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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.
UK  politics  LabourParty  Corbynism  Bennism  TheLeft  youth  austerity  precarity  CorbynJeremy  McDonnellJohn  economics  socialDemocracy  state  property  socialMovements  participation  grassroots  McCluskeyLen  Unite  Momentum  activism  climateChange  GreenNewDeal 
10 days ago by petej
Labour risks total wipeout if it fails to take Boris Johnson seriously | Aditya Chakrabortty | Opinion | The Guardian
First, it needs to come out wholeheartedly for a second referendum and remain. There is no future in doing anything else against a government that treats no deal as a test of its virility. I have been among those urging Labour not to go along with this hard-right plot to feed the country to the vultures, and frustrated as it tweaks its position every fortnight: enough. If need be, appoint a spokesperson who can argue the case for remain without physically squirming.

Second, it needs to go bigger and bolder on its spending commitments, making clear the money will not be disbursed from Westminster solely on big infrastructure projects but will be entrusted to local communities to spend. Every time Johnson promises some spending, Labour should retort: which are you going to believe, his press releases or the devastation you can see on your high street, at your town hall and local food bank? We’ll fix that – in partnership with you. The shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, has spoken imaginatively about public works, but he should concentrate on putting more money into the pockets of those who have none – by fixing our broken social security system. That means scrapping universal credit and rolling back the meanness of our means-tested benefits.

Finally, Labour needs to shrug off its historic complacency about its heartlands. The decline of the trade unions has taken with it a whole tradition of civic labourism that used to turn workers into voters. In Momentum, Corbyn has a self-described social movement that ought to be laying on advice about how to get the benefits you’re entitled to and how to tackle rogue landlords and predatory bosses.
UK  politics  JohnsonBoris  ToryParty  LabourParty  campaigning  Brexit  Remain  referendum  publicSpending  socialSecurity  Momentum  socialMovements  generalElection  Corbynism  TheLeft  dctagged  dc:creator=ChakraborttyAditya 
july 2019 by petej
After the storm: what should Corbynism 2.0 look like?
There are three new things Labour can offer the electorate going into the autumn. One is to promise a second referendum. Tactically, it would reconnect Labour with some centrist Remain voters; strategically it offers a route to reuniting a divided country, as the illusion of a hard break with Europe shatters.

The second is a radical devolution offer to Scotland, amounting to the creation of a federal UK, whose aim should be to attract thousands of left-wing independence supporters back to Labour.

The third is a more collective and revitalised shadow cabinet, armed with a short but inspiring programme for Labour’s first Queen’s Speech.
UK  politics  LabourParty  CorbynJeremy  Corbynism  IHRA  Tunis  wreath  PLO  media  journalism  smears  UmunnaChuka  centrism  split  Brexit  Momentum  referendum  dctagged  dc:creator=MasonPaul 
august 2018 by petej
VersoBooks.com: A Permanent Election
"If that sounds a bit like squaring the circle, it is: it is an attempt to reconcile one of the most difficult issues in contemporary left politics – the interaction between social movement-style politics and operation within the political sphere proper. It will entail mistakes, and it will entail conflict, especially at the local level. Caution, judgement and a certain intransigence are all necessary qualities. Yet it is the key to unlocking the potential demonstrated on Thursday of last week, and to building the Corbyn surge into a wholesale political transformation."

"That we can talk of even the possibility of left government in the UK is a measure of how far we have come in the past two years, and how profoundly politics has changed in the near decade since the crash of 2008. We are not there yet. And as a historically literate left-winger, and one who holds positions to the left even of Corbyn, I am acutely aware of the limits and contradictions of Labour’s programme – not to mention the colossal resistance it has already and will yet face. Yet at the same time there is a singular opportunity to effect political change on a scale undreamt of by the British left for decades. To pass that up because of a love of minoritarianism, a nihilating cynicism which sees change as always doomed to failure or decay, or some hoary doctrine about the Labour Party’s unalterable nature – that would be colossal folly. It is time to win."
UK  politics  LabourParty  CorbynJeremy  generalElection  ge2017  TheLeft  youth  manifesto  PLP  shadowCabinet  democracy  deselection  accountability  Momentum  socialMovements  immigration  foreignPolicy  dctagged  dc:creator=ButlerJames 
june 2017 by petej
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