Looking outwards and forward

imagesJeremy Corbyn

There is no doubt that Yvette Cooper has had the better of the second half of the campaign. The bookmakers certainly think so and she has become second favourite, overtaking Andy Burnham in the odds they are quoting. Her growing momentum must, in part, be due to her confident presentation on international issues. Over the last weeks the migrant crisis and the collapse in the FTSE 100 caused by problems in the Chinese economy underline the fact that we cannot solve our problems in isolation; we need international allies.

Given this, the prospect of a Corbyn leadership looks worse by the day. Whatever the advisers are cramming into his policy papers the man himself has not advanced in his thinking since the 1980s. This was the period of the disastrous alternative economic strategy – an entirely inward-looking approach to economic and industrial policy that tried to pretend that the rest of the world did not exist.

Anyone who watched Monday’s Panorama special on the rise of Jeremy Corbyn will have witnessed the two factors that will lead to his downfall. The first is his past association with malevolent, anti-Semitic, organisations. Corbyn’s sincerity is not in question but his judgment and behaviour are. The second factor is his petulance when questioned. Faced with reasonable questions from interviewer John Ware, Corbyn bridled at the very idea that anyone would challenge him in this way. He is not used to it and ill equipped to deal with it. Much, much worse is to come.

Given the Party’s ill-considered electoral system there now a distinct prospect of a nightmare result as well as a nightmare leader. That result is that Yvette Cooper could win in the membership category of voters, but Jeremy Corbyn gains overall victory because of a commanding lead in the £3 registered supporters. If this happens appeals for unity behind the winning candidate are likely to fall on stony ground.


Labour’s failure and my small part in it: a memoir for my grandchildren Martyn Sloman

Download here Labour’s failure and my small part in it

This short book is based on experiences of 50 year’s activism, despair about the current state of the Labour Party, and the steps that are needed to regain credibility. It is available free of charge as a download on this blog site (above) and on a personal website http://www.martynsloman.co.uk. A Kindle edition, priced 99p., the minimum permissible by the publisher, is also available (details on the personal website).


5 thoughts on “Looking outwards and forward

    • you should be worried by the distortions made. for a start we should be questioning why the BBC can claim labour was “absolutely crushed” when the conservatives only won a majority of 10 and our vote share increased. regardless of who wins it is worrying what the bbc did. that programme was comparable to fox news.


  1. It is a shame you take such pleasure in the BBC trashing a Labour leader hopeful. If it wasn’t Corbyn subjected to this it would have been Yvette or Liz or Andy. Imagine they’d recorded supporters of Yvette and aired just one and selectively quoted them. Imagine if they had made accusations about the house flipping scandal she was caught up in, but only aired a brief clip of her rebuttal? You’d not have taken it lightly.


  2. Martyn, you are not alone.

    As a former Hornsey Labour Party member, Haringey Councillor, I fully appreciate everything you suggest about the ineffable Jeremy Corbyn.

    I’d add that I was once pressed to the wall of the antechamber of Haringey Council Chamber, while a Labour Group was meeting, by one of his close affiliates, and told. “We’ll fucking get you!” They did.

    My earliest Labour membership card is dated 1963 — I made the mental commitment, reading the death of Hugh Gaitskell, in the home of my South Yorkshire miner uncle, on 19 January of that year. I’m not going away.

    If Corbyn is elected this Saturday, we have to hold the line against any bully-boys — the descendants of the IMG, the International Socialists, the Trots, the green newbies, whoever.

    We’ll win back the Party, because the issues are too great.

    Oh, and by the way, you don’t have to press too far in Hornsey and Wood Green CLP to find others of the same persuasion.


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