myself admire  is that  the majority of Labour MPs  are miles away from him  and even those on the Left like Mcdonnell are not wiling to work with others on an agenda that could  see not only a Anti-austerity campaign ( Mcdonnell  claim that Labour are now the only Austerity party being nonsense) but a move to working towards more peaceful solutions.'

THe sad thing is that Corbyn may well become  a prisoner  not only of the Blarite and other Red Tories in his Parliamentary Party but of Dinosaur of the left who see other parties with left leaning views as a threat.

I hope I am wrong but its not looking good.


  1. "THe sad thing is that Corbyn may well become a prisoner" - a very pertinent point glyn. the setback he suffered over the decision to rule out discussing trident at the conference was an indicator of the difficulties jeremy corbyn faces. His supporters might be great on the social networks and social media but unless they also organise themselves in the constituency parties and the unions corbyn wont be able to get any of his programme thru the labour party. leaving him as the left wing leader of a still blairite parliamentary labour party - a situation which is of course unsustainable in the long term.

  2. also worth adding that for all jeremy corbyn's great socialist ideals he does sadly seem to be a bit of a 'dinosaur' on PR.