Political abuse – It’s common in our fractured society and caused by our extreme politicians

The BBC has the story on its web site – see link below:-

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-45938754

That politicians call each other by such vile language (who are in the same political party!) says a lot about the current state of our politics. But hey Labour politicians have been calling each other similar and worse than what Teresa May is called by her own tribe for a long time now.

The lies told about Brexit are at the heart of most of our political discord these days and the fact that our two major parties have gone off towards political extremes. Once a party goes to extremes it finds its lovers and its haters both within and outside that political movement. There’s is no room for people of moderate views in either the Tory or Labour Party of 2018, indeed the ruling sects of the two parties want the moderates out and they hate those moderates as much if not more than opposition politicians.

It always seems worse when women are at the sharp end of party political abuse because generally they are far less likely to throw out such abuse at others. In Teresa’s case her party is now of the far right and UKIP-type people are the dominant and uncompromising voice. She however was once an EU Remainer and despite that fact that she’s now trying to sell herself as a Brexiteer the real Brexiteers don’t trust her as far as they can throw her. They are mainly the rich and powerful and they see her as weak; trouble is most folks see Teresa as weak too! Her ‘peace in our time’ approach is not buying them off and it never will do.

Whether it be Momentum/Militant or UKIP/Fascist they deal in utterly uncompromising politics and when people get in their way, who are not of their sect, then the outcome can hardly be a surprise no matter how distasteful it may be.

When the Right is controlling British politics – That’s most of the time!

It really is the majority of the time whether we on the left are willing to admit it or not.

There have only been 4 General Elections since the 2nd World war when the the left has had a significant majority in the House of Commons. Then again it could well be argued that whilst Tony Blair had a huge majority his was hardly a government of the left and probably it was only just left of centre. Could the same or similar be said of Harold Wilson’s Government?

What started this line of thought was that I happened upon a lecture by Vernon Bogdanor being shown on the BBC Parliament Channel recently. It was actually about the history of the Conservative Party. Now whilst I don’t care to be told about the regular electoral success of the Tories Bogdanor is always interesting, impartial and factual in his work.

One thing he mentioned has long been a matter of great interest to me and that is the working class Conservatives who have regularly helped put a Tory government in power. You could be forgiven for thinking that the working class (not a term a personally subscribe to but one that is widely quoted) will usually be voters of the left and therefore for Labour, but up to a third of them are not. What’s more many of them may be conservative (with a small c) or simply right wing whilst at the same time tribally aligned with the Labour Party.

I have regularly been fascinated by the group of Labour MP’s (and there have always been a fair number of them in each Parliament) who come over as reactionary, right wing, anti progressive politics or just Tories wearing a Labour rosette. I saw similar people in the trade union movement in my time as well. They must come from families that are loyal to Labour yet their stance on things such as equality issues, gay rights, crime and punishment, immigration etc. are firmly based on the politics of the right. Often these MP’s and trade unionists will be from the industrial midlands and the north and they will be utterly loyal to Labour, no matter what it stands for.

That loyalty will stem from the early days of the trade union movement and the need for trade unionists to stick together through thick and thin. It will have been inbred into them through families, trade unions and the Labour Party, yet often these people will be as far away from progressive politics as you can find. Sticking together is the most important thing, backing their leaders almost come what may is also big for them and I think it is what is in part driving the cult of Corbyn.

He’s either a very, very late political developer or he really is a second division politician of the left who has, almost by chance, found himself leading a political party. If you look at his history prior to being elected as Labour Leader he had pretty much no positions of responsibility in public life much at all. The Labour left will say that was because he had always been down-trodden by the right wing of the Labour Party (the Social Democrats) and held back and that he was always going to be a working class hero of the left one day. Well it’s a view but hardly a credible one I would venture to say.

Corbyn’s big problem is that he has some right wing tendencies and Brexit is the one that really stands out. Brexit has always been about internal battles within the Tory Party. UKIP was set up as those within the Tory Party who could not get the Tories to back leaving the EU felt they had to take a different route. Of course they succeeded in turning the Tories into a Brexit Party and they won over many people within Labour too. Remember the successes of UKIP electorally have often been in areas of England that are working class and where they won council seats they were often in Labour areas. Now UKIP has all but expired its supporters have drifted back to the Tory Party or indeed Labour. That Corbyn backs Brexit is bizarre to many of us on the left of British politics but he does and the Labour Party is backing him despite, we are told, the vast majority of Labour voters not backing Brexit.

But Corbyn is loyal to his right wing working class supporters who of course were the part of the Labour vote that helped the Tories/UKIP give us our Brexit. His party prides itself, or at least it used to do, on being a very broad church. At one end true socialists looking to break up the capitalist system and at the other people who would be at home in a Bluekip type Party if only it was called the Labour Party. That is indeed a very broad church, you could say so broad that internal power struggles would be almost impossible to to stop. The Social Democrats within Labour have gone very quiet these days (with a few exceptions) especially those in elected public positions as their stance is particularly unwelcome in Corbyn’s Labour Party and they need to be seen to be complying with the wishes of Momentum if they are not to be deselected.

So at face value Labour is presently seen to be a party of the hard left under McDonnell and Corbyn but, with Brexit in particular, they are peddling a Bluekip line. Also the party is having more than its share of infighting over racial issues at present and this is another indication of people of the left holding what seem to be intolerant right wing views.

Across Europe in many counties Social Democrat and Socially Liberal Parties have been a part of the mainstream. Labour has tried to be that in the UK but the drag of having illiberal and far left members in the same party has meant that it has struggled far more more than it has succeeded. Many thought that the victory of Tony Blair signaled a new (or New) Labour Party with broad center ground and moderate appeal but the medicine did not work and now Labour is in the hands of both the socially illiberal and hard left at the same time!

The point of all this? To show that the right has a huge influence on UK politics and that’s not just in the UKIP and Tory parties. Labour has it’s right wingers too and it can be quite easily argued that even the Lib Dems all but ceased to have a Socially Liberal leadership during Nick Clegg’s unfortunate time as Leader. Thankfully and even slightly surprisingly, under Cable, it seems to be regaining its radical and socially liberal edge though.

Which ever way you look at it the right usually predominates in UK politics and its because, in my view, there’s no electorally successful Social Democrat/Liberal Party at the heart of our mainstream politics and I say that as someone who looks upon some Social Democrats as being too right wing.

Reverse this phrase – ‘Labour gathering Momentum’

www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/nov/25/momentum-loyalty-test-would-be-mps-labour-corbyn

The Guardian has this interesting piece on its web site.

That Labour is ‘suffering’ another period of entryism akin to that it had ‘trouble’ with in the 1980’s (Militant) is a given. But entryism and the radical changing of direction of political parties is nothing new although Labour in particular does seem have periods where what it believed in yesterday is no longer what it believes in today more often than other parties. It’s social democrat and hard left wings seem to be in continual battles to be top dog you might say.

But if you look at the Tories now they are nothing like the political party of Heath or even Major. Often now referred to as ‘Bluekip’ and at times leaning worryingly towards fascism is it not reasonable to look upon all those UKIP supporters and activists joining and voting Tory as entyists too?

And then there was the Clegg period running the Lib Dems. Apart from that period being an utter disaster for the Party there were what seemed to be very genuine fears amongst the party membership and indeed the electorate that what had been a genuine party of the center left under say Kennedy, Grimmond etc. had been hauled over to the right, certainly in economic policy areas. Not quite entryism but a significant and truly unwise experiment which may well take years to ‘wear off’ with left leaning liberal voters.

Momentum gathering Labour

So policy lurches in political parties are nothing new as there are other examples across all the main political parties if you delve into their pasts. However, is what is happening within Labour of far greater significance? I ask as the process within the party under Momentum does seem to be much more far reaching. Not so much Labour gathering Momentum but Momentum gathering Labour.

But is there anything fundamentally wrong with Momentum, if they are the dominant creed within Labour these days (and we assume they are), demanding loyalty to their policy agenda before Labour candidates are selected/reselected to fight elections for the party? There seems to be a logic to that argument to me, although it does significantly change what Labour have often referred to as their ‘broad church’ where once they tolerated and even celebrated a membership with vastly differing views.

Brexit – ‘Britain being led to epic act of self harm’

www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/03/britain-being-led-to-epic-act-self-harm-brexit

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

If this thoughtful assessment of the UK’s perilous situation does not sober up the mad Brexiters in the Tory and Labour parties I am not at all sure what on earth will.

Mrs. May and her Brexit lapdog Mr. Corbyn potentially have us on the road to utter ruin. They may well have swallowed UKIP’s mad ideas of isolation, closed borders and Little England but the prospect of no deal with the EU and a government of Bluekip or Redkip with no idea how to stop digging the vast Brexit hole we are already in any deeper is horrifying indeed.

With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting.

Carl Cashman for Mersey Metro Mayor

Carl Cashman

I love this quote from Carl as it really does sum up why our part of the world voted to remain in the EU and why should all be fighting for the EU and against the headlong Hard Brexit of May & Corbyn.

Our region has benefited massively from EU investment when Merseyside was really down at heel and Carl is right to point that out.

Time to ditch old allegiances and get behind Carl to be our first Mersey Mayor. Labour and Tories (and of course UKIP) will simply continue to press for a Hard Brexit which will ruin our economy both locally and nationally.

Labour – Goodness me they seem very troubled

It goes without saying that if UKIP were not in the mess that they are the press would be all over Labour’s internal troubles even more than they have been. So Labour must be glad of UKIP continually grabbing the political misery headlines (with the help of a BBC obsessed by UKIP) as it helps keep their troubles under the radar somewhat.

But just look at the facts, they are startling and they show how deeply troubled the Labour Party is despite it having a terrible far right Tory Party Government to hit against.

Here are just some of their troubles in no particular order as it is so difficult to know where to start and how to rank their difficulties.

* Is it me or does their Deputy Leader have difficulties being loyal to their Leader? Because that’s how it looks to me.
* On Brexit, why do Labour feel that their best interests and those of the UK are served by backing our far right Tory Government?
* How do you end up with a political party which has a Leader from the left whilst the vast majority of his MP’s are not of the left?
* How many times do you have to amend the membership of the Shadow Cabinet as Labour MP’s quit or are asked to leave.
* Just how unclear does a political party have to be about its policies? It seems that no sooner does their Leader say something than other MP’s and Shadow Cabinet members are queuing up to make their disagreement known.
* How come Labour seems to have almost forgotten that it’s the Official Opposition to the Tories in Parliament?
* How does an opposition party manage to lose a Parliamentary seat to the Government of the day (Copeland) – such has not happened for many a year.
* Why are Labour MP’s resigning mid-term (Copeland and Stoke so far) in seats held by Labour for generations.
* What on earth were Labour doing in the Stoke by-election trying to look for all the world as though they were a UKIP-lite Party?

And more locally

* How come that noises from within Sefton Central Labour are so openly negative about their chances in the future?
* It may only have been a Town Council by-election in Prescot last Thursday but Labour lost a seat to the Lib Dems by a huge margin. The Lib Dems took 68% of the votes cast with Labour tumbling down to just 28%!
* Why are Labour sources predicting that they will probably lose the Sefton Seat at the next election when the incumbent Labour MP is sat on a huge majority?
* How come Labour activists are openly speaking of their party coming out of the next General Election with 120 seats or less?

I could go on but this list is enough to make any political party wonder if it has a future.

My assessment of Labour is this. They have elected a Leader of the left but hardly a competent one, so the move leftwards has been made far more difficult than it needed to have been. Indeed, with so many Labour MP’s being not of the left (Blairites) a hardly functioning leadership keeps getting shot full of holes; not from Tories, Lib Dem’s or the SNP but from its own disgruntled ranks!

Labour has always prided itself on being both a broad church and having strong internal loyalty. The broad church is now the problem as the left and right wings of Labour’s congregation really can’t stick each other and loyalty well that’s very much a thing of the past. Interestingly, that once fierce loyalty came from the trade union movement that gave birth to the Labour Party and it was based on the fact that if the early trade unionists did not stand together at all costs they would be defeated.

The electorate generally does not like divided political parties so unsurprisingly, other than Labour’s core vote which will vote for it almost no matter what the Party stands for, progressive voters in particular are turning their back on Labour. What’s more Labour’s membership is falling too and the Lib Dem’s (and to a much smaller extent the Greens) are benefiting from that as people join them.

So what does Labour have to do to start to put itself back together? Well that depends on what it wants to be and there’s certainly no agreement there amongst Labour’s MP’s and members. The vast majority of their MP’s want a return to some form of a centrist/Blairite-type Party – just don’t mention the Iraq War or privatisation of parts of the NHS though! The vast majority of Labour’s members on the other hand want it to be an obviously socialist party. I think poor old Ed Miliband did try to bridge the huge gulf by nudging Labour leftwards but it was a hopeless compromise and as we all know the wrong Miliband had won their Leadership race back then and he was going nowhere.

Having been a member of a political party that pressed a huge self-destruct button (labeled Tuition Fees) and which only just survived it I can recall being in the self-dug hole and that almost unstoppable urge to dig it deeper. But the difference with that Liberal suicide attempt and the one that Labour is engaged in is that we Lib Dems stayed remarkably united even during our darkest hours.

Labour may be many things but united it is certainly not!