Plight of middle class will propel #Labour to victory under #Corbyn

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George Orwell remarked that the middle class have an uncanny knack of praying in aid the working class when the middle class are seeking to defend or extend their perquisites.  Their goal achieved the middle class would then leave the working class back where they found them, albeit may be a little better off on occasion.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose?

Incidentally, taking people on low incomes out of Income Tax does not take them out of tax.  A mistake usually made by a certain type of ukip or Tory supporter.  Middle class supporters, perhaps?

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“don’t consider” yourself “wealthy” Jeremy Corbyn?

Zoe Williams smiles as Corbyn pledges no middle class child left behind, again …

Corbyn’s Fans Won’t Suffer When Labour Loses General Election, Working Class Will

Middle-class university graduates will decide future of Labour Party & Corbyn

Is this the Labour Party of 1930s or 2010s, Corbyn?

The box I ticked … #LabourLeadership #Labour #LabourHustings #Corbyn4All #Owen2016 #WeAreHisMedia

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I have to come out and say something. I don’t think I have ever really felt such anxiety writing anything before and I am a self proclaimed worry wart.

Yesterday I cast my vote for the Labour leadership election and the box I put my X in…was for a Mr Owen Smith. There. I have said it.

I have to be honest. I have beenbuilding up the courage to write this all day. I genuinely feel frightened. However I don’t want this to be jumped upon as an argument of all “Corbyn” supporters, theyare a baying mob that I am afraid of. Of course I have no doubt that I am in for some abuse, it is unfortunately to be expected in this day and age. At the same time it is worth noting that I have made some fantastic allies on Twitter through my original support of Corbyn. These…

View original post 2,091 more words

#Unite Shop Stewards urge members to vote #Owen2016 for #LabourLeadership #UNISON #GMB #USDAW #UCATT

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uniteLogoThe 29 officials have signed an open letter to their members declaring that the party needs a “radical and credible” person in charge.

The surprise move comes just weeks after Unite boss Len McCluskey announced that the union was supporting Jeremy Corbyn.

Significantly, many of the stewards backing Mr Smith represent workers with Babcock and BAE Systems – defence companies heavily dependent on the renewal of Britain’s Trident nuclear submarines.

While Mr Corbyn opposes the UK’s nuclear deterrent, his challenger is a strong supporter.

Other firms represented in the letter include Rolls Royce, Siemens and Vector Aerospace Helicopter Services.

The letter says, “Britain needs a Labour Government to defend jobs, industry and skills and to promote strong trade unions.

As convenors and shop stewards in the manufacturing, defence, aerospace and energy sectors we believe that Owen Smith is the best candidate to lead the Labour Party in opposition and in government.

Owen has made clear his support for the industries we work in. He has spelt out his vision for an industrial strategy which supports great British businesses: investing in infrastructure, research and development, skills and training.

He has set out ways to back British industry with new procurement rules to protect jobs and contracts from being outsourced to the lowest bidder.

But Owen has also talked about the issues which affect our families and our communities.”

The shop stewards add, “The Labour party is at a crossroads. We cannot ignore reality – we need to be radical but we also need to be credible – capable of winning the support of the British people.

We need an effective Opposition and we need a Labour Government to put policies into practice that will defend our members’ and their families’ interests. That’s why we are backing Owen.”

The letter exposes deep splits within Unite, where Mr McCluskey faces a battle to be re-elected as general secretary. He has also been criticised for deciding not to ballot his members before endorsing Mr Corbyn.

The shop stewards’ support is also a timely boost for Mr Smith, who bookies make a distant second favourite to be named leader on 24 September.

Say hello to Jeremy #Corbyn, #Labour Party leader, management guru & author of the Slacker’s Guide to Management … “I find if you are in an office, the crisis finds you. If you’re not in the office, the crisis finds somebody else.”

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Labour-Leadership-Contest-Comes-To-Scotland“I find if you are in an office, the crisis finds you. If you’re not in the office, the crisis finds somebody else.”

Corbyn had, before becoming leader, power without responsibility and now he has both.  Does the way in which he is handling his new responsibilities explain his failure to be a fully rounded, effective leader of a political party?

“Our problem is simply the capacity to respond to everything. After only two or three weeks in office we discovered we had a backlog of a hundred thousand emails sent to me. We had a backlog of a thousand invitations to speak at places all over the country, and all over the world for that matter. We started from scratch with our office, so just the sheer management of issues off this is huge. It’s now much better, it’s getting better. We’ve got more staff in place, a better team in place, it’s growing but it is quite difficult.

Also I’m quite concerned that if I spend time in the office someone will always find something for you to do. There’s always a crisis that needs your urgent attention. If I wasn’t there, either the crisis wouldn’t happen or it wouldn’t need your urgent attention. But the fact I’m there means that it becomes my problem, not somebody else’s. So I’m quite assertive about the need to ensure I go travelling round the country. I’m doing basically three days travelling every week. So we’re going everywhere. I did over a hundred events during the leadership campaign and by the end of the year I will probably have done 400 to 500 public meetings.”

“I feel constantly concerned that I’m spending all this time doing everything involved in all my leadership activity and sometimes I feel a tear between that and my responsibilities to the community that I represent. So I have a weekly fight over the schedule set out in my diary. That’s where I do get quite assertive, because I insist on spending time with those people and groups I always have represented even while now also travelling across the country – and also I make sure that I have time for myself. Half a day, or a day a week, so I can dig my allotment.

‘What we’ve achieved so far’: an interview with Jeremy Corbyn

“Corbyn’s team prepare for PMQs over Monday and Tuesday, with Wednesday morning the key prep session.”

How Jeremy Corbyn is preparing for PMQs

“He keeps his feet on the ground by visiting not just his own constituency, but also by getting out of London altogether. Corbyn has built into his new routine a strict edict that nearly every week he only spends three and a half days at Westminster and that the rest of the time he’s out on the road, away from the Parliamentary bubble.

“There is a sort of relentless demand on one, so every week Prime Minister’s Question Time comes round, every week there’s a whole lot of things that have to be done.

And it’s balancing that with the need to not spend one’s whole time in one’s office, dealing with whatever crisis appears. I find if you are in an office, the crisis finds you. If you’re not in the office, the crisis finds somebody else.

And so I’m very insistent on doing my constituency work and constituency surgery. I had to cancel two interviews yesterday because so many people came. I was there for five hours [which is two and a half hours longer than he’d put in his diary].”

Jeremy Corbyn Interview: On His First 100 Days

When does Corbyn find the time to deal with matters such as the charges of anti-semitism?  Or, are such matters crises that are best left to somebody else?  And, if so, who is dealing with them?

Power, like nature, abhors a vacuum.  Who, then, is the Sergeant Towser, exercising power in the Labour leader’s office whilst Corbyn is perfecting his portrayal of Major Major for an upcoming remake of Catch 22?

Seumas Milne?

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Seumas Milne expected Guardian to endorse Jeremy Corbyn and felt “very let down”

I wanted to believe in Jeremy Corbyn. But I can’t believe in Seumas Milne

Has Jeremy Corbyn’s spin doctor, Seumas Milne gone rogue?

Seumas Milne will finish Labour off

The Thin Controller

Thursday 26th May Update: Corbyn Decides to be Own Chief of Staff

In an email to staff, Fletcher said: “this is ‘flat’ structure in which there is no Chief of Staff but instead a senior team that reports in to Jeremy.  Thanks all very much for all your work for Jeremy and the Labour party. The changes we are making should have a further positive impact on our ability to work as an effective, well-organised unit that develops a stronger policy and campaigning edge.

Jeremy Corbyn Calls In Ex-Civil Service Chief As He Overhauls Labour Leader’s Office

Corbyn orders review to ready Labour for potential snap election

Tuesday 5th July Update:

Life inside Jeremy Corbyn’s “paranoid” HQ laid bare as Labour staffers blow the lid on leader’s top team

#Corbyn4All TSSA Campaign Co-ordinator gets fellow #TSSA official to lecture #Labour members on loyalty

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Labour would not need a purge, Andi, if I may call you that?  Clearly you are a friend I never knew I had.  We would not need a purge if so many people who have:

  • stood as candidates for other parties
  • publicly supported other parties
  • been members of other parties
  • freely admitted having voted for other parties

had not chosen to join Labour in many cases, as they publicly admit, to just vote for Jeremy Corbyn.

A stance made worse by the fact that some of Labour’s new found supporters have, over decades now, displayed a visceral hatred towards the Labour Party much greater than that they have ever displayed for the Tories.

It is more than a bit rich that some Corbyn supporters, who have never missed a trick when it comes to attacking Labour, now seek to lecture loyal Labour members, many with decades of work for the party, about loyalty and commitment …

Help us win the election after this one

Dear John,

My name is Andi Fox and I sell tickets in the travel centre at Doncaster station in the town where I’ve lived almost all my life. And all that time, I’ve been a Labour supporter and a trade union activist too.

I’m sorry we’re having another leadership election this summer. Owen Smith says he agrees with Jeremy on most policies and, to win the general election, we need to show a united party to the voters, and trust in our members.

This week, we should all be concentrating on the hospital closures the Tories plan to make, and the dreadful cuts they’ve already made to social care. Last year I had to beg for funding to provide my Da who’d worked hard all his life with just the basic necessities of care and dignity in his dying days.

Instead, our party is taking votes away from a union leader, an Orgreave justice campaigner, and thousands of ordinary party members including one young woman for doing nothing worse than to “love the Foo Fighters”.

Like Jeremy Corbyn I want to eliminate all forms of abusive behaviour, but party members will form their own judgments about the fairness of this election. Presently, very wealthy members who support a different candidate can donate over £2million to the Lib Dems (Editor’s Note, a barefaced lie with regards to Lord Sainsbury, but spin clearly not Sam Tarry’s forte as #TrainGate has shown) who put the Tories in government for 5 years, or can compare Labour members to Nazi storm troopers.

Labour doesn’t need a purge. We need to trust our members, stick to our principles, and take our message into our communities and workplaces. We need a reforming Labour government to rebuild and transform Britain.

Yours in solidarity,

Andi Fox
Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association member on
Labour’s National Executive Committee

Sam Tarry of the TSSA is co-ordinating Corbyn’s re-election campaign

@EmilyThornberry’s idea of concentrating on her #Labour job is to run away from media #LabourLeadership

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“In the meantime, you all know that I have a very full in-tray with constituency business, and with representing the party on Brexit, foreign affairs, and – together with Clive Lewis – our future defence policies.

I will be concentrating on this vital work in the run up to 24 September, rather than this unnecessary and divisive leadership contest. And when that is over, I hope we can all start focusing on those bigger issues on which Britain needs an effective, united opposition.”

An extract from Emily Thornberry’s fulsome Facebook post supporting Jeremy Corbyn

Previous posts on this topic:

Emily Thornberry comes out as an Islington Socialist for Corbyn

Corbyn accuses Attlee and Bevin of starting Cold War

Corbyn persuades Tories to recycle old 1980s General Election Campaign themes

Has Emily Thornberry lost all self respect?

@EmilyThornberry comes out as an Islington Socialist for #Corbyn4All #Labour #LabourLeadership #Owen2016

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Emily-Thornberry

A number of my local party members have been contacting me about the Labour leadership contest. Below is a copy of the response that I am sending out to clarify my thoughts on the matter.

Dear Friends,

I hope you are all enjoying a good Bank Holiday weekend.

Since returning from holiday, I have been catching up with many of your messages asking me how I am planning to vote in the current Labour leadership election, and giving me your views.

I thought I should write to the membership of Islington South and Finsbury and explain my thinking.

As many of you know, it is my view that our response to the Brexit vote should not have been to turn in on ourselves. At a time of grave constitutional and economic challenge for our country, it was incumbent on us to rise to this threat and ensure that the Labour party should defend the interests of our communities and not allow the Tories a free hand.

I believed that this was a time for people to unite and think of the country, not to turn inwards and indulge in a coup attempt against a leader elected with an overwhelming mandate less than a year ago.

It will therefore come as no surprise to my local party to learn that, having remained totally loyal to the democratically-elected leader of our party since his election, I will stay loyal to Jeremy during the contest that has arisen from that coup, and he will have my vote in this election.

I have not agreed with everything Jeremy has said and done since becoming the Labour leader last year, but where I have had disagreements with him, I have always found him and his team willing to get around a table, listen, reflect and discuss a way forward. And as long as that is possible, I would never consider walking away from that table.

But for those members who may disagree with that decision, and the way I will be voting in this election, let me explain my more fundamental reasons for doing so.

When I first started campaigning to become your MP in 2004, we were suffering as a party because our hierarchy and leadership were totally detached from the party’s membership. This not only meant that members across the country felt alienated, demoralised and ignored, but more importantly their collective understanding of what people’s fears and aspirations were, learnt from listening to the public and knocking on doors, was being deliberately overlooked.

What had begun as the necessary modernisation of the Labour party in 1994, showing how a belief in a dynamic market economy could be combined with the drive for social justice and the transformation of public services, had become distorted into an agenda where the test of every new policy from the leadership was how much it would antagonise the Labour party’s core membership.

Tuition fees, the attempt to marketise the NHS, the careless disregard of long cherished civil liberties and the drive to war in Iraq were being imposed by a leadership who convinced themselves that, if the members hated it, they were doing something right.

When I walked through the voting lobbies against the attempt to impose 90 days’ detention without charge in 2005, Tom Watson –then one of Tony Blair’s whips – growled at me that I was a ‘traitor’. But a traitor to who?

Not to the country, when this was a draconian measure designed to look tough on terrorism, but one that would undermine the cohesion of communities like ours, alienate people and actually undermine our security. My members knew this and I remember when Compass polled party members – at my instigation – it was clear this was the national view as well.

So who exactly was I betraying? Just a party hierarchy and a party leadership who were trying to shore up their relationship with the right-wing press by ‘taking on’ their members, and trying to out-flank the Tories on security.

When Jeremy stood for the leadership after the disaster of the 2015 election, the difference was palpable. Here finally was a candidate interested in listening to the party’s members, reflecting their views, and promising to represent them. As a result, hundreds of thousands more joined, including huge numbers who had left because of Iraq, tuition fees, and other issues.

Here we are now, less than a year after Jeremy’s overwhelming victory, and the party hierarchy – through decisions of the National Executive Committee – is attempting to overturn that result, quash Jeremy’s mandate, and put the party’s members back in their box. And they are doing so in the most naked way.

I was disgusted to see the attempts to try to stop Jeremy from getting on the ballot. And then, if that wasn’t bad enough, hundreds of thousands of fully paid-up Labour party members were excluded from taking part in the election, having been told the opposite when they joined. Third, your membership fees were spent on securing that decision through the courts. And then lastly, registered supporters, who had been told they could be involved in the Leadership election, were then told that they must increase their donation to £25 within two days to remain eligible for a vote.

Indeed, you should probably know that even to put on the social events we have held for local members in the last two months – occasions that have been really important to welcome in our new members – we have been forced to seek permission for each event from the party hierarchy.

In short, some people have done their level best to deny the party’s full membership a fair and equal vote in this contest, or even the chance to make their voices heard. Instead of welcoming the enthusiasm of our new members, instead of celebrating the strength of our mass membership, they have been behaving as if it is something to be afraid of.

As someone who spent nearly 30 years as a grass roots activist before becoming your MP, I cannot accept this.

But even more important, as someone who believes our party and our country are best served when our elected representatives and the party membership work together, I fundamentally disagree with this attempt to take us back to the years when our members were deliberately antagonised, alienated and ignored by the people who they helped to put in power.

Islington South and Finsbury Labour Party has a proud reputation for being one of the great campaigning local parties and our election results in the past 11 years have shown what can be done when the membership and its elected representatives work together with respect.

We now have the potential to replicate this success across the country, creating a national activist base that could be unlike anything else in modern British politics, taking our message into the street and onto the doorstep, and turning the activism of thousands into the support of millions.

I do not understand why anyone in the Labour party would want to turn their back on that membership, in the way that the party hierarchy have tried to do this summer.

Instead, it is time to unite as a party – the membership and the elected representatives alike – and together take our fight into the only contest that matters: getting this dreadful Tory government out of office, and punishing them for the mess into which they have plunged our country.

That is what we should have spent our summer doing – uniting, facing outwards, taking on the Tories, and energising the public to our cause – and that is again why I regret so much the chaos and distraction that this attempted coup against Jeremy has caused.

So my plea to all members, and one I will make to my fellow MPs, is this: whatever the outcome of this leadership election, we should stop the internal division, unite as a party, and take the fight to the Tories together.

And I would like my local party to know that I will remain totally loyal to the leader of our party, whoever he shall be.

In the meantime, you all know that I have a very full in-tray with constituency business, and with representing the party on Brexit, foreign affairs, and – together with Clive Lewis – our future defence policies.

I will be concentrating on this vital work in the run up to 24 September, rather than this unnecessary and divisive leadership contest. And when that is over, I hope we can all start focusing on those bigger issues on which Britain needs an effective, united opposition.

I know that not everyone will agree with the conclusions I have reached, but I am completely confident that in Islington South and Finsbury, we will continue to debate this and other issues in an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect.

Best wishes, and please as ever, let me know your views. Looking forward to seeing you on a doorstep with me soon!

Emily

Editor’s Note: I see no response herein from the Shadow Foreign Secretary concerning Jeremy Corbyn’s repudiation of Article 5 of the NATO Charter?  Office, even shadow office, is more important than challenging a fundamental change in Labour policy made on the hoof at a leadership hustings?

Let me put the question directly to you Emily Thornberry, do you agree in Labour’s settled, decades old commitment to collective defence?  Do you agree that means an unequivocal commitment to Charter 5 of the NATO Charter?

If not, would you share, please, with the party and the country your reasons for disagreeing with every leader of the Labour Party and Foreign Secretary, shadow or otherwise, since Attlee and Bevin?

Corbyn accuses Attlee and Bevin of starting Cold War

Corbyn persuades Tories to recycle old 1980s General Election Campaign themes

Has Emily Thornberry lost all self respect?