Is the Labour party now so sick, it's fit for power?

From: william (WILLIAMA) 9 May 20:27
The Labour party is, at the moment, run by a small right-wing clique with a majority amongst members of parliament and, more importantly, the internal parliamentary admininistration. Natalie Elphicke is a perfectly fine fit with their views. The problem they have isn't reconciling a right-wing MP with the left-wing liberal Labour party, it's creating a narrative that the press can use that this isn't really happening. I say this as a member. At the moment. 
From: Drew (X3N0PH0N) 9 May 21:05
To: william (WILLIAMA) 3 of 26
One of the things I hate most about this whole situation is that it reinforces the idea that in order to win, Labour has to be a centre-right party. When really it's mostly just the tories imploding.

As to whether they gain more votes with a left agenda motivating people who don't usually vote vs. a centrist agenda where they soak up disaffected tories, I dunno. *Probably* the latter. But I'm certain they'd be heading for an at least decent majority with a left agenda. And that's so fucking frustrating.
From: william (WILLIAMA) 9 May 21:35
To: Drew (X3N0PH0N) 4 of 26
I suppose I'm naive, but most of my personal contact with Labour has been contact with lovely people. I suppose that's because I meet those who actually do the grunt stuff: organising, delivering leaflets, canvassing, running social stuff like food banks and advice points etc. Then I hear that we're just the scum that the party needs to shake off.

I just can't bear to do it anymore. The leadership are not decent people. 

AFAIK I only get one crack at this and I'm at leat 80% through it. I think I'll do something else.
From: Drew (X3N0PH0N) 9 May 21:46
To: william (WILLIAMA) 5 of 26
Oh yeah, I mean the PLP of course. And it just adds to the frustration that most Labour members are way to the left of the leadership. And that gets more true the more involved they are. Every normal Labour member/activist I interact with is lovely.

I get all the arguments against it but I really think we need an explicitly and unalterably socialist party. 
From: william (WILLIAMA) 9 May 22:40
To: Drew (X3N0PH0N) 6 of 26
we need an explicitly and unalterably socialist party.

Ha ha - word!

Won't happen though. Not while the present voting arrangements suit the incumbents so well. I spent some time over the last few weeks distributing leaflets for make votes matter. Waste of time and I had to rub shoulders with LibDems, but you have to start somewhere. Also, could get me expelled from the party i suppose. But since I'm thinking of resigning after nearly forty years...

EDITED: 9 May 22:40 by WILLIAMA
From: Drew (X3N0PH0N) 9 May 22:49
To: william (WILLIAMA) 7 of 26
Ahhh shit, after 40 years, that's a big deal.

I joined for Corbyn, stayed for the election to replace him, left after the result.

And yeah we need PR. Or a media willing to give as much time to a left party as they did to UKIP.
From: william (WILLIAMA) 9 May 23:07
To: Drew (X3N0PH0N) 8 of 26
Yeah, it kind of is. Well, for me anyway. Joined as a very junior union rep in 1976. Left for a few years while I did other things. Joined again in 1985 when I became a union rep again. Never voted any other way. Worked for a few different local parties over the years. Never known this sort of hostility. Not even under Callaghan/Kinnock and that was bad. Haven't had much to do with the local party over the last few years and feel pretty guilty about that seeing as the leader is Beccy Cooper (Hilary Schan's friend) and she's a really fab councillor.
From: Drew (X3N0PH0N) 9 May 23:10
To: william (WILLIAMA) 9 of 26
How's the hostility expressed?

And it's worse now than under Blair? 
From: Dave!!10 May 08:47
To: Drew (X3N0PH0N) 10 of 26
I think we need both. PR is long overdue to give smaller parties a fair chance at representation.

The media problem is that a party catering to the people rather than the rich will always draw the hostility of most the media owners (many of whom are Tory donors). Hence why there's so many pro-Tory papers willing to overlook the sheer clusterfuck of the past few years, yet more than happy to moan repeatedly about Rayner possibly gaining a couple of grand from a council tax issue.

The problem is that so many people fall for it. They're indoctrinated to believe that the Tories have their best interests at heart - despite the parties, tractor porn, incompetence and raking in billions from cronyism. These are the same people fooled into voting for Brexit with the promises of a better-funded NHS, sunlit uplands and all that shit. Whereas if those people tried to really think about it instead of just believing the papers, they'd realise that isolating ourselves from our closest and biggest trading partners would inevitably leave the country and themselves worse off.

Not saying those people are stupid, it's always easier to read something uplifting and have faith in it rather than to think with a more careful, balanced and pessimist attitude. Taking the easier and more optimistic approach is what this side of the media counts upon.
From: Drew (X3N0PH0N)10 May 14:19
To: Dave!! 11 of 26
Yeah, I agree with a lot of that of course.

I was looking at election forecasts the other day and noticed that the Lib Dems are predicted to go from 12% of the popular vote to 8%. Which would take them from 8 seats to 50. Did a double take at that. Then realised that, of course, they'd be going from second to first in a lot of Tory seats. It's a patently insane system.

I've never voted for the party that won my constituency. So my vote has never counted for anything.

I'll disagree on one thing - I agree with everything you said about the media but I think Brexit (and Trump in the US) are examples of (neolib) capital *not* getting its way. Part of what both of those things were was a 'fuck you' to the establishment from people who feel alienated from it.

There's a bit of a battle within capital between global financial capital, as represented by neoliberalism, the side that's in almost complete control of the media, and 'provincial capital' as represented by Trump, Brexit and the populist right in general.

I think we've got a similar problem brewing on the left. In abandoning and alienating the 'traditional' working class, we've left the door wide open for a socially conservative left populism, which we're seeing in various places across Europe and the beginnings of here with Galloway's Workers Party. I'm not expecting the Workers Party to do very well, *yet*, but it represents something the left *really* needs to address before it takes off.

But we'd need the unions, and Labour has them, and Labour seems to be irredeemably neoliberal.

I'd love to see something like the Populist Movement the US had in the first few decades of the 20th century, which was a properly left populism that was very broad and inclusive but focussed and coherent in its demands. Material conditions seem right for it. But we're all so atomised now. We experience ourselves as consumers rather than workers and that doesn't really provide a site of organisation.

I'm in this ambivalent state of pessimism + hope.

But yeah, absolutely agree that PR would be a good start.

EDITED: 10 May 14:33 by X3N0PH0N
From: william (WILLIAMA)10 May 19:40
To: Drew (X3N0PH0N) 12 of 26
I think you're right. George Monbiot blames the world's ills on neoliberalism with it's political roots in the late 20s (the last lot of 20s, not this lot) and 30s. He's probably right with that, but along the way there's a lot of "thrashing about" from people who despair but have no way/route/levers to express themselves, and those who somehow believe that they are empowered. \The latter may appear to be simply stupid (eg the Tea Party, conspiracy theorist, anti-vaxx, Q-anon) but in reality are simply people who have realised that there is something very wrong with their lives. Just as the unempowered have no levers, those whose lives are meaningless can hardly be blamed for grabbing at something which seems to give it meaning. 

So outcomes are never going to be as guaranteed as your average neolib might want.
From: Drew (X3N0PH0N)10 May 20:34
To: william (WILLIAMA) 13 of 26
Yeah, I think that all rings true.

There are those times when stuff's kinda on a knife-edge and can go either way. The 20s-30s in the US were certainly that, if FDR hadn't appeased the populist left with the new deal, thing's could've gone very differently. But they were smart and saved capitalism.

And May 68. The failure of that movement and subsequent turning away from Marx and back towards Nietzsche by academics set the left on the path it's on now where its kinda alienated from what should be its base. 

From: william (WILLIAMA)10 May 20:43
To: Drew (X3N0PH0N) 14 of 26
How's the hostility expressed?

There's a variety of ways. Motions submitted from local branches to higher forums, say NEC, for conferences, are ignored, not even considered if they are "left supporting". There are petty, stupid things that you wouldn't even give credit to. Expense claims are delayed or queried when they are totally normal if the claimant is "left supporting". Requests for information, even routine stuff to do constituency work, are ignored or dealt with slowly. Believe me, it becomes obvious. On the extreme side, candidates for major council roles, or for parliamentary standing, are overruled, or their applications are "late" or "go missing". If the worst happens, a rightwing candidate is parachuted in. These are things that the right of the party (and remember that the Labour party is unique in not having a right, only a centre and a hard left) have done every time they have been in control, but consistently accuse the left of plotting. But the left hasn't ever done this. How else did somebody like Frank Field survive with his admiration for Thatcher and Powell through the few leftwing periods? Dear Frank even breached the cardinal rule of the party by urging a neighbouring constituency not to vote Labour when it looked like Lol Duffy might beat Lynda Chalker. Heaven forfend that a socialist should overturn a huge tory majority.

But most of that is my biased view of things. I suspect that for most labour supporters and activists it's just bloody obvious. It's the drip, drip, drip of the press and other media. The poor outcomes for anybody on the left compared with anybody on the right. The blatancy with which every promise Starmer made has been binned. As Bob once sang, you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

And it's worse now than under Blair?

If I'm honest, I don't know. I haven't been so directly involved in the local party in the last few years. What I hear all seems like pretty standard rightwing Labour stuff. The massive difference is the collaboration between Labour-right and the neoliberal press and media and the frankly brilliant idea of identifying antisemitism as the perfect anti-left weapon. 
From: Drew (X3N0PH0N)10 May 22:19
To: william (WILLIAMA) 15 of 26
That sounds incredibly demoralising.

I watched a recent interview with Corbyn the other day and one of the things he expressed was that he was too kind and trusting towards the right wing. And that he expected that kindness to be reciprocated. And, y'know, no surprise that that's not how it turned out but the *extent* to which it's not true is kinda shocking. The brazen way the left is suppressed.

From: Drew (X3N0PH0N)10 May 22:22
To: william (WILLIAMA) 16 of 26
the neoliberal press and media and the frankly brilliant idea of identifying antisemitism as the perfect anti-left weapon

I'm hoping we're reaching the end of that with it all being played out so starkly currently. And the public *seeming* to begin to see what that's all about.
From: milko11 May 23:08
To: ALL17 of 26
I joined for Corbyn, left a bit after Starmer took over having hung around slightly too long just in case he surprised by I dunno, keeping promises or something; it was just so demoralising watching all the good progress made being gleefully tossed aside for red-tie Toryism. I live in a pretty safe Labour seat so I can probably be pretty casual about a protest vote, nothing will change and there's seemingly very little ambition out there to make a change anymore unless it's "somehow be more fash than we already are". I'm kinda withdrawing from much overt engagement with politics, better off just trying to make some kind of small impression within my own life and contacts, maybe find ways to do more grassroots things in a few years.
From: Drew (X3N0PH0N)11 May 23:16
To: milko 18 of 26
in case he surprised by I dunno, keeping promises or something

Being quite gullible I was like: "Oh, his leadership commitments are pretty good. Maybe Corbyn moved things enough that he'll actually stick to this stuff".

From: Drew (X3N0PH0N)11 May 23:26
To: milko 19 of 26
And you should get on Mastodon again!

*Orrrrr* we get Matt to do another few thousand hours of unpaid labour and update Beehive to work with ActivityPub.
From: Peter (BOUGHTONP) 1 Jun 18:14
To: Drew (X3N0PH0N) 20 of 26
From other thread:
> ... wondering whether, in the upcoming election, I'm going to not bother voting or cast a pointless vote for the Greens.

I'll probably vote for the Greens, because even though it wont change the result, it might at least help them over the 5% threshold for retaining their deposit... :/