Category Archives: Labour

Why the left’s hellish vision is so ruinous | Andrew Hindmoor

An unduly bleak view of recent British history, apt to see little but a legacy of neoliberalism, ignores the advances of social democracy and erodes faith in progressive politics, writes Andrew Hindmoor

Our sense of history shapes how we think about who we are. One of the distinguishing features of the left in Britain is that it holds to a remorselessly bleak and miserabilist view of our recent politics. This is a history in which Margaret Thatcher’s election in 1979 marked the start of a still continuing fall from political grace made evident by the triumph of a free-market, get-what-you-can, neoliberal ideology, dizzying levels of inequality, social decay, rampant individualism, state authoritarianism and political corruption.

The left does not like what has happened to us and it does not like what we have become.

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Source: gad

'A national disgrace': fury over £100m aid deal between UK and Saudi Arabia

Unveiling of plan to create infrastructure in poor countries overshadowed by unease over Saudi role in Yemen conflict

The announcement of a controversial aid deal between the UK and Saudi Arabia has been branded a “national disgrace”.

Amid further outcry over Britain’s relationship with the Gulf state, government ministers have signed a £100m aid agreement with Riyadh to coincide with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to London this week.

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Source: gad

Momentum’s Laura Parker: ‘There’s a myth around the hard left’s dirty tactics – it’s not my experience’

​The Labour grassroots organisation is growing so fast it will be bigger than the Tories by 2020. What does its national coordinator make of claims that it is full of Trots and plotters?

On the principle that these are views held by people with whom I tend to disagree, I have always thought Momentum members were probably not thugs and bullies; they were probably not intending to unseat 50 Labour MPs; and they probably did not want to wrest control of the largest leftwing party in western Europe. The lack of curiosity among many commentators – who would take the expertise of the Sunday Times on the inner workings of this satellite of the Labour party before they would do anything as rash as go to a Momentum meeting – has been quite salutary. Yet the principle itself isn’t watertight: it is possible for both a large number of people to lack curiosity and Momentum to be full of Trots and plotters.

This is what has brought me to its office in Whitechapel, east London, which is temporary and cash-strapped, although festooned with hearts for its recent Valentine’s Day phone bank: an interview with Laura Parker, national coordinator, previously private secretary to Jeremy Corbyn. She is the natural poster-person for a different portrait of the organisation: calm, accomplished, amiable. Everybody likes her. The Blairites in her constituency Labour party (Vauxhall) like her. She is known to get on with Stephen Kinnock, which for someone not of his politics, should be listed on a CV under “special skills”. It is hard to establish hierarchies in Momentum, an organisation that both values the phrase “flat structured” and also understands it, but she is the highest ranking staff member, level with Jon Lansman, who leads it and about whom much more has been written.

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Source: gad

Model Munroe Bergdorf quits as Labour LGBT adviser

Her appointment was criticised by Conservatives because of previous social media comments

The transgender model and campaigner Munroe Bergdorf has quit her role on the Labour party’s LGBT advisory board after attacks in the tabloid press and by Conservatives over comments she had made.

Bergdorf said she had been thrilled about the appointment, but said it had “turned into nasty tabloid fodder, blown out of all proportion”.

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Source: gad

How a Tory MP's tweeted apology proves Labour is still winning at social media

Ben Bradley’s apology to Jeremy Corbyn was retweeted 55,000 times. Does this mean social media is the future of political recourse?

Congratulations to Ben Bradley, Conservative MP for Mansfield, who, in little over a week, has managed to clock up more retweets – 55,000 – than all of the Tory party’s tweets in 2018 combined.

Unfortunately for Bradley, the tweet in question was part of a legal agreement following a defamatory post sent about Jeremy Corbyn, in which he said that the Labour leader had “sold secrets to communist spies”. A slur related to a right-wing press fabricated story that Corbyn cooperated with a Czech intelligence agent in the 1980s.

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Source: gadt

Theresa May urges Britain to 'come back together'

PM’s speech puts stress on ‘tolerant democracy’ in overture to EU remainers while also attempting to calm Tory rebels

Theresa May will urge the warring Brexit tribes to put their differences behind them on Friday as she promises to deliver a deal with Brussels that will keep Britain an “open, outward-looking, tolerant, European democracy”.

In a carefully calibrated speech, its platform hastily relocated from Newcastle to London’s Mansion House because of the severe weather, the prime minister will make a deliberate overture to anxious remain voters.

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Source: gad

A new ‘centrist’ party is doomed – but it could keep Corbyn out of No 10 | Owen Jones

Labour rightwingers could unite with discontented Conservative remainers and Lib Dems. But only hardcore Tory Brexiteers would benefit

Is a spectre haunting British politics, the spectre of a new “centrist” party? A note on terms, first, if I may: centrism is a deeply misleading term, conferring an image of moderation on a party that would combine social liberalism and anti-Brexitism with support for cuts, privatisation and a pro-corporate agenda. A Labour breakaway party has been mooted since Jeremy Corbyn became odds-on favourite to become leader, two and a half years ago, and was revived as a nuclear option after a disastrous general election showing. After Labour at the last election achieved the greatest vote surge since Clement Attlee in 1945, this rumour seemed to die a death. But flames flicker in the embers. Rumblings of discontent in Tory Remainia have revived chatter about a new political force linking together certain Labour rightwingers, the hapless Liberal Democrats and liberal Tories. It would sacrifice political careers on the altar of delusion and vanity, and it’s unclear whether a split would damage Labour or the Tories more. But it could still prove the greatest single obstacle to a Corbyn government.

Related: Major says MPs should get free vote on final Brexit deal, with 2nd referendum or halting Brexit both options – Politics live

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Source: gad

Peter Hain tables Brexit amendment to ensure frictionless Irish border

Former Northern Ireland secretary says he fears government has no plan

The former Northern Ireland secretary Peter Hain has tabled an amendment to the Brexit bill to force the government to guarantee in law a frictionless Irish border, saying he fears Theresa May’s administration “has no real solution” to the problem.

Lord Hain said when asked why he tabled the amendment: “I’ve become increasingly concerned, as former secretary of state for Northern Ireland, that the government has no real solution to the border problem. There is an unwillingness at this very late stage to work out how to resolve this.”

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Source: gad

Brexit: Tories lash out at Corbyn as he backs staying in customs union with EU – Politics live

Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen, including Jeremy Corbyn’s speech setting out Labour’s policy on Brexit

9.27am GMT

Labour released some extracts from Jeremy Corbyn’s speech overnight. Here they are in full.

On Brexit not being as bad or as good as some people claim

The European Union is not the root of all our problems and leaving it will not solve all our problems. Likewise, the EU is not the source of all enlightenment and leaving it does not inevitably spell doom for our country.

There will be some who will tell you that Brexit is a disaster for this country and some who will tell you that Brexit will create a land of milk and honey. The truth is more down to earth and it’s in our hands: Brexit is what we make of it together.

Our message has been consistent since the vote to leave 20 months ago. We respect the result of the referendum. Our priority is to get the best deal for people’s jobs, living standards and the economy. We reject any race to the bottom in workers’ rights, environmental safeguards, consumer protections, or food safety standards.

And we’ve pushed the Government to act to guarantee the rights of EU citizens living here and of UK citizens who have made their homes elsewhere in Europe; to ensure a transition period on the existing terms to minimise disruption and avoid an economic cliff edge; to avoid any return to a hard border in Northern Ireland; and to guarantee Parliament a meaningful vote on the final deal.

Every country that is geographically close to the EU without being an EU member state, whether it’s Turkey, Switzerland, or Norway, has some sort of close relationship to the EU, some more advantageous than others.

Britain will need a bespoke relationship of its own. Labour would negotiate a new and strong relationship with the single market that includes full tariff-free access and a floor under existing rights, standards and protections.

9.21am GMT

If you were looking for an example how political satire how become impossible, you could do a lot worse than look at today’s Daily Telegraph splash. David Davis, whose own Brexit proposals have been widely criticised by EU leaders for being wholly unrealistic, is accusing Labour of peddling “snake oil” on the subject. In a comment article for the paper (paywall) the Brexit secretary writes:

Labour may think they have stumbled across a simple solution to Brexit, but there is a lesson they are yet to learn: if it looks like snake oil, and it smells like snake oil, don’t expect it to make you feel better.

Monday’s DAILY TELEGRAPH: Corbyn ‘selling snake oil over Brexit’ #tomorrowspaperstoday

Related: Corbyn to put May on spot by embracing EU customs union

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Source: gad

Corbyn’s conversion is not to soft Brexit but a hard tilt at No 10 | Matthew d’Ancona

By aligning with Tory remainers in a Commons rebellion over the customs union, Labour could pave the way to power

“Crunch time is coming for the prime minister,” Keir Starmer, Labour’s Brexit spokesman, tells the BBC’s Andrew Marr. But, then again, when isn’t it? Theresa May is more familiar with crunch time than an overworked gravel salesman.

What gives force to Starmer’s claim is that the ordeal now facing the prime minister is of a different order and character to the daily miseries that have afflicted her since the general election last June. Ostensibly a principled challenge by Jeremy Corbyn to her position on Brexit, it is really a ruthless political challenge to her position, full stop.

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Source: gad