Starmer shown red card and has early Bath

It seems as though Keir Starmer can add unlucky to his present list of troubles following his unfortunate encounter in Bath with a Brexiteer.

Your first thought is how on earth did his minders get him into such an encounter; the very kind of publicity he’d not have wanted.

But then on further reflection, what on earth was he doing campaigning in Bath which is already represented by a radical and progressive MP. You’d have thought his efforts would have been better aimed at a Tory seat rather than helping the Tories to unseat an MP of the centre-left who is far more radical and progressive than the vast majority of Labour MP’s. Having said that maybe it’s as simple as he’s on the same track as Jez Corbyn i.e. get rid of all other radical left of centre MP’s who are not Labour; the Tories can wait until we’ve achieved that. Trouble is that the tribal approach simply does not work and it lets the Tories have a free run.

Whilst Starmer is clearly more electable than Corbyn he’s no progressive leader at all and he seems to spend much of his time making progressives both inside and outside of the Labour Party cringe. He also seems to be on a very different course to Tony Blair who gathered progressives around him, made friends with the then Lib Dem leader Paddy Ashdown and made himself look like a progressive who could and would win. Starmer’s approach seems to be one of hiding behind his party political sofa saying as little as possible and certainly not reaching out to other progressives in the Greens, Lib Dems etc. So the ‘one more heave’ policy of Labour under Corbyn is still thought to be alive despite it being pronounced very much dead in the December 2019 General Election.

The trouble with Labour is that they are a wide collection of political sects from the right, through social democrats and off into the many sects of socialism. This means working-class right-wingers, who have bought into Johnson, are in the same overall tent as Momentum! No wonder Labour spends so much of its time fighting itself and trying to heal internal divisions. They call it a ‘broad church’ but it’s so broad that its internal sects often hate each other more than they do the Tories.

So no one on the progressive left really has any idea where Starmer is heading as he clearly didn’t in Bath.

Having read this far you may think I want Starmer to fail but actually, the opposite is true. We desperately need a centre-left, progressive and yes radical alternative to our UKIP-type Tory Party. A Progressive Alliance of Labour, Lib Dems & Greens is required but for that to happen Labour has to stop attacking fellow progressives and Starmer has to start to look like a real leader of women and men. Sadly, the way things are going there’s not much room for hope and the Tories march on without a credible opposition.

Robert Peston hits nails squarely on the head as he resurrects the Radical in UK politics

www.theguardian.com/media/2017/nov/24/robert-peston-interview-im-not-saying-britain-is-finished-but-our-current-problems-are-not-a-blip

The Guardian has the story on its web site – see link above

After generations of UK political leaders who have just managed our political system and economy at the margins we have almost forgotten (well us Liberals haven’t of course) how only leaders with Radical views can really change things for the better and the common good.

Frankly Peston sounds very much like an old fashioned Liberal Radical in much of this analysis of him, by Decca Aitkenhead, and what he is advocating.

Go on, have read of this fascinating piece (linked above) because whether you agree with him or not he is pointing to real issues where we need radical reform. I’m pretty sure his general analysis is right. If we don’t address things the UK will turn into an economic and social disaster that makes the foolishness of Brexit look like it was only a first if hugely significant starting point in our decline and ruin.

His opinions on Corbyn are interesting but if he (Corbyn) is the nearest political leader we have to a Radical then we really are struggling. A reinvented 1970’s class struggle type-politician will only flatter to deceive.

With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting

Labour’s new civil war over racism and power

To see senior Labour figures literally kicking verbal lumps out of each other may be entertaining to those of us who despise the authoritarian Labour Party but what is going on is more than a spat about racism vitally important though that is.

For a party supposedly of the left to be openly at war over racism is bizarre in itself but I go back 30 years or more to one of the most telling things I was told as a young politician. It came from a young Labour Party member who quite openly said to me that there were more racists in his party than in the other political party or words to that effect. And it seems to have come to pass many years later played out on our TV screens with senior Labour figures making such allegations about others in that comradely Party.

But of course this is just the latest spat in Labour’s ongoing civil war. The Red Tories want Corbyn out, they want him to look like he can’t lead his party, they are making the Labour Party impossible to lead.

Yes Corbyn is no great leader of men and women but neither is he the appalling man many of his own MP’s are trying to make him look like. He probably has many principles which his own party is trying to make him compromise. They may, in many cases, be principles that we libertarians could not agree with but at least he has principles.

Burnham is quite obviously jockeying for position as he can smell a possible end to Corbyn’s leadership and he needs to reinvent himself again after getting such a pasting in the last leadership election. He’s even using left wing rhetoric these days; very different to that he used when he lost to Corbyn and even further away from his days as a Blairite Minister privatising the NHS.

The majority of Labour MP’s want their party to swing back to the right, to be Blairite under a more palatable title. No more New Labour by name but very much so in policy terms.

My argument is that a right wing Labour Party is no good for the UK. Yes they may be able to unseat some Tories but why do we need Red Tories to replace Blue Tories? The changes would only be at the margins.

What we need is a radical, diverse and yes yet more radical alternative to Labour settling back down as the just slightly better alternative to more Tory years. Canada has that alternative model and those of us who want open inclusive government should take note. Why even some Americans can see that a more radical path needs to be taken with the rise of Bernie Sanders in the Democrat Party. I am always amazed to hear Labour Party members arguing for Hilary Clinton to win the Democratic nomination.

Justin Trudeau did not come to power by being slightly less right wing than the Canadian Tories he did it by turning the Canadian Liberal Party into a radical party that is openly prepared to tear up old outdated policy stances.

Radical policies are not based on class war as Labour and its core supporters believe, they are based on true empowerment of people, celebrating diversity and getting voters to coalesce around a common radical and positive agenda. Labour are incapable of such an approach whether the left or right is running their show.

The UK is crying out for a Justine Trudeau type leader not talk of moderation and aiming for the center ground, or worse centre ground positioning dressed up by left wing rhetoric. Is Tim Farron up for that?