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Why Corbynism matters | Prospect Magazine
The Corbyn project helped saved Labour from “Pasok-ification”—the fate of the traditional party of Greek social -democracy, which like so many of its European counterparts, has been hollowed out. Imagine if Labour had, as self-styled “moderates” urged after the 2015 defeat, eschewed dramatic rethinking to embark instead upon a focus-group-led chase to connect with, in the words of the then-MP Tristram Hunt, people “who shop at John Lewis.” Who is to say how low such a Labour Party, stripped of anything but aspirational platitudes, may have fallen. By wriggling free of the “end of history” ideological straitjacket that was fastened around formal politics after the Berlin Wall came down, Corbynism has expanded the politically possible; breaking up, as Lawson puts it, “the permafrosted soil that for 30 years had been too harsh for our dreams to grow in.”

If Corbynism were to storm the citadel this winter, its contradictions will be thrown into sharp relief in power. After defying expert predictions, the starting point for a Corbyn government—a broken economy, tattered social fabric and dysfunctional democratic infrastructure—would still be inauspicious. As Tom Blackburn points out, there is a danger that, having avoided the fate of Pasok, Labour would instead follow the path of Syriza, which rode to power in Greece on the back of a rejection of the ancien regime, rather than any positive embrace of its own ideals. Just as in Athens, the vested interests of business and the state could swiftly gut a Labour government’s radicalism.
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3 days ago by petej
Labour’s bid for leave voters is failing. It must now look to remainers | Jonathan Freedland | Opinion | The Guardian
It points to a bleak prospect later this month, with the leave vote consolidating behind a triumphant Farage, while the remain vote splits at least four ways. But there is an obvious means to avert that scenario. If Labour made plain its commitment to submitting any Brexit deal to a confirmatory vote, it could staunch at least some of the haemorrhage of support to the remain parties.

This is the argument Labour thrashed out around the national executive table on Tuesday. I’m told that Diane Abbott, identifying herself as the MP for “remoan central”, told the group to “remember that our enemies are using this issue to drive a wedge between Jeremy and the membership”. Seeing this as a dastardly plot against the embattled but noble left is certainly one option, and it has a long tradition. But the other way of looking at it might be more productive: namely that, in its desperation to keep fishing in the Brexiter pool, Labour has turned its back on waters rich in anti-Tory voters who regard Brexit as a disaster that any opposition worth the name would be opposing. Labour could start fishing in those waters – or it could stand by, watching as its rivals steal that precious catch right from under its nose.
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may 2019 by petej
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