Worst Defeat Since 1935
On December 12, Labour had its worst defeat since 1935.
Period of Reflection
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, the architect of the defeat, said he would stand down as party leader after a period of reflection.
The reflection period is not going well, as anyone with any bit of common sense would have expected.
Classic Finger Pointing
Let's tune in to the Guardian Live Blog for some classic finger-pointing.
Tony Blair Blasts Corbynism and the Far Left
[Corbyn] personified an idea, a brand of quasi-revolutionary socialism, mixing far left economic policy with deep hostility to western foreign policy, which never has appealed to traditional Labour voters, never will appeal and represented for them a combination of misguided ideology and terminal ineptitude that they found insulting.
No sentient political party goes into an election with a leader who has a net approval rating of -40%.
The takeover of the Labour party by the far left turned it into a glorified protest movement, with cult trimmings, utterly incapable of being a credible government.
Cooper and Starmer Blast Blairism
Sir Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, and Yvette Cooper have both given interviews in which they have sought to distance themselves not just from Corbynism, but from Blairism. Starmer told the Today programme: "I don’t need somebody else’s name tattooed to my head, some past leader, in order to identify and make decisions."
In Search of the New Corbyn
Candidates line up either in praise of Corbyn or blasting him in hopes that is the winning strategy to replace Corbyn as part leader.
Emily Thornberry, the shadow foreign secretary, has chosen door number two, blasting Corbyn.
Thornberry said that Corbyn went ahead and ordered Labour to vote for an early election despite her sending him a note saying this would be “an act of catastrophic folly”.
As well as going negative against Corbyn, Thornberry’s article includes an implicit swipe at Rebecca Long-Bailey, the shadow business secretary and the Corbynite candidate for the leadership. Someone has briefed the Evening Standard that Long-Bailey was one of those in shadow cabinet backing Corbyn’s call for an early election.
Thornberry's Choice Words
In Thornberry's Guardian Article she had these choice word to say about Corbyn.
"I took the fight to him every day, and pummelled him every week. Each time, the mask slipped, and we saw the real man – a mendacious, lazy, dangerous charlatan, unable to hide behind the tiresome smokescreen of bluster he usually relies on. He hated it, especially coming from a woman."
Thornberry's 1900 Solution
Thornberry wants to "start focusing on the pledges from that 1900 Labour manifesto, which are now more than a century overdue – on elderly people, on housing, on the unemployed, and on child poverty."
Door Number Three - Don't Say Anything
Lisa Nandy confirms she is considering standing for Labour leadership. She refuses to blame anyone or for that matter say anything.
As best I can tell, it seems like Nandy is questioning herself with a bunch if IFs.
Door Number One - Praise Corbyn
Corbynism Without Corbyn
"We need to reflect, but what we shouldn’t do is now oversteer," said Starmer.
"What I’m saying is that the desperate needs of millions of people for change – people in poverty, people who are homeless – the moral case for change is still there, just as it was last Thursday."
"And it’s only going to be met by a radical Labour government. The case for a radical government has never been stronger."
Case for Radical Left Never Stronger
Let's not veer too far off Corbynism. Yeah right. That's the ticket.
What absurd reflection.
But what did you expect?
Let's take a look at the Betting Odds just for grins.
- Rebecca Long-Bailey 7/4: The “continuity Corbyn” candidate has shortened significantly in the betting over the weekend following endorsements from senior figures to become the new favourite. Having stood in ably for Corbyn in debates during the campaign, she’s already proven her credentials on the big stage, but should the party look to tack to the centre she may be considered as carrying too much baggage from the old regime.
- Lisa Nandy 3/1: The Wigan MP resigned from Corbyn’s shadow cabinet in 2016 and lack of support for her from his supporters could prove to be a blessing in this campaign.
- Keir Starmer 6/1: Starmer had been the long-term favourite to replace Corbyn and in the small hours on Friday morning had maintained his position at the top of the list, before the calls for a female leader from north of London got louder and louder.
- Angela Rayner 15/2: Her inspirational backstory and powerful public speaking would make her an ideal candidate to take the fight to a Conservative government.
- Jess Phillips 10/1: A vocal Corbyn critic and hugely popular figure in the digital realms thanks to the manner in which she’s taken aim at the Tories from the backbenches over the years.
- Yvette Cooper 20/1: A Labour heavyweight from the party’s bygone era of government and an MP for more than 20 years, but the suspicion is that these credentials may actually work against Cooper in the eyes of the current membership. The flag-bearer for the centrists lost in 2015 and unless there’s evidence of demand for a significant move back to the middle ground, Cooper looks likely to miss out again.
- Emily Thornberry 33/1: Likely to be too close to Corbyn both in terms of loyalty and geography. [Thornberry loyal to Corbyn? WTF?]
- Tony Blair 200/1: We don’t recommend a bet on the most successful leader of the Labour Party making the most unprecedented political comeback of all time.
What to Expect
The betting odds seem about right.
We should expect either Rebecca Long-Bailey, the “continuity Corbyn”, or someone like Lisa Nandy whom we have no idea at all what she's saying.
Offend no one. That's shrewd ambiguity on Nandy's part, and in sharp contrast contrast to Thornberry at 33-1.
Comment of the Day
That applies to nearly all the reflection we saw today, except arguably Tony Blair.
Conservatives don't like Blair personally or his policies, but at least he understands that a radical Marxist like Corbyn is not and never will be the solution.
Reflect on This
Meanwhile, for all the pissing and moaning of Remainers, please reflect on this: Margaret Thatcher's Amazing Prophecy on the EU.
Also note that Corbyn's Massive Defeat is Big Wakeup Call for Democrats.
Nah. Just back Warren and people like AOC.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock